Amazon’s Top-Selling Egg Cooker Makes Breakfast at the Touch of a Button – Just $16 Today

Cooking eggs isn’t exactly rocket science, but I’d say the ability to make soft, medium, and hard boiled eggs, plus omelettes and poached eggs at the touch of a button is worth $ 16. The Dash Go is Amazon’s top-selling egg cooker, and carries a truly stellar 4.5 star review average from nearly 3,000 customers, so get…

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Check out the next Microsoft Surface Pro — just don’t call it the 5


Microsoft is slated to unveil its latest version of the Surface Pro line next Monday during an event in Shanghai — but counter to (some) expectations, the reveal won’t be an upgraded Pro 5 model of the hybrid PC. 

The company will instead debut the Surface Pro, period. (That’s right, no number.) It appears to be more of a refresh to the line than a true successor, echoing leaked reports from those who’ve seen time with the device, who called it the “Surface 4.5.” 

Respected leaker Evan Blass of Venture Beat obtained the first photos that purportedly show the Surface Pro, along with the news of the simplified moniker. The resetting of the Pro’s naming convention, which brings it under the same auspice of Apple’s MacBook Pro line, was teased earlier this month by Microsoft’s Surface devices chief Panos Panay, who said “There’s no such thing as a Pro 5.” He admitted a complete overhaul to the Pro wasn’t in the works, and the new name should give them a little more room for incremental updates. Read more…

More about Microsoft, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 5, and Leaked Images

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Monsanto Just Got Access to the World’s Most Powerful Gene-Editing Tool

Agriculture company Monsanto has acquired a non-exclusive global licensing agreement from MIT’s Broad Institute and Harvard to use the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. The firm will use it to design and grow new seeds and plants, but there are key restrictions on its use to prevent Monsanto from abusing this revolutionary new technology.

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Facial Recognition Software Lets You Find a Camgirl Who Looks Just Like Your Crush, a site that touts itself as a “live sex search engine” has just introduced its latest feature: a search function that lets you upload pictures of your crush to find camgirls that look just like her.

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My city just lost a startup to Silicon Valley. Tell me again why that’s a bad thing?

Phenom's founders (Mike Eppich at left, Brian Verne at right) standing on a mural they created on the rooftop of their office in downtown Cleveland.


Last month, Cleveland startup Phenom got some great news. It was accepted into prestigious Silicon Valley accelerator 500 startups. The catch? The founders had to leave Northeast Ohio and move to San Francisco in order to make this happen.

A low grumble rose up as local pundits lamented the fact that a startup had to move in order to get into this prestigious West Coast accelerator program.

Buried behind the pessimism were the actual comments of Phenom’s founders, whose long-term goal is to return to Cleveland and share what they’ve learned in Silicon Valley. Buried even further was the real takeaway: 15 years ago Cleveland’s startup culture did not even have a recognizable pulse, let alone the kind of entrepreneurial ecosystem that could spin out startups worthy of accelerators like 500 Startups.

I was raised in Northeast Ohio, so I can say with confidence that far too many of us get caught up in these kinds of “woe is [insert your hometown]” stories. Even worse, some of us still haven’t accepted the reality that great companies — the kind of companies we all want to see created — are great mostly because they think of themselves as globally relevant, not just a “Cleveland” or “Silicon Valley” venture.

Isn’t it time to stop treating the U.S. economy as if it ends at our city limits and start thinking the way growing startups do?

Truth is, there’s nothing upsetting about Phenom getting accepted to 500 Startups. In fact, the founders’ willingness to go where they have the best chance of success is exactly the kind of entrepreneurial hustle our city, state, and country need right now.

Phenom is a mobile app company born in a city that is not yet known as a world-class software player, particularly when it comes B2C software. Sure, we’ve had some software success with homegrown startups like Explorys and my firm’s portfolio company CoverMyMeds. But on the whole, Northeast Ohio is still heavily focused on biotech and other B2B enterprise businesses, which only makes sense given our world-class healthcare institutions.

