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George Deeb is the Managing Partner at Chicago-based Red Rocket Ventures, a startup consulting and financial advisory firm based in Chicago.  Typically, entrepreneurs start their own business. But, from time to time, they will see a unique opportunity to join somebody else’s startup, either as investing CEO or as a new member of the executive team. Here are five things you need to assess before making the leap: 1. Your fit with the founders Your fit with the team in terms of skill set and personality is obvious enough. It is important you can get along with your new partners,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Baydin, the company behind the Boomerang for Gmail apps, has announced today that its native Android app now offers support for Microsoft Exchange accounts. Available since June last year, the Android build has always been pretty handy at helping users deal with their inbox, but the omission of Exchange support on mobile devices would have ruled it out for people that wanted to manage work and personal accounts. Now, that’s not a problem any more. The company said the app will support customizable gestures and features like snooze, send later and response tracking. Users can also search Microsoft Exchange accounts,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Real-time media sharing app DabKick has branched out beyond its one-on-one focus with the addition of public “DabKick Rooms” for consuming content with other users. The service will start off with a single curated room that will play free content around the clock. In the future, DabKick envisions adding specific rooms for celebrities and artists to interact with their fans. It also hopes to work with content distributors, such as Comcast, on rooms that would require logins to view TV content. DabKick also said it will soon introduce private rooms that users can create to watch videos and share photos.... This story continues at The Next Web

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Versus, the minimalist ‘comparison engine’ we previously covered when it launched on the Web as Versus IO back in 2012, hits Android today with an app that lets you compare any two gadgets instantly. Whether you want to see how the Samsung Galaxy S5 compares against the HTC One (M8) or just want some help deciding whether it’s better to buy a pair of earphones or a tablet computer today, Versus is a handy tool. You can actually search for cities, academic institutions and more too. If you’ve ever wanted to compare King’s College London to some Beats headphones, now’s... This story continues at The Next Web

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It is widely believed that while successful tech companies build good products, the real innovation comes from those that build new markets. A typical example of this would be Apple, which can take most of the credit for the mobile app and tablet markets as we know them today. The most exciting thing about technology is that once in a while it makes possible something that we could not even imagine a year or two before, opening endless possibilities for both consumers and businesses. Starting with the invention of the electricity, to radio, to the Internet — every breakthrough of that... This story continues at The Next Web

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Superb has successfully completed its pivot away from social dining service Grubwithus after officially launching its new iPhone app for finding new places to visit with friends. An early version of the app with basic functionality has been in the App Store for some time now, but the firm’s latest release adds the messaging and social features needed to complete the product. Conceptually, Superb functions as a “Tinder for places” by showing you cards of nearby places and then having you swipe left to dismiss or swipe right to mark as “to do.” Once you’ve expressed interest in a place,... This story continues at The Next Web

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With revelations about mass spying and a crippling widespread security flaw affecting two-thirds of the Web, it’s little surprise services and devices that put security and privacy before all else are seeing a groundswell of support. However, despite there being a number of smaller name mobile makers nibbling away at the corners of the market, many of them – even the open source efforts like Firefox OS and security-focused Blackphone – aren’t designed in a way to fix the essential problem: the user never really owns or has control of their data. Aral Balkan, founder of Indie Phone and upcoming speaker... This story continues at The Next Web

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Fleksy is making a bigger push for international markets with the latest version of its smart keyboard app for Android. With version 2.1, Fleksy now caters for additional keyboard layout options including AZERTY, QWERTZ, and QZERTY, while it’s also adding Swedish, Hungarian, Danish, Slovak, and Czech to its arsenal of supported languages. This takes its total number of tongues to fifteen. Additionally, QWERTY-alternative keyboard layouts DVORAK and Colemak are also now supported.     Fleksy says two thirds of its downloads have come from outside the US, and it has been adding support for one new language a week since launch,... This story continues at The Next Web

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Social conversation platform Livefyre released today Sidenotes, a new feature that lets publishers add in-line comment threads to their sites. Livefyre has also integrated Sidenotes into Storify, marking the first major product integration to the service, which it acquired last Fall. Sidenotes works by attaching comments to each paragraph of an article or piece of content. Users can highlight specific text to comment on or reply to other responses. The pop-up box updates in real-time and ranks comments based on the number of upvotes they have received. Annotations were one of the first products that Livefyre tested as a young... This story continues at The Next Web

