23 April, 2012



Intel launches Ivy Bridge with 37 percent faster processing capabilities

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 09:44 AM PDT

Intel Ivy Bridge LaunchThe long-awaited next generation of Intel processors have arrived. Intel announced its 22 nanometer processors, coded-named Ivy Bridge, at a press conference Monday.

We all knew Ivy Bridge would be fast, but these new processors are about 37 percent faster than Intel’s previous offerings. Intel also says the third-generation Core chips operate with 50 percent less energy than Sandy Bridge, the code name for the previous generation of processors.

“[Ivy Bridge is] 20 percent better performance on multithreaded applications, two times better 3D graphics, and twice as fast media processing, compared to the previous generation,” said Intel corporate vice president Kirk Skaugen at a press conference in San Francisco.

“I’m here to say that Moore’s Law is alive and well,” Skaugen said.

The new chips boast a 22 nanometer transistor design, in contrast to Intel’s Sandy Bridge, which has 32 nanometer transistors. The higher density chips mean computers with Ivy Bridge chips will be faster and will handle media playback much better than before. Ivy Bridge is the first chip to support USB 3.0 and incorporate 3D transistors.

What will catch many gamers’ and video editors’ eyes is the integrated graphics processing unit, which will make editing videos faster and game play sharper. One-third of the chips’ estimated 1.4 billion transistors are contained within the GPU.

Previous computer chips had a flat transistor design, but Ivy Bridge employs tri-gate designs, in which the microscopic transistors contain a small, raised “fin,” enabling greater density of transistors on the chip and also facilitating lower power consumption. The raised nature of the chip has led to Ivy Bridge’s “3D” moniker. Intel has been working on tri-gate technology since 2001, and made a splash when it announced the new transistor in 2011, but this is the first family of chips to contain the new type of transistor.

“Even back [in 2001] we realized the planar structure would run out of steam,” said Mark Bohr, an Intel senior fellow who led the development of tri-gate transistors.

Despite a marketing campaign that Intel started at the Consumer Electronics Show in early 2012, the new chips won’t be immediately available for Ultrabooks, powerful and thin PC laptops that would compete with the MacBook Air. Instead, they will be used in Intel’s Core i7 and Core i5 quad-core processors for desktop and laptops first.

Intel said that manufacturers are planning more than 270 desktop and all-in-one models and 300 laptops based on the new processors.

We will be updating this post as we get more information at the Intel press conference in San Francisco. 

Filed under: VentureBeat

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With Yahoo lawsuit looming and IPO coming soon, Facebook buys $550M in patents from Microsoft (AOL)

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 09:10 AM PDT

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer showing off Facebook feature

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Facebook is paying Microsoft $550 million for access to 650 patents, All Things Digital’s Ina Fried reports. Facebook is facing a patent lawsuit from Yahoo and is expected to IPO in May 17th.

It appears that a number of these patents come from the $1 billion in intellectual property that Microsoft purchased from AOL earlier this month. As the patent wars heat up, these things are changing hands like hotcakes. Microsoft has issued this press release:

REDMOND, Wash. and MENLO PARK, Calif. — April 23, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. and Facebook announced today a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will assign to Facebook the right to purchase a portion of the patent portfolio it recently agreed to acquire from AOL Inc. Facebook has agreed to purchase this portion for $550 million in cash.

In the initial AOL auction, Microsoft secured the ability to own or assign approximately 925 U.S. patents and patent applications plus a license to AOL's remaining patent portfolio, which contains approximately 300 additional patents that were not for sale.As a result of today's agreement, Facebook will obtain ownership of approximately 650 AOL patents and patent applications, plus a license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase and own.

Upon closing of this transaction with Facebook, Microsoft will retain ownership of approximately 275 AOL patents and applications; a license to the approximately 650 AOL patents and applications that will now be owned by Facebook; and a license to approximately 300 patents that AOL did not sell in its auction.

"Today's agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction," said Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel, Microsoft. "As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio."

"Today's agreement with Microsoft represents an important acquisition for Facebook," said Ted Ullyot, general counsel, Facebook. "This is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook's interests over the long term."The parties are evaluating the accounting treatment for these transactions. These transactions are also subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.

Filed under: social

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Cisco CloudVerse opens a new world of cloud computing possibilities

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 09:00 AM PDT

This sponsored post is brought to you by Cisco.
As always, VentureBeat is adamant about maintaining editorial objectivity.

