Reverse Engineering a Startup

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff

The following story of “Ruby” reverse engineering a startup based on market conditions, industry trends, and nascent investor fads is taken from Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff.
One of the smartest technologists I know, a young woman from the West Coast I’ll call Ruby, decided to launch a company on a whim. Ruby did exhaustive research on emerging interests and keywords in the technology and business press, as well as conference topics and TED subjects. What were venture capitalists getting interested in? Moreover, what sorts of technical skills would be valuable to those industries? For instance, if she concluded that big data was in ascendance, then she would not only launch a startup related to big data but also make sure she created competencies that big data firms required, such as data visualization or factor analysis. This way, even if her company’s primary offering failed, it would still be valuable as an acquisition—for either its skills or its talent, which would be in high demand if her bet on the growing sector proved correct.
She ultimately chose geolocation services as the growing field. She assembled teams to build a few apps that depended on geolocation—less because the apps themselves were terrific (though she wouldn’t complain if one became a hit) than because of the capabilities those apps could offer to potential acquirers. Working on them also forced her team to develop marketable competencies as well as a handful of patentable solutions in a growing field with many problems to solve. The company was purchased, for a whole lot, by a much larger technology player looking to incorporate geolocation into its software and platforms. The employees, founder, and inventors who believed in her are now all wealthy people.
E-commerce using Elasticsearch
And Machine Learing
Last night, I attended an Elastic meetup hosted by HBC Digital. The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. This meetup provided one of those “aha” moments. It is possible to build a local search engine using elasticsearch. This search engine would incorporate e-commerce and machine learning.

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Closing The Achievement Gap

The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

Hidden Figures

Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson grew up in Hampton, Virginia. After graduating with highest honors from high school, she then continued her education at Hampton Institute, earning her Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Physical Science. Following graduation, Mary taught in Maryland prior to joining NASA. Mary retired from the NASA Langley Research Center in 1985 as an Aeronautical Engineer after 34 years.
Credits: NASA

Decades ago, women pioneered computer programming — but too often, that’s a part of history that even the smartest people don’t know. There is more about the pioneering women of computer programming below.
The Achievement Gap
For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.
When it comes to technology skills, the U.S. comes in last place — right below Poland. In addition, there was a significant racial difference with non-whites scoring below whites.

The Genius Farm

We taught a class in Larchmont on Unity programming.
Psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference. Terrance Jackson, the publisher of Pistis, adopted some of these simple interventions in a class called “Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson” that was offered to local 5th-8th graders at Larchmont Library. The game that they created using the Unity game engine is below. Pokémon Go uses Unity. We are looking to expand this program.
Roll-a-Ball

Roll-a-Ball

Click here to play.

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Fake News & Rethinking Digital Capitalism

Seven Magazine

Click the image above for
A rough draft of Seven Magazine.
Just as climate change is the natural byproduct of fossil capitalism, so is fake news the byproduct of digital capitalism.

market-cap

As described in Steve Denning’s Forbes article, “Roger Martin: How ‘The Talent’ Turned Into Vampires:”
How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet? Why do the nation’s leaders now spend so much of their time feeding at the trough and getting ever more for themselves? Why has public-mindedness in our leaders given way in so many instances to limitless greed?
These questions are being raised, not in some anti-capitalist rag from the extreme Left, but in the staid pro-business pages of the Harvard Business Review, in a seminal article by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business and the academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute: “The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy.
One key factor, argues Martin, is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy. Fifty years ago, “72% of the top 50 U.S. companies by market capitalization still owed their positions to the control and exploitation of natural resources.” But in the latter part of the 20th century, a new kind of organization began to emerge: an organization that prospered not by natural resources but through “the control and exploitation of human talent.”
We need to build a world where Facebook and Google neither wield much clout nor monopolise problem-solving.

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Seven AR Mobile App

A study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that between half a million and a million jobs could be created if higher-income Black households spent only $1 of every $10 at Black-owned stores and other enterprises.

