This website is a collection of information that I find interesting. Scroll down to see short descriptions and links to more information. Feel free to contact me at if you would like to talk about digital, technology or developing cool things.


Heyward admits he has no idea whether the Guardian’s reporting on Whisper is accurate

10/19/14 9:09 pm

Finally, after days of dithering, the CEO of Whisper has admitted what we all suspected: He has absolutely no idea whether the Guardian’s reporting on his company is accurate. A short while ago, Michael Heyward tweeted : …which is excellent news except for the fact that, as Jay Rosen points out , Whisper’s Editor in Chief Neetzan Zimmerman already claimed to have investigated and determined that the Guardian’s reporting was a “pack of lies.” While we wait for the re...

84% Of Enterprises See Big Data Analytics Changing Their Industries' Competitive Landscapes In The Next Year

10/19/14 8:03 pm

87% of enterprises believe Big Data analytics will redefine the competitive landscape of their industries within the next three years. 89% believe that companies that do not adopt a Big Data analytics strategy in the next year risk losing market share and momentum.

By still failing to act, Michael Heyward allows the cancer inside Whisper to grow

10/19/14 7:56 pm

On Friday, I made the should-be uncontroversial point that Michael Heyward, the CEO of Whisper, should respond to the privacy scandal that continues to obliterate public trust in his company. Specifically, I wrote, Heyward needs to either make a clear statement in support of staffer Neetzan Zimmerman’s claim that the Guardian fabricated its reporting into Whisper’s user privacy policies, or he needs to refute it and fire Zimmerman. Only by making clear his own position&nbs...

So, what should we talk about on Monday’s PandoLIVE?

10/19/14 2:00 pm

It’s that time of the week again, when we pick the topics for Monday’s PandoLIVE . Sarah and I will be in the Rackspace studio from 5pm Pacific tomorrow and we’d love for you to join the discussion (877-959-6739). Right now, planned topics include: Whisper’s growing privacy clusterfuck GM’s hit and run The death of the SF Bay Guardian Matter’s long form reporting …but that’s just the start. What have we forgotten? Email or leave you...

10 Tips for Travelling with a Smartphone

10/19/14 1:38 pm

Travelling with a smartphone is incredibly freeing, and I don’t mean just having access to your email. There are some things to keep in mind, however...

Loly Adds A Supersized Emoji Sparkle To Your iPhone

10/19/14 12:18 pm

 Move over boring old static smiley face and wine glass emoticons, Loly is a new, bigger, prettier emoji app now available on the App Store. Online fashion pioneer Gina Pell created the new app to fill a need for the “chic and stylish” to have a better way to express themselves. Pell is the founder of early e-commerce fashion site Splendora. That got acquired by Joyus a few… Read More

A User’s Guide To Disrupt London 2014

10/19/14 11:18 am

Hard to believe that Disrupt London opens tomorrow! As always, TechCrunch has partnered with an amazing array of folks who promise to make your experience at the conference better than ever. Official Wifi Sponsor: Our wifi is sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield. You can find it using the network name “Cushman And Wakefield.” Official Hardware Alley Sponsor: Autodesk Manufacturing… Read More

Snapchat's First Advertiser: Messaging Service Is Like TV

10/19/14 10:00 am

Snapchat's first ad was creepy after all, but not in the way you might expect. The first ad to run on the ephemeral messaging service debuted on Saturday and promoted Universal Pictures' upcoming horror film "Ouija," which is based on the spooky board game. Snapchat had announced Friday that the service's first ad would appear in users' feeds over the weekend. The ad -- which can be viewed below as an animated GIF -- appeared under the "Recent Updates" tab in Snapchat users' frien...

Inside The Spotify – Echo Nest Skunkworks

10/19/14 9:38 am

 Truffle Pig is just one of the new musical inventions dreamed up at the sonic skunkworks born from Spotify’s $100 million acquisition of The Echo Nest. Deep inside Spotify’s New York headquarters, the team gave me a peek how the combined company plans to nail recommendations, hook other apps up with legal music, and meld human DJs with algorithms to surface the best songs from… Read More

Infected Flight Wins The Disrupt Europe 2014 Hackathon Grand Prize, Appilepsy And Seeusoon Are Runners Up

