Survey Says

Study: Speed-Reading Technology ‘Spritz’ Might Not Be All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Aaaah, good ol' fashioned reading. (Wikimedia Commons)

Remember Spritz, that seemingly revolutionary new speed-reading technology? A new study suggests you’re probably still better off reading like a normal human.

In the spring of 2014, the Internet was abuzz with news of Spritz, the speed-reading service that uses rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). When you read with RSVP, your eyes are quickly shown words one-by-one, thereby removing the time they’d normally spend scanning side-to-side lines of text. Read More

Off the Media

Intentional Insanity: The Occupational Hazard of Writing Online for a Living

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Every job carries occupational hazards. As Michael Lewis recently pointed out, the hazards of working on Wall Street are that you start to pretend you know more than you do, and you eventually find it astonishingly hard to care about anyone but yourself.

These hazards are alarming for anyone. But as Mr. Lewis makes clear, they are especially dangerous for the young. Banking and finance absorb the nation’s best and brightest every year. And every year, it funnels them into an often toxic and corrupting culture. Read More

Q&A

Why Did These Dating App Founders Turn Down the Largest Offer in ‘Shark Tank’ History?

The Kang sisters pitch their dating app to the Sharks. (ABC)

A few years ago, sisters Dawoon, Arum and Soo Kang launched Coffee Meets Bagel: a dating site that serves users a potential match—or “bagel”—every day at noon. Users have 24 hours to decide whether they’ll “like” or “pass” on a match, and can only start messaging once they’ve both approved each other.

The Kang sisters pitched their dating app on Friday night’s episode of Shark Tank, where, after turning down the largest offer in the show’s history, they walked away empty-handed.

After the Shark Tank episode aired, Betabeat chatted with Dawoon to learn more about her and her sister’s experience. Read More

The Future of the Ebook

Macmillian Finally Gives In to Ebook Subscription Services Oyster and Scribd

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About a month ago, John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan Publishers, complained in a blog post that Amazon had an unfair stranglehold on their distribution channels, and that Macmillan might consider subscription ebook services like Oyster and Scribd. As of today, Macmillan’s finally signed on to start offering their books with the two top ebook subscription startups.

The first is Oyster, the company commonly labelled the “Netflix for books,” regardless of whether they like the label or not. The other is Scribd, which could be better described as the YouTube for books, given their mix of professionally published books and a vast library of user generated content. Read More