Twilio’s IPO and the rise of the next 100M developers

Twilio recently exceeded expectations with an IPO that priced them at over $1 billion. For some, this proves that developers are the future of business. While they are certainly an indispensable asset, as more and more businesses turn to the cloud, what about the rest of us? What about the admins and the marketers and those who are equally important to a business but don’t code? Everyone can build without code Developers shouldn’t be the only ones who can take advantage of APIs, because, while they are great to have…

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How Apple will convince us to love the dongle

Hi, and welcome to my obligatory hot take on the nearly confirmed no-headphone-jack iPhones we’re about to see rolling out of Apple. I’m not an absolute fan of this idea, but we’ve seen this sort of behavior from Apple before — most notably the move from the 30-pin dock jack that probably caused a bit of an e-waste problem, forcing users and most notably hotels to upgrade their in-room docks. Now the same thing is happening, but with a far more common technology. And people are pissed. I understand the concern.…

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Former Facebook engineers launch Fabric, an automated personal journal of your life

Technology has made it simple to record and archive our digital memories through posts, snapshots, videos and more, but it can sometimes be a struggle to surface our past – our memories, activities and other experiences – in an easily accessible way. A new mobile application called Fabric, built by two former Facebook engineers, aims to solve that problem. Co-founders Arun Vijayvergiya and Nikolay Valtchanov spent several years at Facebook working on many of the products that connect the social networks’ well over a billion users with their past. Vijayvergiya built the first version of the Facebook Timeline at…

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NASA awards companies $65 million to develop habitats for deep space

NASA is serious about going to Mars, and not just for a quick visit, either. It just committed $65 million, spread over two years and six companies, for the purpose of developing and testing deep-space habitats that could be used on the way to — and on the surface of — the Red Planet. It’s part of the organization’s NEXTStep (not to be confused with the NeXTSTEP OS), an ongoing partnership program under NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems that funds private research into technology for space exploration. Last year’s NEXTStep contracts…

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Innovaccer raises $15.6M to give businesses one stop for all their data

Abhinav Shashank was working on an academic project at Harvard with his colleagues Kanav Hasija and Sandeep Gupta — figuring out how to pool together large data sets from hundreds of different sources and APIs and manage them — when his business colleagues started asking him to help apply those tools. The result was Innovaccer, a set of software that mashes together data from different enterprise sources and online data sets (ranging from Oracle data, SQL databases to social media feeds) to bring together a large database where companies can build application layers. That…

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Quizlet launches a redesign with an eye towards international expansion

Quizlet, the popular app that lets students create interactive study sets and prepare for tests in any subject, is unveiling a redesign today, including a new website, logo and redesigned mobile apps soon to come. The new Quizlet was created with an eye on international expansion. The San Francisco edtech startup now offers translated and localized versions of its study tools in German, Spanish, Chinese (both simplified and traditional) and Japanese, American and UK English. Quizlet is now available in Chinese and other languages. Quizlet CEO Matt Glotzbach notes that…

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XPRIZE launches AI 2020 competition with IBM Watson

Close your eyes. What do you see when you think about artificial intelligence? Hal 9000 defying human orders? Ava savagely murdering her maker? What about ARIIA taking over the country from deep inside the Pentagon? With a new competition, XPRIZE and IBM Watson challenge us to think slightly more pragmatically (or at least less apocalyptically dystopian) about the implications of artificial intelligence research on the future of humanity. To date, more than 1,000 people have registered to form teams with plans to tackle such issues as health, climate, transportation, space travel, robots, city…

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