For businesses that wish to embrace cloud technology in order to simplify their operations, provide a forum for project collaboration, and operate on a secure platform, the Cisco CloudVerse aims to meet those needs. One might say it allows businesses to go from partly cloudy to the Cisco CloudVerse.

In the spirit of its strong history of providing network solutions, Cisco's cloud technology unifies and optimizes computing, storage, and networking resources to meet the needs of its users. CloudVerse works by bringing together the intelligence of the network, the power of the data center, business applications, and cloud enablement services optimized for the network.

No matter what type of device a user is on, how many users are collaborating at once, or the number of clouds involved, CloudVerse ensures that all data will remain safe and secure. The system relies on scalable policies, and can be securely and quickly modified to meet the needs of different customers or applications.

Head to www.cisco.com/go/cloud to learn more about Cisco CloudVerse.

Filed under: cloud, VentureBeat

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Ad analytics startup Moat grabs $12M from Mayfield Fund, others

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 08:37 AM PDT


Ad tech startup Moat has attracted $12 million in a second round of funding aimed to help brands better measure the effectiveness of their online ads, the company announced today.

Moat thus far has been used by more than 15,000 businesses for its display ad search, which lets you where brands place recent ads on the web. For example, above you can see a search for Barack Obama to see where the President’s re-election team is placing ads. Next up, the company will harness all the data it is collecting online to launch a “patent-pending analytics platform to enable brand advertisers and publishers to move beyond the "click" as the primary success metric for online ad campaigns.”

The new funding round was led Mayfield Fund, with participation from prior investors including SV Angel, Founders Fund, Lerer Ventures, Vast Ventures, Founder Collective, and First Round Capital. Mayfield partner Tim Chang will join Moat’s board.

"Mayfield is thrilled to be partnering with the Moat team to build the leading brand intelligence and analytics SaaS company for the advertising industry,” said Chang, in a statement. “Unlike typical adtech startups that are ad networks, arbitrage plays or tech layer abstractions, Moat is uniquely positioned as a SaaS category leader in the space, and has the broader potential to evolve the whole industry beyond the obsolete and incomplete metric of ‘clicks’ — this is a much bigger prize at stake here that we’re playing for.”

New York-based Moat previously raised $4.5 million, bringing the firm’s total funding to $16.5 million. The new funds will got toward expanding its team and the scope of its technology.

Check out Moat being discussed as a way to find and analyze ad placement on PBS Newshour below (at 4:38):

Filed under: deals, media

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The trouble with NFC: it needs cooperation to succeed

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 08:30 AM PDT

Gartner recently reported that more than 200 million near field communication (NFC) enabled handsets will enter the marketplace by the end of 2012. While this is encouraging news for the evolution of contactless payments and the mobile wallet, it's only one piece of the puzzle.

In order for the technology to establish a foothold, it will need some long term cooperation between the four 'pillars' of the market. This will include NFC device developers, the payment platforms they run on, the merchants that enable them and the consumers who ultimately must have confidence in them. Three of those can be tracked. The fourth, consumer confidence, will be harder to gauge and ultimately define the evolution of contactless transactions in the United States.

While significant growth in the number of consumers with NFC-enabled devices is positive, the increase is irrelevant if there is nowhere to use the technology. Merchants will have to invest in point-of- sale equipment upgrades to enable contactless payments. At a minimum, this will require attachments for existing equipment and many merchants will have to install completely new payment readers. Additional enhancements to merchant networks and point of sale systems may be required to allow consumers to make use of mobile wallet functionality. A variety of merchants (McDonalds, Duane Reade) are on the leading edge of contactless payments.  Assuming the market continues to evolve, those 'first to market' providers will have an inherent advantage.

A proliferation of NFC-enabled devices in the market and merchants set up for contactless payments are both key components to the evolution of the contactless space. However, an equally important third piece of the puzzle is the platform itself.

Card issuers and their associated networks, also known as the payment card industry, have invested large amounts of time and money to enable contactless payments. Companies such as Isis are working to provide depth to the contactless market though the introduction of a mobile wallet. Those companies are betting that enabling consumers to make payments, receive and redeem offers, and manage loyalty programs via their mobile device will be attractive enough to replace the wallet and credit cards.

