Gregory Ferenstein


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  • Google Online Voter Registration Could Decrease Turnout

    Google Online Voter Registration Could Decrease Turnout

    It’s now easier than ever to register to vote over the web: Google is the latest tech powerhouse to support online registration with TurboVote, a slick step-by-step portal that conveniently mails US citizens a mostly-filled out registration card, along with a pre-printed envelope. However, experimental research into the impact of such online registration systems [PDF] finds that they… Read More

  • Brain Hacking: Scientists Extract Personal Secrets With Commercial Hardware

    Brain Hacking: Scientists Extract Personal Secrets With Commercial Hardware

    Chalk this up to super-creepy: scientists have discovered a way to mind-read personal secrets, such as bank PIN numbers and personal associations, using a cheap headset. Utilizing commercial brain-wave reading devices, often used for hands-free gaming, the researchers discovered that they could identify when subjects recognized familiar objects, faces, or locations, which helped them better… Read More

  • Email Tricks Of The Super Successful

    Email Tricks Of The Super Successful

    Over the past month, the most successful people I know have taught me a very important lesson: be a great emailer. Nearly all of them have a few simple tricks up their super-efficient sleeves: be ridiculously fast (responding in 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours), keep messages short, delegate responsibility through CC, and be available every waking moment. Read More

  • Find Out How Many Fake Twitter Followers You Have With StatusPeople

    Find Out How Many Fake Twitter Followers You Have With StatusPeople

    Are you a social media superstar, or is your Twitter feed just a soapbox for a soulless animatronic audience? StatusPeople is a humbling web application that reveals the percentage of followers that are fake or inactive. Obama has a whopping 31% fake followers (or 6 million of 19 million), Twitter queen, Lady Gaga, has 27%–which makes us feel like a people magnet with a comparatively… Read More

  • Would You Be Richer If Obama Or Romney Won? Politify Shows You

    Would You Be Richer If Obama Or Romney Won? Politify Shows You

    How much cash would you have in your pocket if Barack Obama were elected? Two Berkeley students have created a fun web app, Politify, that you lets you find out how each candidate would effect your pocketbook, based on your age, income, and number of dependents. Politify’s predictions are based off of non-partisan economic models of each candidate’s proposed tax plans. Users can… Read More

  • New App Detects Lies From Political Ads

    New App Detects Lies From Political Ads

    Deep pocketed political donors are out in full force spreading lies about political candidates. Now, a new app, the Super PAC App, will fact check ads on-the-fly. Much like multi-media tagging apps can identify songs and television episodes through a recording, users hold up their iPhone during a commercial and the Super Pac app will identify the donors and how factually accurate an… Read More

  • Report: Technology Has Made The World Fat

    Report: Technology Has Made The World Fat

    The world has paid for the luxury of Angry Birds with its health and looks: a new report finds a strong link between technological advancement and expanding waistlines. According to economic think tank, The Milken Institute, a country the size of America will add 4.2 million Spanx-wearing citizens for a 10% growth in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). “The main culprit is… Read More

  • A Deadly New Form Of Terrorism: SMS And Photoshop

    A Deadly New Form Of Terrorism: SMS And Photoshop

    A fatal mass exodus has gripped southern India as residents flee in response to images and messages of impending attacks. The problem is the pictures are faked and false rumors of impending doom are being circulated through SMS. “Morphed pictures, false messages were used to provocate people and trigger panic,” Indian Home Secretary R.K. Singh told reporters. “A total of… Read More

  • Study Finds Simple Way To Predict Behavior: Just Ask Users

    Study Finds Simple Way To Predict Behavior: Just Ask Users

    Scientists have discovered a deliciously simple way to improve the prediction of human behavior, the holy grail of social and consumer research: just ask users why they make certain decisions. Researchers from the University of Vermont found that the crowd offered better insight at predicting their own household energy consumption and Body Mass Index than the traditional way of using… Read More

  • How Rep Akin Should Have Apologized On Facebook For Rape Comments

    How Rep Akin Should Have Apologized On Facebook For Rape Comments

    When a brand’s reputation is going down in flames, a well-crafted apology over social media can be a face-saving lifeline, but only if it’s received as a genuine call for forgiveness. Republican Representative Todd Akin failed to quell an onslaught of social media criticism after issuing a vague statement on Facebook related to his assertion that “legitimate rape”… Read More

