• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Startup Community Blog

This is a blog space of iStart Members, Affiliates and Partners!

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Entrepreneurship

September 21, 2017

Amy and I have been big supporters of a movie about immigration called For Here or To Go?

With our friends at Boundless, we are sponsoring a week of screenings in Seattle. We are supplying a bunch of free tickets and – when they are used up – will still have a set of paid tickets available.

It’s playing at the Landmark Theaters Crest Cinema Center from Friday 9/22 to Wednesday 9/27. If the topic of immigration is important to you, this is a great, powerful, thought-provoking movie.

If you want to bring a big group or spend some time with Rishi, the creator of the movie, just email me.

Also published on Medium.

Previous Post
Original author: Brad Feld
Hits: 3
Rate this blog entry:

TotalIoTDevicesBI IntelligenceThis is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting businesses, governments, and consumers and transforming how they interact with the world. Companies are going to spend almost $5 trillion on the IoT in the next five years — and the proliferation of connected devices and massive increase in data has started an analytical revolution.

To gain insight into this emerging trend, BI Intelligence conducted an exclusive Global IoT Executive Survey on the impact of the IoT on companies around the world. The study included over 500 respondents from a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, technology, and finance, with significant numbers of C-suite and director-level respondents. 

Through this exclusive study and in-depth research into the field, BI Intelligence details the components that make up IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market in terms of device installations and investment through 2021. And we examine the importance of IoT providers, the challenges they face, and what they do with the data they collect. Finally, we take a look at the opportunities, challenges, and barriers related to mass adoption of IoT devices among consumers, governments, and enterprises.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

We project that there will be a total of 22.5 billion IoT devices in 2021, up from 6.6 billion in 2016. We forecast there will be $4.8 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2016 and 2021. It highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; stages of adoption, deployment, and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices, platforms, and services; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.

In full, the report:

Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward and highlights areas of interest in the coming years Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies implementing IoT solutions

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the IoT.

Original author: Peter Newman
Hits: 7
Rate this blog entry:

tastemade The Tastemade Facebook Watch show 'Struggle Meals' is hosted by Frankie Celenza Tastemade

Publishers like Tastemade built big Facebook audiences by churning out lots of short content. But now many need to shift gears. That's because Facebook has begun inserting ads into video clips, but only if they run 90 seconds or more. For Tastemade, that's meant shooting videos using more TV-like conventions, like cliffhangers before ad breaks.

Over the past few years, Tastemade got really, really good at making very short recipe videos on Facebook (aka food porn).

Think a 30-second clip of an unseen chef making delectable-looking fried shrimp tacos – one of which has generated over 26 million views since last June.


Then Facebook decided it wanted media companies to make longer videos, so it could insert more video ads. 

When Facebook decides it wants something, publishers usually get on board — especially when the promise of ad revenue is involved.

"We kinda had to rethink everything," Larry Fitzgibbon,Tastemade co-founder and CEO, told Business Insider.

That's likely the state of affairs for many content companies that spent a great deal of energy perfecting eye-catching, decidedly short videos on Facebook. Many publishers built large Facebook audiences by honing the art of producing quick-hit clips built for a sound-off, thumb-scrolling world. The hope was eventually Facebook would help them make money on these videos

But now, they've got to rethink their production operations to make longer videos, and the videos need to be shot and edited accommodate ads seamlessly, without turning people away. It's hard not to feel a bit of algorithm and business-model whiplash.

So earlier this year Tastemade shook up its production process over a two-month period, and re-oriented it around longer content. The hope was that Facebook would keep putting Tastemade clips in people's feeds, and that the content would be good enough to keep people's attention for more than a few seconds – and thus good enough to feature 'mid-roll ads'.

When videos from partners run 90 seconds or more, Facebook now inserts ads during video breaks, similar to TV ads. This is especially top of mind now that Facebook is pushing original series via its new longer-video-centric Facebook Watch platform.

"We were optimized for the Facebook news feed," added Jay Holzer, Tastemade head of production. "That meant grabbing people thumbing through Facebook on their phones with arresting images, hoping they stick around for a few seconds. We had developed a good set of best practices around that."

"You can't just make 45-second videos 90 seconds," said Oren Katzeff, Tastemade's head of programming. "That would be a terrible experience. "

Luckily, Tastemade started out as a food-centric network built primarily on YouTube. So it had been producing content with the help of influencers that was longer than the early Facebook video fare.
Plus, Tastemade was an early Snapchat partner, where it's been experimenting with longer (in relative terms) original series, such as "Frankie's World," a show featuring the digital influencer Frankie Celenza digging into the science of cooking.

"This is all more about changing our process around watch time," said Fitzgibbon. This has been in the works for a while, he added. "You may be able to generate views or clicks. But watch time is the ultimate measure of whether you are entertaining people. So we've thought about, how do we tell stories and create a monetization opportunity. It was evolutionary."

For Facebook specifically, Tastemade has started not only going longer with its instructional, recipe clips, but also breaking them into acts — much like a TV show. Videos now have to deliver something interesting right away, but leave people hanging a bit so they'll hang around after a mid-roll break.

"You need a set up and a tease," Holzer said. "It's very similar to TV. You need a payoff after the ad."

That's even more true for Facebook Watch shows, some of which run a whopping five, 10, or 15 minutes.

It's very early, but Tastemade is seeing some solid traction with Watch. For example, the show "Struggle Meals" which features Celenza prepping quick meals for under $2, has seen several of its early episodes generate over one million views each.

Now Tastemade just needs to start generating some more checks from Facebook.

Original author: Mike Shields
Hits: 6
Rate this blog entry:

This hydraulic bender makes metal look like playdough.

