Yesterday marked the tech industry’s advocacy action, The Day We Fight Back. This campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) mass surveillance program which is collecting content and metadata from e-mails, chats and social networks; harvesting contact lists; and gathering billions of records each day on cellphone locations, according to The Washington Post.
On April 5, 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, became the law of the land in the United States. The JOBS Act, which contains significant reforms to long-standing rules around the sale of securities, is expected by many to completely reshape the way startups raise capital.
Startups that want to design innovative products and services using data that’s accessible via the web now have better data mining tools, thanks in part to startups like the award-winning import.io. Meanwhile, the recent settlement between U.S. startup People+ and AOL around accessing the entire Crunchbase database via API for a Google Glass app means there could be greater clarity for startups around data usage rights when creating commercial ventures. ProgrammableWeb spoke with import.io co-founder and chief data officer Andrew Fogg and Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney Mitch Stoltz to discuss commercial trends in data scraping and developer rights in using data via APIs for business product design.
Open data—from both government and private sources—has great potential for creating new products, reducing the costs of doing business, and improving people’s lives. But for open data to truly benefit both business and local communities, there are still some questions that will need to be answered.
At NordicAPIs yesterday, Andreas Krohn (Dopter SE) and Anna Mirsch (Mannheimer Swartling) launched the Swedish API Licensing site on behalf of their project partners Samtrafiken and Viktoria Swedish ICT. The project – funded by Vinnova, the Swedish government agency for innovation – aims to remove legal barriers for Swedish businesses and speed up time-to-market for their API products and services. It is hoped that the resource will also give greater clarity to developers looking at integrating available APIs. ProgrammableWeb spoke with Andreas Krohn after the launch.
New updates to the UK Police API extend the possibility of using crime data to create innovative products and services. While many of the new mashups and services that could be created from using an extended, anonymized dataset of all crimes in the UK could have benefits for local citizens and businesses, there is also the risk that the data could be used to infringe on civil liberties.
Animetrics, a leading developer of 2D to 3D face recognition and face creation solutions, provides the Animetrics Face Recognition that can be used to detect human faces in pictures and match them against a set of known or documented faces. This tool is specifically useful for applications for the fashion and online entertainment industries, or for law enforcement or military intelligence where accurate identity resolution is a necessity.
The State Decoded has just announced the release of platform version 0.6 which includes a brand new, full featured, public web API. The State Decoded is a platform that displays state codes, court decisions, and information from legislative tracking services in a format that makes it easier to read and better understood by humans.
Anyone who’s experienced the process of a federal court case and the admin involved, will be aware of the time consuming process that can be involved in constantly checking the court docket for developments. Docket Alarm exists to make the process of checking the docket a lot more simple and convenient. It brings all of the user’s active cases together online or on a mobile device, automatically sending litigation notifications when applicable, and ultimately reducing legal costs. The Docket Alarm API makes this functionality available to be integrated with other applications.
Tired of physical signatures interrupting your document workflows? HelloSign released the HelloSign API that allows developers to integrate eSignatures into websites, apps, or company processes. HelloSign’s creators were first bothered by paper’s inefficiency and wastefulness, and the irritation led to HelloFax.