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Archives for: August 2013

There were 36 posts published in August 2013.

Top Startup & Tech News: 7 Things You Missed

Here is the top startup and tech news for August 29th, 2013 curated across the web by CitizenTekk


1. Google Glass Gets Road Test


It’s hard to justify having Google Glass when mobile phones are available. Google might be better off promoting Glass as an automotive option; after all, driving while employing a mobile phone is dangerous, and illegal in some states. In Google’s FAQ, Google notes that whether or not one can drive with Glass on “depends on where you are how you use it.”


Google has noted that Glass has “potential to improve safety on our roads and reduce accidents.” Likewise, Mike Arcuri of Inrix (a traffic data company) agrees, stating that many Inrix employees have been intrigued by the combination of Glass and driving. Acruri stated that he has been using Glass with custom Glassware in his car for over a week now and that it seemed “very safe” to him, especially when compared to the “constant temptation most drivers have” of using their phone while driving or during red lights. “When I wear Glass,” he continues, “the screen interface isn’t in my eyes and the voice interface is very good… not really distracting.”


2. Chinese Smartphone Maker Hires Google Executive

Smartphone maker Xiaomi has hired Huge Bara, a prominent Google executive, to lead its international expansion plans. Bara was the vice president overseeing the product team for Google’s Android mobile OS. Canalys analyst Pete Cunningham states that this “underlines the trend we’re seeing in the market. The Chinese vendors are going to play a big part in sharing the future of the industry.” Bara wrote on his Google Plus that he intends to help Xiamo “expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally” and that is “excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.” China uses the Android operating system more than any other when it comes to mobile phones.


Xiamo controlled 5% of the smartphone market in China in the second quarter, which puts it behind Samsung’s 18% share. A big selling point for it is its price; Xiamo sells phones for roughly $180 to $300, which less than half the price of the higher-ended smartphones from Samsung or Apple. Although Xiaomi’s phones are not necessarily considered to be superior, they have “created a lot of buzz,” says Counterpoint analyst Tom Kang. “The differentiation you can do now with hardware or software is very marginal… the future will be about marketing.”


3. Patni scions Arihant and Amit betting big on data analytic startups in India


Patni brothers, Arihant and Amit, have created Hive Technologies, a venture that will incubate and invest in data analytic startups in India. This venture is based off of a similar US-based one, in which the Patnis hold stock.


The Patni facility in Bangalore will invest anywhere from $200,000 to $2 million in established data analytic startups that have revenues and customers. Their goal is to “capture the new wave of technology” says Arihant Patni. This is not their first venture into the world of funding. In 2011, they launched Nirvana Venture Advisors, which was a $75-million fund that specialized in internet ventures.

Industry experts say that focusing on big data startups make sense. The Patnis have planned out to invest in four to five startups every year for the next two years, with an exit horizon planned out for eight to ten years. They are scouring for big data analytics startups focused on the US market.



4. Startups Show Off More Polished Form After Summer Boot Camp

Wednesday marked Techstars Chicago’s fourth annual “Demo Day.” Demo Day is the result of a summer boot camp for early-stage startups that put them through 13 weeks of intensive coaching. Participating startups, all with a focus on digital Web and mobile technology, are selected from a pool of roughly 900 applicants. They represent a range of industries, from fitness to health care. Some are further along in revenue generation and venture capital fundraising than others.  The 30 alumni of Techstars Chicago have raised more than $35 million collectively. Some have even been acquired; Chicago-based GrubHub fought a food odering app called Fango, Danish gaming accessories company SteelSeries acquired a button and joystick maker that could function on a mobile device screen, Joystickers, and etc.

For mentors, Demo Day is a chance to see how far startups have come in several months. For startups, Demo Day is a change to showcase their product and test out the waters. “I have a great change to work with companies,” says Amanda Lannert, a mentor who coached seven of the ten companies. “I am so inspired, because if they get that feedback, they reinvent themselves.”


5. A Social-Media Marketing Primer Even Your Mom Can Handle

Social media has become the brand experience where customers try to connect – but, there are so many outlets and so many possibilities so which should you try? Start off with the big sites, and then expand from there!

So, get friendly on Facebook. Facebook is all about loyalty, so update frequently with pictures, initiatives, and simple interaction with your biggest fans. Make sure our regular customers use Facebook before you venture into it though. Use Facebook to show the more personal side of your brand.

But, show your business savvy on LinkedIn You can network with other brands, share advice, and head hunt for new talent. Help create a strong network with Linkedin.

Use Twitter to make your mark as a thought-leader. You can learn a lot about your field and industry through Twitter.

Engage viewers on Youtube by creating a Youtube channel to create content for your customers.

Give your customers a pace to be by creating a Foursquare location. Then users can “check in” and share where they are or even collect special offers.

Use Pinterest to make your brand look pretty. If your products are on the aesthetically-pleasing side, make sure to get it Pinned.

