program

All Those E-mails From Pinterest Are Very Good For This Guy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/all-those-e-mails-from-pinterest-are-very-good-for-this-guy-2012-3


SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin

SendGrid has sent 30 billion e-mails in the three years it’s been in business — and none of them are spam.

SendGrid is an e-mail cloud service hired by Pinterest, Foursquare, Hootsuite, Spotify, job sites, daily deal sites and many other companies.

About 40,000 Web applications use SendGrid, says its CEO  — and Boulder startup icon — Jim Franklin. And none of it is spam because users sign up these e-mails, such as job openings, friend requests and the like.

Franklin says it even coaches its customers on how to do e-mail so people don’t report it as spam.

“One person sending e-mail to another is easy. But an app sending out e-mail is hard. E-mail is a problem for developers,” explains Franklin.

So it’s no surprise that SendGrid is growing at 10% annually — it now sends out more than 3 billion emails per month — and it recently landed Microsoft Azure as a partner. SendGrid will now be the default e-mail service for any app using Microsoft’s cloud, Franklin says. New Azure developers qualify for 25,000 free e-mails a month.

The company is one of the shining stars of the blossoming Boulder startup scene. It began in Boulder’s TechStars accelerator program in 2009 and has boomed from there. It recently landed raised $21 million in Series B funding in January — for a total of $27 million raised so far

As SendGrid uses Rackspace, Web apps that also use Rackspace qualify for 40,000 free e-mails per month.

All who know SendGrid are expecting an IPO in as little three years. One of its VCs, Bessemer Venture Partners, has done over 100 IPOs, notes Franklin. That’s if the company doesn’t accept an acquisition offer before then, says Franklin. 

And if you’re interested in one of the 30 job openings at the company, you might also want to know that the company motto is the 4H’s: Honest, hungry, humble, happy.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5887555/google-street-view-is-coming-to-the-great-barrier-reef

Google Street View Is Coming to the Great Barrier Reef Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural coral formation on Earth and you’ll soon be able to see it in all its glory—from your desk.

The Catlin Seaview Survey, a collaboration between Google, the University of Queensland, and the Caitlin Group, will perform a diagnostic on the reef system’s health via a panoramic underwater photographic and video survey. The program has already taken some preliminary surveys, though the group plans to undertake the projects main component—three surveys begin at 20 points around the reef—in September.

Images will be captured by a 360-degree camera (actually four conveniently positioned fish-eye lens SLR’s) affixed to the front end of an Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) for shallow surveys, and robotic subs for surveys between 30 and 100 meters. The group hopes to also study how and if the migratory behavior of tiger sharks, green turtles and manta rays has been affected by global warming.

Starting today Internet users should be able to access these images via Google Street View and will also be able to watch video of each study section on YouTube. [University of Queensland via New Scientist]

Image: Caitlin Seaview Survey

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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5885321/how-iphone-apps-steal-your-contact-data-and-why-you-cant-stop-it

How iPhone Apps Steal Your Contact Data and Why You Can't Stop ItThe internet is starting to realize something unsettling: our iPhones send information about the people we know to private servers, often without our permission. Some offending apps are fixing themselves. Some aren’t. But the underlying problem is much bigger.

Apple allows any app to access your address book at any time—it’s built into the iPhone’s core software. The idea is to make using these apps more seamless and magical, in that you won’t have dialog boxes popping up in your face all the time, the way Apple zealously guards your location permissions at an OS level—because fewer clicks mean a more graceful experience, right? Maybe, but the consequence is privacy shivved and consent nullified. Your phone makes decisions about what’s okay to share with a company, whose motivation is, ultimately, making money, without consulting you first.

Once you peel back that pretty skin of your phone and observe the software at work—we used a proxy application called Charles—watching the data that jumps between your phone and a remote server is plain. A little too plain. What can we see?

As Paul Haddad, the developer behind the popular Twitter client TapBot pointed out to me, some of App Store’s shiniest celebrities are among those that beam away your contact list in order to make hooking up with other friends who use the app smoother. From Haddad’s own findings:

Foursquare (Email, Phone Numbers no warning)
Path (Pretty much everything after warning)
Instagram (Email, Phone Numbers, First, Last warning)
Facebook (Email, Phone Numbers, First, Last warning)
Twitter for iOS (Email, Phone Numbers, warning)
Voxer (Email, First, Last, Phone numbers, warning)

Foursquare and Instagram have both recently updated to provide a much clearer warning of what you’re about to share. Which every single app should follow, providing clear warnings before they touch your contacts. But plenty of apps aren’t so generous. “A lot of other popular social networking apps send some data,” says Haddad, “mostly names, emails, phone numbers.” Instapaper, for example, transmits your address book’s email listings when you ask it to “search contacts” to connect with other friends using the app. The app never makes it clear that my data (shown up top) is leaving the phone—and once it’s out of your hands and in Instagram’s, all you can do is trust that it’ll be handled responsibly. You know, like not be stored permanently without your knowledge.

Trust is all we’ve got, and that’s not good. “Once the data is out of your device there’s no way to tell what happens to it,” explains Haddad. Companies might do the decent thing and delete your data immediately. Like Foursquare, which says it doesn’t store your data at all after matching your friends, and never has. Twitter keeps your address book data for 18 months “to make it easy for you and your contacts to discover each other on Twitter after you’ve signed up,” but can delete the data at any time with a link at the bottom of this page. Or a company might do the Path thing, storing that information indefinitely until they’re publicly shamed into doing otherwise. Or worse.

We need a solution, and goodwill on the part of app devs is going to cut it. All the ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? dialog boxes in the world won’t absolve Apple’s decision to hand out our address books on a pearly platter. iOS is the biggest threat to iOS—and nothing short of a major revision to the way Apple allows apps to run through your contacts should be acceptable. But is that even enough? Maybe not.

Jay Freeman, developer behind the massively popular jailbroken-iPhone program Cydia, doesn’t think Apple’s hand is enough to definitively state who gets your address book, and when:

“Neither Apple nor the application developer is in a good position to decide that ahead of time, and due to this neither Apple’s model of ‘any app can access the address book, no app can access your recent calls’, nor Google’s method of ‘developer claims they need X, take it or leave it’ is sufficient.”

Freeman’s solution? Cydia’s “one-off modifications to the underlying operating system” that we deal in, nicely transfers this control back to the user.” In other words, we can’t trust Apple or the people that make apps—so let’s just trust ourselves to control how iOS works.

Freeman left us with one, final, disquieting note. Shrewd devs and others with the knowhow have been able to dig through app traffic to find out of they’re shoveling around your address book. But there’s no easy way to do this—and if a dev really wants to sneak your data through the door, there’s technically nothing we can do to stop him: “There are tons of complex tricks that can be used to smuggle both information in network traffic and computation itself.” It’s a problem fundamental to computer science—once the data’s in a dev’s hands, he can conjure it away, too small to be noticed by App Store oversight in churning sea of other apps.

Unless Apple keeps him from getting that information in the first place by letting us all make informed decisions with our phone and the private life poured into it. Your move, iOS.

Photo: Motorolka/Shutterstock

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Disney considering 28-day rental window, because ‘On Stranger Tides’ was that good

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/08/disney-28-day-window/

That sound you can hear is the studios dashing around as they look for a new scapegoat. Disney’s got Redbox and Netflix in its sights as it declares plans to impose a 28-day window before it’ll make its titles available for rental. Despite conceding that the studio hadn’t seen any impact on overall DVD sales, CEO Bob Iger pointed to a 16 percent drop in quarterly revenue compared to 2010 as the motivation. It’s also collecting splinters in its backside as it watches to see how well digital locker service UltraViolet fares with consumers before committing to join the program. Of course, given the legitimacy of First Sale Doctrine, it’s possible Redbox will do as its done with Warner titles and just buy ’em at retail — as long as it can cover its costs as it does so.

Disney considering 28-day rental window, because ‘On Stranger Tides’ was that good originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 08 Feb 2012 18:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, February 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Disney considering 28-day rental window, because ‘On Stranger Tides’ was that good

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/08/disney-28-day-window/

That sound you can hear is the studios dashing around as they look for a new scapegoat. Disney’s got Redbox and Netflix in its sights as it declares plans to impose a 28-day window before it’ll make its titles available for rental. Despite conceding that the studio hadn’t seen any impact on overall DVD sales, CEO Bob Iger pointed to a 16 percent drop in quarterly revenue compared to 2010 as the motivation. It’s also collecting splinters in its backside as it watches to see how well digital locker service UltraViolet fares with consumers before committing to join the program. Of course, given the legitimacy of First Sale Doctrine, it’s possible Redbox will do as its done with Warner titles and just buy ’em at retail — as long as it can cover its costs as it does so.

Disney considering 28-day rental window, because ‘On Stranger Tides’ was that good originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 08 Feb 2012 18:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink LA Times, Home Media  |  sourceSeeking Alpha  | Email this | Comments

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Thursday, February 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Not Enough Data To Explain Why Doctors Are Leaving Medicare

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/medicare-2012-1


Doctor

The government is having a hard time conducting a full review of physicians who have opted out of medicare, according to a memo released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The evaluation sought to answer what type of physicians opted out, whether the number of physicians opting out increased or decreased over time, and why the physicians chose to opt out. 

According to deputy inspector general Stuart Wright, the evaluation was not completed because Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and legacy carriers do not maintain sufficient data

While CMS provided the Office of Inspector General (OIG) with 7,900 providers ranging from 1998 to March 2011, only one out of 10 MACs and one of six legacy carriers provided OIG with all data elements required by CMS. Consequently, the OIG claimed it could not sample opted out physicians and interview them. 

