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There’s no excuse for coming up blank at the water cooler with these apps for keeping track with the news.
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There’s no excuse for coming up blank at the water cooler with these apps for keeping track with the news.

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NPR (npr) One rethinks everything, even ditching the Like button.
Stark white and minimally designed, the new NPR One app looks like a paradigm of technology. But surprisingly, the app isn’t powered by algorithms, filters, or other pseudo-intelligence—it’s still good old human editor curation on the backend.
“For us, the algorithm that programs the app is very importantly focused on the human curation part of it,” says NPR VP of digital media Zach Brand. “A lot of people tend to think of it in terms of machine learning—which is a portion as well—but we have dedicated staff making sure that the most important stories are populated from the outset that represent the best experience right at the first moment. As we get to know the listener, it then tailors even more to them.”
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NPR (npr) One rethinks everything, even ditching the Like button.

Stark white and minimally designed, the new NPR One app looks like a paradigm of technology. But surprisingly, the app isn’t powered by algorithms, filters, or other pseudo-intelligence—it’s still good old human editor curation on the backend.

“For us, the algorithm that programs the app is very importantly focused on the human curation part of it,” says NPR VP of digital media Zach Brand. “A lot of people tend to think of it in terms of machine learning—which is a portion as well—but we have dedicated staff making sure that the most important stories are populated from the outset that represent the best experience right at the first moment. As we get to know the listener, it then tailors even more to them.”

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And it’s open source only! Here’s the story behind Bountysource.

The basic idea behind Bountysource seems easy enough to explain—it’s a crowdfunding site for open source software. But when the site first launched about a decade ago, those were still fairly esoteric concepts for potential users and investors. Even the founders, then fresh out of college, had never heard the term “crowdfounding,” says cofounder and COO David Rappo. The project died fast.

"Nowadays, we can say it’s a crowdfunding platform for open source software, and people are like, we get it," Rappo says. "The time is right: people not only understand crowdfunding, but they love it."

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