How “cell tower dumps” caught the High Country Bandits—and why it matters

On February 18, 2010, the FBI field office in Denver issued a “waned” notice for the “High Country Bandits.” The High Country Bandits were made up of two middle aged men with a penchant for robbing rural banks in northern Arizona and Colorado, grabbing a few thousand dollars from the cash drawer, and then escaping. The FBI found a witness to one of the robberies who reported seeing a suspicious man hanging out by the bank, talking on his cell phone. So, the FBI asked a judge to approve a full “cell tower dump.”

In a cell tower dump, wireless operators will turn over the records of every cell phone that registered with a tower at the time; then the FBI would sort for numbers that stood out. The FBI asked a federal magistrate judge to approve four of the cell tower dumps. However, tower dumps are usually obtained without a warrant, instead using a “court order” that had judicial oversight but had a lower burden than “probable cause.” This could mean that the government could get warrantless location information for people not under investigation. The bandits may have been caught through this method, but what does this mean for the privacy of the American people?


7. How the Syrian Electronic Army and other hacker groups are attacking news Web sites

A hacker group called the “Syrian Electronic Army” asserted responsibility for hacking the New York Times and limiting access to their web pages for nearly 48 hours. Twitter was also attacked – there are still reports of problems on Twitter. Such a large-scale attack on major outlets is not very common and is considered to be a very tricky thing to do. So how did the Syrian Electronic Army do it? By locating a key vulnerability of the Web.

Nearly all servers that publish content have a numeric address assigned to them. But that’s inconvenient to type in. So, the Domain Name System, which acts as a directory system, was created, which allowed a numeric address to be assigned with a website name, such as “” The Syrian Electronic Army was able to disrupt these major outlets by getting into the records of Melbourne IT, which registers domain names and stores directory records for Web Sites. The hackers then changed the information on these records, which gave them the power to prevent Internet browsers from seeing the New York Time’s website.



Is Open Source A Good Business Model For Your Company?

While terms like “cloud,” “big data,” and “devops” may be over-used and over-hyped, it should be clear to anyone in the industry that we are undergoing a fundamental shift in the way IT is delivered, consumed, and even conceived. What is also clear is that this new era in computing is being both driven and dominated by open source.

Ask almost anyone what the most significant and exciting technologies are, almost anywhere in the stack, and you are likely to hear the name of an open source project. Ask about Big Data, and you will most likely hear Hadoop or Cassandra. Databases? MongoDB , CouchDB, and Riak. Storage? Gluster and Ceph, come to mind. Networking? OpenFlow and now Open Daylight. Cloud as a whole? OpenStack seems an unstoppable force. Mobile? It’s hard to ignore the tidal wave that is Android.  Application delivery and devops? Take your pick of Chef, Puppet, Salt, Jenkins, or Docker.


As Eric Knorr recently wrote, “We’ve come a very long way from the old saw that ‘open source doesn’t innovate.’ Instead, you might ask: Is innovation in enterprise software happening anywhere else other than in open source land?”


Of course, any discussion of open source inevitably comes around to someone asking, “While this may be great for innovation, can open source be a sustainable business model?” As someone starting his second stint as CEO of an open source startup, I can answer with an unequivocal, “It Depends.”


Open Source makes sense for an increasing number of situations, especially when a company is trying to disrupt proprietary incumbents or when (as is true almost everywhere) there is a limited window to become prominent in a rapidly changing ecosystem. Indeed, I would argue that, in many situations, trying to make it as a small open source company is far less risky than trying to gain acceptance as a small, proprietary company.  Open source brings its own unique challenges, however, and certainly isn’t appropriate for everyone.


With that in mind, here are some questions to ask if you are considering becoming an open source company. The more that you answer “yes” to, the more likely that open source is the right strategy for your company.



Am I trying to sell into a market with entrenched, proprietary competitors?

If so, being open source can get you into accounts that would never speak to a proprietary startup. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to compete on battlegrounds that favor you over competitors with larger sales forces, marketing budgets, etc.


Am I trying to enable an ecosystem and are there important open source projects around me in the stack? 

If so, being open makes it much easier to form and integrate into an ecosystem.


Do I have a clear idea of how to add value on top of the open source version, while making the open source version robust and valuable?

There are many interesting variations on the open source model, but they all depend on having both a big “top” of the funnel (lots of people using, trying, or loving the open source product), as well as a clear reason for a meaningful percentage of those people to pay (e.g. a managed service offering, support). If the only way to get people to pay is to make the open source version substandard, you won’t likely succeed.


Will being open source make me radically better than the alternative or will it just make me a cheaper alternative to an already good solution?

The best open source companies use being open to make themselves radically better, at least for certain markets or applications. For example, MySQL wasn’t just cheaper than the proprietary RDBMs, it was better for PHP and helped enable an entire stack (LAMP).


Is the nature of my project such that “many eyes” and “many contributors” will make it better? 

In my experience, this is more likely to be true of fundamental technologies, and less likely to be true for things dependent on an elegant user interface.


Is my project such that being tested at very large scale is key to success?

While you may never get paid by large universities or national labs, there are few places better to prove your product out at massive scale.


Do I understand the implications of being open source on development, QA, sales, marketing, financing, etc.? 

