Source: http://gizmodo.com/5811834/what-if-you-crammed-the-entire-human-population-into-a-single-city/gallery/

What If You Crammed The Entire Human Population Into a Single City?Here’s food for thought: Some cities are considerably more densely populated than others. Imagine packing all 6.9 billion people in the world into a city you know. How much space would that megacity take up?

Per Square Mile made these infographics to give you an idea of what you’d find. In the image above, they stuffed the world’s people into a city as dense as Houston. We’d take up most of the continental United States.
What If You Crammed The Entire Human Population Into a Single City?Now New York, with everyone fitting into Texas.
What If You Crammed The Entire Human Population Into a Single City?And now Paris. Kind of makes you wonder what life would be like. [Per Square Mile]

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Source: http://gizmodo.com/5801695/screw-mtv-youtube-100-makes-music-videos-relevant-again

Screw MTV. YouTube 100 Makes Music Videos Relevant Again.YouTube 100 sheepishly materialized this week. The feature itself is minor, a space in their music section listing the 100 most popular music vids. But for the future of the music video, the implications are HUGE. In the best possible way.

YouTube 100 not only lists the Top 100 vids, but lets you play them back to back automatically. (Roku and AppleTV need to get this on their boxes). YouTube 100 returns us to an era when finding and watching music videos isn’t an arbitrary, single-serve experience. It makes watching vids less about personal discovery and more about the shared experience. And it’s as populist as the MTV of yore: our clicks determine what hits the top of the list. It will make music videos relevant again, which they haven’t been for quite some time.

When MTV cancelled TRL and decided they only wanted to show every form of reality TV under the sun, the music video basically died. I mean, specimens still existed (YouTube was coming into its own), but the music video universe had turned into a wasteland of cheaply made abominations that depended on viral distribution for views.

Gone were the days of Diddy’s 10 minute, multi-million dollar epics, which featured big name actors and entire scenes that had little—if nothing—to do with the song. Gone was the video premiere as an event. Some artist (or if they were lucky, PR flak) would just upload a video to a YouTube unceremoniously. Gone was the focused, steady stream of music videos force-fed to us in 30 and 60 minute blocks. Instead, we watched what someone emailed to us, then went back to staring at animated GIFs. Also gone were the video countdowns—there’s something to be said for coming to your own conclusions, but filters and lists always make things more interesting, amiright?

But then something happened. Musicians and labels learned how to market music on the internet (even if they still have no idea how to make money off of said marketing). They learned that a music video gone viral could be a crucial turning point for an artist. They learned how to make the music video an event again (have you SEEN Kanye’s Runaway?!). And when this happened, videos started getting the time and money and care they needed to flourish on the internet. Many of the recent videos from the likes Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Kanye West have had TV-quality production values, but largely found their viewership online.

The problem has been that there’s been no single, communal space where these videos are curated and discussed. MTV has had its MTV Hive site for a while now, but they’ve kept it far too obscure and feature-lacking to really connect with the masses. Vimeo, despite having a treasure trove of amazing content, is too niche in its scope to find a mainstream audience. And YouTube on its own is too chaotic to facilitate a sense of community.

But now that they’ve added the YouTube 100, we have a starting place. Something to talk about. Something to disagree with. It’s a reason to care about music videos again. You know, just as long as VEVO doesn’t ruin it all with those crappy, borderline intrusive ads.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/12/what-stalled-negotiations-between-google-and-the-music-industry/

It’s no secret that negotiations between Google and the recording industry haven’t been going very well. Perhaps even less surprising are the reasons behind the stalemate. According to the Hollywood Reporter, discussions between the two parties have sputtered thanks to three usual suspects: money, file-sharing and concerns over competition. During licensing talks, Google agreed to pay upfront advances to all participating labels, but the major players wanted bigger guarantees. That prompted the indie contingent to ask for similar money, unleashing a snowball of stakes-raising. The two sides also failed to agree on how to handle pirated music, with the industry demanding that Google not only ban illegally downloaded files from users’ lockers, but that it erase P2P sites from its search results, as well.

Hovering above all this bargaining was a thick cloud of destabilizing uncertainty. Some execs welcomed the idea of a new iTunes competitor, while others were less enthusiastic, amid concerns that Google Music wouldn’t deliver new revenue streams. The ultimate question, of course, is how negotiations will proceed now that Google’s already launched the service. The labels were warned that Tuesday’s I/O announcement was coming, but the search giant didn’t do much to mend fences when it effectively blamed the record execs for holding up negotiations. It’s hard to say whether Google’s bravado will help or hurt matters, but according to a source from a major label, “People are pissed.”

