BlackBerry PlayBook 2 potential gets official reboot

A significant amount of interest has been generated today by a comment made by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins on how the tablet industry isn’t long for this world. In a follow-up notice from BlackBerry, it’s been made clear that Heins’ words were not meant to initiate a kill notice on any future BlackBerry hardware, that including a possible BlackBerry 10 tablet device.

illbeback

Of course with the language used by the company, it’s just as likely they’ve got no large-screened BlackBerry devices in the works as it is that they do. With the original BlackBerry PlayBook having stayed in the technology news ranks for far, far longer than it’s been a commercial success. As Heins suggested in the article released earlier today:

“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.” – Heins

In an update sent across the wire by BlackBerry this afternoon, it’s being clarified what the company wants Heins to have meant. As he said previously, they make clear, never say never!

“The comments that Thorsten made yesterday are in line with previous comments he has made about the future of mobile computing overall, and the possibilities that come with a platform like BlackBerry 10. We continue to evaluate our tablet strategy, but we are not making any shifts in that strategy in the short term. When we do have information about our PlayBook strategy, we will share it.” – BlackBerry

So do we expect BlackBerry 10 to be coming to the market in a large-screened tablet in the immediate future? It wouldn’t be a very good bet, that’s for sure. Will there be BlackBerry 10 devices appearing outside the BlackBerry Z10 and keyboard-toting Q10 out on the market today? That you can expect with a bit more confidence.


BlackBerry PlayBook 2 potential gets official reboot is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

BlackBerry PlayBook 2 potential gets official reboot

A significant amount of interest has been generated today by a comment made by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins on how the tablet industry isn’t long for this world. In a follow-up notice from BlackBerry, it’s been made clear that Heins’ words were not meant to initiate a kill notice on any future BlackBerry hardware, that including a possible BlackBerry 10 tablet device.

illbeback

Of course with the language used by the company, it’s just as likely they’ve got no large-screened BlackBerry devices in the works as it is that they do. With the original BlackBerry PlayBook having stayed in the technology news ranks for far, far longer than it’s been a commercial success. As Heins suggested in the article released earlier today:

“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.” – Heins

In an update sent across the wire by BlackBerry this afternoon, it’s being clarified what the company wants Heins to have meant. As he said previously, they make clear, never say never!

“The comments that Thorsten made yesterday are in line with previous comments he has made about the future of mobile computing overall, and the possibilities that come with a platform like BlackBerry 10. We continue to evaluate our tablet strategy, but we are not making any shifts in that strategy in the short term. When we do have information about our PlayBook strategy, we will share it.” – BlackBerry

So do we expect BlackBerry 10 to be coming to the market in a large-screened tablet in the immediate future? It wouldn’t be a very good bet, that’s for sure. Will there be BlackBerry 10 devices appearing outside the BlackBerry Z10 and keyboard-toting Q10 out on the market today? That you can expect with a bit more confidence.


BlackBerry PlayBook 2 potential gets official reboot is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

Talkz, Because Messaging With Your Thumbs Is So 2000 And Late

Photo Apr 30, 10 56 45 AM

If email is first in line for disruption, messaging has to be second. A new company launching out of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 has a fresh take on our most favoritest form of communication.

Talkz asks you to stop typing and start talking. Or type. Or doodle. Or share music. Really, anything you want. “We’re combining the benefits of SMS and Voice Messaging/Push-to-Talk in one”, says founder Heath Ahrens.

It’s a messaging app that offers every type of sharing under the sun, but the really exciting part is voice messaging. Ahrens says, “by combining voice and text in every message, we are providing a faster, more convenient messaging experience”.

In every message sent on Talkz, both text and voice is displayed. Of course, you can choose to use your own voice recording, or you can choose to use a celebrity voice clone to get your message across. You can send this to one friend, multiple friends, or share your Talkz on your social networks.

At launch, the only available celebrity voice clones are Obama, George W. Bush, and Romney, but the team is working to build that out.

Obviously, it’s easy to put both voice and text into a message when you speak your message — all it takes is some solid voice-to-text transcription. But how does Talkz replicate your voice when you type out a message instead of voice recording it?

Talkz actually starts to learn your voice over time. After a while, you’ll be able to type out a message and Talkz will not only send the text but send a clone of your own voice speaking that message to the recipient. It’s wild.








