Posted at 1:28h, 06 Aug 2013 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

Of course, that was Google’s original tag line/mission statement, although they seemed to have changed it up a bit. In case you missed it this week, AT&T is out at Starbucks and Google is in; and Google is no longer in favor of net neutrality, now that they’re in the broadband game. .

Anyone who doesn’t think that net neutrality is a big deal does not live in an area where Time Warner Cable blocked CBS programming on Friday, which included the CBS Network – which is not a subscription channel – as well as the company’s pay services. The services were blocked over all Time Warner properties, including the ability to be able to watch full episodes online. (We do know that there are alternatives, like Netflix, Aereo, FIOS and in the case of the CBS Television Network, a good old fashioned antenna. Of course, you can find free wi-fi somewhere and watch as well and honestly, how many of us watch a television show in real time, anyway?

Imagine what happens if/when just a handful of companies own the pipes and decide what you can and cannot have access to online, and whether or not your internet company will be carried by their service. This is your shot across the bow.

In the case of Google/broadband/net neutrality, how many times has that company reversed its policies? And in case you missed this as well, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI can remotely activate the microphone in your Android phone to record your conversations. Given Google’s privacy policy and their coziness with the government, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’d left a back door. To date, it hasn’t been reported that this is possible on iPhones, although for all we know, it just hasn’t been detected yet or is coming soon to a theater near you.

We personally have a policy of avoiding all things Google and soon, Starbucks wi-fi as well. Although one thing is certain: they are good to their original mission statement – they do know evil. Onward and forward.


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MSN Short-Form Storytellers Challenge, deadline August 9th. MSN and the New York Television Festival have teamed up to launch the “Short-Form Storytellers Challenge,” providing indie producers and production companies with the opportunity to compete for a guaranteed production budget of $75,000 to create an original short-form series for Microsoft’s digital platform. The partnership marks the first NYTVF development initiative conceived to specifically solicit micro-episodic content and challenges creators to creatively structure their storytelling in two minutes or less.

500Startups Fall Accelerator Program, deadline August 16th. Yup, Dave McClure’s Accelerator. The theme on their website is 007, so we guess that this is your license to kill it. And good luck to you!

MTA AppQuest, deadline August 20th.  Change the way 8.5 million people commute every day — create the transit app of the future. New/existing mobile apps running on any platform accepted. Over $50k in prizes. Grand prize $20,000 For more information and to apply, go here.

Define the second screen experience — win $50,000 for the best TV companion apps. Deadline: August 22nd. Use the Viggle API to create responsive apps that enhance the TV-watching experience. Apps must be built with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript and integrate with Viggle’s native iOS and Android apps. Need an idea for an app? Check out the 100+ ideas that have already been proposed by the public. You can build anything from a static content experience to a fully immersive game. Use your imagination!

NEW  StartmeupHK Venture Programme, deadline August 25th. InvestHK is aiming to support the growth of high impact ventures on a global scale, by facilitating their access to financial, intellectual and social capital. It also seeks to propel the development of Hong Kong as an entrepreneurship and innovation hub. Twelve successful finalist entrepreneurs from around the world will be invited to attend a four-day programme in Hong Kong from 4-7 December 2013 to:
Pitch to potential investors and business partners
Receive mentorship from business leaders
Network with investment and business communities
Attend leading design, innovation and technology trade shows

The Booksmash Challenge, deadline September 6th. HarperCollins is issuing a call to developers to create excellent, functioning software and proof of concept apps utilizing the HarperCollins OpenBook API, and in doing so turn opportunities into reality. Use imagination and technology to build software that goes beyond the traditional ways we read and discover books. Grand prize: $15,000

Clinical Trial Visualization Redesign, deadline October 2nd. Eli Lilly, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, invites designers and developers to re-imagine clinical trial information in a patient-centric way. As part of Lilly’s Clinical Open Innovation initiative, which calls on open innovation to help transform clinical research and development, challenge participants are now being asked to focus on the ideas and possibilities for envisioning clinical trial protocols from a patient’s point of view. Clinical trial information can often be dense and difficult to digest from a patient’s perspective. Patients may have questions surrounding the risks and benefits of their participation in the trial, logistics, the role of their personal doctor, and much more.  The goal for this challenge is to redesign that information in a way that highlights key aspects in a visually appealing and user-friendly way. $75,000 in prizes in all. Grand Prize: $35k.

NEW  The New York Expo and Conference is back – the real one! Free Early Bird registration now available.
The largest business show on the East Coast is now open for FREE early bird registration. 40+ Seminars. 250+ Exhibitors. Unlimited networking. And yes, that is Brian Solis on the home page. He’ll be keynoting and that’s always worth the price of admission. Register here.
Date: October 17th
Venue: Javits Center, NYC

For you edification this week:

Of course, the big news this week is: Jeff Bezos Pays $250 Million for The Washington Post. We remember when he was the laughingstock of the industry when he had the audacity to even attempt to go up against Barnes & Noble and launch Amazon. It took him six years to turn a profit and Bezos is always in it for the long haul. Should be interesting.

Why does Yahoo! buy failed startups? It’s the only way it can get good developers. We suspected as much, given their recent purchase of Rockmelt (Summ.ly, not so much, it turns out.)

If we don’t get investment for our startup, what do we do? How many times – a day – does that question cross your mind? Here are some tips from someone who has been there, done that.

The engagement threshold: transforming one-time customers into repeat business. Being a one hit wonder gets you just so far.

4 Most Common Myths Entrepreneurs Believe About Raising Capital.

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person for Your Startup. We’ve seen so many of these articles lately, we assumed it must be a problem, so read on or remember: we personally happen to be a recruiter in the startup space. We do vet applicants…

And on that same note: 13 Questions You Need to Ask Your First Startup Hires. We’re sure you’ll also think of more, once you see these.

How to Identify and Avoid Common Start-up Pitfalls. From launch to pitch to funding, there are mistakes that startups can identify preemptively and avoid, thus increasing the chances of a successful startup journey.

Commercial Break: an app that tells you exactly when the ads are over. Ok, so it won’t work on the CBS network currently, if you’re a TWC customer in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, Detroit, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

In case you missed this one last week, Disconnect – our new favorite that blocks tracking. Ok, it doesn’t block the NSA. Nothing’s perfect, and no cable plug-in. Yet

Elevator Pitch/Member News
Hint, hint: Feel free to tell us what you’re working on, or if you’ve been featured in the press…Share, and we will, too!

Last week we told you that Cynthia Schames just raised a seed round for her startup, Abbey Post, a Plus Size fashion marketplace and community. We love to hear good news from and about you all! And we’re equally happy when we manage to spell correctly. Apologies, Cynthia!

As promised, we’ve scheduled our next event and it’ll be Tuesday, August 20thSOS End of Summer Networking and Happy Hour. We’ll even have an open bar for the first hour. Worth the price of admission and you know we’ll be there to make introductions for you, so even if you’re shy, you don’t want to miss this one. Hope to see you there!

That’s it from us this week, and yes, we are also planning a long-overdue find-a-cofounder event, too, so stay tuned. And now, as always, help is on the way…