Sunday, December 16, 2012

New App Keeps Family Memories Safe and Private

Founded by Stuart Watson, Memory Jar is a newly launched app that lets you store your family memories in a beautiful digital interface. Available on the iPhone and iPod, Memory Jar not only saves your photos; you can also add dates and other information to create more detailed memories. And just like you would with a printed picture, you can flip photos in the app to view its details. You can create individual photo journals for as many family members as you like, whether you're a mom of three or a single guy with a loyal pooch. Archived memories are easily browsable via list or thumbnail view.

Unlike other apps, Memory Jar doesn't require you to create an account. Just download it and start using it right away. And because not all family memories are meant to be shared with the world, everything you record in Memory Jar stays private until you choose to share it via Facebook or Twitter. The app also integrates with Evernote for safekeeping.

Neverware Makes Old Computers New Again Without Upgrading Hardware

After receiving his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 2009, Jonathan Hefter moved back home and spent a year developing a system that would make old computers run like new. Called Neverware, Hefter's product helps schools and other organizations gain access to modern operating systems without upgrading their hardware.

“The reason schools can't afford current solutions is not because they don't have any money, but because the only solutions in the market were created for a Fortune 500 market that purchases solutions two orders of magnitude greater than what schools can afford,” says Hefter.

So how does Neverware work? Each network is powered by a server called the Juicebox, which turns old computers into “thin clients.” The Juicebox handles all the software programs, so a thin client requires very little to function properly – it can even be a decade old and missing its hard drive.

According to Hefter, schools that use Neverware will never have to buy new computers again. Clients only need to pay a subscription fee based on the number of computers on the network. The subscription also covers installation, hardware, and maintenance costs. One Juicebox can run 100 computers, making Neverware a more efficient and affordable option than buying new equipment. In addition, Neverware is built to automatically delete any unauthorized changes on every logout, thereby eliminating viruses and other possible security issues.

Neverware has been tested and implemented in various high schools throughout the northeast, one of which is the East New York Family Academy in Brooklyn. Robert Hornik, who has taught at the school for two decades, says, “The transformation was incredible. We went from having around 20 computers that performed terribly to 150 machines that run like they are brand new.”

Last year, Neverware raised $1 million in funding. Participants in the round included GRP Partners, Khosla Venures, General Catalyst Partners, Thrive Capital, Raptor Ventures, and a few angel investors.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Get All the Latest Product Launch News Without Searching Via LaunchGram

If you've ever looked forward to the release of a long-awaited gadget or movie, chances are you googled it every day so you wouldn't miss a thing. Well, there's no need to do that anymore, thanks to Mountain View startup LaunchGram. Founded in January of 2012, LaunchGram is a free alert service that sends you breaking news and updates on products that have yet to launch. In the words of co-founder and CEO Andy Sparks, it “aggregates pre-release demand signals for products coming soon.”

Why go to the news when you can let the news come to you? Simply sign up for an account at the LaunchGram website and follow the things you can't wait to become available, such as the Assassin's Creed film or the Xbox 720. After you're subscribed, you will receive “LaunchGrams” via email. But don't worry about your inbox getting flooded with misleading rumors or redundant info – LaunchGram will only send curated updates such as pre-order availability, photos, video, and release dates. Sparks and his two co-founders personally do most of the work, scouring the web for the latest information about your favorite products and verifying its authenticity. According to Sparks, they employ a “healthy combination of user-generated tips coupled with [our] own internal curation.” News sent to your email shows up on the product pages at the LaunchGram website as well. SMS alerts used to be an option but were discontinued due to low usage.

LaunchGram started out focusing on movies, electronics, video games, and cars. Recently, the startup added TV shows – the most requested category by users – to its roster, as well as got accepted into the 500 Startups accelerator.

For the LaunchGram team, a good company culture is just as important as having a good product, so Sparks and his co-founders make sure they have fun every day. “We believe that people deserve to enjoy the work they do,” he says.

You're Invited... To Personalize Your Child's Birthday Invitations

Based in Toronto, Canada, PercyVites is a newly launched startup that offers personalized video invitations for your child's birthday. A lot greener and more engaging than traditional paper invites, the short video clips star licensed cartoon characters, with your kid's picture and party details integrated into the world of their favorite character. At present, you can send out PercyVites that feature Caillou, a 4-year-old boy with a big imagination. The customization process is easy, and it takes only a few minutes to input your child's name, the date and time of the party, the birthday activities, and other information. Additionally, you can track the number of invitations opened and RSVPs via the PercyVites interface. Each video invite is $0.99.

