Water on Mars, JumpCam, YouTube integrates Google+, Manicube moves up to Boston

Top Story: Curiosity Discovers Water in Martian Soil


That’s right – there is water on Mars. After just a little over a year since Curiosity landed on the red planet charged with the task of answering whether the planet could have once sheltered life, the rover scooped up soil samples made up of about 2% water along with significant traces of carbon dioxide, oxygen and sulfur compounds.


It’s widely accepted by the scientific community that Mars was once home to large bodies of water and this isn’t the first time water has been suspected to exist on Mars. Just a few months ago in June, Curiosity found a rock sample with clay that could only be formed in neutral water, meaning water had to have existed on Mars before. However, this discovery is significant because it tells us that water exists on Mars not just before, but currently.


“We tend to think of Mars as this dry place—to find water fairly easy to get out of the soil at the surface was exciting to me,” Laurie Leshin, dean of science at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, told The Guardian. “When we send people, they could scoop up the soil anywhere on the surface, heat it just a bit, and obtain water.”


What should Curiosity look for now? What will be the next step for researchers?


Tool of the Week: JumpCam


Two years ago, JumpCam founder David Stewart was the best man in a cruise-ship wedding when he found himself frustrated by how difficult it was to consolidate video footage from multiple individuals to create one comprehensive film. Everyone had a camera phone to capture their favorite moments from their point of view, but getting everyone to upload their videos into a single space was more work than anticipated.


There has to be an easier way. Enter JumpCam, a mobile app that makes collaborative videos a snap. The owner of the video decides who can add clips (up to 30 and less than 10 seconds each) and whether new clips are automatically or manually edited into the video.


“People were excited about using it for things we hadn’t anticipated,” said Stewart. “We’ve had a band that allowed its fans to create a music video, and comedians all riffing around the same idea, like ‘world’s worst date lines.”


Having raised $2.7 million in funding last fall from Trinity Ventures and Google Ventures among several other angel investors, JumpCam launched on iOS yesterday with plans to move to Android in a couple weeks.


Would you use it? What event would you use it for?


Under the Radar: YouTube Requires Google+ Account to Comment


One of the biggest user complaints about YouTube is the prevalence of abuse and spam in the comment section. As the years went by, trollers kept trolling with hardly any retribution from the world’s largest video-sharing platform. Well, the pressure to set up more defenses against spam has been heard. YouTube’s new commenting system requires you to link your Google+ account to your YouTube account.


Not only will individuals have to integrate their accounts in order to access full functionality on YouTube, but brands will have to as well.


This integration of YouTube and Google+ means that YouTube will know  your full name, comments made by the creator of the video will show higher in the comments, and users can make comments private to selected individuals if they so choose. YouTube will also push up comments from people in your Google+ circles.


In YouTube’s blog post on Tuesday, it asks:

Quick taste test. Let’s say you’re watching a video from Justin Timberlake. What type of video comment would be awesome to see: one from JT himself, one from people you care about who love the video…or one from just the last random person to stop by?

Whose comments would you want to read? Will deeper integration between the two platforms inject civility into the comment section?


Around the Hub: Manicube Ships Up to Boston


Makeup mogul Katina Mountanos often found herself running to meetings with the beauty industry’s biggest brand names (think Bobbi Brown) with less than perfect nails. With long work hours leaving her hardly time for regular nail appointments and the recollection of in-office shoe-shines offered to her former colleagues at Citigroup, Mountanos teamed up with fellow Harvard business school grad Elizabeth Whitman to find a solution.


The result? Manicube, a startup on a mission “to make working women’s lives easier.” Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for $15 or a men’s “clip and clean” for $12. Rather than going out to get a manicure, the manicure comes to you.


Based in Manhattan, Manicube is coming to Boston next month. Why Boston?

“When we compared Boston to New York, we found that there were fewer nail salons in Boston, and that the average price of a manicure is about $4 higher than New York,” says Whitman. Both founders were in town last week to interview manicurists, prepare office managers, and book appointments with local companies.


Appointments are booked online and can be paid for online or at the office.


Will you bring Manicube to your office?