Alibaba Rival Launches Crowdfunding Site For Startups

This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch

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renminbi China’s largest e-commerce companies are eager to leverage their millions of users and hoards of data for new projects. For example, Alibaba’s other businesses include healthcare management, financial services, and cloud data. Now, its smaller but still formidable rival, is branching out into crowdfunding for startups. Read More

Technology Is The Path To Turkey’s Future

This post is by Metehan Oguz from TechCrunch

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turkeybridge While most tech followers might not know it yet, there’s a new country emerging as a leader in technology. Turkey’s rapid economic growth, even in theface of the global economic downturn, has made it a model for dozens of countries across the world looking to develop everything from a robust banking system to health care reform. While this growth was impressive, it has set up… Read More

This Quentin Tarantino supercut shows his films from a new angle

This post is by Rich McCormick from The Verge - All Posts

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Quentin Tarantino’s dialog is fast-paced, whip-smart, and endlessly quotable, but he doesn’t just use words to flesh out his memorable characters. The Pulp Fiction director uses the camera to hint at motivations and feelings — a process documented by filmmaker Rishi Kaneria in his latest supercut. Kaneria combines an array of Tarantino’s profile shots, using a quote from a DVXuser forum member to explain that by setting the camera side on to a character’s face, you give the audience the least amount of information about their state of mind. The iconic characters in the cut — including Uma Thurman’s Bride, and Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules Winfield — look both determined and menacing when set against Kaneria’s urgent soundtrack.

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Big data analytics can prevent health care fraud. Here’s how

This post is by Stefan Groschupf, Datameer from VentureBeat

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pillbottle David Goehring Flickr

Catching and preventing health care fraud is more important than ever.

The industry has undergone massive transformations with breakthroughs like the adoption of online health records, remote patient care and data-driven care. While these changes have created a more efficient health care system, improved patient outcomes, and boosted bottom lines, they have also given rise to a host of challenges that, if poorly addressed, could mean skyrocketing costs, breached privacy, and even patients’ lives.

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2015 is the year that technology will give fraudsters an edge. Yet, while technology is contributing to the sophistication of fraud schemes, it is also providing organizations and government investigators with powerful weapons to catch and prevent perpetrators. As data analytics rises to the top as the weapon of choice against health care fraud, the association states that gleaning insights from unstructured data will be the most notable use of analytic tools.

As sophisticated data-analytics tools become more accessible, we can expect to see the use of them make progress in two areas: securing patient privacy and mitigating prescription fraud.

Data analytics prevent health care data breaches

The past year was dim for cybersecurity with major data breaches like those at Sony, Target and eBay reinforcing the importance of protecting sensitive information. Unfortunately, health care organizations are not immune to these data attacks. In fact, a 2014 analysis of Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index companies by BitSight Technologies found that health care and pharmaceutical companies fare worse than retailers in terms of security performance with poor practices and slow response times.

For health care organizations tasked with the responsibility to protect patient details and medical information, data is their best friend. It can be used to not only address security, fraud prevention and compliance problems, but also to anticipate and proactively address these issues.

With the health care security landscapes and compliance requirements constantly evolving, organizations must be able to act quickly. And doing so requires unlocking trends, patterns, and outliers buried in log, sensor, and machine data –– both structured and unstructured types of data.

Collecting, preparing, and analyzing this fragmented data is no small feat, but with the help of sophisticated data analytics, it’s possible. Big data analytics is the most powerful weapon in this fight because it allows organizations to combine, integrate, and analyze all of their data at once — regardless of source, type, size, or format — and identify patterns needed to address fraud and compliance-related challenges. For example, organizations can analyze public websites, tracking pages, and application programming interfaces to catch attacks early on or analyze log files to spot abnormal server access patterns and perform security forensics.

Data defers prescription drug abuse

Not only can data analytics help protect patient data, it can also help protect patient lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of the 43,982 overdose deaths in 2012 were related to pharmaceuticals, and this prescription drug abuse costs the

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Lessons In Designing Great Enterprise Software

This post is by Etan Lightstone from TechCrunch

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enterprisesoftware As people are bringing new expectations of a quality user experience into the workplace, delivering a consumer grade experience is becoming critical for all business software, and is increasingly a fundamental way for software makers to compete in the market. While most software makers are increasingly aware of this truth, the challenge today is how to effectively make the transition to… Read More

Line’s COO Officially Takes Over As CEO To Turn The Messaging App Into A Mobile Services Platform

This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch

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line store Three months after announcing the transition, Line has officially received shareholder approval to appoint Takeshi Idezawa, the messaging app’s former chief operating officer, as its chief executive officer. The company said that Idezawa will take over the reins from its previous CEO, Akira Morikawa, today. Read More

DroneDeploy tech creates aerial maps in real time, often before a drone even lands

This post is by Daniel Terdiman from VentureBeat

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A 3D model of a construction site generated by software from DroneDeploy.

