Friday 5 — 6.6.2014

By Friday Five


  1. LinkedIn really, really wants you to buy a premium account, and is disrupting its current paid model with a less expensive $9.99/month option. This includes new, more visual profiles, and tools to help you optimize for search. For early access, you can sign up here.
  2. Despite the growth of and improvement in speech recognition software with Siri, Dragon, et al., inferring meaning from language remains a difficult problem. Natural language processing pros, take note: the U.S. Secret Service has posted a request for vendors who can help them detect sarcasm. Whatever.
  3. AirBnB has a beta in-app concierge service for San Francisco only. As collaborative economy services disrupt existing models, this seems like a smart experiment to determine what people might miss about hotels.
  4. Social product spotter Product Hunt got a glowing write up in TechCrunch this week. And here’s an analysis of the early Product Hunt data — product names seem to be converging around IO, iOS, Me, 2.0, One, Up, Box, Hub, and Hello.
  5. Google is reportedly in talks for a $1B acquisition of Twitch, which allows gamers to stream their gameplay for others. And watching others play video games is serious business: Twitch has 45 million visitors and more than a million new videos each month. Surely, some are from newly-funded Super Evil Megacorp.

Weekend fun: John Oliver explained net neutrality clearly enough that Americans finally became outraged about a system with “all the ingredients of a mob shakedown.” And maybe his plea for vitriolic internet commenters to channel their indiscriminate rage in a useful direction took the FCC website down.

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective pointers to compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally.

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