Global Tech

United Nations Spearheads Big Data for Development

When we think of Big Data, humanitarian aid and international development are probably not what first come to mind. But a United Nations team called Global Pulse is working to connect the dots between data mining and humanitarianism, showing us how we can use Big Data to digitally map the global development ecosystem. “Big Data for development” works by analyzing data from cell phones, social networking sites, and Internet commerce to locate clues about signs of distress in developing countries.   More

Finance

How Mobile Money Can Change Even More Lives

Mobile ATM image via Shutterstock

Changing the way we use money is one of the most promising and innovative ways that mobile technology is changing lives around the world. Mobile money is already being used by banks and mobile network operators to provide millions of unbanked consumers a way to store and access money digitally. For millions of consumers in developing countries, mobile money is transforming lives by providing access to financial services and the ability to pay and be paid electronically—sometimes for the first time in their lives.   More

Cities Manufacturing

Detroit’s Creative Corridor Sparks Small Manufacturing

TechShop CEO Mark Hatch speaks at Techonomy Detroit 2012.

Detroit may be known for its automobile manufacturing, but lately it has seen a burgeoning class of small manufacturers and makers of watches, bicycles, jeans, and other goods. This is happening “just as the country experiences increasing consumption of domestically produced goods,” Crain's Detroit reports. In Detroit, the urban manufacturing resurgence has been guided by organizations like the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, which has expanded its mission beyond creative-industry entrepreneurs.   More

Media & Marketing Opinion

How Much Will Bezos Disrupt the Post?

Earns Washington Post

The best news for the ailing news business in a long time is Jeff Bezos's $250 million purchase of The Washington Post. Those who entertain the knee-jerk reaction that this acquisition of a legacy media operation is simply Bezos laying down dead presidents for “a billionaire's bauble” are sorely mistaken. The news and information economy desperately needs disrupters and innovators of Steve Jobs-like ambitions, and who else but Bezos fits that description? The Amazon founder wouldn't have opened his checkbook if he himself didn't think he was that guy.   More

Government

White House Intervention in Apple Patent Case Sets Bold Precedent

In the ongoing patent dispute between Samsung and Apple, the White House has finally put its foot down. It squashed a verdict handed down by a U.S. trade court that would have banned the import of some older Apple smartphones and tablets, a ruling that was likely to hurt the U.S. economy, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said. The White House joins the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in arguing that such standard-essential patent cases should rarely lead to a product ban on US territory.   More

Arts & Culture Video

Spike’s Gotta Have Kickstarter

Spike Lee is under fire for launching a Kickstarter campaign that seeks $1.25 million of crowdfunding to support his new film project, “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint.” Lee’s campaign, launched July 22, so far has raised over $680,000 from more than 3,250 financial backers (and counting). With 18 days left, Lee has reached 50 percent of his goal. While Lee’s supporters—among them, acclaimed director Steven Sodenbergh, who pledged a sizable 10 grand—don’t mind answering his call for money, critics question whether it’s right for the veteran filmmaker to ask at all. They argue that in turning to Kickstarter, a platform typically used by novices and upstarts, Lee is diverting money away from smaller but equally deserving campaigns.   More

Jobs Learning

MBA Talent Turns from Wall Street to Tech

More graduates from Harvard Business School are going into technology, preliminary career data published by the school shows. Technology companies hired 18 percent of MBA graduates from the class of 2013, up from 7 percent in 2008 and 12 percent in 2012. Financial service companies hired only 27 percent of the graduating class, down from 45 percent in 2008 and 35 percent in 2012.   More

Business

Girl Develop It Instructor Calls Out “Bogus Stereotypes”: Girls CAN Code

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Jennifer Mozen helps lead software development teams and would like to see more women in her field. By day, she is a delivery principal at Chicago-based web development and digital consulting firm Table XI. In her spare time, she is a volunteer coding instructor with Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization with chapters in 15 U.S. cities, Sydney, and Ottawa that provides software development training and mentorship for women. In this Q&A, Mozen tells Techonomy’s Andrea Ozretic that she sees a big shift coming in the demographics of software development.   More

Business

The Anti-Techonomic View: Economic Growth Is Over

The Techonomic view of how continued rapid technological innovation will transform society and industries is expressed on these pages every day. MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson is among those who say "our best days are still ahead of us." Northwestern macroeconomist Robert Gordon might be the anti-Techonomist.   More

Media & Marketing

NewsCred’s Credo: Showcase the Best Web Content

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NewsCred launched in 2008 with a contrarian business model in digital media that its founder Shafqat Islam admits was “naive”—a plan to spotlight premium journalism. Since then, the plan has matured. Having created powerful curation technology for its partners, NewCred has licensing agreements with hundreds of blue-chip sources, ranging from The New York Times to Getty Images, The Economist, and the Mayo Clinic. With a killer's row of partners, NewsCred is quickly becoming a force in creating custom content in brand marketing for some of the biggest players in the world.   More

Learning Startup Culture

What Is Blerdology?

