Last night’s NY Tech Meetup (either the "46th or 47th") began with Meetup.com CEO Scott Heiferman welcoming the attendees back to the IAC building in Chelsea and moved quickly to the seven presentations:
- Transclick, a Web services provider that offers real-time IM, Web page, and mobile translations provided an overview of their technology. Powered by statistical machine translation and rule-based translation, it allows for translations in 16 languages and operates through plug-ins for Yahoo IM, GChat, and Firefox, among others. They’ve been in negotiations with Twitter about using their translation technology, but they already have a contract with NATO.
- Independence Year, an issues-based networking system founded by former Howard Dean campaign staffer Britt Blazer, showed how their system allows users to easily connect via shared interests about users. During the Q&A that followed, Heiferman was rather taken aback by an audience member’s question about how Blazer will use it to make money. He asked if Independence Year will "help take the country back", then "why is the question about making the big bucks?"
- Pluribo‘s presentation was its first public demo. Using natural-language processing, its technology provides a Zagat-like summary of reviews on popular consumer Web sites. Although its Firefox plug-in currently works for Amazon.com only, they’re planning to scale quickly, offer an API, and seek partnerships with retailers.
- DailyLit offered attendees a new way to fit reading into their daily lives with books divided into five-minute installments that can be read via e-mail or RSS.
- Cause Caller, which grew out a master’s thesis at NYU’s ITP, aims to help voters connect with politicans, providing an automated system to pull elected officials’ phone numbers out of the many online directories and to connect your phone to each once done.
- Cloudsmith debuted its Web-based developer’s tool, helping developers find tools from around the Web for projects that their working on.
- Wakozi, the evening’s final presenter, aims to improve on Kozmo.com’s business model, aggregating retailers’ inventory into a single location to make it easier to shop for products like beer and liquor and get those products delivered quickly. Unlike Kozmo.com, Wakozi has no inventory on site. Its retailer database currently reaches Manhattan’s 100th Street, but they expect to reach Harlem within a month.