Facebook confirmed in a filing that Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder and CEO, is taking a $1 salary this year, and foregoing any bonuses.
But he’s not exactly taking a vow of poverty. When Facebook went public last year, Zuckerberg exercised 60 million stock options, then worth nearly $2.3 billion, buying those shares for next to nothing. (He sold half of the stock to cover his tax bill.) And he’s still sitting on another 60 million stock options that can be exercised on Nov. 7, 2015, for the same dirt-cheap price of $0.06.
All of those shares give Zuckerberg plenty of incentive to keep Facebook in good financial health, although he is on record saying, “We don’t wake up in the morning with the primary goal of making money,” and isn’t really beholden to shareholders, since he controls a majority of proxy votes.
The $1 salary is symbolic. Companies have to compensate all of their employees, so working for free is out of the question — and doesn’t $1 sound better, anyway? Since the first dot-com boom, getting paid $1 has become something of a tradition among extremely wealthy executives whose compensation instead comes in the form of stock.
Steve Jobs famously took a $1 salary from the time he returned to Apple as CEO in 1998; he didn’t take any stock grants after 2003, either. In 2005, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, along with then-CEO Eric Schmidt, all reduced their salaries to $1. Schmidt, now executive chairman, takes a salary of several million dollars these days; Page, now CEO, and Brin still make $1.
Other tech CEOs who belong to the $1 salary club include Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, and HP’s Meg Whitman. Yahoo’s Jerry Yang was making $1 before he was ousted as CEO last year. Outside of Silicon Valley, CEOs of American companies who made $1 in salary last year include Capital One’s Richard Fairbank, Urban Outfitters’ Richard Hayne, Fossil’s Kosta Kartsotis, Kinder Morgan’s Richard Kinder and Duke Energy’s James Rogers.
Among the $1 salary club, only Karsotis, the watchmaker’s longtime leader, actually made nothing in 2012, according to a Bloomberg analysis of proxy filings. He owns 11% of the company but didn’t receive any additional stock or stock options last year. “Mr. Kartsotis is one of the initial investors in our company and expressed his belief that his primary compensation is met by continuing to drive stock price growth,”the company explained in its filing.
That’s generally how $1 salaries are explained, but sometimes they come in the form of punishment or self-flagellation. When Lee Iacocca was brought in to save Chrysler from bankruptcy in 1978, he took a $1 salary as a publicity stunt. Vikram Pandit’s salary was reduced to $1 in 2010, as Citigroup struggled to recover from the financial crisis, and executive compensation packages on Wall Street were facing intense public criticism; he was still fired two years later.
Zuckerberg’s $1 salary for 2013 was first revealed in Facebook’s IPO filing, but the proxy filing yesterday confirmed the amount and added that he won’t receive any bonus, either. It also revealed that Zuckerberg received a $266,101 bonus last year in addition to his $500,000 base salary. He also gets to use Facebook’s private planes, of course. Professional trips don’t count as compensation, but his personal trips on Air Facebook last year cost more than $1.2 million.
Image via AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
For those who frequently use the free public Wi-Fi in coffee shops such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, you’re likely already aware of easy it is for hackers to steal your personal and financial information over the shared network.
But what you may not realize is how cybercriminals could gain access to sensitive data in other ways that might not be on your radar.
According to ThreatMetrix, a provider of cybercrime prevention solutions, some hackers even leave malicious USB drives on tables for curious customers to plug into their devices. This allows them to retrieve personal information and even social network passwords.
Cybercriminals can also use video cameras on a mobile device to capture what you’re doing nearby. This means if you are entering your credit card or email login information into a smartphone, you could be recorded doing so. Creepy, right?
More sophisticated techniques include network scanners, which detect open ports on a device connected to the network, and “hotspot honeypots” which intercept a user’s Internet connection and give full access to that network.
Here’s a look at what to keep your eyes peeled for when cozying into a coffee shop near you.
Teams in the competition will represent a Military organization or unit. The team was unable to compete during the 2012 Eglin AFB Gate to Gate run due to military obligations. Our team will represent 7th Special Forces Group. Within 7th Special Forces group, the competitors will be from an Operational Detachment Alpha Underwater Operations Team. Members of these teams are graduates of the Special Forces Underwater Operations Course, the most arduous course the military has to offer. Combat Divers have a long standing tradition of being the most elite, mentally tough, and physically fit of the Green Berets. A traveling trophy will be awarded to the first team in the military division and we plan on winning it this year.
