Chaudhuri D.,IAC |
Kushwaha N.K.,IAC |
Samal A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing | Year: 2012
Extraction of map objects such roads, rivers and buildings from high resolution satellite imagery is an important task in many civilian and military applications. We present a semi-automatic approach for road detection that achieves high accuracy and efficiency. This method exploits the properties of road segments to develop customized operators to accurately derive the road segments. The customized operators include directional morphological enhancement, directional segmentation and thinning. We have systematically evaluated the algorithm on a variety of images from IKONOS, QuickBird, CARTOSAT-2A satellites and carefully compared it with the techniques presented in literature. The results demonstrate that the algorithm proposed is both accurate and efficient. © 2008-2012 IEEE. Source
About.com, the IAC-owned media giant, has today unveiled its first standalone brand in the form of Verywell, a site for information around health. Verywell will launch with more than 50,000 pieces of content ranging from common medical conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis to simple health tips like how to get more sleep or advice on fitness. About.com has spent the last couple of years under the IAC umbrella rebuilding its own technology and organization to offer helpful content on a very wide array of topics. “What we learned in rebuilding what we were is that we don’t want to be that anymore,” said CEO Neil Vogel. “About was built during a different time in the internet, where scale translated to trust. But the internet has changed. No one wants advice on their 401k from the same people that give advice on how to bake a pie.” Learning that, About has shifted its focus to building out verticals around its troves of topic-specific content, with Verywell being the first. Vogel explained to TechCrunch that Verywell should take a far more human approach than competitors like WebMD and EverydayHealth, which tend to be hyper-clinical and (let’s face it) also have a tendency to spark the worst fears about our own health. Verywell content is all created by more than 120 experts, which includes doctors, trainers, dietitians and other health professionals, with every single medical fact being reviewed and approved by board-certified physicians. “If you look at the space, everything is very clinical,” said Vogel. “You can sometimes leave those leading tech health websites feeling like you have a brain tumor. We think this space needs a friendly, approachable, creditable source for information.” One of the greater challenges for About.com will be SEO. The company current has pretty good juice when it comes to Google searches, and launching on a new domain with a new brand could prove difficult to migrate. Still, About is charging forward with the plan to break up its content into verticals. Vogel wouldn’t be specific about which vertical comes next, but he did mention that About.com has promising content in both personal finance and the travel sectors. You can check out the brand new Verywell right here.
News Article | April 11, 2016
For most Yahoo Mail users in Europe and the U.S., the email website was inaccessible for some and intermittent for others last Saturday, April 9. The social media site, Twitter, saw an influx of status updates from users in the European and American region, even others, citing the incident. Tweets have been tagging YahooCare and YahooMail with hashtags #yahoomaildown and #yahoomail calling for an immediate fix for the problem. But the two accounts have yet to post an official announcement regarding server problems or login solutions. The sub-Reddit community for Yahoo also has a trending topic, "Sorry we were unable to proceed with your request. Please try again," wherein Redditors using Yahoo Mail have been posting their concerns. Other helpful members of the community have also been seen posting their own workarounds. Started by user dudeofedud, he posted that he had encountered a "horrible" error on his account. He's usually signed-in to his Yahoo account but that morning, he had been asked to relog in. The site returned an unsuccessful login attempt which caused him to worry about possible hacking. He further adds, "Does it mean that my account password has been changed, or it is simply [a] server-side error? I'm just a bit worried. Should [I] change my password or [not]?" (Retrieved on April 10 with currently 27 comments) According to some sites that check if a website is down, the Yahoo Mail platform has been tagged with "Possible problems at Yahoo Mail" on Downdetector while others conclude that the Yahoo system was down for several hours. Yahoo was previously reported to be closing some of its operations offered as the company had previously anticipated in 2015 that further decline in their sales could occur the following year. Incidentally, Yahoo has been reported to be putting up its major cores for bids wherein initial transactions are requested by April 11. Confirmed deals will be supposedly released by June or July. The recent glitches in its email platform may cause unpredicted concern among involved bidders, Verizon Communications, IAC/InterActiveCorp and Time, to mention a few. For users who are still encountering sign in problems, Yahoo has several pages on its Help section which may have a temporary fix. Its Reddit sub-board also has a pinned link that redirects to the "Yahoo Help Community" with instructions to follow for reporting snags in the system. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | January 11, 2016