SONOMA, Calif. — As I clicked the little red button on the screen, the drone in front of me leaped into the air, soared to about 250 feet above the ground, and then began methodically flying back and forth in a lawnmower pattern a hundred yards or so away, all the while taking photos.

In the past, I would have had to wait hours after the drone landed and I’d downloaded the pictures for third-party software to stitch them together into a single image that I could use as a map of the vineyard stretching out on the horizon. But today, even as the drone was still above me, the photos were appearing on the mobile phone and already being stitched into a map.

I had come here to wine country to see a demo of drone-based mapping and 3D modeling technology from San Francisco startup DroneDeploy, which has been developing software that can autonomously control consumer- and enterprise-grade drones, as well as manage imagery taken by the flying devices.

Earlier today, the company announced a $9 million Series A round led by Emergence Capital, bringing its total funding to $11 million. Here, at an invite-only event held at the Ram’s Gate winery, surrounded by lush green grapevines, the company was showing off what its technology can now do for customers in the agriculture, construction, and mining industries.

The demonstration was of DroneDeploy’s brand-new app — for iOS and Android — and the San Francisco startup’s software automatic integration with DJI drones. As DroneDeploy cofounder and chief executive Mike Winn put it, the company has built what might be the world’s-first real-time mapping technology, something even Google and NASA can’t do.

Iain Butler, a developer of software for drones, told VentureBeat that until he’d seen a demo of DroneDeploy’s technology, he didn’t think it was possible to put together a properly stitched map based on images taken by a drone in less than seven hours or so. But he said Winn promised it was possible in 15 minutes. A skeptic until he saw the demo, Butler is now a convert. And here’s why: As Winn explained, “in some cases, 90 percent of the data is returned before the drone even returns to land.”

DJI partnership

China’s DJI has become the world’s best-selling drone manufacturer. Every day, the company sells about 2,000 of its devices. So partnering with the company is a big feather in DroneDeploy’s cap.

The app shows that the survey route is planned and the drone is ready to fly.

Above: The app shows that the survey route is planned and the drone is ready to fly.

Image Credit: DroneDeploy

Now integrated with DJI’s Phone 2 Vision+ drones, as well as those from 3D Robotics and AgEagle, DroneDeploy’s software is meant to allow autonomous control of the flying devices with just a few taps on a mobile app. “This takes [DJI’s Phantom] from being a hobbyist toy and makes them a real tool,” said CTO and cofounder Nick Pilkington.

For now, the DJI integration only works on Android devices, but DroneDeploy says iOS

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This is the CT6, Cadillac’s huge bet on the future

This post is by Chris Ziegler from The Verge - All Posts

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     Here's Cadillac's next huge car, both literally and figuratively: the CT6, which stands for Cadillac Touring 6.

GM’s luxury brand has been teasing the CT6 for quite some time, and for good reason: it’s a flagship sedan, a segment that the company has been absent from since it discontinued the forgettable DTS several years ago.

It’s no coincidence that crosstown rival Lincoln debuted the giant Continental concept at this very same show — Cadillac and Lincoln are both learning that luxury marques look a little lost without a big flagship in the lineup, and the red-hot Chinese market is demanding large American sedans anyway. The time is right, if you believe GM and Ford.

The CT6 will be offered with an exclusive 3-liter twin-turbo V-6…

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Scientologists’ tweet campaign against ‘Going Clear’ movie was laughably clumsy

This post is by Mark Sullivan from VentureBeat

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Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 5.05.26 PM

Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook, and more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only — apply here. Ticket prices increase on April 3rd!

It’s well known that the Church of Scientology takes a “fight fire with fire” approach to people who criticize it, and in the face of the church’s damning portrayal in Alex Gibney’s documentary “Going Clear,” it took to Twitter to mount its defense. With pretty poor results.