Being open was key to Gluster’s success, and has been key to how Docker is approaching the market. The decision has had significant implications for all aspects of the company. You can’t be “half open” any more than you can be half pregnant. Make the decision wisely.


Taking Control Of Online Identity, One Picture At A Time

What personal information is the government getting from web companies? Which friend may be filming what’s going on right now through cameras integrated into glasses?

Is a potential future employer going to use web search to find an embarrassing photo from an indiscreet party moment?


We are more concerned than ever about online privacy these days. And for good reason. Now is a great time to consider the respect we all expect, and deserve. We can re-establish what are the right online behavioral norms.


At some point or another during the last five years, many people have heard from a desperate friend, or relative, or significant other, or spouse, or colleague. It’s that urgent plea to take down a recently posted photo for any one of many reasons ranging from not looking good in the particular image, to concern about having been at an inappropriate location. And sometimes that’s addressed too late, and the damage has been done.


We all have different opinions about what’s sensitive and what’s not sensitive for online viewing. Ultimately, shouldn’t we all be able to decide for ourselves how and where and in what we appear?


This seems a basic online right. A person should have control over access to his or her own image, without having to resort to hiding behind a mask or running about under cover of darkness (the effect of which is wiped out anyhow by flash photography).


Fortunately, today’s technology can give us back control over where we appear, just like today’s technology gives us capabilities to spread ourselves seemingly everywhere, if that’s what we choose. We are starting a new company to address this need by leveraging these capabilities, and below is how we do it.


Facial recognition software is getting really good. You may notice that when a photo gets uploaded, certain online services immediately, automatically and pretty accurately tag the people in it. And when something’s wrong, or missing, finding that and filling it in manually is easy.


Combining these facial recognition techniques with today’s frictionless communication can drive a simple system of requesting and getting permission for the people in the photos. All faces can be blurred except for people granting permission for the particular photo. Once someone approves of being shown, the face becomes unblurred.


The person posting the photo should be able to first put it in a sort of holding area while requesting permission, to wait and see how approvals come in, before sharing the picture.


Also, there could be rules to make the whole system run more smoothly. For example, some people may decide to always allow photos of themselves to be posted. Some might decide to allow only for certain people to do the posting of them without requiring approval, or maybe everybody except certain people.


Another powerful element of this system is capability to change one’s mind. Maybe that keg stand picture was great while in college, but it’s not consistent with the sort of image being projected during a job search. This service would be a central repository where someone could go through all permissions granted, and elect to retract certain ones (or, just as easily, grant new permissions). If the system acts as a central platform for permissions, interacting with major online services, then it can be one place to drive how a person appears via Facebook, Twitter, Picassa, Instagram and everything else.

Ultimately this system is about respect. Its principle is that people should have more control over how they themselves are presented online. By practicing this, the person posting extends this courtesy to every impacted individual, and is freed from having to go through the mental gymnastics of anticipating which picture might aggravate which person who’s in it. That’s the movement we’re starting.


Danger of Surveillant Brought By Google Glass

Ever since Google Glass came out, people have been worried about how easy it is to record video covertly with the technology.  Sure, it could protect the safety of war-reporters or witnesses who capture footage of a crime in progress - but what about creep shots?

What about the paranoia that can arise from the constant threat of surveillance?


Some have hailed the rival company GlassUp as an affordable alternative for those who want smart spectacles but are uncomfortable with the filming capabilities of Google Glass.  While Google Glass can do basically everything a smart phone can do, GlassUp is receive-only – meaning that it mainly is a tool for passively reading text messages, emails, and status updates.  Although it does promise closed captioning abilities, it is not really a recording device.  Most importantly, its current model does not have a camera.


But that may be changing soon.  I spoke recently with Francesco Giartosio, the founder and CEO of GlassUp and he confirmed that there will be version of GlassUp with a camera next year.


“We are very focused on the no-camera version…but we have been asked to do a camera version so much that we will do it” Giartoso said.


He assured me that he is still concerned with respecting privacy rights, claiming that people will always be able to tell when someone is filming with GlassUp because the camera will be very noticeable and there will be a light that turns on when it is recording video.


However, when I asked Giartoso if GlassUp would ever use face recognition technology, he gave a rather noncommittal response, stating that it largely depends on the developers and it would probably be a long time before that technology is in the works, anyways.


Google has already banned facial recognition software on both Google Glass and on its Android mobile devices – which means that people cannot access your facebook and your online image history just by looking at you with Google technology.  The ban, however, is only a company policy—not a law.  It is only a matter of time before another software developer makes a less ethically designed version of the smart-specs and churns out a huge profit with it.


At the moment, GlassUp seems the less ominous choice – but who knows if it will stay that way if demand favors the spyware route for the technology?  For all our worries about smart specs, the ability to film in secret might be the main attraction for many to the technology, in which case, the noticeable camera of GlassUp might make it sell less than the competition.  Despite high ideals, it may be difficult for GlassUp continue protecting privacy rights against such competition.


Unless they stay in a novelty niche market, the competition for smart spec developers is just beginning.  The market will decide what product is the most popular.  What it won’t decide, however, is what product is the most beneficial to society.  Should we really wait for the market to set the rules for this product?


