Inventors

Google Algorithm Busts Chinese Car Theft Ring Entirely by Accident

Source: http://gizmodo.com/google-algorithm-busts-chinese-car-theft-ring-entirely-895334541

Google Algorithm Busts Chinese Car Theft Ring Entirely by Accident

Every sci-fi movie about inventions rising up to take over the world is built upon one unchangeable seed crystal: the moment when the technology does something its inventors never predicted. As The Verge reports, that’s exactly what happened to Google engineers in 2010, with a truth-and-justice twist — Google’s AdWords software exposed a Chinese car theft scam.

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Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 news No Comments

Two Viral Product Successes in Months – Cronut and Frozen Smores

Cronut – The dessert is made from sheeted pastry dough, like a croissant, and fried like a doughnut. The pastry is then stuffed with vanilla cream, rolled in sugar, and topped with icing.It sounds incredible.

And from Dominique Ansel’s website, it looks pretty incredible too. Check out those flaky layers and gooey exterior:

 

Needless to say, we were thrilled when a friend offered to deliver a cronut to our office.

It looked fresh, and gave off a sweet doughnut aroma when we opened the box.

cronut delicious sweet croissant donut

 

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/jfeSZs1EbU0/cronut-inventors-frozen-smore-2013-7

The inventor of the cronut just released his latest creation: a frozen s’more.

Dominique Ansel’s latest creation comes on the heels of his popular croissant and donut hybrid. We went to the Manhattan bakery to sample the creation for ourselves (review to come).

“Ansel’s rendition encases the vanilla ice cream with a chocolate wafer and marshmallow mixed with dondurma (a thick, Turkish ice cream); skewers the whole thing on an applewood-smoked willow branch; and then torches it,” writes Dominique Zamora at Foodbeast.

According to Grub Street, the s’more and ice cream confection costs $7.

Here’s Ansel torching his new invention:

dominque ansel

And here’s a close-up of the s’more:

frozen s'more

 

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Friday, July 12th, 2013 news No Comments

GE Is Freeing Up ‘Thousands’ of Patents to Fuel Your Imagination

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5994291/ge-is-freeing-up-1000-patents-to-your-imagination

GE Is Freeing Up 'Thousands' of Patents to Fuel Your ImaginationToday, at an event in New York, GE announced that it will open up “thousands” of patents from its library of some 20,000 to inventors using Quirky’s crowdsourced product development platform. That means that if you’re bright enough, you can use a GE patent to invent something. GE will still collect royalties on your brain power, but they promise not to sue you.

Quirky, for those of you unfamiliar, is an online social platform that people use to develop relatively simple products with the help of others, and bring them all the way to retail. In general, the products that make it all the way through the platform’s gauntlet of development stages are simple little gadgets that make your life better but don’t exist. GE is, well, you know what GE is.

Starting next month, GE will being rolling out patents and make them available through a searchable online database. Initially, the “Inspiration Platform” will launch with a few hundred patents and eventually ramp up to several thousand. Quirky says it plans to have some products available in time for Black Friday.

The two companies announced some crazy sounding tech like “optical systems,” “barrier coatings,” and “Telematics and asset tracking technology” that will be available, but the whole list of usable knowledge isn’t yet available. Even if all the patents aren’t that exciting, opening up knowledge is always a good thing. Now, it’s up to you to do something with it. [Quirky]

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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 news No Comments

Switched On: Higher stakes, higher ground for crowdfunding, part 1

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/24/higher-states-higher-ground-for-crowdfunding/

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

DNP Switched On Higher states, higher ground for crowdfunding, part 1

The power of crowdfunding is that, by aggregating relatively modest donations from what is often hundreds or even thousands of backers, consumers can help artists and inventors turn ideas or concepts into reality. The Pebble smartwatch that set the record for funds raised on Kickstarter was noteworthy for breaking the $10 million barrier. That money, though, came from nearly 69,000 backers.