The paid tweets come from an account called @FreedomEthics, which the church set up just for the campaign (its regular account is @Scientology). The tweets began before the movie premiered March 29, and are still flowing.

The Church of Scientology is a rich organization, yet is exempt from some taxes because it qualifies as a religious organization. We don’t know if it received any tax breaks on its purchase of thousands of sponsored tweets from Twitter.

Some of the tweets fault the movie for not filling up venues:

Many of the tweets say something like “More people watched X show than watched ‘Going Clear.” And they just fill in the “X” with whatever shows they can think of. Over and over. It sounds like a playground taunt.

— Freedom Media Ethics (@FreedomEthics) March 31, 2015

I later found out that these tweets were in response to an HBO claim that “Going Clear” had more viewers than a Beyonce documentary. The Scientologists disagreed with that.

— Freedom Media Ethics (@FreedomEthics) March 31, 2015

Another tweet portrays Gibney as a Stalin-esque figure, with the heading “HBO’s Doctor of Propaganda.” If you click the link, you go to a page where the church has posted videos that attempt to discredit the sources Gibney used in the movie.

The best parts are the titles above the videos. The say the person’s name, then tack on an insult. Like “Mike Rinder — The Wife Beater” and “Sarah Goldberg — The Homewrecker.” Good stuff.

— Freedom Media Ethics (@FreedomEthics) March 29, 2015

And here’s another tweet about another of Gibney’s sources. This one uses a more direct approach.

— Freedom Media Ethics (@FreedomEthics) March 31, 2015

And there are many others. If anything, these tweets probably increased interest in Gibney’s movie, as this tweeter suggests:

— Spelling Patrol (@SpellingPatrol) March 30,

Continue reading “Scientologists’ tweet campaign against ‘Going Clear’ movie was laughably clumsy”

Why 5 minutes of ‘Goo-diligence’ will save your startup thousands

This post is by Jon Parrish, CityGro from VentureBeat

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“Dear Entrepreneur,

I’m glad you’ve decided to solve the world’s problems. I sincerely hope to see you succeed. Before you start, please spend five minutes Googling your solution with the questions below in mind. If you are still excited, let’s talk.”

That’s the advice I wish I’d had five years ago.

Entrepreneurs (myself included) have this incredible ability to ignore reality when it isn’t in line with our goals. We feel threatened by the idea that the answers to the questions we should be asking may prevent us from moving forward, so we don’t ask them. Or worse, we ask the questions but don’t listen to the answers. It’s self-deception in the worst way, and it’s an entrepreneur’s Achilles’ heel. It feels better to move forward blindly than to search out whatever hurdles may be in the way.

But closing your eyes doesn’t make monsters go away. The answers exist, whether you want to face them or not. There are thousands of examples of this, but let me share one of mine:

A startup by any other name?

My cofounder and I started our loyalty marketing business, CityGro, five years ago. CityGro’s original name was BlueCache, which we thought was clever for a business started by “true blue” Aggies (Utah State University) from Cache Valley, Utah.

It wasn’t more than a few weeks after we launched that a client paid for their “BlueCache” service with an American Express “BlueCash” credit card. I remember my gut telling me that this was going to cause problems, but I had a number of ways to excuse the severity of it in my mind.

“We’re an unrelated business,” I thought. “We spell it differently, and we can prove its originality.” Ignoring my intuition, I went ahead.

Long story short, a year later we received a cease and desist letter from AMEX and had to spend thousands of dollars rebranding. Had I done a five-minute Google search beforehand, I would have quickly found that naming my business BlueCache was a terrible idea.

5 questions you should ask about any idea

I now live by the rule of “Goo-diligence.” Whenever have a new idea or am asked for feedback on someone else’s, I won’t move forward without a quick search on Google. I hate to say it, but many of my “great ideas” have stopped before they ever started because of things I’ve found in less than five minutes. On the other hand, this research period has also helped me refine my ideas so they become even greater.

So as you start Googling (or using whatever search engine you prefer), here are five questions you might ask yourself. And, please, try to be honest about the answers:

1. Is there really a need for my solution? This question requires brutal honesty. It’s the easiest question on the list to justify. Start by Googling related terms and see if people are talking about the subject. Find out if there is a market of

Continue reading “Why 5 minutes of ‘Goo-diligence’ will save your startup thousands”

This Is Why #Brands Should Not Make April Fools’ Jokes

This post is by Alex Wilhelm from TechCrunch

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microsoft-data Welcome to the stupidest week in technology’s religious calendar: April Fools’ week. This isn’t the worst week. That slot remains filled by the Vegas confab that shall not be named. But be prepared for the next bit to be bored by trivial jokes, written by committee, and then signed off on by PR teams to ensure that any soul that might have been present in the words has… Read More

Roundup: All of Google’s jokes for April Fools’ Day 2015

This post is by Emil Protalinski from VentureBeat

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Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook, and more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only — apply here. Ticket prices increase on April 3rd!

