There’s a lot of chatter in the air about a second tech bubble, though many of the smartest people in the room think it’s not the case. Either way, it doesn’t help when the tech media goes wild at every sky-high valuation — especially when the media gets it wrong. Read More
Jack Smith IV
By Jack Smith IV 8/19 1:35pm
You may not recognize the name, but HappyFunCorp is one of the top product engineering firms in New York, and has laid down code for a corporate A-list that includes AOL, Bloomberg, AmEx and LinkedIn. With his competition consolidating and a booming economy for new apps, HappyFunCorp cofounder Ben Schippers is in a position to place plenty of young engineers in lucrative tech jobs.
The trouble is, he can’t hire anyone. You’d think the glut of NYC coding schools like General Assembly, Flatiron and App Academy would be cranking out capable product engineers, but Mr. Schippers says those school don’t prepare students to survive in the startup world. Read More
By Jack Smith IV 8/19 9:30am
When Dong Nguyen suddenly pulled Flappy Bird from the app store, the manic decision was met across the world with rage, confusion and a whole lot of regained productivity. Well, that sweet period of respite from mind-numbing frustration is about to come to a sudden close.
A follow-up game called Swing Copters will hit Android phones this Thursday, Touch Arcade reports. The game will be free for download, or you can pay a dollar if you want to slowly chip away at your psyche ad-free. Read More
By Jack Smith IV 8/19 8:00am
The Internet’s largest players are slowly figuring out that nobody wants to pay for music or movies, no matter how low the cost. So to figure out what’s next, they’re looking a the rising subscription giants like Netflix and Spotify and just, well, copying them.
YouTube is planning to launch a massive music subscription service called YouTube Music Key, Android Police reports. The service has no planned release date, but Google has already bought the domain youtubemusickey.com, and a series of phone screenshots show off the service’s basic features. Read More
By Jack Smith IV 8/18 2:41pm
It only takes five minutes with Siri to realize that robots are miserable replacements for help from a real person. But artificial intelligence researchers haven’t given up on making robots that can do something more useful than answering basic trivia and telling us where to hide a body.
A team of researchers created an artificially intelligent robot psychologist named Ellie who can ask probing questions, read emotions with 3D cameras and get through a basic therapy session, the Economist reports. Early experiments are showing that people are more likely to be candid and emotional when they think no one is sitting there judging them. Read More
By Jack Smith IV 8/18 10:51am
Looking for a way to give back to your nation in a way that doesn’t include paying too much on taxes or fighting in wars on the other side of the planet? Well, now there’s a way to do your duty to Uncle Sam in the era of slacktivism.
The Smithsonian is putting out an open call to the Americans of the Internet to help turn barely legible texts from the museum’s library into a pristine, digitally catalogued database. They’ve built a pretty slick in-browser app, and have worked out a system where anyone can come in and work on the transcriptions for as little or as much time as they want. Read More
By Jack Smith IV 8/16 10:30am
The day may come when we face the Singularity: a robot apocalypse when artificial intelligence awakens and rebels against humanity. On that day, we’ll be wondering: “What were they thinking, those humans who built these infernal machines?” Now we know who to ask: Harvard University.
By Jack Smith IV 8/15 12:39pm
Every once in a while, someone will share that obnoxiously photoshopped meme of the date in Back To The Future 2 when we’re supposed to have the flying cars and hover-boards. The truth is that our world looks much closer to Marty McFly’s 1985 than it does to the fictional 2015. But every once in a while, we get a small taste of that Jetsons-style future.
A Kickstarter to fund the first batch of motorized roller-skates, called RocketSkates, has gone well beyond their $50,000 goal to raise almost $500,000 — a milestone they’ll surely reach by the time the campaign ends in 7 days. Once the Kickstarter is finished, they’ll go into mass production, and the skates will be shipping “well before Christmas,” a company representative told Betabeat. Read More
By Jack Smith IV 8/14 10:18am
We all have a sneaking suspicion that our cell phones are bad for us. You hear it every day: they erode our attention span and keep us connected to social media when we should be paying attention to the people right in front of our eyes. But what if cell phones are actually physically Read More
By Jack Smith IV 8/13 1:26pm
Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week and tell you what you need to know and why it matters.
The deal(ish): King Digital’s quarterly report shows the people are losing interest in Candy Crush, and stock prices fell 23 percent.
Investors are trend-chasers, and in tech, those trends move particularly quickly. But when it comes being a slave to fast-moving fads, gaming companies put the rest of the tech business to shame. Read More