The Dish Daily

3D Printing and Raspberry Pi: Why Stanford students should take notice of Microsoft again

Conventional criticism aside, there’s a lot of reasons why Stanford should be taking the “New Microsoft” (as they call it) in a different light. The company has long been trying to shed its image of archaism and lethargy, and this time around, it seems like they’ve finally figured out how to shake it off.

There was a time when what Microsoft did had little bearing on the lives of students at Stanford, especially engineers and computer scientists. That’s no longer the case. The new Microsoft ecosystem, highly based on interoperability and incorporating open-source technologies for the first time, is something that students should take note of. Read more >>

Throwback: ‘Stanford’s next big Internet start-up?’

The Stanford Daily has always been cautious about startups and their trajectories. Back in 1999, The Daily had the chance to speak to Sergey Brin MS ’95 PhD ’98 and Larry Page MS ’98, about their (new at the time) venture Google. At the time, Google featured a Stanford-specific search feature. Anthony Chiu ’02, Contributing Writer at The Daily at the time, asserted that “[w]hile the future is not certain for the company that proclaims itself as “Stanford’s next big Internet startup,” Google has a good chance of success because of its flexibility.”

From the archives, 22 January 1999. The Stanford Daily, Volume 214, Issue 64.

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Stanford students ditch the small screen at BASES Demo Day

The BASES Challenge Finale took place in the Arrillaga Alumni Center on the afternoon of Friday, May 8. The rows of tri-fold poster boards at the event’s Public Showcase might remind a viewer of a high school science fair, but the presenters here were pitching innovative business and socially-oriented product concepts. The event’s mass-attendance spoke to the continued strong interest in innovation on this campus. A more novel insight, however, can be gleaned from examining the types of companies presenting. Read more >>

The Relentless Ann Miura-Ko

Public speaking was Floodgate co-founder Ann Miura-Ko’s, Ph.D. ’10, biggest fear.

During her junior high piano recitals, she struggled to say her name or the name of the piece she was performing. “I was a painfully shy student,” Miura-Ko said.

Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate cofounder Courtesy Ann Miura-Ko

Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate co-founder, did her Ph.D. in the Quantitative Modeling of Computer Security at Stanford
Courtesy Ann Miura-Ko

In eighth grade, Miura-Ko’s older brother had to accompany her on stage to announce her name.

“This is ridiculous,” Miura-Ko thought. “I need to get over this.”

As a freshman at Palo Alto High School, she joined the speech and debate team – entirely a personal decision.

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The Pentagon’s attempted tryst with Silicon Valley

Cemex Auditorium was filled to the brim on the morning of Thursday, April 23, with an audience eager to hear the recently appointed Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, deliver this year’s annual Drell Lecture (the Drell Lecture, named for the first director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, is an annual public event addressing a critical national or international security issue). The audience knew Secretary Carter well—Carter has long been a part of the Stanford community, most recently as a visiting scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) immediately before assuming his present role—and the attendees read like a who’s who list of the departments based in Encina Hall. But Secretary Carter did not come back to Stanford just to reconnect with old friends: He came to Silicon Valley with a mission to attract technological talent which can help the US government adapt and respond to the new range of threats it faces on the cyber front.

Secretary Carter outlined the new profile of threats the United States faces. The development of Internet technology has brought incalculable economic benefit to America and many other places around the world, yet our new-found reliance on Internet technology has led to “real liabilities.” As more of our world becomes connected to the Internet, the potential for harmful agents to use the Internet to inflict lasting economic or physical harm grows. The United States government seeks to mitigate that risk as much as it can, while balancing security measures with a commitment to maintaining the spirit of freedom and privacy that is essential to America’s character.

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Beyond Starbucks: The ‘Third Place’ for work and socialization

Starbucks has grown to become a near-ubiquitous feature on the American urban landscape since its initial expansion in the late 1980s, because of the space it provides for people, not because of its coffee. Starbucks pioneered what it calls the ‘third place’, a place less formal than a workplace and more intimate than a person’s home, opening coffeehouses in the Italian tradition in the United States. Over the past week, I’ve had the chance to learn more about two new public spaces in our area.

Starbucks' creation of a 'third place' set the tone for many emulators. Ashley Westhem/The Stanford Daily

Starbucks’ creation of a ‘third place’ set the tone for many emulators.
(ASHLEY WESTHEM/The Stanford Daily).

On March 17, while Stanford students were preoccupied with final exams for Winter Quarter, HanaHaus, a new coffee shop and collaborative workspace opened up in the historic New Varsity Theater building on University Avenue. Set in a 15,000 square-foot space comprising the mission-styled courtyard of the old theater and the building’s interior, HanaHaus occupies the former home of the Borders bookstore which closed in 2011. Read more >>

XPRIZE: Funding solutions for tech-enabled learning

Over the past 20 years, the XPRIZE Foundation has become famous for sparking private sector innovation in space technology and exploration. Their latest challenge, the Global Learning XPRIZE, doesn’t literally reach for the stars, but is just as ambitious: it aims to bring education to every child in the world, especially the 250 million children around the world who cannot read, write or do basic math. Blending technology and education is not a foreign concept to Silicon Valley: entrepreneurs have been creating MOOCs (massive open online courses, for the uninitiated), code camps and teaching tools for years. However, Matt Keller, Senior Director of the Global Learning XPRIZE, assured me that this challenge wants to create something different.

xprize website

“There’s 60 million kids around the world who don’t have physical access to teachers. Can we make technology and content that is so intuitive that children can teach themselves and each other?” Keller asked.

Keller’s background as Vice-President of One Laptop per Child makes him perhaps one of the most qualified people to discuss technology-enabled learning – the Global Learning XPRIZE’s mission statement reads almost identically to One Laptop per Child’s: to bring software and content to children in developing countries in order to spark self-empowered learning. Supporting this lofty goal is a $15 million prize, with $1 million awarded to each of the five finalists and $10 million awarded to the ultimate winner. Read more >>

Neighborly: Invest money in social good

Doing well while doing good may become easier in the near future. Neighborly is a financial startup with offices in Kansas City and San Francisco focused on allowing citizens to fund local government projects and make money in the process. By making instruments called “municipal bonds” more readily accessible to individual investors, Neighborly will enable retail investors – people like you and me – to invest in relatively secure, tax-free securities while funding the communities that they care about.

Municipal bonds help local governments finance development

Put simply, municipal bonds are a way for local governments to borrow money when they need to finance projects, such as the construction of water facilities, playgrounds, hospitals, educational facilities, etc. When they issue municipal bonds, governments borrow money and pay that amount back in the future, plus interest. On Neighborly, you can currently choose to invest in projects related to “Education,” “Green Spaces,” “Transportation,” “Environment,” “Urban Spaces,” “Healthcare,” “Housing,” “Sports” and, soon, “Technology.” Municipal bonds are an especially attractive investment because their returns are tax-exempt. Read more >>