An e-commerce startup called Reflektion has raised an $8 million series B round of venture capital for its technology that helps retailers personalize the online shopping experience for consumers. Intel Capital led the round, and Nike and several private investors also pitched in. This seems like the latest thing in marketing — not just targeted advertising but entire tailored experiences for individual shoppers. It does add an Amazon-like recommendation experience, although one might fairly question whether most product catalogs are large enough to warrant it.
The UK-based Wellcome Trust, the world’s second-largest funder of medical research behind the Gates Foundation, has launched a free online magazine called Mosaic that is dedicated to longform science writing. The site will be run by former Times science editor Mark Henderson — who was involved with a monthly science magazine published by the Times called Eureka, which was shut down in 2012 — and will publish a new 3,000-word piece on a scientific topic every Tuesday. In an unusual twist, the content will be free for anyone to use under a Creative Commons license, provided they include attribution.
It’s an unprecedented moment in Myanmar’s history as the country opens up to financing, technology and connectivity. Will mobile payments play a role in transforming the country? Read more »
Facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire a drone company as a way of expanding its Internet.org initiative. Read more »
A new app lets you fight parking tickets right from your iPhone. Read more »
Will Tesla’s huge battery factory affect the power grid? Of course, but it’s a lot more nuanced than you’ve read. Read more »
Like the universe itself, big data is expanding. And as with space exploration, the more technology we point at data, the more we discover. See how the world’s biggest data stores are visualized as planets in this new infographic from Rackspace. Read more »
Basis, maker of the wrist-based B1 health tracker, has reportedly been acquired by Intel. Read more »
Apple’s senior vice president and CFO Peter Oppenheimer will retire at the end of September. Read more »
VMware and Carpathia are building a version of vCloud Hybrid Services that should meet the FedRAMP standard needed to compete for government contracts. Read more »
A Belgian magistrate has mulled blocking Apple’s websites there, according to local reports on Tuesday, as spotted by Tech.eu. This was as a result of the still-ongoing kerfuffle over Apple and warranties – although EU law says consumer goods should automatically come with a two-year warranty, and although Apple acknowledges as much on a webpage, the firm still advertises its gadgets as being covered by a one-year warranty and tries to upsell customers to a two-year AppleCare plan. The reports suggest the magistrate may have realized blocking Apple’s sites would mess with iTunes and other services, so is still considering his next move.
Everyone is trying to be a platform company these days, but in this weeks podcast we explore the challenges affiliated with building a business around integrating various APIs and the need for a magical user experience. Read more »
Looks like Dish had good reason to give up automated ad skipping in a retrans deal with Disney. The satellite provider just won the rights to include ABC and ESPN in an online TV service. Read more »
The Department of Justice thinks Aereo should be forced to shut down its service, which is why it wants the Supreme Court to overturn Aereo’s previous court victories. Read more »
A Northwestern University graduate student has discovered a new way to produce graphene by working with silver’s unique properties. Read more »
Connecting devices to the internet, or to each other carriers significant security risks. While it may not be a core feature of a consumer product, how we tackle security is going to affect how the internet of things develops. Read more »
Reddit general manager Erik Martin says that while bad things happen on the site, the impressive thing is how infrequent they are, and how much good the site’s community achieves — and that’s part of the rationale behind the new live-reporting feature Read more »
CarPlay will be one of many smartphone frameworks running in cars, and it’s not meant to replace the automakers’ infotainment systems, but augment them. The danger is that CarPlay could overshadow everything else in the dash. Read more »
Dish customers won’t be able to automatically skip over the ad breaks of ABC TV shows for much longer: The satellite service operator agreed to disable ad skipping to secure its access to ABC and ESPN. Read more »
An Irish startup called Aylien is getting into the natural-language processing space with a set of APIs for text analysis. It’s not the first company to do this, but it might be the most unique. Read more »
In our next webinar we’ll look at why in-memory technology is getting so much attention and the benefits it offers. We’ll also discuss the challenges it presents and how the overall market is changing in light of the evolving database technology landscape. Read more »
Comcast is still in talks with online video companies that want to launch internet-based TV services — but will anything ever come out of these talks? Read more »
Former Hillary Clinton hand (and Microsoft marketeer) Mark Penn is now chief strategy officer. Read more »
Google officially supports multiple sign-in on most of its products, but it’s not consistent across services. A new feature in the Chrome OS Developer channel aims to fix that. Here’s what it looks like and how to get it. Read more »
This is a tough question that White House advisor John Podesta and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab brain trust wrestled with on Monday. Read more »
With the toy industry stagnating due to competition from digital games, Lego is among the companies looking at 3D printing as a potential fix. The Danish plastic brick manufacturer told The Financial Times that it is considering “what potential opportunities there are for consumers.” Legos are very easy to print on home 3D printers (in fact, some people are already printing them). 3D printing also opens up the opportunity for highly customized shapes, which could expand what people are able to make. But Lego isn’t considering 3D printing bricks itself; it’s more about printing them efficiently, and currently prints about 2,000 bricks a second.
Vudu, the Walmart-owned premium video service, is adding Chromecast support to its iOS and Android app soon. Vudu announced the upcoming Chromecast support on its website Sunday, adding that users will also be able to cast video straight from the Vudu website. Google opened up the Google Cast SDK to developers a month ago, but so far, there haven’t been any new apps from major publishers. However, both Rdio and Beats Music have announced that they’re working on adding Chromecast support to their apps as well.
Opower is officially planning on going public, as its revenues grow considerably, though it still hasn’t turned a profit. Read more »
Uber has published a blog post explaining the difference that median income makes on the company’s service in Chicago. Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder here, but the study itself reinforces how much today’s data-driven companies know about their businesses. Read more »
Comcast is about to buy online video advertising company FreeWheel for a reported $320 million. The move comes as the company may be looking to strike partnerships with online video makers to distribute their programming. Read more »
Samsung is hoping to entice potential buyers with free subscriptions for everything from Box to the Wall Street Journal. Read more »
Events-focused site Meetup has been offline intermittently since Thursday, due to a massive DDoS attack on the company’s servers. According to a blog post from co-founder and CEO Scott Heiferman, it’s the first attack of this magnitude in the 12 years since Meetup was founded, and the chain of attacks were attached to a ransom of $300. The company made the decision not to negotiate with the hackers, and continues to fight off attacks — as of 10 a.m. PST, the website remains down and redirects to the blog post.
Verizon is launching a new prepaid pricing structure called Allset that lets you buy data allotments that carry over into subsequent months. It’s not ideal, but it’s better way to buy data than the monthly bucket. Read more »
It’s a first for Android: In 2013, more tablets running Google’s software were sold than those running Apple iOS. How much does that matter? Likely little in the short term based on the smartphone market where Android also has the market share crown. Read more »
Bop.fm allows users of subscription music services to share songs and playlists with users of other services. The startup just added Beats Music to the mix. Read more »
For a deeper dive into the topics and technologies covered on Gigaom, check out the latest in-depth analyses on Gigaom Research. This week we published our 2014 Sector Roadmap on Platform as a Service, an outlook on mobile CXM and more. Read more »
How might Samsung’s Chromebook 2 stand out from the crowd of Chrome OS laptops? A 1920 x 1080 resolution display would help and that’s apparently what the larger 13.3-inch model will have. Read more »
This 12-minute video provides a seemingly legit first look at the new HTC One. Read more »
Microsoft’s Windows Phone personal assistant is sounding much like Siri and Google Now. Cortana is the current name and the intelligent software will be able to scan your email to provide useful, contextual information. Will users accept that or complain about privacy? Read more »