Weekly Digital News Roundup: Mar 19 – Mar 24
Meerkat app: What is it, how does it work and why is it controversial?
- According to The Mirror Website, there’s a new app in town and it’s proving to be insanely popular. It’s called Meerkat and it’s a video streaming app that’s already raised $12m in funding and has a valuation of $40m. There are already 300,000 active users on the service, including celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Fallon.
- Meerkat is essentially an app that lets you stream a live video straight from your smartphone to the internet. It works with Twitter, allowing you to broadcast whatever you want to your followers, live.
- Anyone watching can follow along and comment as the action unfolds. It’s very simple to use and has only two options: start a stream now, or schedule one for later. When you’ve started a stream, a tweet notifies all your followers.
- It has been rumored that Meerkat will be a very popular app during the upcoming presidential elections and campaigns.
One of Wall Street’s most powerful women is headed to Silicon Valley
- According to The Washington Post, Google hired Wall Street veteran Ruth Porat to be its chief financial officer Tuesday, marking the first time a woman will join Google’s c-suite executive ranks.
- Like some companies within the tech industry, Google has struggled to promote women to the highest levels. Women make up 30 percent of Google employees and just 21 percent of those in leadership roles, according to a diversity report released by the company last year.
- Porat hails from Morgan Stanley, where she has been one of the most powerful women on Wall Street for years. She already has some Silicon Valley connections. In more than two decades at Morgan Stanley, she served as its co-head of technology investment banking and worked on a number of major tech deals.
- Google’s former chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, announced he would retire later this month to spend more time with his family.
The Surprising New Tech in March Madness Refs’ Whistles
- According to Time, this March Madness, a ref’s whistle blast will instantly stop the game clock, thanks to a new technology that detects the shrill cry above the din of the crowd.
- The classic pea-rattling whistle suffers from occasional lapses in noise if the referee blows too hard or after saliva has collected in its chamber. Those whistles were gradually replaced in the late 80’s by a fail-proof design that funnels the breath through three chambers, which combine to create a shrill, three-toned screech.
- This season the N.C.A.A. will sync up the whistle tone to a Precision Time System that automatically brings the game clock to a screeching halt. Tests show that the speed of the system, which stops the clock faster than the average human operator, could add up to 30 seconds of playtime to a typical college game.