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 “citizentekk.com.” 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.