A Cambridge, Mass.-based startup called Kensho has raised a $10 million seed round from a group of investors that includes General Catalyst, NEA, Accel Partners and Google Ventures. The company’s product, called Warren (as in Warren Buffett, I presume), is a natural-language search engine for data on financial markets. You (assuming you’re a banker or very sophisticated day trader) type in a question — an example from the company’s website is “Which aerospace companies rally following major breakthroughs in drone technology?” — and it returns results in the form of data. It looks like a smart product from a smart team, especially if the UI and visualizations are as good as the algorithms.
Barack Obama will announce on Friday that he intends to take telephony metadata out of the hands of the National Security Agency, according to a Reuters report about a scheduled speech by the President on NSA reform. The report suggests Obama has heeded some of the calls made by an advisory panel in December, but it remains unclear who will hold this metadata. Intelligence agencies will also need a “judicial finding” in order to query the database, according to the report, and Obama will apparently scale back surveillance of foreign leaders and for the first time put a public advocate into the secret court process that governs surveillance targeting.