posted 5 days ago on the next web
Alana Muller is the President at Kauffman FastTrac, an organization that equips entrepreneurs with the business skills and insights, tools, resources, and networks to start and grow. This post originally appeared on the Clarity.fm blog. The entrepreneurial journey is full of twists, turns, ups and downs. That’s why you need the support of trusted advisors.  Take these examples: 1. The Accidental Founder Renee is in early stage mode. She has an “accidental business” – something that she happened upon as a result of her interest in helping people. To her surprise and delight, what started as a hobby, helping people decorate their... This story continues at The Next Web

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LinkedIn today announced that it now has 300 million registered users on its platform with roughly two-thirds of them based outside the US. Considering that LinkedIn’s goal is to create economic opportunity for all 3.3 billion global workforce members, the company has hit 9 percent of its goal with just 3 billion left to go. I asked LinkedIn how many of its registered users count as monthly active users, but the company declined to provide a number. It does, however provide visitor numbers during its quarterly earnings reports. For the fourth quarter of 2013, LinkedIn had 139 million monthly unique... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 5 days ago on the next web
When Sony unveiled the Xperia Tablet Z, it offered a glimpse of the future for full-size Android tablets. Sleek, light and waterproof, the 10.1-inch slate was a true iPad competitor. Twelve months later, the company is back with its replacement. Although the Xperia Z2 Tablet looks almost identical to its predecessor from afar, it’s even lighter, thinner still and packed with updated components. By embracing the annual upgrade cycle widely adopted in the smartphone market, Sony wants to stay ahead of the curve. It faces stiff competition from Samsung’s new Galaxy NotePRO tablets, Apple’s numerous iPad models and other tablets... This story continues at The Next Web

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Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten is increasing its focus on China after it announced a partnership with Alipay, the Alibaba-affiliated payment platform, to make it easier for shoppers in China to buy goods from its global site. Rakuten Global Market, the international branch of Rakuten’s domestic Ichiba marketplace service, has now added Alipay to its payment options. Parent firm Alibaba is China’s dominant online retail firm, but Rakuten’s service offers access to goods from retailers in Japan and other countries. Right now, 10,000 of the 42,000 ‘shops’ listed on Rakuten Ichiba sell goods internationally. An initial 250 will support payment via Alipay,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Reports this week suggest that Facebook is preparing to launch an e-money service. The Financial Times believes that the US company is weeks away from gaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would let users store money on Facebook and use it to pay others. Facebook declined to comment on the report and its exact goals are unclear at this point. Forbes reports that Facebook has already obtained Money Services Business (MSB) licenses in 48 U.S. states, so it is planning something global, but the publication highlights a valid question: do users trust Facebook to handle their money? Asia:... This story continues at The Next Web

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When Samsung introduced its first Internet radio service Milk Music in March, one of the things that stood out was that it was available free and without ads. That may change soon, according to information disclosed by Samsung today. Nestled away in an infographic about Milk Music is a pricing plan which suggests that the free version of the service will “soon” include advertising. Those wanting to avoid corporate messages interrupting their listening will be able to pay $3.99 per month for a premium service that Samsung hints is also on its way, complete with as-yet-unknown ”exclusive features”. Milk Music is only... This story continues at The Next Web

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Klout notified users of its Cinch question-and-answer app in an email today that it will discontinue the service on April 18th at 12pm PST. Cinch launched last September in an effort to help Klout users tap their influencer and expert graphs for advice. For the few of you still using the Cinch app, Klout recommends that you use Jelly or Yabbly. Last month, Klout announced that it is being acquired by social marketing company Lithium Technologies.

