14 November, 2011



Blame software, not hardware for iPhone 4S battery issue, test suggests

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 09:27 AM PST

iOS updateiPhone 4S owners still facing battery issues after Apple’s recent iOS update can rest a bit easier, as a recent test shows that the problem could still be fixed with future software updates, ZDNet reports.

An unnamed developer who has two iPhone 4S models — one for day-to-day use which exhibited the battery problem, and another for development use which didn’t have the issue — found that he could make the issue appear on the unaffected unit by restoring it with a backup from the other phone.

That’s a clear indication that whatever was causing the battery issue lies somewhere in the iPhone’s software, instead of the hardware. That’s not to say that there isn’t an additional hardware problem for some users. I had to get my iPhone 4S replaced within the first week because it would also black out at random times, in addition to indiscriminately draining battery life.

To better suss out the source of the iPhone 4S battery problem, we’ll need more than just this one test. If you have multiple iPhone 4S units on hand, and are seeing the battery issue, let us know if you can replicate what this developer has seen.

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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YouTube testing a new design with Google+ in mind

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 09:12 AM PST

Google is testing a new design for its streaming video sharing site YouTube, which highlights elements of the company new social network Google+, reports TheNextWeb.

Despite being the most popular online video service in the world, YouTube's current website design is not very appealing compared to other streaming video sites. So, any change to its current design is something to talk about.

As shown in the screenshot below, the new design is heavily influenced by Google+ integration. All subscriptions and channels you follow are organized into a left sidebar, which makes it easier to see videos that are shared from people within your social circles on Google+.

On top of those subscriptions is your avatar and links to your profile information. While I’d argue that this also isn’t the prettiest of user interfaces, it’s much better than the screen full of overflowing video thumbnails that YouTube currently uses. The new design is also more in line with the company’s experimental Cosmic Panda video player redesign, which VentureBeat first reported about back in July.

The new Google-plus-focused design also adds additional sizing options to videos, makes recommended content pop out when clicked and a new favicon (the little icon in your web browser bar next to the URL).

At this point, we don’t know if the new design will eventually roll out to all users or if it’ll remain in testing mode. We’re reaching out to Google for more information and will update this post with anything new.

YouTube redesign 1

[Screenshot via Faceblog.in.th]


Filed under: media, social, VentureBeat

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Intel and MasterCard team up on online shopping payments

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 09:03 AM PST

Intel and MasterCard have agreed to collaborate on enhancing the security and consumer payment experience for online shopping.

The multi-year deal will combine MasterCard’s expertise in payment processing and commerce with Intel’s strength in chip-based security. The idea is to make checkout simpler and safer for online merchants and consumers using Ultrabooks (thin laptops like the Macbook Air) and future PCs.

The two companies will work on emerging payment technologies such as MasterCard’s PayPass and Intel’s Identity Protection Technology. The latter uses two-factor authentication and hardware-based display protection and security against malware. Consumers will be able to pay for online purchases in the future with a simple tap of a PayPass-enabled card, tag, or smartphone on an Ultrabook device.

PayPass can be used in plastic cards, mobile phones and other devices. Instead of swiping a credit card, you can simply tap on another device that contains the same technology. It is currently in use with Google’s mobile wallet service for Android mobile devices.

Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard, said that the collaboration will focus on a simple click or tap from the consumers point of view. Online sales hit $176.2 billion last year in the U.S. and are expected to grow at double-digit rates for the next five years, according to market researcher Forrester Research. Intel’s George Thangdurai, general manger of PC Client Services at Intel, said online commerce is a key focus area for Intel. MasterCard is competing with rivals such as Visa, American Express, Discover Financial Services, and PayPal.

Filed under: enterprise, security

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Introducing a new alternative to the law firm: the law firm?

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 09:00 AM PST

Flex LogoThe following post is sponsored by Fenwick & West.

Ask any entrepreneur, "What's your biggest complaint about working with your lawyers?" and one of the top answers will inevitably be that the cost can be too darn expensive. And even when the cost isn't "through the roof" expensive, it's still unpredictable.

While unpredictability in costs is the bane of any company, this is particularly true for a start-up venture that is watching its cash outflow closely.

That being said, there are times when hiring a top-tier national or international firm, even if expensive, might make sense. But how do you decide what work rises to the level of needing one of those firms?

If you had to sum it up in one question, it would be "how strategic is the work?". One helpful way to think about this is to break down your legal needs into 3 categories:

  • "Bet the company"
  • "Important"
  • "Commodity"

Not surprisingly, when a group of Chief Legal Officers were surveyed by Altman Weil (a management consulting firm for legal organizations) about the relationship between the level of work and the importance of price, as the importance of the work went up, the survey responders were less sensitive to the price and put more emphasis on the capabilities and reputation of the law firm.

Following this to its natural conclusion, "bet the company" work like financings, protecting key patents, negotiating strategic agreements, and advising the board will generally warrant hiring brand-name lawyers.

On the opposite end, for commodity work like document review or negotiating those "purchase order" type of agreements like the proverbial "water-cooler" agreement, clients are willing to take more risks.

But what about the work that's important enough that you want to make sure you're protected, but is not so important that it's worth calling your favorite $600/hour lawyer? For instance, closing sales deals, reviewing offer letters or changes to the NDA before you let a new developer see your key source code, or revising your form agreements?

Fortunately, because the economic downturn has forced many companies to cut back on headcount, there are more options than ever before to obtain temporary legal help, including temp agencies like Robert Half Legal or Axiom Global, and a bevy of former law-firm attorneys who've hung out their own shingle.

Depending on the lawyer you find, you can find lower rates than a traditional law firm hourly model, and with some providers, you may be able to negotiate a predictable rate as well.

But don't write off all law firms just yet.

There are a couple of law firms, one in the US (FLEX by Fenwick, http://flex.fenwick.com) and one in the UK (Lawyers on Demand, http://www.lod.co.uk), that are trying to help companies by providing experienced lawyers that can handle the "important-level" needs of their clients, but at a rate that is a fraction of what you'd pay at a law firm while also providing "predictable billing" models.