What stalled negotiations between Google and the music industry? (Hint: money) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 12 May 2011 16:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/angelpad-round-two/

Last August, we broke the news that a new startup incubator was about to launch that was run by seven ex-Googlers, AngelPad. By November, the initial class of eight startups were ready to launch. Today, barely four months later, class number two is ready to be unveiled. And this time there are thirteen of them. At this rate, to quote the best line in Jaws, they’re “gonna need a bigger boat”.

The fact that the class was whittled down to even thirteen is impressive, as the AngelPad team had several hundred applications to go through this time, co-founder Thomas Korte tells us. And while many in the initial class also featured fellow ex-Googlers, this group is more diversified (though the Google blood still runs deep with a number of them).

Below, find a brief description of the 13:

Shopobot

Shopobot is all about leveraging your social graph to make better purchasing decisions. Say you want to buy a camera, but want advice you know will be unbiased, the best way is to ask your friends. Shopobot allows you to easily find that information on their site, alongside a timeline of a product’s price on Amazon (these are much more volatile than you may think). They’re also focusing on creating useful widgets for other sites that get around the “banner blindness” issue which most shopping widgets lead to.

Astrid

Astrid makes mobile applications that allow you to easily share and collaborate on tasks. This is ideal for groups because everyone in the group can be assigned something to do, and make it known once it’s done. And unlike some other collaboration software, the interface is super simple. From a broader perspective, the idea is to inspire others to join you in doing certain things — ideas you get from reading a book or a blog post. They have a button to make this all easily shareable. The team already has 1.7 million downloads on Android and now they’re coming to iOS.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a service built around the idea of extending the current abilities of QR codes. Right now, you scan a code and you’re often just taken to a website about a product. These guys want to create a web browser for the real world, meaning that all physical objects can have elements that show up when scanned. If you scan a QR code on a concert poster, your social graph should know that you’re into that band, and maybe one of your friends would like to go to that show with you. While the core idea is based around QR codes right now (both existing ones and new ones that they’ll help others create), eventually the plan is to get into NFC or image recognition as those technologies mature.

Cloudbot

Cloudbot calls themselves the “cloud command line”. What that means is that their aim is to be one app (both mobile and web) that allows you to easily interact with many other apps and services. You might enter in “call XXXXX” and you’ll it will call the friend’s name you entered. Or you might enter “gram XXXXX” and it will show you the Instagram photos from that person. And it uses real world data. If you type “eat with XXXXX”, the app will look at your location and the location of the friend you entered and find a good place near both of you. Currently, they have 24 integration points with various apps/services and more are coming.

Kismet

Kismet is a mobile dating site focused on real identity and real photos. The founders note that most dating sites are a sea of faces, but most are false advertising. And many mobile dating experiences right now skew towards the sleazy side of things. Kismet aims to be a more natural dating app with women in particular in mind. They look at locations you actually go to and pictures you actually take on other social networks to provide a real profile for yourself (naturally tide into your real Facebook identity as well). The idea is that where you spend a lot of your time and what you do already says a lot about you, Kismet just surfaces it for potential dates to see.

Splash

Splash is a new social plug-in for mobile games (first for the iPhone, then for Android). It’s essentially a social platform that developers can have include in their gaming apps as an always one-touch-away overlay. When touched, it shows you your friends also playing games online and allows you to interact with them. You can also send gifts (virtual goods) this way, get notifications, and make announcements. On the developer side of things, there is a dashboard to help you keep track of all of the data flowing in. Unlike Apple’s Game Center and OpenFeint which focus on leaderboards, they focus on the social layer in realtime.

Crittercism

Crittercism provides a way for developers to monitor bugs and crashes in their mobile apps. If you read over reviews in the App Store, you’ll see that many are actually bug reports — Crittercism has a way to hopefully stop that from happening as they monitor issues in realtime and provide a simple way for a user to provide feedback through their own channel. The service gets baked into the app by the developer before launch and resides in a place that a user can access and share issues (either anonymously or with a Crittercism profile). And problems are automatically tracked and emailed back to developers. The platform is already up and running on five hit apps and while it seems like something that Apple or Google could eventually offer, Crittercism’s view is a cross-platform one that very easy for developers to work with.