Similarly, companies such as Isis are betting that the ancillary benefits of mobile payments (loyalty programs, coupons and daily deals) will be enough to encourage merchants to adopt the technology. Chief among the incentives will be the ability to better connect with potential customers.

Of the four contactless payment pillars, the three already noted have a measure of predictability and can be tracked. The fourth, and perhaps most critical component of contactless evolution, will be consumer confidence. Companies investing the time and money to enable a new method of payment are making the assumption that U.S. consumers are ready to accept the security of contactless transactions.

This acceptance will be the most difficult issue to measure, but will ultimately dictate the pace at which contactless transactions are adopted.  The early stages of internet commerce were impacted by security concerns and these same concerns will shadow the evolution of mobile commerce.

As the contactless marketplace evolves, stories will continue to appear that focus on individual elements of the overall picture. While relevant, it is important to maintain focus on the related components that define the space.  All will play an equal part in determining the speed at which the market evolves and the success of migrating consumers to a new commerce format.

Terry Flanagan is a partner at Navint Partners, a Chicago-based management consulting firm specializing in change management. Terry has worked with some of the earliest adopters of mobile payments in implementing mobile payment strategies and infrastructure.

NFC payment photo via Shutterstock

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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Google’s AdWords for Video could make YouTube ridiculously profitable

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 08:17 AM PDT

AdWords for Video

Google has rolled out a version of its successful keyword search advertising service AdWords for Video, the company announced on the YouTube blog Yesterday.

AdWords for Video is essentially Google’s attempt to take on the video advertising world by taking advantage of the 800 million monthly visitors to YouTube. The company claims that YouTube video ads can drive a 20 percent increase in traffic to an advertisers website and a five percent increase in searches. And with Google’s $100 million commitment to transform YouTube into a place for premium, long-form video content, the new service could really take off.

As for the service itself, it’s similar to the search ads, where you pay for clicks and set budgets with bids, but advertisers only pay for video ads when users choose to watch it. Campaigns will be accessible through the same panel used for search and display ad campaigns, which is nice for both ROI and promotion coordination purposes.

To help get the new service off to a good start, Google is offering $50 million in free advertising, or a $75 video ad campaign credit for about 500,000 businesses.

The company has released a demo video of the new AdWords for Video service below. If you’ve used the new service, let us know about your experience in the comment section.

Image via Google

Filed under: media, VentureBeat

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As it expands across the nation, ZocDoc stays laser focused on its lean business model

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 08:16 AM PDT

ZocDoc office - photo by Ben Popper

When Goldman Sachs invests in your startup, you know you’re onto something. ZocDoc, a startup that makes it easy to book doctor’s appointments, is one of the big success stories in New York, expanding rapidly to cities across the country and brandishing a real deal business model in which doctors pay to be listed on its network. Last week it launched in Detroit, its 17th U.S.market.

We stopped by ZocDoc’s Broadway office to chat with CEO and founder Cyrus Massoumi. We asked if ZocDoc had plans for all its great data. Massoumi shook his head. He says that, despite numerous inquires and invitations, ZocDoc has no plans to expand their business model right now. “We have one of the best lists of practicing physicians in the country right now. That is an incredibly valuable rolodex, and people are always asking us to partner with them on that data. But we believe our success comes from our single minded focus, and we’re sticking to that.”

When we asked about international expansion, Massoumi again shook his head. “There is plenty of demand in America. Right now there is already a crisis in terms of the number of available primary care doctors. Think about what will happen if the new healthcare laws go into effect, and 30 million new patients have insurance. Our mission is to make sure everyone in America can find a doctor quickly and easily, and we think there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Copycats are coming into the space. There are director competitors like Register Patient and spinoffs like Zeel, the ZocDoc for alternative medicine, that just raised a new round of funding and has expanded to 11 cities.

ZocDoc is expanding to new specialities and rapidly moving to new cities. “We crowdsource our expansion,” says Massoumi. “Patients and doctors who go to our site but don’t have service can vote to bring ZocDoc to their town. When we see enough demand, we move in.”

And of course, ZocDoc is going mobile to keep up with the shift to tablets and smartphones. “I tore my meniscus at the airport recently, getting in on a redeye at 2am,” says Massoumi. “I pulled up ZocDoc on my phone while waiting at the baggage claim and had an appointment with a specialist for 9am that same morning.”

