Sony 1 – Geohot 0

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Remember the decision from a few weeks ago where a judge didn’t think they had jurisdiction to decide on the fate of jailbreaker George Hotz, aka Geohot? Well, Sony has finally seen their day in court and has managed to win a restraining order against Geohot.

We all know that once you put something on the internet it lives forever; the restraining order against Hotz only prevents him circulating the jailbreak. Sony would have to go after every single person who has the keys up to have any chance of stopping the spread of their keys. They can’t be that stupid, can they? Of course not.

Sony also released firmware version 3.56 today. Will the new firmware bring us new goodies? Not a chance. The purpose of the upgrade is to put a stop to all of the jailbreaking that has been running wild. We have confirmed that the update does indeed prevent jailbreaking, the question that remains is will it do so for good. After all, we do remember the cat and mouse game that went on for years with the PSP modding community.

tech.nocr.atSony 1 – Geohot 0 originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2011/01/27.

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A Look At Android 3.0 – Honeycomb

Google gave everyone a sneak peak of the next version of Android (Honeycomb) at CES earlier this year. Today they released the SDK for the upcoming tablet geared OS. Here’s a look at what we all can expect from Honeycomb.

UI

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The biggest change is the UI. Older versions of Android weren’t geared towards tablets, Honeycomb changes all of that. You will now have more space on your home screen to accommodate more widgets and icons. As you can see from the image above, you will be able to fit all sorts of things on your home screen(s)

Home Screen(s)

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The layout of the screens look much like older versions. There is a new 3D look to all of it that might cause problems with older hardware, the new Tegra 2′s should be able to handle it without much effort.

Notification Bar

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The notification bar has been moved to the bottom ala Windows and they have added some new buttons that work like the capacitive hardware buttons on most Android devices. They have also added a recent apps button that will show you the current state of apps running the background.

Keyboard

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The new keyboard is a great improvement over the older iteration with larger reshaped keys. They also include keys like “Tab” which should make the transition for desktop users easier. Copy and Paste has also seen some change. Much like iOS, a long press will select a word and you can drag the selector to choose more text.

Over all it looks like a great improvement, especially if you are running 2.2 on a tablet currently (like I am). A welcome upgrade if I ever saw one.

tech.nocr.atA Look At Android 3.0 – Honeycomb originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2011/01/26.

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Tiny Computer Looks More Like A Card Reader

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This is one small computer, actually it looks more like a memory card reader than a computer. Don’t be fooled by it’s incredibly small size, this thing is more powerful that my netbook. CompuLab’s TrimSlice packs one hell-of-a punch for such a small unit.

  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 1GHz
  • Integrated ultra-low power GeForce GPU
  • 1 GB DDR2-800 RAM
  • ATA SSD (up to 64GB)
  • WiFi 802.11n + BT
  • DMI 1.3 full-HD + DVI (dual head)
  • Stereo line-out, line-in, 5.1 digital S/PDIF
  • 4 USB Ports
  • Serial Port
  • Full size SD and Mirco SD reader
  • The unit comes in a solid metal case that can take some abuse, doesn’t need a fan to keep it cool and uses only 3 watts of power. CompuLab will be gearing this unit to the HTPC market and hasn’t announced an OS for it yet, but I’m sure the modding community will jump all over this once it’s released. This would be great for a small server connected to your TV running something like XBMC or a MythTV frontend.

    No official pricing has been announced yet, but CompuLab is aiming for a sub-tablet price and it should be shipping sometime in April.

    [Link to TrimSlice]

    tech.nocr.atTiny Computer Looks More Like A Card Reader originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2011/01/25.

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    Winner: iPod Nano Twiiter Contest

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    Congratulations to @MikeFancy on Twitter, he won the tech.nocr.at Twitter contest and a shiny new iPod nano is on it’s way to him. When we informed him that he was randomly chosen from the list of re-tweeters, he posted this to his twitter account:

    “I won an iPod Nano, just because I follow @technocrat_blog! A great surprise after getting a $1,500 repair bill for my van!”

