Want to see the curves of the Earth from a small pod hooked up to a massive balloon? Well, now it’s legally possible, as the FAA has approved the operations of World View. According to Forbes, the Tuscon-based company offers rides in its pressurized, six-person capsule that floats to 100,000 feet for $75,000. The FAA deemed the company legal due to its short jaunt to the stratosphere, and it could be up and running in as little as three years. So feel free to sign up, as long as Gravity didn’t freak you out too much.
In this webinar session, you’ll hear from BTI and Gigaom analysts on what the trigger points are for building versus buying network capacity and what kind of savings a company should expect. What benefits are incurred, and what are the drawbacks? How does this migration effect operating expenses? Join us on Oct. 30. Read more »
Over the next few weeks, owners of Google Glass can invite up to three others to the Explorer program. Google also has some slightly different Glass hardware coming that will accept lenses; current owners can swap out their device if they want. Read more »
San Francisco-based IfOnly has raised $12 million for an online marketplace of high-end experiences with A-list talent in a range of fields like sports, music and food, Read more »
Apple on Monday reported another solid quarter, driven in part by record-setting iPhone sales in September. Read more »
As Samsung built up a global audience for its Android phones and tablets, it pushed internal development on its own Galaxy features and functions. Now that third-party developers can code for them, Samsung is gaining more control over its flavor of Android. Read more »
Media center app maker Plex launched a feature Monday that allows users to store their videos in the cloud and then play them back on any device with a Plex app on it, including Android and iOS mobile devices. Cloud Sync, as the feature is called, was first shown off at CES, and is now available to paying PlexPass subscribers. Interestingly, Plex doesn’t offer its own storage locker, but instead hooks into Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and other cloud storage offerings, with the ability to spread your files across all of your lockers. Time to sign up for more free cloud storage accounts?
The iPad Air might be available for in-store pickup on the very same day it is released, reports say. Read more »
This is a return trip for Gillett, who joined Silver Lake in 2009. He’s returning now as managing director and chief of value creation. Read more »
NASA has exactly 20 days when conditions will be right to launch the MAVEN spacecraft, which will spend 10 months journeying to Mars. Those 20 days begin November 18. So when the government shutdown went into effect a month ahead of the planned launch, MAVEN officials couldn’t help but sweat a little.
Those officials announced today in a televised press briefing that the mission will go ahead as planned, with no delay as a result of the shutdown. MAVEN will explore Mars’ atmosphere to determine how it has changed over time, which could expand knowledge of the history of life and water on the planet.
The BlackBerry Z30 could be the last handset ever made by the company and it has a big supporter in Verizon Wireless. The carrier confirmed on Monday that it would be the exclusive network operator to sell the Z30 in the U.S. with a $199 contract price or $22.91 a month over 24 months through the Verizon Edge program.
The BlackBerry Z30 is a larger version of the Z10, using a 5-inch 720p display, faster processor and a 2880 mAh battery that the company claims can get up to 25 hours of mixed use on a single charge. Given the uncertainty of BlackBerry’s future as a company, I’m not anticipating record sales for the new phone.
KKR is investing in three Associated Partners companies, all of which focused on delivering mobile connectivity and data capacity to rural areas. Read more »
A new report from Pew Research shows that more people than ever are creating and sharing photos online. Read more »
Samsung is taking a page out of the Chromecast playbook by allowing developers to launch media playback straight from a mobile device. But Samsung’s new multiscreen SDK also supports gaming and more. Read more »
RBC Capital Markets wants to help. Its new research compares the positioning and price/performance of many cloud options. Some of the findings confirm what we know, others are a tad surprising. Read more »
I was hoping to be able to attend the Tesla London store launch, but alas had to head back to the Bay Area at the end of the Summer before the official opening. But Green Car Reports attended the launch late last week and snapped these pics. As predicted it’s in the Westfield Mall near Notting Hill and Tesla CEO Elon Musk kicked off the event. Tesla will be selling right-hand-drive Model S cars for the first time in the U.K.
Patent trolls are plundering the economy like never before — even though a 2011 law was supposed to stop this. Now, Congress is trying again, and it might actually work. Read more »
Facebook has received plenty of resistance in its piece-by-piece effort to open up more user information for use in features and advertisements. Each time Facebook changes its policy, a predictable cycle occurs: initial user anger, followed by the company’s soothing words that privacy is still important. Privacy scholar Michael Zimmer has launched The Zuckerberg Files to unlock Mark Zuckerberg’s “philosophy of information” — and track his ever-changing stance on privacy. Though it’s a bit involved for an ivory-tower dweller, it is interesting to see the Facebook CEO get tracked for a change.
There’s money in those old phones, and a company is ramping up to bring that opportunity to cell phone carriers. Read more »
Showtime hit Dexter, which recently wrapped its eighth and final season, is coming to Netflix Watch Instantly. The first four seasons of the show will be available October 1; seasons five through eight will start streaming January 1, 2014. Read more »
Rackspace is now doing Hadoop, Cloudera just announced a handful of partners — Hadoop is everywhere in the cloud these days. