Column

  • Narrow AI: Automating The Future Of Information Retrieval

    Narrow AI: Automating The Future Of Information Retrieval

    With industry pundits including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others hotly debating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Hollywood priming the public for the release of a slew of new movies — including Terminator 5 — that warn what can happen when software and hardware evolve to the point that they are capable of human feats of intelligence, it’s little wonder… Read More

  • Three Reasons Why Your Software Is So Far Behind Schedule

    Three Reasons Why Your Software Is So Far Behind Schedule

    When not opining here on TechCrunch I’m a software engineer for the fine folks at HappyFunCorp (1) and I’m occasionally called on to diagnose and fix projects that have gone horribly wrong (2). The more I do this, the more I notice commonalities among problem projects–“antipatterns,” if you will. Here I give you three more of my ongoing list of such. Names have… Read More

  • Will Uber Convertibles Run Out Of Gas?

    Will Uber Convertibles Run Out Of Gas?

    Uber just completed a $1.6 billion, six-year convertible debt raise via Goldman’s private wealth group. “But Robbie,” you say, “how do you even put a value on a convertible bond if there isn’t any stock to convert the bond into?” A great question, and one that has a number of significant implications. Since we’re all friends here, let’s go ahead… Read More

  • Fighting Sexism In Silicon Valley

    Fighting Sexism In Silicon Valley

    The scenarios depicted in the Newsweek story were disturbing, but frankly they remained somewhat abstract for me until I taught my class at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business several hours later. Read More

  • Sandboxing And Smart Regulation In An Age of A/B Testing

    Sandboxing And Smart Regulation In An Age of A/B Testing

    The small drone crash at the White House earlier this week is just the latest in a series of reminders that when it comes to regulating new technology the government is woefully slow. Read More

  • The Bootstrapper’s Guide To Bitcoin Remittances

    The Bootstrapper’s Guide To Bitcoin Remittances

    There’s a lot of rhetoric about bitcoin and its impact on the $430 billion international remittance industry. One of the cryptocurrency’s most obvious uses is, after all, sending money across the planet with roughly the same effort as sending an email. The potential effect on emerging markets — savings in aggregate that are larger than most countries’ education… Read More

  • The Startup Advice You Don’t Hear Inside The Echo Chamber

    The Startup Advice You Don’t Hear Inside The Echo Chamber

    When today’s most successful founders are asked why they started their companies, they often give some version of the answer that they were “scratching their own itch.” Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky were renting out their floor space to help cover their rent. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook to help Harvard students find one another. Nest co-founder Matt Rogers… Read More

  • In Communications, Privacy And Security Are Illusions

    In Communications, Privacy And Security Are Illusions

    President Obama has tried for three years to persuade Congress to pass a cybersecurity bill. The president went so far as to highlight his cybersecurity proposals to a prime-time audience during his recent State of the Union address. And in the wake of the massive Sony hack, the political climate may finally have shifted in his favor. Read More

  • Why The Least-Talked-About Aspect Of The Dish Sling TV Is The Most Important One

    Why The Least-Talked-About Aspect Of The Dish Sling TV Is The Most Important One

    Among the many new technology products and services revealed at this year’s CES, perhaps none has gotten more press coverage than Dish’s new Sling TV service. As multiple outlets have reported, this $20 per month subscription service gives subscribers access to TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, the Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2 — without the… Read More

  • Is This WebRTC’s Year?

    Is This WebRTC’s Year?

    WebRTC is an open-source standard (spearheaded by Google in 2012 through the World Wide Web Consortium) enabling browsers to make voice or video calls without needing any plug-ins. Using WebRTC, a user can establish a voice or video call by clicking on a button in a browser representing the other endpoint. Read More

  • The Next Front Of Wearables

    The Next Front Of Wearables

    In 2014, Nike abandoned its FuelBand fitness tracker and Sergey Brin “left his Google Glass in his car.” In 2015, Apple will launch its iWatch and Sony will enter the eyewear space. More kinds of wearables were introduced in CES 2015, just to leave us wondering whether what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, physically. Read More

  • Recapping Week Two of the Silk Road Trial

    Recapping Week Two of the Silk Road Trial

    Editor’s Note: John Bush is the Editor in Chief of the Liberty Beat daily radio news service and host of the weekly Bitcoin podcast SovereignBTC. The third week of the Ross Ulbricht trial resumes today, which presents an opportunity to caught up with what happened in the case since our last installment. To recap, Ulbricht is accused of creating the Silk Road marketplace and… Read More

  • Will 2015 See The Death Of The Robo Advisors?

    Will 2015 See The Death Of The Robo Advisors?

    If 2014 was the year that robo advisors came of age, then we’ll probably look back at 2015 as the year the traditional asset management industry fought back. Is this move going to be the death of Wealthfront, Personal Capital, Betterment and the rest of the robos? Will the new entrants with their mix of low fees, great online tools and portfolios of ETFs that automatically rebalance be… Read More

  • Be Honest About Whether Your Product Really Makes A Difference

    Be Honest About Whether Your Product Really Makes A Difference

    Startups in a world of massive markets can be confusing. The law of large numbers; platforms that can make your company blow up unexpectedly and the trendy nature of tech markets are deceiving. Success for many is ephemeral. Read More

  • The Fragility Of Our Connected World

    The Fragility Of Our Connected World

    A decade ago, one would have never predicted the sheer size and impact the Internet has made on our planet. Now, with everything including government, healthcare, commerce and financial services brokered through connected devices, the stakes are much higher. Within the past month alone, Internet connectivity made headlines in Cuba after the U.S. trade embargo was lifted, in North Korea as… Read More

  • Becoming An Engineering Manager

    Becoming An Engineering Manager

    Over the last few years I’ve gotten the pleasure to work with a large number of really talented engineers — some of whom I’ve asked to make the leap into management. Like any individual contributor moving into a new role, they’re asked to fundamentally change the way they approach their day. As I’ve done my best to coach them through this experience, I wrote down… Read More

  • Winter Is Coming For Wearables

    Winter Is Coming For Wearables

    Remember wearables? Those wristbands and glasses that were going to take over our lives? This time last year, many of us had high hopes that 2014 was (finally) going to be the year of the wearable. Whoops. The wearables revolution didn’t come to pass in 2014, and it’s not going to happen in 2015, either. Why? Read More

  • Data And Commerce Elope, Birth Unicorns

    Data And Commerce Elope, Birth Unicorns

    First we went online to learn. Then we naturally started buying stuff. Smart retailers learned to target us based on our behavior. We searched and they reacted through PPC and display. Then folks like Amazon used purchase history data to get smart about predicting what else we’d buy (based primarily on other’s purchase data, not our own). Read More

  • The Reason To Be Cheerful About HoloLens

    The Reason To Be Cheerful About HoloLens

    With the release of the HoloLens, Microsoft put something out there that has a chance of being transformative. Not in the high concept way, but in a general way especially for gaming. But is Microsoft able to bring it home, or will it get lost in its own ambitions as it has so often before. Read More

  • What VR Pioneers Can Learn From New York’s Hottest Play

    What VR Pioneers Can Learn From New York’s Hottest Play

    Editor’s Note: Noah Nelson reports on virtual reality for TurnstyleNews.com, a tech culture site from Youth Radio.  After two years of hype from the tech press about the return of virtual reality, we’re waking up to the hard reality of a content gap. The skepticism stems from the observation that while VR is neat-o, there’s not that much you can actually do with it at… Read More

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