Stories for Apr. 14, 2014
On The Web

The Verge published an indepth expose on eccentric energy and computing entrepreneur Mike Cheiky and how he’s been able to convince Valley venture capitalists to invest in his companies, despite some early questionable scientific claims. Cool Planet announced last month that it raised another $100 million (from folks like Google Ventures, BP, UBS, Goldman Sachs and others), and to which my response on Twitter was “I thought this was an April Fools joke, but looks like not.” The companies that Cheiky has founded have distanced themselves from him, and some have changed directions and business models. But the energy industry is particularly susceptible to what I once called “snake oil energy salesmen and green bamboozlers.”

Cool Planet 3

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In Brief

cortana says hi

After seeing Windows Phone 8.1 shown off earlier this month, developers can now get their hands on the software. Engadget saw that Microsoft released the update on Monday for any Windows Phone 8 device. While the software is meant for those who make Windows Phone applications, anyone can technically download and install it either by registering as developer for $19, register for free using Microsoft’s App Studio software or follow a process to developer unlock their handset.  The new software includes Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-centric assistant, personalization tools and support for Universal Windows Apps to name a few functions.

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Stories for Apr. 13, 2014

open source

Ever-popular among developers, open source technology has moved away from the fringes of tech right to the center of the enterprise, thanks to its high level of security and agility. Read more »

Stories for Apr. 12, 2014

Recently, Google and Amazon enhanced their networking options, getting a potential leg up in the four-way performance competition between cloud providers. But how do they compare with Rackspace and Softlayer? David Mytton puts all four through their paces to see which service really comes out ahead. Read more »

Video data holds a treasure trove of marketing data, yet few companies know how to gather and analyze that data in a smart way. Now that the tools are available and more accessible, more companies can analyze this data to better understand their sales and marketing numbers. Read more »

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photo: GigaOM

After contributing to standards organizations for more than seven years, engineer Vidya Narayanan decided it was time to move on. Although she still believes that these organizations make the Internet a better place, she wonders about the pace of change versus the pace of organizations. Read more »

Weekend Plans

New Gilded age, return of the Mad Men, David Letterman’s last great moment, Kevin Kelly, Bill Gross, fraught life of a Raiderette and beyond quantum computing — that’s what’s on the menu this weekend. Read more »

Stories for Apr. 11, 2014
On The Web

Aereo has plans to expand to 50 cities within the next 18 months if it wins its Supreme Court case, reports the Houston Chronicle, which recently got a tour of the Aereo facility there. The company is still keeping mum on current subscriber numbers, but CEO Chet Kanojia told the Chronicle that it’s already profitable in Houston, where it has hardware to serve up to 40,000 subscribers. Aereo has to defend itself in front of the Supreme Court in two weeks.

In Brief

Chromecast owners just got a few more ways to beam audio to the big screen: Player FM, a podcast app and cloud service that we previously covered on Gigaom, added Chromecast support to its Android app Friday. Also now Chromecast-capable is Rocket Music, an Android music player that includes features like an equalizer and lyrics viewing. Don’t want to listen to your podcasts or music on your TV? Then you can always turn Chromecast into a networked audio player.

In Brief

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Woohoo! SmartThings has added support for TCP Lighting, Quirky Pivot Power Genius, and my personal favorite, the ecobee thermostat. This will allow people who currently use apps to control these devices to control them through the SmartThings app, cutting down the number of places you have to go to control your home and giving users a way to set automation plans that incorporate the newly supported gadgets. I’m excited because I’ll now be able to program an away mode that will lower my thermostats, cut my lights off, lock my doors and shut my blinds.

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