"Excuse me. I just wanted to ask: did you know I was taking a picture of you with my watch?"
This is what I asked a barista at a coffee shop near work, because, moments before, that's exactly what I did. Wearing a black-and-steel Samsung Galaxy Gear on my wrist, I made a few swipes and taps on the screen that captured my subject as he was making me coffee.
"No, but I heard the sound of a camera phone snapping."
He was referring to the beep-and-snap sound effect that comes through quite loudly on … Read more
A California regulatory agency has approved the first statewide guidelines in the US for ride-sharing services, setting up safety regulations for the tech companies disrupting the transportation industry.
Ride-sharing companies like Lyft, Sidecar, and UberX will have a year to bring their drivers up to the standards (PDF) set Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission, which include things like background checks on drivers, driver training, and minimum insurance coverage.
The companies see this as a win because it could allow them to expand to other cities in the state with fewer regulatory roadblocks.
Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New … Read more
Chegg, the 8-year-old California company that started as an educational textbook rental service but blossomed into an online learning hub, on Tuesday filed for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company managed to do it quietly, thanks to a 2012 U.S. law that allows companies with under $1 billion in annual revenue to work confidentially with regulatory agencies ahead of the announcement.
Chegg is seeking $150 million for its educational platform, which offers (digital and printed) textbook rentals and sales, homework assistance, online courses, and scholarship services. The Santa Clara-based company, which … Read more
In a spurt of perfect timing, I discovered Transit App almost immediately upon arrival in Chicago, where I was totally unfamiliar with the city's awesome public transportation system (make that systems, plural). In short order I was riding the CTA and Metra buses and trains all over the place with the ease and efficiency of a Chicago native.
After swinging a series of punches, it's looking like the state of California may be calling a truce with ride-sharing app companies.
The California Public Utilities Commission published a proposal on Tuesday that said it would allow companies like Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft to operate in the state if they adhered to certain guidelines. These guidelines require drivers to be licensed by the CPUC, go through criminal background checks, attend driver-training programs, carry $1 million per-incident insurance coverage, and have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.
"The Commission is aware that TNCs [Transportation Network Company] are a … Read more
In its move to cloud computing, NASA has experienced some difficulties meeting security guidelines. A new report by the agency's Office of the Inspector General says that NASA needs to work on strengthening its information technology security practices.
"We found that weaknesses in NASA's IT governance and risk management practices have impeded the Agency from fully realizing the benefits of cloud computing and potentially put NASA systems and data stored in the cloud at risk," the report reads.
A few examples of poor practices include NASA moving data into public clouds without notifying the Agency's … Read more
The tale of the Arkyd telescope is like that of the "little engine that could."
What seemed like a difficult task -- raising $1 million from a Kickstarter campaign to launch the world's first public space telescope -- was overcome on Monday as the crowdfunding goal was met with more than $1.5 million in pledges.
Not only did asteroid mining company Planetary Resources achieve its goal, it surpassed it, which means that the extra money can be used to add even more features to the telescope.
More than 17,600 people backed the Kickstarter campaign -- … Read more
Los Angeles is the newest in a long line of cities to pick a fight with ride-sharing apps. Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar all received cease-and-desist letters from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation on Monday.
The Department of Transportation claims the companies are operating "unlicensed commercial transportation service in the City of Los Angeles in violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code." The Department is demanding that the companies halt all vehicle operations "immediately."
"In the interest of public safety, your company and all drivers and vehicles dispatched via your mobile app sysem [sic] are hereby … Read more