How is that possible? Both firms operate these businesses without much staff overhead and offer their attorneys a salary that is less than the typical law firm associate or partner, but is still very competitive with in-house attorney salaries. Since salaries make up the bulk of the cost to a client, by cutting those significantly, they're able to then pass along these savings to the clients.

While the traditional hourly model will continue to be part of the legal landscape, as clients become more savvy at defining the level of importance of their needs, law firms that develop creative solutions that align the importance of a matter with the client's risk tolerance and price sensitivity will likely be the ones to succeed in the future.

Filed under: Entrepreneur Corner, VentureBeat

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So long missed birthdays: Wrapp lands $5.5M for awesome social gifting

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 08:38 AM PST

Gift giving just got a whole lot easier. The social gifting company Wrapp, currently only available in Sweden, has snagged $5.5 million in a first round of funding to bring its innovative service to the United States and United Kingdom.

There’s certainly plenty of room to innovate in the gift card arena, and it’s also a lucrative market, accounting for $100 billion annual sales in the U.S. alone.

Utilizing friend birthday data from your Facebook account, Wrapp’s mobile apps and website makes it easy to keep track of upcoming birthdays and send digital gift cards from participating brands. What makes Wrapp special is its focus on offering free gift cards, which retail partners are hoping you’ll top off with additional funds before you send them to friends.

After gifting a card to a friend, other friends can see the card on the recipients Facebook account and chip in additional funds. The gift card remains “wrapped” on the recipients Facebook page until the day of their birthday, which adds a nice bit of mystery to a traditionally boring gift card transaction. Wrapp’s cards can only be redeemed using its iOS or iPhone app

Wrapp was co-founded by founding Spotify CTO Andreas Ehn and Hjalmar Winbladh, founding CEO of the VoIP company Rebtel. "We were intrigued by the concept that gift giving is much nicer than gift buying," Winbladh told VentureBeat in an interview months ago. "This is not discounting or daily deals. This is turbo-charged gift giving."

The funding comes Atomico, a venture capital firm founded by Skype and Kazaa co-founder Niklas Zennström (who is also joining Wrapp’s board), and existing investor Creandum, a Nordic venture firm.

Filed under: mobile, social, VentureBeat

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Cloud 101: What the heck do IaaS, PaaS and SaaS companies do?

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 08:01 AM PST

cloudbeat-clouds-partingAnyone who who follows technology trends has undoubtedly heard the term “cloud service” thrown around few gazillion times the past few months. But if you don’t know the difference between terms such as PaaS, IaaS and SaaS, don’t fret — you’re far from alone.

Let’s start at the beginning. “Cloud” is a metaphor for the Internet, and “cloud computing” is using the Internet to access applications, data or services that are stored or running on remote servers.

When you break it down, any company offering an Internet-based approach to computing, storage and development can technically be called a cloud company. However, not all cloud companies are the same. Typically, these companies usually only focus on offering one of three categories of cloud computing services. These different segments are called the “layers” of the cloud.

Not everyone is a CTO or an IT manager, so sometimes following the lingo behind cloud technology can be tough to follow. With our first-annual CloudBeat 2011 conference coming up at the end of this month, we thought this would be a good opportunity to go over the basics of what purpose each layer serves and some company examples to help give each term more meaning.

Layers of the cloud

A cloud computing company is any company that provides its services over the Internet. These services fall into three different categories, or layers. The layers of cloud computing, which sit on top of one another, are Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Infrastructure sits at the bottom, Platform in the middle and Software on top. Other “soft” layers can be added on top of these layers as well, with elements like cost and security extending the size and flexibility of the cloud.

Here is a chart showing simplified explanations for the three main layers of cloud computing:


IaaS: Infrastructure-as-a-Service

The first major layer is Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS. (Sometimes it’s called Hardware-as-a-Service.) Several years back, if you wanted to run business applications in your office and control your company website, you would buy servers and other pricy hardware in order to control local applications and make your business run smoothly.

But now, with IaaS, you can outsource your hardware needs to someone else. IaaS companies provide off-site server, storage, and networking hardware, which you rent and access over the Internet. Freed from maintenance costs and wasted office space, companies can run their applications on this hardware and access it anytime.

Some of the biggest names in IaaS include Amazon, Microsoft, VMWare, Rackspace and Red Hat. While these companies have different specialties –  some, like Amazon and Microsoft, want to offer you more than just IaaS — they are connected by a desire to sell you raw computing power and to host your website.

PaaS: Platform-as-a-Service

The second major layer of the cloud is known as Platform-as-a-Service, or PaaS, which is sometimes called middleware. The underlying idea of this category is that all of your company’s development can happen at this layer, saving you time and resources.

PaaS companies offer up a wide variety of solutions for developing and deploying applications over the Internet, such as virtualized servers and operating systems. This saves you money on hardware and also makes collaboration easier for a scattered workforce. Web application management, application design, app hosting, storage, security, and app development collaboration tools all fall into this category.

Some of the biggest PaaS providers today are Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, Saleforce’s Force.com, the Salesforce-owned Heroku, and Engine Yard. A few recent PaaS startups we’ve written about that look somewhat intriguing include AppFog, Mendix and Standing Cloud.

SaaS: Software-as-a-Service

The third and final layer of the cloud is Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS. This layer is the one you’re most likely to interact with in your everyday life, and it is almost always accessible through a web browser. Any application hosted on a remote server that can be accessed over the Internet is considered a SaaS.

Services that you consume completely from the web like Netflix, MOG, Google Apps, Box.net, Dropbox and Apple’s new iCloud fall into this category. Regardless if these web services are used for business, pleasure or both, they’re all technically part of the cloud.

Some common SaaS applications used for business include Citrix’s GoToMeeting, Cisco’s WebEx, Salesforce’s CRM, ADP, Workday and SuccessFactors.

Cloud photo via Jeff Coleman/Flickr

Cloud breakdown slide via “Windows Azure Platform: Cloud Development Jump Start” via Microsoft

CloudBeat 2011CloudBeat 2011 takes place Nov 30 – Dec 1 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, CA. Unlike  other cloud events, we’ll be focusing on 12 case studies where we’ll dissect the most disruptive instances of enterprise adoption of the cloud. Speakers include: Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO of Box.net; Amit Singh VP of Enterprise at Google; Adrian Cockcroft, Director of Cloud Architecture at Netflix; Byron Sebastian, Senior VP of Platforms at Salesforce; Lew Tucker, VP & CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, and many more. Join 500 executives for two days packed with actionable lessons and networking opportunities as we define the key processes and architectures that companies must put in place in order to survive and prosper. Register here. Spaces are very limited!

