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innovation DAILY

Here we highlight selected innovation related articles from around the world on a daily basis.  These articles related to innovation and funding for innovative companies, and best practices for innovation based economic development.

anthillBelow is a collection of videos assembled by the team at Anthill.  Enjoy!

Three-year-old Chinese girl solves Rubik’s cube in 114 seconds

In more than 30 years, I’ve never managed to solve it (bar the sneaky sticker-removal method). However, this three-year-old Chinese prodigy has mastered the way of the Cube, completing the famous challenge in a staggering 114 seconds! And she even looks a little bored.

This is why the Chinese will dominate this century.



I made what in hindsight is a fairly funny mistake recently. Working with a new client who wanted to become more innovative, we pressed ahead into a project only to realize that their definition of innovation was to have customers interact with their products in a technology showcase. When I think of "innovation" I think of teams using a number of tools and techniques to generate and bring to life new products, services and business models. When this team said "innovation" that's what I thought, and what I assumed. What they were thinking was something else entirely, and that didn't become evident until we developed a workplan. Then, the differences in the expectations and definitions were clearly exposed.
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One of the most frequent requests I get from content creation clients is to make their site copy ‘pop’. And I’ll be honest that I still don’t really know what that means. I think it means that they want their pages to grab someone’s attention. They want their content to stand out and to be compelling enough that it encourages potential customers to dig deeper into the Web site. That’s the goal of any great home page. But how can you accomplish that?

Below are a few suggestions for sites that want their content to ‘pop’, whatever that really means.
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Technology is disrupting industries ranging from healthcare to journalism, but few outside of the financial industry may realize the extent to which innovation is changing the lives of traders. My colleague Emily Lambert recently talked with James Allen Smith, who directed a new documentary called "Floored" that tells the story behind the technological revolution that’s affecting the lives of millions of investors.

Smith tells Lambert, “The film is almost more like "revenge of the nerds"-- It opens that door now to geeks and the computer guys. Now you've got MIT guys, these super computer geniuses writing these algorithms and black-box systems. What that does is cuts it off to the blue-collar everyman with the American Dream kind of thing. As we continue to move forward, things become more sophisticated. This is just another example of that.”
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Twitter’s hockey stick growth has flattened over the last few months, but it’s interesting to note the emergence of South East Asian countries in the usage of Twitter.

Sysomos compiled a report on top tweeting countries (based on data between mid-October to mid-December, 2009 and data from 13 million tweets) and an interesting finding is that majority of users aren’t using the geo location API tool.
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BioNJ LogoHappy New Year.

2010 is already proving to be one of BioNJ’s best ever.

Hope you all tuned in earlier today as BioNJ and several industry leaders rang the “Opening Bell” at the NASDAQ stock exchange. (To see a replay, go to, and click on the NASDAQ MarketSite tab and then find the At MarketSite link.) That exciting milestone will be followed by the New York City movie premiere of Extraordinary Measures, which chronicles the triumph of Amicus President and CEO John Crowley and his family in finding a treatment for his children’s life threatening disease, and we will cap off the month with our 17th Annual Dinner Meeting, Awards Program and Networking Event.
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Nine Maryland technology startups have received $674,997 from a state-run investment fund designed to transfer work from university and federal government laboratories to the private sector.

The startups are developing a range of medical, diagnostic and software applications, the Maryland Technology Development Corp., which oversees the fund, said Wednesday. Each firm received about $75,000 from Tedco’s Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund to further their work.

Here are the companies receiving funding:
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anthillBelow is a collection of videos assembled by the team at Anthill.  Enjoy!

BBC reporter breaks 'unbreakable' new phone, embarrasses phone CEO

The recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas was an elbows-out affair that left no room for shrinking violets. So Sonim CEO Bob Plaschke was surely chuffed when the BBC's flagship technology programme Click asked him to discuss on camera his company's new phone, the Sonim XP1, which he bullishly touted as being "unbreakable". Click reporter Dan Simmons put Plaschke's claim to the test.

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Kauffman FoundationA new study from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation attempts to debunk the common notion that recessions lead to fewer new start-ups while economic booms encourage them. In fact, according to the study, the number of newly created start-ups remains steady throughout an economic cycle.

The report, authored by Kauffman Senior Analyst Dane Stanler and Senior Fellow Paul Kedrosky, analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau which tracked the annual number of new businesses from 1977 to 2005. The annual totals remain rather consistent, fluctuating by just 3% to 6% each year. (See chart below.) Within a year, the number of people starting new businesses each quarter remains even steadier.
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Nearly a century before the Internet brought online learning to college and university life, American philosopher and progressive education champion John Dewey recognized that traditional classrooms often stand in the way of creative learning. Troubled by passive students in regimented rows, Dewey worried that students who accepted the unquestioned authority of teachers not only undermined engaged learning but also thwarted democratic practice in the social and political life of the nation. Instead, Dewey called for a “spirit of free communication, of interchange of ideas,”1 encouraging “active, expressive” learning.2

Taking up ideas suggested by Dewey and others, progressive educators in the 1920s proposed that students learn best by performing real-life activities in collaboration with others. Experiential learning — learning by doing — coupled with problem solving and critical thinking, they claimed, is the key to dynamic knowledge acquisition. Rather than respect for authority, they called for diversity, believing that students must be recognized for their individual talent, interests, and cultural identity.
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IP commercialisation is key to jobs, says US Commerce chief US Commerce secretary Gary Locke has backed research and development (R&D) as a key tool for improving the US job market. Speaking on 7 January at a meeting of the Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST), Locke stressed that the US must regain the initiative in IP commercialisation if it is to harness the nation's workforce and compete with overseas players. While he criticised patent delays at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as a hindrance, Locke also outlined a range of potential solutions to boost the US R&D landscape.

'The issues being explored by PCAST are of singular importance for putting Americans back to work in the types of good-wage jobs that can support a family,' said Locke in his address to the council. These types of jobs, he added, 'have been disappearing for many, many years. We can talk all about the structural factors that have made these jobs disappear – be it global competition, productivity gains … or the recent folly of building economies on the ephemeral surface of a bubble'.
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When you look at the administration's long-term jobs forecasts, the next ten years look eerily like the last ten years. Health care and education jobs continue to grow. Construction comes back. But no industry emerges to take over the most devastated pockets of the US economy.

And this is not good news: The number of individuals starting new businesses in the US fell by 24% in 2008 -- that's twice Spain's collapse and four times worse than the UK.

When I saw this graph about the toll the recession has taken on entrepreneurs, the first thing I thought of was green energy.
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