But voice and text aren’t the only things we share in messages. We send links, pictures, song suggestions, videos, and everything else under the sun. Talkz is ready for that, offering options to send music previews through iTunes (which link direct to the iTunes store), doodles, and even share your location.

You can also send pictures, with options to search the web, send the last photo taken, take the picture on the spot, or choose one from your library. Oh, and if that weren’t enough, users have the option to group chat as well.

Overall, it seems to be one of the most complete messaging apps available, but it also marks an important shift in the way we communicate. With the explosion of text messaging, many believe voice communication is on the way out. But when you think about efficiency in communication, voice is the fastest way to transfer information.

But voice isn’t always convenient. With Talkz, you always have the option of a reliable voice-powered conversation, with the fall-back alternative of text available at any time.

So how will Talkz make money?

“We believe Voice Cloning will do for celebrities what ringtones did for music labels,” said Ahrens. “We are already in conversations with numerous celebrities and brands to create Voice Clones, in addition to Personal and Presidential Voice Clones already available in the app. We are selling these Voice Clones as in-app purchases within Talkz or as branded advertising.”

The app is available now in the App Store, with an Android version in the works.

Talkz, Because Messaging With Your Thumbs Is So 2000 And Late

Photo Apr 30, 10 56 45 AM

If email is first in line for disruption, messaging has to be second. A new company launching out of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 has a fresh take on our most favoritest form of communication.

Talkz asks you to stop typing and start talking. Or type. Or doodle. Or share music. Really, anything you want. “We’re combining the benefits of SMS and Voice Messaging/Push-to-Talk in one”, says founder Heath Ahrens.

It’s a messaging app that offers every type of sharing under the sun, but the really exciting part is voice messaging. Ahrens says, “by combining voice and text in every message, we are providing a faster, more convenient messaging experience”.

In every message sent on Talkz, both text and voice is displayed. Of course, you can choose to use your own voice recording, or you can choose to use a celebrity voice clone to get your message across. You can send this to one friend, multiple friends, or share your Talkz on your social networks.

At launch, the only available celebrity voice clones are Obama, George W. Bush, and Romney, but the team is working to build that out.

Obviously, it’s easy to put both voice and text into a message when you speak your message — all it takes is some solid voice-to-text transcription. But how does Talkz replicate your voice when you type out a message instead of voice recording it?

Talkz actually starts to learn your voice over time. After a while, you’ll be able to type out a message and Talkz will not only send the text but send a clone of your own voice speaking that message to the recipient. It’s wild.








But voice and text aren’t the only things we share in messages. We send links, pictures, song suggestions, videos, and everything else under the sun. Talkz is ready for that, offering options to send music previews through iTunes (which link direct to the iTunes store), doodles, and even share your location.

You can also send pictures, with options to search the web, send the last photo taken, take the picture on the spot, or choose one from your library. Oh, and if that weren’t enough, users have the option to group chat as well.

Overall, it seems to be one of the most complete messaging apps available, but it also marks an important shift in the way we communicate. With the explosion of text messaging, many believe voice communication is on the way out. But when you think about efficiency in communication, voice is the fastest way to transfer information.

But voice isn’t always convenient. With Talkz, you always have the option of a reliable voice-powered conversation, with the fall-back alternative of text available at any time.

So how will Talkz make money?

“We believe Voice Cloning will do for celebrities what ringtones did for music labels,” said Ahrens. “We are already in conversations with numerous celebrities and brands to create Voice Clones, in addition to Personal and Presidential Voice Clones already available in the app. We are selling these Voice Clones as in-app purchases within Talkz or as branded advertising.”

The app is available now in the App Store, with an Android version in the works.

Stop Forgetting The Important Stuff From Your Meetings, Thanks To Retrace

retrace-logo

It’s possible that you are an incredibly organized person who remembers everything important from your meetings, and you’re part of an incredibly organized team where every post-meeting task is communicated clearly. But … maybe not. Maybe stuff slips through the cracks. That’s where Retrace, an app that just launched at Disrupt NY’s Startup Battlefield, comes in.

Co-founder and CEO Austin Marusco told me that Retrace is “the best way to remember and organize everything about the meetings you have.” It’s an iPhone app that integrates with your Google Calendar or Calendars, creating a shared workspace around each meeting where participants can share notes, photos and tasks. It also displays contact information and profiles (you can pull in data from LinkedIn and Facebook) for everyone in the meeting.