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Review: Ezio’s not the only thing getting old in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 07:59 AM PST

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Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the fourth title in Ubisoft's award-winning, multi-platinum franchise. Developed by multiple internal studios around the globe and spanning more than 400 individual team members, the Assassin's Creed series needs to sell better than most in order to offset its undoubtedly massive production costs. But can Ubisoft sustain such an ambitious annual business model while still keeping the sequels fresh and compelling?

Each holiday season since 2009, the Assassin's Creed team has provided a robust, open-ended game experience, easily rivaling anything the competition puts out once every few years. Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the third and final entry following the life of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. As a brief recap, the original game featured Altaïr Ibn La’Ahad, an assassin during the Third Crusade. The second game switched to Ezio and bumped the setting up a few centuries to the Renaissance. Last year's Brotherhood again starred Ezio, and as such Revelations effectively completes his trilogy. Both Ezio and Altaïr are the ancestors of Desmond Miles, a modern day assassin and the true main character of the franchise, who accesses their memories through a machine known as the Animus.

And it's the ingenious Animus mechanic that truly gives Assassin's Creed a ton of freedom to explore, both in terms of story and gameplay. It also gives the developers some breathing room with regards to things that would be considered flaws in a different game. Unlike many of today's AAA titles, Assassin's Creed is not striving for utter realism. In fact, it's a very arcade-like experience, with no small amount of suspension of disbelief required. But that's where the Animus comes in. The player is not directly living out the events of Ezio and Altaïr, but rather recreating them through a machine. These recreations are not perfect, nor do they have to be. It's all quite akin to The Matrix. Where I might slam a game like Skyrim for having odd, realism-shattering glitches or poor design decisions, no one's going to complain about seeing inhuman feats or the same cat twice inside the Matrix, and that applies to the world within the Animus as well. Except for the cat thing.

Teaching an old dog new tricks

This year's title brings with it a number of additions, and a few subtractions. Revelations takes place primarily in Constantinople around 1511 AD, making the once-brazen and youthful Ezio approximately 50-years-old. By now fans should feel right at home in the virtual world, complete with towers to climb, viewpoints to synchronize, and merchant shops to renovate. But Constantinople feels like a step backward from Rome, which was the featured city in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. There are no particularly memorable areas or landmarks, nor any countryside to roam. I felt the open rural spots in previous games gave the claustrophobic city game play a rest, so it's unfortunate to see it removed here. This is also the first game in the series to not feature horses, though there are two sequences involving horse carriages, if that makes a difference (it doesn't, and they're annoying).

While Ezio may be the master, the assassins of Constantinople still have a few new tricks to teach him and gifts to give him, including the hookblade. The hookblade replaces one of Ezio's hidden blades and opens up new gameplay opportunities such as latching on to climbable objects and ascending them more rapidly. After three games, this aging assassin has nothing to prove, and players will undoubtedly appreciate the expediency the hookblade allows for. Still, aside from riding the occasional zipline, you don't ever actually need to use it. The way Assassin's Creed games are designed, every jump or vertical obstacle is crafted to be overcome with Ezio's natural (or some might say, supernatural) abilities, so the hookblade is really more of an optional tool. It does however allow for some pretty cool executions when fighting guards, but I'm genuinely left wondering if the hookblade was included merely as an afterthought.

The second major addition to Ezio's already robust arsenal is customizable bombs. Using ingredients found all around the game world (they're literally around every corner, it seems), you can craft a variety of lethal, tactical, and diversionary explosives. Although you may have heard Ubisoft touting 300 different bomb variations, the reality is nowhere near as impressive. In truth, there are less than a handful of different effect types for each of the three bomb classes. These can then be given different powder to determine the radius of the blast, and different fuses, such as a tripwire or time-delay. The thing is, like the hookblade, I found very little use for the bombs. Outside of a few specific instances, I'd actually have to go out of my way to use them, as a crossbow or throwing knife would usually be just as effective, if not more so. I suppose if a player really wanted to incorporate bombs into their play style they could, but I'd rather the game had been developed to take advantage of the new features slightly more. Still, if you want to go on a rampage or screw with the guards, the lamb's blood bomb and caltrop mine can be quite entertaining.

Beyond those two additions, Ezio already has everything he needs from the previous games. His hidden blades, a sword, a dagger, a crossbow, throwing knives, poison darts, hidden pistol, and even parachutes. The combat is still extremely solid, but again there's not much new here. You can now counter grab and counter steal, but outside of that it's the same exact system as it was last year, which was nearly identical to the year before. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but perhaps you're starting to notice a trend with this game?

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Filed under: games

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Samsung gives up the fight against iPhone 4S in South Korea

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 07:39 AM PST

siri-iphone-4s-adKorean electronics manufacturer Samsung has decided not to pursue a lawsuit to block the sale of the iPhone 4S in South Korea, as it apparently feared backlash from Korean consumers wanting to get their hands on the latest Apple device.

Samsung previously declared its intention to block the sale of the iPhone 4S using lawsuits in Italy, France, Australia and Japan, but the company was unsure if it would continue that legal battle on its home front in South Korea because it could look bad from a public relations standpoint.

“We concluded that we should engage in legal battles with Apple only in the global market, but not in order to gain more market share in Korea,” an unnamed Samsung executive told local Korean outlet The Chosunilbo.

Apple and Samsung have been sparring in courts around the world since April, when Apple sued Samsung in the U.S. for "slavishly" copying the designs of the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy phones and tablets. Samsung filed a counter-suit against Apple in the U.S. that didn't do anything, but the battle also extended to the U.S. International Trade Commission, which can block the importation of devices into the U.S.

The U.S. court trial between Apple and Samsung will likely happen in July 2012. Apple designers like Jonathan Ive and Christopher Stringer are supposed to complete depositions for the case before Dec. 1.

The relationship between Samsung and Apple remains complicated because Apple still purchases large quantities of chips and other components manufactured by Samsung.