It's called the Mobi-Bieger 100 and it's manufactured by Gelber-Bieger in Germany.

It can exert a force of up to 10 tonnes in order to shape metal rods. The machine itself only weighs 80 kg and it is 1.2 metres in length.

Produced by Jasper Pickering. Special thanks to Joe Daunt.

Original author: Jasper Pickering
Hits: 6
Rate this blog entry:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"????>

deliveroo A Deliveroo rider. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Deliveroo's expansion in 2016 helped drive the company's revenue for the year up 611% to £129 million, from £18 million the prior year.

Losses for the food delivery startup were up 300% year on year to £129 million, from £30.1 million in 2015.

According to the filing there was one exceptional cost of £5.3 million, which is how much it cost Deliveroo to rebrand last year. 

Most of the growth came from Deliveroo's international markets, with revenue from countries outside the UK "increasing substantially." In 2016, the London-headquartered startup had expanded to 84 cities in 12 countries. It now operates in 120 markets across 12 countries, and has 120,000 restaurant partners.

The company is still sitting on considerable amounts of investor cash, having raised $275 million (£210 million) in a Series E funding round in August last year. Deliveroo said its net assets stood at £169 million as a result.

Rapid growth means London-headquartered Deliveroo is considered a major startup success story. It was founded in 2012 to allow people to order food for delivery from their favourite high street restaurants, not just those which do takeaway. The company charges £2.50 for delivery — more if your order is under £10 — and takes a commission fee from the restaurant.

But there are some risks. According to Deliveroo's filings, its gross margin percentage stands at just 0.7%. That figure shows the proportion of each pound of revenue the firm keeps as gross profit, before it pays cost of goods. The higher the margin, the more efficient the company. Deliveroo's low figure suggests it has more work to do to cut costs — but 0.7% is an improvement on 2015, when the firm reported a negative gross profit margin.

A higher gross profit margin may depend on whether Deliveroo is forced to pay its drivers more. There is an ongoing battle over how companies like Deliveroo and Uber pay their workers — who work flexibly but are not guaranteed the minimum wage. Deliveroo itself acknowledged the risk of greater regulation in its filings.

Another risk to the business is that more rivals are popping up in the food delivery space. UberEats is a significant rival in the UK, while Amazon has also launched a food delivery service.

Original author: Shona Ghosh
Hits: 8
Rate this blog entry:

Equifax trading Suspicious options trading in Equifax following its massive data breach has drawn scrutiny from the Feds. Reuters / Brendan McDermid

Raise your hand if you've heard this before: There may have been some funny business around the Equifax hack.

In the latest development, the House Financial Services Committee is now looking at some Equifax options trading that took place following the initial discovery of the breach, but before it was disclosed to the public, according to a report from CNBC's Liz Moyer.

The activity in question occurred on August 21, when a block trade for 2,500 units of an Equifax put contract was made at 1:36 p.m. ET, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The puts represented a wager that the company's stock price would drop to $135 by September 15. Equifax closed at $139.89 the previous trading day, so in order for the trade to be profitable, the stock would've had to drop 3.5%.

That happened on September 8, the first day of trading after the hack became public. The stock dropped 14%, closing at $123.23. Assuming the trader, or traders, who made the bet on August 21 haven't yet closed their position and taken profits, their total gain would amount to more than $10 million.

And if the options market is to be believed, traders think Equifax's stock has further to fall. As of last week, they were paying the highest premium since October 2014 to protect against a 10% decline in shares over the next six months, relative to wagers on a 10% gain. While it's come down from those highs, it's still far above its average over the period.

According to the CNBC report, which cited a source familiar with the investigation, the lawyer for the committee has inquired about how out of the ordinary the size of the trade was, where the options switched hands, and what types of traders would've been active at the time.

The investigation isn't the first foray into suspicious Equifax trading following the hack. On September 18, Bloomberg reported that the US Justice Department was investigating whether top company officials violated insider-trading laws when they sold Equifax shares before the company disclosed the hack.

The report said that Equifax's chief financial officer, John Gamble; president of US information solutions, Joseph Loughran; and president of workforce solutions, Rodolfo Ploder, were those under scrutiny. The three senior executives dumped almost $2 million worth of stock days after the company learned of the breach, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. An emailed statement from the credit-monitoring agency said the executives "had no knowledge" of the breach beforehand.

As these latest developments show, authorities are still sifting through the wreckage of the hack for signs of wrongdoing. And if the past week has been any indication, there could be more to come.

Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 2.54.39 PM Markets Insider

Original author: Joe Ciolli
Hits: 7
Rate this blog entry:
Sundar PichaiGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai at last year's hardware event, where the company announced its first batch of self-branded devices.Ramin Talaie/Stringer

Google has signed a $1.1 billion cooperation agreement with HTC, the technology company said in a statement on Thursday, after trading of HTC shares were halted on Taiwan's stock exchange before the announcement.

The move, first rumored earlier this month and then re-emerged this week, is the search giant's latest attempt to juice up its growing hardware division.

Google hardware exec Rick Osterloh said in a statement: "With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization."

"These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line," Osterloh said, adding that the deal includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

This isn't the first time Google's took a stake in a smartphone manufacturer, and it isn't clear why it will be successful this time round.

In 2011, Google bought Motorola in a $12.5 billion deal, only to resell it to Lenovo for $2.91 billion three years later (Google had sold off other parts of Motorola earlier).

At the time, Google said it deemed the overall operation to be a "success," as it retained Motorola's most valuable asset, its patent portfolio.

Lately, Google has shown signs of taking an Apple-like strategy towards its products. With its new devices, it's taking care of both Android, the software, as well as the hardware.