PercyVites also offers personalized thank you videos and video photo compilations that go for $0.79 and $2.99 each, respectively. The company plans to add more characters to the service down the line.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Scanning On the Go With Apparent's Doxie Go

Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, Apparent has been making smart devices and software since 1998. With a range of award-winning products and brands for individuals and organizations, Apparent is the company behind Doxie Go, “a new kind of scanner” that you can bring anywhere with you. Featuring a built-in rechargeable battery and 512 MB of internal memory, Doxie Go is an ideal solution for people who are always on the go or those who don't want a cluttered desk. You can use it to scan virtually anything, including bills, receipts, drawings, notes, photos, reports, and business cards. Just insert your paper into the tiny powerhouse and it will scan a full color page at up to 600 dpi in seconds. Books are obviously out of the question, but Doxie Go is a must-have if you're looking for a portable scanner.

Speaking of portable, Doxie Go doesn't require a computer to work. It stores everything in its built-in memory, which can be expanded with an SD card or USB flash drive. You can transfer your scans to your computer via USB, just like a digital camera. Additionally, the included Doxie 2.0 software lets you save your documents in PDF, JPEG, and lossless PNG formats; you can even create searchable, multi-page PDFs simply by clicking the “staple” button. Then, when you're ready to back up your files, another click sends them straight to Evernote, Dropbox, or other cloud services. Doxie Go retails for $199 and was recently featured on TechCrunch's Holiday Gift Guide.

Apparent also created Barcode Producer, an award-winning barcode app for designers that has become the standard in PC and Mac barcode software; IntelliScanner, a barcode reader that organizes homes, businesses, and classrooms; and IntelliScanner Comic Edition, a barcode scanner and comic management software that organizes and inventories comic collections.

Addappt: Say Goodbye to Manually Updated Address Books

Founded by Mrinal Desai and Jorge Ferreira, Addappt is a newly launched app that eliminates the need for manually updating your address book. Described as “the up-to-date address book maintained by your friends,” Addappt needs to be updated only once. If anything changes, it automatically streamlines your mobile, desktop, iCloud, and even your contacts' address books.

Speaking of contacts, they need to use Addappt as well in order for the system to work, because the company doesn't store your information on its servers. According to Desai, “We're looking at this like the address book as a platform. When you add a contact, it's like adding a friend of Facebook.” Similarly, your approval is required before anyone can add you as a contact and see your details.

Desai says he wanted to build an address book app because it has always been his “primary social network,” even with the arrival of social media.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Over Three Decades of New York Law

A seasoned legal professional who has risen to the upper echelons of his vocation, Theodore H. Friedman completed his Juris Doctor at Harvard Law School in 1956 and moved on to establish himself as one of New York's most capable trial lawyers through his work at Philips Nizer LLP and later in private practice. Representing a wide range of individual and business clients in lawsuits involving personal injury, fraud, liability, and more, Friedman has taught and lectured extensively in conjunction with his work in the courtroom and commits a significant portion of his time toward promoting social justice initiatives in his community and overseas. A former member of the College of Trial Lawyers and the Inner Circle of Advocates, he has argued before the United States Supreme Court on two occasions, won numerous multi-million dollar settlements for his clients, and tried more than 200 jury cases over the course of his long career.  

Profiled in Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling book Outliers: The Story of Success, Theodore H. Friedman was also the subject of a 1972 article written by Calvin Trillin that appeared in the U.S. Journal. Friedman's victories in court have also been chronicled in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and the New York Law Journal, among other widely read publications. Although the media attention Friedman has received speaks highly to his prominent standing in Manhattan's legal community, he prefers to eschew the limelight and divert his energy toward endeavors aligned with his strong sense of civic responsibility. To this end, Theodore H. Friedman has partnered with Ralph Nader to improve vehicle safety laws and lent his expertise to the Center for Injury Research, (CfIR), a non-profit group that develops tests to gauge how automobiles and passengers would fare in the event of a serious collision.  A longtime supporter of  The North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ), Friedman has contributed a great deal towards efforts that benefit Ethiopian Jews living outside of Israel. 

You can learn more about Friedman by visiting his blog