Here’s what’s going on in Ireland’s tech start up scene…
NYC tech startup, On Deck Capital, is running a contest to celebrate the opening of its new NYC headquarters. The contest will connect one deserving New York City-based small business with $10,000. All you have to do is describe in 100 words or less how the money would help your business grow….
“This has never been done before,” boasts Mike Janke, Silent Circle’s CEO. “It’s going to revolutionize the ease of privacy and security.”
The privacy experts over at Silent Circle have announced a new encryption data transfer app that will let people send files securely from their iPhone or tablets.
The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a “Silent Text” app. The sender of the file can set it on a timer so that it will automatically “burn”—deleting it from both devices after a set period of, say, seven minutes.
This app is sure to fuel government paranoia since it keeps its users and their information virtually untraceable.
The Right Geeks For The GOP: To bridge the tech talent gap, 2016 GOP hopefuls might want to pay attention to these Republican tech heavyweights.
Young girls interested in working on machines have few fictional role models, and even fewer hands on experiences that are geared specifically toward them. This new Kickstarter project hopes to change that with its exciting new characters and tie-in engineering projects.
No one cares where their cell phone thinks they should eat dinner.
After discovering that gourmands don’t want algorithm-generated restaurant recommendations, CEO Gauri Manglik created a Twitter for food instead.
To create a pinboard is to say to the world, Here are the beautiful things that make me who I am—or who I want to be. Young women use Pinterest to plan their weddings, men collect watches and bikes into de facto gift registries, and couples assemble furniture sets for their new homes. Pictures of attractive men and women in various states of undress abound. The sum of each user’s choices is displayed in an ever-changing pastiche on each person’s home page. “When you open up Pinterest,” Silbermann says, distilling his vision, “you should feel like you’ve walked into a building full of stuff that only you are interested in. Everything should feel handpicked for you.” In other words, it’s a store in which every single product has been tailored to your needs, ambitions, and desires.
Comedy Hack Day, a 36-hour hackathon where participants from both the comedy and tech communities worked together to create some future funny business, appears to have been a crapload of fun.
The big winner of the event is ShoutRoulette, which connects opinionated users to other people with the exact opposite opinion, allowing them to shout at each other. Each member wins a class at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and entry into the New York Tech Meetup. Other winners include the McKayla Is Not Impressed Chrome Extension (a meme generator), and Spacebar to Money Shot (um, don’t ask.) Even ScatRoulette wins something: The Chris Gethard Memorial Award, which consists of a hug from the judge that goes on for an exceedingly long period.
“It felt like a geeky ode to Moore’s Law rather than an homage to Dieter Rams.”
“With the shiny bands at the top and bottom, the iPhone 5 looks like a half-finished stretch-limo conversion.”
“It’s the Nokia Lumia 900—an iPod that was placed inside of a gutted Windows Phone, like Rambo hiding from the cops in the gutted carcass of a deer.”
Apple’s forest is cleverly made to make us forget the trees.
The iPhone 5 has been improved significantly over the previous generation—from its screen to its shell to its dock connector. But most of the tech specs featured by Tim Cook and crew at Apple’s event on Wednesday can be found in other devices by Apple’s competitors. Not one, single device, mind you—that’s a unique feat Apple pulls off with most of its launches. But take a look at the hallmark iPhone 5 features compared to its competition:
Meet Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, the subject of Fast Company’s October cover story.
For a guy running such a beautiful website, Ben Silbermann looks like hell: He has prominent bags under tired, watery eyes; his shoulders hang heavy; his shirt is wrinkled; and his dark hair is uncombed. When he speaks—with the open-vowel inflections of his Iowa upbringing—his voice is so slight that it often gets lost beneath the din of other conversations. When he moves, it is with the economy of a marathon runner trying to conserve every last bit of energy on the eve of a big race.
“I’m tired,” says the 30-year-old CEO of Pinterest, the social scrapbook that’s the hottest website on the planet, as he prepares to shovel down a bowl of noodles a few feet away from his desk. Silbermann leaves for the office at 7 a.m. most mornings and works nonstop until dinner. His only respite, if you can call it that, comes in the predawn hours when he takes his newborn son, Max, into his arms and fires up his laptop to check email. Just a few weeks before Max was born in early July, Silbermann declared a companywide lockdown, ordering his 35 employees to come early and stay late in order to build new iPad and Android applications. The goal: to stoke growth. He ordered commemorative T-shirts with the phrase summer of apps printed across the chest, and he cut off almost all contact with anyone outside the company, including potential business partners.
SRI International, the brains behind Apple’s Siri, has launched a dozen consumer products since its digital assistant got famous. We venture inside SRI’s labs to find out why you haven’t you heard of any of them.
“I was sitting on the plane waiting for the flight to take off, and I asked Siri, ‘How long will flight 927 be delayed?’ And Siri came back to me and said the flight would be delayed 15 minutes,” recalls Winarsky, who was the SRI executive on the spin-off company’s board before it was sold to Apple. “The guy next to me looked at me and said ‘Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that … why are you in coach?’”
Her new album, “Theatre Is Evil,” is the most successful music-based Kickstarter project to date. But is Amanda Palmer’s tweet-happy, DIY, often NSFW approach a model for independent artists?
We’re down to the final minutes of the singer-songwriter-provocateur’s month-long Kickstarter campaign, a crowdfunding effort that shocked the entertainment world by becoming the site’s most successful music-based project to date. The pledges—which had an official target of $100,000, and which had privately been budgeted to hit $500,000—have already topped a million dollars.
To celebrate the countdown, Palmer, who the Huffington Post called “the social media queen of rock & roll,” is throwing a six-hour, block party-style celebration in a parking lot behind some warehouses along Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. To a surprisingly “classic pop” soundtrack (the Jackson 5, the Who, Ray Charles), she and her crew dressed up in old-time bathing suits and frolicked in an aquarium-style clear box on the back of a truck, scribbling the names of everyone who contributed on pages ripped out of phone books and holding each one up to the laptop that’s webcasting the event. In the end, it will be almost 25,000 names, each of whom pledged between $1 and $10,000 for a menu of products and experiences ranging from a download of her new album, Theatre is Evil, (out Tuesday, Sept. 11) to art books and customized turntables, up to private concerts and dinners with the artist.
In our upcoming October design issue, one of the many fascinating feature stories we’ve lined up is a lengthy profile of Pinterest and its elusive CEO, Ben Silbermann. That story goes live later this week, but until then, here’s a teaser, in the form of an infographic about Pinterest, created by Fast Company’s staff and designed by our own Ted Keller.
In this profusion of figures, you find out a few key things about the image-sharing service. For one, it’s dominated by women. Second, something about its layout and culture stokes an enormous buying impulse. And third, major brands are getting in on the act. It’s not a stretch to say that soon, at least on retail sites, a Pinterest button might become as ubiquitous as a Facebook Like. Check out the full infographic via the link below.