Learning

How Computerized “Gut Instincts” May Improve NBA Coaching

DeMarcus Cousins, star center for the Sacramento Kings, warming up before a 2012 game. Image via Wikimedia Commons

As Vivek Ranadivé, CEO of TIBCO Software, and his tech industry partners take over the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, they’ve made some comments about applying advanced technology to basketball. But they haven’t really elaborated. Well, I can provide some clues to the way Ranadivé will likely think about this, and it goes well beyond using Moneyball-style data analysis to find players who are overlooked gems. In Ranadivé’s predictive-technology vision, the team’s computers will use that data to learn—to gain experience—about not just the Kings, but also their opponents. Then it could start making predictions during games about what is likely to happen.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech

eBay’s Paypal: China Payment License in Sight

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China’s regulators have never been known for moving fast on anything, and that case seems to apply even more when it comes to allowing foreign players into emerging markets like third-party payment services. More than two years after China began awarding licenses for its domestic companies to offer such, foreign companies are still waiting for equal rights in the lucrative domestic market. But now US e-commerce giant eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) is saying it could soon become the first foreign licensee to enter the market, providing both a big opportunity, but also a major challenge, as it seeks to catch up to Chinese rivals with more than a two-year head-start.   More

Business Media & Marketing

How BuzzFeed Gives Business News Millennial Appeal

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A scant month into the launch of BuzzFeed's business section and its editor Peter Lauria is stoked. The news establishment from whence he hails has already taken notice. Out of the gate, The New York Times, the Financial Times, and CNBC, among others, have followed scoops by Lauria and his young team. For example, after news surfaced that Bloomberg reporters were using the financial services giant's terminals to report on clients, BuzzFeed uncovered that higher-ups at the company knew about the unsavory practice for more than a year.   More

Cities

Techonomy and Jack Dorsey Return to Detroit

Techonomy Media proudly announces it is bringing its one-day public conference, Techonomy Detroit, back for a second straight year. A diverse group of business, tech, government, and policy leaders will join in a spirited discussion of how technology is changing everything for the United States and its cities. National and local leaders will converge at Wayne State University on September 17, 2013 for a series of conversations and workshops to focus on the challenges and opportunities posed by headlong tech-driven change.   More

Business Manufacturing

New Technology Clouds the IP Landscape

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The tech trifecta of Internet, cloud computing, and 3D printing tantalizes investors and consumers with the promises of lower distribution costs, increased productivity, reduced prices, and the free movement of information. But, as RISD President and Techonomy 2013 participant John Maeda argues in a recent LinkedIn post, contradictions abound for those in the business of creating goods and information.   More

Internet of Things

Samsung Aims at a Networked Home

Samsung appears to be gearing up for an Internet of Everything economy. Already a leading producer of smartphones and LED televisions, the consumer electronics giant is preparing to expand its reach into home appliances. Samsung's CEO of Consumer Electronics Boo-Keun Yoon told Steven Bertoni of Forbes that his company is ready to push into a market worth $280 billion globally. With U.S. the housing market reaching solid ground, and China still building at a feverish pace, Samsung wants to equip the wave of new homes with dishwashers and ranges.   More

Global Tech Government Security & Privacy

NSA Surveillance a Setback for U.S. Cloud Services Overseas

image: bagsgroove via flickr

Long before the National Security Agency's PRISM program was exposed, technology industry executives had warned Congress that the Patriot Act and other laws that "give U.S. government authorities unfettered access to data stored with U.S. companies" are hampering global sales for American cloud services providers.   More

Learning

Text-to-Speech Reads to the Blind, But What More Can Tech Do?

The author's father using the Stereotoner to read.

Back in the 1970s, before a personal computer was on every desk or lap and a smartphone in every pocket, blind people read printed material—books, newspapers, bills—with reading machines. Harvey Lauer at the Blind Rehabilitation Center in Hines, Ill., was a pioneer in developing reading machines for the blind, and my father, Richard Bennett, a researcher at the Veterans Administration in Palo Alto, was one of his colleagues. “Blindness,” Lauer once said, “is something more than a nuisance, but a lot less than a major catastrophe.” The phrase aptly sums up the challenge of reading for blind people: It takes effort, but it’s not an insurmountable problem.   More

Business

Video: Kirkpatrick on Facebook Shareholder Unrest

Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick appeared yesterday on Bloomberg TV to comment on Mark Zuckerberg's reaction to angry investors at Facebook's first shareholder meeting. Kirkpatrick asserts that Facebook's formidable reach will ultimately bolster its long-term outlook, citing the use of Facebook by organizers of protests in Turkey as an example of the social network's pervasiveness. Zuckerberg's involvement in the FWD.us campaign for immigration reform, says Kirkpatrick, reinforces how Facebook "has put itself at the center of global developments." But can the company turn around its Wall Street fortunes by figuring out a way to monetize mobile ads?   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business

Genes Can’t Be Patented, Supreme Court Tells Myriad

"A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated," the Supreme Court has ruled today unanimously. The 20-page decision written by Justice Thomas added that synthetic DNA, also known as complementary DNA or cDNA, "is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring."   More