We will be dedicating our performance to one of our fallen teammates, SGT Timothy Padgett a Special Forces Medical Sergeant, who sustained a fatal gunshot wound while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan. It was six years ago this May that we lost our brother during one of the fiercest firefights in Afghanistan where he selflessly gave his life for his teammates. His family is now part of our family, and we want to remind them that their son, father, brother will never be forgotten. He left the world too soon, leaving a loving family and daughter behind.
The members of this team will be returning from one of the most volatile areas in Afghanistan, where they lived through the most dangerous combat operations performed in the country. The six weeks prior to the competition will be utilized to perform a rigorous cardiovascular and endurance based program, where the team members will be reaching the peak of their training during the week of the race. Though access to running courses are not existent in our area of Afghanistan, the team members have remained at a high level of fitness by employing treadmills and stationary bicycles, in conjunction with fast paced workouts, such as Cross fit and plyometrics.
Based on past years performances, the team members will need to average a 5:15 to 5:30 mile pace for the 4.4 mile event. Currently, without any real training assets in Afghanistan the team can average a 5:50 mile based off of treadmill time. We feel confident we can shave the rest of the time off in the six weeks we are back if we are provided with the training assets necessary.
The team wants to be able to donate as much as possible to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. They provide College Scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces and many other great programs as well. Special Forces soldiers are the tip of the spear and are continuously called upon to fight and operate in austere areas where normal forces cannot gain access. Special Forces soldiers are willing to give their lives for their brothers to the left and right. We want to help the families of our fallen brothers. Wish us luck during this race! More information on this great cause can be found at: http://www.specialops.org/
Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, the remaining at-large suspect in Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, appears to have a profile on VK, a social network popular with Russian speakers in Russia, Eastern Europe and parts of the Middle East.
The page, which exists under the alternate-spelling name “Djohar Tsarnaev,” lists Tsnarnaev’s current city as Boston, Mass., and his schools as Cambridge Ringe & Latin School ‘11 and a high school in Makhachkala, the capital city of the Republic of Dagestan, Russia. The profile lists the owner’s worldview as “Islam” and his “personal priority” as “career and money,” per Google Translate. He belongs to a handful of groups, including “CHECHEN’S.”
Law enforcement has not confirmed the page belongs to the suspect. However, the education and geographical information matches details known about the suspect. Additionally, the profile picture very much matches a newly released high-resolution picture published by the FBI Friday morning (FBI first, VK second):
Hundreds of people have been posting angry and derogatory photos and messages on the profile, some insulting Islam with others comparing the owner of the profile to a Nazi.
The owner of the profile is listed as last accessing the site at 9:04 p.m. via a mobile device, though it’s not clear which time zone the site displays.
The FBI’s two suspects, brothers Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, allegedly killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer and carjacked a Mercedes SUV late Thursday night. The elder brother was killed in a later shootout with police. The younger brother — the one seemingly belonging to this profile page — remains the focus of a police manhunt as the entire city of Boston has been put under a shelter-in-place order by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
The shelter-in-place warning to the residents of Boston spread throughout social media Friday as Boston police continue the massive manhunt for the second man suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings. It began Thursday night, and officials quickly locked down the city, halting trains, taxis and local businesses. One suspect was killed in a shoot-out with police.
As area residents, like Kathy O’Reilly, awoke to the news, they quickly turned to social media for the latest updates.
"We got the first reverse 911 call at 6:30 this morning telling us the school was closed due to the MBTA shutdown," she said. "We immediately called our kids and they had already received text messages and Facebook updates from the school. Our kids both attend college at Suffolk University. Suffolk has done an awesome job keeping all parents and students updated via their Facebook page."
Other residents are following Twitter for the latest news and warnings. The Boston Police tweeted continuously throughout the investigation and posted a tweet early this morning to warn residents in Watertown to stay indoors:
In case there was any question as to whether businesses should open, this tweet was a definitive ‘no.’
Officials continue to use Facebook and Twitter as a way to spread news and information, as have other news organizations, like the Boston Globe:
O’Reilly says Facebook has been her lifeline since the bombing on Monday. “We had one cousin running in the race on Monday and several family members near the finish line waiting for him to cross. Facebook was the only way we could stay in touch to be sure they were all OK.”