    Maybe we should have been giving away a gift certificate to a mechanic instead. I hope he enjoys his new little toy

    Soon we will be digging through our draws to see what we can come up with next. Not sure on the contest theme yet, maybe a Facebook challenge, or another Twitter contest. Let us know what you think we should do for our next give-a-way and what you would like to see us give away (let’s keep it reasonable folks).

    tech.nocr.atWinner: iPod Nano Twiiter Contest originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2011/01/25.

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    Angry Birds Plush Toys

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    You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Angry Birds. The game is been one of the hottest mobile platform games ever pushing over 12 million installs to date. You can play it on just about every mobile phone platform and there is even talk of a movie about those damn birds and the pigs that try to steal their eggs.

    An etsy seller from Manilla is selling 100% hand-swen Angry Birds characters made from felt for the true addicts . The detail of these plush toys is suburb with careful (and I’m sure painstaking) detail applied to their facial features. You can pick them up myook’s etsy page for only $12 each. Time to start building your collection.

    [Via etsy]

    tech.nocr.atAngry Birds Plush Toys originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2011/01/25.

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    DIY: Wind-Up Cellphone Charger

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    Here is a great project that will keep your cellphone going when you have no outlet to charge it with. Ben Heck from the Ben Heck show took a cheap wind-up flashlight, added a small diode, resister and a female USB port to make a hand-crank charger for devices that charge via USB.

    I wouldn’t recommend using this to completely charge your phone as it would take hours of continuous cranking to get it there, but you can easily get enough juice for a call on a cell phone with just a few minutes of cranking. Its perfect for emergencies.

    [Link to The Ben Heck Show]

    tech.nocr.atDIY: Wind-Up Cellphone Charger originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2011/01/25.

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    Undercover Kicks Let You Pedal or Hoof It in High Style

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    Bike commuters face a dilemma every morning: Wear stylish-yet-inefficient street shoes, or suffer in stiff, ugly bike shoes all day. The third option, lugging an extra pair to work so you can have both power and panache, is a less-than-attractive compromise.

    Shoe startup DZR has changed that equation by crafting some great-looking, comfy kicks that conceal SPD-compatible cleats. The versatility allows you to make nice with your clipless pedals without straining your feet or your fashion sense.

    Clipless pedals let riders lock their feet to a bike for a more powerful and efficient pedal stroke. Clipless pedals are safer and far more productive than toe cages. But they also require small cleats on the bottom of the shoe in order to clip on to the pedal.

    In addition, bike shoes have stiff soles for efficient power transfer. For obvious reasons, because of the stiffness of the shoe and the bottom cleat, bike shoes are a drag to walk around in all day.

    DZR’s new line of shoes is an attempt to reconcile the bike shoe with the street. It’s been done before, but rarely has it worked so well.

    A hollowed-out section on the bottom of the shoe conceals an SPD cleat (not included). Meanwhile a nylon shank in the sole provides more stiffness than your average sneaker, while remaining flexible enough to walk comfortably.

    We even ran around in them a bit without noticing the rigidity — although we wouldn’t exactly want to jog in these things.They were fantastic on the bike, clipping in and out easily, with a noticeable stiffness on the up and down pedal strokes.

    Yet they’re also extremely comfortable to wear and damn good-looking. The Strasse model we tested has a skate shoe cut, with herringbone tweed uppers and black accents. The logo on the heel doubles as a reflector when light hits it, which is great for night riding. Don’t want to walk around in your cleats? Swap them out with the screw-in rubber covers shaped to fit the exposed section in the sole. Unless you revealed the piece of metal embedded deep in the sole, no one would know these are bike shoes.

    Yet, like all compromises, they’re not perfect. In order to remove the rubber plug in the bottom of the shoe to install the cleat, you have to slice it out with a knife. It was easy enough to do, but also seemed like a good way to lose a finger. We think the shoe ought to come with that bottom section already removed.