  • New Digg Vs. Reddit Vs. BuzzFeed: Your Mind On Viral Content

    New Digg Vs. Reddit Vs. BuzzFeed: Your Mind On Viral Content

    For three straight days in early August, unintentionally gay porn innuendos of Olympic men’s swimming rained king of traffic on Buzzfeed, the breakout curated newsite of viral content.
    Buzzfeeds closest competitors, Reddit and the newly relaunched Digg, each featured dramatically different stories, from the Syrian rebellion to video game history (and, of course, plenty of cats). For 4… Read More

  • An Impotent Facebook Army: Non-voters Favor Obama 2-1

    An Impotent Facebook Army: Non-voters Favor Obama 2-1

    Elementary school algebra shows that social media has nearly zero impact on elections: Obama has 7 times more Facebook fans than Mitt Romney (28 million vs. 4 million), yet he is ahead by only 3% in national polls. A survey from USA Today unearths new evidence why Obama’s Facebook army is all bark and no bite: non-voters favor him two-to-one. This new evidence lends support to the… Read More

  • ‘House’ Director and Twitter Angel Investor Greg Yaitanes To Disrupt SF

    ‘House’ Director and Twitter Angel Investor Greg Yaitanes To Disrupt SF

    We are incredibly excited to announce our next special guest for this year’s Disrupt SF. On top of directing the most popular TV show on the planet, House, Greg Yaitanes is an early investor in Twitter, Square, and Pinterest. Yaitanes made waves in Hollywood, leveraging cutting edge applications and applying lean startup principles to revolutionize television production. He is easily one… Read More

  • Radical Transparency 1, Britain 0: Assange Granted Asylum

    Radical Transparency 1, Britain 0: Assange Granted Asylum

    Techno-anarchist Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador, guaranteeing his bleak safety in their dark UK embasssy against British authorities who are salivating to extradite the Wikileaks editor to Sweden where he faces charges of sexual assault. Despite threats to be raided by British authorities, Ecuador remained defiant in their defense, which has caused it to become the… Read More

  • A Big-Think Talk With Eric Schmidt and Dick Costolo

    A Big-Think Talk With Eric Schmidt and Dick Costolo

    The heads of Google and Twitter had a fascinating big-think discussion about the impacts of technology on democracy and society ealier this month. In the interview, moderated by Steve Jobs author and Aspen Institute* CEO, Walter Isaacson, Dick Costolo revealed the future direction of Twitter and Eric Schmidt reflected on both the good and evil uses of technology, especially for struggling… Read More

  • Why All Schools Need iPads: Ending Texas’ Bizarre Control Over National History Textbooks

    Why All Schools Need iPads: Ending Texas’ Bizarre Control Over National History Textbooks

    America’s history education is still held captive to the notoriously anti-establishment Texas Board of Education, which buys enough high school textbooks that it can dictate the content of history books nationwide. A recent decision to recall a popular history book for its abject religious bias, written by one of the Board’s most controversial experts, is a strong reminder of why… Read More

  • Social Entrepreneurship Super Duo, Biz Stone And Evan Williams, To Join Us At Disrupt SF

    Social Entrepreneurship Super Duo, Biz Stone And Evan Williams, To Join Us At Disrupt SF

    The Twitter duo are back! We’re excited to announce that co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams are joining us on stage at Disrupt, after their widely publicized departure from leading Twitter to focus on social entrepreneurship. They’ll be speaking about their stealthy social-good incubator, Obvious (which invests in companies such as the recently launched online… Read More

  • Khan Academy Launches The Future of Computer Science Education

    Khan Academy Launches The Future of Computer Science Education

    “Computer Science is an intensely creative field,” says Shantanu Sinha, President of Khan Academy, which gave TechCrunch an exclusive look at their brand new education portal that teaches Computer Science fundamentals through interactive drawing. “We really wanted to focus on creating something that could inspire young children, and get them excited and motivated to explore… Read More

  • Cory Booker Coming To Disrupt SF, 50 Alpha Invites Available For #waywire

    Cory Booker Coming To Disrupt SF, 50 Alpha Invites Available For #waywire

    We are thrilled to announce that Newark Mayor and part-time superhero, Cory Booker, will be speaking at our annual conference, Disrupt San Francisco, September 10-12. In anticipation for his talk, he’s given TechCrunch readers 50 invites to the Alpha version of his breakout personalized video news platform, #waywire. Read More

  • VP Pick, Paul Ryan, Has (Mostly) Been A Friend To Technology

    VP Pick, Paul Ryan, Has (Mostly) Been A Friend To Technology

    I’m going to get a lot of hate mail for this article, but it’s a fact that Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan, has mostly been a friend to Silicon Valley and the technology industry. Ryan’s voting record has supported better access to high skilled immigrants, an open Internet, crowdfunding for startups, and intellectual property reform. However, his… Read More