""The best case scenario would be in five quarters; the worst case scenario would be in eight quarters," Bearden said, adding that a sale would not be an option but declining to say if Hortonworks had any suitors.Hortonworks to seek IPO within two years, CEO says | Reuters
"We do not want to sell and we have made that very clear," he said."
Friday, August 30, 2013
"This is going to be one of those ultra-rare reviews in which I think something is so interesting and nifty that I’m eager to write about it right away … and yet the thing in question comes with so many problems that after praising its many virtues, I can’t recommend it.Chicago Grid | A crazy-expensive, poorly functioning remote access app that is still fascinating
I’ve no doubt that Parallels Access, a spiffy new remote-access app for the iPad, could some day serve as a strong argument that nobody who owns a full-size iPad has any need whatsoever for a MacBook Air, or a Windows ultrabook. But this debut edition has too many rough edges to justify its eye-popping price."
Egan made clear that the company has always received this sort of information from its users, but is now making that much more upfront in its statement of user rights and data policies."
"But for all the reported secrecy surrounding TAO’s activities, a quick search of networking site LinkedIn shows a number of current and former intelligence community employees talking pretty openly about the exploits.The NSA has its own team of elite hackers
For instance, Brendan Conlon, whose page lists him as a former Deputy Chief of Integrated Cyber Operations for the NSA and former Chief of TAO in Hawaii, says that he led “a large group of joint service NSA civilians and contractors in executing Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) operations against target networks.” Barbara Hunt, who is listed as a former Director of Capabilities at TAO in Fort Meade, similarly claims she was “responsible for end-to-end development and capability delivery to build a versatile computer network exploitation effort.”"
"But, as with other hybrids we’ve tested, there are trade-offs. Its screen is dim, and tablet battery life is mediocre. The keyboard is also cramped, which made it frustrating to use as an everyday computer. As a result, the SlateBook x2 doesn’t excel at being either a tablet or a laptop. For now, you’d be better off going with a dedicated tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard."HP SlateBook x2 review - Bonnie Cha - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
"In his more than 20 years at Microsoft, Sinofsky worked on some of the company’s biggest products, including Windows and Office. He was also involved with the online-storage service SkyDrive, which competes in a growing space that includes Box, DropBox and Google Drive.Former Windows Head Sinofsky Joins Box as Adviser - Digits - WSJ
Sinofsky now brings that document-management experience to Box, which focuses on the workplace. “I’m excited to work Aaron and team to lend my experience to furthering the Box vision of the enterprise,” Sinofsky said."
"Frank Gillett of Forrester, a research firm, reckons that Windows’ share of the market for personal devices, once 95% or more, has dropped to around 30%. Microsoft responded belatedly with Windows 8, a new edition intended for touchscreen PCs and tablets launched last October, with variations for cheaper tablets and phones. Applications lie behind oblong tiles designed for fingertips rather than icons for mouse-clicks. Microsoft’s successful Xbox entertainment system was given the same look. The idea was that this uniform style would help to transfer Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop to mobile devices, and refresh the PC too.Microsoft and the PC industry: Defenestrated | The Economist
It has not happened yet. Few businesses were likely to hurry to buy Windows 8 anyway; some have yet to switch to its predecessor, Windows 7. Consumers have not taken to tiles on PC screens: a new version, Windows 8.1, due in October, will make it easier for them to stick with the old look. Only now is a wide choice of touch PCs and tablet-PC hybrids appearing."
Thursday, August 29, 2013
"Microsoft likes to use another word for this, criticizing the practice as part of its “Scroogled” campaign.Google patents 'Scroogling' — or at least that's what Microsoft would call it - GeekWire
Google doesn’t address that criticism or use that word in the patent filing, but the company does take its own subtle jabs at Microsoft in the diagrams accompanying the patent — including one (below) implying that Microsoft Access database file pose a security risk, and another that suggests alternatives to Access next to a product search for the software."
"As President Obama weighed U.S. air strikes in Syria this week, a lone American hacker was waging his own attack on the Syrian government. He works a white-collar job in the United States by day, while at night he’s on the digital front lines of the civil war in Syria, where hacktivists on both sides of the conflict are fighting to deliver their messages over cyberspace."Here’s how one hacker is waging war on the Syrian government
"This quarter’s market-share reports on computer server shipments and sales from Gartner and IDC are an unusually eloquent statement about the world’s transition to cloud computing and commodity machines that don’t command a big profit margin.The 'Other' Server Makers Are Gaining Ground - NYTimes.com
The reports are bad news for well-known companies selling servers that suit a specific purpose or those that hope a household brand name, like Hewlett-Packard, will help sales."
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
"The news comes directly on the heels of Box’s doubling of its free storage option – to 10 gigabytes – and its creation of a new paid plan for its service that offers 100 gigabytes of storage per user for $5 per seat per month. Microsoft, Box, Dropbox, and Google are each striving to offer the most, at the lowest price.Microsoft Fires Back After Box Steps On Its Turf, Boosts SkyDrive Pro Storage To 25 GB | TechCrunch
Consumers and businesses are reaping the rewards of that competition. Storage costs are decreasing, allowing for increased scrapping amongst the contenders.
Microsoft also today increased the file upload limit to 2 gigabytes per file, enabled versioning to automatically save the last 10 versions of documents stored in SkyDrive Pro libraries, and increased “default recycle bin retention” to a full 90 days. So, more storage, and a better user experience is Microsoft’s response to Box’s encroachment on its enterprise turf."
"The biggest surprise from Sunday’s outage may be who was affected. Instagram is now owned by Facebook (FB), which has invested considerable resources to create its own global data network. Vine is owned by Twitter, which has similarly earned its own hard-won infrastructure expertise. Likely both have some degree of redundancy, but it clearly wasn’t enough. And apparently Facebook and Twitter have yet to bring their recent acquisitions onto their own computing networks. After Sunday, they may seek to hasten that move."Another Amazon Outage Exposes the Cloud's Dark Lining - Businessweek
"This feat was made possible by a new iPad app I've been testing called Parallels Access, released Tuesday, which can remotely control either a Mac or a Windows PC. It isn't the only iPad app that can remotely control computers, but of the ones I've tested, it does the best job of treating the computer programs it accesses as if they were iPad apps, without sacrificing functionality. The programs continue to reside on the computer, not the iPad.Parallels Access Review: Controlling a PC or Mac, iPad-Style - WSJ.com
Parallels, a company based in Seattle that's best known for its namesake program that allows Macs to run Windows, calls this "applifying" your computer programs. What it means by this is that it adapts them to the iPad's familiar interface, including app launching, touch gestures, scrolling and text selection."
"Researchers at the University of Washington have successfully connected two human brains over the Internet.Researcher Controls Another Person's Brain Over the Internet - NYTimes.com
In an experiment called “Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans,” the scientists involved in the research were able to send a brain signal through the Internet to control the way another researcher, seated in a separate area of the university campus, moved his hand."