    Also, the cleats tend to touch the ground in a noticeable way on concrete and (worse) hardwood. While you can remove them and replace them with the rubber covers, we expect most people would consider it too much of a pain to do every day.

    Overall, however, these innovative and fashionable kicks make a great combination that will look just as good on the bike or at the bar. Just don’t get trashed and try to ride home, OK?

    WIRED: Concealed cleats make shoe easy on the eye and the ride. Nylon shanks provide more stiffness than Chucks, without going full-on Lance. Rear reflector is discreet during day, lights up like a Daft Punk show in car headlights. Men’s and women’s shoes available.

    TIRED: You want us to slice the bottom with a knife? The only way we want to cut rubber soles involves a Beatles album and a turntable.

    See also:

    Photos: Jim Merithew/Wired.com

    HP’s 3-D Laptop: One More D, 300 More Dollars

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    First they came for our 2-D televisions. Now they want our laptops.

    If you thought 3-D was a tough sell for the living room, now imagine if you had to lug the technology around with you. That, in fact, is the big sell of the HP Envy 17 3D, and any other 3-D-equipped laptop: It gives you the world of three dimensions on the go. Can you feel the excitement? No? Well, ahem.

    Let’s cut to the chase. You are not going to buy a 3-D laptop for the same reason that you have not bought a 3-D television: You simply do not care.

    On paper, a 3-D laptop sounds like it makes sense. After all, if the Cineplex is showing the same movie in 2-D and 3-D format at the same time, you pay the extra buck and go to the 3-D version. So if your laptop can do the same, well, you’ll shell out a little extra for it, right?

    Wrong. If the HP Envy 17 3D was just an Envy 17 plus 3-D tech, that’d be one thing. But it’s clear HP has had to make many compromises to squeeze 3-D into this form factor — compromises made at the expense of everything else inside.

    There’s nothing really wrong with the specs: 17.3-inch, 1920×1080-pixel screen, 640-GB hard drive, 6 GB of RAM, 1.6-GHz Core i7 CPU, and an ATI Radeon HD 5850 graphics card. These aren’t ultra-highend specs — the usual stomping ground of the Envy line — and it shows on the benchmarks. The Envy 3-D performed about in line with older, smaller machines we’ve tested that cost hundreds of dollars less. Not bad, but hardly memorable.

    The 3-D experience isn’t much to write home about, either. Relatively still scenes look good through the included active shutter glasses, but once the action starts, the image quickly gets blurry and fuzzy. Compared to a theater, or even a decent 3-D TV, where 3-D suffers partly because of the limitations of the human brain, the experience is pretty pathetic.

    And suffice it to say, we just can’t imagine a lot of people sitting at their desk, wearing goofy glasses so they can watch Alice in Wonderland in 3-D on their computer. (No, you can’t turn a standard 2-D source into 3-D on the fly, and 3-D PowerPoint is right out.)

    Now factor in a $1,600 price tag — $300 more than the non-3-D Envy 17 — and the picture grows murkier.

    The ultimate value proposition, I guess, is this: Not only do I have to lug this giant computer and enormous power brick around with me (plugging in is recommended in 3-D mode, as battery life hits a whopping 39 minutes), but I have to haul around glasses, too? Pffhhhhhhhttttt.

    WIRED: Three dimensions, people! Can you dig it? Backlit keyboard. Impressive “Beats” audio system. Dazzling, super-bright display. Includes Adobe Photoshop and Elements combo.

    TIRED: 3-D experience is gimmicky, weak and already boring. Loud, grinding fan drowns out those awesome speakers when laptop heats up. There’s just no excuse for a computer this big to have arrow keys this pathetically small.

    See also:

    Photos by Jonathan Snyder/Wired.com

    Say ‘Moshi Moshi’ to a Sleek Handset With Multiple Personalities

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    The first thing you’ll notice about the Moshi Moshi 04 is its 1960s-inspired Eero Saarinen styling. So cool-looking is the brushed aluminum and high-impact plastic hunk of eye candy, it almost makes the handset’s impressive functionality seem secondary.