Do we need to diversify? Absolutely. Should we spiral into a depression every time a young B2C startup does what it has to do to take its business to the next level? Absolutely not.

Why brood when you can build?

Instead of wringing our hands and gazing longingly toward the Pacific Ocean, how about doubling down on our efforts to commercialize more disruptive technologies and help more entrepreneurs turn them into strong products and homegrown companies?

Or how about looking at this situation as another opportunity to tackle the widening Series A funding gap that continues to hold us back? Our lack of early-stage capital is a real challenge across the entire Midwest, and we’ll need to address it soon if we hope to create a climate where a company like Phenom can go from launch to exit without ever leaving our borders.

We’ve come a very long way in the last 15 years. We must never stop improving, but we also shouldn’t be ignoring the fact that Cleveland and Northeast Ohio today are more entrepreneurial than they have been in decades.

We’re not the only region that occasionally needs this reminder. All over the country, it seems like some people can’t help but focus on what we lack instead of what we have.

To them I simply say this: Pessimism is easy, but it has never helped build anything that lasts.

Today, there are hundreds of startup entrepreneurs working on great ideas in our city. Losing a few to San Francisco (whether it’s for a few months or forever) is far from the end of the world.

Ray Leach is the founding CEO of JumpStart, a Cleveland, Ohio-based non-profit venture development organization that provides investment capital and technical assistance to entrepreneurs. He began his career at IBM and went on to cofound four startup technology companies before joining JumpStart. He is a founding member of the National Venture Capital Association’s Diversity Task Force.

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Living With Data: “This Shirt Was Designed Just for You!”

Ever wonder why ads for a particular pair of socks keep following you around the web? Or why that one person you hardly know keeps showing up in your news feed when your old friends rarely seem to appear?

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NSA director just admitted that government copies of encryption keys are a big security risk

NSA chief Michael S. Rogers speaks at Fort Meade.

The director of the NSA, Admiral Michael Rogers, just admitted at a Senate hearing that when Internet companies provide copies of encryption keys to law enforcement, the risk of hacks and data theft goes way up.

The government has been pressuring technology companies to provide the encryption keys that it can use to access data from suspected bad actors. The keys allow the government “front door access,” as Rogers has termed it, to secure data on any device, including cell phones and tablets.

Rogers made the statement in answer to a question from Senator Ron Wyden at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.06.46 PMWyden:  “As a general matter, is it correct that anytime there are copies of an encryption key — and they exist in multiple places — that also creates more opportunities for malicious actors or foreign hackers to get access to the keys?

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.07.12 PMRogers: Again, it depends on the circumstances, but if you want to paint it very broadly like that for a yes and no, then i would probably say yes.”

View the exchange in this video.

Security researchers have been saying for some time that the existence of multiple copies of encryption keys creates huge security vulnerabilities. But instead of heeding the advice and abandoning the idea, Rogers has suggested that tech companies deliver the encryption key copies in multiple pieces that must be reassembled.

From VentureBeat

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“The NSA chief Admiral Rogers today confirmed what encryption experts and data scientists have been saying all along: if the government requires companies to provide copies of encryption keys, that will only weaken data protection and open the door for malicious actors and hackers,” said Morgan Reed of the App Association in a note to VentureBeat.

Cybersecurity has taken center stage in the halls of power this week, as Chinese president Xi Jinping is in the U.S. meeting with tech leaders and President Obama.

The Chinese government itself has been linked with various large data hacks on U.S. corporations and on U.S. government agencies. By some estimates, U.S. businesses lose $ 300 billion a year from Chinese intellectual property theft.

One June 2nd, the Senate approved a bill called the USA Freedom Act, meant to reform the government surveillance authorizations in the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act expired at midnight on June 1st.

But the NSA has continued to push for increased latitude to access the data of private citizens, both foreign and domestic.

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