In April 2016, the search giant hired Rick Osterloh, ex-Motorola chief operating officer, as its first ever hardware czar, and formally put together a hardware team under his leadership.

That resulted in the first-ever solely-Google-branded phone, the Pixel (as well as the larger Pixel XL), and also the Daydream View virtual reality headset. Earlier this year, the Google Home smart speaker followed.

What's more, is that Google is rumoured to be entering the chip-manufacturing space, to compete even better with deeply integrated systems like Apple's iPhone without having to rely on third party companies like Qualcomm.

When the first batch of made-by-Google devices was unveiled, Osterloh said that hardware was an important component of the tech titan's business, and that they would be in it "for the long run." The acquisition of HTC looks like further proof of this commitment.

Notably, HTC also acted as the "ghost" manufacturer for both Pixel handsets last year, and is tipped to be once again as the company behind the forthcoming "Pixel 2" (with LG reportedly taking care of the larger, higher-end "Pixel 2 XL" instead).

In addition to a refreshed phone lineup, a new Pixel-branded Chromebook is also expected to make its debut at Google's dedicated event, taking place on October 4.

Get the latest Google stock price here.

Original author: Edoardo Maggio
Hits: 6
Rate this blog entry:

Travis Kalanick Anthony LevandowskiAssociated Press

It's been a year of turmoil for Uber, as the company has careened from one crises to another. 

Since February, when Susan Fowler released her now infamous blog post, the ride-hailing company has lost a deep bench of its top executives — each leaving the company for different reasons.

Uber now has a new CEO in former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who started on the job two weeks ago.

Given the number of vacancies at the top of his org, he may not have to ask for the resignations of a large number of people in order to bring in his own hand-picked team.

Yet it's also clear that the exodus isn't entirely over yet, as just this month Uber's compliance officer, top lawyer and others have said that they, too, are leaving.

Here's an updated tally of who has left the company and why since February.

Travis Kalanick, former CEO

Travis Kalanick, former CEO
Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

Departure: June 20

Replacement: Dara Khosrowshahi

After a months of scandals, an internal investigation that led the company to fire 20 people, and a slew of lawsuits, Uber co-founder Kalanick was forced to resign as CEO. Adding to the pressure on Kalanick was an insurrection among a number of major investors that was led by Benchmark, which holds a board seat.

Kalanick remains on Uber's board of directors.

Salle Yoo, former top lawyer

Salle Yoo, former top lawyer

Departure: Soon

Replacement: none, yet 

Uber's top legal officer Salle Yoo has resigned from the company effective after she helps Khosrowshahi find her successor. She announced her departure in an email to the troops, published by the WSJ on September 12.

She leaves as Uber faces numerous lawsuits including one by Waymo alleging Uber stole its self-driving car trade secrets; one involving allegations that executives looked at medical records of a rape victim in India; and three federal probes into its operations.

Michael Brown, head of operations in Asia

Departure: Sept. 19

Replacement: none, yet

Michael Brown had been with Uber ramping up its Asia operations for four years. Although he was not involved in Uber's China or India business, and its struggles there, his name was involved in several of other scandals.

For instance, in August, Uber was accused of knowingly leasing 1,000 recalled vehicles to drivers in Singapore and Brown advocated pulling all the vehicles off the road after one of them caught fire. 

The DOJ is also currently investigating whether Uber violated bribery laws in several Asian countries in Brown's territory.

Joseph Spiegler, former head of compliance

Departure: around August 28

Replacement: None yet

Joseph Spiegler resigned his post of Global Head of Compliance after a year and a half in the role, days before Khosrowshahi started as the new CEO. His departure came at a time when the company found itself embroiled in numerous lawsuits, including three federal investigations.

Spiegler came to Uber after 8 years of legal and compliance work for health care company Baxter.

Gautam Gupta, former Head of Finance

Gautam Gupta, former Head of Finance

Departure: July (announced on May 31)

Replacement: Uber is searching for a CFO with public company experience. Its temporary finance chief is Prabir Adarkar, who also serves as its head of strategic finance.

Gupta had run Uber's finances since the departure of its last CFO in 2015, but the company never officially gave him the CFO title. Gupta joined Uber from Goldman Sachs more than four years ago. He left in July to join a startup in an unrelated field, serving as COO.

Emil Michael, former SVP of business

Emil Michael, former SVP of business

Departure: June 12 

Replacement: David Richter, former VP of VP of strategic initiatives

Emil Michael had been a key executive at Uber as the head of business for four years as well as a close confident of Travis Kalanick. He resigned days before the company released the results of a four-month investigation that recommended, among many things, that the company radically change the roles of its leaders.

That report came weeks after another internal investigation found 215 complaints of inappropriate workplace incidents that resulted in the firing of 20 people. 

Insiders say his resignition was an attempt to appease board members so they wouldn't demand Kalanick's head as well. It didn't work. A few weeks later, Kalanick was pushed to resign as well.

Eric Alexander, former president of business in Asia

Eric Alexander, former president of business in Asia
Eric AlexanderYouTube/HYBIZTV HD

Departure: June 6

Replacement: None

Eric Alexander was Uber’s president of business in Asia including China and India who had been with the company for three years.

He was terminated by the company after news reports leaked that he had allegedly obtained the medical records of an Indian woman who accused her Uber driver of rape. The driver was later convicted and Uber settled a lawsuit with the woman but the incident led Uber to be temporarily banned from operating in the country.

Alexander reportedly obtained the records as part of an investigation to see if Uber's competitors Ola was involved in this incident. The woman is currently suing Uber again over its possession of her medical records.

