How a simple tech upgrade at the IRS could transform the economy

How a simple tech upgrade at the IRS could transform the economy

 When you apply for credit, you essentially ask a lender to evaluate your financial picture to make an informed decision about your approval, rate and terms. The information that lenders use primarily comes from two sources: you and private credit bureaus. This system is imperfect. It’s held back by outdated …

The U.S. needs to create civic social networks

The U.S. needs to create civic social networks

 I have no doubt that the same great minds who are actively driving new platforms for commerce and engagement can formulate a new product (or adapt an existing one) that allows elected officials to engage the American people in a civic environment without paid ads and political spending. Read More …

Historian Leslie Berlin talks about the rise of Silicon Valley

Historian Leslie Berlin talks about the rise of Silicon Valley

 In this week’s episode of Technotopia I spoke to author and historian Leslie Berlin, writer of Troublemakers: Silicon Valleys’ Coming Of Age. Berlin is the Project Historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University and one of the few people who can see the entire rise of SV tech …

Consumers dropped $200 million on apps on Christmas, up 12 percent from last year

Consumers dropped $200 million on apps on Christmas, up 12 percent from last year

 Consumers spent $196 million on apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions on Christmas Day 2017 across the App Store and Google Play, according to new data from Sensor Tower. The report, while excluding Android revenue in China, represents a 12.3 percent increase over last year’s spending of approximately $174 million. That …

You can now pick up an iMac Pro in-store, for $4,999 and up

You can now pick up an iMac Pro in-store, for $4,999 and up

 Apple’s super-powered iMac Pro hit the company’s online store just ahead of Christmas. Now those who’d prefer to pick one up in-person can do so by paying a visit to one of its various retail establishments. Availability was first spotted by MacRumors earlier today, and you can check it for …

OKCupid’s rating sinks as users rebel over new ‘real name’ policy

OKCupid’s rating sinks as users rebel over new ‘real name’ policy

 OKCupid’s users are angry – very, very angry. Just ahead of the new year, the company made a radical change to its policies, and now requires people to use real names instead of an OKCupid username, as before. The change eliminates one of the biggest differentiators between the dating app …

Amazon did a lot of funky stuff this year and it’s paying off

Amazon did a lot of funky stuff this year and it’s paying off

 Holy hell, it’s been a year for Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ former-online-bookstore dumped $13.7 billion to buy a bunch of grocery stores, that speaker you talk to in your living room that Amazon makes is really popular and a bunch of server farms Amazon runs generate more than $10 billion in revenue annually. …

All 50 states vote yes on AT&T’s $40 billion emergency response network FirstNet

All 50 states vote yes on AT&T’s $40 billion emergency response network FirstNet

 Communications are the bedrock of emergency response and management. However, those communications can be challenging when quickly evolving situations cross multiple jurisdictions. Today, AT&T announced that all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have officially signed on to FirstNet, a government program operated by AT&T to provide …

Facebook has a 100-person engineering team that helps advertisers build tools and infrastructure

Facebook has a 100-person engineering team that helps advertisers build tools and infrastructure

 Facebook says that one of its success stories in recent years involves a relatively small group of engineers. Originally it was just one engineer, Vastal Mehta, who serves as Facebook’s director of solutions engineering and now leads a team of more than 100 people that works with advertisers to build …