A number of smart calendar apps also aggregate information about meetings, but they’re mostly aimed at helping you get prepared for or get to the meeting on time. Retrace, on the other hand, is more about what comes after the meeting (though preparation is part of the app too). ”These [smart calendar] apps make you more punctual,” Marusco said. “We help you do your job better.”

For example, during my interview with Marusco and his co-founder/CTO Kenan Pulak, they created a task for later — sharing their screenshots of Retrace with me.

To a large extent, Retrace is aimed at replacing the notes that people take during meetings and the follow-up emails that they send afterwards. That’s a system I’ve become quite used to, and one that more or less works. Marusco pointed out, however, that the notes you take are often only useful to yourself, and that email inboxes are a pretty cluttered place for the assignments, reminders, and additional material that is sent afterwards.

Oh, and if you’re meeting with people who aren’t already Retrace users, the app should still be useful because you can store information for yourself, or share the content in the app with other people via email.

The company has raised $100,000 from CrunchFund, Archimedes Labs, and MkII Ventures. (CrunchFund was founded by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, while Archimedes Labs’ Chief Product Officer Keith Teare was Arrington’s co-founder at TC.)

I was a little surprised to see Marusco and Pulak, who only recently graduated from Virginia Tech, working on this type of problem. It seems like this idea would come more naturally from an experienced sales type. And while they do expect salespeople (along with anyone else who has a lot of meetings) to be early adopters, they also argued that, as relative newcomers to the business world, they’re in a better position to recognize how clunky the current processes are.

This is the pair’s second trip to Disrupt, having participated in the Startup Alley last year with their previous company, Roundpop. Marusco said that he and Pulak didn’t go to bars for a year beforehand in order to save the money to attend.

As for Retrace, they’ve been working on it since June. Pulak said it was initially more of a contact-sharing product, but they decided that meetings were a bigger opportunity. And naturally, they’re heavy users of the app themselves — Marusco said that a few minutes after each meeting, he gets a reminder to upload notes, and that he’s also making heavy use of the ability to create tasks.

Retrace is launching today in a limited beta that you can sign-up for on the Retrace website. For now, it’s limited to an iPhone app, a decision that Marusco justified by arguing that fewer and fewer people are bringing their laptops to meetings. That said, the company does plan to launch eventually on other platforms, including the desktop web. It also plans to integrate with Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive for document-sharing.

The business plan is to keep the basic app free, but to charge for premium features like profile customization and integration with other services like Salesforce.

Mobile Enterprise Startup Workspot Lets Employees Securely Work From Whatever Device They Want

Workspot vertical

Mobile enterprise startups are like unicorns. Nearly every VC I talk to wants to have a bet in this space, yet there really aren’t that many new candidates each year.

Everyone knows that workers are bringing their own devices to work and want to use their personal tablets or phones instead of clunky, employer-mandated devices. Yet employers want to make sure that corporate data remains secure and trackable.

Enter Workspot, a startup backed by Kleiner Perkins, Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint, that’s debuting today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York.

“We’re simplifying bring-your-own-devices for the enterprise,” said co-founder Ty Wang. “The biggest problem that most companies have is that people love these devices. They’re bringing them into work, but they can’t get their work done because the apps the they need like Microsoft’s Sharepoint, are still behind corporate firewalls.”

Wang said older competitors that do mobile device management have solutions that lock the entire device down, that make them unusable in other situations.

Instead, Workspot’s solution is a consumer app that an employee can download through the regular iOS app store. It gives them streamlined access to all of their work apps, requiring just a basic log-in with password. (That’s after a one-time authentication with their work’s network security appliance.)

The company supports four of the leading VPN providers like Cisco and Juniper, which cover about 80 percent of the market and let workers log-in remotely into corporate networks. Employers can easily add in new apps for their employees to use from a control dashboard. Wang said the process takes a few minutes.

“With most of the solutions today, you’d need to set up this system, go through a whole new testing cycle and all kinds of process to add apps,” he said.

The product is actually free for end-users, and Workspot monetizes through offering employers two paid services. One is something called Insights, which gives them analytics into how their workers are using their software and the other is called Events, which gives the employer total visibility into all end-user activity for compliance and auditing.

For those two services, the company charges anywhere from $150 a month for 0 to 25 users to $4 per user per month for companies with more than 250 employees.