Boston’s Police Commissioner Ed Davis extended the shelter-in-place recommendation throughout Boston Friday morning.
Humanity is about to undertake a bold experiment. If all goes as Google hopes, many of us will be strapping on Google Glasses later this year. The post-PC era in effect since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 could give way to a the wearable computing era prompted by Glass.
Though there’s always a chance that the technology could fail miserably, it could also, as Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research suggests, be “the next Pinterest plus Amazon plus Facebook plus the iPhone put together.” In that case, Glass and other types of wearable computing will someday become the norm.
But what will that do to society? What will it do to our brains?
No one knows for sure, but scientists who have studied the effect that other types of technologies — like cell phones — have had on our health and thinking offer some hypotheses. Meanwhile, wearable computing pioneers have reported back from the front lines. They describe a world in which face-to-face interactions change in subtle ways and users form an attachment with their devices that is far more intimate than most of us have yet experienced. In this brave new world, we can expect to become turbo-charged with what amounts to a second brain, but also possibly more disconnected and, relatedly, less healthy.
First the dire warnings. Google Glass has the potential to make us more inwardly focused and less prone to take part in real-life conversations. That alienation could affect our physical health. Scientists have suspected for some time that the amount of human interaction you experience affects your physiological health. Though conventional wisdom is that a poor diet and lack of exercise are the prime factors contributing to heart disease, scientists have also identified theRoseto Effect, which posits that human interaction also has a preventative influence. Named for a famous study that looked at deaths from myocardial infarction over a 50-year period in Roseto, Pa., the study surprisingly found that social solidarity resulted in fewer heart attack deaths. In fact, Rosetans’ heart attack rates were half of that in the rest of the country. Rosetans smoked and ate rich Italian food but their town was once so close knit that everybody ate the same meals on the same days of the week. Other studies in Israel, Peru and Borneo found a similar relationship between social cohesion and health.
More recently, a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the vagus nerve — which connects the heart and the brain — was negatively affected by a lack of face-to-face communication. Writing in The New York Times, UNC professor Barbara Fredrickson opined:
In short, the more attuned to others you become, the healthier you become, and vice versa. This mutual influence also explains how a lack of positive social contact diminishes people. Your heart’s capacity for friendship also obeys the biological law of “use it or lose it.” If you don’t regularly exercise your ability to connect face to face, you’ll eventually find yourself lacking some of the basic biological capacity to do so.
Fredrickson charged that our preoccupation with cell phones has limited such real-life communication, leading, one assumes, with a lower “vagal tone” and compromised health. That effect might be magnified by wearable computing, which could lead to further alienation from real-life conversations. The same could also hold true for the Roseto Effect. If on average we are more inwardly focused and less community-minded, will that make us less healthy?
It depends. Early wearable computing pioneers found that they were still able to have lots of real-life conversations. In fact, some argue that their interactions were richer because of the devices since they were constantly on the lookout for moments of insight and inspiration to record. (See below.) However, as anyone who has witnessed the rise of smartphones over the past few years can attest, that technology has often been a hindrance to real-life interactions. A Pew Internet & American Life Project survey in 2011, for instance, found 30% of 18-29 year-old respondents have used their phone to avoid interacting with the people around them.
Will Google Glass accelerate this phenomenon? A counter argument is that one of the goals of Google Glass is to actually wean people away from their cell phones. When you get an email or text via Glass, for instance, you hear a light chime and you can decide then and there whether to answer it. Compare that to the buzz or vibration of a cell phone which requires that you often fish it out of your pocket and check to see who it’s from. Moreover, Glass is meant to be off most of the time and the screen on the device is above the user’s eye, so you have to make a conscious effort to look at the screen, which has been likened to viewing a TV from across a room. In other words, Glass isn’t meant to be an immersive experience.
Nevertheless, access to a small screen all of the time has the potential to make us less attentive. Primarily, this is because we can only focus on one thing at a time. If we’re talking or texting, then the rest of the world shrinks away. David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, says we should expect the same to happen with Google Glass.
"Some people are probably going to use Google Glass as ski goggles," he says. "But you’re going to crash because you’re not paying attention." Strayer used a familiar illustration: Sometimes when he was on the phone with his mother he’d also be watching football. "She’d hang up because I wasn’t paying attention," he says. Such distraction is a big risk with Google Glass. Simply put, the human brain lacks a robust parallel processing system.