Filed under: VentureBeat

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Should HTC get in the low-end mobile processor business?

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 08:13 AM PDT

HTC One S for T-Mobile

T-Mobile's HTC One S

Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC has its eyes on the low-end mobile market, and it’s pushing forward with plans to develop its own low-cost mobile CPU together with ST-Ericsson, reports China Times.

While Apple and Samsung have high-end smartphone chips of their own, HTC would be taking completely the opposite approach with a low-end chip. The company, which is taking a beating in earnings, needs something beyond Android superphones to stay alive, especially since it looks like Samsung will dominate the high-end for some time. Building its own chips would give HTC a leg-up when it comes to making low-end Android devices, which seems to be an ever-increasing market for the platform.

When asked for comment, HTC said it wouldn’t comment on rumors or speculation.

According to the report, HTC has already signed a cooperation deal with ST-Ericsson (a joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson), and it has plans to start shipping devices featuring the new chip in 2013. The move may be partially in response to HTC’s growing issues with Qualcomm, as Unwired Review points out.

The question remains, is this a good idea for HTC? Even Nokia, traditionally a leader in low-end mobile devices, is now facing severe competition from Chinese manufacturers. HTC has never really paid much attention to the low-end market, so this would be entirely new territory for the company as well.

Now that HTC is less focused on pushing out countless phones, and more concerned about quality devices like the One series (check out our glowing review of the One S on T-Mobile), it makes sense for the company to take a closer look at cheaper devices. There’s plenty of room for innovation at the low end, and HTC can’t afford to let other manufacturers dominate cheaper devices either.

And honestly, it’s much smarter for HTC to invest in its own mobile processor, instead of silly investments like its recent $300 million stake in Beats Audio. The company needs to focus more on building quality devices and differentiating itself from competitors, instead of useless marketing gimmicks.

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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Ben Sawyer on how Games for Health will lead to “human joysticks” (interview)

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 08:00 AM PDT

Ben Sawyer is the co-founder of game-consulting firm Digitalmill and one of the pioneers in the field of Games for Health. He founded the Serious Games Initiative a decade ago as part of a U.S. government research effort into how games can accomplish useful ends beyond fun. In 2004, he also co-founded the Games for Health project, which seeks to use games to improve the state of health. The Games for Health project receives major funding from the Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

His career is built on the notion that video games can achieve good in the world beyond entertainment. Sawyer has worked on games such as the university simulation Virtual U as well as projects for Cisco, DARPA, ONR, Leimandt Foundation, Cadbury, USAID, Lockheed Martin, and several other Fortune 500 organizations. But many games that inspire people to do good or get off the couch and exercise have now gone far beyond government contracts into the mainstream of gaming. It started with the success of the Nintendo Wii in 2006 and has morphed into sensor-based health devices that we carry around with us.

We interviewed Sawyer in advance of this year’s Games for Health conference, which will be held June 12-14 in Boston. Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.

GamesBeat: So tell us what is the latest in the Games for Health movement?

Ben Sawyer: We’re working on a new strategy for the general Games for Health field that we’ll be working on all summer and then unveiling in the fall. It represents looking at everything we’ve done over the last seven years, especially a lot of the conference material. We’re constantly using the conference as a means of trying to understand where we think things are headed or where we think they should head. So we’ve got a lot going on in terms of various health-game activity.

The conference this year is looking pretty strong. The lead keynote is going to be Microsoft’s director of health [Bill Crounse, a doctor and senior director of worldwide health for Microsoft]. He’s not necessarily working every day on Xbox, Kinect, and stuff like that. But Microsoft is now broadening and looking at Xbox and Kinect as larger ecosystems. People on the health side are hacking and doing things with Kinect.

Microsoft is a player in traditional health information technology, with products like HealthVault and general Windows platform. So it’s going to be interesting to see the perspective of someone who is looking at things from both lenses — the entertainment side as well as the traditional health information technology side. I’ve always said that if anybody was going to really put together that kind of ecosystem, it was probably going to be Microsoft. Unlike the other players in video games, Microsoft has an established enterprise group. It’ll be interesting to see his perspective on where he sees things going.