10/19/14 8:12 am

 It doesn’t get more exciting than this. Yesterday, we welcomed hundreds of hackers at Old Billingsgate in London for the Disrupt Europe Hackathon. They all have worked tirelessly for the past 24 hours in an awesome dungeon-like venue to come up with a neat, funny and smart hack. We could all feel the excitement in the air when the 89 teams took the stage to present a short one-minute demo… Read More

Movie Nights Lets You And Your Friends Find And Agree On A Film To Watch

10/19/14 7:52 am

 Trying to figure out what film I want to watch at home from the thousands I can pick on various VOD services is a pain. The only thing more annoying is trying to find one that my husband and I can both agree we want to watch (love you, Marc). A app presented today at TC’s Disrupt Hackathon called Movie Nights has created a way to solve that problem: it lets two parties enter either… Read More

Newsly Hack Is Tinder For News Articles

10/19/14 7:16 am

 Tinder’s interface for quickly filtering people you might like to date from those you definitely don’t is being applied to all sorts of other sorting tasks. We’ve had multiple Tinders for shopping, for instance. And here at the Disrupt Europe 2014 hackathon in London we’ve just seen a Tinder for news stories, called Newsly, presented on stage. Read More

Iranian Users Petition Microsoft For Greater Windows Support

10/19/14 7:12 am

 Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system preview has attracted more than 1 million testers to date, and tens upon tens of thousands of votes on its user forums. Curiosuly, one dominating theme has emerged over the past few days: Requests for better support in Iran. The Verge’s Tom Warren wrote a post last week detailing the top 10 Windows 10 requests, noting that users are… Read More

Passage Replaces Your Passwords With Images

10/19/14 6:59 am

 Passage, from the Edinburgh-based team behind Peekabu, replaces your passwords with images. So instead of typing in a password, you simply hold a previously registered image up to your screen — maybe a photo of your family you have on your desk or your driver’s license. The team, which built this service over the course of the last 24 hours during our Disrupt London hackathon,… Read More

With Laplock, You Get A Text Message When Somebody Unplugs Your Laptop

10/19/14 6:36 am

 Fresh off the hackathon dungeon, Laplock is a nifty little app developed at our TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in London. Martin Saint-Macary and Ivan Maeder worked tirelessly for the past 24 hours to build an easy-to-use software lock for your Mac. Here’s how it works. At heart, Laplock is a menubar app for your Mac. You install it, enter your phone number and/or Yo account, and… Read More

Pizza, Beer, Glory, And The All-Night London Hackathon

10/19/14 5:49 am

 Here in London, the Disrupt Europe hackathon is racing towards its conclusion, with its participants all prepping their presentations for judging later today. Last night, however, around midnight, fueled by a recent infusion of pizza and beer, TechCrunch went around to ask a few questions and cause a little mayhem. Between a spider robot, far too many blinking lights and house plants,… Read More

Watch The Disrupt: London Hackathon Judging Live Stream Right Here!

10/19/14 4:52 am

 I’m tired and I didn’t do anything. After coding for 24 hours, the participants of the first TechCrunch Disrupt: London hackathon will now present their creations on the massive Disrupt stage. From developer geek to investor chic, these judges are ready for anything and will assess hackathon participants on a scale of technical difficulty, usability, usefulness and creativity. In… Read More

Andrei Cherny’s ‘Aspiration’ Brings The Investment Tools Of The 1% To The Other 99%

10/19/14 2:58 am

 At 39 years old, Andrey Cherny has advised presidents, consulted with Fortune 100 companies, worked as a state prosecutor, served as a Naval reserve officer, founded a think tank and policy journal, and written a couple of books. Now he’s adding entrepreneur to the list with the launch of Aspiration Partners LLC. Read More

Travel, Retail And Media Are 3 Industries Taking Over The App Store

10/19/14 1:00 am

 Mobile apps have come a long way since Apple launched the App Store in 2006, with over 5 million apps available across the leading app stores. While many factors have contributed to the growth, the ability to reach a global audience with a relatively small upfront investment has certainly been a significant contributor. The potential ROI if an app is successful is huge — just ask the… Read More

The Future Of AI Will Be Stacked

10/18/14 10:00 pm

 We are entering an exciting period for Artificial Intelligence. We’re seeing more consumer impacting developments and breakthroughs in AI technology than ever before. And as Nova Spivack recently argued, it’s reasonable to expect that major players like Apple, IBM, Google and Microsoft, among others, will lead a fierce consolidation effort for the AI market over the next 5 years. Read More

