Stories for Feb. 25, 2014
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RunKeeper tracked what its users were up to in Sochi during the Olympics and found they ran the equivalent of about 78 marathons. It’s an interesting nugget, but part of a much larger picture about learning how, when and where people exercise. Read more »

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In Brief

Website performance and security startup CloudFlare has acquired an anti-malware startup called StopTheHacker. The deal makes the popular CloudFlare that much more useful and also gives the company a new business to take advantage of the global infrastructure it’s building out. CEO Matthew Prince recently suggested it would get into the anti-malware space because it often has spare computing capacity that could be put to work scanning networks rather than sitting idle. Although it plans to integrate the two services more tightly, CloudFlare says it will continue operating and investing in the StopTheHacker service.

In Brief

Uber remains the top dog in the rising transportation app market, but its surge pricing model — which places a multiplier on rates when traffic is high — has drawn ire from many users. But CEO Travis Kalanick said at the 2014 LAUNCH Festival today that the company is making the process more “humane” by adding push notifications to users when surge pricing ends, according to The Next Web. The notifications, which will roll out to iPhone users next week and Android users in the near future, may keep users from obsessively refreshing the app to get a better price, but it doesn’t solve the problem of enraging users when they need rides the most.

In Brief

Appearing on CNBC Monday morning, Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam said his company has been discussing some type of peering agreement with Netflix for over a year, and he believes some type of agreement could be reached. This isn’t surprising given that Verizon users have also been complaining about their video streaming service and that Comcast and Netflix just announced their own interconnection agreement. While ISPs will tout this as a win for the industry, there are plenty of competitive issues that should give people who care about the internet pause.

In Brief

A company called Carrier IQ is trying to help mobile carriers serve their customers better by using machine learning algorithms to diagnose problems with their smartphone, such as poor battery performance or call quality. A smart use of the technology would be for carriers to get proactive in helping customers resolve their problems before they get annoyed enough to call customer service or, in an increasingly non-contractual industry, just go elsewhere without letting a carrier know they’re leaving. The holy grail of big data, after all, is to actually be able to be proactive.

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