If you look at Sony’s recent announcement about their restructuring, they’ve really highlighted health as an area that they intend to get involved in. So you may see Sony start to think more about building up its health IT side or what it considers a health products group. That may foreshadow deeper activity. I can’t say much about it because it’s hard to tell, right? Sony’s going through so much. They highlighted health as an area that they see as something that they’re going to move forward more aggressively with.

And then Nintendo, they’ve done quite a bit because of the nature of the Wii system, but they don’t really have that health IT infrastructure, nor would I ever expect Nintendo to do those things. I’m excited about what Microsoft might say. Last year, we had Google’s health strategist with us. We’re starting to see a broader group of industry leaders and health IT start to pay more attention to games.

GamesBeat: I’ve seen a lot of these Silicon Valley startups get into the health picture, with all of their different step counters and armbands.

Sawyer: Last year, we added a sensor day because of that, and this year we’re calling it sensors and gamification because the two seem to be somewhat tied hand in hand. And then I’ve been working on some of this privately myself. I am very, very interested in what’s going on there. What we see happening that I think is interesting is this whole rise of biometric sensors in games. The first biometric sensor that most people probably interacted with the most would be like an accelerometer in a Wii controller, or you could take a visual sensor in terms of what Kinect and Sony’s Move are doing.

But the real, soon-to-be-maybe explosion of things would be wearable mobile sensors. Those include two big groups. One would be the pedometer, gyroscope, GPS that’s on every viable smartphone these days. That would be what I would call a built-in sensor on the most ubiquitous mobile platforms: mobile phones. But then you’re also starting to see these things like Jawbone UP, Nike Fuel, Adidas miCoach, Fitbit, and BodyMedia. There’s a good half-dozen major and then probably another half-dozen smaller players, like Strive and others, coming about.

There’s sort of two distinctions. They’re either offering a high-end sensor capability, like in the case of BodyMedia. The next big thing will be heart rate. But then, on the other side, what they are trying to move toward is this ubiquitous, always-on, totally dedicated accelerometer to track movement and specifically steps. That’s the most common form.

Now the question then is: How do you then hook these things up into applications that offer some level of motivation, framing, or other forms of interaction that rewards someone beyond your own personal interest in counting your steps? Is there something more enticing? That’s where the games side comes in, and you’re seeing everything from simple things we were showing two or three years ago, like Horsepower Challenge from Humana, to more complicated interesting ideas around what Will Wright and others at the Stupid Fun Club call “integrated gaming.”

With this idea, we take all of our data sources and turn them into feeds that can be integrated or turned into some sort of gameplay. It’s got tremendous upside. We’re going to see a lot of false starts: things that seem like they get at it but are dead ends. But I think over time, especially as more game developers get involved, I think you’re going to see what I consider the rise of the human joystick, where you yourself will know that certain physical behaviors are talking passively through these bracelets or watches or things in your pocket to the Internet, and by virtue of doing that, they’re talking to a game or multiple games that you’ve decided to share that input with. A perfect example of it might be: You know that if you manage to walk at least a thousand contiguous steps between, say, 9 a.m. in the morning and 5 p.m. in the evening, then you get a reward.

Then the next question is, well, what does that human controller do? Does it generate a reward or does it generate a move of some sort? Once you get into that sort of element, then it really becomes compatible with a lot of different types of games. Eventually, I think that these two worlds of games that we’re playing now and physical activity will merge in ways that we hadn’t thought about before. But as you can expect, those rewards are a real big deal, not just in games but in health these days. Rewards are going to play a role.

Filed under: games, gbunfiltered

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Ahead of Google Drive launch, Dropbox makes sharing incredibly easy with links

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 07:18 AM PDT


Just ahead of Google’s upcoming Drive launch, cloud storage powerhouse Dropbox has released a powerful new tool that lets you share files and folders using links, the company announced today.

The cloud storage landscape is about to take a sharp turn with Google about to enter the space, so it makes sense for Dropbox to up its feature set before Drive’s launch. Dropbox recently redesigned its website and main interface. But with the new sharing feature, it becomes drastically more simple to share files and folders. Now, instead of having to share an entire folder with someone from them to access your content, you can simply share a link so friends and family can see your content with less hassle.

“Anyone with the link gets access to a snazzy page where they can view (but not edit) your stuff,” Jon Ying, Dropbox designer and community manager, wrote on the company blog. “Our gallery pages give your photos, videos, and even docs the gorgeous, full-browser view they deserve. This means that people who follow your link can see pictures, look at presentations, and watch home videos without having to download and open them separately. But just in case a friend wants to save that picture or PDF for later, they can choose to either download it or save it straight to their Dropbox.”