"In an interview, Mr. Frons said the attack was carried out by a group known as “the Syrian Electronic Army, or someone trying very hard to be them.” The group attacked the company’s domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. The Web site first went down after 3 p.m.; once service was restored, the hackers quickly disrupted the site again. Shortly after 6 p.m., Mr. Frons said that “we believe that we are on the road to fixing the problem.”Times Site Is Disrupted in Attack by Hackers - NYTimes.com
The Syrian Electronic Army is a group of hackers who support President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Matt Johansen, head of the Threat Research Center at White Hat Security, posted on Twitter that he was directed to a Syrian Web domain when he tried to view The Times’s Web site."
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
"The news comes from Lee Young-hee, Vice President of Samsung Mobile, who said in an interview with the Korea Times, “We will be introducing a new wearable concept device called Galaxy Gear at our own event in Berlin on September 4.” This isn’t the first time she has chatted about the Gear either, as in an interview with Bloomberg in March, she was quoted as saying the firm had been working on the watch for sometime."Galaxy Gear smartwatch to launch on September 4 | Digital Trends
"Siri has always had a sense of humor, albeit a relatively anodyne one. (Q: "Talk dirty to me, Siri." A: "Humus. Compost. Pumice. Silt. Gravel.") But it turns out Apple's personal assistant can get a little testy when you call her (or him) by another personal assistant's name."Siri: "OK, Glass" command prompts sass from Apple's snarky assistant.
"In this setup, there are two very different types of players, each with very different incentives: those entering the lotteries, and those who have already won one. The job of the lottery entrants, such as Zuckerberg when he launched Facebook, in 2004, and Karp when he launched Tumblr, in 2007, is to come up with innovative and exciting products that the judges—investors and the public—are likely to award first prize. (The contest is a lottery because there are often many competing products, with little to distinguish them save that one has first-mover advantage.) The job of the lottery winners is to make the most of their monopoly franchise, building it out and making it last as long as possible."Steve Ballmer and the Art of Managing a Monopoly : The New Yorker
"Here's what I know about the Nokia "Sirius."Nokia "Sirius" Preview | Windows RT content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows
It runs on a quad-core Qualcomm 8974 (ARM) chipset and features a Screen: 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS screen that features "outdoor readability." The battery life is rated at up to 10 hours. Weight is 1.3 pounds, and its .35 inches thick. There will be a few versions, including one with LTE, and the device features a 6.7 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, just like Nokia's Lumia 92x handsets. (Tom notes a 2 megapixel front-face camera but the material I've seen doesn't mention that.) Nokia plans to offer consumers unique companion experiences with Nokia apps across both Windows RT and Windows Phone 8."
"Here's one last piece of advice, specifically about whistle-blowers. It's much harder to keep secrets in a networked world, and whistle-blowing has become the civil disobedience of the information age. A public or private organization's best defense against whistle-blowers is to refrain from doing things it doesn't want to read about on the front page of the newspaper. This may come as a shock in a market-based system, in which morally dubious behavior is often rewarded as long as it's legal and illegal activity is rewarded as long as you can get away with it.Schneier on Security: Protecting Against Leakers
No organization, whether it's a bank entrusted with the privacy of its customer data, an organized-crime syndicate intent on ruling the world, or a government agency spying on its citizens, wants to have its secrets disclosed. In the information age, though, it may be impossible to avoid."
Monday, August 26, 2013
Gartner's 2013 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Maps Out Evolving Relationship Between Humans and Machines
An excerpt from Gartner’s "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2013;" see the full summary for highlights
"Enterprises of the future will use a combination of these three trends to improve productivity, transform citizen and customer experience, and to seek competitive advantage," said Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner. "These three major trends are made possible by three areas that facilitate and support the relationship between human and machine. Machines are becoming better at understanding humans and the environment — for example, recognizing the emotion in a person's voice — and humans are becoming better at understanding machines — for example, through the Internet of things. At the same time, machines and humans are getting smarter by working together."
Figure 1. Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2013
Source: Gartner August 2013
"It’s my great pleasure to announce that the Apache Hadoop community has declared Hadoop 2.x as Beta with the vote closing over the weekend for the hadoop-2.1.0-beta release."Announcing Beta Release of Apache Hadoop 2 | Hortonworks
"Users of Instagram, Netflix, Vine, Airbnb and several other services reported problems getting through to the services for several hours late on Sunday.BBC News - Instagram, Vine and Netflix hit by Amazon glitch
All of them rely on servers that are part of Amazon's cloud-based network.
The problems were traced to a data centre in northern Virginia that was struggling to keep up with demand."
"Instead, sources said Ballmer’s timeline had been moved up drastically — first by him and then the nine-member board, including his longtime partner and Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates — after all agreed that it was best if he left sooner than later.Ballmer Departure From Microsoft Was More Sudden Than Portrayed - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD
That was due to a number of increasingly problematic issues on the immediate horizon — including a potentially nasty proxy fight, continued business performance declines and, perhaps most of all, that Ballmer’s leadership was becoming a very obvious lightning rod."
Sunday, August 25, 2013
"“Serendipitor is an alternative navigation app for the iPhone that helps you find something by looking for something else,” the developers explain, although not very helpfully. But their explanation gets better: “In the near future, finding our way from point A to point B will not be the problem. Maintaining consciousness of what happens along the way might be more difficult.” Toward that end, the app is “designed to introduce small slippages and minor displacements within an otherwise optimized and efficient route.” Using Google maps as a base, Serendipitor plots random walks for you, from wherever you happen to be to, well, wherever you happen to end up. Along the way “small detours and minor interruptions” pop up, with instructions such as: “Turn left on Chestnut Street and then follow a pigeon until it flies away. Take a photo of it flying.”"The Smart Set: The Zombie Apocalypse - August 19, 2013
"But would I wear this if I were walking around with friends? Hmmm. There's of course a fundamental hurdle Glass needs to overcome, which is that people wearing those goggles look like chumps who've time-traveled from an exceedingly dorky future. (Perhaps the recent Vogue spread featuring Glass-clad fashion models will help on that score.)Google Glass Field Trip app: Don't make it your wingman.
But there's something else: It's not hard to imagine the constant stream of augmented reality yanking you out of, well, unaugmented reality—making it hard to keep up with real-world conversations going on around you. And there's the danger that you might become insufferable as you parrot every piece of insight. "Do you know who designed that park? Guess what year that tree was planted? Great gelato place coming up on the corner!" Give it a rest, Speed Levitch."
"When details started leaking out before the release of Windows 8 that Microsoft might scrap the iconic Start button and menu, SweetLabs scrabbled to develop an alternative. The startup, which is backed by Intel Capital and Google Ventures, was ready to release Pokki when Windows 8 went on sale in October.Lenovo Turns to a Startup to Bring the Start Menu Back to Windows - Bloomberg
After a speech Ng gave at an Intel Capital conference, he was approached by representatives from Lenovo about working together. SweetLabs is now in talks with other computer makers on similar deals, he said."
"VMware’s main product, virtualization software, allows one computer server to do the work of many, and for complex tasks to be shared across several machines. That disrupted the old computer server business, and helped usher in the current model of big data centers and cloud computing. But now, as other companies offer both proprietary and open source virtualization, VMware has to move on from the world it helped destroy.VMware Killed the Past. Can It Claim the Future? - NYTimes.com
Next week at VMworld, its annual customer event, Mr. Gelsinger will lay out the most detailed plan yet for how VMware will move ahead. VMware will be offering public cloud computing, much like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure, but with higher service levels and quality of service guaranteed."