The company has raised $1.9 million from Kleiner, Norwest and others and has 11 employees. Their team has a wealth of experience in enterprise. The CEO Amitabh Sinha previously oversaw the integration of acquisitions at Citrix after being a general manager of Enterprise Desktops and Applications. The CTO and co-founder Puneet Chawla spent seven years at VMWare before working as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Redpoint Ventures. Wang, who is also another co-founder, was a vice president of business development for Twilio after being a senior director for platform product marketing at Oracle.

President Obama to nominate Tom Wheeler as FCC Chairman tomorrow

As Julius Genachowski winds down his five-year term as Chairman of the FCC, rumors of his successor are in full swing. Now, Engadget has confirmed with a White House official that President Obama will nominate industry veteran, Tom Wheeler, for the position, in an announcement that will come tomorrow. According to Wheeler’s profile on his personal blog, he currently identifies himself as a venture capitalist and sits on the boards of Roundbox, UpdateLogic, Twisted Pair Solutions, EarthLink and TNS. Wheeler’s history in the cable and wireless industry spans decades. He served as president of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984, and later took the helm of the CTIA as its president and CEO from 1992 until 2003. According to Politico, Wheeler shares close ties with the Obama administration, and is said to have raised hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars for the President’s two bids at the White House. Pending confirmation, Mignon Clyburn, will serve as interim chairman until a new leader is appointed.

Filed under: Wireless, Mobile

Comments

Via: WSJ, Politico

President Obama to nominate Tom Wheeler as FCC Chairman tomorrow

As Julius Genachowski winds down his five-year term as Chairman of the FCC, rumors of his successor are in full swing. Now, Engadget has confirmed with a White House official that President Obama will nominate industry veteran, Tom Wheeler, for the position, in an announcement that will come tomorrow. According to Wheeler’s profile on his personal blog, he currently identifies himself as a venture capitalist and sits on the boards of Roundbox, UpdateLogic, Twisted Pair Solutions, EarthLink and TNS. Wheeler’s history in the cable and wireless industry spans decades. He served as president of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984, and later took the helm of the CTIA as its president and CEO from 1992 until 2003. According to Politico, Wheeler shares close ties with the Obama administration, and is said to have raised hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars for the President’s two bids at the White House. Pending confirmation, Mignon Clyburn, will serve as interim chairman until a new leader is appointed.

Filed under: Wireless, Mobile

Comments

Via: WSJ, Politico

KISI Launches Its Keyless Home Access Management Platform On Indiegogo

OpenDoor

Munich-based startup and TechCrunch Disrupt NY Battlefield contestant KISI Systems is launching its Indiegogo campaign today. KISI and KISIBox together comprise a keyless entry solution that lets users provide timed, revokable access to their own apartments on an as-needed basis. It’s the perfect complement to collaborative consumption services like Airbnb and TaskRabbit and in general a very useful addition to any household.

KISI takes its cues from enterprise-grade tools that allow businesses to control who can and can’t gain access to a facility – co-founder Bernhard Mehl explained that he and his co-founders decided it was an idea that would make perfect sense when applied to a consumer setting, too.

The KISI system is a combination of hardware and software, with a set price of $479 up front when it hits retail. Initially, backers can get it for $249 for the first Indiegogo supporters, and the best part is that the service is included with the hardware purchase, so this isn’t something that you end up necessarily paying for on a continual basis. There is a SaaS model planned as well, for people who’d like access to premium features, but Mehl says that in general, they aren’t interested in making homeowners feel like they’re renting the locks on their doors.

“We stripped an enterprise product down to a consumer-friendly version, and provide very easy-to-use key-management tools, so we have a web app and you can manage or see who accessed your apartment, or who currently has access on their smartphones,” Mehl says. “It’s a more decentralized or democratized access, so that it’s not the house owner who controls all the keys, but the resident themselves.”

KISI is designed for apartment tenants primarily, and can be made to integrated with your intercom system to provide complete building access from a web-based dashboard. Mehl says that where in the past this has been accomplished through sharing of hardware keys, that’s a dramatically outdated prospect, since it involves granting a type of access you can’t easily revoke, at least not without changing your locks. The platform is why KISI isn’t just another Lockitron, providing things like integration with an intercom system, and a record of when keyholders have accessed your apartment, and for how long.

The big opportunity for KISI is to take advantage of the rise of services like Airbnb, Exec and TaskRabbit, and collaborate with those companies to help provide temporary access to service pros who might only need it for a few minutes, a week or an afternoon.