Filed under: mobile

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Groupon to ramp up holiday purchases with Epic Deals

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 07:26 AM PST

Groupon holidayDaily deals service Groupon plans to boost its end-of-year profits by pushing sales during the upcoming holiday season.

Groupon, which generates revenue by taking a cut of local and national deals it arranges for subscribers, began its first holiday push last year called Grouponicus, which offered mostly smaller-scale deals targeted at 15 major cities in the U.S. This year the company is broadening their strategy to include 41 major cities in the U.S. and Canada, according to a report by Reuters.

The company plans to offer larger-scale deals this year. Beginning Nov. 15, Groupon will roll out its new “Epic Deals” — deals that focus on specific experiences, like an around-the-world travel excision. The company is also planning on offering many more national deals rather than smaller local deals, which don’t bring in nearly as much money for the company.

And to fit more in line with the mentality of gift giving, the new Grouponicus holiday offers will only show the value of the service or item on a voucher. The price paid or the deal will be omitted. However, it won’t take a rocket scientist to deduce about how much people spent on a Groupon deal. Most of them offer services and goods at half the value of the regular price. (So for example, if you got $100 credit for a massage, the likely amount spent is probably about $50.)

The shift in holiday strategy for Groupon is logical, especially after the company received plenty of criticism just prior to launching an initial public offering. Many critics questioned the company’s ability to generate a profit because it was too focused on smaller deals. Groupon launched its IPO Nov. 4 with much success — raising about $700 million valued at an estimated $15 billion.

In addition to revising its holiday strategy to boost profits, Groupon has pledged to replace the least performing sales people in the company and launched a new Groupon Reserve high-end deals service.

Filed under: social, VentureBeat

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Kindle Fire reviews praise low price and Amazon’s content, shipping today

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 07:22 AM PST

Reviews have landed for Amazon’s long-awaited Kindle Fire tablet and they’re none too surprising. There’s lots of love for the Kindle Fire’s $199 price, as well as its deep integration with Amazon’s content ecosystem — despite reports of slowdown and other flaws.

Amazon also announced that the Kindle Fire will begin shipping today, a day earlier than it originally planned. What better way to celebrate the first round of reviews? (And perhaps a sly way to keep pre-ordered customers from cancelling?)

The 7-inch Kindle Fire is the cheapest tablet yet widely available to consumers, and many are predicting that alone will lead to massive sales for Amazon. We’ve already seen consumers go wild over HP’s massively discounted $99 TouchPad, surely Amazon would be able to tap into some of that cheap tablet frenzy.  JP Morgan predicts that Amazon could sell up to 5 million Kindle Fires by the end of the year.

But how does the Kindle Fire stack up against the iPad? Not so well, at least in terms of performance, according to the New York Time’s David Pogue:

You feel that $200 price tag with every swipe of your finger. Animations are sluggish and jerky — even the page turns that you'd think would be the pride of the Kindle team. Taps sometimes don't register. There are no progress or "wait" indicators, so you frequently don't know if the machine has even registered your touch commands. The momentum of the animations hasn't been calculated right, so the whole thing feels ornery.

Still, the Kindle Fire is powered by a 1 gigahertz dual-core processor, so there’s the potential for Amazon to speed up performance with software updates. Hardware-wise, the tablet seems to suffer by being rushed to market: Many reviewers have called out the Fire’s boring design (likely because it was based on the same design as RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook), as well the fact that it only has 512 megabytes of RAM, which could have helped with performance.

But if you’re an Amazon addict, the Kindle Fire’s flaws may seem like less of a deal breaker. Indeed, it seems like the perfect way to experience Amazon’s rich universe of content and massive catalog of products.

“All of the content silos on the device offer a quick jump into Amazon’s store where you can browse and purchase new music, movies, books, or magazines,” writes The Verge’s Joshua Topolsky. “The experience is completely painless, and far more integrated in the Fire than it is on the iPad or any other Android tablet. If Amazon was trying to prove a point here, it seems to be working. The company is definitely presenting a smoother path to buying content than any of the other guys.”

So should you get a Kindle Fire? Overall, it seems like the tablet is best suited for mainstream users who want easy access to Amazon’s content, as well as some basic tablet features like web browsing and apps. Power users will likely feel limited by the Kindle Fire’s performance, and its limited selection of apps (they have to be approved by Amazon, and the Fire runs Android 2.3, so it doesn’t support Android 3.0 tablet apps).

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Nvidia aims to knock Intel out of supercomputers with ARM CPUs and graphics chips

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 06:00 AM PST

Nvidia is forging ahead with its plans to revolutionize supercomputers and workstations with a number of announcements today. Among them, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center will be the first in the world to adopt a solution that combines Nvidia’s low-power ARM-based Tegra central processing units (CPUs) with Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs).

That combination could be a powerful way to improving computing power without consuming too much power. Power consumption and the electricity costs that go with it are now the No. 1 cost for maintaining supercomputers these days. Until now, Nvidia’s Tegra CPUs were used as mobile device processors and most supercomputers used Intel microprocessors.

The supercomputers will use the hybrid architecture that combines the speedy serial (one thing after another) processing nature of CPUs with the parallel (many small tasks at once) nature of GPUs. The Barcelona Supercomputing Center plans to improve its energy efficiency by two to five times, according to the announcement today at the SC11 supercomputing conference in Seattle.

The GPU’s take advantage of Nvidia’s Cuda programming environment to perform non-graphics computing tasks on a GPU. The Barcelona center plans to ultimately deliver exascale-level performance while using 15 to 30 times less power than current supercomputers. Nvidia is the world’s largest independent graphics chip maker, but it has recently made headway in the processor market with its ARM-based Tegra CPUs.

An exascale supercomputer will, at some point in the future, be able to execute an exaflop. That is a billion billion floating point operations per second. A flop is the equivalent of taking two 15-digit numbers and multiplying them together. Right now, supercomputers such as the upcoming Titan machine at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are targeting computation levels at 20 petaflops. A thousand petaflops is equal to one exaflop. So supercomputers have a long way to go to get to exascale.