Friday, August 23, 2013
"Microsoft understands this now, and Ballmer has been a much better CEO over the past decade than his worst critics claim, especially given the constraints of the behemoth organization he has been running. But the company has labored under a handicap beyond the normal inertia of giant enterprises and Microsoft's unwillingness to tamper too much with its biggest cash cows. Its settlement with the Bush administration looked like (and was, for the most part) a cave-in by the government, but it had one widely unappreciated effect: Microsoft spent a decade under a consent decree that slowed it down in a tech world that was moving and evolving faster than ever."Steve Ballmer retirement: Microsoft should have been broken up in 2000.
"Steve Ballmer will retire from his role as Microsoft CEO within the next 12 months, Microsoft announced Friday.Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months | Microsoft - CNET News
Ballmer will remain as CEO until the board of directors chooses someone to succeed him.
"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in a statement. "We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company's transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.""
"What is most interesting about this raise, however, isn’t evident in this filing. According to the document, the black-car on-demand service has raised $103.4 million from TPG, Benchmark and someone who picked up another 1.8 million shares. We and Kara Swisher have both confirmed that Google Ventures is the largest investor in the round, pumping $257.79 million into the car service. The round values Uber at around $3.4 billion pre-money and $3.76 billion post."Google Ventures Puts $258M Into Uber, Its Largest Deal Ever | TechCrunch
"The wireless network, which was tested in Cupertino, California, used spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar Inc. (GSAT), said the people who asked not to be identified because the test was private.Amazon Is Said to Have Tested a Wireless Network - Bloomberg
The trial underlines how Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, is moving beyond being a Web destination and hardware maker and digging deeper into the underlying technology for how people connect to the Internet. That would let Amazon create a more comprehensive user experience, encompassing how consumers get online, what device they use to connect to the Web and what they do on the Internet."
"In part, Williams says, his two years atop Twitter led him to take another stab at stitching together that kind of longer dialogue. He says he’s disenchanted with the economics that lead news sites to chase reader eyeballs with little consideration for editorial quality. “The state of tech blogs is atrocious. It’s utter crap,” he says. “They create a culture that is superficial and fetishizing and rewarding the wrong things and reinforcing values that are self-destructive and unsustainable.” Williams adds that he’s “pessimistic about the state of media, and that’s why I want to work on this problem. The economics of media are pushing things in a bad direction, but at the same time there’s more great stuff [being written] than ever before.”"Twitter Co-Creator Ev Williams Stretches the Medium - Businessweek
"Apple said Thursday that some Internet services for its mobile devices, such as photo sharing, backup and some messaging, were affected by an outage that lasted nearly 11 hours.Some Apple Services Back Up After Temporary Outage - Digits - WSJ
The Cupertino, Calif., company maker said less than 1% of customers were unable to access document streaming, backup and photo services after about 9:30 p.m. Pacific Time Wednesday until service was restored at 8:22 a.m. Thursday morning."
"The United States stock market showed again on Thursday that it remained vulnerable to technological breakdowns even as regulators and market operators work to keep up with trading that is increasingly electronic and driven by speed.Pricing Problem Suspends Nasdaq for Three Hours - NYTimes.com
The latest trouble shut down trading on the Nasdaq market and its more than 3,000 stocks — including some of the most popular among investors, like Apple and Google — for more than three hours Thursday afternoon."
Thursday, August 22, 2013
"In most parts of the world, Facebook is the number one app on phones. So it makes sense that this should be the company spearheading such an initiative. For many people in places like Indonesia or South Africa or Peru, Facebook essentially is the Internet, or the primary gateway to it.Understanding Zuckerberg's Push for Global Access | LinkedIn
Knowing that surely helped motivate Zuckerberg. But it was what he always assumed would be the case anyway. Now that the beginnings of his big dream are starting to come true, he is determined to help push it to the logical conclusion. Making Facebook available to everyone on the planet will probably be the goal for the rest of his life. Unless it happens sooner."
"Yahoo properties got more unique U.S. visitors than any other company’s in July, according to comScore. They had 196.6 million, compared to 192.3 million for previous leader Google.Yahoo Climbs Back Above Google in U.S. Web Traffic - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
What’s more, Yahoo’s numbers didn’t include the new Yahoo-owned Tumblr, which came in 28th place."
"Though Siri has the edge, the gap has closed substantially, and both systems are rapidly improving. For example, until recently Android had no phone-control features at all — only Web searches. And in this fall’s iOS 7 update, Siri will gain a more pleasant speaking voice, faster searches and the ability to change settings by voice (“Turn on Airplane Mode,” “Turn up the brightness,” “Turn on Bluetooth”) — something neither phone can do now.The Voice-Off - Android Vs. Siri - NYTimes.com
This much is clear: Cellphone speech recognition is getting better fast. Very soon, we’ll do less talking through our phones — and more talking to them."
"These upgrades may seem less than spectacular. But taken together, we can see where Google is heading. Enough with constantly stroking screens and launching apps. Google wants Android devices with an elegant simplicity that even the iPhone can’t match, phones so well-attuned to their users that we’ll hardly need to touch them.Google’s ‘ideal’ Android phone underwhelms - Business - The Boston Globe
The Moto X is a bit underpowered and overpriced for my tastes, but it’s a good first step."
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
"IW: How big of a technical depth hole did Eric Baldeschwieler's departure leave?Hadoop According To Hortonworks: An Insider's View - Software -
Connolly: We've effectively grown 10X since our founding in terms of number of employees We started with about 24 engineers from Yahoo, including Eric. Eric has chosen to move on and do other things, and that was a personal choice. The rest of the core team from Yahoo -- Arun Murthy, Owen O'Malley, Alan Gates, Sanjay Radia, Suresh Srinivas and Mahadev Konar and others -- are all active in their projects and are Hortonworks employees.
We've grown from those Yahoo roots and have a good many engineers from Oracle, IBM and MySQL. We also have folks from Microsoft and SAP as well as Amazon and Google. We have a good mix from Web-scale companies as well as enterprise software developers. Greg Pavlik [VP of engineering] in particular has been able to attract a bunch of folks because he spent many years at Oracle."
"The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach - WSJ.com
The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say."
"The Odgen-based team printed the model on three different printers using three different materials. They added a bit of color to the seats, smoothed them out, and now are the proud owners of a small, non-working model of the Hyperloop suitable for children’s parties and futuristic stop motion animations. Now if they could just 3D print these things full-sized using aluminum tubing and billions of dollars of right-of-way land grants then I think they’d really be in business. Regardless, it’s a noble effort."Small Firm Creates A 3D-Printed Scale Model Of The Hyperloop | TechCrunch
Review of Roamio: New Version of TiVo That Lets Users Watch TV Content Anywhere There's Wi-Fi - WSJ.com
"While streaming is the big news here, it's worth pointing out that, even without it, the TiVo could be considered the holy grail of set-top boxes. That's because it combines the functions of a cable box, a DVR and a device for receiving Internet-video services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus and YouTube. You don't need to change TV inputs or buy another box, like an Apple TV or Roku, to view these big four Web video services.Review of Roamio: New Version of TiVo That Lets Users Watch TV Content Anywhere There's Wi-Fi - WSJ.com
TiVo has had these Internet-video services for a while, but it presented them clumsily, in old versions and with a poor interface. With the Roamio's new software, Netflix and YouTube are presented in an up-to-date way, and TiVo says it will be updating its presentation of the others as well, and adding more."
