Tech + Gadgets
Inkling, which is the leader in reinventing textbooks as collaborative learning environments, has expanded its offerings well beyond the formal educational market by bringing consumer-friendly titles such as The Professional Chef, from The Culinary Institute of America, to the iPad.
Despite a price tag of $50, the Pro Chef app quickly shot up to the second-most downloaded app in the iTunes store during the week after its appearance and the top-selling lifestyle app.
The average American adult has to pay 11 bills a month, which collectively means we pay some 15 billion bills, which adds up to nearly $4 trillion per year.
Aiming to help us manage this tangled mass of payments is the Palo Alto startup Pageonce, which has developed what its C.O.O. Steve Schultz calls a “remote control for your personal finances” that works on your smartphone, the web, or as of this week, an iPad.
‘Tis the season of holiday dinner parties. Often among the most joyful events of the winter, they can also turn into occasions of great stress.
So, imagine for a moment if you could have a top-tier chef move into your kitchen and handle the whole event for you – from shopping to cooking to presentation and cleanup?
Zynga is preparing the next in its series of "Ville" franchise offerings and this one offers a medieval setting called CastleVille.
Two of its predecessor games, CityVille and FarmVille, are among the most popular games on Facebook at a time when the San Francisco-based gaming giant prepares for its upcoming IPO.
Back in 2008, when Mark Coker launched Smashwords as a self-publishing platform for independent authors of ebooks, he knew that self-publishing “was widely seen as the option as last resort for failed authors.”
That was then.
When I caught up with him by phone yesterday, Coker stated, “I think that self-publishing is actually becoming the option of first resort for authors now.”
Though they may only account for a single-digit portion of the overall book market at present, sales of ebooks are soaring globally and will probably reach $12.7 billion (16.1 percent of all book sales), according to Outsell, by 2013.
And since Amazon has established that there is a “long tail” for physical books, that should logically be even more true for ebooks.
Last Friday, the final piece of the new Bay Bridge was laid (it weighed two million pounds). It marks the completion of the largest structure of its kind anywhere in the world. The new Bay Bridge is scheduled to open in 2013, so don't start revving your engines just yet.
Inside a bustling Victorian flat on Haight Street, a team of merchandisers led by serial entrepreneur John Poisson has just launched a service to “help solve your gift-giving dilemmas.”
Didn't think you had any such dilemmas? Think again.
You don’t have to have lived in San Francisco very long to realize that Halloween is this city’s idea of a pretty good holiday.
And it’s not necessarily just for kids, either–although most of them make out like bandits (or whatever else they’re disguised as) by visiting the stores along our neighborhood commercial strips, as well as houses on the specific blocks in various neighborhoods that specialize in goblinery.
WePay’s co-founder Bill Clerico can sum up his company with a simple phrase: “We’re not PayPal.”
The online payment giant claims 94.4 million users, but if you Google the firm, above the fold search results include a link to PayPal Sucks, with horror stories of frozen accounts, scams and other bad consumer experiences.
“One of the problems is that PayPal was built back in 1998, but the world has changed a lot since then,” Clerico observes. And one of the biggest ways the world has changed is the emergence of social media, especially Facebook.
“A huge piece of the friction between financial services institutions and the customer historically has been identity verification,” says Clerico. But now, thanks to the way people share their true identity on Facebook, “it’s much easier to verify who you are and have that validated by the many people who agree you are who you say you are.”