“All the hardware parts are installed in your apartment, and you can open even the front door of the house with your smartphone, and yet nothing changes for anyone else who has physical key access” he said. “Up to now, you had to change the whole system to get automated access, but the cool thing is that we’ve managed to accomplish that without requiring a complete overhaul.”

KISI has already impressed enough to win an entrepreneurial startup grant from the German government, and they’ve won various prizes, including from the NYCEDC, which provided them with $25,000 for the “Next Idea” award.

KISI will launch in New York City and Munich first, and will then expand to other markets after that.

Wiikey hacks Wii U to play games from USB drives

Wiikey, the hackers who invented mod chips and soft mods for the Nintendo Wii and many other consoles, have developed a new hack for the Wii U that lets them play content and games from a custom USB drive. With the new hacking method, it looks like you won’t need to do any hardware modifications to your system to hack it. All you need to do is connect the custom USB device, WiikeÜ, too your Wii U and you’re good to go.

Wiikey hacks Wii U to play games from USB drives

The WiikeÜ isn’t available to consumers just yet, but Wiikey will be releasing updates regarding the product soon. In a statement on their website, Wiikey stated that they were able to completely reverse “the WiiU drive authentication, disk encryption, file system, and everything else.” When the WiikeÜ becomes available, gamers will be able to install homebrew software on their Wii U, and unfortunately for Nintendo, play pirated games.

The WiikeÜ spells trouble for game developers, however it may do wonders for the Wii U. The sales for the Wii U failed to even meet Nintendo’s lowered expectations, selling only a measly 3.45 million units since its launch. People who purchase the WiikeÜ will inevitably use it to pirate games (with a few using it solely for homebrew purposes), and while it may be damaging to game sales, it may offer enough incentive for people to purchase a Wii U.

It’ll be a bittersweet situation for Nintendo, who just replaced its North American CEO with Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata. Nintendo planned on improving sales of the Wii U by bringing more “key” titles to the platform, enticing more consumers to purchase the device, but that plan may be thwarted by Wiikey. We’ll see. But at this rate, anything would help the struggling platform.

[via Wiikey]


Wiikey hacks Wii U to play games from USB drives is written by Brian Sin & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

Obama To Reportedly Nominate Former Telecom Lobbyist Tom Wheeler As FCC Chair

wheeler

The White House will reportedly confirm that former telecommunications lobbyist Tom Wheeler will be nominated to chair the Federal Communications Commission. Current FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will act as interim chairman while outgoing Chair Julius Genachowski enjoys his luxurious new life as a fellow at the Aspen Institute policy think tank.

A decade ago, before he was a venture capitalist at Washington D.C.’s Core Capital Partners, Wheeler helped telecommunications companies secure more wireless spectrum and protected them against lawmakers who wanted to ban cell phones in public areas for fear of radiation. “Tom Wheeler is the rock star of telecom,” said president of PBS Pat Mitchell. Years later, in 2008, he raised a cool million for President Obama’s campaign.

Genachowski famously killed the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, and its questionable whether Wheeler would have done the same, given his background. In 2011, he wrote a cryptic blog post about the merger, but his confusing obsession with rhetorical flair and history make it hard to understand what he believes.

So, instead of copying and pasting speculative opinion about Wheeler from the host of political lobbies looking for a quick press hit, we’ll wait for new information to surface and update readers as soon as we know more.

Google helps you get acquainted with Glass UI in how-to video

Google helps you get acquainted with Glass UI in howto video

Explorers have the device in hand, early reviews have begun to flow in, and heck, you might have even seen Glass in person by now. Unless you’ve had a chance to slide the product on your head, however, a comprehensive tour of the near-final user interface has likely remained out of reach. Until now. The team at Project Glass has uploaded a brief (60-second) how-to video, giving you an opportunity to step behind the tiny display for a point-of-view preview. If you have a minute to spare, you can view the clip just after the break. Then, set aside some time for our comprehensive Explorer Edition review, complete with sample pictures, videos and plenty of first-hand impressions.