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Uber recently began adding a $1 “Safe Rides Fee” for UberX ridesharing trips on its platform. Users have been receiving the following message in the app: While the nature of the fee remains disconcertingly vague, the money appears to be going toward insurance costs for UberX drivers, which operate in some markets with a personal license and insurance, unlike UberTaxi and Uber Black services, which require commercial licenses. Uber cut Uberx prices in many of its cities earlier this year. While the extra $1 isn’t a huge burden on costs, the charge does feel  un-Uber, as the company has advertised... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced that it has sold over 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers around the globe, but sales of the system have still lagged behind rival Sony’s PlayStation 4. By comparison, Sony revealed on Wednesday that PS4 sales had topped 7 million in sales to consumers. March US sales estimates from NPD put the PS4 in first place for hardware sales for the third month in a row. Both Microsoft and Sony (inFamous Second Son, Titanfall) saw major exclusives released on their platforms last month. Titanfall’s combined Xbox One and PC release took the top spot in game... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google’s ATAP team and NASA are using the Project Tango smartphone with 3D motion tracking to help navigate robots in the International Space Station. The smartphone’s Myriad 1 vision processor chip is capable of making a quarter millions 3D measurements per second. It uses those measurements and creates a map of its surroundings. By attaching a Project Tango smartphone with those mapping capabilities to a SPHERES robot, the autonomous balls can navigate though the space station and perform low-level duties that would usually fall to the astronauts. While floating in the zero-gravity environment, the smartphone will construct a 3D map... This story continues at The Next Web

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Si Shen is the founder and CEO of PapayaMobile, a global mobile company. This article originally appeared on LinkedIn and was republished with permission. As the founder and CEO of PapayaMobile, headquartered in the rapidly growing technology scene from what some call the Silicon Valley of China – also known as Zhongguancun – I’ve been living and breathing China’s tech industry, which at face value has been a rabidly risk-averse Chinese tech culture. Then, in 2013, a sudden mad dash among these Chinese companies began, each jockeying to be recognized and taken seriously as a global company. As early as 2012... This story continues at The Next Web

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When you need to share an image with a giant pink arrow with a friend or the Internet at large, you turn to Evernote’s Skitch app. The photo-marking app features tools to quickly annotate images with text, arrows, drawings, and more. Today’s update will share those images quicker. The update brings three sharing categories that appear below an image after it has been filled with arrows and pithy remarks. Swipe left to land on the Meetings option to share the image with attendees of scheduled meetings. The center option, Share lets you publish the image to Twitter, Facebook, Mail and... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Amazon today announced Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime will be adding support for their full catalogs into Fire TV‘s unified voice search feature “starting this summer.” The trio join Vevo, which supported the feature from the start to let users find videos without any typing. The Fire TV naturally also supports Amazon’s own movie, TV show, and music video selections. “We’re excited and energized by the momentum we’re seeing with Fire TV,” Amazon Devices Vice President Dave Limp said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Hulu Plus, Crackle, and SHOWTIME integrating their full selection of movies and TV... This story continues at The Next Web

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A tiny subset of photography apps has slowly emerged from the vast pack on Apple’s app store to offer an alternative multimedia experience, a hybrid of stills and video: Images with sound. Soundpix, a free app released today by Laughing Giraffe Technologies, gives you the auditory pleasure of your cat’s meow or your kid telling their absent sibling where to go (nicely, of course) without having to view tedious, poorly shot video footage. Soundpix is not the first app out there to embrace this concept. Shuttersong, for example, lets you attach a music file to your image, while AudioSnaps offers... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Heroku today launched a bug bounty program in conjunction with Bugcrowd. Rewards range between $100 and $1,500, with the amount being completely based on the severity of the vulnerability. If a security researcher shows interest in donating their bounty to a recognized charity, Heroku promises to match it dollar-for-dollar. Customer apps are out of scope for the bounty, but Heroku promises to pass information along if security researchers inform the company anyway. “Working with security researchers to ensure the trustworthiness of Heroku’s platform is an ongoing effort of ours,” the company says. Until now, Heroku has merely listed security researchers... This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft today announced the launch of a pilot program that lets Windows Phone developers respond to app reviews. The company says the roll-out will begin this week with a small group of developers who have been pre-selected to participate, though it didn’t say based on what criteria. Developers will be able to respond to reviews posted from Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices, in the US only for now. Once a developer posts a response, users will receive the comment via an email from Microsoft. They can then choose to a) ignore the email b) respond to the... This story continues at The Next Web