Today, the two biggest crowdfunding destinations, Indiegogo and Kickstarter, offer different approaches to what gets presented on their sites. Indiegogo is a completely open site; there is virtually no screening of projects. Kickstarter, on the other hand, is a curated site. Projects must meet a range of criteria. As co-founder Yancey Strickler recently explained at Engadget Expand, the roots of Kickstarter were in the funding of creative and social pursuits. Kickstarter has been a haven for artists such as photographers looking to create a photo book or musicians seeking to cut a first album or create a music video.

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Monday, March 25th, 2013 news No Comments

RFID Parcel Sensor Knows If Your Delivery Has Been Dropped

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5982404/rfid-parcel-sensor-knows-if-your-delivery-has-been-dropped

RFID Parcel Sensor Knows If Your Delivery Has Been DroppedWhen I was a Christmas postman, many years ago, some of the bored guys in the sorting office’s loading bay liked to play a boisterous game of “catch” when parcels marked “video recorder” and “fragile” arrived. How they guffawed when one landed in the bottom of a skip with a sickening crunch, ruining somebody’s Christmas.

I was reminded of those days when a bargain iPod dock, bought online, arrived recently – dead to the world. Was it dead out of the factory gate? Or had the parcel suffered some physical abuse in transit? Now a British invention company called Cambridge Consultants has developed a sticky radio tag that will spill the beans on dodgy delivery firms.

Called DropTag, the gadget combines a battery, a low-energy Bluetooth transmitter, an accelerometer and a memory chip. Stuck on a parcel as it leaves an e-commerce warehouse, it logs any g-forces above a set risky shock level that it experiences. The idea is that when the courier puts it in your hands, you turn on Bluetooth on a smartphone running a DropTag app and scan it before you sign for it.

A readout then shows what’s happened to the parcel in transit, with the option of a graph that shows you if the box has been mistreated – and when. If it has clearly been beaten up, you don’t sign and refuse delivery. The $2 tag will run on a coin battery for “many weeks”, the inventors say, and there may be incentives for the parcel deliverer to reuse it after scanning. DropTag comes from Cambridge Consultants’ wireless group, which last year unveiled a Bluetooth-powered automatic gear changer for a bike.

At the moment DropTag is a solution in search of a user. British patents are already filed, but Cambridge Consultants hopes a major delivery chain or e-commerce firm will buy into the tech at the massive Hannover Messe tech fair in Germany in April.

Image by C.WisHisSoc/Everett/Rex


RFID Parcel Sensor Knows If Your Delivery Has Been DroppedNew Scientist reports, explores and interprets the results of human endeavour set in the context of society and culture, providing comprehensive coverage of science and technology news.

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Thursday, February 7th, 2013 news No Comments

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5882940/the-best-sites-to-raise-money-and-get-your-ideas-off-the-ground

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground If you have a brilliant new idea for an mobile app, a handy gadget, a smartphone case that does something cool, an album you want to produce, or even a comic book you want to publish, it’s never been easier to get your idea in front of a lot of people and raise money to make it a reality. There are dozens of free and cheap sites designed to boost new ideas, but not all of them are best for your idea. Here’s how to pick the best one for you.

Sites like Kickstarter and many others all cater to people with ideas they believe can make it big, but who need money to get them off the ground. The community supports the idea, everyone chips in, and with luck and enough interest and the right amount of money, the product gets made and the contributors usually get first cut or a special perk. Still, even though Kickstarter gets a lot of press, it’s not necessarily the best one for your idea.

Photo remixed with an original by dinadesign/Shutterstock.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For The Most Attention: Kickstarter

Kickstarter is the major player in this space, and for good reason. The service gets a lot of media attention, and even though the majority of Kickstarter projects don’t go anywhere, it’s become the go-to destination for anyone looking to crowd-fund their projects thanks to a few high-profile projects that managed to raise a lot of money. It’s not the biggest crowd-funding community, and it’s not even the one with the best track record, but it’s incredibly easy to use, popular with angel investors and people looking for the next big idea to invest in and get behind, and well organized. Idea creators can set up their profiles for free, founders can pledge as much or as little as they choose, and no money changes hands until time runs out or the project is fully-funded. If the project is fully funded, Kickstarter takes 5% off the top, and the rest goes to the inventor or creator to make their idea happen.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For App-Builders, Game Designers, and Developers: IndieGoGo

