Latest updates on Chicago technology and innovation

August 2011 Archives

Congrats to ITA Fall Challenge winners

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Congratulations to Louis Wasserman of the University of Chicago, Keunhong Park from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and Sean Hurley of the UIUC for earning the top three scores, respectively, in the Illinois Technology Association's Fall Challenge for undergraduate students.

Congrats also to graduate student Islam Ismailov of the University of Illinois at Chicago for acing the top score in the graduate-student category. He walked away with a $1,000 cash prize.

** The Illinois Technology Association, in partnership with Chicago restaurant-ordering site GrubHub , offered the Fall Challenge in which college students competed for cash. Supporting sponsors included Allscripts, Backstop Solutions Group, GE, Centro, Groupon, Model Metrics, MPS Partners and Redpoint Technologies.

Students started by taking a quiz.

Top scorers competed in a Final Challenge in Chicago for a chance to meet tech leaders.

The top three students received $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 in cash prizes.

Here's another source for tech enthusiasts:

Which retailers are the most tech savvy?

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I started covering retail and technology at the Sun-Times 12 years ago, and I get a true kick out of watching these industries dovetail more and more each year.

So I was intrigued to see a study by bona-fide tech researchers that ranked retail stores on their digital savviness.

Pull my heartstrings

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My heart strings are pulled easily, so I couldn't resist headlining the growing list of innovative start-up companies in Chicago that are doing well by doing good.

Though big companies print regular volumes touting their social responsibilities, I find that young people seem to intuitively leverage technology to do good at the grass-roots level.

New Illinois laws see med tech and wind turbines

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Can you imagine a thriving medical-tech center in the far South Side Roseland neighborhood or wind turbines in Lake Michigan generating electricity?

Don't look now, but two overlooked new state laws could push these seemingly wildly optimistic ideas into reality.

New blog, new innovation insights

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Of the enormous variety of tech news I receive throughout the day, I most enjoy telling readers about news nuggets that turn assumptions on their heads.

Here's one that shows that newspapers aren't the dinosaurs nearly everyone assumes.

And I'll admit, it also soothes us newspaper types' anxieties a bit.

Open 311 coming in January: Our scoop

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Exclusive Interview: John Tolva, Chicago's new tech guru, has watched with pride as city residents -- many of them young would-be entrepreneurs -- have competed to create apps and websites using data recently opened to public use by the city, Cook County, the state and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

So what's Tolva's dream app? One that would tell him in real time when the bus and train are coming to his stop and at the same time alerting him to the nearest taxi and open parking spots. On a 20-below-zero day, the app would let Tolva and everyone else choose the quickest route to warmth. During the summer, the app could be used to find where rental bikes are available throughout the city.

What's next for app developers? Open 311. It is a platform that will let software developers come up with apps to allow people to use their smartphones and computers to track services such as pothole repairs and watch how and when they are fulfilled.

Tolva talked first to the Sun-Times just days after he started his city job. He wants Chicago to become known as the Digital Second City.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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