Alex Ramirez, leader of Barcelona’s Mont-Blanc Project, said that CPUs alone often consumer the lion’s share of the energy — 40 percent or more — in a supercoputer. By comparison, he said the Mont-Blanc machine will use the Tegra mobile processors to achieve a four to 10 times improvement in energy efficiency by 2014.

Nvidia will create a new hardware and software development kit to enable more ARM-based supercomputing initiatives. The Barcelona version will feature a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 ARM-based CPU along with an Nvidia GPU. The center is starting with 256 Tegra CPUs and 256 GPUs. The kit will be available in the first half of 2012. Nvidia is naming the Barcelona center a Cuda “center of excellence,” the 14th such institute.

Nvidia is also introducing its Maximus circuit cards (pictured right) for advanced workstations. The Maximus technology can be used to design fancy cars and other high-computation tasks that normal PCs can’t handle. The Maximus cards will combine graphics and computation in the same system. The Maximus technology combines Nvidia’s Quadro professional workstation GPUs with Nvidia Tesla C2075 companion processors (which are separate computing cards).

Previous workstations forced designers and engineers to do compute-based and graphics-based work separately or offline. Now, with Maximus, they can do both of those kinds of tasks at the same time on the same machine, said Jeff Brown, general manager of Nvidia’s general manager of the professional solutions group. The workstations will speed up science, engineering and design applications from Adobe, Ansys, Autodesk, Bunkspeed, Dassault Systèmes and MathWorks.

Meanwhile, Nvidia has joined with Cray, the Portland Group, and Caps to create a new standard for parallel programming known as OpenACC. That will make it easier to accelerate applications that use both CPUs and GPUs. The OpenACC should benefit programmers working in chemistry, biology, physics, data analytics, weather and climate, intelligence, and other fields. Initial support for OpenACC is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2012.

CloudBeat 2011CloudBeat 2011 takes place Nov 30 – Dec 1 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, CA. Unlike any other cloud events, we’ll be focusing on 12 case studies where we’ll dissect the most disruptive instances of enterprise adoption of the cloud. Speakers include: Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO of Box.net; Amit Singh VP of Enterprise at Google; Adrian Cockcroft, Director of Cloud Architecture at Netflix; Byron Sebastian, Senior VP of Platforms at Salesforce; Lew Tucker, VP & CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, and many more. Join 500 executives for two days packed with actionable lessons and networking opportunities as we define the key processes and architectures that companies must put in place in order to survive and prosper. Register here. Spaces are very limited!

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Gaming stamina and player growth is on the rise, PopCap survey says

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 06:00 AM PST

The percentage of the internet users in the U.S and the U.K. who play social games for periods greater than 15 minutes a week have nearly a doubled, according to a study by PopCap Games.

About 41 percent of players now play for more than 15 minutes, compared 24 percent last year. PopCap Games, a division of Electronic Arts, is one of the most well-recognized names in the field of casual video games. Founded in 2000, the company has a worldwide staff consisting of more than 500 people. Its flagship franchise Bejeweled has sold more than 50 million units worldwide.

Nearly 120 million people are now playing social games, a 71 percent increase in growth over time. More intriguingly, the survey also reports the likelihood of social gamers purchasing in-game content with real money has increased to 46 percent from 32 percent in January 2010. About 31 million players were reported to have purchased in-game currency of some variety.

While the survey reports that female social gamers continue to outnumber their masculine counterparts (54 percent vs. 46 percent in the U.S and 58 percent vs 42 percent in the U.K.), it appears that male consumers are more likely to make in-game purchases. Additionally, social gaming has experienced an influx of younger players; the average age of a social gamer has declined from 43 to 39 years.

This research, which was conducted by Information Solutions Group exclusively for PopCap Games, is based on the results of 1,201 online surveys completed by members of Toluna’s internet ePanel between Sept. 15 and Sept. 22. The surveyors said 801 of the respondents originated from the U.S. while 400 were from the U.K.

The full report is available for download at 2011 PopCap Social Gaming Research.

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Kindle Fire sets developer hearts aflame, says survey

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 05:01 AM PST

Speaking volumes about the sorry state of Android tablets, North American developers are far more interested in Amazon’s Kindle Fire than any other Android slate, according to a surveyby the mobile app framework company Appcelerator.

Out of a survey of 2,160 developers using Appcelerator’s Titanium framework, 49 percent in North America chose the Kindle Fire as their preferred Android tablet. North American devs are also twice as interested in the Kindle Fire than they are in Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color — even though it was effectively the first inexpensive Android tablet. (This survey likely didn’t take into account news of the new Nook Tablet, announced last week.)

The early interest is obviously a good sign for Amazon, and it tells us that the Kindle Fire is set to be a hit with developers, just as it is poised to be with consumers. Appcelerator notes that interest in the Kindle Fire is only slightly less than what devs had for the iPad before its release (53 percent in April 2010).

Worldwide, the Kindle Fire ranks second place with 43 percent of developer interest, right behind Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. Developers rank the Kindle Fire’s low $199 price as the primary reason for their interest, with Amazon’s content library as a close secondary interest.

But just like with all Android devices these days, developers are most worried about fragmentation with the platform — especially since Amazon’s spin on Android looks completely different than any other take. The Kindle Fire will be able to run typical Android applications, but they’ll first need to be approved by Amazon.

Appcelerator also points out that developers are now much more interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of devs surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, ranking it as a solid third-place behind Android and iOS. (This echoes sentiments I’ve been hearing more and more from developers — Microsoft’s developer outreach has clearly paid off.)

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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The future of TV: Dead man walking or bigger than ever?

Posted: 14 Nov 2011 05:00 AM PST

For the last two years, the television business has seen a decline in cable subscriptions due to cord cutting. But perhaps even scarier to TV executives is the increasing disruption that companies like Google and YouTube are causing as they jump even deeper into the TV game.

YouTube's $100 million original content initiative, Google's interest in becoming a cable company, and a few gloomy Q3 updates from moguls at TV networks and cable, have driven new speculation on the future of television.Depending on who you talk to, you'll hear either pessimism about the current models or about a light at the end of the tunnel that new digital streaming revenues promise.