Your Online Personal Brand Between Jobs

Most businesses have a “brand” to protect, but did you know that people have brands, too? Your personal brand is the way other people identify you, quantify you, and see you and it’s your responsibility to keep it in tact.


But in an age where email and social media dominate the mediums of communication, what can you really do about your brand when you’re looking for a new job?


Actually, a lot! Your personal brand is the best tool you have in your arsenal when it comes to finding a new job and attracting attention from the right kinds of people. Here are a few lessons for maintaining your online brand between jobs so you can find the position you were meant for.



Start by Taking Inventory

Around 57% of Americans admit to “Googling” themselves. The most startling thing about this statistic is that 43% of Americans aren’t looking themselves up! In order to hone your online brand, you have to have a baseline which means knowing exactly what’s connected to your name. Whether it’s a research article you wrote in grad school or a mug shot from Vegas, you can’t change what you don’t know.


Edit What You Can

Once you know where to start, clean up everything you have access to that an HR manager might be able to see. This includes the obvious: removing unprofessional Facebook photos and updating your LinkedIn resume as well as the not-so-obvious such as deleting offensive Tweets and removing blog comments that may not seem appropriate.  Unfortunately, one negative online “find” by a hiring manager can do more damage than 100 positive finds can do good. And you better believe if you can access the information, a highly trained HR professional can too.


Cultivate the Brand You Want

Once you’ve cleaned up your profiles, it’s time to fine tune them. Let’s say you’re after a position in the journalism field…doesn’t it make sense that your online brand would reflect that interest? Avoid being bland by Tweeting or sharing Facebook links to articles you find interesting, and make an effort to connect with industry pros using every social media outlet available. In the same way Apple’s brand conveys a cool, modern vibe, you want your own brand to convey something about who you are, too whether it’s assertive, informed, or outgoing.


Fill in Any Gaps

What’s not part of your online personal brand can say as much about you as what is. For example, if your goal is to find a job in marketing and you don’t have any social media profiles aside from Facebook a hiring manager may think twice about whether you’re qualified. After you’ve adjusted your privacy settings and corrected any red flags, be sure there’s enough information about you out there that your personal brand feels intentional. You have more control over what appears online than you think, and if you don’t take advantage you may come across as un-savvy or worse, lazy.


Managing your personal brand doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take consistency. What appears online can change in a matter of minutes and it’s your job as a prospective job seeker to actively stay on top of your online reputation. Think of it as a sort of digital resume and treat your online brand with due respect.


Super-promotion: 3 Tips and 3 Services for Stepping up Your Event Promotion

There is no doubt about it; event planners must use social media and tools to get the word out about their events. If this is news to you and/or you need to brush up on social promotion basics, read this article by Hubspot’s Rachel Sprung.

If you are ready to boost your promotion efforts, these tips and services will get you going creatively.

Tips and Tricks:

1. Create shareable, dynamic video.

If you are relying on text, you’re behind the times, to get people’s attention online you have to use images and video. If well executed, video is the best way to catch your potential attendees’ attention. Your promo video should emphasize the benefits of the event to the potential attendees, they want to know how your event is going to change their lives/careers/businesses.  Flashing pictures of your speakers and the venue alone won’t cut it.  Testimonials from last year’s attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, or anyone involved in your event are a good starting point.

2. Bank on your speakers for great social content before and during the conference.

What better way to build up buzz for your event than to give “free samples.” Invite your event’s speakers for interviews, guest posts, and/or tweet-ups prior to your event.  Not only will you draw attention to the value of your event and drum up interest for specific sessions, but you’ll also help prepare attendees for discussions during the event and provide them with fuel to spark networking opportunities.  During your event, you can foster engagement by asking your speakers to chime in on Twitter threads or offer alternative perspectives in the event newsfeed, adding immediate value to sessions.

3. Use Twitter, but be creative.

Promoting your event on Twitter is nothing new, but your prospective attendees will appreciate (and respond to) a creative twist. Why not build a Tweet contest around your event? For rewards you can give away free VIP access, free accommodation, lunch with the keynote speaker, or just a few tickets. Giveaways will get people excited about your event and help build some buzz in the critical few days before your event. Alternatively, you could arrange pre-event tweet-ups to ignite discussion on a key topic that will be covered at the event.  In either case Twitter is a versatile platform and your tweets should reflect that.

Cool Tools and Services:


This is the social network for event attendees. Social activity is built around various events, which planners can add to the database of upcoming events. Within the community members can discuss and share before, during, and after the event. This platform also enables people who cannot attend a particular event to follow it and interact with relevant discussions and links. This is a great way to build a following from year-to-year.


Like, Conferize allows people to explore events and track them. The spin here is that Conferize emphasizes speakers as well so that prospective attendees can track the activity (past and present) of speakers they are interested in. This tool may be a great resource for building buzz if you are featuring your speakers during pre-event promotion. On this note, encourage your speakers to update their profiles here and begin engaging for the event.