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Starting from today, social reading platform Goodreads is making it easier for you to add your Amazon book purchases to your virtual bookshelves. Users in the US, Canada and Australia will be able to add both print books and Kindle books to their shelves automatically. Indeed, you’ll see an ‘Add Amazon Book Purchases’ link in the Tools list on the left of your ‘My Books’ page, and once you’ve signed in with your Amazon credentials, you’ll be able to go through all your past purchases, rating each one and select the relevant shelf for it. Amazon acquired Goodreads in March... This story continues at The Next Web

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Algorithmic social ranking service PeerIndex has been building an arsenal of tools over the past few years, designed to bring meaning to the social data malaise. Yes, PeerIndex wants to be a every digital marketer’s best friend. We’ve written about the London-based startup on a number of occasions in the past, for example when it launched PeerIndex Groups back in 2011, before integrating with SocialBro and then rolling out a new topical influence API. Broadly speaking, PeerIndex’s technology tracks activity across the social realm, evaluating users’ online ‘social capital’ based on the activity of each individual. Now, the company has... This story continues at The Next Web

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As BBC Three prepares to become an online-only destination from next year, the UK broadcaster is already making moves to position the Web-based incarnation ahead of the offline ‘linear’ broadcast channel. In a Netflix-style move, all six episodes of Chris Lilley’s Jonah From Tonga, a new series from the same writer behind the magnificent Angry Boys and Summer Heights High, will be made available on iPlayer from May 2 for a 48-hour period. It will then be broadcast through the traditional televisual conduit from May 8. The move constitutes part of an international simulcast with ABC Australia’s iPlayer-style iview service.... This story continues at The Next Web

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File and presentation-hosting platform SlideShare has finally delivered a native mobile app, kicking off today with Android. Launched initially in 2006, SlideShare lets users upload PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument files to share publicly or privately. LinkedIn acquired the company in a $119 million deal back in 2012. While SlideShare has typically always worked well on the mobile Web, a glaring omission has been its absence from Google Play and Apple’s App Store. While one of these facets has been remedied, if you’re an iOS user you’ll have to sign up as a beta tester for now. SlideShare for Android... This story continues at The Next Web

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Mobile game-maker King is eyeing China after it partnered with Internet giant Tencent to bring a localized version of Candy Crush Saga, its flagship title, to the world’s largest mobile market. There’s no definitive launch date for the Chinese version of Candy Crush — both companies only say it will arrive “soon” — but when it does land, it will be a major coup for Tencent which has secured a country exclusive. Chinese gamers on iOS or Android devices will need to visit Tencent’s Mobile QQ or its Weixin Game Center to get hold of the title. That distribution is... This story continues at The Next Web

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BSkyB (‘Sky’) is trialing a new Twitter-based tool that lets its subscribers watch and record movies and TV shows by interacting with a tweet. If you see ‘#WatchOnSky’ within a tweet from Sky, it can be expanded to reveal ‘Watch’ and ‘Record’ icons that link directly to Sky’s mobile TV service Sky Go. Indeed, this will only work via Twitter on mobile, and you will need to ensure your Sky+HD box is linked to your Sky iD. Sky and Twitter have previously partnered to broadcast Champions League clips within tweets too, but this latest move represents one of the first... This story continues at The Next Web

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Stripe now supports it, as does Square. Gaming behemoth Zynga is taking notice, while some companies have even offered to pay staff salaries with it. This thing even has its own ATM. We’re not talking cash or even gold doubloons though. We’re talking Bitcoin, baby. Cryptocurrency is based on the concept that cryptography is used to manage a currency’s creation and subsequent transactions, as opposed to the status quo which sees centralized authorities take the helm. It’s fair to say that such virtual currencies have soared in recent times, with Bitcoin very much the poster child of the fledgling peer-to-peer... This story continues at The Next Web