Anthony Levandowski, former head of Advanced Technologies Group

Anthony Levandowski, former head of Advanced Technologies Group

Departure: May 30

Replacement: Eric Meyhofer

Uber fired Levandowski, the former head of its self-driving-car program, over his refusal to cooperate in its legal battle with Waymo. Uber had been asking Levandowski for months to assist with its internal investigation for its defense against Waymo's charges, but he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself against self-incrimination. 

Despite not being named in the lawsuit, Levandowski's actions have been at the center of the legal battle between Uber and Waymo, the self-driving-car operation owned by Google parent company Alphabet. Waymo has accused Levandowski, a former star Google engineer, of downloading 14,000 files before he left Google and then using that information to jump-start Uber's self-driving-car program.

Sherif Marakby, former VP of Global Vehicle Programs

Departure: April 17

Replacement: None

Marakby joined Uber in April 2016 and helped launch its self-driving car effort. Although his departure a year later came amid the lawsuit with Waymo over autonomous car technology, Uber says it was unrelated to the legal dispute.

Before his one-year stint at Uber, Marakby spent 25 years at Ford, eventually working as its director of global electronics and engineering. He's now back at Ford to lead the car giant's self-driving car unit.

Rachel Whetstone, former SVP of Global Policy and Communications

Departure: April 11

Replacement: Jill Hazelbaker

Whetstone joined Uber in 2015 from Google. As soon as she started, she revamped Uber's communications strategy and attempted to rein in Uber's free-wheeling cities, which had caused more than a few PR problems.

But Whetstone quit suddenly in April amid a torrent of negative headlines for the company. "I joined Uber because I love the product—and that love is as strong today as it was when I booked my very first ride six years ago," Whetstone said in her farewell statement. 

Brian McClendon, former VP of Maps and Business Platform

Brian McClendon, former VP of Maps and Business Platform
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Departure: March 28

Replacement: Manik Gupta

McClendon joined Uber in 2015 from Google, where he was known as the "maps guy," because he had been an early leader in the creation of Google Maps and Google Earth. After initially overseeing Uber's Advanced Technologies Center, McClendon returned to his specialty, becoming the company's VP of Maps and Business Platform.

He left the company to return to his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas to explore politics. "This fall's election and the current fiscal crisis in Kansas is driving me to more fully participate in our democracy — and I want to do that in the place I call home," he reportedly said. "I believe in Uber's mission and the many talented people working there to make it a reality and that's why I have agreed to stay on as an adviser."

Jeff Jones, former president of ridesharing

Jeff Jones, former president of ridesharing

Departure: March 19

Replacement: None. Uber is searching for a COO instead.

When the company announced Jones' hire in August 2016, Kalanick lauded him for his experience as a Target's chief marketing officer and was excited about what he would bring to the ride-hailing giant. Jones' role as president meant he was in charge of all of Uber's operations, marketing, and customer support around the globe.

But Jones ended up leaving after less than a year at the company. In a statement sent to Recode, Jones said he was leaving because "the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber."


Gary Marcus, former head of Uber AI Labs

Gary Marcus, former head of Uber AI Labs

Departure: March 8

Replacement: Zoubin Ghahramani, Uber's Chief Scientist

Marcus joined Uber in December 2016 to much fanfare from the company. Uber had acquired his 15-person startup, Geometric Intelligence, and brought Marcus in to lead its new AI Lab. However, the exec left after just four months on the job to spend more time with his family. He's now a "special advisor" for Uber's AI efforts. 

Ed Baker, former VP of Product and Growth

Ed Baker, former VP of Product and Growth

Departure: March 3

Replacement: Daniel Graf, VP of Product

Baker resigned suddenly under mysterious circumstances in March after three years at the company. He had joined Uber from Facebook where he was leading international growth. At Uber, Baker oversaw the engineers, product managers, and marketing teams that were trying to attract both new riders and drivers to the platform. 

Amit Singhal, former SVP of engineering and advisor to Travis Kalanick

Amit Singhal, former SVP of engineering and advisor to Travis Kalanick

Departure: February 27

Replacement: None 

Google's former search chief came back out of retirement in January 2017 to join Uber as its new senior vice president of engineering. In the role, Singhal was in charge of overseeing engineering on Uber's marketplace and maps teams — two key departments that touch the core of Uber's business — and advising Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick. However, Uber asked Singhal to resign a month after he joined the company after published reports disclosed that sexual-harassment allegations were made against him at his previous job, which he hadn't disclosed to Uber. 

And it's not just the top execs that are leaving. Longtime Uber managers, like Josh Mohrer, who ran its NYC operation, have departed in recent months.

And it's not just the top execs that are leaving. Longtime Uber managers, like Josh Mohrer, who ran its NYC operation, have departed in recent months.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Nina Qi left Uber in July, after two years in corporate development, leaping to Autodesk. The previous month, her name was publicly dragged into Waymo's litigation against Uber, when court documents revealed that Levandowsk possessed five disks worth of data from his former employer, and emailed Kalanick, Qi and the VP of corporate development, Cameron Poetzscher, and told them.

Josh Mohrer left Uber in May after five years at the ride-hailing company. He built Uber's operations in New York City — often in a controversial and contentious way — but was critical to expanding the company's empire.

Raffi Krikorian departed Uber in February to move with his family back to California. He joined the company in March 2015 and led its team of more than 50 self-driving car engineers in Pittsburgh as the senior director of engineering for its Advanced Technologies Group. 

Brian Tolkin left in May after building UberPool into one of the company's most popular products. As UberPool's first product manager, Tolkin was one of the biggest cheerleaders for how shared rides could change transportation around the world. There's no word about what he'll do next. 