While not strictly a promotional platform, Picatic is a cool way to crowdfund your event. The freshness of the method can be a great selling point for all or part of your event. Additionally, supporters of crowdfunded events tend to be evangelists for your event and will help promote the cause to their social networks. You may not fund the entire event this way, but special activities or speakers come to fruition with minimal risk using this platform.

What tools and/or creative techniques have you used to promote an event successfully?

Next week:

In the last two posts, we’ve mentioned engagement a bit. But, the frequency and quality of participation of attendees at your event is the barometer of event success, and the subject deserves more attention. Next week, we’ll be featuring services and tips for making the engagement levels at your next event go through the roof.


5 Best Businesses For College Students To Start

As a young entrepreneur who started numerous businesses in high school and college, I learned quite a bit about what it takes to be successful. I also quickly learned that some types of businesses were harder to start in college than others.

Some of the reasons why these businesses were more difficult were due to the large costs of starting up and commitment required. Looking back, I wish I had saved my most complex businesses for later on and focused on the simpler ones.
In this blog article, I will share the 5 best businesses for college students to start and manage:

1. eBooks

 Unfortunately, I only learned about passive income earlier this year. If you don’t know what passive income is, you should learn about it immediately. Passive income is the art of creating products that make money on their own long-term without requiring much maintenance.
The cheapest way to get started with passive income is through writing eBooks. If you do all the writing yourself, there really is no cost to start. Platforms such as Amazon’s KDP, iTunes iBooks, and others have emerged making it very easy to create digital books.
You look for niche topics (things people are really searching for) and create informative books on those topics. You put together a nice looking cover, set a price, add some keywords (very important because this is what people will search for when trying to find your book), and your eBook company is now in business.

2. Mobile Apps

The second step above eBooks in the passive income stream machine is mobile applications. Initially, I only built mobile apps for other businesses/individuals. However, some of my friends were publishing apps of their own and found huge success.


One friend of mine made over $1 million in 12 months from publishing a massive quantity of apps. Apps are great because they are an easy passive income stream, require a small amount of startup capital, and are a growing market.
You don’t necessarily have to learn how to code to build mobile apps. You can simply use websites like eLance, oDesk, Guru, and other outsourcing platforms to get other professionals to build out your apps. You simply look for niches, come up with ideas for apps and then outsource them.

3. Tutoring Company

 In high school, I got extremely frustrated of all the jobs I had so I decided to tutor kids. I wasn’t an A or B student, but I was still able to get quite a few tutoring gigs. I focused on tutoring elementary kids and while I wasn’t an official company, I’m sure I could have done a lot better had I created my own entity.
I wasn’t passionate about tutoring so I moved on from it quickly, but it’s a great way to make money in college. Starting a tutoring company has very low startup capital but can provide very good pay. As a tutor you can charge anywhere from $10 to $75 an hour depending on what subjects you can teach.

4. T-Shirt Company

 The most popular business started by people under the age of 25 are t-shirt companies. T-shirts are something that everyone wears and is usually easy to get started with. Thanks to the internet, there are no real startup costs associated with starting a t-shirt company.
Websites like Zazzle or TeeSpring allow you to upload designs without any up-front costs. You take your designs and you upload them on the site only having to print shirts when they get ordered. While t-shirt companies are easy to start, it should also be noted that they have an extremely high failure rate due to the competitiveness.

5. Electronics 

 An easy business to start is one centered around electronics. You can start by buying used electronics such as phones, computers, televisions, game systems, etc. and re-selling them for a profit. You can start by investing a small amount of money to buy a couple items.
As you keep selling more and more items, you can grow your inventory and the amount of services you offer. You can go from just buying/selling to offering repair services and even opening up your store. Electronics are an easy market to enter thanks to sites like Craigslist, eBay, etc.
As a college student, you’re going to be strapped for cash so you always want to find business ideas that are easy and cost-effective to start. In this article, I shared the 5 best businesses for college students to start.
Help a fellow student - just tweet/ share/ Like ….
CitizenTekk Top 7 Things You Missed Today

Top Tech and Startup News: LinkedIN University, - citizentekk

1.  “LinkedIn Growing Up: Opens Up To High School Students Over 13, Launches Dedicated Pages For Universities Worldwide”


LinkedIn has launched “University Pages,” which are dedicated pages for universities that people can add to their profiles. LinkedIn hopes that this will expand how people use its site and expand it past a resume-style job-seeking site and to tap into a younger user base. Coinciding, younger users will start to be accepted on September 12.


LinkedIn describes the new initiative as “the first step[s] towards a longer vision to help students, parents, and university faculty get a head start on career mapping.” University pages will allow universities to reach out to prospective students, current students, and to alumni. This larger network can also help users find jobs and mentors. Students can use this to help plan their future, including figuring out what careers they want to pursue and which universities will benefit them the most.


2.  “Researcher: Facebook Ignored the Bug I Found Until I Used It to Hack Zuckerberg”

Security researcher Khalil Shreateh from Palestine found a bug that let him post onto other people’s walls; naturally, upon his discovery, he reported the find to Facebook’s security team. They ignored him. Shreteah tried to inform them a second time of the problem, and was ignored again. So, in order to make the bug known, he exploited it and posted a message onto Mark Zuckerberg’s wall.


