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Arts & Culture Mobile

Magisto’s A.I. Helps Anyone Produce Polished Video

Magisto wants to do for video what Instagram did for photos—provide intuitive tools to edit and enhance them and make them easy to share. Founded in Israel in 2009 by two experts in computer vision and artificial intelligence, Magisto enables a user to simply select photos and videos on their smartphone, choose a visual theme, and automatically create a sophisticated edited product in minutes. There's a lot of computer science on the back end making that possible. Magisto launched in January 2012 at the Consumer Electronics Show, won an app competition there, and now has 20 million registered users worldwide, up from 3 million last year. With 30 employees, the company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, and San Francisco. Techonomy sat down with Magisto CEO Oren Boiman for a wide-ranging talk about video, social media, and how people want to express themselves.   More

Energy & Green Tech

A Recipe for Less Waste in the Food Service Industry

Think twice before you throw out those leftovers—or maybe even take a picture. Globally, one-third of all food is wasted—1.3 billion tons of food in total. The U.S. alone trashes 40 percent of what it could consume, and much of this comes from the food service industry itself (which loses between $8 and $20 billion through food waste every year). Luckily, Andrew Shackman and his 10-year-old company, LeanPath, has found a way to change the way food service industry thinks about waste.   More

Media & Marketing Partner Insights

Action! Roll ‘em: Personal Video Poised to Take Off

Video has become as simple for ordinary consumers to create as snapping a photo. But while digital snapshots have become so ubiquitous that they have morphed from a kind of consumer "art" into routine day-to-day communication, that sort of transformation has yet to occur with video. The success on Twitter of Vine, which allows the creation of 6-second repeating videos, suggests such a transition may loom. Now Instagram, too, enables short videos. The raw materials are in place, and the consumer will to change behavior seems to be emerging. This new report from GigaOm research evaluates the factors that may enable the rise of more polished, convenient, everyday videos that could rival stills as a routine tool for consumer communication and expression.   More

Learning

In Chicago, It’s Hot to Study How People Interact Online

People who build technology want you to have the most simple—and emotionally satisfying—experience possible. That's why more and more students are studying UX, or user experience, design. There are many subtleties in how understanding how users interact with technology and how to create user-friendly products. The field of UX design is often described as how and why things work. And Chicago is becoming a hotbed for studying it.   More

Business

Dorsey Tells Entrepreneurs: Meet Customers Where They Are

An ice cream maker, a newspaper publisher, food trucks, pop-up shops, and numerous farmers’ market vendors are among the thousands of small businesses in Detroit using mobile apps invented by Jack Dorsey—namely Twitter and Square—to win customers, manage sales, and save time. In fact, Square has already helped to power $174 million in transactions for 5,500 Detroit businesses, the company claims. And at Techonomy Detroit this week Dorsey said entrepreneurs can expect more developments targeted to their businesses from him in the future.   More

Business

Innovative Retailers Use Instagram to Boost Sales

Instagram hasn’t quite figured out how to monetize mobile photo sharing—and the company is currently facing scrutiny about whether Facebook’s acquisition was in the best interest of Instagram investors. But hordes of users have turned Instagram into a profitable business opportunity, building new services on top of the existing platform.   More

Business

Instagram Offers Powerful Views of Storm

When I checked my email this morning, my mother, who lives in France, had sent me links to two Instagram photos of the blackout and flooding in lower Manhattan. Some of the most visually stunning impressions of Sandy's impact have been shared via Instagram. According to Forbes.com's Steve Bertoni, even before the storm made landfall, there were 300,026 photos shared on the mobile site under #sandy; 183,003 tagged #hurricanesandy, and 27,564 under #frankenstorm (along with 1,467 photos tagged #huricanesandy, for those whose spelling gets shaky when the wind blows). As power remains out and cell networks stay up, Bertoni predicts Instagram, along with Twitter and Facebook, may prove "one of the key links to the outside world to millions of stranded people."   More

Business

Campaigns Use Social Media to Lure Younger Voters

This presidential campaign has taken social media to a new level, expanding beyond Facebook and Twitter and into the world of Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, and Spotify. Both camps are reaching out to young voters by employing online tactics, from GIFs to pics. But is Ann Romney’s patriotic cake recipe on Pinterest or the Obama-Biden Spotify playlist enough to woo important swing votes? Both campaigns seem to believe that the more online action, the better.   More

Startup Culture

Startups That Catch Fire Too Soon Risk Early Burnout

Despite raising $41 million prior to launch, the much-hyped mobile/social/photo startup Color hit a wall once they released their app. Why? As Matthew O'Brien of The Atlantic explains, building something that people don't know they want and then making them want it is a messy process.   More

Business

Instagram Beats Twitter in Daily Mobile Users

A picture says 1000 words—or at least more than 140 characters. Instagram has beaten Twitter in daily mobile users for the first time, according toAllThingsD via an unpublished comScore report.   More

Finance Startup Culture

The Andreessen Horowitz Effect

In the three short years since Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz set up shop as venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road, they’ve already established Andreessen Horowitz as one of the top VC firms in Silicon Valley, right up there with Accel, Benchmark, Greylock, Kleiner, and Sequoia. Some would argue that it is the top firm. They’ve raised $2.7 billion across three funds and they somehow seem to get into every deal that matters. The Andreessen Horowitz portfolio includes such marquee names as Skype, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Airbnb, Fab, Groupon, and Zynga.   More