"It may still be March 31st for me, and maybe for many of you reading this, but it’s already April 1st in Australia and the Google jokes are well underway. Here’s a look at what we’ve found so far (and we’ll be updating this article through the day with more)"Google's April Fools' Day 2013 Joke-A-Thon Begins With YouTube Shutdown, Treasure Hunt Maps
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Google's April Fools' Day 2013 Joke-A-Thon Begins With YouTube Shutdown, Treasure Hunt Maps [Search Engine Land]
"Goodreads was launched to encourage readers to show up and be bookish. The community formed around them.There's A Reason That No One in Publishing Bought Goodreads - The Digital Reader
Bookish, on the other hand, was launched in order to provide Hachette, S&S, and Penguin with “direct digital customer relationships”. The publishers got to build it from the ground up, and the manner in which it functions says a lot about the type of ”direct digital customer relationships” these publishers want
The thing is, they don’t actually want a relationship – not the relationship that James McQuivey (and I) think that publishers could benefit from."
"This recent quote from a “former IBM exec who spoke on the condition of anonymity” prompted revisiting the company and again asking some questions about their business model and future prospects:IBM: How Much Longer Do the Good Times Last? | Platformonomics
“Realizing this, IBM’s become a holding company of sorts, buying assets, integrating them and reselling them as an IBM brand.”
“IBM does not want to fund its own development because past history shows we’re not very good at it.”"
Saturday, March 30, 2013
"The fact is that both Microsoft and Google are far ahead of Apple in cloud services. Microsoft has built on its years of experience with SharePoint and Exchange, plus such commercially unsuccessful but technically important projects as Groove and Live Mesh, to build SkyDrive and its associated services. Google has always lived in the cloud and has put its expertise behind Google Drive. Smaller vendors, such as DropBox and SugarSync, also offer solutions far superior to Apple’s. But all of these companies have taken years to get where they are in large part because this stuff is really, really hard. None of them offers a complete multiplatform, multidevice, multi-application solution, but they are getting there."Apple’s Cloud Conundrum | Tech.pinions - Perspective, Insight, Analysis
"“There is a big possibility that you are part of the problem without even knowing it,” said Paul Vixie, chairman of the Internet Software Consortium, a nonprofit company responsible for the software used by many of the servers that power the Internet.
The servers the attackers used — what the Internet community calls open recursive servers or, more commonly, open resolvers — are simply home Internet devices, corporate servers, or virtual machines in the cloud that have been sloppily configured to accept messages from any device around the globe. [...]
But there is a silver lining. “I’ve been waiting for this attack for a long time,” Dr. Vixie said, “so that we could tell the earth’s population to do something about it.”"Devices Like Cable Boxes Figured in Internet Attack - NYTimes.com
"The software is designed so that some of the core features of the phone, like the camera, will be built around Facebook’s services, according to one of the people, who is a Facebook employee. Both people briefed on Facebook’s plans spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the product before the formal announcement."New Phone by Facebook to Showcase Its Network - NYTimes.com
"With billions of e-mails shooting around the world every day, clogging Gmail and Yahoo accounts everywhere, many are recoiling from the torrent. It’s either too much of a chore, or just uncool. The young set has bypassed it altogether, seizing on social media tools such as Twitter, or texting, as their primary means of electronic chatter. Some big companies find e-mail outdated, and instead are using more sophisticated internal messaging networks that filter out outside noise. And some busy professionals say it isn’t convenient anymore — a time-waster, in fact."E-mail gets a cold shoulder - Business - The Boston Globe
"According to sources, Amazon paid about $150 million for Goodreads, the popular books recommendation service. But that number could close in on $200 million, if certain performance metrics are met."Actually, Amazon Paid About $150 Million for Goodreads - Kara Swisher - Media - AllThingsD
Friday, March 29, 2013
"If Amazon bought into those points, the deal could have easily jumped into the 10-figure range. After all, the company had an $8.1 billion cash pile sitting around at year-end.Amazon Likely Paid $1 Billion for Goodreads - Businessweek
Either way, yesterday was likely a big payday for Goodreads founders Otis and Elizabeth Khuri Chandler. In true Silicon Valley fashion, the company bootstrapped solely on an angel round in 2007 and a venture round two years later, according to the firm. Its financing haul to date: about $2 million."
User discretion advised…
“Find My Friends has received a small, but important update. Version 2.1 of Apple's friend-location software introduces a new UI to search and set location-based notifications. Paranoid that your child is skipping school? Use the UI to look for your child's school and get alerted if he leaves before he should.”
"Here's what's really interesting: I'm actually finding that Feedly is moving beyond the point of merely catching up with Reader. It's starting to surpass it.Feedly may be the savior Google Reader users need | Computerworld Blogs
The new Feedly Web app is a joy to use. It's like a sleeker, more polished version of Reader with several new bells and whistles thrown in. (One such example: If your browser window is small, the left-side navigation panel automatically transforms into a floating menu that appears only when you mouse over it, thereby leaving more space for the actual content of your feeds.) It feels like what Reader could have been if Google hadn't given up on it years ago."
A happy occasion for many NoSQL/big data start-ups
“Today, we’re taking another step towards that goal by announcing the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge: we pledge not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.
We’ve begun by identifying 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google—open-source versions of which are now widely used. Over time, we intend to expand the set of Google’s patents covered by the pledge to other technologies.
We hope the OPN Pledge will serve as a model for the industry, and we’re encouraging other patent holders to adopt the pledge or a similar initiative.”
"One source recently told us to be on the look out for a Facebook mobile press event in early April where the social network would reveal an altered Android OS running on HTC. It’s said not to be a full-on rewrite of Android, but rather a “flavor” that will have all sorts of extra Facebook functionality built in. We’ve also heard it referred to as an “application layer”. Imagine Facebook’s integration with iOS 6, but on steroids, and built by Facebook itself. It could have a heavy reliance on Facebook’s native apps like Messenger, easy social sharing from anywhere on the phone, and more. [...]
This announcement might not be a Facebook Phone, but rather a Facebook phone — one where everything the user sees is social by design, even if the handset’s innards are made by someone else."Facebook To Reveal “Home On Android” Sources Say Is A Modified OS On HTC At 4/4 Event | TechCrunch
"The deal is made more significant because Amazon already owned part or all of Goodreads’ competitors, Shelfari and LibraryThing. It bought Shelfari in 2008. It also owns a portion of LibraryThing as a result of buying companies that already owned a stake in the site. Both are much smaller and have grown much more slowly than Goodreads.Amazon to Buy Goodreads - NYTimes.com
The deal did get some support from Hugh Howey, whose book “Wool” was originally self-published on Amazon and promoted through Goodreads and became a best seller. “The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books — to-be-read piles everywhere must be groaning in anticipation,” he said in the companies’ news release."
