Stories for Feb. 18, 2014
In Brief

A security startup called Elastica came out of stealth mode on Tuesday, and brought with it $6.3 million in venture capital from the Mayfield Fund. Elastica tries to protect corporate data scattered across the dozens of cloud services companies might be using and, like so many other security startups, is touting its use of data science techniques to accomplish its goal. Elastica does have an impressive pedigree, though, both with the Ph.Ds. on its founding team and with advisers including Rayid Ghani (Obama for America, Edgeflip), Tom Reilly (ArcSight, Cloudera), M.C. Srivas (MapR) and Ion Stoica (UC Berkeley, Conviva, Databricks).

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In Brief

Intel has launched its latest top-of-the-line chips for servers. These are the bruisers that make up the silicon in high performance computing and super fast financial transactions. The Xeon E7v2 class of chips features up to 15 cores, a massive amount of in-memory data capacity to make processing large amounts of data on chip possible, and performance that’s twice the average of the previous generation of chips. These processors hold a few surprises, as the Register details in its in-depth exploration of the silicon and the business case.

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In Brief

Got an older Samsung smartphone or tablet? You still might get Android KitKat 4.4.2 according to the company, which announced a full list of devices that will see the software update beginning today. Some are nearly two years old, which is surprising as many devices 18 months old or more typically don’t receive updates. Here’s the full list for the U.S. market: Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S4 zoom, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S III mini, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy Light, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

In Brief

IBM and AT&T are teaming up to share and analyze smart city and utility data so municipalities can react to traffic incidences, energy demand and other potential problems in real time. Through the partnership AT&T will handle the sensor communications and tracking happening over the cellular network and IBM will bring its analytics platforms into play. The two companies are going to build out apps for cities, so right now there’s not a lot to see here except for the possibilities.

In Brief

Irish game development and publishing company King, best known for creating freemium smash hit “Candy Crush Saga,” filed for an IPO Tuesday. The company, which hopes to raise $500 million, pulled in $1.9 billion in 2013 and says 78 percent of its total gross bookings last year came from Candy Crush Saga, which launched on mobile in November 2012. King’s revenues in 2012 were just $164 million. King says 70 percent of its gross bookings — which it defines as the total amount its users pay for virtual items and access to skill tournaments — are on mobile, and just 4 percent of users (roughly 12 million) regularly make in-game purchases.

In Brief

The British signals intelligence agency GCHQ used its tapping of the internet’s backbone to monitor visitors to a WikiLeaks site, including Americans, according to a document leaked by Edward Snowden and published in The Intercept. The program, codenamed ANTICRISIS GIRL, was not the first in which GCHQ targeted activists online – it also allegedly waged war on Anonymous using criminal-style denial-of-service attacks. Other documents showed how NSA officials contemplated designating WikiLeaks as a “malicious foreign actor”, which would have permitted the surveillance of U.S. citizens connected with the whistleblower group, and also spying on The Pirate Bay.

Stories for Feb. 17, 2014
On The Web

This weekend the New York Times profiled a San Francisco-based startup called WaterFX, which is using mirrors to harness the sun’s rays to produce energy to clean water. The company has a $1 million project with the Panoche Water District in Central California to clean dirty water that lies under the surface of a wheat field.

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