March 3, 2012
Today OnStar, a GM company focused on in-car communication and security, announced what it calls an API. Though not yet released, nor totally open and perhaps not even an API, the move is certainly part of "car as a platform." Building apps for cars is a movement that hasn't seen much progress since Ford's announcement two years ago. Though there is still a lot of potential, especially with the car culture in much of the US, some have questioned whether safety will stifle in-car apps.
Let's talk languages: in this case, not computer programming languages, but human languages. According to the 2009 edition of the SIL International publication Ethnologue: Languages of the World, the estimated 328 million English speakers in the world are dwarfed by the 1.2 billion people who speak Chinese as a first language. And though English has become the lingua franca of many tech industries, users still prefer to interact with products and services in their native tongue. No doubt this was one of the factors which led FlightStats, Portland-based provider of global flight tracking and airport information, to start offering its FlightStats API data in languages other than English.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has announced the opening of public voting for the NYC BigApps 2.0 Competition. The big apple has wasted no time in following last year's successful competition with 350 datasets from over 40 agencies. From the looks of the apps, the NYC tech community is already fired up about the competition.