Support Marketplace

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter. He is the former host of "In The Loop" from Minnesota Public Radio and a former business and economics correspondent for MPR. He is a graduate of Duke University and has a Master's in applied economics from the University of Minnesota.


Features by Jeff Horwich

Augmented reality: It's going to be *awesome.* (Just not yet.)

With the Augmented Reality Event (conference -- but they are too cool to call it a conference) underway this week in California, people are imagining a world in which digitally-driven signposts pop of everywhere in our field of vision with information to illustrate and enhance the actual world we're seeing with our eyeballs. It's what those goofy Google glasses are all about. Nifty. 

On our way to the fabulous future, though, some folks like this dude at CNET are lamenting how most AR applications still mostly require you to hold your phone or iPad up in front of you like a moron, making AR considerably less seamless and integrated into daily life than its idealized version. How cool is having a sore wrist, or wandering accidentally out into traffic?;cnetRiver


Not going to Google+? That's OK: it'll come to you.

What -- you’re not using Google+ all the time? If you're like me, and you signed up somehow kind of by accident when you clicked a Gmail link that said you were in somebody's "circle" or something, maybe you just need more prodding to jump in there and mix it up. Like a really big prod, right in your inbox. Google announced Tuesday that it’s going to start pushing Google+ comments to users’ inboxes:

"Notification e-mails are a great way to keep up with what's happening in the Google+ stream: whether someone mentions you, comments on your post, or shares with you directly," Google Software Engineer Zohair Hyder wrote in a blog post.

Right. Because “keeping up” with what’s happening on Google+ on your own would require knowing what it is and how it works. And caring, which is something Google is clearly still struggling with. I guess it's only fair that they struggle with something.;editorPicks

Uptight loser analyst guy hatin' on the hoodie.

As Zuck makes the rounds with the Facebook IPO "road show," at least one analyst seems a little peeved that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t feel any need to dress up for the occasion. With that big payday coming, you'd think the least he could do is throw on a tie with that hoodie. But maybe suddenly sending different signals via his wardrobe would somehow violate the IPO "quiet period"...;editorPicks

Spamming the 2012 election; tablets for bonobos!

Web security firm Impermium is charting the role of social media spam in the 2012 race for president. And researchers in Iowa are about to find out what happens when you give apes tablet computers. (Planet of the Apes, anyone?)
Posted In: tablets, spam, 2012 election

Full interview: Tablet computers for bonobos

A chat with Dr. Ken Schweller of the Great Ape Trust sanctuary in Des Moines, Iowa, where they are hoping to put an Android tablet in the hands of each bonobo.
Posted In: tablets, apes, Bonobo Chat

Full interview: Tablet computers for bonobos

This is an extended interview with Dr. Ken Schweller of the Great Ape Trust, who was featured in our April 2 Marketplace Tech Report episode. Schweller has written a tablet app called Bonobo Chat, which allows the apes (our closest living relatives) to "speak" with their keepers, open doors, operate vending machines, and perhaps to operate a special robot that can roam around outside their cages and interact with visitors. That's pretty darn cool...even if it does suggest inviting some kind of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" scenario...

As is our lot, there's much more to it than we had time for on the show, and we sure had fun talking to him. This more-or-less full audio of our chat is about six minutes long. Enjoy!

The rise of “age-guessing” software: the end of the fake ID, among other things?

Bit of buzz at the moment around the company, which has developed software that uses facial recognition technology to assign minimum, maximum, and best-guess ages based on your face. Could be handy for stopping underage booze sales, and we know it's a fun shortcut for tagging people in photos, but those hardly seem like the most lucrative applications. Imagine if cameras that pinpointed your age could customize the ads you see on store display? Scary-cool.

Wonder what else might have in mind for their tech. Got any suggestions for 'em?

The coming wave of “election spam”: what’s in store, and what’s the danger?

Social web security company Impermium has run the numbers for a nifty infographic on the budding explosion in nefarious web traffic tied to the 2012 election. To Impermium, this largely means fake comments, fake blog posts, and spam emails meant to influence the political process. Spambots are engaging in giant surges of hateful comments about particular candidates, for example, then disappearing. Looking at where the spam comes from showed it’s being propagated in part by the same people who spam you for everything else.

One social network that promises not to 'monetize' you

Despite pressure to show uses ads and make hay from their personal data, CaringBridge refuses. They're a special case, but are there lessons here for other social networks?
Posted In: social networks, Facebook, caringbridge, Health, monetize, profits, nonprofits

Scientist who challenged Einstein resigns

You don't take on a physics god and not expect to pay the price.

It's not entirely clear what went down, but Antonio Ereditato has stepped down from his research-head post at Italy's National Institute of Physics. Ereditato was central to an experiment which seemed to show particals moving faster than the speed of light -- something supposedly impossible is E=MC(sq) holds up.

Word is, a faulty cable might have caused the measurement error. Point: Einstein.


With Generous Support From...