ZestCash Uses Big Data to Make Tiny Loans

Former Google CIO Douglas Merrill has set out to provide an alternative to payday loans that uses data analysis to determine whether borrowers are likely to pay him back. Called ZestCash, Merrill's Hollywood-based startup is launching tomorrow in the Utah market.…

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Twitter Founders: Gladwell Got It Wrong

"Laughable," "absurd," "ludicrous" and "pointless" were words Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone used Monday night to describe a recent Malcolm Gladwell story in the New Yorker about the futility of social media to create real social change.…

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Is Microtask the Future of Work?

Crowdsourcing is often used for fairly menial tasks: correcting databases, screening offensive images, transcribing audio. But what if you could make those little bits of human labor even more menial, discrete and interchangeable? That's what the Finnish company Microtask does.…

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Goodbye to GOOG-411 and Biddy-Biddy-Boop

Google today announced it is shutting down its free U.S. and Canada directory assistance service, 1-800-GOOG-411, to put its focus on its other speech recognition services and extending them to new languages. As of Nov. 12, the number will go dead.…

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New Facebook Groups Encourage Private Interactions

Facebook launched a new approach to understanding groups of friends today. CEO Mark Zuckerberg called groups "a fundamental building block" and "the biggest problem in social networking," and said Facebook has determined the best solution is a social one: to enable users to tag each other.…

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AppNexus Raises $50M for Real-time Ad Platform

AppNexus has stepped up its fundraising, bringing in $50 million for its real-time display advertising platform from existing investors as well as Microsoft. The company has now raised $65.5 million over the last three years from investors including Venrock, Kodiak Venture Partners and First Round Capital.…

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