At the MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition three years ago, a ragtag MIT crew with a wild idea won the audience choice award and the Internet with a video of ketchup gliding out of a bottle, as if defying the laws of physics. That viral video brought so much attention to their product — an ultra-slippery coating that repelled the stickiest of substances — that its creator, MIT materials engineer Dave Smith, had to halt his PhD, drop out, and start a company before someone else did. Read MoreRelevant BriefingsHarvard-built news aggregation app BriefMe launches in App Store
One of the biggest draws of websites such as Reddit and Hacker News is the way in which news stories are compiled and organized based on popularity. On Hacker News, for instance, a story about the latest release of a free version of a popular gaming development software might be the top-ranked article of the moment based on other users "upvoting" it. Reddit is similar in that the most popular stories are ranked in order of how important, timely, or interesting Redditors find them.
A group of entrepreneurs based out of the Harvard iLab -- Max Campion, Hari Ganesan, and Rachel Moranis -- have tried to bring the same type of feature to mobile devices with a service that organizes the top news of the moment based on its overall popularity on the web. Read MoreWhat’s in a mollusk? Maybe the secret to a new generation of screens
A mollusk, marked by the brilliant pattern of its shell, is inspiring engineers to design an advanced screen that would, for example, allow drivers to overlay navigation information on their car windshield -- without blocking their view of the road. Read More
On Monday, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society announced that it was taking part in a collaborative effort to gather information about secret federal legal notices that demand corporate and user data from web service providers.
The Berkman Center worked alongside two digital rights groups, the Calyx Institute and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as New York University's Technology Law and Policy Clinic, to create CanaryWatch.org, a site designed to collect and monitor all of the Internet's warrant canaries.
What, you might be wondering, is a warrant canary?
I caught up with Isaiah Kacyvenski Thursday evening just after he'd arrived in Phoenix for this Sunday's Super Bowl. Kacyvenski told me he'd put in a pretty full week at the Cambridge-based electronics startup MC10 — interrupted by the blizzard, of course — before heading west. Nine years ago, when he traveled to the Big Game in Detroit, it was as a starting linebacker and special teams captain for the Seattle Seahawks.
Kacyvenski, a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Business School, is the only Super Bowl veteran I've ever met who's part of the Boston startup scene. When he was drafted by the Seahawks in 2000, he became the highest NFL draft pick in Harvard's history, and his career lasted until 2008, when injuries forced him to retire. He's now a business development executive at MC10, which develops flexible electronics. I asked Kacyvenski a few questions before he headed to the NFL Players Association party last night.
Read MoreAsk the ExpertHourlyNerd offers 'Ask a Pro' to answer business questions
This morning, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences announced that Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft and '77 alum, will be committing support to the expansion of the computer science program, a move that will increase the number of faculty by 50 percent.
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