    But as seductive as the design is, the Moshi Moshi 04 knows too many tricks to be considered just a pretty curio. In fact, it does triple duty on your desktop — it’s a handset you can use to make phone calls, a speaker phone for conference calls and a set of portable stereo speakers.

    British manufacturer Native Union has produced several iterations of these mobile-phone handsets. They take their name from the idiomatic greeting the Japanese say when answering their phones. (It means hello, sort of.) Most of the Moshi Moshis are designed by Frenchman David Turpin, but this one has been dreamed up by renowned British designer Michael Young. It comes in two colors — gold and silver.

    The handset talks to your gadgets using Bluetooth 2.1, so it can be connected to two separate devices at once. Pair it with your cellphone to answer regular calls, and it will continue to work flawlessly as a handset for Skype calls from an iPad or as a set of auxiliary speakers for any Bluetooth-enabled PC. You can also pair it to two different phones, two iPads — whatever combination you please.

    There’s a built-in multipoint microphone for conference calls. Set it down on a table, click the single button on the back, and everybody in the room can join in a conversation. The quality will of course vary depending on the acoustics of the room, but the sound does start off a tad tinny.

    The handset itself has a gentle, concave shape. It feels natural to hold it while conversing, and it actually makes you forget that you’re talking to somebody on a cellphone. And if you’re one of those people who worries about cellphone radiation, you’re provided with more than just physical comfort — Native Union says the handset reduces up to 95 percent of the radiation you would otherwise absorb through direct use of your mobile phone. So you can toss the tinfoil hat.

    Music playback is surprisingly decent through the pair of 2-watt speakers engineered by HiWave. Bluetooth audio usually doesn’t sound much better than a trebly AM radio, but the Moshi makes listening to music from a phone or iPad a perfectly acceptable experience, and the bass is solid even without the benefit of a subwoofer. It’s certainly an upgrade from the native speakers built in to the iOS devices and most smartphones.

    The Moshi Moshi 04 sits on a recharging base reminiscent of a ying yang symbol. Its rechargeable battery gets about six hours of talk time and two hours of music playback. Standby time is 120 hours.

    WIRED: Beautiful futuristic design. Can be paired with two devices simultaneously. Versatility cuts down desk clutter. Stereo speakers are impressive.

    TIRED: At more than 9 ounces, handset is a tad heavy. Music playback over Bluetooth can stutter, depending connection strength and distance between devices.

    Yuri Milner, SV Angel Offer EVERY New Y Combinator Startup $150k

    Everything just changed in the angel investing world.

    Two years ago Yuri Milner, through his investment firm DST, disrupted the traditional Silicon Valley venture capital model when he began investing in the hottest startups – companies like Facebook, Zynga and Groupon – at very high valuations and extremely easy deal terms. He looks brilliant in hindsight, with all of his U.S. investments at significantly higher valuations since he invested.

    Most top VC firms have begun emulating DST’s deal structure.

    Now he’s partnering (as an individual, not as part of DST) with Ron Conway’s angel fund, SV Angel. And they’re making a bold investment move. This evening they’ve just made a blanket investment offer to every Y Combinator startup in the most recent batch. They’re going to invest in all of them. Every single one. And this is the biggest Y Combinator class to date – some 40 new startups.

    They haven’t even seen most of the startups yet. This is a bet on the quality of Y Combinator startups in general.

    All of the new Y Combinator entrepreneurs gathered at Y Combinator headquarters in Mountain View California on Friday evening to hear about the offer, They weren’t told why they were supposed to be there, just that something important was happening. The SV Angel team was there in person. Milner joined from Europe by video conference.

    The terms? $150,000 in convertible debt. With no cap and no discount. If you’re an investor you know exactly what that means and you just shuddered a little. Those aren’t terms that most angels can’t match.

    If you’re not an investor, here’s what it means. Yuri and SV Angel just offered to loan each company $150,000. That loan will convert if/when the company raises a proper angel or venture capital round at the same valuation that’s set in that round. Most convertible debt has a valuation ceiling and also gets a discount on conversion. This debt doesn’t.

