A selection of the coverage we’re proudest of. Contact us for more details on client successes.

Bountysource CEO talks open source crowdfunding and bounties for developers
Nearly a decade ago, two friends set out to create a full project management platform for open source software called Bountysource. The year was 2004 and the friends were Warren Konkel and David Rappo, and their vision included creating code repositories, file hosting, issue tracking, and bounty support.

A New Way To Fund Open Source Software Projects, Bug Fixes and Feature Requests
Open source software projects are seeing some success on fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But Warren Konkel believes open source software needs a better funding model that’s more aligned with how software is built. So Konkel, who was the first hire at LivingSocial, teamed up with his friend David Rappo, a producer for games including Guitar Hero and Skylander, and founded Bountysource, a crowdfunding and bounty site specifically designed to help developers raise money for their OSS projects, bug fixes and feature requests.

Mapping websites reveal just how stupid it is to geotag your tweets
The more stylish Ready or Not website, from University of California, Berkeley also allows you to search Instagram posts and lets you filter tweets by time, so you can see where and when users are tweeting.

Twitter Account Buying Spree Points to New Way to Beat Spammers
In the 10 months ending in April 2013, researchers from the International Computer Science Institute, the University of California, Berkeley, and George Mason University spent just over $5,000 on Twitter accounts, collecting 121,027 of them with surprising ease.

Researchers pose as scammers to cut back on bogus Twitter accounts
Spam is a problem, and any Twitter user knows well that the social network has its fair share of it. A team of researchers is working to fight back, however. In a paper released this week, they detailed how they’ve been working with Twitter to take a close look at how fraudulent accounts are made and how they can be stopped — and they’ve already had promising results. The team, made up of researchers from George Mason University, the International Computer Science Institute, and the University of California, Berkeley, worked with Twitter to purchase over 127,000 fraudulent, automatically-generated accounts from 27 different merchants over a ten month period starting in June 2012. Their goal? To try and develop a way to stop spam accounts before they’re made or before they’re used to spread malware, phishing attempts, scams, and more across the web.

Start-up morphs open-source security system for research networks into commercial platform
A start-up named Broala has been formed to expand the open-source intrusion detection system known simply as Bro that has been used in high-speed research networks for about two decades. The Bro IDS has been used for security monitoring in high-speed networks, notably the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) which has deployed it for about 15 years to monitor and protect ESnet. The founders of Berkeley, Calif.-based Broala say they intend to maintain Bro’s open-source heritage but also to expand this core open source code to include newer applications.

Privacy app pinpoints your exact location using social media
Though it seems like oversharing millennials have little regard for online privacy, researchers at the International Computer Science Institute and UC Berkeley say many high school students simply aren’t aware how much information is posted with their social media updates. The metadata that accompanies a casual tweet or selfie on Instagram can be used to “cybercase” people’s homes, something commonly employed by robbers.

This tool lets you stalk Twitter users to teach them a lesson about privacy
You know those geotagged tweets and Instagram posts you’re publishing from your mobile phone? It turns out anyone can access them to find out where you are and where you’ve been. You know, just in case they want to stalk you, rob you or otherwise annoy you. In order to highlight what’s possible, a group of researchers from the International Computer Science Institute has released a new tool called “Ready or Not” that lets you enter any Twitter or Instagram username and see every place that user has been and what they’ve tweeted while there.

Celebrate Labor Day by Cyber-Stalking Your Ex With This Handy New Program
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have offered users the ability to tag their locations with each new post for a while now–and one group of researchers has created a tool that will allow people to use that information to their advantage by stalking the shit out of friends and arch nemeses alike.

Meet the algorithm that can spot and kill Twitterbots before they ever start spamming
Researchers have a devised a method for identifying fake Twitter accounts that proved highly accurate across 27 popular black-market merchants. With Twitter’s cooperation, they spotted and deleted millions of accounts, using only data generated during the account-registration process.