Want proof? The video below makes an elegant case for such “attention blindness”:
It’s likely if you were counting the passes that you missed the guy in the gorilla suit. Similarly, if you’re receiving messages on Google Glass, don’t expect to be able to keep up with the person conversing in front of you. “That’s what I’d be curious about,” Fredrickson says. “What is the person on the other end of the conversation experiencing?” If the gorilla suit hypothesis holds true, that person would likely feel like Strayer’s mother on the other end of the phone conversation while Strayer was watching football.
For such researchers, Glass merely builds on the diminution of our cognitive processes that began with the introduction of search engines. In 2008, journalist Nicholas Carr explored that issue in his famous Atlantic cover story “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” in which he lamented the loss of his attention span:
Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.
Carr charged that the Internet has made us all easily distractable and connected the phenomenon to the rise of shorter magazine articles, text crawls during newscasts and the rise of capsule summaries in lieu of full-fledged reviews. As we’ve seen, the growth of smartphones has accelerated that progression. A smaller screen means headlines rather than news stories and sentences rather than paragraphs.
Google Glass seems like an obvious threat to our ability to process things in real time. But what about our brain’s ability to store that data? Leonardo Giusti, a post-doctoral researcher at the MIT Mobile Experience Lab, says that Glass over time will also undermine our long-term memory. “The instantaneous access to pertinent information, about objects, places or people, will reduce the need to retain information in a long-term perspective,” he says. “Potentially, it could progressively weaken our ability to remember.”
"Some people are probably going to use Google Glass as ski goggles. But you’re going to crash because you’re not paying attention."
That is no minor problem. As Guisti notes, “memories are not simple chunk of abstract information, they define our intimate relationship with places and people. As a result, when we will switch off our Google Glasses, we may find ourselves detached from the physical world, and the cultural and social context — a sensation of lostness that we are used to experience when our mobile phones go out of battery, in a city we are used to navigate using Google Maps.”
Another potential downside is that we’ll lose our ability to forget. That might not sound too bad, but as Giusti notes, “This is crucial in the building and in the maintenance of our personal identity. Google Glasses will forbid us to forget information. How this will impact on our personalities and social relations?”
Such concerns, at this point, might be overblown. The default for recording video on Glass is a Vine-like 10 seconds and the device is not engineered to record your life 24/7. Google execs who have been using Glass for a year or so have found that they like to retrieve moments, but don’t want to sit through a five-minute video. This has led to a more goal-oriented style of thinking and of consciously creating memories, as pioneers in wearable computing attest.
Facebook is updating its iOS apps to include the chat heads feature this week, with the necessary update hitting the app store Tuesday, the company has announced.
iPhone users who download the update will start to see chat heads pop up over the next couple of weeks, Facebook says.
Chat heads was unveiled as part of the Facebook Home announcement two weeks ago. Messages received on Facebook appear as bubbles with your friends’ heads in them. You can drag the bubbles around the sides of your screen. Clicking on them reveals the message; dragging them to the bottom dismisses the chats altogether.
On Facebook Home, a new downloadable layer that sits on top of Android, chat heads appear on your home screen and lock screen. On the iPhone and iPad, they will only appear within the Facebook app.
Keith Schroepfer, CTO and VP of engineering told the D: Dive Into Mobile conference that the iOS app update featuring chat heads would be pushed out at some point this week. Facebook later clarified that the update would arrive Tuesday, but that chat heads would be a staggered rollout.
Most Americans now know the feeling of typing something into a social media input box, thinking again, and deciding against posting whatever it was. But while it certainly seemed like a widespread phenomenon, no one had actually quantified the extent of this “self-censorship.”
But now, new research based on a sample of 3.9 million Facebook users reveals precisely how widespread this activity is. Carnegie Mellon PhD student Sauvik Das and Facebook’s Adam Kramer measured how many people typed more than five characters into Facebook content-input boxes, but then did not post them. They term this “last-minute self-censorship.” The research was posted to Das’ website and will presented at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence’s conference on Weblogs and Social Media in July.
The numbers are impressively large. Fully one-third of all Facebook posts were self-censored, according to the method Das and Kramer devised, though they warn they probably captured a substantial number of false positives. 71 percent of all the users surveyed engaged in some self-censorship either on new posts or in comments, and the median self-censorer did so multiple times.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the study was the demographic correlations with self-censorship. Men self-censored more often, particularly if they had large numbers of male friends. Interestingly, people with more diverse friend groups — measured by age, political affiliation, and gender — were less likely to self-censor.