Black-owned restaurants in Harlem

The hottest craze a few months ago was Pokémon Go. At one time it topped Twitter’s daily users, and it saw people spending more time in its app than in Facebook.

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go is an example of augmented reality (AR). Instead of using Pokémon (pocket monsters), we are developing an augmented reality game that uses similar game mechanics but with themes involving Black-owned businesses.

Pokémon Go has quickly become one of the most viral mobile applications of all time. The game is now the biggest ever in the U.S.; it has now topped Twitter’s daily users, and it sees people spending more time in its app than in Facebook, according to reports from various tracking firms.

Daily time spent in Pokemon GO

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New Rochelle AR Mobile App

The hottest craze a few months ago was Pokémon Go. At one time it topped Twitter’s daily users, and it saw people spending more time in its app than in Facebook.

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go is an example of augmented reality (AR). Instead of using Pokémon (pocket monsters), we are developing an augmented reality game that uses similar game mechanics but with themes from New Rochelle, NY.

Pokémon Go has quickly become one of the most viral mobile applications of all time. The game is now the biggest ever in the U.S.; it has now topped Twitter’s daily users, and it sees people spending more time in its app than in Facebook, according to reports from various tracking firms.

Daily time spent in Pokemon GO

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2nd Annual New Rochelle Broadband Forum

New Rochelle Broadband Forum

Save the date.
Samant Virk, MD
Instead of ensuring that America will lead the world in the information age—U.S. politicians have chosen to keep Comcast and its fellow giants happy.
On October 6, 2016, an unprecedented $750 million plan to launch an ultra-fast internet service in Westchester County’s four largest cities (Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers) was unveiled as one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects since opening the Tappan Zee Bridge and Metro-North railroad.
Gigabit Westchester

Yonkers mayor Mike Spano speaks about the joint initiative to pursue gigabit broadband with New Rochelle mayor Noam Bramson, left, Bill Mooney, CEO of the Westchester County Association, White Plains mayor Tom Roach and Mount Vernon mayor Richard Thomas, Oct. 6, 2016 in White Plains. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)

“What we’re learning is that digital infrastructure can be every bit as important (as roads and bridges),” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said. “As we come to rely on high-speed access to information – whether we are business, whether we are medical providers or whether we are residents – that kind of high-speed access is not going to be a luxury, it is going to be a requirement.”
Our First Forum in 2016

Building A Fiber Network
Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm

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Terabit Westchester

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year voted 3-2 to redefined broadband as being at least 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. The voted was divided along party lines, Chairman Tom Wheeler along with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voted in favor of the new definition while Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Ajit Pai voted against the new definition.
This definition of broadband is still way too slow. In American cities like New York, you can buy a 500 Mbps connection that’s 58 times faster than the U.S. average. Here’s the catch: It’ll cost you $300 a month, according to the New America Foundation’s Cost of Connectivity report. In Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, however, you can get twice the speed, a 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) connection, for under $40 a month. In New York and Los Angeles for under $40, Time Warner Cable offers a 15 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload connection.

Download speeds

In the United States broadband is both more expensive and slower at the same time. And this is mostly due to government policy as Susan Crawford writes in Captive Audience:
Instead of ensuring that everyone in America can compete in a global economy, instead of narrowing the divide between rich and poor, instead of supporting competitive free markets for American inventions that use information—instead, that is, of ensuring that America will lead the world in the information age—U.S. politicians have chosen to keep Comcast and its fellow giants happy.
Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford with Bill Moyers (BillMoyers.com)

Today, Internet backbone connections tend to run at 40 Gigabits (Gb) per second, while 100Gb is becoming more common. That’s good, but that’s not good enough. Fortunately, new research projects point the way to the terabit (Tb) Internet. And we would like to ensure that Westchester is in the forefront of implementing terabit Internet technology.

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