"On Wednesday, Facebook plans to announce an effort aimed at drastically cutting the cost of delivering basic Internet services on mobile phones, particularly in developing countries, where Facebook and other tech companies need to find new users. Half a dozen of the world’s tech giants, including Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson, have agreed to work with the company as partners on the initiative, which they call Internet.org.Facebook Leads an Effort to Lower Barriers to Internet Access - NYTimes.com
The companies intend to accomplish their goal in part by simplifying phone applications so they run more efficiently and by improving the components of phones and networks so that they transmit more data while using less battery power."
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
"Interestingly, our sources tell us that the apps designed to leverage the watch hardware will come not from the Google Play store, but instead from the Samsung App store. I think if this is indeed true then Samsung is starting to slowly getting developers to publish through its own platform and become independent of Google.What’s inside Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch? Here are some key details — Tech News and Analysis
That likely means if you want a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, you’ll need a Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet. Perhaps Samsung is copying too much from Apple of late and is creating a walled-garden approach of its own; something that Android fans aren’t likely going to be keen on."
"According to multiple reports, Apple has hired fitness expert Jay Blahnik, who consulted on Nike's FuelBand, for an unspecified project, suggesting the Cupertino company is ramping up development of a health-oriented wearable device."Apple reportedly hires fitness guru behind Nike FuelBand for unknown project
"According to UNICEF, RapidFTR’s ability to photograph, record and share information about lost children has reduced the time it takes to reunite families from over six weeks to just hours.Children Lost in War Zones and Disasters Find Their Families With an App - NYTimes.com
The app was not particularly complicated, from a technical standpoint, but Mr. Just wanted to make sure it was something aid organizations would actually adopt."
"Startups like Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR have all been closing big funding rounds in recent months, in no small part because their customers are moving from trying the technology out to deploying it for real. Indeed, Gartner’s primary rival, the market research firm IDC, is calling for the revenue of companies in the Hadoop business to grow by more than 10 times by 2016, and maybe even to disrupt the businesses of software giants like Oracle and Teradata in the process. We’ll see."Think Big Data Is All Hype? You're Not Alone. - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
Quip Great for Collaborating, Still a Word-Processing Work-in-Progress - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
"I plan to keep using Quip for projects that require active collaboration, and I’m curious to see how it evolves. But in its current form it still won’t tear me away from Evernote, Drive or even Microsoft Word."Quip Great for Collaborating, Still a Word-Processing Work-in-Progress - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
"Unobtrusive, the Mega is not – unless you use it to hide your face. It’s 6.5 inches long and 3.5 inches wide. But it builds on the popularity of the Note, which found a niche in the crowded and competitive smartphone market.Samsung’s New 6.3-Inch ‘Mega’ Phone Pushes the Limits - Digits - WSJ
For those not quite into the cookie-sheet look, AT&T said Monday it will begin selling the HTC One mini. The smaller version of HTC’s flagship smartphone has a “miniature” 4.3-inch screen, still bigger than the upsized iPhone."
Monday, August 19, 2013
"In short, Levesque has called on his colleagues to stop bluffing. As he puts it, “There is a lot to be gained by recognizing more fully what our own research does not address, and being willing to admit that other … approaches may be needed.” Or, to put it another way, trying to rival human intelligence, without thinking about all the intricacies of the human mind at its best, is like asking an alligator to run the hundred-metre hurdles."Artificial Intelligence and What Computers Still Don't Understand : The New Yorker
"We believe University Pages will be especially valuable for students making their first, big decision about where to attend college. Therefore, beginning on September 12, we will be making LinkedIn available to high school students* who can use LinkedIn to explore schools worldwide, greatly expand their understanding of the careers available, and get a head start on building a network of family and friends to help guide them at every milestone."Introducing LinkedIn University Pages | Official LinkedIn Blog
Sunday, August 18, 2013
On a related note, see Steve Jobs's $1.1 billion AAPL windfall & Steve Ballmer's $11 billion MSFT blunder (Apple Insider)
“Today in 1997, Steve Jobs was on the cover of Time Magazine, thanking Bill Gates for saving Apple.”
Friday, August 16, 2013
"The aggressive, barroom quality of his writing has earned him plenty of admirers, as well as detractors who consider him a childish contrarian. But after becoming such a public, public intellectual by his mid-20s, Mr. Morozov has made a curious decision: to further his education. During the semester you could find him finishing his coffee upstairs at a Starbucks before making the walk across Harvard Yard for his seat at a seminar on the history of psychoanalysis as a first-year Harvard doctoral candidate in the history of science.The Internet’s Verbal Contrarian - NYTimes.com
“I have more influence than I ought to have,” he said in the train to New York City from Boston, adding that he had a nagging feeling that his criticisms were too shallow. “The idea of the Internet allowed me to cut too many corners, intellectually.”"
"Had Jobs been slightly more clinical and detached, it might have been able to capture the right story to tell about Steve Jobs. This is a college dropout who created the first major PC company, introduced the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, upended the music industry, bought Pixar (DIS)—there are a lot of good stories to tell. They’d just need a smarter touch than what this movie can offer. Sorkin is already at work on a screenplay about Jobs. Unless you’re a die-hard Apple fan, wait for that one."Cue the Swelling Music: 'Jobs' Worships at the Altar of Steve Jobs - Businessweek
"According to a new study by Canalys, many of the iPad’s most popular apps are either not available on Android or not optimized for Android tablets. Of the Top 100 iPad titles — 50 free, 50 paid — 30 are currently unavailable for Android tablets (the list is embedded below). Now, to be fair, 11 of the 30 popular apps found to be missing from Android are Apple-designed ones that weren’t intended for the rival platform, and will almost certainly never be ported to it (GarageBand, iPhoto, etc.). But that leaves 19 others missing — among them, Clash of Clans, GoodReader, Notability, Eden World Builder and Bejeweled HD."Lots of Popular iPad Apps Still Missing From Android - John Paczkowski - Mobile - AllThingsD
Thursday, August 15, 2013
"Meanwhile, Times’ writers and reporters were still working on and filing full-length stories. So where did the Times’ turn when it wanted to get those articles published? Facebook. And it told its Twitter followers to visit its Facebook page to start finding full-length articles.With Its Site Down, New York Times Publishes On Twitter & Facebook, Ignores Google+
The Times’ began tweeting out news with links again, but the links pointed to the articles published on Facebook."
