The work out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is promising, but researchers still have a long road ahead of them before the technology comes anywhere near to commercial viability. Read more »
There has been a lot of data industry news this week coming out of the Strata conference, and elsewhere. Here are some of the highlights. Read more »
Apple is yet again said to be negotiating with Time Warner Cable to deliver content to the new Apple TV, which might be introduced in April and released in time for the holidays. Read more »
Verizon Wireless may be cutting prices and increasing the amount of mobile broadband data in some of its plans. The company tweeted a teaser on Wednesday in what’s likely a response to AT&T’s recent plan price changes. Still, you can thank T-Mobile if this happens. Read more »
According to venture legend John Doerr, Google is designing its own silicon for its data centers. But he stopped short of confirming rumors that the search giant was designing ARM-based chips as was reported in December. Doerr, speaking at a chip conference, also said that Facebook would be next. He’s right. Computing is the primary cost for Google, Amazon Web Services and Facebook and designing their own silicon could lower that cost. And thanks to more modular designs and advances in the ARM architecture, the cost of designing custom chips has fallen into a range where the benefits outweigh design costs.
MIT has developed a system that will help robots act together in uncertain environments that takes into account multiple agents and unreliable communication. It might help make your home smarter too. Read more »
In a not-very-surprising move, PayPal is shutting down the mobile development platform it bought in December and will focus those resources on — what else? — electronic payments. Read more »
Just two months after landing on the moon, China’s first moon rover has been declared permanently broken. Jade Rabbit began having problems late last month, and operators were unable to restore it to working order. New Scientist reports that the failure is likely due to a mechanical fault that led to the rover exposing its sensitive equipment to cold nighttime temperatures. The fault may have been caused by lunar dust, which can quickly scratch up equipment.
A recent report suggests that Microsoft is considering bring Android apps to Windows Phone. But isn’t it too soon to admit defeat? Read more »
Health care startup Welltok, which has developed a platform to help consumers make wise choices about their health, has raised a $22 million Series C round of venture capital. New Enterprise Associates led the round, but IBM (via its new Watson group) and Qualcomm also pitched in. One of Welltok’s products, CafeConcierge, uses Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities as the basis of its personalized medicine approach. IBM, of course, is betting big on Watson as a source of future revenue and has vowed to invest $100 million in companies willing to integrate Watson into their products.
If there’s customer demand and if Google and VMware deliver a credible service, there’s synergy all over the place here. And both companies could make headway vs. both Amazon and Microsoft. Read more »
The long-rumored smartphones features a 5-inch, 1080p display, 20-megapixel camera and a partially metal design. Read more »
Google is using Helpouts to help kids apply for federal student loans. The initiative hints at more possible Helpouts uses in education and volunteerism. Read more »
Facebook just broke ties with two companies that helped it collect information about app revenues because they breached Facebook’s rules on using customer data. Read more »
The European Commission has announced a set of standards for connected car systems, but privacy enthusiasts will be glad to hear such systems won’t be mandated by law, unlike in the U.S. However, practically speaking, connected cars will become the norm. Read more »
It seemed like only yesterday when electric car company Tesla Motors hit $100 per share (well, a year ago). Now Tesla has bumped up over $200 per share this week, and is hovering around $196 in recent trading. Tesla will announce its latest earnings next week.
