Programming Luddites may have less to fear in the future.
A new MIT project called Sikuli allows people to program using screenshots in lieu of written code. Basically, it lets you reference user interface elements like a Microsoft Word icon, Trash Can or search bar with pictures of the button or icon instead of script. (If you look at the picture to the right, you’ll see functions referencing icons and screenshots of buttons instead of text. It’s best explained in the video below.)
The idea is to make it dead-simple for casual computer users to write their own programs without having [...]
OKCupid, the dating site run by Harvard alums who love statistical analysis, has just released another data-driven study of its users. The topic? Profile pics and how to optimize them to attract more interest from prospective dates. (We covered an earlier study that looked at how race affected response rates on the dating site.)
For this survey, OKCupid looked at 7,140 people randomly chosen from all users in big cities between ages 18 and 32 with only one profile photo.
Some unexpected conclusions:
1) Eye contact helps women, but hurts men in terms of connecting with new people. OKCupid suspects [...]
Starting today, Facebook is pushing developers to interact with users directly through their personal e-mail. This is a big change in how applications notify users of updates or new turns in games. Users will have to explicitly provide their own contact information.
Although Facebook gave developers several months of lead time through a roadmap the company presented last fall, it’s not clear yet how much this will change virality for apps across the entire ecosystem. Facebook has already rolled out a few changes so far, including retooling the news feed for updates that attract more user [...]
In December, Indian SMS-based social network GupShup announced that they had amassed more than 25 million users. A few weeks ago, they inked a deal with Facebook to let the social network’s users go mobile. GupShup CEO Beerud Sheth (in photo) claims to account for 5 percent of all SMS traffic in India.
Now, Webaroo, the parent company behind GupShup, has announced a fourth round of funding led by Globespan Capital Partners, with additional financing from existing investors Charles River Ventures and Helion Venture Partners. This is on top of $22 million in prior funding.
Venky Ganesan, managing [...]
A report from mobile analytics firm Motally finds that outside north America, the Symbian operating system used by Nokia still dominates Windows and Android phones.
Motally’s analysis says the future isn’t all about smartphones:
The most interesting trend in the data is the large amount of mobile website traffic that is done on feature phones, particularly in regions like South America, Asia and even Europe. These regions house the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which many economists believe will be major drivers of global economic growth in coming years.
The Nokia [...]
Will Western gamers play Asian online games? That’s a big question in the video game market these days. Jagex will test the idea today as it launches War of Legends, an English language version of a Chinese online historical military conquest game.
Jagex, which is the largest independent game company in the United Kingdom, will publish War of Legends, which was developed by a Chinese developer and launched successfully as World of Feng Sheng in China. Now Jagex is trying out the game, as well as a new business model, on Western gamers.
The new game is free for players to start playing. But [...]
Bill Gates jumped aboard the Twitter bandwagon a few hours ago, sending out an update on his upcoming annual foundation letter. (That’s on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.) His photo is pretty conventional though. He lacks the bad-ass bulletproof vest of Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
And who does Gates enjoy conversing with the most? Radio host Ryan Seacrest, of course.
The pair have been tweeting back and forth about raising funds for earthquake relief in Haiti. He follows a veritable Who’s Who of interesting non-profits plus celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Ashley [...]
Ning, the company that lets you build your own social network, crossed the two-million network mark this month. Co-founded by Marc Andreessen, Ning helps people create niche social networks around special interests from social justice to late-night comedy shows. The Palo Alto-based company now has 41 million members across its networks, adding 1 million new communities since April of last year.
The company also retooled its Twitter integration today, letting people change the attribution on their tweets. When you normally tweet, a tiny line under your tweet will show where you sent it from, whether [...]
Online video advertising is still taking its baby steps. Big display ad networks like Ask.com have added video support to their banner ad networks, while startups Tremor Media, VideoEgg and Brightroll launched as straight-up video networks. Company strategies stretch across a wide range. Freewheel is a technology platform, while Brightroll focuses on being an ad sales network.
YuMe, a well-funded company founded in 2004 in San Francisco, combines what co-founder Jayant Kadambi described on a phone call as “a technology platform with a media sales team on top of it,” in the style of [...]
VCs have, for the most part, steered clear of education startups, save for a few areas where consumers are willing to open their wallets — things like standardized test prep and language learning. However, Lightspeed Venture Partners thinks it’s found a goldmine in nurse training. Today, the firm announced an $8 million round for IL-based Orbis Education, which helps universities web-enable their nursing programs, reduce their per-student costs and meet the country’s growing need for medical professionals.
As Congress hashes out a plan to expand medical coverage, the country’s demand [...]