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Pennsylvania integrates facial recognition with law enforcement, PennDot

Government Technology writes about Pennsylvania's integration of facial recognition capacility with state law enforcement agencies and PennDot, creating a single interface that protects law enforcement and citizen privacy.
 
“There came an opportunity recently for us to integrate the two systems and really do two things at once,” said Dave Naisby, JNET’s executive director. “The first was reduce costs for the Commonwealth, but then the second was to allow our users who had access to both systems the opportunity to search both systems through one user interface.”
 
Original source: Government Technology
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Why not? Philly cheerleading in Wall Street Journal

The founder of Philadelphia-based social media marketing company Curalate, Apu Gupta, writes in the Wall Street Journal about how he answers the question: Why Philly?

We’ve grown from three people in May 2012 to 24 now without lowering our hiring bar. While the sheer volume of qualified people is greater in both SF and NYC, the competition for those people is also tremendous. In Philly, we stand out. We’re surrounded by excellent universities and continue to attract folks who have the chops to make it at a startup. We also find the hires we make tend to be more loyal and aren’t jumping to be a part of the next shiny new thing.

Original source: Wall Street Journal
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A close-up look at Philadelphia's untapped tech talent

Technorati talks to serial entrepreneur Rick Gorman about Philadelphia's untapped market of technology talent.

Gorman is the new kind of entrepreneur, brand builder, known best for creating niche services in rapid growth markets. It's the lean startup model, that he uses, which is allowing him and others to compete with Silicon Valley from anywhere. Gorman explains it best saying, "Philadelphia is a hub of untapped talent--there’s a shortage of good tech companies in the area and a plethora of great people."

Source: Technorati
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Inside the ever-growing Pittsburgh vs. Portland matchup

It has become commonplace for Pittsburgh and Portland to land on lists of cities touting all that is cool, innovative or green. The Think Urban blog considers how these two cities stack up head-to-head.

So is Pittsburgh the next big thing? Quite possibly. But that’s not the point. What’s happening in Pittsburgh is great, that’s true. But the same sorts of things are happening in cities all over the country – young people changing their city to be more livable, making their way, riding bikes and making waves. Maybe Pittsburgh and other cities like it will continue their rise in the “best city” charts, and I applaud them. This is a paradigm shift, not a popularity contest. The more we can make cities better for bicycling, creative enterprises, and general all around livability, the better we’ll all be. There’s no need to fight about it. If these top city lists help spur better cities, then I support them. May the best city win? Sure. But if that’s the case, I hope we all win eventually.

Original source: Think Urban
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New campaign aims to attract more LGBT travlers to Philadelphia

The New York Times' In Transit blog writes about a new campaign video devoted to promoting Philadelphia as an ideal travel destination for the LGBT community.

The new video builds on the city’s memorable 2003 “Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” campaign by showing the flamboyant female impersonator Miss Richfield 1981 touring some of Philadelphia’s best-known sites, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Original source: The New York Times
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State College No. 2 on Lumosity's smartest cities list

Only Ithaca, N.Y. rated ahead of State College, home of Penn State University, as the smartest city in the country according to internet software company Lumosity's ranking of the smartest and dumbest cities in America, reports Daily Tech.

With over 3 million users, the site decided to offer up an interesting data mining analysis, determining which cities in America have the "smartest" citizens (as assessed by puzzle solving and memory skills).

It appears that Iowa and Indiana are among the most mentally endowed states.  More specifically, the top 10 cities are:

    Ithaca, N.Y.
    State College, Penn.
    Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind.
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Ames, Iowa
    Ann Arbor, Mich.
    Bloomington, Ind.
    Madison, Wisc.
    Lawrence, Kans.
    Pullman, Wash.


Original source: Daily Tech
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Penn State introduces online masters program in renrewable energy

Clean Energy Authority reports on Penn State's announcement that it has introduced an online masters program in renewable energy.

Penn State opted to offer the masters degree as part of its growing World Campus, a collection of 90 online degrees provided through the school and aimed at attracting working students and students who live far from the physical campus in Pennsylvania. The online catalogue of courses gives students flexibility.

Original source: Clean Energy Authority
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Dickinson ranked No. 2 coolest school for sustainability

Dickinson College in Carlisle is no stranger to lists recognizing green initiatives among the nation's campuses, and the Sierra Club's most recent magazine ranked the school No. 2 on its top ten cool schools for sustainability.