The memo implied that the number of physicians opting out will increase in the future, considering “the potential for legislated decreases in Medicare reimbursement for physician services. ” It briefly references a 2011 August report published by the Texas Medical Association, which reported that 50 percent of Texas physicians are considering dropping out of Medicare program altogether. 

This trend is nothing new. TMA has released another report in March 2011 that showed that 34 percent of Texas doctors are not accepting new Medicare patients or have limited the number of doctors. Similarly, a report by AARP released in February 2010 surveyed 413 Idaho physicians and found that 17 percent have completely closed their practices to new Medicare patients.

The Physicians’ Foundation has published numerous reports on the topic. A 2008 survey reported that 12 percent of physicians have closed their practices to Medicare patients and the 2010 survey reported that 52.2 percent of physicians said that health reform would cause them to “close or significantly restrict their practices to Medicare patients.”

Now See: Why doctors are loosing money >

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Google strikes deal to bring 27,000 Chromebooks to US schools in three states

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/26/google-strikes-deal-to-bring-27-000-chromebooks-to-us-schools-in/

It remains to be seen if they’ll be the big game-changer in education that Google hopes they will be, but the company is making some progress at getting its Chromebooks into schools. The latest push is a deal with three US school districts, which will see some 27,000 Chromebooks land in the hand of students in Iowa, Illinois and South Carolina. As CNET reports, South Carolina’s Richland School District Two is making by far the biggest investment of the lot, ordering 19,000 Chromebooks that will be used as part of a three-year program for students in the third through twelfth grades. As for Google itself, it still isn’t being too specific on the total number of Chromebooks now being used by schools, noting only that “hundreds” of schools across 41 states are using them in at least one classroom.

Google strikes deal to bring 27,000 Chromebooks to US schools in three states originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Jan 2012 00:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, January 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Sell Your Book in the iBookstore and Apple Won’t Let You Sell It Anywhere Else [IBooks]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5877736/sell-youre-book-in-the-ibookstore-and-apple-wont-let-you-sell-it-anywhere-else

Sell Your Book in the iBookstore and Apple Won't Let You Sell It Anywhere ElseSelling a book with Apple’s iBook Author program is now a one-way ticket to Apple being the only place you can sell the book. Maybe selling your book on iBooks isn’t such a great deal after all.

Dan Wineman of Venomous Porridge went to publish his first book from within the iBooks Author application when he was met with a curious notice. Once a book is made available for sale in the iBookstore, it can only be sold through that venue.

A quick look at the iBooks Author EULA reconfirms the dialog box’s diabolical message:

(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.

Ugh, the worst part is that you never agree to anything when you install the application. The EULA never appears when you install. Apparently, you implicitly agree to the EULA simply by using the software. If you’ve worked for weeks on a book only to discover you can’t sell it anywhere else once you publish it to the iBookstore, you’re gonna be pissed.

Apple is jumping into the world of publishing here. If you had a deal with Random House to sell your book, you wouldn’t be able to have Penguin Publishing also sell it. These deals, however, are transparent. The restrictions don’t just appear as you prepare to submit your manuscript. Apple is assuming rights over your content in the worst possible way. [Venomous Porridge]


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Thursday, January 19th, 2012 news No Comments

specialized channels with niche and original content

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/08/youtubes-got-big-plans-for-web-tv-specialized-channels-with-ni/

YouTube’s come quite a long way from its roots as a repository for random videos from the public. It’s gone from “Chocolate Rain” and the Tron guy to streaming Disney classics and now creating original, quality content. The New Yorker spoke extensively with YouTube’s Global Head of Content Robert Kyncl about the site’s future plans, and YouTube’s got its sights set on grabbing a big slice of TV’s $300 billion pie. Kyncl thinks the future of TV is in niche content, and YouTube’s original channels are just the vehicle to deliver it direct to your digital door. The site is commissioning people and companies to create the channels (as opposed to individual shows or pieces of content) which gives the creators freedom to program their channels as they see fit — all YouTube asks is that they provide a certain number of hours of programming per week. This production model is apparently pretty attractive to content producers, given the talent that’s on board and the amount of content that’ll be rolling out over the next six months.

The idea is that all the original content will get people watching YouTube for longer periods of time, and in turn grant more opportunities to reap ad revenue. Of course, these specialized channels don’t provide the wide advertising reach of traditional television, but they do allow advertisers to target very specific audiences with focused ads. That presumably provides them with better bang for their buck. Time will tell if YouTube’s new plan will win the war against traditional television and web TV (including Kyncl’s former employer Netflix), but free, quality on-demand content certainly sounds good to us. Get a fuller accounting of Kyncl’s vision at the source below, and feel free to sound off in the comments if you’re picking up what he’s putting down.

YouTube’s got big plans for web TV: specialized channels with niche and original content originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 08 Jan 2012 06:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news 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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