City Hall's latest high-tech effort? A newsletter.
A new newsletter hopes to put a public face on City Hall. Photo: DAVID KAMERMAN/GLOBE STAFF
The staff at City Hall likes to keep reminding us how serious they are about finding innovative approaches to governance: Mayor Walsh is regularly hopping on Twitter chats and Reddit; he's hired a startup czar and is hosting hackathons; and the city has partnered with cutting-edge transportation tech companies like Uber and Waze on data-sharing efforts. So today's announcement that they're launching a city-wide newsletter seemed a little staid, to say the least. A newsletter? Is that all?  Read More
New kid on Drydock Ave.
Autodesk planning collaboration center for building industry in S. Boston
Company-supplied rendering of the new Autodesk office in the Seaport District.
Only a few blocks from where Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh worked his first union construction job as a teen, the software company Autodesk plans to open a new innovation lab focused on new technologies that are changing the building industry. Walsh plans to speak this evening at an event announcing the new facility, located on Drydock Avenue in the Marine Industrial Park, which will also house about 200 Autodesk employees who currently work in Waltham. Read More
Smart panels turn one shoe into a companion for any outfit
(Image via Volvorii)
It’s a tall order, blending high fashion with high tech, but when you’re working with 4-inch heels headed for the runway, the stakes are even higher. An international team of engineers is taking on this challenge in earnest: They have created a “smart shoe” that, chameleon-like, can change its colors and patterns, according to a wearer’s whims. Their reasoning: Why cede closet space to a dozen pairs of shoes when you can own one pair that can transform into many? Read More
Beta Testing
The Aura, from Withings, is the sleep tracker of your dreams
The Withings Aura tracks a user's sleep habits. Photo via Withings.
Sometimes, the new personal-tech advances we think will be least useful end up being the ones we come to rely on most. Withings, a French health-tracking and Internet-of-things company that has its US headquarters in Boston, has developed an array of fitness and wellness products that can do everything from monitor a user’s health and sleep habits to help keeping an eye on a home while being able to detect air quality. Read More
The Long Run
Meet the four tech-company founders running their first marathon for local charities
The TUGG Marathon Team: (From left to right) Michael Schmidt, Brent Grinna, Matt Bellows, and Fred Shilmover.
One of the first groups to begin raising money for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings was a collection of founders, venture capitalists, and employees from the local tech and innovation community, and startup- and entrepreneur-focused nonprofit TUGG helped lead that effort. Read More
Trust factor
Valerie Plame joins Starling Trust Sciences advisory board
Former CIA covert operations officer Valerie Plame joined Boston-based Starling Trust Sciences as an adviser this week. Starling aims to establish a digital trust infrastructure that would give people the ability to identify and connect with trustworthy peers. With the technology Starling is developing, users will see how trustworthy another person is based on various factors, including the number of mutual connections. Read More
Breakfast with some of Boston's most active venture capitalists
Photo via <a href="">The Boston Globe</a>
In mid-April, TechBreakfast — a monthly opportunity for entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors to gather in an informal environment — is hosting its largest Boston-area event with its first local Ask a VC breakfast at Microsoft NERD in Cambridge. Read More
Facebook's (Boston) Timeline
Checking in: Facebook has been (back) in Boston for four years
Facebook Boston lead Ryan Mack works alongside one of the office's art installations in the fall of 2014. Photo by Patrick Rogers Photography
It's been four years this month since Facebook made its way back to Boston, a move which started in part when Ryan Mack, the current site lead here in the city, left the comforts of Menlo Park to set up shop on the East Coast. Mack, who is known for this work on the Facebook Timeline, soon identified a small outcrop of Facebook expats who were all working for the company remotely, and they eventually clustered together in the Workbar location in downtown Boston. Critical mass began to take hold, and Facebook opened an official office here in Cambridge in 2013, and recently expanded that space this past fall. Read More
doc on demand
With an app for texts and video chats, FirstLine offers doctors' advice on demand
A new service launching in the United States this week wants to be the Uber for doctors, making medical practitioners available for consultation by text message, video chat, or even a house visit — for a fee, of course. The company, FirstLine, which has offices in Boston and San Francisco, launched its app nationally this week. Two dozen California-based doctors have been contracted to be on-call and the team is already hiring and training local medics with a goal of launching in Boston this summer. Read More
With 'Infinite Crisis' and two mobile titles in the works, Turbine is gearing up
Infinite Crisis
In its 20th year making games, Needham-based Turbine Inc. has a lot to celebrate. The Warner Bros.-owned studio has entertained millions of massively multiplayer online game-players through "Asheron's Call," "Dungeons & Dragons Online," and "Lord of the Rings Online." And, with "Infinite Crisis" launching tomorrow on Steam, the studio is poised to puts smiles on many more faces. Read More
Intelligent Parking
Boston to install "smart" parking meters across city, spreading pay-by-phone options
Boston’s parking meters are going to get a lot smarter over the next few years, eventually letting drivers find open spots and feed the meter with their smartphones. The citywide upgrade could also let the city get a better handle on how much street parking it actually controls, and even raise more money for the government by charging higher prices at times of extreme demand. Read More
Bouncing ideas
IdeaPaint’s new app, Bounce, takes brainstorming off the wall
Bounce, a new app from the makers of IdeaPaint, allows users to save and annotate images from their brainstorming sessions. (Image via IdeaPaint)
It's little surprise that the idea for Bounce, the new app from IdeaPaint, the Boston-based maker of dry erase paint, came out of a brainstorming session. The company, which has been shellacking walls with their product since launching in 2008, had been getting requests from its users to add more capabilities to its product than a simple coat of wall covering could provide. Read More
Building Buzz
Nanigans gets $24M for social media ad-tech expansion
Social media is big business — and it should get even bigger as traditional ad spending continues moving to digital channels. One of the beneficiaries of that shift is Nanigans. The five-year-old company, based in Boston, helps advertisers get the most out of their marketing budget by allowing them to target their digital ads and see how well they perform across hundreds of millions of social-media users. Read More