Since 2008, Dickinson has bought enough wind power to offset all of its electrical needs. And since 2006, students have been collecting grease from local restaurants and turning it into biodiesel for the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, campus's vehicle fleet. If all goes according to plan, the school will achieve zero net emissions by 2020. Meanwhile, cafeterias serve student-grown produce, construction crews build to LEED Gold standards, and paper use has dropped by 60% over the past four years. Above, students install solar panels to power an irrigation pump at Dickinson's certified-organic College Farm.

Original source: Sierra Magazine
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Obama to visit Lackawanna College in Scranton on Friday to talk about college costs

President Barack Obama will be in Scranton Friday at Lackawanna College as part of a two-day road trip to New York and then Pennsylvania.

On Friday, he will participate in a town hall event at Binghamton University and at the State University of New York. He’ll also give a speech at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa.

The level of student debt has grown past $1 trillion during Obama’s tenure, partly because the federal government has increased its effort to offer low-interest education loans to young people, including many who do not graduate.


Original source: Daily Caller
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Wilmerding and its 90 year-old mayor protect their castle

Tiny Wilmerding in Allegheny County is home to a historic, five-story standstone castle that needs saving by a Pittsburgh entrepreneur.

Like the castle, Wilmerding has seen better days. Most of its factory jobs are gone. Median household income, at about $20,800, is 60% below the national level. Even so, John Graf, a Pittsburgh entrepreneur, has proposed to buy the castle and turn it into a luxury hotel. That plan hinges on whether he can raise $11 million to buy and renovate the leaky, creaky structure.

Original source: Wall Street Journal
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Lego lessons: How the company became (and remained) a toy giant

Entrepreneur takes a look at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School professor David Robertson's new book "Brick by Brick," which tells the story of Lego and the company's many twists of fate.
 
Innovation doesn't just happen at the product level. Too often companies focus all of their innovation efforts on their products. As was the case with Lego, this can result in looking too far afield. When Lego reversed all the damage it did in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was by looking for areas of improvement across the entire company. "Most people talk about innovation on the product side," says Robertson. "If you accept that innovation isn't just in product development -- it can be in sales, finance, marketing -- now you have lots of different opportunities."
 
Original source: Entrepreneur
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Watching Warhol: Webcam fixed on artist's grave near Pittsburgh

The New Yorker writes about the Andy Warhol Museum's round-the-clock webcam feed of the Pittsburgh-bred artist's grave in Western Pennsylvania.
 
I have angled for reasons to snoot the webcam stunt. I can’t think of any. Along with more or less everybody else, I find it Warholian to the, well, life: watching the present habitation of a man who liked to watch. Warhol pioneered motion pictures of motionless subjects; and we have him to thank, or not, for prophesying reality television. His strictly beholding bent became, as it remains, a default setting of artistic and popular culture absolutely everywhere.
 
Original source: The New Yorker
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Philadelphia's Mt. Airy among best big-city neighborhoods

CNN Money includes diverse Mt. Airy in Philadelphia among its list of best big-city neighborhoods.
 
Mount Airy pairs a racially and religiously diverse population with a neighborhood packed with historic homes and leafy streets.
 
Germantown Avenue, which divides East and West Mount Airy, is the backbone of the nabe and home to shops, art centers, and restaurants. Houses here start at about $200,000, roughly 30% lower than in neighboring Chestnut Hill (though you can easily pay $500,000 in the tonier parts of West Mount Airy).
 
Original source: CNN Money
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Inside Fishtown, Philadelphia's Rust Belt neighborhood

The Atlantic Cities spends time getting to know Fishtown, Philadelphia, and its post-industrial revival.
 
Fishtown, Philadelphia, got its name during the early 19th century, when neighborhood families dominated the booming shad runs of the Delaware River estuary. The fishery collapsed under the pressures of overfishing and pollution, and the area turned to other modes of making and manufacturing: shipyards, lumber, textiles. Eventually Fishtown fell into blight, its industrial buildings vacated and boarded up. But recently a new generation of industrious residents is has turned to urban farming of a sort, growing everything from community gardens to local writers, the latter by way of a modern-day farmers' almanac.
 
Original source: The Atlantic Cities
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Pittsburgh's YinzCam among VentureBeat's 20 fastest-growing mobile startups

Carnegie Mellon spin-off YinzCam was included in a VentureBeat list of the 20 fastest-growing mobile startups.
 
YinzCam
In-stadium mobile video/replay for sports events
Average Weekly Growth Rate – Mobile Downloads: ? 19% Last Week: ? 12%
Funding: No known funding, Carnegie Mellon spin-off
 
Original source: VentureBeat
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