Some of the most obvious use cases for the new feature will be the ability to share photos with family and friends or share your small business’ non-sensitive files with clients.

San Francisco-based Dropbox has raised around $257 million in funding to date, with the majority of that coming from its massive $250 million round last October. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greylock Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, RIT Capital Partners, Valiant Capital Partners, and Hadi and Ali Partovi. It also counts Bono and The Edge from U2 as investors.

Filed under: cloud

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Samsung tries to whip up Galaxy S III excitement with terrible teaser ad

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 06:41 AM PDT

Here’s the thing Samsung, techies are already eagerly awaiting the Galaxy S III, so what’s the point of creating a boring teaser ad?

Samsung is in high-gear in advance of its May 3 event, where it’s expected to announce its new flagship Galaxy S III smartphone. The company yesterday launched a countdown site for the device’s London unveiling, and today it released a short, overly-dramatic teaser video.

Unfortunately for Samsung, the teaser feels more like a parody of dramatic technology ads, rather than something that will legitimately excite consumers. It’s filled with nonsensical lines like, “Truly smart technology becomes a part of natural life,” a faux-Hollywood soundtrack, and the inevitable comparison of iPhone owners to mindless sheep. The company would have been better off just teasing interesting angles of the actual device, rather than making the Galaxy S III seem like a Summer blockbuster film.

A leaked video of what could be the Galaxy S III indicates that the Android 4.0 device will feature a dual-core 1.4 gigahertz processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM, a 4.6-inch screen with a 1184 by 720 resolution, an 8 megapixel camera, and  a massive 2,050 mAh battery.

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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NimbleTV aims to succeed where Comcast and Time Warner failed with a TV anywhere platform

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 04:27 AM PDT

aereoEarlier this year we reported quite a bit on Aereo, a New York startup that offers customers the ability to watch network TV (the free stuff you get over rabbit ears) on any internet connected device. They are now embroiled in a court battle with the big networks.

Today another Silicon Alley startup, NimbleTV, announced that it is bringing customers TV on any internet connected device, but the pitch is a little different. Nimble is much closer to “TV Anywhere” the service from the cable companies which never really took off, that allows users to get their favorite programming on any internet connected device, at any time, so long as they can prove they are paying cable customers.

Individuals can start signing up for the private beta today, and it sounds like Nimble wants to avoid the legal wrangling that Aereo embraced. “Our model is predicated on the belief that providers and content producers should be paid. NimbleTV is a solution that's both consumer friendly and industry friendly,” said CEO Anand Subramanian.

It’s not entirely clear how integrated this offering is with existing cable plans. According to the release:

NimbleTV sets customers up with their own subscription agreements with TV providers that NimbleTV supports. Customers make payments directly to their providers with NimbleTV acting as a payment service. In addition to local coverage, NimbleTV includes all cable channels, depending on which package a customer selects. The service has more than 10,000 hours of digital recording. There is no box to buy or equipment to set up. NimbleTV has built-in social features that enable customers to easily follow and record what their friends like to watch on TV. It also plans to offer the service internationally. 

The TV Anywhere put forth by Time Warner and Comcast three years has been bogged down with technical foul ups and contractual hurdles. Nimble seems to be aiming for that vacuum. Consumers are clearly moving to a time-shifted, smartphone and tablet world, where they want to watch what they like, when they like. Whether Nimble can succeed where the big boys failed remains to be seen.

Filed under: media, mobile

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ScienceLogic nabs $15M from Intel Capital to grow its cloud-based enterprise services

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 12:23 AM PDT

Dave Link & John Becker-ScienceLogic

ScienceLogic, an IT cloud services startup, has raised a new $15 million round of funding, the company announced today.

The startup provides a set of services that are intended to work across a variety of data center and cloud environments, regardless of how old a company’s current systems are. ScienceLogic’s cloud-based platform integrates the core IT infrastructure management functions, including systems, performance, network, service, event, and more. Its clients can adapt the service with its own branding, and can monitor all portions of the system from a centralized dashboard.

Along with the new funding, ScienceLogic also announced that it has appointed John Becker as its new CEO, while previous CEO and company co-founder David Link will remain as chairman of the board.