April Fools’ Day is upon us, and like every year, Google is trying to outdo itself once again. The company’s various divisions always create more practical and impractical jokes than any other tech firm, and it’s simply hard to keep track of them all. As a result, I’m doing my usual annual roundup.

Play Pac-Man in Google Maps

Google Maps on desktop and mobile now has a Pac-Man mode. Fire up Google Maps, look at the clues, and search for a place you think Pac-Man might be. Alternatively, you can just navigate to a place on the map where you want to start your game, click Pac-Man in the bottom left. The streets are your maze, while Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde are your enemies.

While this wasn’t the first joke this year, it was probably the first one to be picked up widely, because it’s simply so cool. As we noted on GamesBeat, you can finally unleash Pac-Man on the streets you travel every day.

Play Pac-Man in Ingress

What many haven’t spotted is that Google’s augmented reality game, Ingress for Android and iOS, has also gained some Pac-Man gaming additions. Remember to yell a lot as you run around your neighborhood.

The video’s description doesn’t reveal anything else. It just includes the typical Ingress description: “This world around you is not what it seems. Our future is at stake, and you must choose a side.”

Google Panda

Google Japan announced Google Panda. According to Google Translate, the goal is simplicity: eliminate the search box and adopt a simple monocrhome color.

“From the very beginning, Google has always been about search,” the executive says. “From desktop search, to mobile search, and now voice search. What we’re about to do is take a leap to a world where people don’t even need to search at all. A product that is so brilliant that you can ask it anything, but so cute that you will want to hug it.”

Google Japan demonstrates hands-free input device

The Google Japan Input team has created a keyless keyboard (Google Translate). “We have developed a device that makes hands-free input more convenient than ever.”

The Piro-piro (party-horn) uses an infrared sensor to measure the length of how far you blow, and sends the corresponding letter to your device via Bluetooth. I even has its own brilliant short url:

Google Maps warns Australia will be in the Northern Hemisphere by 2055

Google Maps engineers in Sydney have warned that Australia is on its way to becoming a Northern Hemisphere country by 2055. These engineers constantly reassess the Earth’s geospatial data in relation to other objects in the solar system, and in the past two months, they found that the

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Spruce raises $15M more for telemedicine platform, supports new dermatology conditions

This post is by Mark Sullivan from VentureBeat

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Spruce has hit a growth spurt. The San Francisco company has expanded its dermatology telemedicine service to cover far more skin conditions, and has taken another large chunk of venture capital to fuel its national expansion.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the new $15 million funding round, with participation from Baseline Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, and Google Ventures. These same players, with the exception of Google Ventures — contributed to a $2 million seed round for Spruce during 2014.

AntiAging“Patients and dermatologists have loved the experience Spruce provides for acne treatment, and we are excited to now enable high-quality care for a wide range of dermatological concerns,” said Ray Bradford, CEO of Spruce. “There is an average 29 day wait time to see a dermatologist in America, and it can be time-intensive, inconvenient, and expensive to seek treatment.”

Spruce originally focused on patients needing acne treatments, but now offers virtual dermatologist visits for lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, eczema, psoriasis, male hair loss, rashes, bug bites and stings, and other conditions.

Here’s how the Spruce app works. First, the user shares photos and medical information with a board-certified dermatologist, and within 24 hours a dermatologist reviews the information and sends a personalized treatment plan back to the user’s phone. A prescription is sent to the user’s pharmacy if needed. Importantly, the user can always refer to the app for exact aftercare instructions, Bradford told VentureBeat.

Right now Spruce’s service is available to people in four states — California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania.

Doctor visits cost $40 per visit using the Spruce app. Spruce supports Apple Pay and accepts major debit/credit cards as well as flexible spending account cards.

The company was founded by Bradford in 2013.

Hosting company GoDaddy reportedly sets stock price at $20 per share in IPO

This post is by Jordan Novet from VentureBeat

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Auto racer Danica Patrick is sponsored by GoDaddy.