Here are a few thoughts on where the digital disruptions and the TV biz might be headed:

1. YouTube's $100 million bet. It's a bold move for Google to pony up $100 million to jump into the original contentbusiness and work directly with celebrities and Hollywood producers to build the next chapter of creative innovation for YouTube. It should also add buzz around the latest version of Google TV just in time for folks looking to buy their new Google-TV-enabled televisions for the holidays and Super Bowl 2012.

Time will tell if this move will attract quality programming from Google's very promising list of content partners. We have seen similar attempts previously from AOL and Yahoo, with limited results, before broadband totally matured. It's no surprise that both AOL and Yahoo are resurrecting their original programming efforts this fall to compete with YouTube. Many are curious how successful all three will be in 12 months.

Will Google's creative partners give YouTube their top tier ideas and bring us Sopranos type-HBO quality original programming? Or will they just take the check from YouTube and save their best for a pitch to HBO or Showtime? Recently, Ad Age raised doubts about how many of the partnering celebrities will be involved in each episode.

But just like old-school TV networks, all you need is a couple of blockbuster hits with some great storytellers in your programming schedule to cover the loses from your stiffs. YouTube has 96 shows listed for the initial launch. One good show will open the door to more top tier talent calling YouTube to pitch their ideas.

2. YouTube sports content: It's tough to compete with cable without rich sports content, given sports is a key foundation for the cable revenue model. YouTube needs an early win in the sports category. I am eager to see what the Bedrocket producers will deliver to YouTube with their strong pedigree of content execs: Brian Bedol, who created Classic Sports Network and College Sports Television and did quite well selling these properties to ESPN & CBS, has joined forces with Ken Lerer of HuffPost and his son Ben Lerer of Thrillist. They are developing a Major League Soccer show and another with Wasserman Sports Media. I'm also curious to see what Bleacher Report, Red Bull Media and Tony Hawk will deliver for the sports category.

3. YouTube kids’ content: The $15 million Disney-YouTube deal for original content is a smart move for Disney Interactive to reach kids trained to find videos on YouTube and bring that audience back to Disney.com. This is a new strategy that should help Disney.com with its recent traffic drop and Disney Interactive's loss of $300 million in revenues over the last four quarters. Plus it will be a big hit with the tech savvy moms passing their smartphones to the back seat as a digital pacifier to screaming kids. Flash back to 2008, when plenty of critics were questioning the viability of YouTube's revenue model. Nobody was predicting that Disney, the king of kid's programming, would ever need YouTube to help it expand its audience to kids.

4. Glenn Beck's ambitious experiment: Could Glenn Beck's recent move to online be the shining example on how to move your broadcast enterprise from cable to online. If he pulls off what analyst Rich Greenfield is predicting — potentially $27 million in revenues in the first year and an audience that could be more eyeballs than Oprah Winfrey's current OWN Network — then look for others either to go 100% direct and/or jump over to this new YouTube programming model.

5. International TV distribution: The current television business model has been slow to innovate to reach digital natives on a global scale. Yet international distribution is a key sector where YouTube is gaining significant traction. According to YouTube, 60% of daily video views come from users who select a language other than English — that's equal to 1.8 billion video views every day. With YouTube's audience at 13% mobile, that's 234 million daily mobile views from an international audience. Given YouTube's offering of 51 languages and localized sites in 35 countries, combined with Netflix's and Hulu's content restricted challenges to scale internationally, YouTube could be a big game changer with the right global hit.

It will be interesting to watch how the process of selling and distributing TV content globally is going to change. Especially with new international telecom players that want to pay for content to deliver to their online, IPTV and mobile customers. It will be no surprise if the current savvy executives running digital strategy at the networks become the key leaders in 3-5 years, driving international TV initiatives for the media companies.

6. Apple, iTunes and Apple TV: When will creative TV folks try to launch their new TV idea via Apple’s global app platform? Is there now a sustainable business environment for a producer with all the global rights and no restrictions to directly deliver creative programming to the 225 million iTunes accounts on iPhones and iPads in 123 countries? The idea of using a hyper-smart freemium model and maybe some gaming features to convert just 1% of this Apple base of customers to pay $0.99/month would yield a $1.5 million monthly budget to pay for production and actors. Add some targeted advertising/sponsorship to help the bottom line, and 2 million paying viewers starts to be a tipping point to compete with various cable programming that achieves 2 million eyeballs per episode. Don't forget that YouTube is training a mobile audience globally to consume video on their smartphones and tablets and feeding this growing appetite with 400 million mobile video views daily.  ("For Lovers Only" is a good example of how this direct-to-iTunes approach is working for an indie film.)

7. What about the new kids who avoid cable?: These are the digital natives coming out of college and high school who have no intention of ever being a conventional cable customer and paying more than $1,000 a year in cable bills like their parents did. Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen expressed his concern on this front last week: "Young people who move to an apartment or get a house for the first time don’t subscribe to any MVPD (cable/satellite) — they only get their video over-the-top and get their network programming from Hulu and Netflix and search until they find something they want to watch the same way we used to watch TV by changing channels. … They’re not about to pay between $70 and $92 a month — that’s a lot of money to a young person today who is getting their first job — when they can go out and watch Hulu for free and Netflix for $7.99. So it’s a threat. It’s a long-term macro trend that is a threat to our industry."

The economic challenges US households face are obviously another factor, as Craig Moffett of Bernstein Research points out: "The poor are not choosing between pay-television and Netflix's streaming service. They are choosing between pay-television and a third meal."

So where are we headed?  As one of my director friends told me this week: "TV is evolving. It’s just going to be messy at first."

For the $500+ billion global TV business, I think the messy roller coaster ride is just beginning.

Ty Braswell, founder of Creative Digital Strategies, is a consultant specializing in helping companies grow their mobile TV and mobile app revenues. Earlier this year he wrote "Why 2011 will be do-or-die for TV" for VentureBeat.

Filed under: media, mobile

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London, here we come! Our world search for entrepreneurs hits this week

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 10:00 PM PST

Are you based in the London area and think you may have the next big disruptive tech product?

Well, we’d love to meet you. London is the next city in my global search for great technology products. I'll be arriving next week to attend the Tech City UK Entrepreneurs Festival on November 17 – 19.

I’ll be arriving from my visit to Istanbul, the latest stop in VentureBeat's prowl around the globe. A similar trip to Asia will happen early next year, and South America soon after that.