10 Trends Transforming Enterprise IT

10/18/14 8:00 pm

 When it comes to corporate IT, revolution is in the air. The way companies buy, build, manage, optimize and secure information technology is changing dramatically. From cloud computing to big data analytics to ubiquitous mobile connectivity, corporate IT systems are getting faster, more efficient, cheaper to operate and easier to use. In the process, a new wave of tech companies has emerged… Read More

iMac With Retina 5K Display First Impressions: A Screen In Which To Lose Oneself

10/18/14 5:40 pm

 Apple’s new iMac boasts a screen with an almost preposterous resolution of 5180×2880 pixels, which makes it the world’s highest resolution display. The screen is the key ingredient here, despite changes under the hood, and after a couple of days of use, it’s still the screen that (stating the obvious here) catches my eye. Amid the flurry and elbow-throwing of the… Read More

A Guide To Co-Leadership: Why It’s Hard, Why It’s Good, And How To Make It Work

10/18/14 4:00 pm

 In September Larry Ellison stepped down from the helm at Oracle and appointed a co-CEO pair as his successors. Articles about the announcement spoke of such dual arrangements in discouraging and doubtful tones. Meanwhile, in NYC, a well-regarded VC recently told me that she thought at least 50 percent of early-stage startup failures are rooted in co-founder conflicts. Read More

Bag Week: Daame Bags

10/18/14 2:20 pm

 While I can’t say that Daame Bags are the best daame bags we’ve tested (see what I did there?), I can say that they are definitely an interesting rethinking of the women’s laptop bag. We tested two types – a wide leather laptop tote and other 13-inch model. I showed both of these to a human woman, my wife, who said that she liked the elegant and spare design but noted… Read More

Are American Tech Companies Disloyal?

10/18/14 2:17 pm

 FBI Director James Comey had some choice words this week for startups and technology companies about their increasing use of encryption and their responsibilities to law enforcement. Speaking at Brookings, Comey argued that “…if the challenges of real-time interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place.” He… Read More

GM’s hit and run: How a lawyer, mechanic, and engineer blew open the worst auto scandal in history

10/18/14 2:00 pm

As the sun was setting on a stormy Georgia day, Brooke Melton was 30 miles outside of Atlanta in her Chevy Cobalt. It was March 10, 2010, her birthday, and the 29-year-old pediatric nurse was on her way to her boyfriend’s to celebrate. Melton had purchased the white GM Cobalt in 2005, the year the four-cylinder compact first rolled out of factories, and lately it had been giving her trouble. A week earlier the engine had unexpectedly shut off. Melton managed to pull over to the side of...

Handbook For A New Era Of Crowdfunding

10/18/14 2:00 pm

 Ever been to Indiegogo? Kickstarter? Spend any cash? What’d you leave with? Why does anyone buy a product that doesn’t exist yet…and may never exist? On the surface, crowdfunding seems to defy logic. Economists find the phenomenon of crowdfunding startling. If you think like an economist, crowdfunding shouldn’t work. But it does. And those who understand why it works… Read More

Forget Indiana Jones: Here Comes The Robot Archeologist

10/18/14 7:08 am

Nine years ago, in 2005, Juan A. Barceló of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, published a paper called "A Science Fiction Tale? A robot called Archaeologist". In it, he imagined the automatic archeologist, as a "robotic-ROV (Remotely Operated vehicle), able to move in the field, take samples, and build a model of the environment based on its interaction with it and the information is able to gather". Less than a decade later this concept is much closer to become a reality than he could prob...

It’s time for Whisper’s CEO to do his damn job

10/18/14 3:50 am

It was Michael Heyward’s game to lose. The well-documented awfulness of Secret, and its suicide-happy founder David Byttow, had made Whisper by default the “less evil” secret-sharing app. A content partnership with Buzzfeed and another apparently in the offing with the Guardian, tens of millions in funding and a $200m valuation. All Heyward and his team had to do was not screw the pooch. That was last week. This week: Oh, the stories that bandy-legged po...