ScienceLogic will use the new capital for global sales expansion, marketing its service, and further development of its technology. The new round of funding was led by Intel Capital, with participation from previous investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA). The Reston, Virginia-based startup has raise a total of $30 million in funding to date.

Photo of David Link and John Becker via ScienceLogic

Filed under: cloud, deals, VentureBeat

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Adobe reveals more CS6 & Creative Cloud details ahead of Monday’s event

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 10:10 PM PDT

Adobe CS6 -1

Adobe revealed new details today about the latest versions of its ultra popular line of design software, Creative Suite 6, which features speed improvements, user interface updates, and an emphasis on working in the cloud.

In addition to a worth new version of the company’s staple program Photoshop, the CS6 pack includes upgrades to Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash Pro, Fireworks, Premiere Pro, AfterEffects and others. The production-focused package also contains two new post-production video programs, Prelude and Speed Grade. And speaking of specific software packages, CS6 will offer four versions with each one offering a bit more than the lower tier (see image below).

Adobe is touting increased speed and performance through its Mercury technology, something that all users will certainly enjoy. Many of the programs will also get a revised, “modern” user interface as well as some re-imagined design tools. VentureBeat’s Sean Ludwig pointed to Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Patch tool being sort of like a cross between the clone stamp and CS5′s content-aware tool.

But as Adobe admitted in its CS6 briefing, the company has more or less topped out when it comes to offering the optimum software for people to design and remain creative. That’s why Adobe is pushing its services toward two main new fronts. The first of these is the cloud, which Adobe will offer to users in the form of its Creative Cloud subscription service.

As we previously reported, Creative Cloud promises access to the latest version of Creative Suite software, Lightroom 4, Muse, Edge, touch applications, and 20GB of cloud storage with syncing options. The service has a $50 per month price tag, with a required one-year contract. Although, Adobe plans to offer an education version for students and teachers, as well as a month-to-month option of people who only need short-term access.

The second front that Adobe is trying to advance its products with is education, which its hoping can be much more palatable under the Creative Cloud service. The basic idea is to have people with different talent backgrounds not feel nervous about going outside their comfort zone. For instance, designer hosting, building, and launching web sites.

We should know more about both CS6 and Creative Cloud at Adobe’s event April 23 event.

Screenshots via Adobe

Filed under: cloud, VentureBeat

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Skype finally moves out of beta on Windows Phone

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 04:25 PM PDT

Microsoft has released version 1.0 of Skype for Windows Phone, thus fulfilling a promise the company made at Mobile World Congress to move the app out of beta by April.

The new version includes a new feature that lets you search your contacts and add them on Skype. Other improvements include the ability to call landline phone numbers, a quicker boot time, and other bug fixes. It also includes all the Skype basics such as audio and video calls over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi, and group messaging.

However, you still can’t receive Skype calls while the app isn’t running on your phone. Apparently this is because of limitations within the Windows Phone OS and Skype, according to Microsoft. Hopefully this will change with the release of Windows Phone 8. This kind of functionality could really be a key selling point for Microsoft to gain some footing over Android phones.

You can download the latest version of Skype for Windows Phone on the official site. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Via The Verge

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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Samsung teases Galaxy S III with new countdown site

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 11:29 AM PDT

Samsung Galaxy S III countdown

Samsung has started teasing the Galaxy S III, the next version of the company’s popular Android-based Galaxy S line of smartphones.

This morning the company’s mobile division tweeted a two-word message “Destination: tgeltaayehxnx” — an anagram for “The Next Galaxy.” The Verge discovered that tgeltaayehxnx.com actually points to a website that features a countdown clock that teases that “You can take the next step in…” about 16 hours , or Monday morning.

Other than the May 3 event Samsung has scheduled in London, we don’t know a lot about the new Galaxy phone. It’s doubtful that the company will reveal the full specifications for the device on Monday, but we might get the first shots of the phone as well as a short video teaser.

A leaked video of what could be the Galaxy S III indicates that the device will feature a dual-core 1.4 gigahertz processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM, a 4.6-inch screen with a 1184 by 720 resolution, an 8 megapixel camera, and  a massive 2,050 mAh battery,  as VentureBeat’s Devindra Hardawar reported last week.

Check back with us on Monday for full coverage of Samsung’s teaser announcement.

Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat

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