"Mike Shatzkin, a book industry consultant at Idea Logical, sees all this as a huge missed opportunity for Amazon’s competitors. “If a year ago, someone had come to me, and said, ‘We want to compete with Amazon on books, what should we acquire?’ the two companies I would have suggested are the Book Depository and Goodreads. And Amazon got ‘em both, as far as I can tell, without anyone else firing a shot,” Shatzkin said. “Shame on Barnes & Noble (BKS), shame on the big publishers, and shame on everyone else for letting this happen.”"Amazon Adds a Piece to Its Growing E-book Empire - Businessweek
"You’ll be working for her now. What’s your job?Charlie Rose Talks to Yahoo! Teen Tycoon Nick D'Aloisio - Businessweek
I’m going to be working out of their London office, and they’re developing a mobile hub. My role will be trying to integrate this summarization technology into different facets of the mobile organization. What Yahoo is doing—and this is why I’m so excited—is they have these assets, these verticals. They call them daily habits: So it’s weather, stocks, fantasy football. The idea is that they want to create these personalized experiences for mobile phones, an app for each of these verticals."
"On Thursday Google, which began work on the initiative in 2011, announced a casting call for people who can sign up to test its Google Shopping Express service, which it said is available to a small number of people in the San Francisco Bay Area.Google Begins Public Test of Same-Day Delivery Service - Digits - WSJ
Google said it able to deliver goods to those testers from retailers including Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys “R” Us, along with “locally distinct” retailers such as San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee."
"Keep is well-designed, and it’s already snagging fans of its own (in the Google Play store it has nearly 11,000 reviews, averaging four-and-a-half stars). Yet after comparing Keep to Evernote, I doubt that Google’s new arrival is actually a bad thing for the incumbent—it’s not nearly as advanced, and it actually looks to be boosting its predecessor’s popularity."Review: Google Keep Takes on Evernote, with No Clear Winner | MIT Technology Review
Thursday, March 28, 2013
"Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, a leading site for readers and book recommendations that helps people find and share books they love.Amazon.com to Acquire Goodreads - Yahoo! Finance
“Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content. “Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.”"
"OpenStack, a kind of Linux-for-the-cloud, contains APIs for compute, storage, networking and management all under an Apache license.Paypal struggles free of VMware lock-in, goes with OpenStack • The Register
PayPal’s rolling out OpenStack using a set of pre-integrated and polished APIs called FUEL from Mirantis, which claims 40 successful OpenStack deployments. FUEL wraps the basic OpenStack APIs with deployment scripts and other APIs and code from Mirantis to make it easier to install, manage and scale than the basic OpenStack code."
Google's Knowledge Graph expands into movies on Android tablets thanks to facial recognition | The Verge
"Not content to let Amazon hold the limelight with its new X-Ray for TV feature unveiled this morning, Google is unveiling a similar feature for movies in the Google Play store. On an Android tablet (and sadly, only on Android tablets), when you hit pause on a movie it will automatically fill the screen with relevant info cards for the actors and music from what you're watching. The information comes from Google's Knowledge Graph, but interestingly Google isn't figuring out which cards to display based solely on the movie's metadata. Instead, it's using facial recognition on the actors and Sound Search on the music to automatically figure out what to display."Google's Knowledge Graph expands into movies on Android tablets thanks to facial recognition | The Verge
"What's not OK is a company trying to scare the internet's residents thinking they're the residents of Dresden in order to drum up business. There are plenty of scary things, people, and plots online. There are plenty of bad guys. There are plenty of attacks. There will be plenty more. If you're in the anti-hacker business, business has no signs of slowing down. So if your product is worth a damn, you shouldn't have to lie to the internet to sell it. Don't believe the hype."That Internet War Apocalypse Is a Lie
Google Street View Captures Ghost Town in Fukushima's Evacuation Zone - NYTimes.com
“Another 90,000 people remain unable to return to their homes in the exclusion zone. Both experts and government officials have said that some of the most heavily contaminated areas in the exclusion zone may be uninhabitable for years, or even decades.
Invited by Mayor Tamotsu Baba to document the town’s deserted streets, Google began mapping Namie earlier this month. It used a car fitted with a special camera that captures a 360-degree view of its journey.”
"According to Kevin Restivo, an analyst at IDC, the countries where Windows Phone shipments exceeded those of iPhone during the fourth quarter were: Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine. A seventh “country” where Windows Phone shipments beat iPhone is actually a group of smaller countries, including Croatia, that IDC lumps together in a category called “rest of central and eastern Europe.”Where in the World Are Windows Phones Outselling iPhones? - NYTimes.com
Mr. Restivo provided some context, though, that slightly diminishes the scale of Microsoft’s success in those countries. Three of the markets — Ukraine, South Africa and “rest of central and eastern Europe” — are small enough that there were fewer than 100,000 Windows Phone unit shipments in the fourth quarter in each of them."
"One of the oddest bits of news to emerge from the economic collapse of Cyprus is a corresponding rise in the value of Bitcoin, the Internet’s favorite, media-friendly, anarchist crypto-currency. In Spain, Google (GOOG) searches for “Bitcoin” and downloads of Bitcoin apps soared. The value of a Bitcoin went up to $78. Someone put out a press release promising a Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus. Far away, in Canada, a man said he’d sell his house for BTC5,362.Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy's Last Safe Haven - Businessweek
Bitcoin isn’t tied to any commodity—besides trust. As a statement on the global economy, Bitcoin is hilarious. As a currency for the disenfranchised and distrustful, it’s as serious as can be."
"Texting apps are especially costing wireless carriers, which for years relied on the services for the bulk of their revenue.The Messaging Apps Taking on Facebook, Apple - WSJ.com
By some estimates a single text, which may cost as much as 20 cents to send or receive, costs the carriers themselves just one-hundredth of a cent. The rise of texting apps has taken away $23 billion in revenue from carriers as of the end of 2012, according to market research firm Ovum."
"The most important thing to grasp about Keep is how simple it is. Fast and simple and limited, especially compared with Evernote.Google Keep, a Note Pad, Lets You Hold All Thoughts - NYTimes.com
That, of course, is its best and worst feature, depending on what kind of personality you have. You won’t have trouble fumbling to find a feature; there aren’t any to find."
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
"The true power of the RSS inbox is keeping you informed of new posts that you probably won’t see linked elsewhere, or that you really don’t want to miss if you scroll past a few hours of your Twitter timeline.The power of the RSS reader – Marco.org
If you can’t think of any sites you read that fit that description, you should consider broadening your horizons. (Sorry, I can’t think of a nicer way to put that.)"
"Mr. Cusumano’s concerns grow out of his study of the software and media industries in the face of price pressure from free, open-source software and digital distribution over the Internet. Two-thirds of the public companies in the software industry disappeared between 1998 and 2006, as companies failed or were acquired. In the media world, Mr. Cusumano contends that newspaper and magazine companies — including The New York Times Company — made a strategic mistake by giving away their publications free on the Web. The online pay walls that publications have since put up, he said, seem to be helping to stabilize things, but only after a precipitous decline."Beware of the High Cost of 'Free' Online Courses - NYTimes.com
Give-away pricing in education, Mr. Cusumano warns, may well be a comparable misstep. The damage would occur, he writes in the article, “if increasing numbers of universities and colleges joined the free online education movement and set a new threshold price for the industry — zero — which becomes commonly accepted and difficult to undo.”