Filed under: Displays, Wearables, Wireless, Google

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Source: Google (YouTube)

HTC One “hero” efforts continue with hardware video reinforcement

This week the folks at HTC have made public a video which shows a few insights on the hardware build of their hero phone, the HTC One. With the launch of the HTC One already set or coming up soon for several of the top carriers in the United States (Verizon not included – yet), it appears that HTC is taking the opportunity to assure prospective users of the quality of the metal cuts they’ve made in their high-end handset.

htcone

What you’ll be seeing here is not just a few words from some of the designers and developers of the phone, but some up-close-and-personal looks at the creation of this device as well. It’s important to note the efforts HTC is making to promote this device as HTC jobs do, indeed, depend on its success. The CEO of HTC has – infamously, at this point – promised he’ll quit if the HTC One doesn’t succeed.

The HTC One is shown here to have been cut of single pieces of metal and fit with plastic rims and a glass front precise enough to be considered a seamless construction. The HTC One is heading to the market in an atmosphere where the Apple iPhone 5 continues to be praised for its fine watch-quality detail and the Samsung GALAXY S 4 (recently) found its way into some not-so-great breakability reviews. With those top-selling (or about to be top-selling) devices up as head contenders, HTC has decided to play up its hardware credibility.

In the grand scheme of things, you’ll find HTC’s efforts to not be dependent solely on the success of the HTC One. Instead products like the HTC 608t and the HTC First (aka the Facebook Phone) keep the hardware company’s efforts light. And of course there’s always legacy models like the HTC One S and HTC One X, both of which continue to be available from all manner of retailers – watch for additional oddities appearing through the rest of 2013 as well.


HTC One “hero” efforts continue with hardware video reinforcement is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

Trulia Reports Slightly Larger Q1 Loss Than Expected, Revenue Grows 97 Percent To $24M

trulia logo

Online real estate company Trulia just released its earnings for the first quarter of 2013, reporting that its revenue grew 97 percent year-over-year to $24 million.

Despite the growth, the company still posted a net loss of $2 million. On a non-GAAP basis, it lost 2 cents per share. Analysts had predicted a loss of 1 cent per share with revenue of $21.08 million.

Total traffic has grown too, from 20.6 million unique monthly visitors during this period last year to 31.4 million this year. And it had 11.4 million uniques on mobile. (Trulia has changed the way that it counts mobile traffic, so we can’t offer an apples-to-apples comparison — previously it was just usage of downloaded apps, but now it also includes traffic to the Trulia website from tablets and other devices.) And the number of subscribers has grown 42 percent year-over-year, to 27,920.

In the earnings press release, CEO Pete Flint said:

Trulia achieved an excellent start to 2013. We achieved another quarter of record revenue, driven by strong execution in both our Marketplace and Media businesses. Trulia’s mobile traffic continues to expand at a rapid rate, while our subscriber base grew by approximately 3,500 during the quarter.

In the past quarter, Trulia also launched a new recommendation engine called Trulia Suggest. Since the launch, Trulia says users have performed 2 million “likes” or “hides” on properties in the company database.

As of 4:45pm Eastern, Trulia is up 6.68 percent in after-hours trading.

GradFly Launches An Online Portfolio Platform To Let High School Students Showcase And Explore Technical Projects

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The resume is going the way of the dinosaur. In the not-so-distant future, it’s easy to foresee a time when a one-sheet becomes a interactive, multimedia portfolio of your skills and greatest hits. And when we say the “not-so-distant future,” really, it’s already happening. LinkedIn brought the resume online, and, today, startups have begun to “vertical-ize” the online CV, helping to turn it into a souped-up portfolio and recruiting network. Designers and artists have Behance, doctors have QuantiaMD and Doximity, while students have Pathbrite and Seelio.

GradFly, a startup launching at TechCrunch Disrupt NY today, wants to go one step further in creating a targeted, online portfolio platform. There is a growing sense that for the U.S. (or any country for that matter) to stay competitive in an increasingly global and digital economy, it has to create a more tech-savvy workforce. And this starts with making drastic improvements to STEM education.

But students interested in pursuing careers in STEM, the ones building robots, inventing and coding don’t have a Behance where they can showcase their work. Sure, engineers have StackOverflow and Github, but that’s not quite the same. So, GradFly is building a portfolio platform exclusively for STEM-focused high school students, on which they can collect all their projects and research in one place on the Web and on their mobile devices.

As a former independent college admissions consultant, GradFly founder and CEO Oscar Pedroso tells us that he saw again and again that students were passionate about STEM, participating in their high school robotics and computing clubs, Lego leagues, math olympiads and so on. Yet, they didn’t have a way to keep track of their technical projects, inventions and experiments that they’d developed over the years.