While the researchers declined to speculate in this study about why people may or may not have self-censored, earlier research with a small group of users found five reasons people chose not share what they’d written: aversion to sparking an argument or other discussion, concern their post would offend or hurt someone, felt their post was boring or repetitive, decided the content undermined their desired self-presentation, or were just unable to post due to a technological or other constraint.
For Facebook users, the main takeaway here is probably: Feel free not to share. Facebook, on the other hand, has to have a more complex relationship to this research. Their interaction and business models depend on sharing, but it’s not hard to imagine some circumstances in which it would be better not to share: racist content, say. So, Das and Kramer say that future research should address when the non-sharing is “adaptive,” (which I think means good, in this context) and when, in the words of Das and Kramer, “users and their audience could fail to achieve potential social value from not sharing certain content, and the [social-network service] loses value from the lack of content generation.”
Wireless operators have access to an unprecedented volume of information about users’ real-world activities, but for years these massive data troves were put to little use other than for internal planning and marketing.
This data is under lock and key no more. Under pressure to seek new revenue streams, a growing number of mobile carriers are now carefully mining, packaging and repurposing their subscriber data to create powerful statistics about how people are moving about in the real world.
More comprehensive than the data collected by any app, this is the kind of information that, experts believe, could help cities plan smarter road networks, businesses reach more potential customers, and health officials track diseases. But even if shared with the utmost of care to protect anonymity, it could also present new privacy risks for customers.
The program, still in its early days, is creating a natural extension of what already happens online, with websites tracking clicks and getting a detailed breakdown of where visitors come from and what they are interested in.
Similarly, Verizon is working to sell demographics about the people who, for example, attend an event, how they got there or the kinds of apps they use once they arrive. In a recent case study, says program spokeswoman Debra Lewis, Verizon showed that fans from Baltimore outnumbered fans from San Francisco by three to one inside the Super Bowl stadium. That information might have been expensive or difficult to obtain in other ways, such as through surveys, because not all the people in the stadium purchased their own tickets and had credit card information on file, nor had they all downloaded the Super Bowl’s app.
Other telecommunications companies are exploring similar ideas. In Europe, for example, Telefonica launched a similar program last October, and the head of this new business unit gave the keynote address at new industry conference on “big data monetization in telecoms” in January.
“It doesn’t look to me like it’s a big part of their [telcos’] business yet, though at the same time it could be,” says Vincent Blondel, an applied mathematician who is now working on a research challenge from the operator Orange to analyze two billion anonymous records of communications between five million customers in Africa.
The concerns about making such data available, Blondel says, are not that individual data points will leak out or contain compromising information but that they might be cross-referenced with other data sources to reveal unintended details about individuals or specific groups.
Already, some startups are building businesses by aggregating this kind of data in useful ways, beyond what individual companies may offer. For example, AirSage, an Atlanta company founded in 2000, has spent much of the last decade negotiating what it says are exclusive rights to put its hardware inside the firewalls of two of the top three U.S. wireless carriers and collect, anonymize, encrypt and analyze cellular tower signaling data in real time.
Since AirSage solidified the second of these major partnerships about a year ago (it won’t specify which specific carriers it works with), it has been processing 15 billion locations a day and can account for movement of about a third of the U.S. population in some places to within less than 100 meters, says marketing vice president Andrea Moe.
As users’ mobile devices ping cellular towers in different locations, AirSage’s algorithms look for patterns in that location data—mostly to help transportation planners and traffic reports, so far. For example, the software might infer that the owners of devices that spend time in a business park from nine to five are likely at work, so a highway engineer might be able to estimate how much traffic on the local freeway exit is due to commuters.
Other companies are starting to add additional layers of information beyond cellular network data. One customer of AirSage is a relatively small San Francisco startup, Streetlight Data which recently raised $3 million in financing backed partly by the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom.
Streetlight buys both cellular network and GPS navigation data that can be mined for useful market research. (The cellular data covers a larger number of people, but the GPS data, collected by mapping software providers, can improve accuracy.) Today, many companies already build massive demographic and behavioral databases on top of U.S. Census information about households to help retailers choose where to build new stores and plan marketing budgets.