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Blerds unite! Blerdeology, a social enterprise to support and engage the black startup and STEM community, is rallying blerds (black nerds) across the country with its “Blerd’s Night Out Tour.” Blerdology is the first organization to produce hackathons specifically targeting African-Americans, and these summer networking events aim to showcase rising black innovators and engage minority startup ecosystems.   More

Cities

Tech and Innovation Must Play Central Role in Detroit Revival

Even as Detroit hits financial bottom, Techonomy retains its belief that applying tech and innovation can be a major aid toward a historic comeback. As Techonomy Detroit 2013 nears, the conference continues to grow its list of speakers and sponsors, and refine its program. Techonomy earlier announced the inclusion of Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Jean Case of the Case Foundation, Andrew Yang of Venture for America, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. New speakers include Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, Edward Luce of the Financial Times, Susan Lund of the McKinsey Global Institute, Hector Ruiz, Chairman and Founder of ANS, Nilmini Rubin, competitiveness expert for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ford's K. Venkatesh Prasad, and Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Tae Yoo.   More

Business

OK Glass, Do Your Shtick

If you enjoyed Trae Vassallo's recent post about how she uses Google Glass to be a more efficient mom, you'll love author Gary Shteyngart's account of puttering around New York, basking in the awe factor of the futuristic eyewear. Shteyngart entered a Twitter contest to become one of the first "Google Explorers" to try out Glass. (His winning tweet, "#ifihadglass I could dream up new ideas for the TV adaptation of my novel Super Bad True Love Story," earned him the privilege of paying $1,500 for the product.) After some basic training at the Glass Explorers "Basecamp," Shteyngart hit the streets, along with several hundred other Explorers in New York City.   More

Cities

Are Cities Engines for Smart Growth?

New York cityscape image via Shutterstock

Kids today would rather be mayor than president, Thomas L. Friedman writes in a recent column. “The country looks so much better from the bottom up—from its major metropolitan areas—than from the top down,” he writes, pointing to the partisanship and inefficiencies in federal and state legislatures. Cities, therefore, are the laboratories and engines of our economy—a conclusion reached in a new book by Brookings Institution scholars Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley called “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.”   More

Global Tech Government

Apple Falls Victim in China Anti-Foreign Campaign

Apple store in Shanghai (image via Shutterstock)

As if its China troubles weren’t bad enough following a weak earnings report, global tech giant Apple is now coming under political fire from central bureaucrats in Beijing for failing to deliver promised donations after an earthquake earlier this year. Frankly speaking, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Apple or any of the other firms that get this kind of criticism, since I find their quickness to announce donations after any major disaster somewhat insincere and largely a publicity ploy. But the fact that yet another foreign firm is coming under attack from central government sources this month certainly adds to my previous assertions that Beijing has recently embarked on a drive to discredit foreign firms and divert attention from other domestic problems.   More

Government Media & Marketing

Washington Post Sees the World “Switch”ing

Today the capital's leading media source (yes, still more important than Politico—after all, even people in New York read it) began publishing a regular blog about the intersection of technology and public policy, called (slightly opaquely) The Switch. This is, in our view, just the kind of techonomic movement that the world, and journalism, needs. As its first post explains, the site's goals will be "making the policy process accessible to technologists, while helping policy professionals gain a deeper understanding of technology."   More

Media & Marketing

Why Nate Silver Spurned the Times: Numbers Win

Silver at South by Southwest, 2009

Old-school journalism lost another battle with the numbers-driven ethos of the digital age last week. Statistician extraordinaire Nate Silver's leap from The New York Times to ESPN puts in stark relief the disadvantage blue chip Fourth Estate institutions have competing against an entertainment ethos in the digital age. A David Carr or Andrew Ross Sorkin may be big names, have blog fiefdoms and Twitter followers in the hundreds of thousands, but the mentality of the Times is that the only real star is the Grey Lady itself and that the organization is what keeps those journos in boldface.   More

Cities

A Development Guru’s New Take on Detroit: Optimism

Lost glory: decaying mansions in Detroit's Brush Park (image via Shutterstock)

Detroit's emerging startup scene is enough to make even an economic development guru pivot his position on the city's future. New Republic's Alec MacGillis, who's been watching the gurus closely, prefers the term "flip-flop" for Richard Florida's readjustment. Florida, a University of Toronto professor, Atlantic senior editor, and author of "Rise of the Creative Class," has been opining for years about Detroit's circumstances. Last week, Florida told CNN that anyone who's been paying attention to Detroit wasn't surprised by the bankruptcy filing. But he said it hit right when the city is finally ready to make a comeback.   More

Media & Marketing

Kirkpatrick: Chromecast Gives Google More Data for Ads

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Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick appeared on Yahoo! Finance on Thursday, calling Chromecast “another major move by the Internet companies that’s going to hurt the old economy of cable systems.” While old systems require viewers to pay ongoing monthly subscriptions, Google Chromecast asks users for a one-time investment of just $35. But what Chromecast consumers aren’t paying for with actual money, they’re paying for with their own information, including what they view and how they view it. This information enables Google to better target its ads and charge buyers more for them.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Why I Love Detroit for Launching a Startup

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By the time my company LevelEleven launched last fall after being incubated within Pleasant Ridge’s ePrize, I had already planned our business strategy and next steps. And it never crossed my mind to move out of Detroit to build LevelEleven in a more obvious startup market. Why? In part, because this is home. But Detroit also has many characteristics that make it a great place to launch a technology startup. There’s a lot of noise about entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and New York. But listen closely and you can hear a new buzz coming out of the Motor City.   More