Zynga Co-founder’s Junyo Is Using Big Data To Help EdTech Companies Better Understand What Schools Really Need

TechCrunch

In 2011, Steve Schoettler left Zynga, the company he had co-founded four years earlier, to devote himself to a new project, called Junyo. With interest in education technology beginning to take hold, Shoettler and his co-founders at Junyo set out to leverage the growing capabilities of Big Data tools and analytics to tackle some of the deep-seated problems in K-12 education. Chief among those was using data to help schools get a more complete picture of student performance, along with helping schools to answer an important question: What should we teach students next — and how?

While the startup’s blended learning software attracted nearly a dozen schools, Junyo soon found itself trying to solve too many problems at once. The archaic infrastructure and lack of data standards meant that, to build the most effective solution for its partners, it would be biting off more than it could chew. The…

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Last Supper: The Real-Life Massacre that Inspired the ‘Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding

Entertainment

The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones’ third season ended in a brutal scene of bloodletting that shocked countless unsuspecting viewers. In what’s dubbed the Red Wedding, both Robb Stark and his mother Catelyn, two leading protagonists from a noble house already wrecked by tragedy, are viciously murdered along with their entourage while feasting in the hall of Westerosi power broker Walder Frey. The betrayal, as Jim Poniewozik wrote, is “heartbreaking” and “horrifying.” It signals the end of the Stark war effort and, with the suddenness of its execution, leaves an emotional desolation at the heart of the Game of Thrones narrative.

It’s easy to understand the anger of so many viewers, some of whom who took to Twitter to rail against the TV show, HBO and George R.R. Martin for killing their favorite characters. The massacre of the Starks is not only a surprise, but also…

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Why ‘After Earth’ Bombed: Six Theories

It’s time the Son learns to be independent from his father. And It’s time for the father to continue his great acting career without his son slowing him down.

Entertainment

As Richard Corliss recounts in this weekend’s box-office report, it has not been a great couple of days for the Smith family. Although Will Smith has a long history of bringing audiences to the theaters, his future-dystopic After Earth—in which he co-stars with his son Jaden—made a mere $27 million in its first weekend in theaters, landing it in third place, behind Fast & Furious 6 (now in its second week atop the rankings) and surprise contender Now You See Me.

(MORE: Richard Corliss’s review of After Earth)

So what went wrong? Here are six theories from a variety of Monday-morning pundits:

Blame director M. Night Shyamalan  (Richard Corliss at TIME)  Long past coasting on the success of Sixth Sense (way back in 1999), movies like Lady in the Water and The Happening were critical and commercial misfires. But if Shyamalan…

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How to survive without air. Or, David Blaine: visualized!

TED Blog

[ted_talkteaser id=741] Check this out: a rather cool visualization of a TED Talk, courtesy of the Brazilian culture and science magazine Superinteressante. Each month, the magazine’s editors will take one of TED’s talks and give it to their graphic wizards to interpret in any way they see fit, adding a visual design element to presentations that have already sent minds a-whirring.

Here’s the time-driven circle of pain experienced by the magician/endurance artist David Blaine as he attempted to hold his breath for longer than anyone else ever had. I particularly love the emphatic warning, “do NOT try this at home,” like anyone else would actually try to do this. (Really, does this seem like a thing to try? Am I alone in not wanting to do this ever? OK, fine. I know, I know. File under “litigious society gone mad”.) Anyway, our thanks to artists Karin Hueck and Rafael…

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