1 + 2 = 93.2% share
Here’s Gartner’s chart:
"The beta.icloud.com website has been redesigned to match the design of iOS 7. Removing the linen and other Forstall-era design elements, this is the first display of Apple bringing iOS 7 design elements to the web."iCloud.com beta updated with iOS 7 design | 9to5Mac
"Don't look now, but Lenovo just became an industry bellwether. While reporting strong first quarter results that include a record $8.8 billion in revenue and $170 million in profit, the tech giant revealed that its combined smartphone and tablet sales have overtaken those of its PCs. Yes, you read that correctly -- the world's largest PC vendor is now a mobile-first company, unlike previous title holders such as HP."Lenovo posts Q1 earnings, reveals that its mobile sales have overtaken PCs
"Smartphone sales exceeded feature phone sales for the first time in the April-to-June period, according to research firm Gartner.BBC News - Smartphones outsell basic feature handsets
Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 435 million units. Smartphone sales accounted for 225 million units, up 46.5% from the previous year.
Feature phones totalled 210 million units, down 21%."
"Cisco was one of the first companies to aggressively cut costs at the end of the dot-com boom, a move some say allowed the company to rebound more quickly when the economy improved.Cisco Plans to Cut 4,000 Jobs, as It Posts Profit Gain - NYTimes.com
Given Cisco’s dominant position and Mr. Chambers’s reputation for spotting trouble early, Mr. Passi said the news was likely to be interpreted as a bad sign for the entire industry.
“The gas will come out of the tank tomorrow,” he said. “This is going to permeate across the tech sector.”"
"Unfortunately, probably because Microsoft was so late to the app-phone party, Windows Phones are still considered oddballs. Windows Phone owners are generally very enthusiastic; unfortunately, you could probably hold the event in a church basement.The Lumia 1020, a Great Camera Grafted to an Oddball Phone - NYTimes.com
Alas, software companies don’t always bother with also-ran phones. Microsoft says that 170,000 apps are available; they include many of the biggies (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Gmail, Pandora, Evernote, YouTube and most airline apps).
But among the missing are Pinterest, Google Maps, Google Plus, HBO Go, Expedia, Yahoo Messenger, Flipboard, Photoshop Express and Citibank. There’s no official Instagram app and no Vine app, either. (A good list of what’s missing among the 100 top apps can be found at http://j.mp/13UTJZB.)
Will the chicken-and-egg story of Windows Phone have a happy ending? Nobody knows."
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
"Should you buy a "smart TV" to watch, say, Netflix? Or should you make an older TV "smart" by attaching a box that includes Netflix? Or should you buy an adapter and just beam Netflix wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet? And then, should you stream a movie or download it? Do you have to pay to get TV shows and movies from the Internet, or can you get them for free?The Many Internet-Video Options for TVs - WSJ.com
There's no one right answer for everyone, or every situation. To help sort out the choices, here's a primer for watching Internet video on a TV, legally."
"While Apple earlier this year announced a large buyback, Mr. Icahn said in an interview Tuesday that he wants to see it happen right away, near the current share price, which he considers cheap.Carl Icahn Uses Twitter to Say He Took 'Large' Bite of Apple Stock - WSJ.com
"This is a no-brainer to go buy stock in a company that can go borrow" at a low rate, Mr. Icahn said in an interview. "Buy the company here and even without earnings growth, we think it ought to be worth $625," he said, referring to the stock price, which closed Tuesday at $489.57, having risen 5% on the news of Mr. Icahn's investment."
"On Tuesday Telefonica Digital, the London-based international business division of the Spanish telecommunications company, announced a global partnership with Evernote, an online archive for things like notes, photos, Web pages, and digitized voice recordings. In Brazil, where the business is starting, Evernote Premium accounts normally costing $45 a year will be free to customers of Telefonica’s local mobile brand, Vivo.The Developing World Gets Unlimited Digital Storage - NYTimes.com
Twenty-two other countries, in both South America and Europe, are expected to get the deal in the near future. "
"Checking Facebook has become almost as embedded in the lives of Americans as getting a cup of coffee.Our Daily Cup of Facebook - NYTimes.com
The social network disclosed on Tuesday that on any given day, more than 40 percent of Americans — 128 million people — visit Facebook. Of those daily visitors, about 79 percent, or 101 million, use a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet to access the service. (Globally, the company had 699 million users a day in June.)"
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
"Microsoft is currently testing near-final versions of Windows 8.1, but the company won't release the final update publicly until October. According to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, the software maker will finalize, or Release to Manufacturing (RTM), Windows 8.1, but the update will not be pushed out to existing machines until October. Partners and PC makers will receive the final bits later this month, and the gap until an October release will allow them to finalize their own testing and drivers for the roll out."Windows 8.1 to be made available in October | The Verge
"“Well, we already know,” Ellison told Rose. “We saw — we conducted the experiment. I mean, it’s been done. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. We saw Apple without Steve Jobs. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. Now, we’re gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs.”Larry Ellison Says We Know What Apple Without Jobs Will Look Like - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
Needless to say, I’m sure that Tim Cook and Jony Ive don’t think of themselves as John Scully and Gil Amelio. But the question of what the new Apple is to become certainly remains an open one."
"For now, the giant investment house is just beginning to experiment with Glass. It is seeking feedback from investors and early adopters to improve the app in anticipation that Glass and other wearable Internet-connected devices such as watches will gain traction with the public.Fidelity builds financial app for Google Glass - Business - The Boston Globe
Also on Monday, Fidelity launched a Web portal for its research center, Fidelitylabs.com, to showcase its new technology and invite customers to comment on its latest innovations."
"Six years later, BlackBerry’s stock is worth just over ten dollars a share, and on Monday it announced that it has formed a “special committee” to explore ways to sell the company or form a joint venture with another business, among other options. This was a striking declaration: although BlackBerry has been in trouble for some time—it underwent a public “strategy review” of its business plan a year ago—its decision to put up a giant, blinking for-sale sign suggests it has become especially desperate. If BlackBerry sells itself, the buyer’s biggest gains will be a pile of cash, a big portfolio of patents, and some security technology. In other words, one of the companies that pioneered the smartphone market may soon end up selling itself as scrap."How the iPhone and Bad Decisions Killed BlackBerry : The New Yorker
Monday, August 12, 2013
"Socialbots are tapping into an ever-expanding universe of social media. Last year, the number of Twitter accounts topped 500 million. Some researchers estimate that only 35 percent of the average Twitter user’s followers are real people. In fact, more than half of Internet traffic already comes from nonhuman sources like bots or other types of algorithms. Within two years, about 10 percent of the activity occurring on social online networks will be masquerading bots, according to technology researchers."I Flirt and Tweet. Follow Me at #Socialbot. - NYTimes.com
"So, after this change, the NSA -- which now has nearly every compromising communication about every human alive -- will no longer have to worry about its sysadmins leaking its secrets. But it will have downsized its operational staff (and thus its capability to repel hackers and attackers) by 90 percent. I feel better already.NSA firing 90% of its sysadmins to eliminate potential Snowdens - Boing Boing
This is like a plutonium storehouse reducing the risk of guards selling fissiles on the black market by firing all of them and leaving a couple of dudes at the door with walkie-talkies."