Charlie Miller jumped to Uber rival Didi Chuxing in March 2017 to work on the Chinese company's autonomous vehicles. After making a name for himself by hacking a Jeep Cherokee and stopping it remotely, the security engineer was a marquee hire for Uber when he joined the company in 2015.

Original author: Julie Bort and Biz Carson
Hits: 5
Rate this blog entry:

A bull's-eye touched down on the island of Dominica on Monday evening. As of Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT, that eye has re-emerged — this time between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

So far, Hurricane Maria's devastation has been severe. In Dominica, it tore roofs from homes; picked up and scattered trees like matches; and choked streets with floods. In Puerto Rico, it brought similar destruction and has left the island completely without power.

Even before the storm made landfall on Monday, meterologists saw something at the center of the storm that portended evil.

"Maria is developing the dreaded pinhole eye," the National Hurricane Center posted.

On Wednesday evening, that eye reappeared.

That tiny circle in the center of the storm can be a sign that a hurricane will wreak havoc. In general, the smaller the eye, the faster the hurricane will spin — and the faster the spin, the stronger the storm.

It all comes down to energy conservation, Ryan Maue, a research meteorologist and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, told Business Insider. Just as figure skaters appear to give themselves an extra boost of momentum by tucking in a leg or an arm, a hurricane with a tighter inner eye is likely to spin faster.

Hurricanes have three essential elements that can be traced from the inside out.

bi graphics annotated hurricaneBusiness Insider / Mike Nudelman

At the center is the eye, an eerily peaceful region that's generally between 12 and 30 miles in diameter.

Circling the eye is what's known as the hurricane's eyewall, a ring of dense, towering vertical clouds that swirl around the eye. The heaviest rains and strongest winds are found inside the eyewall.

The outermost region is characterized by what is known as spiral rainbands, heavy showers that trace an inward spiral toward the storm's center.

At 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Maria's pinhole eye measured roughly 10 miles in diameter, according to The Associated Press. That suggested danger to the thousands of meteorologists watching it from around the world.

However, an eye with a 10-mile diameter is still more than four times as large as that of 2005's Hurricane Wilma, which set a record for the lowest central pressure of any hurricane, at peak strength. (The stronger a storm, the lower the central pressure.)

Maria's 160-mph winds still proved devastating for Dominica, and by the time they reached Puerto Rico, they'd ramped up to 175-mph.

By Wednesday, the storm had damaged "everything in its path," in Puerto Rico according to reports.

Maria is now headed toward the Dominican Republic, but Puerto Rico continues to experience "catastrophic" flooding from rainfall and storm surge as of Wednesday night, the NHC reported.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Dominican Republic, where conditions are "now deteriorating," according to the NHC, along with Puerto Rico, Culebra, Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas.

Original author: Erin Brodwin
Hits: 4
Rate this blog entry:

When it comes to requesting data on Twitter users, the US remains the leader among governments around the world. But other countries are quickly catching up.

According to the latest transparency report from Twitter, information requests by the US fell to 2,111 in the first half of this year. That was down 8% from the second half of 2016. Even with that drop, other countries still trail far behind, as we can tell from the chart from Statista, which is based on Twitter's data.

But if you'd looked at a chart of the data from the previous reporting period, the US would have had an even bigger lead. The number of information requests coming from Japan jumped 42% from the second half of 2016 to the first half of this year. India made 55% more requests in the most recent period, compared with the one immediately prior, and South Korea 63% more.

Just because a country makes a request doesn't mean Twitter hands over the information. In its report, Twitter said it pushes back against such requests whenever possible. Before handing over user data, it considers the nature of the crime, whether government followed the correct legal processes in making their requests, and the kind of information government are requesting. While the company granted the vast majority of requests coming from the United States so far this year, it denied all of the ones Turkey's made.

Chart of the day 9/20Mike Nudelman/Business Insider







Original author: Caroline Cakebread
Hits: 3
Rate this blog entry:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"????>

Mark Warner Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

There are likely "a lot more" fake Facebook accounts affiliated with Russia than what the company has so far disclosed, the vice chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said on Wednesday.

Warner, who is helping lead the committee's investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, told CNN's Jake Tapper that the 470 fake accounts Facebook identified as having ties to Russia "doesn't pass the smell test."

He pointed to Facebook's removal of 30,000 fake accounts ahead of France's presidential election earlier this year as evidence that there were likely more than only 470 fake accounts used by Russia during the US election last year.

“To me that just doesn’t pass the smell test in terms of that number of accounts affiliated with Russia," he said. "I think there’s a lot more.”

Facebook disclosed earlier this month that $100,000 worth of ads were purchased on its platform by Russian-affiliated accounts during the months surrounding the US presidential election. The revelation has prompted investigators to call on Facebook and Twitter to testify in a public hearing on Russia's use of social media to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Warner said that the number of "dummy" accounts affiliated with Russia was “more significant” than the purchased ads because the accounts were used to "drive" the sharing of fake news stories and even organize real-world rallies opposing Hillary Clinton. He had previously said that Facebook's disclosure of Russian ads was just the "tip of the iceberg."

“The level of sophistication of some of this effort on the social media side and the level of targeting really leaves me with a lot of questions and questions we’re going to want Facebook to answer in public," Warner said Wednesday.

While a date for the hearing hasn't been set, Warner told CNN that Twitter would brief his committee privately on its findings next week.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company continues "to cooperate with the relevant investigative authorities." Twitter didn't respond to a request for comment.

Visit Markets Insider for constantly updated market quotes for individual stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities and currencies traded around the world. Go Now!

