Category Archives: Truth in Tech

Truth in Tech Ep 11: Girls Don’t Make Passes at Creeps Who Wear (Google) Glasses

Our weekly series, Truth in Tech, is now a podcast! So you can listen at your convenience – at your desk or on-the-go.

Claire and I wade through a lot of tech news. Usually we tweet about what we’re reading, but 140 characters doesn’t leave room for much nuance. So here we gather the most interesting tech stories from startups to tech giants to acquisitions to delightful new apps, and breakdown what they all mean for the startup scene. On the slate this week:

Yahoo! acquires Summly  (created by a then 15-year-old boy) for $30 million.

Plus, shocker: 15-year-old boys kinda suck at media relations. Gawker reams the poor entrepreneur and publishes his less than stellar emails.

In Boston: Hubspot Acqui-hires 2 companies on their way to an IPO.

In New York: 500 Startups opens an office/coworking space.

YCombinator’s 2013 Demo Dayinvokes, well, crickets.

PayTangowants to bring payment to your fingertips by Continue reading Truth in Tech Ep 11: Girls Don’t Make Passes at Creeps Who Wear (Google) Glasses

Truth in Tech Ep. 10: Acquisitions, Drones, & Starbucks Square

Our weekly series, Truth in Tech, is now a podcast! So you can listen at your convenience – at your desk or on-the-go.

1. Acquisitions Galore:

Pinterest Buys LivestarLivestar amalgamates reviews for restaurants, movies, and music from reputable sources such as newspapers, local news blogs, Facebook friends, or people in your contact list. The acquisition cost wasn’t revealed, but Livestar did have some top investors and $2 million in funding

Babbel Startup buys PlaySay: Babbel is a language learning startup. PlaySay is a English/Spanish learning app for the iPhone where you can have real conversations with pronunciation feedback. Again exact amount of buyout not revealed, but Babbel’s goal is to break into the US Market.

2. Google launches Keep on Android and Google Drive: Keep is Google’s version of Evernote that syncs to your Google Drive. It’s android only at the moment, but wired predicts an iOS version soon

3. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday on the privacy implications of tiny, cheap drones.

“The drones, or unmanned aerial systems, have already helped the police find missing people and county planners measure the growth of a landfill. But they could also be used by drug dealers, pedophiles and nosy neighbors, the witnesses and a senator said.” Currently, only government agencies and police departments can fly drones, but the FAA will have rules in place for commercial use by 2015.

4. Starbucks’ Square Deal

Square may bill itself as the simplest way to pay–but Continue reading Truth in Tech Ep. 10: Acquisitions, Drones, & Starbucks Square

Staff Picks: Apps to Use, News to Read on the Commute

Credit: tjba.comOnce a week I snoop around the office, bothering my coworkers with questions on what they’re reading, listening to, consuming, or any other random inquiries I’d like to subject them to. Sometimes they even respond.

The questions:
 1. What did you read this week?
2. What is the latest app you are all excited about?
The answers:

David, CEO of Riparian Data

1. Reality is Broken

2. We’ve used GroupMe pretty extensively this week at SXSW and it has worked out well. GroupMe is a free group messaging app for your mobile device.

Christina, User Experience Designer

1. Would you buy Gucci off your Smartphone?

2. Little Inferno has been fun over the weekend. It takes about 15min of play before getting into the story line though.

Ozgur, Software Engineer
1. I read this article on Mysterious Bacterium Found in Antarctic Lake. Although, I just saw this blog post that disputed it, saying there was not actually a new bacteria. So now I don’t know what to believe.
2. Although it is not an “app,” I have been looking into the functional programming language F#.

Kristen, Sales Rep

  1. Florida Anglers Liven up Spring Break by Reeling Sharks onto the Beach
  2. Poshmark. It’s like ebay for clothes, but much easier.

Annie, Executive Account Manager

1. What Most School’s Don’t Teach by

2. Seconds – interval timer/training


Nick, IT Admin Continue reading Staff Picks: Apps to Use, News to Read on the Commute

The Robots Can Have the World, Just Let Me Keep Drinking in It (a SXSW Countdown of sorts)

Headed to SXSW this year? Well, you’re in good company. So is our partner company Riparian Data. Not only are they unveiling their new email app, Gander, they’re on a mission to synthesize the latest and greatest innovations and A-list after parties in one pithy newsletter. Check it out here and get a SXSW preview below.
sxswi parties

​Image via FEED

Author: Claire

At standup today (cuz we scrummy like that), Christina said that one of the things she needed to do was to sign up for SxStuff.

To which I said, in my head and on this here blog, “bout dang time, girl.”

To which she said, in real life, “but there is just so much stuff—it’s overwhelming.”

As the type of person who eschews the Bloomingdales and Barney’s Warehouse sales for shoebox boutiques selling three variations of sailor shirts, I feel her pain. Sooo, I went and compiled a list of Stuff You Ought Not Miss. A couple lists, actually—one for our newsletter (sign up here!) and one for the blog. The latter is more of a potpourri, but it’s a kicky one, je vous promis.