Security & Privacy Startup Culture

How Startups Helped the NSA Build PRISM

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In 2004, while working for USA Today, then based in part of an Arlington, Va., office tower, I wanted to do a story about the CIA’s then-experimental venture capital unit called In-Q-Tel. I got the OK from In-Q-Tel to visit its office. But the CIA was so concerned about secrecy and terrorism, I had to agree to not reveal where the office was located. So I met a man on the ground floor of an office tower that had once housed USA Today, and he promptly took me back up the elevator. In-Q-Tel’s office was in the same building. I may be one of the only journalists to go there. In-Q-Tel has since moved down the street. You can find its address on the Web—though not on its own web site. And now that the National Security Agency’s PRISM data-collection system has been outed, In-Q-Tel is more visible than it's ever been.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

What Would You Do If Hackers Downloaded Your DNA?

Micah's DNA: micahb37 via flickr

Hacked customer accounts are a bane of modern existence. LivingSocial might have been the latest major hack victim, but by now, most people with any kind of online life know what to do when notified by a vendor, bank, or e-commerce site that "unauthorized access to some customer data" has occurred: reset your passwords, check your bank accounts, monitor your credit report, perhaps freeze your credit or cancel your credit cards. But what if hackers access your DNA? There's no resetting that code.   More

Security & Privacy

Could We Lose Control of Drones?

Drone image via Shutterstock

Is any technology inherently “good” or “evil”? The deciding factor would be how it's used (or misused), right? Consider drones. Drones—unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or aircrafts without human pilots on board—have been around since the early 1900s, and the U.S. Air Force was developing them in earnest as early as 1959. Today, the use of drones has grown dramatically. National Geographic reported this past March that at least 50 countries now use drones, and several—Iran, Israel, and China, for example—make their own.   More

Internet of Things Security & Privacy

Reputation.com’s Fertik: Put Humans Back at the Center of the Internet

Alongside Techonomy's recent mini-conference on the Internet of Everything in Menlo Park in May, we interviewed Michael Fertik, CEO of Reputation.com. Fertik is one of the world's most successful innovators focusing on a topic of great concern globally—privacy on the Internet. Reputation.com can sanitize and improve the way one is viewed in Google searches and other online contexts, and Fertik has given more thought than most to what we are doing as the Net evolves and more and more info about us is exposed in disparate contexts. In this video interview he talks about his hopes and fears, and waxes surprisingly philosophical about the relative importance and value of being human, and being a machine.   More

Manufacturing

The Next Manufacturing Revolution Is Not 3D. It’s Software

(image via Shutterstock)

A major challenge to creating and filling manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is the ever-increasing skills gap. There is a widespread misconception that these jobs are low-skill. To the contrary, a large portion of U.S. manufacturing is complex, requiring a high level of expertise that is hard to find. Investment in improved education and training is surely needed to fill more jobs. But the long-term solution is to lower the barriers of entry to manufacturing work through technology—specifically by using widely accessible, easy-to-use automation software that grows revenues, increases efficiencies, and reduces costs for manufacturers and their customers.   More

Global Tech

China: Baidu-Qihoo Search War Returns With Lawsuit

After disappearing from the headlines for a few months, the ongoing search war between industry leader Baidu and challenger Qihoo 360 has jumped back into the news with reports that the former has sued the latter. This new lawsuit is most likely just the first phase in a new stage of the battle between these two companies, and I fully expect Qihoo to file a countersuit within the next few weeks.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

Are Flash Sales Coming to Consumer Genomics?

Could consumers be persuaded to snatch up DNA sequences as must-have accessories? With former Gilt Groupe President Andy Page in a new leadership role, 23andMe might be able to swing that. The personal genetics company began late last year offering its Personal Genome service for $99 and set a goal to serve 1 million customers in 2013.   More

Government Opinion

Did Obama Just Destroy the U.S. Internet Industry?

Photo: President Barack Obama talks with Michael Froman, then NSA deputy for international and economic affairs, during a working dinner at the G8 Summit, June 25, 2010. (White House/Flickr)

News about the National Security Agency's PRISM program and its privileged access to internal user data at nine U.S. Internet companies has unleashed a torrent of justified anger and hand-wringing. But the worries do not go far enough. Almost everybody is still looking at this through a narrow domestic lens. Our values and goals may be more challenged than you think.   More

Business

London Diners Taste the Future: Drone-Delivered Dishes

In a marketing ploy to demonstrate how “light, exciting, and fun” its new rice burgers are, Yo! Sushi in London yesterday made a splash with the first use of a drone in food service. Pedestrians in the city's Soho section stopped in their tracks to snap iPhone photos of the flying food tray delivering meals to sidewalk diners.   More

Internet of Things

The Increasingly Wearable Cloud

Google Glass image via Shutterstock

While Google Glass is the biggest and boldest wearable cloud technology on the market today, it’s still in the early-adopter phase. But according to a recent Forbes blog by Joe McKendrick, more and more on-your-person cloud offerings—including fitness monitors, smart watches, and lifelogging cameras—are coming out, and pretty soon they’ll become ubiquitous.   More