“Sorry for breaking your privacy … but a couple of days ago, I found a serious Facebook exploit.” Shreteah posted.


Here’s a photo of the message from Shreateh”


Soon after, a member of Facebook contacted Shreateh. The bug was fixed shortly after. For his posting on Mark Zuckerberg’s wall, Shreateh’s account was temporarily suspended and he was denied any bounty fee payment. By posting to Zuckerberg’s account, Facebook rationalized, Shreateh violated Facebook’s term of service. However, despite this, the Facebook team asked him to continue helping them find bugs.


3.   “Germany recognizes Bitcoin as a “private money,” subject to capital gains tax

The German Finance Ministry has declared that Bitcoins are a form of “private money,” and as such, are a form of currency and should be subject to capital gains tax (a tax that stems from any profits made from Bitcoin transactions.). However, if a German taxpayer holds Bitcoins for over a year, then she or he is exempt from paying the capital gains tax. Taxpayers are expected to declare Bitcoins as part of their assets and income during their annual tax return.


4.   “iPhone 5S will come in gold & likely sport fingerprint sensor”

The iPhone 5S is rumored to come in a “gold” color option, a deviation from the current black and white standards of the iPhone. One possible reason for this change is that gold is a sought-after color option for products that sell in China; coloring the iPhone gold could help Apple reclaim its favorite “hypermarket,” after Chinese markets began to slip away over the past financial quarters.


iPhone’s Home button is also appeared to have changed; multiple hints from sources say that the iPhone 5S will include a fingerprint scanner on the home button. The technologies powering this most likely stem from the Apple-owned company Authentec. A fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S will help maintain security on your iPhone. If users are not fond of this feature, there is an option to disable the fingerprint sensor, found through the “Settings” app.


5.   “Dalton Caldwell: may not have won yet, but we are still fighting the good fight

When Dalton Caldwell first launched, everyone was dubious of whether it could reach success; people saw it as an attempt to build a paid replacement for Twitter, and thought it was doomed. Caldwell, though, believes that has succeeded with the market he wanted to appeal to – he believes that has created the prototype for a viable social-app ecosystem.


When was first launched, Twitter was going under fire for closing its network to third-party developers. Caldwell slammed this notion and instead, imagined a platform whose interests would be aligned with its developers. Developers could pay a monthly fee for access to this platform, so advertising and other forms of distractions wouldn’t be required to keep the platform running. Thus, was born.


Although is small, Caldwell says that he believes it is important and that the need for an open social platform is as large as ever. Facebook ad Twitter are clamping down on developers and increasing their security restrictions, and is doing the exact opposite.


6.   No More Helpless Damsels: One Gamer’s War on Sexism

Remember the “Star Fox” Franchise? Remember love interest Krystal? She was supposed to be the star of her own video game, until Nintendo decided she’s be better of being saved by a male hero. And she’s just one of many female video game characters being shafted for males. This is a reoccurring story and one Anita Sarkessian is exploring in her new web video series. Her show, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games takes a look into gaming and focuses on ten common female roles, from Damsel in Distress to Fighting Fuck Toy. “I would think I found the most degrading depiction of women ever—then a couple of days later I’d find something even worse,” she comments.


7.      How to help your startup turn a profit in 4 simple steps

Step One is to figure out your customer lifetime value. This will help you choose your sales channels. Your customer’s lifetime value will tell you how much you can make from an average customer during his or her purchasing lifetime with you. Once you know this, you can figure out how much you want to spend acquiring a paying customer.


Step Two is to choose the right sales channels. You can figure out whether or not you want to sell through direct sales (which will give you customer feedback right away, but is costly and time-consuming), resellers (which is slow overall), partnerships and marketplaces (where you have to work with people who are probably promoting your competition as well), inbound marketing (which is hard and has a long payback time), ads (and hope they are effective), or attempt to go viral.


Step Three is to test out your channels. Get an adviser and test out the channels you’ve chosen and measure whether or not they are effective and make the necessary adjustments.


Step Four is to focus and grow. It’s important to start with only a few sales channel, test them, and then hire the best sales and marketing people you can find to ramp them up. Worry less about sales and numbers and more about the people you’ve hired.


Why Cash Is Still King – And When Will Its Reign End?

Cash  - it’s almost become a dirty word – associated with avoiding taxes, reluctantly paying for cabs, and obnoxiously splitting bills 14 ways with you and your college friends at a restaurant.


Who carries it? Who even uses cash anymore? In a world of increased “electronification”, why is cash even needed?


To be fair, there is no doubt electronic payments are growing. 175 Billion – this was a recent number I read on a payments report on the EU, referring to the number of non-cash transactions that Europeans would make by 2020. The number here in North America was likewise comparable, and represented a strong trend towards electronic payments.


But further down in the article was a more subtle, but revealing fact that 60% of all payments in 2020 would still be made in cash. With some simple math, that means that over 200 Billion transactions will be made in cash 7 years from now. And that’s inclusive of 7 more  years of smartphone growth, as well as 7 more years “attempting” NFC.  And still: 1000 cash payments per person on average in the EU and in North America alone!


