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Tech + Gadgets

SoundCloud, the YouTube of Audio, Opens Up the Next Internet Frontier

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.”

TechShop Stages A Full-On Maker Revolution in SoMa

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 Broadens Beyond Textbooks With Fast-Selling ProChef and Consumer Titles on the iPad

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.

Pageonce Lets You Keep Track of (and Pay) Your Bills on Your Mobile

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.

Kitchit Brings the Joy Back into Your Holiday Dinner Party

‘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?

CastleVille is Zynga's "Believable Fantasy World in a Social Space"

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.

Smashwords CEO Talks Online Book Publishing, Present and Future

Smashwords: Ebooks from independent authors and publishers

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.”

E-Book Publisher Hyperink Wants to Turn You into an Author

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.

Scenes of the City: the Bay Bridge's Final Piece

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.

Wantful Aims to Bring the Pleasure Back to Gift-Giving

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.

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