"Rather than trying to woo customers away from competitors, Oracle is mostly trying to convince its existing customers to upgrade their Sun hardware. At its peak, Sun sold about $3.5 billion of computing hardware per quarter. Now Oracle sells about $670 million of hardware per quarter. Where Sun once dominated the market for high-end (Unix) servers, it now accounts for only 17 percent of the market, tying HP and trailing IBM’s 63 percent market share. Most companies looking to build fast, large computers cobble together lots of smaller servers based on Intel’s Xeon server chip."Oracle Unveils 'World's Fastest Chip' in Bid to Save Sun Biz - Businessweek
"But, knowing that not all developers are ready to bet on a native app, the company has offered some shortcuts designed to get programs running on devices like its Z10, which went on sale this week at AT&T.One in Five BlackBerry 10 Apps Is Really an Android App - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
One of those is an emulation engine that allows Android apps to run. Roughly 20 percent of the 100,000 BlackBerry 10 apps fall into this category, according to Martyn Mallick, BlackBerry’s vice president for global alliances and business development."
"So, Yahoo is in the news for buying Summly. Summly is a company that extracts summaries of natural language text, a TL;DR of sorts.What's Actually Wrong with Yahoo's Purchase of Summly :: Hacking, Distributed
Summly licensed its core technology from SRI, which, previously, spun out Siri and sold it to Apple. Summly had 5 engineers, only 2 of whom will be moving to Yahoo. Summly is reported to have 1M downloads of their app in mobile app stores.
I want to take a few minutes to process this, because it points to some trends that should cause any technologist to raise an eyebrow."
"Oracle announced the new Sparc servers at an event in San Francisco today, and El Reg already gave you the feeds and speeds on the new T5 and M5 processors and their respective systems. At that event, Ellison touched on some of the salient characteristics of the new servers, but he spent most of his time explaining how Oracle would keep the pedal to the metal, pushing performance even further after taking the lead from Intel and IBM in terms of throughput-per-processor and bang-for-the-buck against IBM's Power Systems lineup."Ellison aims his first Oracle 'mainframe' at Big Blue • The Register
"I've been testing this new version of Flipboard, which has some other improved features, over the past week or so, on several iPads and an iPhone. My verdict is the new features make a great mobile app even better. There are some limitations to the new capabilities, but they make your mobile device more personal and more of a creative tool, rather than just a means of consumption. For now, the new version is only available for Apple's devices, but an Android edition is in the works."A Review of New Flipboard: News and Posts Handpicked and Shared - WSJ.com
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
"But look more closely at the technological ambition behind Summly, provided in part by D’Aloisio, who seems to be a uniquely adept programmer, and the company’s partner, the scientific research firm SRI International. The heart of Summly today is still-crude natural language processing technology that “reads” a news story and attempts to understand it the way a human might—and then generate a summary based on that understanding. This is not just extraction—which looks for key words as clues to topics and meanings—but an attempt at abstraction, which is harder. Abstraction uses software to first understand, then summarize."Why Summly Matters: Software Will Become Your Research Assistant
"A leaked build of the next version of Windows 8 made the rounds this week, along with news of related updates for Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, and Windows RT. And what I’ve learned from the leak won’t please anyone who already isn’t a fan of the Metro stuff. It appears that Microsoft’s secret plan for Windows 8 is . . . to pile on more of what you don’t like about Windows 8."Microsoft’s Secret Plan to Make You Hate Windows 8 Less | Windows 8 content from Windows IT Pro
"The social network said that it's featuring the most active conversations atop posts, and re-odering the threads by relevance to each viewer. A Facebook member may find a particular conversation thread higher if they share connections to participants in a thread, for instance.Facebook fixes comment threads for Pages and public figures | Internet & Media - CNET News
"After months of testing, we have seen how the new feature can improve conversations and be used to start open dialogues with the community," Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook journalism program manager, wrote in a note posted to the social network."
Yahoo Paid $30 Million in Cash for 18 Months of Summly Founder's Time - Kara Swisher - Media - AllThingsD
"Yahoo said it plans to close down the actual app and use the algorithmic summation technology that the 17-year-old D’Aloisio built with a small team of five, along with a major assist from Silicon Valley research institute SRI International, throughout its products.Yahoo Paid $30 Million in Cash for 18 Months of Summly Founder's Time - Kara Swisher - Media - AllThingsD
While Yahoo did not disclose the price, several sources told me that the company paid $30 million — 90 percent in cash and 10 percent in stock — to buy the London-based Apple smartphone app."
"In shaping its targeted advertising strategy, it is no longer relying solely on what Facebook users reveal about themselves. Instead, it is tapping into outside sources of data to learn even more about them — and to sell ads that are more finely targeted to them. Facebook says that this way, marketers will be able to reach the right audience for the right products, and consumers will see advertisements that are, as the company calls it, “relevant” to them.Facebook Expands Targeted Advertising Through Outside Data Sources - NYTimes.com
In late February, Facebook announced partnerships with four companies that collect lucrative behavioral data, from store loyalty card transactions and customer e-mail lists to divorce and Web browsing records."
"“I’ve still got a year and a half left at my high school,” he said in a telephone interview on Monday. But he will make arrangements to test out of his classes and work from the Yahoo office in London, partly to abide by the company’s new and much-debated policy that prohibits working from home.Nick D’Aloisio, 17, Sells Summly App to Yahoo - NYTimes.com
Summly’s other investors, improbably enough, included Wendi Murdoch, Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono. The most important one was Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire, whose investment fund supported Mr. D’Aloisio’s idea early on, before it was even called Summly.
"When I called Phil Libin, Evernote CEO earlier this morning to chat about Keep, in his typical matter-of-fact manner he explained that Google’s Keep app is both good and bad for his company. Bad, because he now has more competition in the market. And good because now more people are going to be aware of the overall category, which means more attention for Evernote."Thanks Google Keep! EverNote sees uptick in downloads, usage — Tech News and Analysis
Walmart Executive and Environmentalist Team Up to Create a Marketplace for the “Sharing Economy” | MIT Technology Review
Be sure to bring some flowers you can share
"Their company, Yerdle, launched in San Francisco in November—on Black Friday—and in New York a month ago. A person logs in through Facebook and enters a well-designed marketplace populated by photos of items their friends and their friends’ friends would like to give away or loan them for free.Walmart Executive and Environmentalist Team Up to Create a Marketplace for the “Sharing Economy” | MIT Technology Review
The idea is that people will check Yerdle before making a new purchase, and might pay Yerdle to get a shipment from a friend. The $200 billion figure is the pair’s own estimate of the percentage of the $1 trillion in durable retail goods purchased in the U.S. each year that might instead be sourced from an individual’s own extended online social network. When I signed in I saw things like a colander, a PlayStation, and a “giant litter box.”"