Original author: Alex Heath
Hits: 4
Rate this blog entry:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"????>

Jeff Bezos Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos REUTERS/Rick Wilking

An investment bank's report that Amazon is tip-toeing around the pharmacy space sent Wall Street scrambling to understand CEO Jeff Bezos' next move.

Analysts at Leerink Partners wrote that Amazon may be in discussions with mid-sized pharmacy benefit managers "in an effort to get into various contract arrangements."

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) act as the gatekeeper between whoever is paying for your drug (Medicare, your insurer etc.) and whoever is selling the drug to you.

They manage lists called formularies that determine which drugs you can and cannot have. The companies first popped up in the 1960s to help insurers handle mountains of paperwork. Now PBMs navigate the expensive, opaque system that is American healthcare. About 80% of the market is controlled by the biggest three PBMs, Express Scripts, CVS Health and UnitedHealth Group.

"Our specialists indicated that Amazon may be speaking with mid-sized PBMs now in an effort to get into the pharmacy services space," said the Leerink report. "It may take ~24 months to get licensed in 50 states, but our specialists believe that this is the direction Amazon is moving in."

If you had your druthers

Andrew Miller, Vice President of Operations at of Detroit-based PBM Meridian Rx, doesn't think that necessarily has to take that much time for Amazon to enter the space.

"If I were Amazon... I'd be looking to buy a small mail order facility. Amazon's strength is obviously the distribution so if you bought a small mail order licensed in 50 states it would be plug and play," he said. "I think they're looking for an adjudication system, and I think they're looking for a network of pharmacies."

In its report, Leerink seems to imply that Amazon is talking about partnering up with a PBM once it has a pharmacy business. That's because the pharmaceutical business requires more than just your regular logistics company. You need to know how to navigate the healthcare system.

Leerink highlighted that in its report, addressing concerns that Amazon's entrance into the field would hit distributors the hardest.

From the report [emphasis ours]:

Throughout the trip, investors were very persistent in asking about the impact of Amazon. CAH [Cardinal Health] highlighted that the biggest risk could be home delivery of medical products, but the issue here is that medical billing is very complicated.

If a member wants a product delivered to his or her home, and if they want that product covered by his or her insurance, then making sure that the claim is sent to the plan in a proper format is critical. It is unclear to us, as of now, how Amazon would manage through this challenge. 

A PBM could help with that. And maybe not just partnering with one. If you're Amazon not just buy a PBM and not have to deal with another party at all? If there's anything PBMs get knocked for, it's their lack of transparency. Critics accuse PBMs of having their hand in every part of the distribution chain — of taking rebates from drug companies in exchange for a good spot on formularies, for example.

So why would a giant like Amazon want to bother with all that?

Rumors and speculation

Miller told Business Insider that about 3 weeks ago he was contacted by a consultant doing research for an unnamed company with 270,000 employees in the retail space. The consultant said the company employed pharmacists.

"You get weird calls but usually you can figure out who they are pretty quick, this one I haven't been able to figure out." 

This is what the consultant talked to Miller about:

The retailer is looking into buying a small to mid-sized PBM. If the acquisition cost is under a certain price, the purchase wouldn't need board approval. If it's over a certain price, though, the purchase would need board approval. They also discussed the retailer partnering with a PBM.

"To my knowledge, they talked to seven to eight mid-level PBMs and the board was going to meet within the next month [as of 3 weeks ago] to decide its action," Miller said.

We asked Amazon if they were the ones poking around asking these questions, or if it employs pharmacists, and the company said that it simply doesn't respond to rumors and speculation. Amazon is also larger than the company described to Miller. 

So maybe it's not just Amazon poking around. There are a couple other possibilities. Whoever else it is, they want a piece.

Original author: Linette Lopez
Hits: 4
Rate this blog entry:
bill gates windows 3.0Bill Gates poses with Windows 3.0, the 1990 operating system that introduced "control-alt-delete" to Windows.Microsoft Archive

Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and the world's richest man, is not usually one to look back. Indeed, his first and most famous book to date was titled "The Road Ahead." 

So it's no surprise that Gates had a philosophical answer when pressed at a Bloomberg event today on whether or not he regrets "control-alt-delete," the infamous two-handed keystroke for logging in to or restarting a Windows PC.

“You can’t go back and change the small things in your life without putting the other things at risk,” Gates said, according to a report in Quartz.

However, Gates does go on to admit that if he could change one thing without affecting linear time too harshly, he would have made it a single button. 

This isn't the first time Gates has made this point, either: Back in 2013, Gates said that he originally intended for "control-alt-delete" to be a single button, but IBM got in the way. Back around 1980, when the two companies were collaborating on the original IBM PC, Microsoft couldn't get IBM to spare a dedicated button on the keyboard.

This is something that IBM PC co-creator David Bradley once copped to, during a panel discussion at a media event. 

"I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous," Bradley said — leaving Gates, also sitting on the stage, looking somewhere between bemused and annoyed. 

You can watch that moment here:

For all the second-thoughts about it, control-alt-delete has stuck around: It's still in current versions of Windows 10, now used primarily to access the task manager or to switch logged-in users quickly.

Get the latest IBM stock price here.

Original author: Matt Weinberger
Hits: 13
Rate this blog entry:
Apple Watch Series 3The design of the Apple Watch is unchanged since 2014.Reuters

Apple's new Watch made lots of headlines on Wednesday — but for all the wrong reasons.

The latest version of the company's wrist-worn gadget — the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE — was found to have an embarrassing glitch.

It turns out that the watch's LTE cellular connectivity, which is supposed to let users make phone calls directly from their wrists and has been touted by Apple as a key selling point, doesn't always work very well. 