We’re looking for great companies for two big reasons: First, we want to cover these companies in VentureBeat, where we have an expanding list of syndication partners that pick up our stories, from Reuters to the Washington Post. Second, we’re looking to invite the very best companies to the U.S. in April to launch at the DEMO conference in Silicon Valley, where some of the biggest tech players have launched over the past two decades.

We’ve got some momentum at DEMO. We’ve doubled the audience over the past two years, and we’ve created a scholarship program so that we can afford to bring the very best ideas regardless of their ability to pay. That, combined with the stellar audience — we invite the nation’s tech press, investors, and other tech influencers — makes it the most powerful launch event around, in my view. (BTW, Fusion-io is the latest DEMO alum success story. It launched at DEMO in 2008, went public this summer, and now has a market cap of almost $3 billion!)

While in London next week, I'll be moderating a panel of a handful of the United States' leading entrepreneurs during the "Silicon Valley Comes to the UK" portion of the event.

Afterward, VentureBeat will also be meeting privately with up to 10 local companies, offering feedback to them about their technology, business model and plans to expand. We’ll be meeting at the Excel Centre.

If you're based in London and your company is interested, please fill out this form, and we will be in touch with further details shortly.

I'm looking forward to a great trip and am excited to see what happens in London at the Entrepreneurs Festival next week!

[Image via siliconroundabout.org.uk]

Filed under: DEMO

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VBWeekly: E-readers, the death of Flash mobile, and the future of apps (video)

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 09:20 PM PST

Yes, it’s time for another installment of VBWeekly. This week we discuss, in free form, the release of the latest Android-based e-readers, the Kobo, the Kindle Fire and the Nook. We wonder if they can be considered a different class of tablets from the pricier devices, such as the iPad or Galaxy Tab.

We then pay our final respects to Flash mobile, as Adobe announced it will stop developing Flash mobile in order to put more effort into HTML5. We also drift into a discussion of how developers will start working on HTML5 instead of native apps, and if phones and tablets will become more powerful and not need to run native code.

Filed under: VentureBeat

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AMD introduces world’s first 16-core PC microprocessor

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 09:00 PM PST

In a first for the PC industry, Advanced Micro Devices introduced a microprocessor today with 16 cores, or computing brains, on a single chip.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD is the primary competitor to the world’s biggest chip maker, Intel. While AMD is a perennial underdog, it can sometimes push forward with innovations ahead of Intel, as it is claiming it has today. These new chips are aimed at giving enterprise servers better performance and power efficiency.

The company is introducing the AMD Opteron 6200 family of processors, formerly code-named Interlagos. The chips give enterprises as much as 84 percent better performance, 73 percent better memory bandwidth, and better power efficiency with half the power per core. They save about two-thirds on floor space and two-thirds on platform costs.

The aim is to get businesses into cloud computing with more agility and efficiency, said Paul Struhsaker, corporate vice president of commercial business at AMD. The new chips use AMD’s Bulldozer computing cores, which debuted earlier this year. AMD is also introducing the AMD Opteron 4200 series, formerly code-named Valencia.

Systems using the new chips will be on the market in the coming days and weeks from Acer, Cray, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others. AMD will target new embedded server processors for storage, telecommunications and networking applications. AMD’s portfolio of server processors now ranges from four cores to 16.

CloudBeat 2011CloudBeat 2011 takes place Nov 30 – Dec 1 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, CA. Unlike any other cloud events, we’ll be focusing on 12 case studies where we’ll dissect the most disruptive instances of enterprise adoption of the cloud. Speakers include: Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO of Box.net; Amit Singh VP of Enterprise at Google; Adrian Cockcroft, Director of Cloud Architecture at Netflix; Byron Sebastian, Senior VP of Platforms at Salesforce; Lew Tucker, VP & CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, and many more. Join 500 executives for two days packed with actionable lessons and networking opportunities as we define the key processes and architectures that companies must put in place in order to survive and prosper. Register here. Spaces are very limited!

Filed under: cloud, enterprise

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Sony starts selling 3D display for gamers

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:31 PM PST

Sony started selling its new 3D display for video game fans today for $500.

The 24-inch 3D display comes bundled with one pair of 3D glasses for viewing images in stereoscopic 3D. One of its cool features is that it enables players to play the same game simultaneously without the need for a split screen.

Normally, in a two-player game, the screen splits into two parts and one players looks at the top part of the screen and the second player looks at the bottom. With this screen, using the stereoscopic glasses, the screen shows one set of images to a person sitting on the left and another set of images to someone sitting on the right. Called SimulView, this technology lets both players see the images in full screen mode.

The display has a thin, light-emitting diode (LED), backlit, full high-definition liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. It uses fast sequential display technology that makes 3D viewing more realistic. The screen refreshes at a high speed — 240 hertz, meaning it flashes 240 images on the screen in a single second.

The display comes with 3D glasses and a copy of the MotorStorm Apocalypse 3D game on Blu-ray disc. It has three HD inputs (two HDMI and one component) so you can hook up a PlayStation 3, cable TV box and PC all at the same time. It has built-in speakers and a subwoofer. The glasses come with a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and an extra pair of glasses will cost $70.

Filed under: games

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Kobo announces $99 e-reader with ads, taking on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:16 PM PST

There’s yet another $99 touch e-reader joining the fray this holiday shopping season. Kobo has announced its $99 Kobo Touch with Offers, which is the same device as a regular $130 Kobo Touch, but the screen will display ads when it is in sleep mode or turned off, as well as in what the company mysteriously refers to as “discreet places.”

The 6-inch e-reader will be a direct competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Touch with Special Offers and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch. All three are $99 e-ink touch devices with 6-inch screens that display content in 16 levels of grey. Sony also has an e-ink product, the $130 Sony Reader Digital Book, and Amazon carries the $79 Kindle, which doesn’t have touch navigation.

Because the hardware is so similar, consumers may end up choosing between the products based on their familiarity with the content ecosystems. The Kindle benefits from its association with Amazon’s giant collection of e-books. The Nook has the Barnes & Noble name and library in its corner. Barnes & Noble is also hoping its new free, in-store customer service centers will appeal to gadget lovers used to Apple’s Genius Bar.