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David Hassell is the CEO of 15Five. This post originally appeared on the 15five blog. Have you ever wondered why, when you leave a two-hour meeting you usually have very little retention of what was said? An onslaught of stimuli and information comes our way every day. Why do our minds label some of it as important, and the rest becomes no more memorable than this morning’s Starbucks experience? Lack of focus is not due to too much TV as a child, it’s a function of our Reticular Activating System (also called the extrathalamic control modulatory system, but let’s just call it... This story continues at The Next Web

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Following Dropbox’s acquisition of Loom, collaborative document editing service Hackpad has announced that it is joining the company. Unlike Loom, however, Hackpad will continue to support its product, which enables users to work together on a document in real-time on the Web and an iOS app. ➤ Hackpad is teaming up with Dropbox Image credit: Dropbox in 30 minutes / Flickr

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Facebook today launched Nearby Friends, a new option in the company’s main app for Android and iOS rolling out “over the coming weeks” in the US. The feature lets you see which friends are close to you, assuming that both you and the other party have enabled the functionality first. Before we dig in, it’s important to note where in the Facebook app you can access Nearby Friends. You’ll have to tap the “More” icon in the bottom-right corner, and hit “Nearby Friends” located just above “Nearby Places.” If you have already turned the feature on, you can also access... This story continues at The Next Web

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Cloud photo storage service Loom announced today that it has been acquired by Dropbox. Loom is no longer accepting new users, and existing customers can keep using Loom until May 16. The firm will offer an option to export data over to Dropbox. Dropbox announced Carousel, its own photo storage app that was similar to Loom, last week. Loom users that switch to Carousel will receive the an equivalent allotment of data from Dropbox, with paid users receiving free upgraded storage for a year. More to follow

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Optimizely, a website optimization platform, has launched a beta of its iOS testing tools, which allow technical and non-technical users to optimize native apps for Apple devices. The mobile A/B app testing platform allows developers to make changes to the UI and update content in real-time, and then push those changes to the app without needing to wait for App Store review, the company said. Additionally, for more heavy duty updates, such as the addition of completely new features, the platform can be used to gradually test and roll out the new features to just a few users, rather than rolling... This story continues at The Next Web

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Good quality social and networking scenes are key to any growing startup ecosystem. Just ask Jessica Lawrence, executive director of organization behind the long-running New York Tech Meetup. In fact we did ask her, in advance of her session on ‘Building Better Companies’ at The Next Web Europe Conference next week in Amsterdam. Lawrence moved to New York City after a stint running a division of the Girl Scouts in southern California. “It was a wonderful non-profit organization in a lot of ways, but it wasn’t a very supportive place to work, it wasn’t very innovative” she says. After working... This story continues at The Next Web

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Nitrous.IO, a 500 Startups-backed backend development platform, prides itself on helping software developers save time by cutting out the repetitive parts of creating development environments and automating them. The company lets developers who build Web applications using Ruby, Node.js, Python, and Go programming languages take advantage of its platform to create a testing environment. Now it is actively bringing this ease of access to code repositories, tutorials and open source apps such as Github via a ‘Hack’ button. This means anyone who creates code can now let developers test it immediately by embedding this button on their blog, tutorial or... This story continues at The Next Web

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MLB.TV is the latest live streaming service to add Chromecast support, letting premium subscribers and their friends watch live, out-of-market games. You can download the new MLB.com At Bat app now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store, both of which should be updated with Chromecast functionality today. Casting a live Major League Baseball game straight to your TV is as simple as tapping the cast button. While casting, you can still use your phone or tablet to check scores, stats, and news. Best of all, you can choose between home or away broadcasts to “steer clear of the... This story continues at The Next Web

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One space in tech that is not broadly covered, but is super interesting, is education. Finnish media and learning giant Sanoma ($3 billion revenue in 2013) organised a Startup Challenge to find the most interesting EdTech companies in Europe. Over a hundred companies, from 24 countries, joined the competition. Now five companies battle for the $35k check that Sanoma is awarding to the winner. The five companies are: Wewanttoknow (Norway) creates learning solutions based on games, teaching difficult subjects in an easy, quick, fun and effective way. EduKey (Wales) improves student behavior in schools seating by offering seating charts &... This story continues at The Next Web

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