Sean Rad, the CEO of Tinder, couldn’t believe all the headlines. Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, had just announced its plan for an IPO, yet many articles made it sound like Tinder itself was going public, rather than Match Group. Some even included a photograph of a beaming Rad. Friends and family immediately started congratulating him by email and text message. "People think Tinder went public and I’m a billionaire," Rad tells me. "Add it to the long list of shit that's misunderstood about me." The reality is that Match Group, a portfolio of dating companies that includes Match.com and OkCupid, is the majority shareholder of Tinder. It's true that the popular app is the crown jewel in Match Group’s roster, a fast-growing service that gives it a strong footing in mobile and with millennials. But as Rad insists repeatedly during the time we spent together for our recent profile of him and his company, Tinder’s future is very much still unwritten. Employees, he says, have stock in Tinder, not in Match Group; Tinder itself has its own board and cap table. "[The Match Group IPO] doesn’t really impact us," Rad explains. "Just like Match Group can IPO out of [parent company] IAC, Tinder can IPO out of Match Group." What’s telling about Rad’s description of Tinder’s relationship with Match Group is not only the lengths he goes to characterize Tinder as "very independent," but also the credit he feels Tinder is owed for Match Group’s success. "There would probably not be [a Match Group] IPO, were it not for Tinder," he says. "It’s cool that we’ve been able to build something so great, that by association another company can go public." At the same time, Rad continues, "what it means for us financially is nothing." He calls Tinder the "stalking horse" of Match Group, and indicates it has a "different plan toward liquidity that’s better than just the Match Group IPO, so we don’t care about it much . . . we have every avenue of liquidity open to us: We can sell the company; we can IPO." Rad still refers to Tinder as a "startup." Rosette Pambakian, Tinder’s VP of communications, tells me, "We are so misunderstood. People are like, ‘Tinder is not a startup. It’s owned by IAC.’ Nobody understands." Rad compares Tinder’s relationship to IAC, which spun off Match Group but retains a controlling interest in the company, to the traditional relationship between a startup and venture capital firm. "IAC is just like one big VC. They're a holding company. They have multiple investments. One of the segments of their investments is dating and social, and [they just spun that part off]," Rad says. He likens it to Facebook and Yuri Milner’s investment group, previously called Digital Sky Technologies (or DST), which became a major investor in Mark Zuckerberg’s social network in 2009. "DST owns a huge piece of Facebook, and DST went public," Rad says. "[It’s a] similar type [of relationship]." The difference is that Milner’s group owned roughly 5% of Facebook, whereas IAC’s Match Group owns a majority stake in Tinder. Milner was never on the board at Facebook, whereas Tinder’s board includes Greg Blatt, the CEO of Match Group and Tinder’s executive chairman, as well as Sam Yagan, the former Match Group CEO who still serves as a senior executive at the parent company. So when Rad stresses to me that Tinder is a "separate company, a separate org," I have to remind him that Tinder’s fate and thus Rad’s is still ultimately in Match Group’s hands. It was Tinder’s board of directors, after all, that temporarily ousted Rad from his CEO role once they determined he wasn’t fit to lead the company, and that his haphazard approach was reflecting poorly on IAC and Match Group (read more about this controversial decision in our feature on the company). Though Rad talks up the potential for a Tinder IPO or even a potential acquisition, when pressed, he acknowledges it "depends on what the board chooses . . . they would have a big say." When I ask Blatt about this subject, he tells me, "Sean has equity in Tinder. His ability to realize value is through the performance of Tinder . . . that's the way we incentivize the employees there. There are no plans to spin it out. The way the arrangements work is that they get guaranteed liquidity through a number of mechanisms regardless, but there's certainly the possibility of doing [spinning Tinder out] if it reached that scale and that sort of level of independence in the same way that Match [has done], meaning Match had an equity system that provided employees liquidity at Match's valuation over time. There came a point where IAC decided to take Match out on its own, and that day could come for Tinder as well. But it doesn't need to in order for