Tech + Gadgets
Covering the tech sector in San Francisco these days is a lot like what it was like being a reporter for Rolling Stone here in the 70s – you get your mind blown, a lot.
When it comes to holiday shopping, tech gadgets might be high on lots of people’s wish lists, but they also tend to be rather pricey.
And, if you find yourself somewhere in the ninety-nine percent with the rest of us, you probably will not be able to buy a smartphone or a tablet for everyone on your list.
On the other hand, if your loved one already has, say, an iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or a Kindle, Nook or Kobo eReader, you might go the way of helping them accessorize.
Many of us have grown so accustomed to using social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect with each other, that we may have overlooked what research shows is a growing gap in our social lives, which is connecting with our neighbors.
In the great transition to a paperless world, one big speed bump has been the need for us to sign our names to documents that require our legal signature.
And, until recently, there has not been a way around this for most of us when buying a house or renting an apartment, to cite two examples.
But now there is.
DocuSign, which is the leader in electronic signatures for the B2B world, last week publicly launched personal e-sigs for everyone in the form of a product called DocuSign Ink.
As he travels between his company’s offices in Berlin, London, and San Francisco, SoundCloud’s Swedish born CEO, Alexander Liung, wears a leather jacket with the company’s logo sprayed on the back.
“It’s amazing that people come up to me all over the world, in Japan, Singapore, everywhere, and ask me if I work at SoundCloud,” he says. “And when I say yes they are so excited to tell me how they use it.”
It’s 10:30 p.m. on a Monday, and SoMa’s TechShop is buzzing with activity. Sparks are flying, the band saw is kicking up dust, and nerdy hipsters are in the conference room plotting prototypes. The creative energy filling the raw industrial space is palpable, and the brainpower is suffocating. The vision of former MythBusters science adviser and serial entrepreneur Jim Newton, TechShop is a membership-based workshop and fabrication studio filled with the kind of equipment you haven’t seen since high school shop class—only much more sophisticated and high tech. An avid maker himself, Newton wanted to build a space for fellow do-it-yourself buffs.
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.