Disney shut down its virtual mobile operator more than five years ago, but now it’s taking another swipe at a branded mobile service, partnering with little-known MVNO Zact. Read more »
3D Systems, one of the largest and oldest 3D printer companies, will be able to offer on-demand ceramic 3D prints after purchasing printing service site Figulo. 3D Systems will incorporate Figulo into its software, allowing users to instantly order a print.
Former Wall Street Journal writer Jessica Lessin has launched a subscription-only news site called The Information, but there are a few things about hard paywalls that she should keep in mind Read more »
2D printing veteran HP announced in October that it plans to enter the 3D printing market by mid-2014, but the details released since then have been slim. Wired reporter Robert McMillan was able to catch a glimpse of the prototype printer that sits in HP’s basement. He described it as a “a five-foot tall giant of a machine cobbled together from existing jumbo-scale metal printing parts and some new custom-built equipment that HP isn’t ready to talk about.” HP has also developed a new plastic for the machine to use to make objects.
Many attempts to use dashboards to show energy consumption data and get consumers to conserve energy use have failed miserably. Will a startup’s idea of using a digital photo frame to broadcast the data make a difference? Read more »
Ford CEO Alan Mulally has been a front runner for Microsoft’s top job for a few months now. Many said he’s been the candidate to beat to succeed outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. But now Ford chairman Edsel Ford II told Bloomberg News that Mulally is locked up through the end of 2014. Last August, Ballmer pledged to step down within 12 months and the conventional wisdom has been that sooner would be better so Microsoft can get on with business free and clear of succession rumors and worries. Maybe this latest wrinkle gives internal candidates Satya Nadella, Stephen Elop and Tony Bates the edge now?
Jobs portal and HR information platform Glassdoor has announced a $50 million Series E round, which will go towards taking the company to new international heights. Read more »
After a successful iOS launch four months ago, Quip arrives on Android today. The mobile-centric collaborative word processor has a few Android-only features that make it worth the look. Read more »
Good news for Nexus 5 owners who aren’t happy with the device’s camera: Android 4.4.1 will noticeably improve image quality and the overall speed of the camera app. The software is rolling out over the next few days. Read more »
AT&T introduced new Mobile Share Value plans and changes to its Next plans that could save many customers money. Read more »
The Swedish firm’s EyeX developer kit, which will ship in March, comes with the latest tools for creating games and other apps that build on the human gaze as a means of interaction. Read more »
In order to make kid-friendly apps more accessible, Samsung has partnered with kids app curator Fingerprint to create a dedicated app network. Read more »
Managed DNS provider Dyn is trying to grow after raising $38 million last year. To manage that growth it has hired its first chief financial officer, Tim O’Toole. Read more »
Marjorie Scardino, former CEO of Pearson PLC and The Economist Group, will take a slot on Twitter’s audit committee. Read more »
The software world breathed a sigh of relief in 2012 when a federal judge ruled that Oracle could not copyright APIs. This week, a Washington court suggested it would roll back that ruling. Read more »
Wireless power company WiTricity announced on Thursday that it has entered an intellectual property licensing agreement with Toyota. The auto-maker will “offer wireless charging power capture devices on their future rechargeable hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles,” meaning that its cars won’t need to be physically plugged in for a re-charge. Instead, using WiTricity’s technology, the vehicles will get their battery charge without wires, presumably through a charging pad on the ground under the vehicle.
For decades, applications drove IT infrastructure, turning data centers into a tangle of legacy systems. By embracing a software-defined data center built on virtualization and cloud computing, CIOs can shake off outdated IT ideas and shift their focus to innovation and generating revenue instead. Read more »
Config management expert Puppet Labs snags Microsoft finance veteran Bill Koefoed as its new chief financial officer Read more »
According to Reuters, Barack Obama still uses a BlackBerry smartphone, though not necessarily by choice. Read more »
Flush with a 4G license, China Mobile is expected to announce network details on December 18; a day that could also see a new customer for Apple. With the carrier’s unique 3G technology though, Apple may need one more new iPhone. Read more »
For Apple product users, the home may soon be Siri’s domain. Apple Insider reports that Cupertino has filed a patent with the USPTO for a “smart dock” that, when plugged in, continually listens for audio cues throughout the house. It’s a much more function-rich version of docks currently available now, but with easily accessible voice control options that allow users to execute commands via voice prompts. The concept seems like a practical step for Apple to get the most use from Siri, while tackling smart home technology.