the people at Tinder to realize their value." Blatt and Yagan praise this arrangement during our interviews. Just as IAC helped Match Group, they contend, Match Group helps Tinder by leveraging its reach in the online dating category, as well as its industry expertise and resources. Yagan calls it a "pretty optimum" structure. But it raises a question: If the arrangement is so optimum, why does Rad keep trying to distance Tinder from Match Group? It’s widely understood he wanted to take the company independent when it was under the yoke of IAC. To Yagan, who cofounded OkCupid and sold it to IAC before becoming absorbed into Match Group, he understands what Rad is going through more than most. Tinder, like OkCupid, is a massive success, but because it is chained to a controlling entity, it’s perceived as more of a subsidiary than a startup. Tinder is arguably a unicorn by some estimates, but it’s not really a unicorn. "Because it was within IAC, there wasn’t these valuations of $6 billion! $8 billion! $30 billion! And a new round of financing every six months and blah blah blah—all the things you’d get with a Snapchat, a Pinterest, or a Facebook," Yagan explains. "I think there is something about [Sean] being oh-so-close to it," he continues. "If you play the lotto, you don't expect to win. But if you get five out of six numbers, all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Holy Fuck! I almost fucking won the lottery.’ It makes you feel like you had your hands on the ball and you dropped it. There is always going to be that [feeling of], ‘What could have been?’" Read Fast Company’s profile of Tinder in our February issue here.
Or do we even need one? At Disrupt NY in May, we’ll try to get to the bottom of that question. In a panel on the new frontier of digital dating, we’ll be bringing together some of the freshest minds in the space to discuss how niche dating services could be the next big thing we swipe right on. Bumble CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe, Her founder and CEO Robyn Exton, and Coffee Meets Bagel cofounder and COO Dawoon Kang will be joining us on stage at the big show. They will discuss how fragmented the space is, what features work for both their businesses and their users, and how users can develop meaningful relationships on their platforms. (If they even want to.) Each of these apps brings something different to the dating plate. Bumble lets girls make the first move, Her serves the queer female community, and Coffee Meets Bagel gives you one match only each day. Here’s a little more about each panelist: After graduating from SMU in Dallas, Whitney spent 6 months in Asia working inNorthern Thailand and Cambodia. Upon her return, she joined the Cardify team for marketing and sales, which was part of the IAC incubator Hatch Labs. After Cardify failed to pick up, Whitney lobbied the team to run with another side project they had created, which was called Matchbox. That app is now a household name, Tinder. She Co-Founded Tinder and was the VP of marketing for two years. After her departure, she saw a missing link in online responsibility. She had hopes to create a platform for kindness. Whitney reunited with a business acquaintance, Andrey Andreev. Andreev is a world-renowned businessman most famous for his platform, Badoo, which has over 230 million users and generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Together they formed Bumble. Robyn Exton graduated from the University of Bristol with a Bachelors of Science degree. She went on to be a leader at the Geek Girl Meetup in the UK, and then became an Account Manager at Tag, an international design and production agency. Robyn continued her career in design and production at brand consultancy firm Calling Brands, where she went from account manager to biz dev. In 2011, she founded Her (formerly Dattch) as one of the first LGBTQ dating apps for women. Dawoon’s work spans from strategy & business development to marketing, research and investing/finance. She started her career at Avon Products as Analyst for U.S. Strategy & Business Development in New York. After receiving her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2009, she went on to J. P. Morgan’s Global Special Opportunities Group in Hong Kong. She worked as Vice President of North Asia Investment team, which covered all investments in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, from distressed debt to growth equity opportunities. In 2012, Dawoon co-founded Coffee Meets Bagel along with her sisters Arum and Soo. As COO & Head of Marketing, Dawoon oversees the company’s overall vision, strategy, branding, and marketing. She has given numerous talks about dating, tech, and entrepreneurship to groups such as Women 2.0, The Commonwealth Club, including a recent TEDx talk with Arum in San Francisco on the theme The Beautiful Truth About Online Dating. The dating space is changing rapidly and these panelists will be integral in mapping out that journey. You can buy tickets to Disrupt NY here. Sponsors make TechCrunch events possible. If you are interested in learning more about sponsorships with TechCrunch, shoot an email to email@example.com.