Researchers put a dent in the Twitter Underground
Vern Paxson of the International Computer Science Institute and Chris Grier of UCal-Berkeley, who presented at USENIX, along with Kurt Thomas of UC-Berkeley, Damon McCoy of George Mason University and Alex Kolcz of Twitter, developed what they called a classifier they hope will soon be integrated by Twitter into its registration process. The tool, the researchers said identifies potentially fraudulent accounts as they’re automatically being registered by a criminal.

The Underground Market for Spam Twitter Accounts
Because Twitter abuse is reported after the damage has been done, the researchers from the International Computer Science Institute, George Mason University and UC Berkeley were looking for ways to detect automatically created accounts before they’re used for fraudulent purposes. Working in collaboration with Twitter, they spent 10 months buying 121,000 spam accounts from 27 underground sellers.

Twee… THUD: Boffins build ‘The Classifier’ to seek out, kill millions of Twitter fakes
Comp sci boffins spent a year buying up more than 100,000 fake Twitter accounts in a bid to help the teeny-tiny text transmitter beef up its spam defences. They also used their research to build a retroactive classifier that sniffed out the fakers so the Big Blue Bird itself could snuff them out.

Where Twitter spam-accounts come from
A pair of researchers — one a grad student working at Twitter — bought $5,000 worth of fake Twitter accounts (with Twitter’s blessing) and developed a template for identifying spam Twitter accounts.

The Switchboard: Five Tech Stories You Need to Read Today
Why a team of security analysts spent $5,000 buying fake Twitter accounts. Brian Krebs reports that to defeat online spammers, researchers from George Mason University and UC-Berkeley bought more than 120,000 fraudulent Twitter accounts from the black market — just to see how they worked. With Twitter’s permission, the researchers built a profile of 27 spam-account vendors and discovered the complex web of techniques they used to circumvent Twitter’s existing tricks to catch them.

Buying Battles in the War on Twitter Spam
Twitter prohibits the sale and auto-creation of accounts, and the company routinely suspends accounts created in violation of that policy. But according to researchers from George Mason University, the International Computer Science Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, Twitter traditionally has done so only after these fraudulent accounts have been used to spam and attack legitimate Twitter users.

Researchers explore underground market of spam and abuse
Researchers presented data from an ICSI (International Computer Science Institute) driven project Wednesday at the 22nd USENIX Security Symposium in Washington, D.C., that explores the underground market of spam and abuse on Twitter. Led by Vern Paxson of International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) and Chris Grier of UC Berkeley, the group tracked the criminal market on Twitter, which sells access to accounts that are later used to push spam, malicious links (including Phishing and malware), as well as inflate follower counts.

These Researchers Could End Twitter Spam Forever
There are millions of spam profiles littering Twitter, and they’re practically unavoidable. But who’s behind this army of bogus accounts? A research team announced Wednesday it’s finally traced these default-egg-avatared nuisances to their source, and their findings could help cut Twitter cut spam off at the head.

Open source gets its own crowd-funding site, with bounties included
Raising funds to support open source projects can be…let’s just call it “challenging.” Many open source projects (from phones to programming tools) have taken to crowd-funding sites (such as Kickstarter and indiegogo) in order to raise the cash needed for large-scale development. And, in some cases, this has worked out quite well. But these sites really aren’t built with open source projects in mind – they are much more general fund-raising platforms. And, as you are probably well aware, open source comes with its own benefits and challenges. Bountysource, the self-described “funding platform for open-source software,” seeks to fill that gap.

Inside Bountysource, a crowdfunding and challenge site for open-source software
Bountysource aims to streamline the funding process for open-source projects. With a fresh $1.1 million seed round on hand, the company is betting on crowdfunding as a game changer for the open-source community.

Bountysource Receives Seed Venture Capital Funding
Financial service company Bountysource has landed $1.1 million in seed venture capital funding. Bountysource is developing a crowdfunding portal for open source software. True Global Ventures led the round, which included other individual investors. The company did not say how the funding proceeds would be used.

Bountysource Obtains $1,100,000 Seed Funding Round
Bountysource is the first dedicated crowdfunding platform for open-source software. Created by developers, for developers, Bountysource is a community-oriented marketplace for funding open-source software projects and putting bounties on the day-to-day tasks and feature requests required to keep projects running and updated.

