News briefs from around Tennessee at 1:58 a.m. EDT

National Park officials are expecting a spike in traffic along the Appalachian Trail after the release next month of a Hollywood film about two hikers who attempt to conquer the 2,190-mile route. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials saw a 60 percent increase in traffic in the area after Billy Bryson's book, "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on The Appalachian Trail," was published, according to The Daily Times in Maryville .

Skin Cancer Checker App, SkinVision, Snags $3.4M To Move Beyond Moles

SkinVision Can an app warn you that you might have skin cancer? Digital health startup SkinVision is using smartphone tech and vision algorithms to allow consumers to track changes to their moles. Users of its iOS and Android apps, which have been downloaded some 200,000 times since launch back in 2011, take a photo of a mole and the app then performs a visual analysis, with the aim of identifying… Read More

Cannabis startup Tradiv is raising $1M to connect growers and sellers

A Cannabis plant is pictured at the "Weed the People" event as enthusiasts gather to celebrate the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Portland, Oregon

Boulder, Colorado-based Tradiv is raising a $1 million round as it gears up to launch its B2B marketplace for cannabis cultivators, marijuana infused product companies, and dispensaries.

That’s right: The B2B pot ecosystem is unfolding right before our eyes.

Backed by Cannabis accelerator CanopyBoulder and accelerator partner Micah Tapman, Tradiv revealed the raise in a public filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The weed startup has so far raised $650,000, according to the filing — at least $20,000 of which likely came from CanopyBoulder, in exchange for a whopping 9.5 percent equity stake. The filing also lists Emily Paxhia, partner of Cannabis-only fund Poseidon Asset Management; and former Microsoft Surface manager, Nick Hofmeister.

 


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How The Digital Economy Can Help End Extreme Poverty

beggar When I was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recently as part of the U.S. government’s delegation to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, I was struck by how much the international development landscape is changing. Where governments were once the primary source of development assistance, today the private sector, civil society, academia and donors are all working… Read More

Swatch CEO signals plans to add to smartwatch range: Swiss paper

The new 'Swatch Touch Zero One' is seen on a screen during the Swiss watchmaker's annual news conference in Corgemont March 12, 2015. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swatch plans to add to its new smartwatch range, the Swiss watchmaker’s chief executive told a newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.

The Biel, Switzerland-based company is competing with Apple and other watchmakers in the budding smartwatch market.

“Our product is called Touch Zero One and that gives enough room for Zero Five, Zero Nine,” Nick Hayek was quoted as saying by Switzerland’s Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. “The Touch Zero One is not the end of the progression.”

Hayek told the paper Swatch would launch Touch Zero Two at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Swiss company’s strategy appears primarily to revolve around including individual tech features in different models rather than going head to head with Apple to create all-in-one smartwatches combining many functions.

On top of its Touch Zero One, which can track the distance the wearer travels and help beach volleyball players measure the power of their hits, Swatch is planning to launch watches with an embedded “near field communication” chip this year.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by David Clarke)


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Money And Politics: Bitcoin’s Governance Crisis

bitcointug A lot of intriguing and conflicting things have been said about Bitcoin in the past few years. Some see it as the salvation of the financial system, others as a new toy, appealing only to the technologically savvy. Say what you will, but so far, Bitcoin is a technological success. Minor glitches aside, the developer community that originally rallied to launch this project forward turned an… Read More