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Samsung has lifted the lid on its plans for Tizen, after Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of the Korean firm’s product strategy team, told Reuters that it will launch smartphones running the Linux-based mobile operating system during its second quarter of business in 2014 — which runs April-July. Tizen-based devices were originally scheduled to go on sale last year, but Yoon admits that the company aborted launches in Europe and Japan “because of poor market conditions”. Learning from that experience, the Samsung executive says that Tizen devices — which he anticipates could account for as much as 15 percent of Samsung’s... This story continues at The Next Web

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Mt. Gox, the fallen Bitcoin exchange that was once the toast of the virtual currency world, is reportedly ditching plans to rebuild itself under bankruptcy protection, in favor of company liquidation, the Wall Street Journal reports. Interestingly, the Journal reports that a source close to Mt. Gox believes there is “still hope a buyer for the exchange could be found.” Such an eventuality would help investors, who stand to recoup less of their investments if Mt. Gox is liquidated, although the situation is far bleaker for the exchange’s customers. Notifications on Mtgox.com as of April 16 2014 The site imploded... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google ditched its invite-only approach to Google Glass for a signle day when it made its wearable device available to the general public in the US on Tuesday, and the company has revealed that its allocation of devices is now sold out. Google isn’t saying exactly how many devices and spots on the Google Explorer program have been claimed today — we’ve reached out to the company to try to get that figure — but, since it is not yet midnight in California, the allotment did technically sell out before the end of the day. There’s hope for anyone who wanted... This story continues at The Next Web

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Alibaba isn’t a household name in the US, but the e-commerce firm from China is shaping up to hold one of the biggest technology IPOs that the US markets have ever seen. Some insight into its size was revealed this week with its recent financial results — which were made public via shareholder Yahoo’s recent earnings report — and they are impressive, to say the least, as Tech In Asia reports: The Chinese ecommerce juggernaut pulled in US$3.06 billion in revenue in Q4 2014, which is up 66 percent on the same period a year before. Alibaba’s Q4 net income... This story continues at The Next Web

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What’s the best way to deny long-standing rumors that you copy someone else’s work? Aside from getting a big power (like Google) to back you up, how about a website that explains how you do what you do? That’s the route Samsung is taking with its newest website which is devoted to the company’s design processes. Design.samsung.com features ‘product stories’ and ‘meaningful stories’ which tell the design tales behind Samsung products — that includes washing machines, TVs and other products behind its mobile devices. This isn’t the first time Samsung has placed emphasis on its design — its Samsung Global blog... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google today released an iOS app for Helpouts (via 9to5Mac), its Hangout-based remote learning platform, but you’ll only be able to browse free sessions. Helpouts launched last November as a service for experts in a subject matter to earn money by chatting with users interested in learning about the topic. Categories include Art & Music, Computers & Electronics, Cooking, Education & Careers, Fashion & Beauty, Fitness & Nutrition, Health and Home & Garden. Using the app is straightforward. I tapped through a few of the categories to find a Helpout to try and ended up having a quick chat with one... This story continues at The Next Web

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Google today expanded its Google Finance product to cover stocks in Spain, Poland, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina. As a result, you can now easily follow the performance of indices, stock price movements, trading volumes, and so on for the stock market in those five countries with just a simple Google search. Today’s addition means Google Finance now supports financial information for 35 exchanges worldwide; the full list is available here. While this is certainly good news, we’d personally prefer if Google worked on improving reliability and accuracy first before supporting more markets. Google Finance is one of the... This story continues at The Next Web

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The build-it-yourself modular Google smartphone is one step closer to giving you the chance to build your perfect phone. It’s not going to be available this year. But, 2015 could be the beginning of a significant shift in the smartphone landscape. Project Ara is part of the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. The group is what Google retained in its sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo. The project is a bold plan to create an open-source smartphone hardware platform. Users would start with a piece of base hardware known as an Endo. Features would be added to the Endo as... This story continues at The Next Web

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Mitchell Harper is the  co-founder and co-CEO of Bigcommerce. He tweets at @mitchellharper. In order to be successful as a first-time entrepreneur, it’s important to understand that as your business grows, what got you to where you are won’t necessarily keep moving you forward. In his excellent book The Hard Things About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz explains why it’s important to be almost short-sighted when hiring people into your business. Instead of wondering whether new hires will be able to grow with your business over the next few years, he suggests only looking at the next 18 months, because by then... This story continues at The Next Web

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