"Recycling bins in the City of London are monitoring the phones of passers-by, so advertisers can target messages at people whom the bins recognize.This recycling bin is following you - Quartz
Renew, the startup behind the scheme, installed 100 recycling bins with digital screens around London before the 2012 Olympics. Advertisers can buy space on the internet-connected bins, and the city gets 5% of the airtime to display public information. More recently, though, Renew outfitted a dozen of the bins with gadgets that track smartphones."
"Retail giant Amazon is rumored to be working on a games console, and it is claimed that this disruptive device will hit its virtual shelves before the end of the year, and most likely by Black Friday.Amazon rumored to be working on an Android-powered games console | ZDNet
Amazon is no stranger to bringing hardware market, having successfully launched a range of ebook readers and tablets. Amazon has also been putting tremendous effort into building up its digital empire, which now consists of ebooks, music, video, and Android games and apps."
"Icahn uses holdings to seek change in companies he deems undervalued or ill-managed. While Icahn’s stake in Nuance is passive, his move to expand the investment suggests that he may push the company to sell itself or shed some businesses, according to Shyam Patil, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc.Nuance Gains as Icahn Builds Stake in Software Maker - Bloomberg
Potential suitors could include Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. or Oracle Corp. (ORCL), Patil said. It’s also possible that Apple Inc. or Google Inc. would be interested in Nuance’s mobile technology, he said."
"Ms. Grossman is part of a nascent but growing group touting the use of apps for pets. They say the apps can entertain pets stranded alone at home, teach valuable motor skills and even promote social behavior by engaging loner animals.Some Users Just Can't Keep Their Paws Off the iPad - WSJ.com
Some smell a rat. They say it isn't fair to make a cat endlessly chase a critter that can't be caught. "Without a successful capture," says Pam Johnson-Bennett, an expert on cat behavior, "I believe the play session keeps the cat too revved up instead of allowing for a satisfying winding down of the action.""
"“Once any single computer in a car is compromised, safety of the vehicle goes out the window,” Mr. Miller said in an e-mail interview. Modern cars typically have 10 to 40 little computers in them.New Targets for Hackers: Your Car and Your House - NYTimes.com
“Right now, there aren’t a lot of ways for hackers to remotely attack cars: Bluetooth, wireless tire sensors, telematics units,” he added. “But as cars get Internet connections, things will get easier for the attacker.”"
"Google, which has been criticized for profiting from news content created by others, began financing journalism fellowships for eight people this year. The founder of Craigslist, the free listing service that helped ruin newspapers’ classified advertising, helped finance a book on ethics for journalists.Technology Industry Extends a Hand to Struggling Print Media - NYTimes.com
A co-founder of Facebook, the social network many young people rely on for news, recently bought New Republic magazine, and the founder of eBay, another classified ad killer, started an online news service in Hawaii. Steven P. Jobs, the former Apple chief executive, went out of his way to advise newspapers how to adapt their products for the tablet era."
Sunday, August 11, 2013
"“That’s what our vision is—to make it easier for people to work together than to work alone,” Preston-Werner told me. GitHub has already done this for modern software development. It eventually could be the site that changes the way we collaborate on other kinds of projects, as well. Or, if not, at least the tool used to build whatever piece of software finally does."The Software That Builds Software : The New Yorker
Friday, August 09, 2013
"“The idea was that users would write notes and system people would respond to them,” Woolley told me. He had never seen an online bulletin board or conferencing forum application—other computer labs and projects around the country were also tinkering with very early forms of message boards but none of that was on PLATO’s or Woolley’s radar at the time. “I went off and used my imagination and wrote it the way it seemed natural to me, I didn’t have a thought to go on,” he said.PLATO Notes released 40 years ago today — Medium
The new Notes had one very specific purpose: create a real program that provides the long-needed security and authentication to the old text-file “notes” so that the PLATO community could ask questions and get answers safely and reliably without having to rely on an honor system."
Apple’s Tim Cook, tech executives meet with Barack Obama to talk surveillance - Tony Romm - POLITICO.com
"President Barack Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance, sources tell POLITICO.Apple’s Tim Cook, tech executives meet with Barack Obama to talk surveillance - Tony Romm - POLITICO.com
The session, which Obama attended himself, followed a similar gathering earlier this week between top administration officials, tech-industry lobbyists and leading privacy hawks, the sources said. Those earlier, off-the-record discussions centered on the controversy surrounding the NSA as well as commercial privacy issues such as online tracking of consumers."
"Hubbard left Apple last month to return to the world of open source UNIX, taking the chief technology officer post at a iXsystems, a company that offers servers and other data center hardware that runs FreeBSD. Apple was quite an education, and now, he wants to bring the “Apple approach” back to the open source game.Apple's Operating System Guru Goes Back to His Roots | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
The trick with Apple is that the software it builds is so polished. Its operating systems don’t feel like “tool kits.” They feel like the finished article. Hubbard believes open source OSes should feel the same. “Most open source people make tool kits,” he says. “They’re good tool kits that have been used in everything from Tivos to phones, but they’re still just tool kits.”"
"BlackBerry is warming up to the possibility of going private, as the smartphone maker battles to revive its fortunes, several sources familiar with the situation say.BlackBerry 'mulls going private' | Technology | theguardian.com
The chief executive, Thorsten Heins, and the company's board were increasingly coming around to the idea that taking BlackBerry private would give them breathing room to fix its problems out of the public eye.
"There is a change of tone on the board," one of the sources said."
"Wikipedia co-founder and open-access advocate Jimmy Wales said mainstream media have failed to live up to their rightful role when it comes to access and speech issues. Speaking at Wikimania, Wikipedia’s annual conference held this year in Hong Kong, Mr. Wales outlined a new vision for journalism that involves more collaboration with the public and better coverage of how governments monitor individuals.Wikipedia Co-Founder Urges Vigilant Journalism - Digits - WSJ
“The media is not talking about encryption in a coherent way,” Mr. Wales said in his State of the Wiki address, stressing that the press has an unprecedented opportunity to uncover wrongdoing as governments use the Internet to spy on their citizens."
"The crushing disappointment is, as always, the selection of Android tablet apps. Your catalog is coming along, but a lot of “tablet apps” for Android are still just Android phone apps with wider canvases; they haven’t actually been designed to exploit the larger tablet screen efficiently, as they have on iPads.A New and Improved Nexus 7 - NYTimes.com
Then again, for customers thinking more “Kindle Fire” than “iPad” — that is, they want the basics, like reading and watching videos and checking e-mail and browsing the Web — that won’t matter."
"The federal International Trade Commission is expected to say on Friday whether it will uphold a preliminary finding that Samsung mobile products violated a handful of Apple patents. A decision against Samsung by the commission could result in an import ban on some of the company’s mobile devices.Patent Case Has Potential to Give Apple the Upper Hand - NYTimes.com
A decision for Apple would be its second major legal win against Samsung in less than a week. On Saturday, the Obama administration vetoed the federal commission’s ban on Apple mobile products in a separate case brought by Samsung."
