Here’s a recap of some of our top stories from 8/2 to 8/8.
- The public has scrutinized the success of standalone apps like Facebook Slingshot, Twitter Music, and Instagram Bolt, but most people don’t realize that these apps are supposed to fail most of the time. Josh Constine argues that, “when there’s massive upside, and little downside, standalone apps can be a smart investment even if they have a low success rate.”
- Jordan Crook took a deep dive into the new Foursquare app. The new app has nothing to do with location sharing. Jordan also wrote an article about Union Street Guest House. Bullying good reviews out of paying customers is not a good idea.
- Ride sharing was a hot topic this week. Uber launched UberPool, and Lyft launched Lyft Line. If you have some extra time. check out this funny take on transport startups.
- Google’s HTML5 Web Designer received the first major update in a long time. Now there are animation tools and a deeper integration with AdWords and DoubleClick.
- Reddit’s famous prank “Cat Facts” is available as an app.
- Google is now using website encryption as a ranking signal. It’s a lightweight signal, but over time encryption’s effect on search ranking might get stronger.
- We took a close look at the Moto 360 Android Wear watch.
- There were a number of updates on the Microsoft front. Microsoft might be readying a new service called “Sway,” but we’re not 100% sure what it is. In a few days, there will be an update to Windows 8.1, but Microsoft isn’t calling it “Update 2.” Microsoft is also offering employees in China a Lumia 630 device to leave the company voluntarily. Meanwhile Apple is said to be preparing for a September 9 iPhone event.
- Kyle Brussell wrote a story about five teens from Brooklyn who created an app that makes it easy to get food delivered to your door. Push for Pizza is the Yo for food delivery.
- This is why the Gmail scan that led to a man’s arrest for child porn was not a privacy violation.
- TurboRoo, a tiny Chihuahua born without front legs, has been given a new “leash” on life thanks to a 3D printing. TurboRoo also wants you to come to Hardware Alley.
There’s been a recent surge in news about bitcoin. After opening up bitcoin donations on Wikipedia, the Wikimedia group received $140k in donations within a week. Last week, Robocoin opened it’s first bitcoin ATM in Las Vegas. This week, John Biggs visited the bitcoin bodega.
There were also three articles that came out last Friday afternoon (after I wrote last week’s recap) that gained a lot of traction. The first story was about Eaze, a startup that promises pot delivery anywhere in San Francisco in under 10 minutes. The second story is about the mystery Google barge in Portland; it’s gone. Finally, the US Congress and Senate agreed that unlocking a cell phone should not be an illegal act.
As we get one week closer to Disrupt, I highly recommend checking out our Road to Disrupt feature. Our latest installment features Ansa. Think of Ansa as an insurance plan for your 3 AM texts.
What did we miss?