Some were using old-fashioned binders, others were using Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr, but really they wanted to share their work with a community of like-minded people, exploring their peers’ projects in the process. But, rather than simply allow students to build online portfolios, GradFly algorithmically matches students with colleges, internships and jobs based on their preferences and interests on the site.

In turn, it allows colleges, recruiters and companies to gain access to student portfolios to connect with talented applicants using more than just their GPA, one-sheet and test scores. Students can join the platform for free, but GradFly sells a premium services to colleges and companies, in which they pay for an annual subscription that includes leads and metrics reports, for example. Companies also pay GradFly to list job postings and featured ads on the platform.

Like fellow Battlefield company, Meritful, GradFly is also seeking out partnerships with third-parties, like the one it recently struck with AweSweet.com, which has helped it build a contest platform on the site to let students participate in bi-monthly competitions and win prizes and scholarships.

Furthermore, GradFly plans to enter the market via high school pilot programs, guidance counselor associations and through direct sales to colleges and, at present, more than a dozen strategic partners, which include organizations like FIRST Robotics and the National Science Foundation.

During its pilot, Gradfly is working with eight high schools in Western New York, as well as with the University of Rochester, University of Buffalo, and RIT to power their science, tech, and engineering platforms and provide their admissions departments with high quality high school students. After beta testing through these channels, the startup plans to begin attracting customers by offering colleges and high-tech companies free trials to its service.

While its seems a little bit like a combination of Pathbrite and Coursera’s own matching service, the key to success in this space is differentiation. GradFly wants to secure a leg-up in this space by not only focusing on STEM projects built by high school students, but pulling in badges from third party-sites (since there are few in STEM at this point) through partnerships with sites like Khan Academy.

And down the road, through competitions (NASA is already on the board and wants to sponsor projects for students interested in aeronautics) that allow them to enter for the chance to win scholarships and prizes, as well as mobile apps that will enable them to quickly upload pictures, videos into their portfolio and son.

In the big picture, there are nine million students interested in STEM and there were 7.4 million STEM workers in 2012, which is expected to increase to 8.65 million by 2018, Petroso says. The market is growing, yet only 5 percent of American high schools have a computer science program, for example, so students who get interested in science and technology at a young age need better resources.

GradFly wants to provide a solution.

Microsoft's next revision of Facebook for Windows Phone 8 hits beta

Microsoft's next revision of Facebook for Windows Phone 8 hits beta

Last year’s revision to Facebook for Windows Phone may have gotten fans closer to the Facebook grail, but it was still lagging behind its iOS and Android siblings. Microsoft is finally catching up though, with the latest beta of the app. This build supports the new Facebook Timeline, higher-quality photos and post sharing. It’s currently listed as being compatible with Windows Phone 8 — which might leave some 7.5 and 7.8 users feeling a bit salty. You’ll have to download it straight from the link below if you’re up for giving it a whirl, since it can’t be directly from your device.

Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Software, Mobile, Microsoft, Facebook

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Source: Microsoft

President Obama to name Tom Wheeler as FCC head

The White House is set to announce the next chairman of the FCC, and the position will be going to telecom lobbyist and venture capitalist Tom Wheeler, according to several reports. President Obama is expected to make the announcement as early as tomorrow, which will see the Core Capital Partners managing director take over the FCC helm at that point.

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Wheeler is taking over for Julius Genachowski, who stepped down from the position last month, and is temporarily being replaced by Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Such credentials attached to Tom Wheeler include being the head of CTIA Wireless for over 10 years, as well serving as president of the National Cable Television Association.

Wheeler will be put into some tough shoes, as he becomes head of an organization that maintains and polices wireless airwaves and regulates telephone networks, as well as television. In a fast-paced technology world where standards are changing, Wheeler will hopefully add a fresh presence to the FCC.

There’s also the chance that the FCC will approve certain proposals under Wheeler that the FCC wouldn’t approve otherwise. For instance, Wheeler has said in the past that he would have allowed AT&T to acquire T-Mobile, but a lawsuit brought on put an end to the acquisition, which was also supported by Genachowski.

[via Wall Street Journal]


President Obama to name Tom Wheeler as FCC head is written by Craig Lloyd & originally posted on SlashGear.
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HealthyOut Is Like A Personal Nutritionist For Healthy Food Deliveries

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New York-based startup HealthyOut already has a popular iPhone and Android app for quickly finding nearby restaurants and dishes that users can order and have delivered. Today at Disrupt NY 2013, HealthyOut is unveiling a new service, which will provide users with personalized menus of food delivered to help them lose weight or just eat better overall.