Kobo, however, isn’t as well-known of a name in the U.S., even though it has deals with large book chains in Canada and Europe. Just last week, the Canada-based e-reader manufacturer was acquired for $315 million in cash by Rakuten, the largest online shopping mall operator in Japan, which may help the reader become an international hit. As for this season’s e-reader wars in the U.S., it’s still a scrappy underdog.

The Kobo Touch does offer a few unique features. It can support more file formats than the competition, including HTML, RTF and various image files. And its “Reading Life” feature gives you awards for reading and collects stats on your reading habits.

The Kobo Touch with Offers is only available in black and to customers in the U.S.

Kobo, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are also battling it out on the 7-inch Android tablet front, with similarly featured and priced devices. For a look at how those tablets compare, check out this chart.

Filed under: media, VentureBeat

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How pattern matching can work for minority entrepreneurs

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 06:00 PM PST

Editor’s note: CNN’s upcoming documentary, Black in America 4, has sparked a heated discussion about race in the tech industry. VentureBeat has asked several black entrepreneurs to contribute their opinions prior to the airing of the show on Sunday November 13. Read the rest of VentureBeat’s stories on diversity in tech.

There has been a lot of chatter lately about race in Silicon Valley on the heels of CNN's release of a few choice interview snippets with Michael Arrington (from an upcoming documentary on black entrepreneurs). The aftermath has included a Twitter storm of comments, a defensive and yet antagonistic post from Arrington, a rebuttal from CNN's host Soledad O'Brien and numerous opinion pieces from tech media. Last week, Black Founders held a prescreening of the full documentary followed by panel discussion by black tech entrepreneurs in the valley.

One of the main threads of all this ensuing conversation has been the role that “pattern matching” plays in who the venture capitalist community chooses to fund. Pattern matching is a simple approach used by VCs, who see hundreds of companies a year and naturally evaluate startups and entrepreneurs based on what has worked before.

The CNN piece has driven the conversation to focus on one particular pattern that investors appear to favor: the 20-something-year-old Stanford or Harvard drop-out with a big idea, who more often than not happens to be white.

This isn't a new pattern. It was around well before Mark Zuckerberg. So, is it an indicator of racial preference if an investor frequently funds companies that fit this "Ivy-league drop out, twenty-something" pattern? Honestly, I've been there and I don't think so.

When I was 20 I dropped out of Stanford with two classmates to start a company. Even though we were minorities, we had zero trouble attracting press, funding, and experienced talent. At every event we attended, people lined up to find out what the next big thing coming out of Stanford after Google was going to be.

Sure, we matched the pattern, but that was 1999 and we all know what happened two years later: After the dot-com bust, the three of us went back to Stanford and finished our degrees.

But what if you're not a 20-year-old Stanford dropout? There are plenty of other patterns that VCs use when evaluating companies and the good news is most of them are patterns that you–as an entrepreneur–have control of.

I firmly believe that if we want to see more minority entrepreneurs in the tech community, we as black entrepreneurs should focus on the things we can change and help each other achieve those.

Here are a few key attributes that investors look for that you can directly affect.

  • Market: Are you serving a large enough market to make the VC lick his chops? Can you build a 100 million dollar company in your space? If the math doesn't make sense for the investor you will never get past the introduction.
  • Team DNA: Do you have domain expertise on your core team? If not, do you have big time advisors from name brand companies? Is this the right team to win?
  • Product/market fit: Does your product have traction? Is it increasing exponentially? Do your cohorts of users show increasing engagement month after month?
  • Great business model: How are you going to make money? I'm talking specifics here. "We are going to sell ads" is not an answer. It's not that selling ads is a bad business model, it's that you need to know the ad play inside and out. How much can you sell ads for, how does it scale, who will advertise on your product and how will you attract them?
  • Distribution model: How are you going to get users? Again, you need to get specific. You need to understand your distribution channels a few levels deeper than your potential investor does. Show them that you ask the right questions. When a VC pushes back with "I don't think that's going to work," do you get quiet? Or do you respond with, "Yes, I've heard that before, but here are the data from three months of testing. Let me walk you through it"?

The bottom line is that many of the patterns investors are looking for are key elements that characterize a great business before it becomes one. At the end of the day, a smart investor (the one you want investing in your company) will place more value in the collective strength of the patterns represented in your business plan than your age, academic background or the strength of your network.

Are there investors out there that will pre-judge you based on ethnicity or gender? Absolutely. But we aren't going to change their minds, so let's not waste our time being upset by peripheral, non-business pattern-matching.

Instead, let's focus on the patterns we can build into our startup proposals. By working together, perhaps we can make these old patterns increasingly irrelevant — and start making a few new patterns of our own.

Ameen Saafir is CEO and founder of Interactive Touch, Inc., a free online platform that allows anyone to create and then publish interactive children’s content to iPad/iPhone via the Interactive Touch Books App. Formerly a senior engineer at Dupont and Samsung, Ameen is an expert in organic LED flat screen displays. He cofounded his first startup, Getinventory, in 1999 while at Stanford University.  You can follow him on Twitter as @ameensaafir.

Filed under: Entrepreneur Corner, VentureBeat

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Google TV and LG may unveil a new TV in January

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 02:50 PM PST

Google is said to be giving its Google TV operating system another push. The search giant is teaming up with manufacturer LG on a new television that will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, according to a new Bloomberg report.

The partnership with LG comes right after Google TV’s effort with Logitech crumbled. In Dec. 2010, Logitech released the Logitech Revue set-top box running Google TV. The product performed poorly, and just last week Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca called the device a mistake, saying it cost the company $100 million in operating profits. Google TV still has a ongoing partnership with Sony.

The Google TV OS attempts to bring the wealth of video content on the Internet to traditional TVs. It is still a work in progress. In late October, Google announced an update for Google TV, featuring a simplified user interface, better search functions and more emphasis on its YouTube features. It also opened the platform to Android developers.

In the Oct. blog post announcing the Google TV update, Google hinted at new partnerships: “We look forward in the coming months to announcing new software updates as well as new devices on new chipsets from multiple hardware partners.


Filed under: media, VentureBeat

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