But Streetlight’s software, with interactive, color-coded maps of neighborhoods and roads, offers more practical information. It can be tied to the demographics of people who work nearby, commute through on a particular highway, or are just there for a visit, rather than just supplying information about who lives in the area.
“If you’re a retailer and you are on someone’s commute path, they may pass by you 600 times a year,” says founder and CEO Laura Schewel, a transportation researcher who is also finishing her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. “If they never come in, that’s a big missed opportunity.”
Streetlight’s work shows why such data has the potential to improve city planning. One of the company’s first customers is the Oakland Business Development Corporation, which is trying to attract businesses to a city with a reputation for crime and poverty, says Schewel.
Streetlight’s data shows the patterns by which droves of wealthier people commute through the city from outlying suburbs on their way to San Francisco, and it also shows that young people visit Oakland for the growing nightlife scene. The group’s goal is to convince national chains that don’t know Oakland well and might look only at household demographics that it makes sense to open up a shop there, and then help them chose ideal locations.
Of course, all the companies involved are aware that people may have privacy concerns, and they wrestle with the challenge of conveying what “anonymous” and “aggregated” data means to people who are increasingly aware that they are carrying around a tracker in their pocket. (Verizon Wireless also does allow its customers to opt out of the program).
The companies appear to be taking many precautions to protect privacy. In Streetlight’s case, the data is obtained in batches and algorithms are used to tease out patterns that help it match locations to other sources of data, such as DMV records or U.S. Census information. The company says it can’t track any individual device on a map or target ads to any one specific person with the data it buys. Schewel also emphasizes that the data is at least a day, if not a month, old and its software doesn’t report statistics for groups of less than 15 devices.
A more important question, probably, is how people will balance their privacy concerns with the benefits of making their location data, or other mobile data about them, more available. Research and experience suggest that in practice most people don’t mind, or don’t care as much as they think they do about privacy.
There will be many uses for such data. Some will involve the race to become the platform that provides the best mobile ads and deals. Verizon, for example, now has a pilot effort within its Precision Market Insights program that allows customers to opt in to (rather than opt out of) giving Verizon permission to share more information about who and where they are, including Web browsing and app usage data. In return, they might receive deals and offers on their phone from marketers who want to reach them.
The data could also save budget-strapped governments some money. In California, the state is undertaking an unusual pilot experiment by licensing GPS data from navigation providers rather than repairing its crumbling network of sensors and detectors in the state’s roadways. Alexandre Bayan, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who is helping put together the request for bidders, believes markets that give governments access to mobility data will eventually become common.
Schewel, who came to the idea for Streetlight as she was trying to give green transportation advocates better data about who uses the roads, also views her company as a long-term way to create more efficient cities by helping businesses locate closer to their customers and reducing shopping trips.
“A green transportation startup, where the core value proposition of the company is saving transportation fuel, is not a scalable idea,” she says. “But a marketing analytic startup that spits out mile reduction as its side effect? I think that is the most powerful way to be an agent for change.”
Facebook Home is Facebook’s new Android launcher that aims to bring a more “people-centric” view to your smartphone. While Facebook Home is available for a smattering of Android devices — including the HTC One X, HTC One X+, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Samsung Galaxy Note II, it’s also launching alongside the HTC First. The aptly named First is the first smartphone to ship with Facebook Home installed.
Charlie Shrem knew it would be difficult to convince investors to fund his startup, but he never expected that he’d have to beg on camera to raise the money he needed.
Shrem launched an online service in mid-2011 called BitInstant that lets users convert dollars into Bitcoins. This was more than a year before the digital currency’s value skyrocketed into the triple digits and gained an incredible amount of media attention. Most investors — like most of the general public — either didn’t know what a Bitcoin was, or else didn’t take it very seriously. Recognizing that, Shrem initially avoided asking investors for funding and instead took $10,000 from his mother. His father had already turned him down. But by the end of that year, Shrem needed more funds and he had no choice but to start making the rounds to investors.
"I went to every VC firm and got laughed at. I was looked at like I was from Mars," Shrem told Mashable in an interview earlier this week. "I wanted to give up. I didn’t know what I was doing."
After striking out with traditional investors, Shrem was invited to talk about his startup on The Bitcoin Show, an online-only program dedicated to all things Bitcoin. During the hour-long show, he pleaded repeatedly to anyone watching that he needed money to keep the site running. That night, Shrem was contacted by Roger Ver, an angel investor based in Tokyo, who ended up putting $120,000 in the company.
