Technology

Flickr/ Rik Panganiban

Online dating websites report a spike in registrations right after the holidays. And more and more Vermonters are looking online for a potential match. Some are finding online dating to be challenging… and even embarrassing.

When Andrea Olson moved to Vermont from Memphis, Tenn., she tried the dating site OK Cupid for the first time. She’s 31, and says the OK Cupid scene in Burlington can be tough. She cites an age gap as one reason.

Early next year a new maker space called Generator will open in Burlington. The facility will have digital fabrication gear and other tools available to members who pay a monthly fee.

The space is being hailed by members of Vermont’s maker community and by educators who say it will be a tool for economic development.

Jon Kalish

In the last six years, “hacker” spaces have opened around the country. These communal work spaces where hobbyists share tools and expertise have popped up in virtually every American city.

Laboratory B is an 800 square foot space whose interior design aesthetic might be described as bohemian gamer. There are about 20 members of this hacker space who pay $75 a month, though underemployed members pay just $35 a month. The one large room has work tables, an electronics bench and milk crates containing a variety of computer parts. There’s a futon couch and a small refrigerator.

One of Burlington’s largest businesses, Dealer.com, sold to a New York company for almost $1 billion in a deal announced Thursday.

Dealer.com, founded in 1998, is a leading online marketing company for automotive dealerships across the nation and employs about 700 people in Burlington. The company was purchased today by Dealer Track, a Now York-based dealership consulting company with an overlapping business model.

Dealer Track bought Dealer.com for $620 million cash in addition to 8.7 million shares of Dealer Track stock, worth about $300 million.

Carl Brandon/VTC

A four inch by four inch cube launched into space this week is sending back signals from 300 miles up.  It's one of an increasing number of relatively new and inexpensive tiny satellites called CubeSats.

What distinguishes this particular one is it began life on a workbench at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center.

Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced a bill this week that’s directly aimed at making it harder for Patent Assertion Entities, better known as “Patent Trolls,” to leverage the U.S. patent system for financial gain.

Charlotte Albright

Over the weekend, 150 students from 17 schools all over Vermont competed for a chance to take their Lego robots to  a championship round in New Hampshire next month.  The competition is sponsored by a non-profit called FIRST, an acronym that stands for  “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”

Courtesy

Like most middle aged people, I’ve kept busy in my life meeting people, learning things and generally bustling around. My head is full of names, dates, places, events, anniversaries and details.
 
Perhaps too full: it’s as if my memory occasionally goes through a trash compactor, and a kind of elision takes place. People and things with similar names sort of, well, smush together.

One of the more common pieces of advice given to innovators and inventors is to “start with what you know.” But in practical terms, this often translates into “what irritates you the most.” And focusing on what you don’t like and would like to make better is often a good starting point, because searching for a solution can have a profound impact.

Computer “hackers” are often viewed in popular culture as people intent on modern mischief. But that’s not always the case. Some are motivated by a desire to better understand computer technology.

This weekend, a National Day of Civic Hacking is behind held across the country, with events in Vermont too. The idea is to bring programmers together to solve problems, rather than create them.

Meanwhile, a cyber security start-up in Berlin, Vt., called “Pwnie Express” embraces hackers.

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