GoDaddy, a company that has carved out a large position for itself in the domain registration and web hosting markets, today priced shares of its stock at $20 in its initial public offering, ahead of the expected debut of company stock on the New York Stock Exchange later this week.

Reuters and SeekingAlpha are reporting on the pricing news, alongside tweets from CNBC and Investor’s Business Daily writer Brian Deagon.

The company would not immediately comment.

Earlier reports said the company was looking to sell 22 million shares. If all of those shares were sold, that would mean GoDaddy has raised $440 million in the IPO before the shares become publicly traded.

The $20 figure exceeds the $17-19 price range that GoDaddy set for its stock shares earlier this month.

The company’s S-1 filing originally became public in June 2014.

GoDaddy started in 1997. Its headquarters are in Scottsdale, Ariz. The company had 4,908 employees as of Dec. 31, and nearly 70 percent of them were on GoDaddy’s Customer Care team, according to a recently updated S-1 filing.

Private-equity groups KKR, Silver Lake, and TCV bought a controlling interest in GoDaddy for a reported $2.25 billion in 2011.

GoDaddy owns and operates a data center in Phoenix; it also keeps infrastructure in colocation facilities in Arizona, California, Illinois, Virginia, Singapore and the Netherlands, according to the updated filing.

Earlier this year, GoDaddy acquired Node.js startup Nodejitsu.


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Apple Watch Developers Can Now Submit Watch Apps To Apple

This post is by Adriana Lee from ReadWrite

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The primary question for the Apple Watch remains, “What are we supposed to use it for?” Now, any iOS developer with the WatchKit development tools and some chutzpah is free to make his or her best case, now that Apple is finally taking Watch app submissions.

Until now, no one except a limited group of partners had Apple’s blessing to roll out apps for its upcoming wearable. Those early entrants mostly covered news, social, shopping, travel, fitness and some limited productivity features. 

But now developers of all stripes can take their best whack at making this curious wrist gizmo more tempting.

How Watch Apps, And Submissions, Will Work

To start, the company advises developers to update Xcode to the latest version, Xcode 6, which includes the iOS 8.2 SDK with the WatchKit framework. For more information, check out Apple’s Watch app guidelines for App Store submissions.

All third-party Watch apps will work as various components that click together to, hopefully, provide a seamless experience to the user. Here’s how Apple describes these parts working together:

WatchKit apps have two parts: A WatchKit extension that runs on iPhone and a set of user interface resources that are installed on Apple Watch. When your app is launched on Apple Watch, the WatchKit extension on iPhone runs in the background to update the user interface and respond to user interactions. WatchKit provides three opportunities to extend your iPhone app to Apple Watch: WatchKit apps, Glances, and actionable notifications.

“Glances” display snippets of information, similar to the Notifications Center’s “today” widgets on the iPhone. “Actionable notifications” allow users to reply or perform some other task on the watch. “WatchKit apps” on the wearable feature a full user interface that lets users run, manage and interact with the app “in ways unique to Apple Watch.”

Essentially, the Watch will work like an extension of the iPhone, with the wearable tying into the apps running on the phone. Apple is expected to offer a native Apple Watch software development kit later this year so developers can make apps tailored for the wearable.

Of course, getting the green light to submit apps doesn’t mean every one will flood into the App Store. Apple will still vet app submissions—probably with an even more stringent eye than usual, considering how badly the company wants to ensure the success of the new device.

End Users: Getting Up And Running

Eend users will need to snag the latest app updates on their iPhones by April 24, when the Watch launches.

Once the device hits the market, users can get their Watches up and running in three steps:

1: Pair the Apple Watch to the iPhone. (Open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, tap the “Start Pairing” button, and hold the Watch up to the phone’s camera. You’ll need an iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6 or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2 or later.)

2: In the app, open the App Store for Apple Watch.

3: Download

Continue reading “Apple Watch Developers Can Now Submit Watch Apps To Apple”

Don’t Read The Comments — Let Diffbot Analyze Them Instead

This post is by from TechCrunch

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diffbot Diffbot’s mission, according to CEO Mike Tung, involves “teaching a robot how to read and understand web pages.” Today it expanded that understanding to include forums, comments, reviews, and other online discussions.
When Tung talks about understanding web pages, he means turning the content into structured data — say, looking at an article and identifying the title… Read More