Can't keep track of all the Web 2.0 startups out there? Here's a handy site that tries to list them all: Web 2.0's Top 1,000 List. It breaks it up into handy categories, from Audio 2.0 to Wikis. For instance, here are the sites listed under just the tagging category (one of the shorter ones):
On Monday, a wireless startup from Seattle called IceBreaker (run by some ex-Microsofties) will launch Crush or Flush—a mobile version of Hot or Not, with an added twist. (Here's a link to the beta sitefor those who cannot wait).
On your cell phone, you can cycle through pictures of men and women and either "crush" them or "flush" them. You can search by location or by some of the self-describing tags people put on their profiles. If two people crush each other, they both get a text message inviting them to chat with each other anonymously (via text, for now—with anonymous voice calling in the works).
The company plans to eventually charge a few dollars a month for those chatting privileges (through the mobile carriers) once the service gets up and running. To make it more viral, there is a"tell a friend" link that lets you send profiles to friends you'd like to set up. And the mutual crush requirement should help weed out some of the creeps.
IceBreaker marketing VP Josh Levine demos his company's upcoming Crush or Flush service for mobile phones. It is like Hot or Not for your cell.
We're seeing this in a dating app first. But how long before all social apps make their way from computers to phones? It is happening already. If the underpinning of a social network is instant messaging (another feature that will soon be added to Crush or Flush) and the presence management which that affords, then being able to contact a "friend" on their phone is even more powerful because people carry their phones with them everywhere they go.
What do readers think: will the dating set crush or flush this service?
With the U.S. mid-term elections coming into the final stretch, crowd intelligence tells us that the Republicans will lose control of the House, but retain control of the Senate. As of Saturday night, the betting markets on overseas-based Tradesports.com were predicting that a GOP-controlled Senate has a 69 percent chance of occurring (down from 79 percent odds earlier in October), but a GOP-controlled House only a 21 percent chance. For some of the tightest Senatorial races, Tradesports.com is predicting Democratic wins in Ohio (93% chance), Montana (64%), Missouri (53%), Pennsylvania (91%), and Virginia (55%), while the Republicans will most likely keep Arizona (87% chance) and Tennessee (84%).
The Iowa Electronic Markets is also predicting that the most likely
outcome is a Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House. In the chart below, the black line represents a Dem House and GOP Senate (the red line is the odds of a GOP sweep of both houses, the green line is a GOP House and a Dem Senate, and the blue line is a Dem sweep). Interestingly, the chances of a Dem sweep, while only about 30 percent, are still now higher than that of a Republican sweep.
BizPredict also shows the Dems winning the House. But then again, that's what all the polls say too. So is this the wisdom of crowds at work, or are all the traders in these markets simply reading the newspapers?
Update: So the markets called the House but were not smart enough to call the Senate, which also went to the Dems. Now, purists will say the markets did not get it wrong, they just predicted the Dems winning both houses had a low probability of occurring. But something with a 30 percent chance of happening is still possible, even it is not the most likely outcome. Anyway, the close races are always the hardest to predict. And on an individual race by race basis, the markets seemed to hold up pretty well.
It seems like little electric car companies are popping up all over the place. There is Zenn Cars in Toronto (which plans on using the disruptive EEStor energy storage device as soon as it becomes available). And Myers Motors in Ohio that sells the NMG (No More Gas) electric car shown at right. Just like the tiny (non-electric) Smart Car coming to the U.S, the NMG at the very least is a head-turner. That is why Myers Motors is pitching it as a $25,000 moving billboard for small businesses. Hey, if eco sells, why not? Entrepreneurs can also use it erands and (small) deliveries.
Underwater hotels have long been dream projects for architects and designers, but it looks like two of them may actually be built over the next 18 months in Fiji and Dubai. The Fiji resort will be called Poseidon and cost $80 million to build, while the more extravagant Dubai underwater hotel will be called Hydroplos and cost $550 million. Personal submarines and missle-detecting radar will be available (for visiting dignitaries and James Bond villains, I guess). Nightly rates will start at $1,500 Jeff Davis at Waterlog has the full breakdown between the two projects
How good are you at predicting buzz? You can test your news sense at a site called Trendio, which is an online market for predicting buzz. It is similar to Yahoo's Tech Buzz Game, except that it is based on words mentioned in the media instead of on search terms.
When you sign up, you are given $10,000 in play money which you can use to invest in hot-button topics such as "Gas," "Iran," "Hurricane," "Google," or "Steve Jobs." The price of each word is determined by how many times it is mentioned in 3000 media Websites (based on the Yahoo News API) that Trendio tracks. The prices change every hour. For instance, above is the one-month price chart for "Da Vinci code," which peaked on the movie's opening weekend, came crashing down, and now is building up again. I bought 8 shares on May 3 (for $150 a share), sold half my holdings on May 22 (at $569) for a tidy profit, but still think it will trend up from here.
While the market is just a game today, the Paris-based startup tells me it hopes to eventually let people trade with real money. If they do that, though, they shouldn't let anyone who works for any of those 3,000 media sites (such as me) participate. Otherwise, you could start seeing a lot more stories about topics like "plastic surgery" (current price: $29.51) from reporters who buy up shares on the cheap and then cause the price to go up simply by writing about the topic.
Several year[s] ago, I read about the experiment showing that average faces are judged more beautiful than non-average faces. The top two pictures are the averages of two faces,
the next two are averages of 4, 8, and 16 faces and the final picture
is an average of 32 faces.
Yeah, but what happens when you start out with beautiful faces? Do they get uglier?
Just as General Michael Hayden, the former NSA chief and current CIA director nominee, was testifying before Congress yesterday at his confirmation hearings, this Dear NSA spoof site went up. It's motto is: "Mining our collective wisdom since 2001 — we really listen to your problems!"
Go ahead. Ask it a personal question, and it will give you an answer. Those folks at the NSA know everything.