Tech Crunch Disrupt- Top 5 Start Ups to Watch

Tech Crunch Discrupt NY

This Wednesday marked the end of another successful Tech Crunch Disrupt conference in New York City. While the travel and conference costs kept many techies at bay, Tech Crunch did an impressive job streaming the events live. Based in Washington, members of the agencyQ team followed along during keynote speeches and the hackathon presentation as they unfolded. While there were hundreds of businesses and start-ups featured, there were a couple that really caught our attention.

Here are Q’s Tech Crunch top 5 start ups to watch in 2013:

1. Rambler- Hackathon Winner, Purchase location visualization

2. Vox Creative

3. Floored- 3D real estate mapping

4. News Genius- Applying Rap Genius annotation to current news

5. Adafruit- Helping people get more comfortable with their own electronics


Click HERE to read a full list of the participants and leave your favorite below in the comment section!

Featured image by Eventful.

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Why a Clean API is Critical for Any Public-Facing Web Application

Adrian Sud, Web Developer

For most web projects, building an external or internal API is the last thing that happens, if it happens at all.  You envision the user interface, and design the data model required to produce that experience.  You start building the interface, wiring it to the model as you go.  Eventually, someone might think of setting up a public API, be it before launch or some time later. So you quickly provide accessors to whatever functions just happened to be available.

This is how we end up with APIs that can be more convoluted and difficult to use than the web application they were built for, or that are missing functionality to protect the system from bypassed business logic. This kind of “afterthought API” forces your whole system to become bloated, more complex, and more difficult to maintain, when in actuality an API should be the guiding principle toward making our applications as streamlined as possible.

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DCWEEK Remixed Part I

Angela Brown, Marketing Manager

After ten consecutive days of parties, seminars, projects, picnics, yoga sessions, meetups, tweetups and outdoor movie screenings, Digital Capital Week (DCWEEK to the initiated) came to a close over the weekend. For those who don’t know, DCWEEK is the brainchild of iStrategyLabs and Shiny Heart Ventures, two organizations that are moving the needle when it comes to the way that agencies and technology companies are structured and how they do business. According to the DCWWEK website, the event is “a 10 day festival here in DC focused on technology, innovation and all things digital in our nation’s capital.” Boy was it. Since no one could possibly attend every DCWEEK event without having access to some sort of cloning technology, I do want to give you a recap of the numerous options that were available to attendees and what I experienced. I have a lot to say based on the handful of events I attended, so I’ll be breaking this into two parts.

The Big Picture

Where to begin? To say that this was a big event attended by a lot of people just wouldn’t do DCWEEK justice. Between June 11 and June 20, DCWEEK participants had the opportunity to build a schedule around 100+ events and more than 8,000 Washingtonians showed up for DCWEEK. During the day, participants could attend breakfasts and workshops where they could learn best practices and hear case studies related to some of the biggest topics in digital – mobile technology, social media, game design, and more. At night, attendees could kick back by taking their pick of happy hours and cocktail receptions.

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QR Codes: A Mid-nineties Technology Finds 21st Century Applications

What They Are

A Quick Response (QR) Code is a two-dimensional bar code used for encoding information. QR codes were originally created by Denso Wave in 1994 to track parts and packaging for manufacturing and production purposes, but businesses are increasingly finding new ways to use the technology.

When QR codes were first created, Denso Wave made the code open-format and the specifications were available royalty-free. This helped make QR codes popular in Japan and allowed easy adoption by industries beyond manufacturing. Before long, Japanese phone carriers agreed to implement QR software natively into camera-enabled mobile phones.

The matrix itself is an array of black and white squares where data is encoded. The most visible parts of the matrix that distinguish it from other two-dimensional symbologies are the three squares at the top and bottom left corners of the matrix. These squares are used to determine the positioning of the code, allowing 360 degree readability and high speed scanning. This image, courtesy of Wikipedia, dissects a QR code and provides more details on its structure.

One of the advantages of the QR code is the amount of data that it can encode. Compared to other two-dimensional symbologies such as Data Matrix, Maxi Code and Stacked Barcodes, the QR code packs the highest capacity for the smallest footprint (up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters).

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