So why is this the case?  The challenge with cash is not for the person who uses it - the payer -  but rather the person who receives it – the merchant or payee. I will make a reasonable assumption that most payers by and large prefer electronic means of payment – credit, debit, ACH – over cash. But I feel we often forget that payments is a two sided ecosystem and, in most cases, the ability to pay electronically is not a choice the payer can make, but rather an ability that is either accepted or rejected by the recipient. And thus, the true growth of electronic payments is not about the person making that payment but the person receiving it. That’s why Square’s approach – arguably almost entirely merchant focused – is successful in pushing cash to electronic, while other approaches focused directly on consumer – Google Wallet, ISIS, any NFC play known to man - have yet to find success. Yes the consumer wants to pay electronically, but the merchant doesn’t; or does so reluctantly. Merchant wins. And cash prevails.


But if moving money to electronic means is mostly about the merchant, how easy will it be to create this “acceptance”? Unfortunately cash still has a strong set of incentives that I believe will be challenging to uproot.  For one - cash has the perception of immediacy: its very tangibility (although also a major flaw – expensive, dirty, easy to fake) creates instant trust, a message of “you’ve been paid right now”.  The removal of cash also comes with the addition of new costs – systems to take electronic money, software to account for it, and more. Of course, there are many costs to already accepting cash, but convincing someone that they are paying too much for status quo is always tougher than incurring cost for change.


Cash is also a market of its own. Like “technology” itself, eliminating cash means eliminating jobs. Now, of course, we can argue that jobs are also created, but largely creating an efficiency in the system means less processing and less labor required. To be clear, I still feel largely that removing cash is an advantage for consumers – a consumer win, no doubt. But in this instance the removal of labor is not always an easy hurdle to overcome for the recipients (especially in large organizations – think governments and the like).


On the whole, I believe that the incentives of electronic payments, although widely “proven” and backed by “data”, aren’t always strong enough to create behavior change, which, incidentally, doesn’t necessarily have a price.


So when will the reign of cash end? Certainly not anytime soon. But if there is a way to accelerate the growth of electronic payments, it will likely happen where consumer change meets merchant status quo. Put another way: giving consumers the ability to pay electronically without relying on the merchant’s ability to “veto” their choice, will create the biggest growth.


Measure Radiation Levels with a Mobile App

For the first time I visited Tokyo as a businessman in 1991. Then, I was there in 2011. The magnificent country with ancient and beautiful traditions and great passion for advanced high-tech. It happened that I created the idea of DO-RA while writing an article on environmental radioactivity after Fukushima disaster.


For this reason, on completing DO-RA R&D I looked at the land of the Rising Sun as a source of partners interested in production of DO-RA customized under the Japanese standards of aesthetic perfection.


I had a good luck and managed to include our team into the Russian delegation for the Russian-Japanese Forum, Technology, IT and Space section planned for February, 2013.


Two weeks before the forum, I happened to meet Mr. Mizuno, the President of Nisso Boeki. On learning about DO-RA, he demonstrated sincere interest and promised to introduce us to Japanese society and acquaint with Mr. Honda, the President of Honda Electronics that have facilities, competence and technologies required for DO-RA production. Thus, I went to Tokyo with the detailed schedule of meetings with potential distribution and production partners.


The Russian delegation to the Forum occupied nearly all places at the Aeroflot airplane. I had the best luck: the Hero of Russia the cosmonaut Yury Baturin sat next to me. He turned out to be an excellent company and an erudite. We discussed the space, the spacemen training, risks of spaceflights and details of everyday life at the space station, the radiation and, certainly, DO-RA for several hours. I told him how I had got a brainwave and demonstrated DO-RA functionalities to the cosmonaut. He liked much the idea and simplicity of the device.


The Forum opened on February 28. From the early morning, the lobby of a splendid hotel in the business centre of Tokyo next to the Palace of the Emperor was filling up by impressive Japanese clothed in expensive suits. By the official opening of the Forum all places were occupied; there were up to 10 Japanese businessmen per one Russian delegate. Such great interest to Russia and Russians was at the least surprising for me. I waited for my speech with some nervousness: I was not used to speaking to global industrial leaders and Japanese politicians. But as the questions from the audience were arising and hearing the applause that followed my speech, I was settling down understanding that I speak about important things valuable for the listeners.


At the plenary meeting I described briefly the idea of a portable gamma and beta radiation indicator integrated with mobile devices (smart phones, tablets and notebooks).


DO-RA device is connected to a smart phone through the audio jack and uses DO-RA.Soft application downloaded from the Web. DO-RA begins to operate as the application starts. It measures radiation every 4 seconds and constantly adjusts results within 60 seconds. Every 60 seconds the radiation background (the dose rate) measured for location, objects, food, etc. is displayed by the smart phone with the nominal accuracy.


