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‘Kids on the Go’ App Offers NYC Parents New Options

KidsonGo1As soon as the temperature dips in New York, parents start asking: What will we do with the kids? Short on square footage, New Yorkers often turn to the city’s parks, museums and other activities to entertain their offspring, but when the weather turns frosty those options narrow. Enter the Mommy Poppins app.

The New York City-based Mommy Poppins website for kid activities recently released its first app: Kids on the Go. The map-based app lets you search for fun family activities nearby, which can particularly help if you’re in an unknown nabe. Parents can limit results by using one of the nine category filters, such as “free,” “learn,” “food” or “indoor.” Those results then show up on your map as little interactive icons that offer a description of the activity and links for more information. Read more

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Join NYC’s First Inside 3D Printing Event


Our first Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo will kick off this Monday and Tuesday, April 22-23, in New York City. Whether you’ve been thoroughly following this growing industry or are new to the block, you’ll benefit from panel sessions that will explore how 3D printing will affect your professional and personal life.

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NYC Turns Pay Phones Into Tablet Kiosks

New York City is revitalizing old pay phones and turning them into informational tablet kiosks.

The tablet kiosks, which are being called “SmartScreens,” let people find directions, check out local news and even contact emergency services. NYC announced the program back in April, but the first conversions opened up this week. Cisco Systems and City24x7 are powering the program. So far the city has converted ten stations into these 21st century information booths, but the program calls for 250 conversions throughout the five  boroughs of NYC.

The kiosks are outfitted with free Wi-Fi. In addition, the kiosks are outfitted to help out in emergency situations, which could come in handy during the next hurricane (if they aren’t flooded or they don’t lose power, that is). Here is more from City24x7′s website: “City24x7 is built to deliver critical first-alert information directly to the very environments where we live, travel and work. In addition, the embedded connectivity has possibilities for a wide range of sensors and services including still and video cameras, environmental and biological sensors.” Read more

What Can We Learn From New York's Web Industry?

Last week I had the pleasure to sit through Fred Wilson’s keynote at Web 2.0 Expo in NYC. While the history given by Fred is not comprehensive, it does provide great insight as to how New York has grown to become one of the fastest growing (if not the fastest growing) web industries in the U.S. There were a few key components listed in Fred’s keynote which I think is important for any other bubbling center for web and entrepreneurship.

First, Fred references the launch of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU back in 1979. Today, in D.C. there is not a single program in the area that I know of that has been able to duplicate what the ITP has accomplished. While many reference the University of Maryland and their Dingman center for entrepreneurship as a hub, not a single program in the area has had the success which ITP has. Go take a look at their course guide for some clues on why this program has been so successful. One thing to note is that this did not come out of an engineering school, it came out of an art school!

Second, Fred references the heavy media presence in New York City. There was the launch of the “Connect Times” in 1989 by Josh Harris. Over the years there was the launch of numerous other digital media outlets including Ziff Davis’ ZDNet and CMP’s TechWeb in 1991. One of the things that I’ve consistently highlighted as being important for any emerging technology and entrepreneurship community is media coverage. In D.C. we are still somewhat behind in our reach but our coverage has improved substantially over the last two years.

Third, in 1995 Mayor Giuliani and Bill Ruden launched 55 Broad St. It was a building from a failed investment bank which was turned into a technology oriented building including high speed internet and incubator space. This is something which still does not exist in D.C. today. The closest thing is a co-working space in Adams Morgan called Affinity Lab but there is nothing supported by the local government.

Finally, there was a large presence of ad networks, new media startups (Silicon Alley Reporter, @NYC, etc), agencies (which were rolled-up) and more. Things quieted down temporarily and then blogging emerged, events launched and the buzz built. We are witnessing the buzz building in D.C. and within the next 12 to 24 months I think we are going to witness D.C. turn into a nationally recognized center for web technology.

D.C. isn’t the only city facing the same challenges though. Chicago, Boston, Austin, Denver, Miami, Atlanta, L.A. and others all are trying to build centers for web technology. Unfortunately for those cities, D.C. is going to beat them to the punch but hopefully they can learn from our success! Check out Fred’s video below for more insight.