Evgeny Morozov did not “plagiarize” in the New Yorker, but what he did was almost as bad

10/17/14 6:41 pm

Evgeny Morozov is almost certainly smarter than me and he’s probably smarter than you. I know because the Belarus-born academic and author has held all sorts of vague positions like “fellow” and “visiting scholar” at prestigious universities that wouldn’t let me anywhere near, except maybe the basketball arena to watch a game. He’s written two books and his byline has appeared in dozens of respected newspapers and magazines. And while I don’t always agree with his critic...

Android Circuit: Samsung's Continued Collapse, Android Loves Lollipops, Stunning Nexus Hardware

10/17/14 6:14 pm

This week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories including all the details of the new Nexus devices, the low-down on Android 5.0 Lollipop and the rollout of 5.0, reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Q3 numbers from the world of Android, and the upcoming update of Android Wear.

Stunning Photos Of Google's Massive Data Centers

10/17/14 6:14 pm

This week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories including all the details of the new Nexus devices, the low-down on Android 5.0 Lollipop and the rollout of 5.0, reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Q3 numbers from the world of Android, and the upcoming update of Android Wear.

Quick! Get your ticket to next week’s Pando Monthly with Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang

10/17/14 4:28 pm

A triple treat for PandoMonthly attendees next Thursday: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Workday CEO/Greylock partner Aneel Bhusri together on stage in San Francisco, interviewed by Pando’s Sarah Lacy. Courtesy of Bhusri, expect killer insight on SaaS, enterprise, venture capital and more. And, of course, with all the interest around Yahoo and Alibaba (“the most lucrative bet in Silicon Valley history” — Forbes) there’s no better time to hear Yang tell that story in...

It's Official: Snapchat Says That Ads Are Coming

10/17/14 3:00 pm

Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging app, is officially taking the advertising plunge. In a blog post on Friday, the Los Angeles-based company said it was introducing advertising onto its platform. "An advertisement will appear in your Recent Updates from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it," the post reads. "No biggie." Last week, CEO Evan Spiegel said ads would soon be arriving to the platform's Stories feature. A few brand advertisers have experimented with th...

Why you shouldn’t freak out about Twitter’s new timeline experiments

10/17/14 12:55 pm

For the most-experienced power users of Twitter, the timeline is sacred. We constantly prune and pluck at the accounts we follow, shaping our feed to produce the funniest and smartest timeline of curated chaos we can handle. But most users don’t do this, and Twitter knows it. That’s why it’s been experimenting with the home timeline , adding popular or relevant tweets from accounts you don’t follow or activity from accounts you do. Many have already observe...

Amazon may not have the best products or services, but it can still lead in customer service

10/17/14 10:49 am

If there’s anything in need of “disruption” in the tech world, it’s customer service. Fortunately, companies are beginning to realize that just making cool or useful products is not enough. Samsung has added a new feature to its Chromebook 2 laptop that allows consumers to video chat with a customer service representative and seek help with their product problems. But if there’s any company that’s really led this idea of, you know, caring about customers, it’s Amazon. T...

Meet Apple's Most Loyal Chinese Customers

10/17/14 10:06 am

For about a month, Chinese consumers waiting for the iPhone 6 to debut in their country have been resorting to the gray market, paying steep markups for Apple smartphones bought abroad. With regulatory hurdles cleared at last, the phone went on sale Friday in the mainland. And while consumers in some other markets waited in long lines to buy the phone (along with Chinese scalpers planning to smuggle it back home), in Shanghai the queues were quite manageable. Only people who had pre...

How can Apple offer the future of payments if its own stores are so inefficient?

10/17/14 9:00 am

It’s strange to think that Apple can promise the future of payments when it can’t process financing requests in its own retail stores. But based on my experience seeking 12-month financing for a new laptop last night, that inconsistency is all-too-common in stores. I thought it would be easy for Apple to process the request, grab the device, and hand it over to my fiancée and me. Instead we were treated to a system built around an online store over which the retail employees have n...

Whitepages adds Spam Score to its Android caller ID app, leaves iOS badly outclassed

10/17/14 8:00 am

With many consumers abandoning landlines in favor of mobile phones, telemarketers, robocallers and other forms of more nefarious spam calls are no longer confined to the home. Today, these calls are finding us wherever and whenever, often even spilling over into text messages, and as a result are more intrusive than ever. Android users just got a sexy new weapon in the fight against call spam with the latest update to the Whitepages Caller ID app released today. Consumers will now ...