Monday, March 25, 2013
Closing paragraphs of a stark security reality check
“Fixing this requires strong government will, but they're just as punch-drunk on data as the corporations. Slap-on-the-wrist fines notwithstanding, no one is agitating for better privacy laws.
So, we're done. Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites.
And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.
Welcome to an Internet without privacy, and we've ended up here with hardly a fight.”
Evernote Looks For International Growth, Inks Strategic Partnership With Deutsche Telekom, Starting With 1-Year Premium Accounts For DT Users In Germany | TechCrunch
"[...] the first part of the deal will mean that all DT customers in Germany will get one year of Evernote Premium service — a deal that usually costs €40 ($52) annually for additional storage space and other features. With DT claiming 37 million mobile and 22 million fixed line customers, the partnership potentially adds up to 60 million more users to Evernote’s platform.Evernote Looks For International Growth, Inks Strategic Partnership With Deutsche Telekom, Starting With 1-Year Premium Accounts For DT Users In Germany | TechCrunch
To mark the new service, Evernote also said it is adding a new feature to the Premium account, available exclusively to DT users: now subscribers will be able to make document searches across Microsoft Office, iWork and OpenOffice documents that are attached to Evernote notes, bringing Premium a bit closer to Evernote’s Business product.
This is not the first carrier partnership signed by Evernote. Others include Taiwan Mobile, France Telecom, Docomo in Japan, and Korea Telecom, all also involving bundling Evernote’s premium product with subscriptions."
tbd if this will be the next Nexus 10 device (the current Nexus 10 is a Samsung tablet)
“Multiple windows? What a radical concept
Three decades after windows were introduced to desktop computers, they’re finally re-appearing on our mobile devices. Samsung has done an excellent job of providing a multi-window system on its Note product line. It is much more flexible and powerful than Microsoft’s klunky screen-splitting capability in Windows 8. (See: Windows 8: The disastrous result of Microsoft’s gutless equivocation.) You can easily put just about any application in half the screen, with a second application in the other half. You can change the amount of real estate for each application simply by moving a slider, or switch the applications around by dragging them. Screen rotation still works flawlessly. I found it easy to have a video or webpage in one window while I took notes in the other.”
"And all of that just speaks to the traffic that Reader sends to sites. The key element of Reader, of course, is that it allows readers to consume content without visiting a site if they choose to. To some, this has always been problematic, since those readers aren’t being served ads (unless they’re being injected into the feed, of course). To others, this was a vital distribution mechanism. For every person that got referred to a site via Reader, there were undoubtedly thousands more reading quietly on a daily basis that you would simply never see or hear from."What If The Google Reader Readers Just Don’t Come Back? | TechCrunch
"Datastax has its own challenges. It competes with Amazon Web Services and all the other NoSQL providers such as 10gen. The ecosystem is still quite young. Finding qualified people is a challenge. Developers need more education, a change in thinking for the new cloud approach.Oracle Is Bleeding At The Hands Of Database Rivals | TechCrunch
But overall, it’s clear that Oracle really is starting to show the pains of being an aging innovator. The earnings show a slight cut. The question is how deep the cut is and how Oracle will respond to challengers like Datastax."
"While clean, renewable energy gets most of the attention, Apple likely spent at least as much engineering effort to make its data centers very energy efficient. The Maiden facility, for instance, has massive cold water storage tanks that allow its chillers to reduce peak-time energy demand, saving energy and Apple higher power chargers. It also has precision air flow handlers to minimize energy use and the facility will use outdoor air for cooling most of the time. Chilling typically represents about half of a data center’s energy use.The Little Secrets Behind Apple’s Green Data Centers | MIT Technology Review
In an interview with Bloomberg, Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said that, “We think these efforts will result in learnings that other companies and communities can benefit from as well.”"
"What are the most surprising things you’ve learned about people’s shopping behavior on mobile devices?Amazon’s Mobile Strategy Is for You to Buy Something in 30 Seconds | MIT Technology Review
I think people tend to assume there are certain categories that do better on mobile than others, but the reality is, customers are buying everything on their mobile phones. We’ve sold, believe it or not, engagement rings, bicycles, razor blades, jeans, dresses. People buy the whole variety of what Amazon has.
Another recent observation that’s been interesting is that one of our busiest days happens to be on Christmas Day, for mobile phones and tablets in particular. My theory, at least, is you open up all your presents, you didn’t get what you want, and you’re able to quickly buy what you really wanted for Christmas."
Sunday, March 24, 2013
"Tired of speculative blog posts about Windows “Blue,” the upcoming interim update that will allegedly fix all the problems in Windows 8 and put Microsoft back on course? Speculate no more: Blue has leaked, and now we have a much better idea of what this release really contains."Windows Blue Leaks! | Windows 8 content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows
Another Reason Google Reader Died: Increased Concern About Privacy and Compliance - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
"That means every team needs to have people dedicated to dealing with these compliance and privacy issues — lawyers, policy experts, et cetera. Google didn’t even have a product manager or full-time engineer responsible for Reader when it was killed, so the company didn’t want to add in the additional infrastructure and staff, the sources said.Another Reason Google Reader Died: Increased Concern About Privacy and Compliance - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
But at the same time, Google Reader was too deeply integrated into Google Apps to spin it off and sell it, like the company did last year with its SketchUp 3-D modeling software."
"Reader was an application that felt like you were in control of the programming. You could summon the content you told it to keep track of at your leisure. Reader was like TiVo for the web, appealing to completists and skippers alike. Read everything or read nothing. The choice was yours. When we started Reader, I envisioned something a little more like Google News that knew about your likes and dislikes and would program based on what we thought we knew about you. Indeed recommendations became a part of Reader in the past few years.The Evolution Of Google Reader Started With A Crash | TechCrunch
But it’s no surprise that Facebook and Twitter (who know an awful lot about what you like) are in a better position to deliver suggested content these days. They don’t explicitly put you in the driver’s seat of programming what you see. We rely on the people (or brands) we follow to act as filters. But it’s not that level of control we came to expect with Reader."
"If Blackstone succeeds in unseating the existing buyout, however, Mr. Dell may lose his position as CEO. Blackstone is working on a deal that would not require Mr. Dell to contribute his Dell shares into the buyout, people familiar with the matter said. It is not clear whether Blackstone would ask Mr. Dell to contribute his stake.Michael Dell Could Lose Vote, CEO Job in Rival Dell Buyout Bid - WSJ.com
As Blackstone has worked to assemble a potential rival deal, it also has approached other executives about potentially taking over as Dell's CEO. The potential candidates Blackstone has approached include Michael Capellas, an ex-CEO of PC maker Compaq that is now part of H-P."
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg, Other Tech Execs to Form D.C. Advocacy Group - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
"Mr. Zuckerberg is going to Washington.Facebook CEO Zuckerberg, Other Tech Execs to Form D.C. Advocacy Group - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is involved in early efforts to form an issues advocacy organization in Washington D.C. in conjunction with other tech executives, according to people familiar with the matter."