Stickery

Stickery makes learning-based games for kids. But while that’s already a crowded market, their twist is that there games are actually data-driven. As in, after kids play the games, reports are sent back to parents to let them know what areas the children need help with and what they excel in. “We are focused on the post-game highlights,” is how they put it. And while this seems like it could be a platform play, the team is also committed to making their own fun games. Right now they have one with seven more planned.

LocBox

LocBox looked at the crowded daily deal space and saw a big problem: customer retention rates. Because there are so many different deal services that people are trying out, everyone seems to be only partially committed to it. LocBox aims to simplify the experience by giving everyone an important cool to keep customers: an iPad. That is, they give merchants an iPad loaded with their CRM software to reduce the friction for trying out and sticking with their system — and also for customers using it.

CompanyLine

The easiest way to think of CompanyLine is as a sort of Facebook Groups for business. But a key part of it is the nice integration they have with other services like WebEx and Dropbox. It works so well that AngelPad themselves apparently use it now internally over the old way of doing things: Google Groups (again, these are ex-Googlers we’re talking about). The name is drawn from the idea that the way companies collaborate today is sort of like phone line switchboards in the 1950s. They want to change that.

Feedgen

Feedgen is a sales lead platform that utilizes social elements. They note the disconnect between marketing and sales — the amount of leads brought in by marketing don’t end up meaning much. But leads can come from elsewhere: enter social networks. Another key is the UI. They use the familiar inbox style to manage leads. You can think of it as a “priority inbox” for leads, they note (referencing Google’s newish system for ranking email in Gmail).

Coverhound

Coverhound is simply online insurance shopping that works. “It’s a complete scam right now,” the founders say pointing to how much of what you see online is little more than bait. And that shows on the other end as something like 300 leads are needed to sign just one new person up for a policy. Coverhound changes the dynamic by being a filter for both sides. They take customers basic information (name, address, email) and pull up information about them from third parties that is then used to serve up accurate estimates from the insurance companies. It’s sort of like Kayak for car insurance.

SecondLeap

SecondLeap is a search engine for people who want to change careers. It’s not about career advancement, it’s about people looking to make a true total change. The service show those people what the potential impact is in terms of years needed for a new career and what the financial impact will be. If it’s determined that the career change will be a good one, SecondLeap helps the user find the right school and loan to make the change happen.

Information provided by CrunchBase


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Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/stocktwits-continues-to-expand-steals-vp-david-putnam-from-yahoo-finance/

StockTwits, a realtime platform for stock traders to share information, has been undergoing a rapid growth spurt of late. According to Quantcast, 465,000 people are now visiting the site per month, which means the company has more than doubled its visitors since early December, when less than 200,000 were checking in to share and trade. This seems largely due to the service’s continuing evolution beyond its TweetDeck roots and creation of its own true investor ecosystem chalk full of video, news and charts — all enabled by an AIR app.

What’s more, the company announced in December that Yahoo would begin pulling data from the StockTwits API and adding it to individual stock pages, complementing the similar deals it had already forged with CNN, MarketWatch, and Bloomberg.

And now it seems that, while Yahoo is pulling data from its API, StockTwits has been busy pulling senior executives from Yahoo’s staff. (I guess turnabout is fair play?) In yet another victory for a company not named Yahoo, David Putnam, who for the past five years has been responsible for global product strategy and management at Yahoo, announced on his blog today that he will be joining StockTwits on April 1 as VP of Product.

This comes on the heels of StockTwits hiring Chris Bullock as its new VP of Corporate Services. Bullock was formerly the senior managing director for global investor relations services at NASDAQ and is charged with bringing investor relations departments to the StockTwits ecosystem.

Putnam, for one, sees a bright future for the up-and-coming stock conversation curator, saying, “StockTwits is big, getting bigger, and going to be huge”. In leaving Yahoo Finance, Putnam is stepping away from, in his words, “the largest financial website in the world”, which he helped to grow to 45 million users a month. Aside from Yahoo’s notorious (and seemingly never-ending) struggles, that’s no easy feat. If StockTwits is hoping to one day take on the big players like Yahoo, nabbing the company’s execs is a great way to start.

As Putnam turns his sights to “helping build the biggest financial idea network in the world”, it will be important for the company to remain focused on building a rabid community and not monthly site traffic.

Investor relations will be a big area for StockTwits going forward, as quite a few companies have started using the service to disseminate information among investors and answer their questions. As part of its features, StockTwits distributes companies’ messages to Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, CNN Money and Bing Finance, a big selling point for many companies. If the service can continue to add to its investor relations, we all may be StockTwitting in the near future.


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