    It’s the most investor friendly investment that I can think of, short of just handing people money as a gift.

    Each startup can choose to take the investment or not. If all 40 of the startups accept the loan then a total of $6 million will have been invested. And Milner/SV Angel say they intend to offer this for each Y Combinator startup in the future, too. That means Y Combinator entrepreneurs will not only get the $15k – $20k from Y Combinator during the first few months of their project, but they can look forward to another $150,000 a few months later. That’s usually enough to complete development and launch a product.

    This is a huge win for Y Combinator, and cofounder Paul Graham seemed very pleased when we spoke by telephone this morning. He also says it’s a smart investment strategy. If only a couple of the startups have a large liquidity event it’s likely to be a good investment for Milner and SV Angel, he noted. “This is a hits driven business,” he said.

    This also spreads incredible goodwill throughout the young entrepreneur community.

    This also puts Y Combinator further ahead of competing early stage incubators/investors. Entrepreneurs now know they’ll be offered easy terms on $150,000 in capital just for being part of Y Combinator. That’s an incredible marketing advantage.

    This is not such a big win for other angel investors, who are still struggling with business models and rising valuations. They tend to mob Y Combinator startups generally. And now they’ve got to deal with startups that don’t need cash as desperately, and who already have Milner and SV Angel as investors. That’s two more steps behind than they were before.

    SV Angel says that this is a separate process from their normal investing. They’ll invest additional sums in some of the Y Combinator startups just as they always have. They’ve already invested in two from this batch so far, says SV Angel Managing Partner David Lee, and it’s extremely early in the process.


    ‘Angry Turds’ Is Like ‘Angry Birds’ Except With, Yes, Turds

    Ever wish Angry Birds had more poop in it? Well look no further than the App Store today, as Apps Genius has launched Angry Turds. As a monkey in Angry Turds, you get to battle evil island explorers who have stolen your monkey babies with various projectile weapons.

    The concept is similar to Angry Birds as your objective is to throw stuff but the stuff here goes beyond rocks to coconuts, turds, banana bombs and grand poop-bas (I am so glad I never spent any money getting a journalism degree).

    Angry Birds addicts will be happy to discover that the touch action of throwing objects is exactly the same as in Angry Birds except there’s no slingshot. The weapons themselves each have varying properties in terms of force and levels of destruction per throw.

    What’s even more amazing than the fact that someone made this is that the App Store thinks that the word “turds” needs censorship (as in “Angry T*rds for iPhone”) but the word “poop” is as clean as the Pope himself.

    For example:

    “There is only one way to stop them, throw some t**ds! With your arsenal of t**ds, coconuts, poop bombs and bananas”

    On why he chose this specific name and concept, Apps Genius CEO Adam Kotkin told us “People are into the whole poop thing. When you speak with a 12 year old you realize that they know more than the rest of us … It’s fun to throw poop around. Poop sells.”

    Angry Turds is available in both free and $0.99 paid versions, with 10 levels and 30 levels respectively, in case you need to step your turd game up. You can download the app here.


    Blekko Takes Curated Search Mobile With iPhone And Android Apps

    Blekko, the search engine that is fighting the good fight against web spam with human editors, is joining biggies Google and Bing in the mobile search arena today with an Android and iPhone application double whammy. Says Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta, “In a world where people want the most relevant answers on the go, mobile search is becoming increasingly more significant.”

    The app has a sparse interface which allows you to view search results whether or not you are logged in with your Blekko account. With the exception of Facebook integration, the app pretty much runs the gamut of features found on Blekko itself, most notably the ability to search by /slashtag or curated topic. Results are sorted by most relevant and by date.

    The app also offers suggested slashtags for each search at the top when you scroll down on a search. For Blekko power users, an interface with the buried treasure features of “Mark as Spam””View SEO info””Add to Slashtags” and “Open in Safari” can be accessed by clicking on the arrow next to each individual result in your search and then clicking on box/arrow icon the bottom right corner to reveal further options (see the image on the right, above).