Friday, March 22, 2013
"After laying out what the CIA does — i.e. collect intelligence, conduct analysis, perform covert action — CIA CTO Ira "Gus" Hunt detailed just how the agency plans to acquire, store, and analyze digital data on a massive scale.CIA Presentation On Big Data - Business Insider
"You're already a walking sensor platform," Hunt said, referring to all of the information captured by smartphones. "You are aware of the fact that somebody can know where you are at all times because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off. You know this, I hope? Yes? Well, you should.""
"Our investments are paying off. We’ve already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple’s corporate facilities worldwide, we’re at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won’t stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple."Apple - Environment - Renewable Energy
"After first making a joke about playing basketball—a reference to the strange visit by Dennis Rodman a few weeks after Schmidt’s trip—the Google executive explained he went to Pyongyang on a mission to spread the good news about the power of the Internet. North Korea “is the last really closed country in the world,” he said. “This is a country that has suffered from lack of information. The Internet was built for everyone, including North Koreans. The quickest way to get economic growth in North Korea is to open up the Internet. I did my best to tell them this.”"In India, Google's Eric Schmidt Explains Why He Went to North Korea - Businessweek
"One thing I didn’t do was to write a column accusing Google of betraying my trust, as Om Malik, James Fallows, Ezra Klein, Alex Hern of the New Statesman, The Week, and others did. Nor did I vow not to use Google’s new product, an Evernote substitute called Google Keep, ‘lest the company yank the rug out from under me again. I never trusted Google in the first place. I never thought it would support its products forever. As Slate’s Google graveyard attests, the company has routinely created and abruptly killed off software services, often tossing out the minimum viable product and watching to see if it caught on before putting any further effort into developing it."Hey! You! Get off of Google’s cloud! | Jack Shafer
"Companies also are warming to the idea that they don't have to spend as much for technology. Even the largest companies are switching to cloud-based technology on a subscription basis requiring no upfront fees. They are experimenting with database technology that is based on Hadoop, free software developed by engineers at Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.Small Rivals Clip Oracle's Wings - WSJ.com
Dave Corchado, CIO at digital marketing agency iCrossing Inc., an Oracle customer, said its new spending is going to Oracle rivals such as Amazon.com Inc. It uses Amazon for computing power and the Hadoop free analytic software. Spending on databases from Oracle "remains intentionally unchanged," he said."
"It sounds preposterous, particularly to those familiar with the yes/no world of conventional computing. But academic researchers and scientists at companies like Microsoft, I.B.M. and Hewlett-Packard have been working to develop quantum computers.Lockheed Martin Harnesses Quantum Technology - NYTimes.com
Now, Lockheed Martin — which bought an early version of such a computer from the Canadian company D-Wave Systems two years ago — is confident enough in the technology to upgrade it to commercial scale, becoming the first company to use quantum computing as part of its business."
Thursday, March 21, 2013
"In the last eight years you’ve come to YouTube to watch, share and fall in love with videos from all over the world. Tens of thousands of partners have created channels that have found and built businesses for passionate, engaged audiences. Advertisers have taken notice: all of the Ad Age Top 100 brands are now running campaigns on YouTube. And today, we’re announcing a new milestone: YouTube now has more than a billion unique users every single month."YouTube Blog: YouTube Hits a Billion Monthly Users
"Google today launched Keep, an app that allows you to save things, clip stuff from the web, hoard notes and what not and put them all onto your Google Drive. Yup, you guessed it — it is an imitation to Evernote and many other such applications. It is a good thing that Google has decided to compete with the likes of Evernote — it validates their market.Sorry Google; you can Keep it to yourself — Tech News and Analysis
It might actually be good, or even better than Evernote. But I still won’t use Keep. You know why? Google Reader."
"The combination of various note types is nice; a checklist for shopping, photos to help you remember something, and voice notes for when you can't type a long note. But if I'm supposed to be adding reminders to the app (watch the video included in Casey's post), then why can't I set alarms for reminders? There's some work to be done still with Keep before it's going to replace other task management and note-taking apps."Get started with Google Keep | How To - CNET
"Intuit now has a SnapTax app that lets you file a return from a smartphone. It’s aimed at people who do not own a home and who basically have only a W-2 to deal with for income. Using the app, you take a photo of the W-2 and then answer a handful of questions about your marital status and the like. “We have reviews where people say they filed from their bathtubs,” says Scott Cook, Intuit’s founder and chairman of its executive committee."Intuit's TurboTax: File From the Bath but Not the Shower - Businessweek
Check the article link for more details and and a video
“Running Amazon is a pretty intense job, but Jeff Bezos does manage to take a little time off now and then.
For instance, right now, he’s on a ship outside Cape Canaveral, along with some giant engines that used to power the Apollo 11 aircraft. He financed the team that just dug them out from the bottom of the Atlantic.”
"Rumors are running rampant about Dell's future this week, and the latest report fueling that fire is that Oracle president Mark Hurd has been approached to lead the PC company.Report: Blackstone asked Hurd about leading Dell after buyout | ZDNet
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday -- based on information from one unnamed source said to be familiar with the matter -- that private equity investment firm Blackstone asked Hurd about his interest, but the firm has not made a definitive offer yet."
"Most Internet users have become accustomed to using Facebook to keep up with friends — or at least, Facebook “friends” — while using more specialized sites and apps to search for restaurants, books and people. But if you have built up a network of friends on Facebook, those connections can now help you find people, places and things in the real world, in ways that more specialized sites like Google, Yelp and Amazon cannot."Facebook’s Graph Search Makes Use of Friends and Likes - NYTimes.com
"LED bulbs last decades, save electricity, don’t shatter, don’t burn you, save hundreds of dollars, and now offer plummeting prices and blossoming features. What’s not to like? You’d have to be a pretty dim bulb not to realize that LED light is the future."Cheaper LED Bulbs Make It Easier to Switch Lights - NYTimes.com
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
"To solve this problem we’ve created Google Keep. With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you. Your notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all your devices so you can always have them at hand.Official Blog: Google Keep—Save what’s on your mind
If it’s more convenient to speak than to type that’s fine—Keep transcribes voice memos for you automatically. There’s super-fast search to find what you’re looking for and when you’re finished with a note you can archive or delete it."
"The CIA has reportedly signed a massive cloud computing deal with Amazon, worth up to $600 million over the next 10 years.Report: Amazon Is Building the CIA's New Cloud Computing System
FCW reports that its sources have told it Amazon will build a private cloud infrastructure for the CIA, to help it "keep up with emerging technologies like big data in a cost-effective manner not possible under the CIA's previous cloud efforts"."
"How did a company that spent so many years successfully managing and polishing its image reach this point? And how does it change a growing perceptions of failure in the face of actual success? These questions matter because over time, perceptions have a way of infiltrating reality, making the negativity surrounding Apple a long-term threat to the company."Apple: Time To Come Out Swinging | Tech.pinions - Perspective, Insight, Analysis
"Amazon presents “Send to Kindle” as an alternative to read-it-later services like Pocket and Instapaper:Amazon launches “Send to Kindle” button for web publishers and WordPress blogs — paidContent
“The Send to Kindle Button lets you easily send that content to your Kindle to read later, at your convenience. Just send once and read everywhere on any of your Kindle devices or free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad and Android phones or tablets. No more hunting around for that website or blog that caught your eye — just open your Kindle and all the content you sent is right there. The Send to Kindle Button is also great for those who want to collect content from the web to use in work projects, school assignments, or hobbies.”"