There are several types of radiation. Alfa radiation is a flow of heavy particles made of neutrons and protons. This type of radiation becomes hazardous only after entering human body with inhaled air, food or through an open wound. Beta radiation is a flow of negatively charged particles that can penetrate into the skin for 1 - 2 cm. Gamma radiation has the highest penetration power. It can be stopped by a thick lead or concrete slab only.


Radiation hazard is caused by ionizing effect of radiation that transforms atoms and molecules to positively charged ions breaking chemical bonds of molecules of living tissues and causing irreversible changes.


Complete DO-RA set (DO-Ra. Classic, DO-RA.uni, DO-RA.chups). Source: SkRevlew

“Penetration into the core of the technology paradise is possible only through large and old companies connected with close personal relations between their managers rather than their business ties.”


Main DO-RA functions and how to measure radiation with a mobile app:

- Measuring the hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/annual equivalent radiation dose received by an owner of a mobile/smart phone;

- Warning on allowable, maximum and unallowable equivalent radiation dose by audible alarms/messages of a mobile/smart phone: “Normal Dose”, “Maximum Dose”, “Unallowable Dose”.

- Development of trends of condition of organs and systems of an owner of a mobile phone subject to received radiation dose;

- Advising an owner of a mobile/smart phone on prevention measures subject to received radiation dose;

- Receiving data (maps of land, water and other objects) on radiation pollution from radiation monitoring centres collected from DO-RA devices;

- Transferring collected data through wireless connection (Bluetooth 4.0) to any electronic devices within 10 meters.


If a mobile phone is fitted with GPS/GLONASS receiver, DO-RA develops reports on radiation background (dose rate) at location of its owner automatically. Collected data is automatically sent through communication networks (mobile, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth or wire line) for real-time processing and analysis to the radiation monitoring centre. Such centre for DO-RA devices on the basis of cloud platforms, such as Google App Engine or Microsoft Azure, is planned to be created by this autumn.


The radiation monitoring centre sends data (maps and radiation dose measurements) collected from DO-RA devices and other public sources.


DO-RA net to be created in the nearest future will be of great benefit for the whole mankind.


On the next day following the Forum, I had the meeting with Mr. Mizuno, the President of Honda Electronics at the plant. I made presentation of DO-RA project and device in the R&D centre for Honda engineers and managers. Then the President of the Company conducted a wonderful tour at the Company museum for members of our team. Then we and Company top managers went to the ancient Japanese restaurant with amazing food and furniture.


The visit was completed by execution of NDA and MOU between Honda Electronics, Nisso Boeki and OAO Intersoft Eurasia on DO-RA project development in Japan.


I must say that the MOU was a step for promotion of my project towards production and commercialization. On returning home, our team reviewed all architecture solutions of DO-RA prototypes fitted with Geiger-Muller meter: DO-RA.CIassic-GM, DO-RA.Uni-GM, DO-RA. Ultra-Blue-GM of various sizes. As for now, we delivered several IPC design material sets to Honda Electronics for study and adjustment of components under Japanese standards, as well as for modification of DO-RA. Classic-GM, DO-RA.Uni-GM devices. We agreed with Honda Electronics to mark DO-RA as a Made-in-Japan device with Honda Electronics brand on starting DO-RA production.

“Japanese disposition to details requires the maximum level of justification of offers. Enthusiasm and emotions are rather unfruitful.”

Vladimir Elin with managers of Nisso Boeki (at the left) and Honda Electronics. Source: the private album of Mr. Elin.

After such informative and useful visit to Japan we continue the active development of the Project and applied for the first stage grant in Skolkovo. At the next stage we are planning to create an absolutely new DO-RA device - an ultra-compact module with solid state silicon radiation detector. It will have sufficiently greater efficiency, if compared with Geiger-Muller meter. It is this DO-RA version fitted with the silicon detector that is planned to be produced in Japan jointly with Honda Electronics on completing the relevant R&D.


As for Japanese peculiarities, I was amazed by lack of any infringements, even minor ones, in any sphere of life. For instance, let’s consider the traffic management system - I did not see any accident in the week spent in Tokyo travelling to various locations by taxi. As for other violations, it looks like they are really absent.


Secondly, Japanese disposition to details requires the maximum level of justification of offers. Enthusiasm and emotions are rather unfruitful. Do not be too hopeful, when a Japanese nutates frequently in the course of conversation. It indicates attention and understanding, rather than agreement.


Thirdly, you must make a present, when going to negotiate any issue. Japanese value much any gifts made of natural materials. Initially we wanted to give a DO-RA device within the Russian doll set made of natural wood. Unfortunately, the manufacturer failed to produce it timely; and we had to improvise. We purchased gifts we think to be pleasant for Japanese (wooden boxes, birch bottles and other Russian folk goods.


Instead of any conclusions, I would like to share my findings related to Japanese business. We understood that penetration into the core of the technology paradise is possible only through large and old companies connected with close personal relations between their managers rather than their business ties. Moreover, any actions must be executed by clear and valid wording and documents - at first, you should discuss cooperation, sign documents, explain ideas within R&D centre, conduct marketing research, on the basis of which the risk management program will be developed. The funding is the latest issue to be discussed. The failure to comply with this sequence can destroy all results expected from such business collaboration.