    Blekko, which boasts more than 100,000 slashtags created after its launch in November, has raised $24 million from VC superstars like Ron Conway, Mike Maples, Jeff Clavier and Marc Andreessen and most recently actual superstars like Ashton Kutcher.

    As of today the app is free in the App Store and Android Market.

    Information provided by CrunchBase


    Meetup Feels The Wrath Of The Crowd After Radical Changes

    Meetup, a long time go-to place to create local online groups, has undergone a major re-launch in the past day. However, it may have missed a trick: not consulting the meetup organizers who pay through the nose for the service. There now appears to be something of a revolt going on amongst some organisers, who are vociferously protesting about the changes.

    The reaction of annoyed organisers and members has turned into two, count-em, Twitter hashtags: #newmeetup and #meetuporganizersunite.

    Alternatives to Meetup like BigTent are being touted, as is GroupSpaces – a startup which last year raised $1.3 million from the likes of Index Ventures and Angels like Dave McClure and Chris Sacca. It is is already gunning for “FormerMeetupOrganizers” with its own group and a blog post on the subject.


    The Future of Search: Who Will Win The Spam Wars?

    Sometimes, all it takes is a little spark to set off a major forest fire. That is what seems to have happened with my New Year’s Day post on Why We Desperately Need a New (and Better) Google. Over the last two months, there has been an avalanche of articles echoing my post (and a few before it from notable people like Jeff Atwood), including New York Magazine, Business Insider, GigaOm, TechCrunch, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal.

    I had a feeling that this would get Google’s attention. And I had the same concern as when I challenged the Russian government, once, in a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article about Skolkovo (a new tech park). I feared that Google would either blacklist me or do its equivalent of putting me in a Gulag—deliver even more spam when I search websites.

    But I was delighted to get an e-mail from Amit Singhal, the head of Google’s SEO team. His message was exemplary for those wanting to learn how to handle a PR crisis. Here is part of what he wrote:

    I read your post on TechCrunch yesterday and was quite disappointed by the fact that Google search failed your students at their task. My team and I treat every such failure as an inspiration to improve Google. Would it at all be possible for me to get a few queries from your students for which our algorithm failed? We will debug every aspect of our system for those queries.

    He went on to invite me to visit Google to show me how they run the search system and listen to any other criticism I had to offer.

    I took Amit up on this and spent hours with him; with Matt Cutts, who heads Google’s webspam team; and with their lead developers. They were incredibly open and honest. They acknowledged the deficiencies of Google search, shared ideas on how they plan to fix them, and asked for feedback.

    I raised concerns that “content farms” are turning the web into a massive garbage dump, that many sites are simply replicating the content of others like TechCrunch, and that Google has no incentive to stop this because it gains advertising revenue from the spammers.

    The Google developers assured me that there is a very high Chinese Wall between them and the business side of the company; that they have been instructed by Google’s executives to do only what is in the interest of users—to keep improving quality of search results and the user experience. They said they understood the issues and had many solutions to the technical problems. I questioned whether the spam problems could even be solved algorithmically; whether the only solution was a curated web-search model like that of Blekko and DuckDuckGo. They convinced me that they could, and would, win the battle.

    Matt said he would post a blog, which he did, on Jan 21. In it, he explained that Google had already made improvements to make it harder for “spammy on-page content to rank highly”; had radically improved its ability to detect hacked sites, which were a major source of spam in 2010; and was about to implement a change that would directly address the issue of sites copying others’ content. Most importantly, he acknowledged that something had to be done about the “content farms,” and said that Google would.

    Not surprisingly, Matt’s blog led to another avalanche of media coverage. As it turns out, the biggest content farm of them all, Demand Media, was set for an IPO this week (on Jan 26).   Savvy bloggers and journalists began to question whether it could sustain its profits without Google’s support. The Wall Street Journal asked Did Google Just Make Demand Media Less in Demand?, and GigaOm wondered Did Google Just Declare War on Demand Media?