"Even though three Android phones are now sold for every iPhone, Google has still yet to fully figure out how to leverage the open system to its advantage. While Android has been great for handset makers, especially Samsung, it’s failed to advance the Google ecosystem as much as hoped or make much money. "Ironically, in some cases Microsoft may be making more money off Android than Google, because of patent payments," said Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg. In other instances, Android has completely run away from Google. Amazon's Kindle Fire is built on Android, but you’d never know it — and the Amazon app store competes with Google’s."Disconnect: why Andy Rubin and Android called it quits | The Verge
"Additionally, Lynch isn't the only Apple executive to have promoted Flash in a former life. Apple's current senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller was formerly Macromedia's VP of Product Marketing, back when the company bought Flash from its original developer FutureWave in 1996.Why did Apple hire Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch?
The next year, Schiller left Macromedia to join Steve Jobs at Apple. But back at Macromedia, a series of products were vying for the company's attention, ranging from print tools that directly completed with Adobe, to a fledgling new video editor named KeyGrip developed by Adobe's former Premier creator Randy Ubillos, to new web-centric tools like Flash and Dreamweaver. "
Google Launches Drive Realtime API To Let Developers Build Apps With Real-Time Collaboration | TechCrunch
"Google just announced the launch of its Google Drive Realtime API, a new tool for developers that will allow them to bring the same real-time collaboration features that power Google Drive to their own apps. The API, Google writes, “handles network communication, storage, presence, conflict resolution, and other collaborative details so you can focus on building great apps.” Google partnered with three-developer focused tools, the collaborative code editor Neutron Drive, the project scheduling tool Gantter and the diagraming tool draw.io to test and launch this API."Google Launches Drive Realtime API To Let Developers Build Apps With Real-Time Collaboration | TechCrunch
"Under former CEO Steve Jobs, Apple moved away from Flash, and none of its iOS mobile devices — iPhones, iPads and iPod — support Flash at all. Lynch was the guy tasked with responding to Apple and Jobs, both in blog posts and interviews like this one he conducted with Kara Swisher in April 2010.Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch Headed to Apple - John Paczkowski and Peter Kafka - News - AllThingsD
That’s when he described Apple’s moves as a “protectionist strategy,” that was “bad for consumers.” Apparently he’s changed his mind."
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Samsung Confirms It Will Build A Smart Watch As Speculation About Apple’s iWatch Continues | TechCrunch
"Samsung is indeed working on a smart watch, the company’s Executive Vice President of Mobile told Bloomberg in an interview today. “We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them,,” Hee told the publication in no uncertain terms, adding that between itself and Apple, the “issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully.”"Samsung Confirms It Will Build A Smart Watch As Speculation About Apple’s iWatch Continues | TechCrunch
"Before the official announcement, we at SiliconANGLE decided to give you, our readers, 6 Alternatives to the Dying Google Reader. One of the mentioned alternatives is Feedly and some of our readers, and even some SiliconANGLE staff including myself, has grown fond of Feedly. And we’re not the only ones. Over 500,000 Google Readers found refuge in Feedly in the past few days, and the number will just keep growing as more people migrate."HOW TO : Switch to Feedly from Google Reader | SiliconANGLE
"Over the last 18 months, Steve Ballmer has been insisting that Microsoft (MSFT) is evolving from a software maker to a “device and services company”—a distinction that’s supposed to focus consumers on the company’s tablets and phones and the programs that are designed to seamlessly link them. As someone who covers Microsoft, I need to be familiar with the company’s products. [...]How Well Do Microsoft's Xbox, Skype, Office, and SkyDrive Work Together? - Businessweek
After using all of them extensively, I can safely say that if Ballmer and Microsoft really want consumers to make this turn, the interconnections between all of these services still need a lot of fine-tuning."
"Google’s got a huge communication problem right now. If you take a look at all of their services, you’ll find a series of communications platforms that don’t interact with each other very well, if at all. Google Talk, Hangout, Voice, Messenger, Chat for Drive collaboration, and the pseudo Google Talk for G+ all function just a little differently from one another. The only two to really function together are Google Talk for Gmail and G+, but ask anyone using the two systems and you’ll hear just how bad things are right now.Google expected to unify chat under the name Babble | Geek Pick | Geek.com
There’s not an easy fix for the situation, but a cross platform solution would enable Google to overtake platforms like iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger in one sweeping gesture. According to multiple sources reporting separately to Geek.com, this service is being called Babble, and it’s being built fresh from the ground up to solve these problems."
"Doug Purdy, Facebook's director of developer products, declined to discuss the recent shutdowns of specific developers on the social network. "We enforce our policies for a variety of reasons, ranging from preventing spam and protecting the experience people have on Facebook, to the rare case when a developer is using our platform to replicate our core functionality without enabling people to share back to Facebook," he said.Tensions Rise Between Facebook, Developers - WSJ.com
Mr. Purdy added that most of the 10 million apps and websites hooked into Facebook seem satisfied. At Facebook's headquarters, desks on Mr. Purdy's floor have blue signs that proclaim that "developers are people too.""
"“Oracle is big, but it’s focused on trying to put together a system of hardware, and it is confusing as a software company,” he said in an interview “On applications, they are easier to beat than SAP.” Oh, and he plans to beat SAP too, but there’s little doubt that he is aiming to make life hard for Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chief executive and his old boss."An Oracle Veteran's Comeback Plan - NYTimes.com
"Lenovo has learned from the Windows Vista experience that the official Microsoft "downgrade" path can be painful. So the machines are "downgraded" to Windows 7 by default. Of course, that's exactly what customers want - and Lenovo is reaping the benefit of listening to those customers.Lenovo: Windows 8 is so good, everyone wants Windows 7 • The Channel
The computer maker even throws in a Start Menu for Windows 8, which is installable from the Lenovo software bundle. The company wouldn't be drawn on the exact ratio of Windows 7 to Windows 8 machines shipped."
Monday, March 18, 2013
Three reasons Microsoft OneNote beats Evernote. Can Google's rumored Keep note-taking app improve on it? | Computerworld Blogs
"I'm a big fan of Evernote and Microsoft's OneNote and am looking forward to the rumored Google note-taking app named Keep as well. But if I had only one note-taking and data capture app to rely on, I'd stick with only OneNote. Here are three ways that OneNote beats Evernote, and ways in which Google might beat OneNote with its rumored Keep note-taking app."Reviewing/responding to the three reasons (see the full post for more details):
- Better structure for large projects: OneNote has a more elaborate information model, with notebook/section group/section/page/sub-page levels. Evernote lacks the equivalent of section groups, sections, and sub-pages, but it also has a notebook stack level of abstraction that OneNote lacks.