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Google's Moto X: What the reviewers are saying - Apple 2.0 -Fortune Tech
"Anyone hoping to ratchet the Tesla Motors (TSLA) hype down a notch will want to ignore the company’s second-quarter results delivered on Wednesday afternoon. Tesla turned a profit, much to the surprise of Wall Street analysts, and said it shipped a record number of its Model S luxury sedans that have become all the rage with the wealthy, eco-conscious set. The results pushed Tesla shares further into the stratosphere and boosted its market cap beyond that of Suzuki Motor (7269:JP), Mitsubishi Motors (7211:JP) and Isuzu Motors (7202:JP)."Tesla Motors Stuns Wall Street ... Again - Businessweek
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
"Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden has confirmed that co-founder and CTO Eric Baldeschwieler has left the company. No word as to why, but his departure is the latest event in a busy few months at Hortonworks [...]
One thing that’s certain, however, is that the Hadoop space has become hyper-competitive in the past couple years and personnel changes aren’t unheard of. Cloudera, Hortonworks’ primary competitor in providing Hadoop and services, has been without one of its co-founders — Christophe Biscliglia, who’s now co-founder and CEO of WibiData — since 2010. In June, Cloudera replaced co-founder and CEO Mike Olson with former Arcsight CEO Tom Reilly. Olson is now chief strategy officer."Hortonworks CEO confirms co-founder and CTO’s departure — Tech News and Analysis
"I've been testing the Moto X, which starts at $200, for nearly a week, and I like it. In my tests, it performed as advertised, and showed strong battery life.
But I wouldn't call the Moto X a game-changer, like the original iPhone was in 2007. That's because, today, voice input on all phones, including this one, is still limited and sometimes frustrating, and saving a step or a second for just a couple of functions isn't earthshaking.
Also, Motorola has diluted the impact of the Moto X by quietly launching three new models under the old Droid brand—sold only at Verizon—that have all the same new features, except customization. And one of these Droids sells for half the price of the Moto X, albeit with a somewhat smaller screen."Moto X, Motorola Mobility's New Smartphone, Offers Customized Colors and More - WSJ.com
"Unfortunately, the Moto X’s five breakthroughs don’t exactly shake the earth. It’s a fine phone, but it has to compete with the deeply satisfying beauty (and superior speakers) of the HTC One, the seething power (and superior screen) of the Galaxy S4, and the infinite app-and-accessory ecosystem (and superior voice control) of the iPhone.The Moto X From Google, iPhone’s Latest Challenger - NYTimes.com
Moto XI, anyone?"
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
"The tablet market has exploded in the last year, with nearly 60 percent growth since the same quarter in 2012. This is according to new information published by the market research firm IDC on Monday. At the top of the market is Apple, thanks to strong sales of the iPad. However, while Apple is still No. 1 on the charts, their victory comes with a coda that makes it a little bittersweet."iPad sales slip as tablet market surges | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog
"Mr. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com, is paying cash for The Washington Post out of his own personal wealth, currently estimated at more than $25 billion. The Post will cost him roughly 1 percent of what he owns in Amazon stock alone.Billionaires' Latest Trophies Are Newspapers - NYTimes.com
Some billionaires like cars, yachts and private jets. Others like newspapers.
“Newspapers have gone from the public markets to the hands of a relatively few billionaires who have an appetite for social, civic and financial roles,” Mr. Doctor said."
Monday, August 05, 2013
"In return, the cloud-based reader promises the following:Feedly goes Pro: $5 per month for better search, security and more
- Https support to "add a layer of security to your Feedly browsing"
- Article search that allows you to search "within your Feedly feeds";
- Evernote integration that enables one-click saving of an article to a selected notebook;
- Premium support, which means upgraders will "get bumped to the front of the support line" if they need a hand."
"But some researchers don’t appear to be worried about that sort of thing. In his book, “Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines — and How It Will Change Our Lives,” Dr. Nicolelis said he believes it is possible that humans will be able to communicate wirelessly without words or sound, where brain waves are transmitted over the Internet.Computer-Brain Interfaces Making Big Leaps - NYTimes.com
“I think this is the real frontier of human communication in the future. We already can get our monkeys, and even humans, to move devices just by thinking,” he said. “Once you can write to the brain, I can imagine the same type of logic working for communication where your thoughts and a message will be communicated to another human being and they will be able to understand it.”"
"The cuts come just weeks after Microsoft made similar price cuts to its Surface RT product, which seems to have driven a massive $900 million write-down on unsold inventory, first reported in the company’s earnings last month. Those “price adjustments” were at first only focused on the RT models, but, as of today, Microsoft is obviously extending that to its higher-end “Pro” versions."Microsoft Cuts Surface Pro Prices Through August - Mike Isaac - Mobile - AllThingsD
"An Apple spokeswoman said the company applauded the Obama administration for standing up for innovation in this "landmark" case. "Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way," she said.Apple Veto Likely to Upend Big Patent Battles - WSJ.com
The Innovation Alliance, an industry group that includes patent holders Qualcomm and InterDigital Inc., said it was "tremendously disappointed" by the decision, which it said represented "perhaps the worst of all possible outcomes—a decision that overturns decades of settled understanding without clear guidance" for licensing negotiations."
Sunday, August 04, 2013
"App Store developers overwhelmingly see iOS 7 as important to support, with 95 percent saying they are actively updating their existing apps to support Apple's new software, and 52 percent likely to require iOS 7 in order to work."Survey: 95% of developers working to support iOS 7, over half will require it
"The Obama administration has vetoed a federal commission’s ban that would have forced Apple to stop selling some iPhones and iPads in the United States next week, a rare intervention by the White House and a victory for Apple in its heated patent war with Samsung Electronics.Obama Administration Overturns Ban on Apple Products - NYTimes.com
The United States International Trade Commission in June ordered a ban of older-model Apple products that worked with AT&T’s network, including the iPhone 4 and 3GS, after determining that Apple had violated a patent that Samsung owned related to transmission of data over cellular networks. The administration had until Monday to weigh in."
Saturday, August 03, 2013
A month after Google killed its beloved Reader, the market for paid RSS tools is booming | The Verge
"Seen that way, the flock of post-Google RSS readers seem less like replacements than evolutions. Reader was great, but Google let it stagnate. It was only ever going to be a side project, something to keep engineers busy while the company expanded its stranglehold on search and tried to force its way into social. Cut loose from the corporate demands of Google, RSS can be more than that. It’s already been a crucial open web standard, and now it can be a paid professional tool along the lines of Photoshop, or an AOL-style portal for experiencing the internet at large. It can be something we haven't even thought of yet. The companies involved are still catching up to Google's feature set, but there's no reason to think they'll stop there. It may be time to stop being sad for the reader that was, and get excited for the reader that's coming."A month after Google killed its beloved Reader, the market for paid RSS tools is booming | The Verge
"Mayer had taken a lot of flack in the press for purchasing startups with little traction, many of whom did not even build or invent the technology for which they were praised in the acquisition announcements. But Mayer isn't buying these companies for what they built; she's buying the engineers who built them.Why does Yahoo! buy failed startups? It's the only way it can get good developers | The Verge
Wouldn't it just be cheaper and easier to hire programmers on the open market or right out of college? Actually, no. The competition for developer talent in Silicon Valley today is insane. Take this recent piece from San Francisco Magazine describing the day Zynga laid off several hundred employees. Recruiters tried to hire freshly axed programmers in the comment section of news stories about the firings. Other head hunters descended on the bars where ex-staffers were drowning their sorrows and started buying shots and arranging interviews for new gigs."
"Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, confirmed that Mr. Henry would pay $70 million for the paper. That would represent a staggering drop in value for the Globe, which The Times bought in 1993 for $1.1 billion, the highest price paid for an American newspaper. At the time, The Globe was one of the nation’s most prestigious papers in a far more robust newspaper environment. But like other newspapers, it began to lose readers and advertisers to the Internet, and revenue plummeted. The Times Company has taken several write-downs related to the New England Media Group, and in February it said it was putting The Globe and other assets in the group up for sale."New York Times Company Sells Boston Globe - NYTimes.com
"Martin Galese, a 31-year-old lawyer in New York, is resurrecting bits and pieces of bygone eras, thing by thing.3-D Printing the 19th Century - NYTimes.com
Not unlike the fictional scientists of “Jurassic Park,” Mr. Galese scours the patent office’s archives for the “design DNA” of antique inventions, then reinterprets them as design files for today’s 3-D printers. He has posted more than a dozen of these forgotten inventions on his blog as well as the 3-D printing design library, Thingiverse, for anyone to make today."
Friday, August 02, 2013
Yahoo Paid $60M to $70M for RockMelt -- Will Dump Browser and Use Tech - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD
"According to sources close to the situation, Yahoo paid $60 million to $70 million for social browser startup Rockmelt, with an aim of using its technology to turbocharge its myriad of media and mobile properties.Yahoo Paid $60M to $70M for RockMelt -- Will Dump Browser and Use Tech - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD
The ambitious startup had not gained as much traction with its desktop browser as had been hoped since it launched several years ago to much attention, but it is hoped a link with the Silicon Valley Internet giant will give it a new energy."
"Reporting earnings for its fiscal first quarter ended June, Sony posted a modest profit of $35 million, an impressive recovery from the ugly loss it posted for the same period a year earlier. And it attributed that turnaround to two things: A favorable shift in foreign exchange rates and brisk smartphone sales.Sony's First Quarter Savior Was The Smartphone - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
Evidently the Xperia A, which Sony touts as the most popular smartphone in Japan, and its counterpart, the Xperia Z, have met with some reasonable success, driving what the company describes as a “significant increase in unit sales” of its Android smartphone portfolio. Sony sold 9.6 million smartphones during the quarter, a big improvement over the 7.4 million it sold a year ago."
"The much anticipated Android 4.3 update, released earlier this week, has caused headaches for thousands of Nexus 4 owners as several incompatibility issues emerge.Nexus 4 owners frustrated over Android 4.3 update which threatens to “brick” phones - Neowin
Signal loss, continuous reboot loops, application bugs and battery life issues are just a few of the myriad of problems reported hours after the update was released.
However, the majority of users on Google’s Product Forum have reported Wi-Fi connectivity issues, which include automatic toggling between enabled and disabled Wi-Fi and the failure of the Wi-Fi icon to appear on the notification window. In more extreme cases, users reported severe overheating and even bricked phones."
"Of course, when a cell phone is constantly listening for a keyword, or waiting for you to shake your wrist, it must burn some energy. When figuring out how to minimize this, the Moto X team drew on conservation techniques the company used on its obscure wrist-based fitness product, the Moto ACTV. They would create a unique architecture for the phone, with eight processing cores. (Thus Google calls this “the X8 Mobile Computing System.”) One of those cores is a super-low-power component that does nothing but listen for the words “Google Now,” enabling the others to slumber away. (If it were not for this approach, says Arshad, such a feature would require three batteries to get through a day.) Another low-power-consumption core monitors sensors—like the accelerometer that signals that you want to take a picture."The Inside Story of the Moto X: The Reason Google Bought Motorola | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
"You don't need to book a flight to check out the neon-lit bar, fancy snacks, or leg room aboard the world's largest passenger airliner -- just use Google Maps.Google Maps tours the world's largest passenger airliner | Internet & Media - CNET News
Google Maps has taken its virtual Street View mapping inside the Emirates Airbus A380, a massive and luxurious airplane that docks at Dubai International Airport. The plane has a wingspan that's 261.8 feet long and can carry 517 people, according to Google. It is the most fuel-efficient jet in its class and can cover more than 9,320 miles in a single flight."
"Not having a strong relationship may have prevented Motorola from incorporating the latest version of Android, said two people familiar with the matter. Motorola executives say the Moto X will soon receive the software through an over-the-air upgrade. Google's Nexus, a tablet made by Google, will be the first device to ship with the new Android. It was available for pre-ordering July 30.Google Leans on Motorola With Moto X, Hardware Push - WSJ.com
"It's not like we were equally disadvantaged—we were more disadvantaged," one former Motorola employee said."
Thursday, August 01, 2013
"But what executives hope makes the Moto X stand out is its voice command capabilities — like continually listening for a user’s voice and quickly reacting to commands. Saying “O.K. Google, now find me my way home” will quickly pull up a Google map with directions to a user’s house, for example. The phone learns the voice of its owner and responds only to it. Some people might find this creepy, but it is a feature that a user must turn on voluntarily.With Moto X, Google Enters A Crowded Marketplace - NYTimes.com
Google executives have long talked about building computers that are so integrated into our space that we can ask them to do things without lifting a finger. The Moto X is a big step in that direction."
"SkyDrive, the Microsoft online storage service, is playing an increasingly big role in the company’s push toward becoming a devices-and-services company. But now, Microsoft must rename it.Microsoft to drop ‘SkyDrive’ in trademark settlement | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times
The company said it would rebrand SkyDrive after reaching a settlement with British Sky Broadcasting Group, which had contended that Microsoft’s use of “SkyDrive” infringed on the British company’s “Sky” trademark."
"“Industry doesn’t dump stuff to us and say, ‘here are interesting facts,’” he said, adding, “They are compelled by court order to comply.”NSA Chief General Keith Alexander Speaks About PRISM at Black Hat - The CIO Report - WSJ
Information collected under the PRISM program, along with another program that collects phone data from millions of Americans, has been crucial to thwarting 54 terrorist plots, 13 of which were in the United States, said Gen. Alexander. For example, an intercepted email from a terrorist in Pakistan led to the interruption of the New York subway bombing plot in 2009, he said."
"The Leap Motion gesture detection system is a sleek and sophisticated device. But it works with only a limited set of software, and even then, not very well. I’m sure it will get better as developers enhance the software, but so what? The very capable engineers at Leap Motion have created a solution to a problem that nobody’s got.Leap Motion controller is a futile gesture - Business - The Boston Globe
Nobody but Microsoft Corp., perhaps. The interface for the newish Windows 8 operating system lets users scroll through a menu of apps by stroking the screen. But most people don’t own touchscreen computers, and plummeting PC sales prove that few of us are buying new ones. But plug the $80 Leap Motion device into any late-model Windows or Apple Inc. Macintosh machine, and you’re supposed to get touchscreen-like performance, without leaving fingerprints."