Apple is fundamentally human. Foursquare clearly wants to be human too.
"You can poo-poo how like those touchy-feely things don’t mean too much to users but I really think that’s the core and kind of the soul of the service and people identify with that," Crowley told the [GIllmor] Gang.
Facebook Places went live last night and I decided to give it a whirl soon after being seated for Mediterranean food at a neighborhood restaurant. My husband and I were waiting for two friends and, even before they could walk through the door, I checked all of us in at Zenon Taverna in New York City.
I did so without their permission and, sure enough, a post linking all four of us to a restaurant in Queens popped up in more than 1,000 newsfeeds. I could have made this dinner party seem a lot larger than it was: all it took was searching through nearby businesses, selecting Zenon, tapping in a quick update and tagging as many of my hundreds of Facebook friends as I pleased.
…It wasn’t until the server brought the third round of small plates and the second bottle of wine that I decided to tell the party that I had checked them all in on Facebook.
Keep in mind this was a foursome of twenty-somethings, a bunch of typical iPhone-toting over-sharers who have all been guilty an incriminating photo or tweet. Among us were at least a couple of Foursquare mayorships and one notorious Facebook photo tagger. Together, we have 1,544 Facebook friends. From our profile pages, you’ll learn what we’re doing at work, where we live, what we’re reading, email addresses, even one cell phone number. Via mobile uploads and wall posts, you’ll find out one of us recently took two trips: one out of the city for a clam bake, and Philadelphia before that.
So they were all OK with being checked in at a Mediterranean joint in Queens, right? Well, wrong. To my surprise, the group was appalled that I could tag their locations without them knowing. One said while he’s on Foursquare, he keeps tight guard on who gets to follow him there, while his Facebook pool is far wider and includes people he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing location with. He later said that while he’s OK with advertisers knowing what websites he’s visited or other such details, he’s really not into acquaintances, exes and coworkers knowing where he is at any given moment. That’s personal.
“Designers of computer games… stand accused of despoiling children’s fragile minds with at best trivial (and probably nefarious) wares, producing a whole generation of violent sociopaths reared on gory first-person shooters and inured to human suffering. Such fears are certainly overblown.”—We talk to the inventor of Foldit, a game that solves one of the toughest problems in biochemistry (via theeconomist)
A few months ago we announced a partnership with Stamen Design, the best online mapping and data visualization company we know. It’s time to announce Polymaps, the first public milestone in that partnership, at http://polymaps.org.
The award that comes with a $25,000 investment from i/o Ventures and several months’ free office space at its headquarters in San Francisco will be presented at the inaugural WIE Symposium (which stands for Women: Inspiration & Enterprise) in New York City in September.
“We believe that female entrepreneurs are under-served and we want to help; we think that mentorship is important but even more so putting real money to work,” said i/o Ventures’ co-founder Paul Bragiel.
The competition site can be found here. Women can apply here. The deadline is Sept. 10.
“Last Tuesday, legendary tech investor Ron Conway addressed the glop-eating masses at Y Combinator during our usual Tuesday illustrious-speaker dinner. The question was asked about the New York tech scene, and it’s relative strength vis-à-vis Silicon Valley. Paul Graham took up the question with Techcrunch TV recently, as a follow-on to Conway’s remarks. Chris Dixon, a respected New York-based VC, has also chimed in on the tech renaissance going on there.
They’re all wrong.
New York will never be more than a tech sideshow1.
Thinking the New York tech scene will ever equal Silicon Valley is as foolish as thinking San Francisco’s puny theater district will one day take on Broadway. Both Silicon Valley and Broadway are unique products of the cities that spawned them, and every attempt to create a Silicon Alley/Silicon Sentier/Skolkovo/whatever in various parts of the world have failed. So far, no one’s managed to do it, and New York sure as hell won’t either.
The intellectual candle-power isn’t there
Harvard and MIT anchor Boston’s startup scene, and have midwifed countless startups. Berkeley and Stanford were the birthplaces of everything from BSD Unix to Google.
New York has no comparable sources of intellectual firepower. NYU is an arts school. Their only world class science is the Courant Institute and its applied math program, which serves as a feeder school for Wall Street. Columbia is not a top-notch engineering school, and anyhow, it’s way the hell up and gone in Harlem, and no one who isn’t a student or faculty ever goes up there4.”—