- Integration with Outlook: OneNote (unsurprisingly, as part of Office) has better integration with Outlook (and other Office apps), but Evernote supports mail-in note creation (every Evernote user is assigned an Evernote mail-in address), and Evernote is also supported as a platform-level sharing option, e.g., on Android.
- Integration with SkyDrive: OneNote currently has more robustly useful notebook/note sharing and collaboration services than Evernote, but Evernote has more powerful client apps on a variety of non-Microsoft platforms. The Android and iOS OneNote clients are limited, for example, and there is no Mac OS OneNote client.
"In announcing the closure of Reader, Google said that usage has been declining, and I can see why. Reader was made for absurdly ambitious readers. It’s designed for people like me—or, rather, for people like the person I used to be—that is, for people who really do intend to read everything. You might feel great when you reach Inbox Zero, but, believe me, it feels even better to reach Reader Zero: to scroll and scan until you’ve seen it all. Twitter, which has replaced Reader (and R.S.S.) for many people, works on a different principle. It’s not organized or completist. There are no illusions with Twitter. You can’t pretend, by “marking it read,” that you’ve read it all; you don’t think you’re going to cram “the world of ideas” into your Twitter stream. At the same time, you’re going to be surprised, provoked, informed. It’s a better model."Farewell, Dear Google Reader : The New Yorker
"Everyone might be focused on the services Google is scrapping as part of its spring cleaning, but it looks like there's at least one new (or rather, renewed) service on the way. Android Police reports that a new note-taking app called Google Keep will let you take notes, which you can color-code and add pictures to, as well as use to build checklists. The idea is reminiscent of Google’s failed Notebook service and products like Evernote, although with a seemingly trimmed-down feature set. The news was first uncovered by Google+ user 1E100."Google Keep note-taking app spotted in Drive before disappearing | The Verge
What Hinton’s Google Move Says About the Future of Machine Learning « Some Thoughts on a Mysterious Universe
"First, some context. While Geoff is undoubtedly a giant in the field, he is only the latest in a string of departures to Google. Sebastian Thrun left Stanford to head Google’s autonomous car project in 2011. Andrew Ng has led several projects at Google, including the recent high-profile deep learning study in very large scale computer vision. And in late 2010, Matt Welsh made news when he left his tenured faculty position at Harvard to join Google. Except for Matt Welsh, this trend has particularly centered on large scale machine learning, and this question was recently put to Andrew Ng during the panel discussion at the BigVision workshop at NIPS. Andrew’s answer was that the effort involved in doing machine learning at a large scale required significant industrial engineering expertise, one that does not exist in academic settings including Stanford, and that a place like Google is simply much better equipped to carry out this function."What Hinton’s Google Move Says About the Future of Machine Learning « Some Thoughts on a Mysterious Universe
"I had been preparing for a black swan event like this for the last four years since I began NewsBlur. With the deprecation of their social features a year ago I knew it was only a matter of time before Google stopped supporting Reader entirely. I did not expect it to come this soon.Three Months to Scale NewsBlur - The NewsBlur Blog
As the Storify history of the Reader-o-calypse, NewsBlur suffered a number of hurdles with the onslaught of new subscribers."
Sunday, March 17, 2013
"Chrome OS already has many features that live outside of the browser and it will add even more. Powerful Native Client apps that also work offline will allow Chrome OS to compete with full-fledged operating systems like Windows and Mac OS. Chromebook Pixel is Google's way of telling the world to take Chrome OS seriously. Chrome OS is no longer an experiment and a Chromebook is no longer useful just as a second device, it could become your main device."Chromebook Pixel's Raison d'Être
Thursday, March 14, 2013
"Samsung sold a ton of S IIIs, so to a certain extent it makes sense that they'd take an ain't broke, don't fix it approach. But to be brutally honest, in 2013 the design feels stale, dated, and boring. The S III's plastic back made it look and feel cheap; the effect is amplified on the S IV given how sleek and anodized the competition has gotten. There's just no innovation on this front, to the point that it's hard to take the S IV seriously next to a gorgeous piece of hardware like the HTC One."Samsung Galaxy S IV Hands On: Everything New Is Old Again
"The only answer that comes to mind is that Reader doesn’t include any opportunities for advertising, which is Google’s main business. Worse, Reader encourages users of the Web to view site content in this (usually) ad-free environment, instead of visiting the originating webpages. The only remaining upside of Google Reader for the company would have been as a mechanism for learning about a user’s reading habits, preferences, and community connections. But they’re canceling Reader, so it couldn’t have been terribly valuable, and Google+ already fulfills the function of Harvester Of Personalized Social Graph Data."Google Reader is useful, reliable service that suffered from shameful neglect - Chicago Sun-Times
"Now, we’ll be forced to fill the hole that Reader will leave behind, and there’s no immediately obvious alternative. We’re finally likely to see substantial innovation and competition in RSS desktop apps and sync platforms for the first time in almost a decade.Google Reader shutting down July 1 – Marco.org
It may suck in the interim before great alternatives mature and become widely supported, but in the long run, trust me: this is excellent news."
"The news that Google Reader is going to be shut down in 4 months is still circulating the blogosphere this evening, with many bloggers expressing dismay for how it will make their jobs more difficult.Now is the Time to Panic: FeedBurner is Broken Today - The Digital Reader
But as bad as Google has hurt us, I’m pretty sure they’re not done inflicting pain.
Some time in the next few weeks I expect Google to announce the shutdown of FeedBurner, their RSS feed distribution service."
Breaking Analysis: EMC VMware Lays out the Pivotal Initiative – EMC’s Silver Lining Playbook: EMC Owns 69% – VMware Transfers 500 Employees | SiliconANGLE
"Joe Tucci is a competitor. EMC is a company that keeps on reinventing themselves and making the right moves at the right time. Now he is finding the silver lining in his portfolio and creating another VMware – it’s called Pivotal Initiative.Breaking Analysis: EMC VMware Lays out the Pivotal Initiative – EMC’s Silver Lining Playbook: EMC Owns 69% – VMware Transfers 500 Employees | SiliconANGLE
Today in New York City, top industry analysts from Wall Street to Silicon Valley are with EMC and VMware executives to hear the plans for EMC and VMware. The news is that VMware will be forming a new startup called Pivotal Initiative. According to SiliconANGLE sources, EMC will own 69 percent and VMware will own 31 percent, and the venture will have 1,250 employees."
"We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months."Official Blog: A second spring of cleaning
"“Andy is more like Steve Jobs in his leadership style — top down,” said Keval Desai, a former Google project management director on ads who is now a venture capitalist at InterWest Partners. “Sundar is more of a collaborative and low key leader, but very effective at achieving big results.”Andy Rubin Stepping Down as Android Head Was Sudden But Inevitable - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
Rubin had sparred with Amazon, Alibaba and other Android partners, and for some critics seemed to have a definition of “openness” that was consistent only in his own mind.