Actually, it's a bug with the watch's Wi-Fi, but the end-result is the same: LTE doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Reviews of the device, which hits stores shelves on Friday, were merciless. Apple's stock fell as much as 3% at one point on Wednesday. 

Apple is working on a fix, which will be delivered in a future software release, an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider. 

But the issues with Apple's new watch don't stop at bad reviews, inconsistent wireless, or even a short battery life. (It can only manage an hour of talk time when using LTE.)

The problem with the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE is that it's a sign that Apple has lost sight of the principle that led to its meteoric rise: Apple doesn't sell technology for technology's sake. It figures out what people want to do (even when people don't know it themselves) and provides technology to make it possible. 

"Part of the hardest thing about coming up with new products is to figure out a really cool set of technologies that you can implement it with and make it easy, but also figuring out something that people want to do," late Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said.  "We've all seen products that have come out that have been interesting but just fall on their face because not enough people want to do them." 


Apple WatchAppleHarvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen puts this same concept in a similar way he calls the "jobs to be done" theory. In an over-simplified nutshell, consumers don't buy technologies or products, they pick things that can complete specific jobs for them. 

And recently, at least one Wall Street analyst has suggested that Apple has lost its ability to find new jobs to be done. 

"[Apple chief design officer] Jony Ive's Industrial Design Group has shown a knack for identifying jobs even before consumers know of their need. The iPod's '1,000 songs in your pocket' was an example. Moreover, Apple's functional organization and metrics appear to align with the jobs to be done approach. Still, the company seems to be struggling to identify the jobs for Apple Watch and Apple Pay," UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote last year. 

Beyond beach bums

apple watch marketingApple/ScreenshotSo what's the Apple Watch Series 3 With LTE's job? 

Here's the marketing copy Apple wrote on its website:

Answer a call from your surfboard. Ask Siri to send a message. Stream your favorite songs on your run. And do it all while leaving your phone behind.

Are these really jobs that consumers are trying to fill? Hardcore surfers who want to answer pressing business calls in the ocean seems like a niche.

Siri can already send a message from an iPhone, and there isn't a ton of evidence that that's a popular feature on the phone, anyway. Having the ability to leave your phone at home is a big deal for runners but that's still a subset of the general population. 

Here's how Apple COO Jeff Williams introduced the new watch earlier this month:

Now you have the freedom to go anywhere with just your Apple Watch. This has been our vision from the very beginning and we believe built-in cellular make Series 3 the ultimate expression of Apple Watch. Now you can go for a run with just your watch and still be connected. You can leave your phone when you go to the beach or just run a quick errand. And it’s really nice to know you can be reached if needed while staying in the moment.


For Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, we developed a custom wireless chip, we call W2. There’s nothing else like it. It delivers up to 85% faster Wi-Fi while being 50% more power efficient for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. And we’ve added a barometric altimeter. So now you get flights of stairs climbed and elevation gains after a workout. We’re also releasing an app for developers. This can be great for skiing and snowboarding acts. 

Of course, the biggest challenge of all was adding cellular. You see, our little watch is already packed, and you have to add antennas, radios, power amplifiers, a SIM card. And if you don’t do it right, it gets so big it looks like a house arrest bracelet and you’re not going to want to wear it.

Aside from this specific use case Apple keeps repeating that involves a beach bum who also needs to pick up important calls from the shore, the main sales pitch is focused on how impressive the device is technologically.

Apple Watch Series 3Apple

Selling the wrong thing

Sure, it's an achievement that Apple figured out how to make LTE wireless work on a such a small device, and managed to do it with same sized-battery as the previous, non-LTE model. But most people don't buy $400 gadgets because the cellular chip is so technically impressive.

One hour of "talk time" battery life may actually be a huge accomplishment given how power-hungry an LTE modem is. But for the average consumer, one hour of talk time sounds like a weakness, not a selling point.

The potential of the Apple Watch is easy to see. If it didn't have any battery issues, and it were slightly more powerful, it's easy to imagine it replacing a phone for some people. If and when it gets packed with more advanced sensors, it could become a critical tool that everyone needs to keep an informed eye on their health. And someday, if technology breaks the right way, you could leave your keys at home and use your watch as your universal ID to do everything from starting your car to unlocking the door at the office. 

But consumers don't buy the potential of a product, they buy a device to fill a specific job in their lives today. And adding LTE to the Apple Watch doesn't really solve any additional use cases, except maybe for a runner. Instead, it seems like Apple released this cellular watch because it was on a hardware roadmap from two years ago — "this has been our vision from the very beginning" — and because it could.

And that's ultimately a much bigger problem with the Apple Watch than some pre-release glitches. 

Visit Markets Insider for constantly updated market quotes for individual stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities and currencies traded around the world. Go Now!

Original author: Kif Leswing
Hits: 6
Rate this blog entry:

iMessage iOS 11A close-up of Apple's new app drawer in iMessage.AppleWhen you downloaded iOS 11, you may have noticed something new inside iMessage: a strip of app icons at the bottom of the screen. 

The icons, called an app drawer, include a brand-new GIFs button, quick access to the App Store, the ability to send songs via Apple Music, and more.

The new app drawer is Apple's way of building off the changes it made to iMessage in iOS 10. Back then, Apple introduced a special iMessage App Store and added drawing features. But iOS 11 takes things one step further — and it's going to make your life a lot easier. 

Here's how to use the new iMessage:

Original author: Avery Hartmans
Hits: 10
Rate this blog entry:

Posted by on in Entrepreneurship

For starters, let’s look at some Golden Retriever puppies instead.