Many companies have tried to come up with a single service that allows teams to work effectively without email, but former Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield believes he has done it with Slack, which integrates with dozens of different data sources including Twitter Read more »
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Red Hat Summit will bring together the largest gathering of innovative open-source users, contributors and partners from April 14 through 17. Red Hat is proud to host the most comprehensive opportunity to learn, network, and experience open-source in the enterprise. Read more »
With the same internals and features as its predecessor, the bigger question about Pebble Steel is exactly that: How big is it? Here’s a visual comparison of the Steel next to the Galaxy Gear, MotoACTV and mechanical watches I often wear. Read more »
A study from the European Commission finds huge numbers of people streaming and downloading movies for free. Read more »
The race to the basement in mobile plan pricing continues with new contestant UppWireless. The MVNO is offering plans as cheap as $15 a month for 1 GB of data and unlimited VoIP calling. Read more »
What if a programmer could write privacy policies into an application that would be enforced throughout the lifetime and workflow of that application? That’s what Jeeves aims to do. Read more »
After much speculation Opower is planning on finally going public, according to a report. Read more »
Oppo will announce its next flagship smartphone, the Find 7, on March 19. Two versions are expected to appear, one of which is said to sport a “2K” display. Read more »
An updated KitKat version of Android is now rolling out to Moto X handsets on T-Mobile’s network. According to the release notes, Moto X phones get Android 4.4.2 along with some small fixes specific to the device. Also included are improved printing capabilities over Wi-Fi networks for photos and Google Docs. Although Lenovo recently purchased Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion, my hope is that the new parent company learns a lesson from Motorola on how to expedite Android software updates to customers as it has become a key differentiation point for the Moto X and Moto G phones.
The European Parliament is finalizing its report on the NSA surveillance program, and the parliament’s Green faction had proposed an amendment that would give leaker Edward Snowden a guarantee of safety from rendition to the U.S. or prosecution by EU member states, should he choose to leave Russia and come to the EU. However, on Wednesday the parliament’s civil liberties committee will reportedly ditch the amendment, following opposition from both the conservative and socialist blocs. Indeed, the report will apparently not include any demands relating specifically to Snowden’s protection, though it will call for generalized whistleblower protection.
As Microsoft gets closer to releasing Windows Phone 8.1 it’s sharing information with app developers. The newest software shows more unification across the company’s desktop and mobile platforms and improved ways to navigate on a Windows Phone. Read more »
Ebook subscription service Oyster has added about 100 titles from Disney and is breaking out a separate children’s section. But most of those books are text-based, not illustrated. Read more »
The company’s mid-range Desire 8 “phablet” looks lovely, based on a purported press shot. Read more »
Companies using Cloudyn’s multicloud tools for comparing usage costs and assessing porting feasibility from one vendor to another are now well-equipped to not only take control of their entire cloud deployment but also efficiently move workloads to the cloud best suited for them. Read more »
A Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver has put Canada on the map as a virtual currency hotbed. That role is now under threat as the country’s finance minister said Canada would give regulators more resources to watch virtual currency. Read more »
Did you delete Flappy Birds too soon? You can get it back right in your Chrome browser for agonizing fun at any time. On this week’s podcast we also review the latest new features in Chrome OS and review pricing details for the Chromebase. Read more »
Sprint has been promising a monster of a 4G network for years, but it’s failed to deliver. CEO Dan Hesse says that Sprint still maintains its mobile broadband ambitions, it’s just taking longer to realize them. Read more »
Inexpensive, simple water cleaning tech could enable industries to reuse water over and over for manufacturing, mining and chemical creation. Startup Axine says it has something new. Read more »
Global debates about internet governance are set to heat up in the coming years, so the European Union has set out its standpoint, with true globalization and human rights being non-negotiable principles. Read more »
A decade after it was started in Lithuania, GetJar, one of the earliest app stores has been acquired by a Chinese company specializing in Android apps that wants to cash in on the need for smarter app discovery. Read more »
Researchers demonstrated that the robot, which is maneuvered by a set of magnets, could push around soft materials like gel and stiff materials like chips. Read more »
A robotics startup called Neurala has received a patent (No. 8,648,867) for a GPU-based system designed to run artificial neural network models. The patent covers the physical architecture of the system, which Neurala calls an “accelerator,” as well as aspects of data processing and user experience. It’s not clear whether the patent, which dates back to 2006, will affect others artificial intelligence efforts currently underway. Neurala’s business revolves around providing computer vision and navigation intelligence for robots, but GPUs are the computers of choice for many deep learning projects.
Many EU app developers are missing a big potential opportunity to help companies outsource app work. The report driving this post was underwritten by the European Commission. Read more »
Radiohead’s PolyFauna app places you in an ever-evolving world soundtracked by clips from the song “Bloom.” Read more »