Tech Round Up Feb 11th

techrunch crunchies

github-logoThe Crunchies happened over in the US – Techcrunch’s annual awards ceremony. Here’s the list of winners. No real surprises, except maybe that Zuckerberg won it again. Surely there are some more progressive CEO’s worthy of note. Great to see the developers social network Github winning best startup.

Best Technology Achievement – Mars Curiosity
Best Collaborative Consumption Service – Airbnb
Best E-Commerce Application – Fab
Best Mobile Application – Google Maps
Fastest Rising Startup – Snapchat
Best Content Discovery Application – Pinterest
Best Design – Paper by FiftyThree
Best Bootstrapped Startup – Techmeme
Sexiest Enterprise Startup – Box
Best International Startup – SoundCloud
Best Education Startup – Codecademy
Best Hardware Startup – Makerbot
Best Time Sink – Buzzfeed
Biggest Social Impact – Reddit
Angel of the Year – Chris Dixon
VC of the Year – Peter Thiel
Founder of the Year – Kevin Systrom (Instagram)
CEO of the Year – Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
Best New Startup of 2012 – Coursera
Best Overall Startup of 2012 – Github

blackberry 10

So a minor blip in the landscape the Blackberry 10 launched. Who knew? And they’ve managed to come up with a novel idea that’s something that the competition doesn’t have AND is a desirable. It’s called unified inbox, and it includes social notifications mixed in with your emails. I really like the idea as it stops you having to look in multiple places for different notifications, and everything is social these days. In fact somebody even said that email is a social network… not sure about that one.

Disappointingly the Blackberry 10’s core system is QNX which is not as future looking as they could be. In fact there’s little to help app developers here – no html 5 integration to encourage them to build for Blackberry when they build for Apple & Android.


Android is still best for developers in this regards as you can tap into some of the phone features that you can’t on Apple.Interesting time given that people spend more time in general in apps then they do in a browser on mobile today (Mary Meeker).

Android report 1 million new registrations a day so the landscape is shifting.


Owned platforms are becoming very much the norm these days and each of them are ‘walled’ in some way and this was a point that Tim Berners Lee was making when he delivered his keynote at Linux Conf in Autralia. He continued to promote the universal nature of the web since its creation but was a little more controversial than usual. “The right to have root on your machine, is the right to store things which operate on your behalf.” That is, when ordinary users have root access, they are put at danger of allowing malicious software to operate on their behalf. Berners-Lee, as you might expect, believes that the web is a safer model: “The JavaScript security models, the containment of cross-site access, are the best we can do at the moment.” Presumably he hasn’t read HTML5 Security, published by our sister publishing arm Developer.Press, which lists just a few of the horrors waiting to be unleashed by unscrupulous web developers.


In other news: algorithms extend well beyond search. Did you know for example that there’s a learning algorithm in Gmail? I’m not talking about just spam (which is a filter) but other filters into which you can drag email to help it learn how to deal with certain emails. In Labs there’s a Smart Labels feature that you can turn on which will learn not only from your own activity but also from your friends – very clever – and then apply the same learnings to you and those you are connected with. That’s why there’s so much stuff filtered into spam these days!

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Not in the least bit copyrighted by Tim Aldiss 2012