Democracy in action
At the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, students use tablets to game the political system
Photo via the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
Do you have what it takes to be a US senator — even just for a day? In the month since the Edward M. Kennedy Institute opened to the public, several thousand Massachusetts middle and high school students have had the chance to find out. The Institute’s Senate Immersion Module, or SIM, combines live action role-play with tablet-based technology to mirror the Senate’s daily routines, seeking to inspire the next generation to engage in civic life and participatory democracy. Read More
A temperature monitor for babies gives new parents peace of mind
For parents of newborns, a fever in the middle of the night is a cause for worry. But now they have a way to calm their nerves as they wait for the doctor to call: A new wearable temperature monitor that tracks their baby’s fever and supplies a library of information from Boston Children’s Hospital about fevers in infants. Read More
Beta Testing
What's for dinner? Let IBM's 'Chef' Watson decide
IBM’s Watson has a voracious appetite for knowledge. In the past five years, this cloud-based cognitive system has played trivia champ, legal aide, and cancer researcher. For the last three years, IBM has turned its smarts on food. “Chef” Watson has a brand new cookbook out this month. “Cognitive Cooking” is a collaboration between the team at IBM and human chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education and Bon Appétit. Read More
Baker proposes law to regulate Uber, Lyft
Photo: AP

Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is proposing new legislation to regulate Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing companies. The law, unveiled Friday, was drafted in collaboration with the companies and would largely preserve the status quo for riders and drivers. It is similar to regulations suggested by former Governor Deval Patrick in December, which provoked intense backlash from cab drivers and taxi companies. Lyft and Uber, the two most prominent ride-hailing companies, released statements in support of the bill.

Governor Charlie Baker's administration is proposing new legislation to regulate Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies.

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Rescue 911
911 replacement RapidSOS wins two Harvard prizes, hits Kickstarter goal
Emergency Call Box
Talk about having a good week. RapidSOS, a startup founded by Harvard and MIT students to help bring 911 technology into the smartphone age, won two startup competitions and successfully finished its crowdfunding campaign, all in the span of three days. Read More
Backing Young Talent
Rough Draft Ventures offers student startups backing from their peers
Presenters, from left, Toni Oloko and Matt Neary pitch their business "PracticeGigs" to the weekly Rough Draft Ventures meeting at the offices of General Catalyst Partners. Photo: Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe.
On a Monday evening in mid-March, Toni Oloko walked into the Harvard Square offices of General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm that has put up millions to back companies like Kayak, Snapchat, and Rue La La. The 18-year-old entrepreneur and his cofounder, Harvard freshman Matt Neary, fiddled with their MacBook as they prepared to pitch PracticeGigs, a smartphone app that finds tennis partners for players seeking to improve their game. If they seemed oddly calm, it was because they weren’t seeking millions from the fund’s partners. Instead, they were pitching to a panel of their peers — in search of cash, yes, but also access to a growing network supportive of Boston’s student startups. Read More
wearable commuting
Would you wear this 3-D printed clip-on Charlie Card?
There may come a time when the wave of a smartwatch grants commuters entry to the subway. But here in Boston, that day is not upon us. In the meanwhile, for commuters who are tired of rifling through purses and wallets for their CharlieCard as the 7:43 a.m. Red Line to Ashmont rolls out of the station, a local engineer has come up with a fix: a 3-D printed plastic dongle containing a chip that communicates with MBTA turnstiles.  Read More
Kickstart This
This Kickstarter project wants to find you the perfect beach book
The lament of the bibliophile – too many books, too little time – now sounds like a plea for help. Forget about reading them all, how is the time-starved reader supposed to even keep track of the latest offerings from the publishing industry? Like a proactive assistant, the Hawaii Project promises to cast a wide net and alert book lovers to titles they might not have found on their own. Read More
Hey, Look Over Here
Twitter's second VC investment: Indoor beacon ad startup Swirl
Image courtesy Swirl Networks
Some of the biggest names in tech are pouring more money into digital ads that can follow shoppers around the store, ready to light up a smartphone screen when marketers think the time is right for a little nudge. Read More
The Download
The Download: Rick Faulk uses his smartphone to keep tabs on his Tesla...and his golf game
Rick Faulk manages most of his life from his smartphone. Photo: Michele McDonald
Rick Faulk is the chief executive of Intronis in Chelmsford, a cloud-based backup and recovery service. His reliance on the cloud translates to nearly every aspect of his life: He controls his car, his home, and his business dealings through a series of smartphone apps. Read More
Your move Ikea: Shape-shifting table assembles itself
Image: MIT Self Assembly Lab
Ikea changed the lives and living rooms of every first-time renter when it went big on flat-packed furniture. Now, with a shape-shifting table that bounces into shape on its own, a group of designers and engineers offer an answer to every Ikea customer's prayer: Why won't that Nornäs coffee table just assemble itself? Read More
May it Please the Court
Court win for taxi companies probably won't help Uber, Lyft
Image: Reuters
Massachusetts’ top court says it’s fine to treat taxi drivers as independent contractors, rather than actual employees of the cab companies. But the ruling probably won’t help the taxi industry’s nemesis, Uber, because the heavily regulated cab business is so complex. Read More