Launching first in New York City, HealthyOut’s delivery service is designed to provide users with healthy options two times a day, five days a week. By combing through the menus of restaurants around the city that deliver, HealthyOut will come up with 10 meals a week that can automatically be sent to a customer’s home or office.

Now, there’s no shortage of food delivery services out there. But HealthyOut will make sure that when you’re ordering out, you’re making healthy choices. In fact, it’ll more or less make those decisions for you.

HealthyOut is designed to be “your own personal concierge and nutritionist planning out your meals,” co-founder Wendy Nguyen told me. The idea is to simplify users’ lives by planning meals out for them, and helping them discover new dishes that they might not have ordered for themselves.

“Everyone knows go-to meals around a given spot,” Nguyen told me. “But they don’t know what are the best meals” for healthy eating. HealthyOut solves that problem.

Users can personalize those deliveries based on dietary preferences or requirements. For instance, they can choose from about a dozen different types of diets — like low carb, Paleo, or vegan. They can also set preferences, like types of cuisine or foods that they want to receive (or not), as well as a price range per meal.

Once all that’s done, the program gets put on autopilot, and healthy meals from nearby restaurants will just start showing up to a customer’s home or office a couple of times a day. Users will get a menu at the beginning of the week telling them what’s coming, and a text notification as a reminder about 90 minutes before the delivery.

Customers can cancel or put a meal on hold if they plan to eat out somewhere else or *gasp* cook something themselves. In either case, HealthyOut will make suggestions for things that they can order or cook to keep with their diet plan.

HealthyOut keeps the customer’s billing information, and automatically deducts the cost of food, delivery, and tip from a customer’s account. In addition to the cost of food and delivery, HealthyOut has a subscription cost of $28 per month for managing all diets and orders and keeping people on track.

The service was built based on dish-level information that HealthyOut has collected in building out its iPhone app. So it will be able to suggest (and schedule) specific dishes from restaurants even if they’re not exactly known for being healthy.

HealthyOut has been working with restaurants themselves to build out the service and ensure a high level of quality. It also has partnered with a third-party delivery service for payments and delivery.

In a place like New York, where there are a ton of restaurants that deliver in a small area, it’s easy to find healthy choices. So it makes sense to launch there. But the team wants to take HealthyOut’s delivery service to other markets, and ultimately make it available everywhere. For other cities and even suburban markets, that could mean having a mix of takeout and delivery.

HealthyOut has raised $1.2 million from 500 Startups, Bradley Harrison Ventures, Answers.com COO Peter Horan, AOL’s former head of marketing Jan Brandt, N.Y. restaurateur Dave Kassling, Pivotal NYC managing director Josh Knowles, and other angels. The company was founded by Nguyen, who previously was the second employee of SocialChorus; as well as Dan Myers, who was previously at TSG Consumer Partners, and full-stack Rails developer Jonathan Hironaga, who was also part of the SocialChorus team.

Outgoing FCC chair: Wireless dominance by AT&T and Verizon a “very bad thing”

Julius Genachowski, the outgoing chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today touted his agency’s record in promoting wireless competition over the last four years. And he warned that allowing AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the market leaders, to snap up all of the spectrum in an upcoming wireless auction would be a “very bad thing for our innovation economy.”

Genachowski oversaw the FCC during President Obama’s first term, but he will step down from the post in the coming weeks. He spoke at the Bloomberg Washington Summit on Tuesday morning.

According to The Hill, Genachowski defended his agency’s 2011 decision to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth-largest wireless provider. The move was “absolutely the right call,” he said. Genachowski argued that thanks in part to the FCC’s interventions, T-Mobile and Sprint are “moving up, they’re getting stronger and we’re seeing a healthy competitive market.”

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Google's Seth Sternberg And Ardan Arac On Getting Developers To Adopt Google+ Sign-In

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After Google’s announcement and demo of app activities being introduced into its Search product, I spoke with Seth Sternberg and Ardan Arac about how Google+ sign-in is coming along, what the company is doing to get developers to adopt the platform.

The integration is yet another signal that Google is trying to unify all of its products, with Google+ being the glue that holds everything together. Arac explained how the Search team wanted to surface app activities once they were introduced to Google+ profiles.