Non-perMissable sessions:

1. Open-source Empathy: Humans as Dynamic Systems

  • By: Daniel Buckley (b t)
  • Why: It’s about our resistance to interpersonal connection, through the lens of media system interaction. I think.

2. Creating a DIY API: Open Source for Makers

  • By: Kate Covington (t)
  • Why: Open source fashion sounds like an awesome way to stick it to a) LVHM and b) counterfitters. Why buy fake when you can make?

3. Hacking Cities for a Better, Sustainable Tomorrow

By: Abhi Nemani (b t), Bryan Walsh (b t), Erika Diamond (in), Rachel Haot (t)

Why: Community-driven digital and technological engagement is a cheap and effective way to improve cities, and learning about some of the civic-improvement apps from some seriously smart, keyed-in citizenry seems like a good way to kickstart innovation in your community.

4) Is There an Alternative to Ad-Supported Social Networking?

  • By: Dalton Caldwell (b t)
  • Why: Last year, Caldwell published a critique of ad-supported social networking, and proposed a subscription-based, ad-free solution. Then he built it. While I have to confess I haven’t managed to make part of my daily routine (unlike Quibb), I’m eager to hear what Dalton has to say about it.

5) Industrial Revolution 3.0 and the Future of 3D Printing

  • By: Mike Senese (b t) and Peter Weigmarshausen (b t)
  • Why: If 3D printers really are the harbinger of the next industrial revolution, I want to know more about them and they impact they’ll have, and if I should like, take a hardware engineering class or something. And who better to tell me than Wired’s senior editor and Shapeways’ CEO?

Girrrl, you don’t go to Sx for the sessions, you say. Fiiinnne, you want parties? Here are some of the best (and booziest).

Non-perMissable parties:​ Continue reading The Robots Can Have the World, Just Let Me Keep Drinking in It (a SXSW Countdown of sorts)

This Week in Tech News

This week in tech news: Harvard medical school rakes in a cool $1 million to study NFL injuries and Foodspotting app is acquired for $10 million. But nothing beats the priceless price of putting your head on a PEZ dispenser.

Boston: Harvard Medical School Awarded 100mil by NFL Players Association to Study football injuries. The program’s goal is to “improve the health and well-being of NFL players, while further elucidating the risks of participation in American football.” – the research to improve players’ health will include studying concussions, treatment for ACL injuries, and heart function.

Continue reading This Week in Tech News

Stuff Tech Blogs Do That Bother Me

[cross posted from Riparian Data]

Credit: Business InsiderSome people thought Gourmet’s demise was a nail in good journalism’s coffin. Others said no, it’s just another sign that the web is the future of journalism, good and bad. Today, the consensus seems to be that the latter group was right. And, happily, there is quite a bit of good journalism on the web. Short form, long form, data-based, image-based, crowd-sourced… all can be found, relished, and easily shared.

Unhappily, there is also quite a bit of drecky journalism on the web. I can’t tell you if technology really does take up a lion’s share of drecky journalism in general, or just a lion’s share of the drecky journalism I read. Regardless, there’s an awful lot of it, fueled by both the traffic-winner-takes-all maxim and tech companies’ willingness to stroke the egos of tech reporters in exchange for headlines. The following 12 tics are the icing on my insufferable cake. If you have any of your own, or just want to tell me to shove it and stop reading these sites if I despise them so much, feel free to let me know in the comments!

1. Slideshows. Especially slideshows that are one image/page. If gddamn Buzzfeed doesn’t use them, you don’t have to.

2. Attributions listed below the post. This is shady and shoddy journalism, for it at best de-emphasizes and worse obfuscates the source. (1)

3. Headlines that are two sentences of keywords, strung together with a minimum of prepositions.

4. Headlines that follow this formula: [adjective] data startup [startup name] lands/gets $[number] Million in Series A/B/C to disrupt [noble cause like social network for cats] market.

5. Headlines that follow this formula: “I’m quitting/Why I quit [currently cusping or widely-used technology]”

Continue reading Stuff Tech Blogs Do That Bother Me

This Week in Tech

Truth in Tech Series

Claire and I filter through a lot of news on the interwebs. While not all of the stories are pertinent to what we do here at SoftArtisans and Riparian Data (see Gander and OfficeWriter), there is still a mind-boggling amount of industry articles worth talking about. To keep them from rattling around in our subconscious and to stay up-to-date on the latest trends (and because Claire and I don’t hang out nearly enough), a new series was born. Every week we’ll bring you an unbiased perspective on the ever-changing technology landscape, covering industry topics from mobile to startups to news you may have missed. So join the conversation as we talk acquisitions, new apps worth using, and anything else that tickles our fancy.

With two videos under our belts, we’re talking Instagram, Zipcar, and Continue reading This Week in Tech