Sweden’s FRA intelligence agency has been spying on Russian politicians on behalf of the United States, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Swedish TV station Sveriges Television reported on Thursday that Sweden was a key regional partner for the U.S. National Security Agency because major telecommunications cables pass through it (suggesting bulk rather than targeted collection). Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell has previously warned of this situation, which dates back to the Cold War but was still apparently in play as recently as April this year. Diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks in 2011 also pointed to the arrangement.
Data-munging specialist Trifacta has raised another $12 million for its mission to speed the process of going from raw data to usable data. As data volumes and types keep piling up, faster tools will mean a lot less wasted time. Read more »
People in China are free to trade in Bitcoin themselves, but their banks are now officially barred from touching the stuff. While not unexpected, the move had an immediate effect on the currency’s value. Read more »
The company will make it easier for governments in Europe, the Americas and Asia to inspect its source code for hidden backdoors. Microsoft will also apply encryption across its systems and, it says, step up legal challenges against gag orders. Read more »
Twitter has inked its first strategic partnership with a carrier that doesn’t involve subsidized data. It will surely be a boost for the microblogging platform in Germany, where it is weak, but the benefits for Deutsche Telekom are less clear. Read more »
On this week’s Structure Show a look at Google’s cloud prospects; how Netflix is engineering a way around last year’s Chrismas Eve snafu, and why startups should use Amazon’s cloud services — but stick with the basics. Read more »
Short-form video apps like Vine and Instagram are familiarizing consumers with the concept of taking video anytime, anywhere. And with easy-to-use tools arriving in an evolving ecosystem, longer, story-driven personal video is poised to take off. Read more at Gigaom Research »
Conversation just might be the future of entertainment. ToyTalk is using its interactive talking software to make even more immersive, and hilarious shows for kids. Can the adults have some too? Read more »
Medium has launched a redesign focusing more on the visual power of its posts, and has also changed the way that collections work to give more power to collection curators or “editors” Read more »
Right now, drones need more than four propellers to stay airborne when one fails. New research could allow quadcopters to recover from what would have been a catastrophic failure. Read more »
This morning, an email from a PR agency titled “Netflix likely to end binge watching in 2014″ hit my inbox, responding to this week’s announcement that the streaming service’s first animated original Turbo Fast will be released in installations, as opposed to making the entire season available on day one. Then, a little later, another email, this time from Netflix: “House of Cards returns for second season Friday February 14.” In one big swoop, ready to binge. No change of heart, after all. So why did Netflix divvy up Turbo Fast? Business Week has the answer, House of Cards star Robin Wright has no comment.
Looking for a job in tech? Each week we highlight some of the most interesting positions posted to Gigaom’s job board. Check out the latest gigs at tech companies across the country. Read more »
These two great apps provide a premium experience at a deep discount, thanks to the Cyber Monday sales sprit. Read more »
The ongoing disclosures about the NSA’s surveillance have revealed a troubling new detail: the spy agency is collecting, and keeping, a vast number of location records. Read more »
VC firms are embracing design as the value of web and mobile apps becomes all about the design of the experience. Read more »
Seniors may not be the prime audience for Google Glass or a smartwatch but a wearable for remote monitoring may appeal. AT&T’s EverThere is exactly that, calling for help in case of a fall and providing GPS data to first responders. Read more »
Last year, Google combined the privacy policies of Gmail, YouTube and all its other products into a single policy. A US judge this week explained why, unlike in Europe, this is okay. Read more »
Just days after clearing the U.S. Department of Justice, Microsoft’s plan to purchase Nokia’s Devices and Services business for $7.2 billion got the European Commission’s stamp of approval. On Wednesday, the EU body outlined three main reasons to let the deal happen, including Microsoft’s low Windows Phone market share, saying that Apple and Samsung will continue to compete with the merged entity. The Commission also saw no risk to Microsoft holding back Windows Phone from handset makers other than Nokia, nor Skype or Office from other platforms.
Since the start of 2012, home automation startups have raised $468M across 56 deals. Surprisingly, most of those have not been the recent flurry of smaller rounds for SmartThings ($12.5 million), Zonoff ($3.8 million) or Revolv ($4 million), but from companies like Alarm.com ($136 million) and Nest ($80 million) raising really large rounds. Check out the CB Insights story for a nifty chart!