NASA Used 1960s-1970s Software Into The 2000s, Here's Why

10/17/14 7:03 am

Is it true that NASA continued to use 1960s and 1970s software technology during the space shuttle era into the 2000s because the software was bulletproof? This question was originally answered on Quora.

The tech market needs a hero. It will have to settle for Google.

10/16/14 7:52 pm

For the average tech consumer, things are going pretty well in October 2014. Ever sleeker, more powerful devices are rolling out by the week. New apps and services, and products are appearing with such frequency it’s hard to keep up with them. But for tech investors, the climate has turned hostile. In the past month, the Nasdaq Composite has lost 8.4 percent, a harder tumble that the broader market, despite signs that the US economy is gathering steam. The quarterly parade of tech e...

The Guardian’s Whisper story shows why journalists should never sign NDAs to visit tech companies

10/16/14 7:06 pm

Early today, the Guardian delivered a remarkable scoop : that anonymous app Whisper employees claim to be tracking users in ways that would make the NSA rise to its feet in applause. Even more remarkable, the claims were made directly to Guardian staffers visiting Whisper to discuss a possible partnership with the app. The Guardian witnessed this practice on a three-day visit to the company’s Los Angeles headquarters last month, as part of a trip to explore the possibility of an ex...

After a heated hearing, NYC taxi commission postpones ridesharing vote

10/16/14 6:22 pm

Following a series of arguments from stakeholders across the taxi, car service, and ridesharing spectrum, New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) decided to postpone a vote on controversial rule changes governing ridesharing services today. The current rules allow for a driver who works for a black car service to also accept rides through Uber or Lyft without any fuss. The TLC’s proposal, however, would require drivers to align themselves with just one c...

Google's Ad-Price Declines Continue for 12th Straight Quarter

10/16/14 4:45 pm

The big question heading into Google's quarterly earnings reports for the past couple years has been whether the company has finally gotten advertisers to pay more for each ad they buy. As of Thursday, the answer was: Still no. Overall, Google's advertising revenue is healthy. In fact, it rose by 17% year-over-year to $14.7 billion. That helped to push the company's overall revenue by 20% to $16.5 billion for the quarter, which fell short of analysts' estimates which factor in the...

You already have bed bugs. Now get ready to deal with rat mites.

10/16/14 3:06 pm

You’re not going to like this. Imagine taking the two most disgusting creatures that torment New Yorkers. Now combine them into one creepy abomination whose capacity to repulse is nothing short of complete; a nightmare-monster associated with the diseases of rats, but small enough, like a bed bug, to creep into your bed while you sleep to tear away tiny bits of your flesh, leaving your skin itchy and red, and your ability to e...

Apple Releases Latest, Thinnest iPads as the Tablet Market Shrinks

10/16/14 1:45 pm

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Guardian claims anonymous app Whisper tracks its users; Whisper EIC calls report “a pack of vicious lies.”

10/16/14 1:21 pm

[UPDATE: Whisper EIC Neetzan Zimmerman has launch into a tweetstorm, saying it only tracks location for users who opt into sharing that information, the location data is "heavily fuzzed" to 500 meters away, and exact location data is never stored] [UPDATE 2: Whisper sent the following statement to Pando in an email: "Whisper does not collect nor store any personally identifiable information from users and is anonymous. There is nothing in our geolocation data that can be tied t...

The War Nerd: Nobody could have predicted Islamic State’s retreat from Kobane (except me)

10/16/14 1:00 pm

KUWAIT CITY — A strange thing happened in Kobane, the Kurdish border town besieged by Islamic State: It didn’t fall. In fact, today the BBC reported that Islamic State, the supposedly invincible jihadis who have been besieging Kobane, is retreating from the city. Nobody expected that. Well, nobody except me. I’ve been saying for a long time that IS(IS) was the most overhyped military force on the planet, and that IS has been attacking Kobane for fifteen months—fifteen damn mon...

Get Ready For The Bluetooth Smart Home

10/16/14 12:24 pm

Bluetooth was originally designed for headsets and other personal area products. But now it's invading the smart home in a big way.

Time To Buy Netflix? Massive Sell-Off Provides Big Chance For Bulls

10/16/14 12:13 pm

Wall Street took a big whack at Netflix on Wednesday. Which means today may be an opportunity for buyers.