BitInstant’s business ticked up in the months that followed, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that the startup and the currency enjoyed a meteoric rise. Transaction volume on BitInstant has doubled each of the past three months and now totals in the seven figures on a monthly basis. BitInstant is currently “in negotiations” with the same kind of traditional investors that might have ignored the company back in 2011 to raise another round of funding at a valuation that Shrem says is in the “tens of millions.”
BitInstant is just one of several Bitcoin startups attracting funding from established venture firms and investors at a valuation in the millions. Coinsetter, a New York startup working on a foreign exchange trading platform for Bitcoins, recently raised $500,000 led by Tribeca Venture Partners and SecondMarket at a valuation that we hear is in the “low single-digit millions.” Coinbase, a startup that provides a digital wallet for Bitcoin transactions, has raised $600,000 to date from Y Combinator, IDG Ventures and others. (Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins who had a disputed role in the founding of Facebook, are also big Bitcoin investors, though they haven’t publicly gotten behind any Bitcoin startups.)
"Obviously, it’s not a market for the faint of heart," said Brian Hirsch, co-founder and managing partner at Tribeca Venture Partners, the day after Bitcoin passed $200 for the first time. Hirsch says his firm "spent a lot of time" trying to understand Bitcoin and its opportunities before making a financial commitment. Coinsetter is Tribeca’s first Bitcoin-related investment, but Hirsch says it’s likely the firm will invest in two to three more more.
We want to Dedicate our performance to one of our fallen teammates, SGT Timothy Padgett a Special Forces Medical Sergeant and be able to donate as much as possible to Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Gate to Gate 4.4 Mile is projected to take place on 5/27/2013 at 7:30 AM in Elgin AFB, FL. Based on previous races, Road Race Place expects there to be over 2000 finishers in the 2013 Gate to Gate 4.4 Mile race.
Teams in the competition will represent a Military organization or unit. The team was unable to compete during the 2012 Eglin AFB Gate to Gate run due to military obligations. Our team will represent 7th Special Forces Group. Within 7th Special Forces group, the competitors will be from an Operational Detachment Alpha Underwater Operations Team. Members of these teams are graduates of the Special Forces Underwater Operations Course, the most arduous course the military has to offer. Combat Divers have a long standing tradition of being the most elite, mentally tough, and physically fit of the Green Berets. A traveling trophy will be awarded to the first team in the military division and we plan on winning it this year. Help Spread The Word Share This Link! http://igg.me/at/SPECIALFORCES/x/2605095
We will be dedicating our performance to one of our fallen teammates, SGT Timothy Padgett a Special Forces Medical Sergeant, who sustained a fatal gunshot wound while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan. It was six years ago this May that we lost our brother during one of the fiercest firefights in Afghanistan where he selflessly gave his life for his teammates. His family is now part of our family, and we want to remind them that their son, father, brother will never be forgotten. He left the world too soon, leaving a loving family and daughter behind The members of this team will be returning from one of the most volatile areas in Afghanistan, where they lived through the most dangerous combat operations performed in the country. The six weeks prior to the competition will be utilized to perform a rigorous cardiovascular and endurance based program, where the team members will be reaching the peak of their training during the week of the race. Though access to running courses are not existent in our area of Afghanistan, the team members have remained at a high level of fitness by employing treadmills and stationary bicycles, in conjunction with fast paced workouts, such as Cross fit and plyometrics. Based on past years performances, the team members will need to average a 5:15 to 5:30 mile pace for the 4.4 mile event. Currently, without any real training assets in Afghanistan the team can average a 5:50 mile based off of treadmill time. We feel confident we can shave the rest of the time off in the six weeks we are back if we are provided with the training assets necessary.
Help Spread The Word Share This Link! http://igg.me/at/SPECIALFORCES/x/2605095
The team wants to be able to donate as much as possible to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. They provide College Scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces and many other great programs as well. Special Forces soldiers are the tip of the spear and are continuously called upon to fight and operate in austere areas where normal forces cannot gain access. Special Forces soldiers are willing to give their lives for their brothers to the left and right. We want to help the families of our fallen brothers. Wish us luck during this race! More information on this great cause can be found at http://www.specialops.org/ Help Spread The Word Share This Link! http://igg.me/at/SPECIALFORCES/x/2605095