Author Archives: Scott Olster, editor
  • Startups are about to blow up the textbook

    A raft of startups is using open-source materials in an attempt to transform learning - terrifying traditional publishers.

    By Scott Olster, editor

    FORTUNE -- Call it a math lesson. Why would a school pay $80 for a textbook that may quickly become irrelevant, when it could pay around $5 or less?

    A cadre of so-called open-education publishers is slowly beginning to gain the trust of schools and university systems by posing that MORE

    Mar 18, 2013 5:00 AM ET
  • The future of the classroom

    Better technology and more productive teachers are just around the corner.

    By Scott Olster, editor

    FORTUNE -- When people talk about the future of education, it often triggers visions of an iPad in every student's hands, classes monitored—or even taught—by robots, and teachers lecturing via webcam to hundreds of thousands of pupils at any given moment.

    Some of this is already happening in one form or another. Without a doubt, technology will be MORE

    Jan 10, 2013 12:05 PM ET
  • Kids' tablets prepare for battle

    A new generation of kids' tablets will go head-to-head this holiday season, but will children go for them instead of their parents' iPads and Kindles?

    By Omar Akhtar, reporter

    FORTUNE -- All of those parents who'd rather not let their kid toy around with their iPad will have plenty of cheaper, kid-friendly tablets to purchase as stand-ins this holiday shopping season.

    This year, a new generation of children's tablets will try to MORE

    Sep 20, 2012 1:21 PM ET
  • Apple textbook domination? Not so fast.

    A look at the math behind yesterday's iBooks announcement.

    By John Patrick Pullen, contributor

    FORTUNE -- At yesterday's Apple event in New York City's Guggenheim Museum, senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller was quick to point out how education has been at the core of the company since the beginning. But announcing a revamped iBooks program (as well as the launch of the iBooks Author and iTunes U apps) will MORE

    Jan 20, 2012 3:33 PM ET
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  • A Farmville for job seekers?

    Brayden Olson's Novel wants to turn the pre-job application and screening process into a video game.

    By Josh Dawsey, contributor

    FORTUNE -- At 12 years old, Brayden Olson was a self-described "virtual world nerd," playing an early version of Asheron's Call -- one of the world's first virtual world games.

    "From then on, I knew exactly what I wanted to do," Olson said. Never mind that he didn't know what an entrepreneur was MORE

    Aug 10, 2011 10:10 AM ET
  • Startup Idols one year later: Modumetal

    The transformative metal startup is thinking bigger these days. Much bigger. 

    By Eli Epstein, contributor

    FORTUNE -- With numerous venture capital awards and an impending joint venture with Steel Dynamics (STLD) under its belt, Modumetal has kept the snags to a minimum since it competed in last year's Startup Idol competition at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference.

    The five-year-old Seattle-based startup is making its name with a unique scientific approach that quite literally redesigns metal, MORE

    Jul 29, 2011 8:30 AM ET
  • Brainstorm Tech Startup Idol: And the winner is...

    A competition for the perfect elevator pitch.

    By Jessica Shambora and JP Mangalindan

    FORTUNE -- Much like competing on Fox's American Idol, selling a business idea requires raw talent, mastery of the material, and command performance. So this year Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference was back with the third "season" of Startup Idol, our answer to the hit singing competition.

    In our version, five entrepreneurs vied for top honors before three investor-judges and the MORE

    - Jul 20, 2011 11:16 AM ET
  • An outsourcing firm rocks social media

    By Daniel Roberts, reporter

    Customers love Cognizant's C2 platform so much that they want to buy it. Too bad it isn't for sale.

    FORTUNE -- Cognizant Technology Solutions, a tech outsourcing and consulting firm that serves huge companies, has built a corporate version of Facebook that pulls together a bunch of Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter feeds, employee-written blogs, and chat. It's the kind of collaboration tool many businesses say they'd love MORE

    May 13, 2011 5:00 AM ET
  • Why did the iPod win and TiVo lose?

    Both were media-consumption game changers. But why did the iPod spark Apple's media empire while TiVo had to turn to suing companies that capitalized on its innovations?

    By Kevin Kelleher, contributor

    FORTUNE -- A decade ago, two products were introduced that would change the way we consume media. One of them allowed us to carry hundreds, even thousands of songs around in our pocket so we could listen to whatever we wanted whenever we MORE

    - Apr 27, 2011 5:00 AM ET
  • Amazon's cloud nightmare

    The exact feature that was supposed to be Amazon EC2's strength -- reliability -- is what failed and brought the cloud low yesterday. Still, cloud computing isn't going anywhere.

    By Dan Mitchell, contributor

    FORTUNE -- The snafu at Amazon's EC2 hosting service on Thursday, which knocked several big web sites out of service, is being called a "black eye"  for the cloud-computing business -- a "we told you so" moment, according to MORE

    Apr 22, 2011 10:24 AM ET
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