I watched most of the Apple announcement last week (I was on vacation and hanging out waiting for Amy, so I just plopped down on the floor and watched Special Events on the Apple TV channel.) I fell asleep for a few minutes part way through it. I turned it off about halfway through the iPhone X announcement.

I’ve been an Apple user for many years now. Every few years, I switch to an Android phone for a month (whatever the newest model is) but always end up going back to my iPhone. Whenever each new iPhone model has come out (for at least the past five years) there’s been a mad rush among my partners to make sure all of us have a new phone the day they ship. I even sported a rose gold one during one upgrade cycle just because I could.

When Amy and I went to lunch after the iPhone 8 and X announcement, she asked me if I was going to get a new iPhone. I said no. I realized I was profoundly uninspired – both by the new phone and the way the Apple team presented it. I’d go so far as to say I was bored, which as a lifetime nerd, is unusual when Amy lets me hang out and do anything related to computers (including watching TV about computers.)

Amy then said, “I didn’t mean the 8, I meant the X.”

For some reason, I’m completely uninterested right now in the iPhone X. I don’t know why. It might be the presentation. It might be that’s it’s not available for another few months. It might be that I just spend too much money and time fixing my iPhone 7+ screen (twice) after dropping it. Why twice? Because the first time I stupidly sent it over to one of the non-Apple “we can fix your iPhone for you for less money” stores who replaced the glass but totally screwed up a bunch of other things (the home button, the touch dynamics, and the edge feel of things.) That resulted in me buying a new iPhone 7+. Dumb Brad – just to go the Apple store even if it’s five miles further away and you have to drive instead of walk.

On the other hand, iOS 11 just installed on my phone while I was writing this post. A cursory glance shows that it’s working fine but other than different fonts, new icon styling, shading on an iMessage reply, and a different control center, it looks the same so far. At least I can play with fun new apps like Occipital’s TapMeasure to see how ARKit works.

I’m perplexed by the current Apple release cycle dynamics. I know they’ll mint money with the new phones, but my feeling of disappointment lingers as a user. Suddenly, I’m more inspired by Amazon’s new hardware.

Also published on Medium.

Previous Post Next Post
Original author: Brad Feld
Hits: 5
Rate this blog entry:

September 19, 2017

Boulder has local elections every odd year. That means we are having a local election this year, with mail-in balloting starting on 10/16/17 and ending on 11/7/17.

Because it’s on an odd-year cycle, turnout has historically been relatively low (under 50%). As a result, a very small number of votes can have a big impact on the election results. This is especially important for the city council election.

A number of Boulder residents, including me, have organized a new group called Engage Boulder to help get out the vote in this election cycle. Between now and 11/7/17, you’ll see a number of suggestions, events, and encouragement.

Yesterday, Engage Boulder put out a short overview on why you should vote in the local election. It also had easy links to register for the mail-in voting. The overview follows – and, if you are interested – there’s a Get Out the Vote Event 9/27 at Oskar Blues in Boulder. To learn more about the upcoming Boulder election and related events, sign up to join the Engage Boulder newsletter.

Participating in your local election is critical. It’s up to all of the citizens of Boulder to elect a slate of candidates committed to practical, analytical decision-making and a vision for the city that is open, progressive, and forward-looking. With your help, this can happen.

Why Vote in Local Elections

(And Why You Should Encourage  All Your Friends To Vote Too)

Because your vote matters: We know that a few voters can drastically shift the outcome of an election. In the 2015 city council election, Jan Burton was only elected by 125 votes. Your vote can literally sway the election.

Because what local government does affect you:  It decides:

The safety and upkeep of our public areas.

The quantity and type of local housing.

The quality of trails for riding, hiking, and running.

The level of support for the art, music, and entrepreneurial scene.

How easy it is to get from home to work to play … and back.

How easy it is to start and grow a business, or a family.

And much, much more.

Because it gives you the power to create change: We become the city we imagine, and how we govern ourselves has a lot to say about it. So vote on behalf of the next generation of Boulderites trying to live affordably, work hard for a worthwhile company, and enjoy a high quality of life.

Because it’s easy: A few years ago Boulder started voting entirely by mail. You get the ballot around October 16. Why not take 15 minutes to fill it out? If you aren’t registered here, spend less than five minutes on the Secretary of State’s website to change that.

Because you try hard to be practical and forward-looking: We want our local government to also be practical and forward-looking.

Because you don’t need to spend hours researching the issues and candidates (unless you want to!):  Open BoulderBetter Boulder, and Engage Boulder have specific recommendations of who and what to vote for in the upcoming election.  If you agree with their general philosophy you may wish to leverage their research to vote their recommendations.

Mail-in ballots will be sent out on October 16th, register or check your registration online here. In 2013 and 2015 voter turnout was about 46% in Boulder. In 2016 it was 92%. We know you have it in you! Please share this email with at least five friends! 

Hope to see you at our Get Out the Vote Event 9/27 at Oskar Blues in Boulder.

Previous Post Next Post
Original author: Brad Feld
Hits: 3
Rate this blog entry:
There’s a lot going on in closing the gap between online signals about the behavior of prospects to accelerate sales cycles. This conversation is a fascinating view into that world. Sramana Mitra:...

Original author: Sramana Mitra
Hits: 13
Rate this blog entry:
According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the global market for hotels is projected to grow to $703 billion by 2021 from $534 billion in 2014 driven by the proliferation and surging...

Original author: Sramana_Mitra
Hits: 11
Rate this blog entry:
Sramana Mitra: You said you did your own company, but you built software for a particular large mining company. You were doing contract software services at a contracting company? Anthony Smith: I...

Original author: Sramana Mitra
Hits: 10
Rate this blog entry: