Top Startup and Tech News Today

Top Startup and Tech News Today

Top Startup & Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed curated from across the web by CitizenTekk


1.War on Leaks Is Pitting Journalist Vs. Journalist

In 1969 Daniel Ellseberg, a man with access to military secrets found documents that exposed government actions in a lost war, decided to share them with the world.   This was the publication of the Pentagon Papers.  Although he was investigated and indicted he has become a hero and is seen as a journalistic icon.  Today Bradley E. Manning and Edward J. Snowden take his place.  These men did not experience the same type of accolades.  Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison, and Snowden is hiding in Russia.


Criticism may be partly due to the fact that its difficult to tell whistle blowers motives.   We can also see this through the journalist involved with them.   Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks who allowed the documents to be published has experienced strong criticism.


For example this week, Michael Grunwald, a senior national correspondent at Time, tweeted “I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.”


2. The Banned #Hashtags of Instagram

Instagram users are risking identity theft by publishing photos of their full, un obscured indentification on hashtags like #license and #passport.  Now it is coming into question if Instagram should prevent searches on hashtages such as license and passport in order to stop identity theft.


Instagram has already prevented searches before.   When proanorexia accounts begun using hashtages such as #proanorexia and #thinspiration, in order to protect users from unhealthy lifestyles instagram made those hashtags unsearchable. But instagram also blocks searches where crude hashtages such as #porn and #ass are displayed.   This influenced the writers of this article to search further as to what other hashtags block users from searching.  This led to a long list of hashtags including #bang, #jailbait and #XXX.


 3. Ex-Soviet hackers play outsized role in cyber

The Soviet Union has become a place where is it easy to hack a phone, order a cyber attack on a competitor’s website or to steal banking information.  Services offered on Russian-language websites such as or Forum.evil offers a look into the world of Russian criminal underground which is costing Western firms billions.  One of the most wanted men in the U.S for cyber crimes are Russian, including a man from Latvia, which used to be part of the Soviet Union.


An example of this phenomenon can be seen in a banking card fraud spree that cost companies such as J.C Penney Co,  and Jetblue $300 million.  The perpetrators were Russian.


There is a low risk of being prosecuted so highly educated and skillful but under-employed programmers take advantage of the opportunity to turn hacking into profit.


This is a country where wages are low and the cost of living is high.  In a place where the world’s best mathematicians are produced its very tempting to enter the world of online crime.


“People think: I’ve got no money, a strong education and law enforcement’s weak.  Why not earn a bit on the side?” said Alexei Borodin, a 21-year-old hacker.


By targeting hackers abroad, Russian authorities are willing to watch hackers develop tool to take advantage of computer vulnerability, which they can use later for espionage.


4. Startups Struggle with Focus on Quick Returns

South Korea has become Asia’s fourth largest economy due to quick results.  However its desire for quick results has led to an aversion which causes a lack of South Korean start ups.


However in order to reduce its reliance on the manufacturing industry South Korea will be looking to startups.  This has caused the government to “encourage more young people to create their own businesses” as opposed to going to large corporations or the public sector.


$2.9 billion is being funded for  the venture, but the nation is still a long way from being its own version of Silicon Valley.  This is not because of a lack of capital but because South Korean culture values quick return on investments.


“Ventures needs patient and courageous capital” Greg Moon, chief executive and president of SoftBank Venture Korea said at a recent seminal in Seoul, referring to Koreans’ tendency for seeking quick returns-Korea Real Time


“Venture Capitalist and bankers at seminars on startups also noted that there is a lack of space for entrepreneurs to network with each other and with venture capitalists as well as a struggle to attract the smart people to startups.


5. Startups Gain Appeal as Some Japan Inc. Name Fades

Defectors from corporate Japan believe they have found what will be the Country’s next big manufacturing success.  Like most startups, Japan’s can be found in shabby bare-bones set ups where its worker are fueled by optimism and a sense of purpose.  However, in Japan this startup’s talent includes the caliber of companies such as Mitsubishi, Michelin and Nissan.


Although two years prior he worked in electronics for Panasonic Corp, Kohshi Kuwahara 26, is now at Terra Motors Corp., a little known startup that wants to take the world by storm with its stylish electric scooters.  Kuwahara felt a deep sense of frustration at big Japanese companies and their rivals such as South Korea’s Samsung and america’s Apple.


“If you’re stuck in a sysem that promotes just by seniority, it’s living a slow death like animals on a farm” said Kuwahara. “I wanted to be in a tough competitive place”. -ABC News.


Although Japan has developed some of the world’s least hospitable conditions for starting a new business, its culture of guaranteed lifetime employment at a household-name corporation is no longer the unquestioned ideal.


Ventures are sprouting again after a decade filled with high profile failures and a noticeable focus on manufacturing.  “Facebook and Google they are not.  They are Sony and Toyota, all over again-but with young fresh faces”-ABC News.


6. Amazon Web Services Outage Hits Instagram, Vine


This weekend Amazon Web Services experienced some technical difficulties due to apps such as Instagram and Vine.


“On Sunday Afternoon, Amazon’s status dashboard reported “degraded performance” for its EC2 Web service in Northern Viriginia, as well as ‘connectivity issues for load balancers’ via Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), also in Northern Virginia”


This issue persisted for an hour.  By 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, Amazon reported that the problem was due to a partial failure with a network device that resulted in a packet loss.  “The networking device was removed from service and we are performing a forensic investigation to understand how it failed” Amazon said.  The service was back to normal by 6 p.m.


However, this problem affected popular apps such as instagram.  Users wanted to filter snaps of beach outings, afternoon drinks, what they were eating because it was the last days of summer.  Without Instagram they couldn’t do that.


“We know many of you are having trouble loading Instagram.  We identified the issue and are working to fix it ASAP.  Thanks for holding on” Instagram tweeted yesterday.


7. Hacker-Artist’s Mantra: ‘Fun Makes the Politics Go Down’

Evan Roth  has been called a prankster, a rabble-rouses, as well as an enfant terrible but the Michigan-born artist prefers “hacker-artist” despite the negative connotations the first half of that term holds.


He explains to All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden that the hacker community sees hacking as a gift giving culture.    As he explains “Thats something that has to do with the playful, clever interventions into existing systems”-NPR.


Roth’s work has been seen at top museums and galleries worldwide, but he also wants to appeal to people who are bored at work and online.  He does this by using a mantra “fun makes the politics go down.”  An example of this is being able to view people driving around in a fake Google car.


In order to do this he collaborated with colleagues at the Free Art and Technology lab(F.A.T) using a rental car, duct tape, cardboard and a few google decals.


“The result was a video featuring a fake Google driverless vehicle breaking rules with impunity.  They got lost, ran over traffic cones, almost hit bicyclists, and drove donuts in front of Google’s offices in New York City.  ‘For me this was a hack’ says Roth ‘But for me the end goal…is personal empowerment”-NPR.

Sarah Jayne Brown


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