Talking travel
TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer explains why he doesn't obsess over the stock price
TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO Stephen Kaufer. Photo by Suzanne Kreiter / Globe Staff.
TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer is a rare bird in several ways. Not only is he chief executive of an industry-leading website based in Massachusetts — TripAdvisor is the world's biggest travel site — but he took the company public in 2011 after first selling it to InterActiveCorp. (More on that here.) I sat down with him last month to talk about the company's four acquisitions so far in 2014; his take on travel startups like Airbnb, Uber, BlaBlaCar, and TripIt; and whether he's happier or less happy being the CEO of a public company. Read More
Dashing Across the River
Another player in the dinner delivery market, DoorDash now in both Boston and Cambridge
Photo via DoorDash's <a href="http://www.roxysgrilledcheese.com/menu/">blog</a>
In what seems like a never ending quest, more and more companies are looking to win what appears to be a wide open race to become the go-to online delivery service for Boston. In addition to Caviar, Instacart, GrubHub, Drizly, Postmates, Favor, now DoorDash, a West Coast delivery startup, has arrived in Boston to add just another possible option to get your food dropped on your doorstep. Read More
Tipping point
Kendall Square passes from tech center to biotech center
Shannon Pendergrast of Ymir Genomics isolates exosomes from biofluids at LabCentral in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
The three-story brick building at the corner of Main and Osborn streets in Cambridge, on the edge of Kendall Square and the MIT campus, captures three distinct eras in the city’s innovation history. In the early 1800s, it was the site of Kimball & Davenport, the first builder of passenger railroad cars in America. Read More
cutting edge
'Descience' fashion show at MIT displays the glamorous side of science
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Glowing LEDS, geometric silks, 3-D-printed headdresses, and cage-like bras were on display at a science-themed fashion show at the MIT Media Lab this week, each a daring blend of science and style. The garments were the product of a mind-meld between teams of scientists and designers from across the world, as part of the first-ever Descience contest. Read More
The virtual view from Hollywood
A report from Oculus' first conference for virtual reality software developers
Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey at the Oculus Connect event last month. Photo courtesy of IrisVR.
The virtual reality headset maker Oculus — now owned by Facebook — held its first conference for software developers last month. I bumped into Shane Scranton, a Vermont entrepreneur, the day before he flew out to Hollywood for the conclave, and asked him to share his impressions afterward. Scranton's startup, IrisVR, has been pitching investors and architecture firms on software that can take three-dimensional models of buildings and "translate" them easily and quickly for viewing on the Oculus goggles. It's an amazing experience: you can walk through and look around spaces that haven't yet been built. Read More
Us and them
The best machines are redefining what it means to be human
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We love technology. Many of us feel lost without the hard, comforting touch of our iPhones and computers. They've become almost a human-like extension of ourselves. But what happens when we allow technology to take over? What happens when the computer becomes the central processor, and we become the extra step? That's the question author Nicholas Carr asks in his latest book, “The Glass Cage: Automation and Us.” Read More
a fine line
Facebook reveals research guidelines after playing with users' feeds
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Back in 2012, researchers from Facebook and Cornell University altered the kinds of posts people saw in their Facebook feeds to study the way they responded to them. When Facebook users found out this year, they were mad. Now Facebook has responded, with its chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer publishing a response, laying out a set of guidelines by which research on Facebook will be conducted in the future. Read More
Putting up walls
Facebook apologizes to drag queens, but politics of online identity and privacy persist
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Two weeks ago, Facebook began suspending the accounts of members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag and community service organization. Members who'd been active on Facebook under their stage names were locked out until they registered with their legal names. For those members who wanted to keep their stage identities separate from the rest of their lives, at least online, Facebook's actions threatened to tear down a critical wall of privacy. After attempted discussions with Facebook, a whole lot of media (and social media) attention, and a Change.org campaign that's collected more than 36,300 signatures, on Wednesday Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox apologized to the group. Read More