IndieGoGo is actually larger than Kickstarter, and more people there use it for more types of projects. The site takes 4% off the top of your fundraising if you reach your funding goal, and encourages creators and developers to offer perks to the community for funding their projects. Unlike some of its competition, IndieGoGo also has its doors open to charities and non-profits. The site is particularly popular with software and app developers, although all sorts of creative projects are up on the site for funding, including documentary and independant films, education projects, and international aid projects. IndieGoGo also has the benefit of being a global site, available to users around the world.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Inventors and Gadget Creators: Quirky

Quirky has an excellent track record, and some of our favorite gadgets started as Quirky ideas. The process of getting your idea in front of the Quirky community is a bit more involved than at other sites. You submit your idea, the community weighs in first on whether or not it’s an idea that could be made into an actual product before it goes in front of the world for fundraising. That’s the key, while other sites focus on creative endeavors, most Quirky projects are tangible products that can be manufactured and sold. The Quirky community is active and engaged in idea building and product design and development, and a lot goes on long before the idea ever gets on the site for presale fundraising. Pricing is on a sliding scale—people who get in early can get lower prices than people who get in later, and once the product is made, Quirky can work to manufacture it themselves, or work with a major retail partner to get it on store shelves everywhere.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Musicians: Bandcamp

We touched on this topic a bit in our previous story on how to release music online so music-lovers can get to it, but while SoundCloud was one of our favorite options for releasing your music for free, allowing people to remix it, and comment on it, Bandcamp is another great solution for musicians looking to set up a free storefront on the web to allow people to buy and download their music directly. Artists and fans both love Bandcamp, and the service handles the entire payment platform, from set-your-own-price albums and songs to artists with a mix of free and paid songs in their discography. Artists can also sell merchandise through their stores, and Bandcamp takes a slice off the top depending on the artist’s sales. Fans and music lovers on the other hand get a social platform where they can follow and interact with their favorite artists, get alerts when new music is released, and discover new artists through their friends.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Crafty Types: Etsy

Crafty types are already well aware of Etsy and how the platform works. When people who made their own hand-made goods, arts, and custom crafts wanted an online storefront that catered more to their needs than a general auction site like eBay, Etsy was born. The site has dozens of categories, including clothing, art, jewelry, household accessories, and more. While most people know Etsy as a craft-lovers haven, the site is also home to a number of stores that manufacture products you wouldn’t associate with “arts and crafts,” like wall decals, custom motorcycle helmets, and even edible crafts like homemade cookies and beef jerky. Where other similar sites help you get seed money for an idea, Etsy is more of a traditional store, meaning you have to have your idea off the ground and your product ready for sale—even if it’s a single item—before you can sell it.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Global Users: RocketHub

Many of these sites limit their membership to users in the United States, but RocketHub is one of the largest global communities dedicated to crowd-funding new ideas. RocketHub combines a traditional crowd-funding site where individuals can promote and raise money for their own ideas and pet projects with a funding bank where people with inspired ideas can connect with sponsors, non-profits, and funding groups who are willing to share some cash with a particularly motivated or passionate individual. The service works much like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo—sign-ups are free, and the site takes a 4% cut.


Different crowd-funding sites have different goals and different audiences. Depending on the type of idea you have and the audience you want to reach, you have an array of sites to choose from, and this is just the beginning. For example, if you have a random request or want to get the crowd’s help in funding a life event like a wedding or a vacation, you can try GoGetFunding, and if you’re an industrial designer, Yanko Design is a great resource for like-minded designers.

Whichever site you choose to get your ideas off the ground, make sure it’s one where the community is aligned with and supportive of your ideas, and you’ll have no trouble raising the funds needed to make it a reality. Have you used any of these sites to crowd-fund a project or idea? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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