The Kickstarter campaign for Pono, the high-resolution music startup founded by Neil Young, is live, with an ambitious goal: Pono wants to raise $800,000 within the next 34 days to fund the production of its portable music player. Early backers have a chance to pick up a Pono player for $200, as opposed to the $400 retail price it will be selling for this fall. Other rewards include posters signed by Neil Young and a private dinner with the rock star. The campaign page also includes a few more technical details, including that Pono will play FLAC files with bit rates of up to 9216 kbps.
Netflix wants to go to Europe later this year, and the CEO of French operator Orange just spilled the beans about a possible partnership. Read more »
Instagram users for Android have a big update coming their way, as the company announced Tuesday that the redesigned Instagram 5.1 for Android cuts loading times in half. The boost in speed, according to the company, is the result of cleaning up the app’s design — it’s half as large as Instagram 5.0. The smaller package and sleeker design also help with Instagram’s accessibility — a lighter app means better performance on lower-end phones.
DataRPM is one of a handful of companies trying to move business intelligence into its next generation by incorporating natural language processing and a search-like experience. InterWest Partners led its series A round. Read more »
SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son argues a merged T-Mobile-Sprint would create more competition, not less. But the price war Son promises is already happening, and it’s being led by T-Mobile without Sprint’s help. Read more »
Whisper is already raking in more money from a new funding round led by Shasta Ventures. Read more »
The early adopter tax on the first-generation Kindle Paperwhite is nearly gone: A software update is now available that brings Goodreads, Kindle FreeTime and more to the e-reader, bringing it up to par with the newest Kindle Paperwhite model. Read more »
The world is increasingly expecting good design, as everything from platforms to products incorporates this thinking. This philosophy should extend to your company’s communication. Good design reflects your company brand, helping you deliver information in an effective and engaging manner. Read more »
Apple wants to provide a better mapping experience than Google in the next version of its mobile operating system. Read more »
The Dario, which will work with both iPhones and Android devices, is launching in New Zealand first, then in Australia, Italy and the U.K. Read more »
Looking for a night out at the movies but not sure what to watch? Just head over to the theater with Google Glass and a new app called Preview. Then you can view trailers of each flick simply by looking at the movie posters. Read more »
Apple is providing greater discounts to customers who spend $5,000 or more per year, according to a report. Read more »
Now that Google has launched more of its cloud services, it’s starting to strut its stuff to the all-important developer audience. Read more »
Originally only compatible with iOS devices, the Jawbone UP24 now works with Android phones and tablets that support Bluetooth Smart. Read more »
Companies positioned to take advantage of big data are reaping substantial benefits. Are you ready to do the same? Read these quick tips for success with big data to help you determine moves you should make in 2014 to harness the power of big data. Read more »
A leaked ad from Australian carrier Telstra shows off the new HTC One and details some of its specs, including what its dual rear cameras are for. Read more »
Current obstacles in 3D printing represent a window of opportunity for traditional manufacturing industries to reassess their long-term strategies and to find a place in tomorrow’s economic landscape. Read more at Gigaom Research »
These technologies are changing how design is being used like never before. Read more »
Lenovo insists it will give Chinese IBM server factory workers a fair deal when they transition over as part of the $2.3 billion sale of IBM’s x86 server business, but until then it’s not Lenovo’s concern. Read more »
When your watch, your phone, your jewelry and your socks are all going to need charging, how on earth will we have enough plugs? We discuss SXSW and wireless power in this week’s podcast. Read more »
Have your kids racked in-game purchases without your permission? A new lawsuit against Google, which follows a successful one against Apple, aims to recover some of that money. Read more »
Company claims a new customer in CERN and plans to build out sales and marketing efforts in the U.S. and Europe Read more »
Researchers published three papers today on an interesting semiconductor that can be used to create LEDs capable of producing any color. Read more »
Basho, a NoSQL startup whose Riak database competes against the likes of Cassandra in scale-out environments, has lost its CEO Greg Collins, CTO Justin Sheehy and Chief Architect Andy Gross. In an interview with the Register, Sheehy said the departures aren’t as bad as they look and that the company is in good hands. Perhaps, although whoever replaces Collins will be the company’s fourth CEO since it was founded in 2007, and neither of the company’s co-founders remain. Basho has raised more than $31 million in venture capital, with its last funding round of $11.1 million coming in July 2012.
The ongoing consolidation in the Chinese online video space has resulted in Iqiyi becoming the most popular video site in the country. Read more »
Let go of your transistors. A physicist from SLAC who spoke at SXSW interactive has proposed using the state changes in the orbits of electrons as a way to build faster computers. Read more »
After months of rumors, Warner Bros. is now making its $18 million investment in Los Angeles-based YouTube network Machinima official. The investment comes after Machinima was forced to lay off 30 percent of its staff last week, including its entire ad sales department. So why buy a stake in a struggling company? Because it buys the studio access to a young male audience for relatively little risk, argues Variety.
After updating its News Feed last week, Facebook has introduced a one-column, minimalist look for Pages. Read more »
Neil Young is set to unveil his Pono music player at SXSW this week. The unveiling comes after the startup switched hardware partners in the last few months. Read more »
The rest of the U.S. mobile industry is calling for the end of the phone subsidy and long-term service commitments, but Verizon is standing firm behind a model that has benefited it for a decade. Read more »
Average people are not going to use Tor and other tools used by the tech community, says Edward Snowden. That’s why widespread encryption is our best hopes to counter mass government surveillance. Read more »
A Major League Baseball team is reportedly the proud owner of a Cray Urika graph-processing appliance that helps the team make in-game decisions by analyzing lots and lots of data. It might be a first, but it’s where sports are headed. Read more »
Apple’s latest iOS update finally introduces CarPlay support, fixes a bug that caused devices to crash, and brings along some nice UI tweaks. Read more »
VMware Horizon Desktop as a Service offers an array of deployment options: it can run from private or public clouds or a mix of both — provided those clouds run VMware’s stuff Read more »
Connected speaker maker Sonos announced Monday that it generated $535 million in revenue in 2013. This represents a 97 percent year-over-year growth, according to a company spokesperson. Sonos got a nice boost in sales after introducing its $200 Play-1 speaker last year, with some retailers struggling to keep the device in stock during the holiday season. This year around, Sonos is facing a number of new competitors, with everyone from chipset makers to startups like Beep rushing into the internet-connected speakers market.
Google has introduced a Google Apps Referral Program that pays a $15 bonus for each new user that businesses sign up. Read more »
The future of news might be difficult to predict, but by looking at successful consumer apps and the broader news industry, we can start to develop a picture of what a truly next-generation news industry could look like. Read more »
Samsung is set to manufacture the A8 processor for Apple’s upcoming smartphones and tablets, according to a report. Read more »
VMware is apparently constructing a new converged infrastructure appliance — under the codename Project Mystic — to be branded by parent company EMC. As CRN points out, this will impact VCE, the converged infrastructure company backed by VMware, Cisco and EMC. CRN’s Kevin McLaughlin noted that this could be a reaction to VCE’s decision to support Cisco’s ACI software-defined-networking technology instead of VMware’s NSX. VMware had no comment.
I am embarrassingly uninformed on certain current events. I’m hoping Vox can help fix that. Read more »