Said one former Google executive, “Everyone loves Andy, but his leadership style is not ‘Googley.’”"
"“So far, we have been in a world which has been pretty straightforward: Android phones and tablets and Chrome laptops,” Mr. Pichai said. “But lines do blur.”Google Puts Android and Chrome Under One Boss - NYTimes.com
“The way we think about it internally,” he said, “is as a user, you sign in to both these devices, you use search, Maps, Gmail” and other Google products. “All your Google services work seamlessly across devices.”
The company did not provide any details about how Chrome or Android might change under the new leadership."
"He said that the government is limited in what it can do to confront China and other sponsors of computer attacks. And he said the government needs the authority to require that critical infrastructure in the country is hardened against such attacks.Obama Discusses Computer Security With Corporate Chiefs - NYTimes.com
“There are ways that we can harden our critical infrastructure, our financial sector,” Mr. Obama said. “And the only thing that’s holding us back from doing that right now is we haven’t gotten the legislative authority out of Congress. They need to get this done.”"
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
"It was less than two years ago that cloud storage startup Box announced a major integration with Google Docs, to let people use the online service from within Box itself. But now that the startup, backed by $284 million in venture funding, is ramping up plans for more services that take it beyond storage, CEO Aaron Levie says that his company is testing out new enterprise applications of its own that will put it into much closer competition with Google Docs, Microsoft’s Office 365 and more."Box Is Testing Out New Apps That Could See It Go Head To Head With Google Docs | TechCrunch
"Now, IDC says Apple may begin losing some its lead on tablets as well, though it remains the top seller among manufacturers.Apple's iPad to fall behind Android as tablet war grows | Reuters
iPad shipments are expected to account for 46 percent of the tablet market in 2013, down from 51 percent last year, IDC said. Devices running Android are expected to grow their market share to 49 percent this year from 42 percent last year.
Google's Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon.com Inc's Kindle, which uses its own customization of Android, made major inroads with consumers last year. In November, Apple launched its own foray into smaller-sized tablets with the iPad mini."
"But here we are with the PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox due for imminent arrival, and there is no real custom silicon to be found. Both Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT), according to numerous industry reports and my sources, will use high-powered, but nevertheless off-the-shelf chips designed by AMD (AMD) in their upcoming consoles. This is a big win for AMD, which already counts Nintendo and its Wii as a customer, since it will have locked up the gaming market. It’s also a dramatic shift in what a gaming console “means” in 2013 vs. what it used to mean."The Great Dumbing Down of Video Gaming Consoles - Businessweek
"Jeff Dean, a Google Fellow in the company’s systems infrastructure group, said Prof. Hinton’s work has applications for voice- and image-based searches, two small but growing segments of Google’s overall search traffic. As more and more users send search queries by snapping a picture from or speaking to their smartphones, Google has spent more research dollars trying to figure out ways to automatically derive contextual clues from images and sound. [...] In a rarity for the search giant, which regularly lures academics to its Mountain View campus in California, Google is allowing Prof. Hinton to keep his day job. The computer scientist and two of his postdoctoral students will split their time between the university and Google headquarters in Mountain View. The company has also agreed to help fund the professor’s university research, but Prof. Hinton said the company will have no influence over the focus of his research."Google taps U of T professor to teach context to computers - The Globe and Mail
"Apple tightly controls its software and hardware, and is fiercely competitive in battling its rivals, especially in the mobile market. And yet, while the company never creates apps for anyone else’s mobile system or device, each of its major mobile-platform foes — Google, Amazon and Microsoft — make many of their apps available for Apple devices. That makes those devices the sort of Switzerlands of the mobile world."Walt Mossberg: How Apple Gets All the Good Apps - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
"Google plans a major recruiting effort to increase its Seattle-area engineering staff by as much as five times. There is already fierce competition among tech companies for talented engineers, and many of those with skills in cloud computing work at Google’s rivals in Seattle.Google Takes on Amazon and Microsoft for Cloud Computing Services - NYTimes.com
“We’re not the first in this rodeo, but we have the history of Google,” said Brian Goldfarb, Google’s leader of cloud platform marketing, who joined the company last year after a decade at Microsoft. “We have the best data centers on the planet. You can’t really give engineers a bigger, badder thing to work on.”"
"The agreement paves the way for a major privacy battle over Google Glass, the heavily promoted wearable computer in the form of glasses, Mr. Cleland said. “If you use Google Glass to record a couple whispering to each other in Starbucks, have you violated their privacy?” he asked. “Well, 38 states just said they have a problem with the unauthorized collection of people’s data.”"Google Admits Street View Project Violated Privacy - NYTimes.com
Google Fiber review: Nobody knows what to do with the world’s fastest Internet service. - Slate Magazine
"And this gets to the fundamental problem with Google Fiber: It’s totally awesome, and totally unnecessary. During my time in Kansas City, I spoke to several local businesspeople, aspiring startup founders, and a few city boosters. They were all thrilled that Google had come to town, and the few who’d gotten access to the Google pipe said they really loved it. But I couldn’t find a single person who’d found a way to use Google Fiber to anywhere near its potential—or even a half or quarter of what it can do. It was even difficult to find people who could fully utilize Google Fiber in their imaginations. As hard as people tried, few could even think up ways to do something truly amazing with the world’s fastest Internet."Google Fiber review: Nobody knows what to do with the world’s fastest Internet service. - Slate Magazine
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Armed With Facebook 'Likes' Alone, Researchers Can Tell Your Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic
"With remarkable accuracy, researchers from the University of Cambridge and Microsoft have been able to discern people's gender, sexuality, age, race, and political affiliation, based solely on their Facebook likes. With significantly less accuracy, they've also tried to predict certain personality traits -- e.g. intelligence, satisfaction with life, emotional stability, conscientiousness -- and though such traits were harden to predict, the researchers were able to come up with lists of "most predictive Likes" for each. It's possible to see how, with a much larger corpus, even certain subtleties of personality could be recognized deep within the idiosyncratic data of Facebook likes."Armed With Facebook 'Likes' Alone, Researchers Can Tell Your Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic
"BlackBerry shares jumped the most in more than a month after Lenovo Group Ltd. (992)’s chief executive officer was quoted in a French financial newspaper as saying his company may eventually consider buying the smartphone maker.BlackBerry Shares Jump as Lenovo CEO Mentions Possible Deal - Bloomberg
Lenovo’s Yang Yuanqing told Les Echos that a deal with Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry “could possibly make sense, but first I need to analyze the market and understand what exactly the importance of this company is.”"
"Each Glass integration must abide by four principles: "design for glass," "don't get in the way," "keep it timely," and "avoid the unexpected." Gmail has a presence on Glass too, allowing you to reply to important emails right from the headset. The Gmail "subscription" can be configured to only push you "Important" emails. You'll see the message subject line, a picture of the sender, and can dictate your response with Google's voice recognition system. "You can still have access to the technology that you love, but it doesn't take you out of the moment," Jordan said."Google reveals Glass apps: New York Times, Evernote, Gmail, and Path | The Verge