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Innovation This Week (April 13-19)

Innovation This Week (April 13-19)

by Brad MerrillApril 20, 2014


Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is coming up (it starts on June 2 in San Francisco), and if you weren’t among the lucky winners of the ticket lottery, you may still have a shot. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is reaching out to developers who didn’t win the lottery and offering them a chance to buy unclaimed tickets.

Here’s this week’s summary:

1) Recent VentureBreak Profiles

Flickr 3.0, urBin, Google Trends Email Subscriptions, Paper (updated)

2) The IRS Missed Their Deadline

Despite plenty of warning of the impending XPocalypse, the IRS missed their deadline to upgrade 58,000 machines from Windows XP to Windows 7. They’re now paying Microsoft for extended support.

3) Google May Boost Search Ranking Of Sites That Use Encryption

Google’s Matt Cutts recently suggested that Google’s algorithm may soon give preferential treatment to websites that use encryption. I like the idea of encouraging encryption, but I also agree with Ted Lyons, who said on VentureBreak Weekly that encrypted data does not necessarily equal better data.

4) Google Was Working On A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard

Google X, the search company’s lab responsible for crazy projects like Glass, self-driving cars, etc., has unsuccessfully tried to build a space elevator and a hoverboard. Some people have criticized Google for spending too much in these areas, but I have no problem with research for the sake of research, and Google certainly has the cash for it.

5) Gagein Raises $6.4 Million

Just days after we originally profiled them, Gagein announced that it closed a $6.4 million Series A round. They’re doing really interesting things for salespeople, and I’m excited to see what the future brings them.

6) Aereo Opens Lobbying And Advocacy Site

The United States Department of Justice claims that streaming TV service Aereo is violating copyright law. Aereo, to no one’s surprise, disagrees. The DOJ has already made its case in a filing; yesterday, Aereo launched a website called “Protect My Antenna” that makes arguments for Aereo’s position and compiles legal documents for the public to read. This is a critical time for Aereo, especially since the company has no backup plan if the Supreme Court rules in favor of broadcasters.

7) Thoughts On Failure From Entrepreneurs Who Have Been There

Failure is something that the startup community doesn’t often talk about. For a recent feature story, I interviewed three entrepreneurs about failure and what their various failed ventures have taught them. Their responses are filled with great advice.

[Image Credit: Boegh / Flickr]

About The Author
Brad Merrill
Brad Merrill is the founder and former editor of VentureBreak.