From Google Reader’s Ashes: Smartphone Apps that Read News Feeds Aloud
SoThree, the developers of Umano, the app that lets you listen to aggregated news on the go, raised approximately $1 million in a round of funding co-led by Birchmere Ventures and Digital Garage, with participation from early Facebook advisor Karl Jacob and angels including several Google employees.

Umano App Reads the News To You With Help From Voice Actors
Umano relies on a mix of algorithms and editorial oversight to curate important news stories each day and then has voice actors — each of whom are vetted by sending in demos — to record audio clips of those stories. The app offers articles across genres, but according to Mendiola, the emphasis is on “analytical and thoughtful” pieces that have a longer shelf life than breaking news stories.

SoThree raises $1M for its Umano news broadcast app
SoThree, the company behind news broadcast app Umano, has raised a $1 million Seed round co-led by Birchmere Ventures and Digital Garage, with participation from Karl Jacob and other angels. The company uses professional voice actors to deliver news broadcast of curated articles.

Apps Raise the iPad’s Aptitude for Real Work
AstralPad has some nice features. It allows you to work with multiple documents simultaneously and to cut and paste between them. And it has video and audio calling for collaboration. It works with cloud-based services and local storage.

Geary E-mail Could Replace Thunderbird On Linux Distro
After developing the Shotwell photo manager for Linux-based operating systems, Yorba has set its eyes on ensuring problems related with Linux’s email set-up are resolved. According to reports , Yorba, the creator of Shotwell, is seeking Indiegogo’s support to raise $100,000 for developing an e-mail client, named “Geary”.

Is a New Approach to Email Just What Linux Needs?
By Sam Dean

Some of the more promising efforts to pull off smart open source email have been left in the gutter. Mozilla, for example, has pulled way back on its efforts with Thunderbird. That’s why it’s interesting to note that some of the respected developers behind the Shotwell photo manager application are working on an email idea called Geary.

9 Cool, Creative Subscription Services Just For Kids!
By Kate Stahl

If you’re raising a book lover who’s always looking for a new favorite, Sproutkin’s Sproutkit ($25 per month) is a must. Each Sproutkit contains 10 classic and lesser-known books chosen by educational advisers to revolve around a central theme. The kits, for kids 3-6, also include a Sproutcard with starting points to help guide discussions and activities to ensure your child gets the most out of each book.

Beautiful Open-Source Email Client Geary Needs Your Help
By Silviu Stahie

Geary, a lightweight email program designed around conversations and built for the GNOME desktop by the Yorba software group, is trying to raise money through a crowdsourcing effort on Indiegogo. The software is developed by Yorba, the same team responsible for Shotwell, a photo manager that is the default applications in major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora.

Shotwell developers aim to solve Linux’s e-mail problems
By Jon Brodkin
The developers behind the Shotwell photo manager for Linux-based operating systems are setting their sights on a weak spot of the Linux desktop: e-mail.

Crowdfunding, Micro-Patronage, And The Future Of Free Software
By Scott Merrill
Yorba, the company behind the Linux photo management application Shotwell, are dipping their toes into the crowdfunding pool to finance their next project. They’ve started an Indigogo project to collect funding to develop Geary, a “lightweight email program designed around conversations.”

A Netflix-Like Service for Children’s Books
By Jeana Lee Tahnk

Thanks to a new service called Sproutkin, kids can get a never-ending supply of wonderful children’s books delivered right to their door every month. Subscriptions are available for two age groups – babies aged 0-3 and preschoolers 3-6. For $24.99, each comes with books geared towards the particular age in question. The Sproutkin subscription is not cheap, but getting a limitless library of reading adventures for your child as they grow up is priceless.

“Netflix of kid’s books” startup snags seed money
By Kirsten Korosec

The nightly ritual of reading books to young children has produced a supply problem for parents. In the past, parents turned to the library to help meet the demand for a constant supply of new books. Today, a number of subscription-based services have popped up to make it easier for parents to find quality books for their kids. The latest startup to join the “Netflix of children’s books” genre is Sproutkin, a company founded by Raelyn Bleharski, a mom and a former lawyer.