    Nonetheless, Demand Media had a spectacular IPO. Its investors reaped huge bounties, with the company achieving a market cap of $1.7 billion—valuing it higher than the New York Times. So the public markets rewarded junk over quality. And they called Google’s bluff.

    Where does that put us? Do we have to watch the web become one big toxic waste dump—as the spammers rake in billions of dollars? Or will Google indeed save the day?

    There is an event on Tuesday, Feb 1, called Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box, to discuss these questions. It will be live-streamed on TechCrunch (watch for a post by Jon Orlin on that day) and is being organized by BigThink, a public online forum for intellectuals (people like Gary Kasparov, Jimmy Carter, Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie, Nouriel Roubini, and Paul Krugman). BigThink has thousands of videos on its site, which 1.5 million people watch every month.

    I am emceeing the BigThink event and moderating a panel with three big players: Matt Cutts from Google; Harry Shum, Microsoft Corporate Vice President who heads Bing development, and Rich Skrenta, founder and CEO of Blekko.

    Here are some questions that I plan to ask the panelists. Please share your comments below and suggest additional questions. I can’t promise I’ll cover all the topics you raise, but I will bring up as many as I can.

    1. How will they save the web? Is it possible for search engines to separate the wheat from the chaff—tell the difference between content produced by regular people and large-scale junk produced by the spammers?

    2. How are the engines really different? Most people can’t tell the difference between Google and Bing. Where is the magic?

    3. What lies ahead? What is the future of search?

    I have no doubt that this will be a very lively and informative event.  There are also other great presentations such as:

    • Jaron Lanier, named by Time Magazine in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, speaking about the need for a new sustainable revenue model for search.
    • Esther Dyson, in an address entitled “The Future of Search is a Verb,” speaking about how we want search to help us do something—a set of many verbs.
    • Demos from Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Architect of BING maps at Microsoft; and Luc Barthelet, Executive Director of Wolfram|Alpha.

    I hope you’ll tune in.

    Editor’s note: Vivek Wadhwa is an entrepreneur turned academic. He is a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School , Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at The Halle Institute for Global Learning at Emory University. You can follow him on Twitter at @vwadhwa and find his research at www.wadhwa.com.


    AnyLeaf Aggregates And Delivers Personalized Grocery Store Deals

    For decades, my mother and grandmother have both religiously scanned the weekly coupon books and circulars that arrive in the weekend newspaper. While clipping coupons can be tedious, grocery stores’ weekly deals can often take out a significant chunk of change of the weekly food bill. Of course, as print couponing becomes obsolete, many consumers are looking to the web for deals at their local grocery stores. Today, Y Combinator-backed AnyLeaf is launching its intelligent grocery deal aggregator to the public.

    AnyLeaf scours local grocery store sites in the San Francisco Bay area and aggregates all the deals from these stores, including CVS, Lucky, Nob Hill, Raley’s, Safeway, Target, and Walgreens. You simply enter your zipcode and email address, and AnyLeaf will send you a weekly email with deals from the local grocery stores near you.

    And what sets AnyLeaf apart from other grocery store deal aggregators is that it applies an intelligent algorithm to sourcing deals for users. You can specify that you don’t want to see deals on specific food items and products, and after your start interacting with AnyLeaf’s site, the service will start recommending similar items to those you have chosen to see deals for. And AnyLeaf collects historical prices for food items and will also show you how steep a discount is compared to past discounts from grocery stores.

    For now AnyLeaf is limited to the Bay area but plans to expand to other cities in the near future. For any Trader Joe’s fans out there, AnyLeaf doesn’t aggregate deals from the popular grocery store chain because the company doesn’t post sales publicly on the Trader Joe’s site.

    Personally, I would pay more attention to grocery deals at the stores where I shop if I received comprehensive lists of weekly deals via email. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Chicago is AnyLeaf’s next expansion!

    Information provided by CrunchBase