A “Netflix for children’s books”?
By Ben Frederick

Does your child like a brand new bedtime story – every single night? Trips to the bookstore are expensive and visits to the library can be time-consuming. So what’s the answer? To parents Raelyn Bleharski, Alda Dennis, and Mark Jen it seemed obvious: launch Sproutkin, a Netflix-like monthly book service subscription for children aged 0-6.

Sproutkin dubbed the ‘Netflix’ of children’s books
By Parul Guliani

Ever stared at your bookshelf with dissatisfaction, wishing somebody could just deliver some fresh books to your door? Well, now they can . . . if you’re between the ages of 0 and 6. Sproutkin, dubbed the “Netflix for children’s books,” is a newly launched subscription service that seeks to help parents who are running out of fresh books to read their children.

Sproutkin Launches A “Netflix For Children’s Books”
By Sarah Perez
Sproutkin, a newly launched subscription service for children’s books, has raised an initial, but undisclosed (and still ongoing) seed round of under $1 million from investors which include 500 Startups, the TechFellow Fund, and other angels.

Sproutkin sprouts up with 1 million seeds for little sprouts
By Rebecca Grant

Subscription service for children’s books Sproutkin has secured $1 million of a seed round that should continue to climb. Sproutkin runs a rental service where parents and their kids receive shipments of new books on a regular basis. It’s like Netflix for children’s books, or a library trip without the trip.

Winston Is A Siri Rival That’s More Polite, British And Personalized
By Megan Rose Dickey and Alyson Shontell

There are a handful of startups working in this space, like Grokr, which aims to give you information before you need it, and Sivi, which acts as a personal concierge.

Sproutkin Book Delivery
Sproutkin is the newest subscription service that ships highly vetted books (a combination of classic titles and newer releases) to your home every month.

Not the Same Old Story: Sproutkin book delivery service
But here with a happy ending: Sproutkin, the latest twist on the box-of-the-month club. The subscription service ships highly vetted books (a combination of classic titles and newer releases) to your home every month. The New, Electronic Concierge
By Jimmy Im

Not to be confused with Apple’s Siri, takes concierge to a brand-new level. Users can type in a question on the site, and within minutes, a real hotel-based concierge will respond with answers delivered via text or email. While there is a fee ($5 for first question, $4 thereafter for up to 10 questions, $3 for 20), a virtual concierge is an asset for those who need answers on the fly.

Why This Startup Thinks It Can Slam Google
By Megan Rose Dickey

Sivi, a virtual personal assistant, launched today. Its founder calls it the only search engine and task completion service you’ll ever need.

Siri Often Sucks. Will Humans Make Sivi Better?
By Christina Chaey

A new virtual assistant service called Sivi is trying to pick up the slack where Siri falls short with its new web- and mobile-based personal concierge system, which attempts to bridge the translation gap by having a fleet of human operators carry out the tasks virtual assistants try to complete with artificial intelligence.

Sivi Answers Questions and Does Research For You, Is Your Personal Concierge
By Alan Henry

Sivi is a new service that answers questions, does research, and digs up useful information for you so you don’t have to. All of the work is done by real people in real time, so you get responses back quickly after submitting your question. All you have to have is a problem and the cash to pay to have it solved for you.

Get Organized: Making Personal Outsourcing Work
By Jill Duffy

Think of Sivi as an email-based alternative to Apple’s Siri, but with real humans powering the intelligence. When signed up for Sivi to investigate its services, I got one free credit good for a single task. Sweet. Sivi promises to send your answer or confirmation of task completion to your email inbox within a few hours. Sure enough, by the following morning, I had an answer that met all my criteria.

Your own personal concierge, Sivi picks up where Siri left off, helping you become more productive
By Ken Yeung

The brainchild of serial entrepreneur Nicholas Seet, who founded Auditude, one of the top five video ad platforms before selling it to Adobe in 2011, Sivi is focused on helping people who want to delegate busywork in order to help free up their time for more important things.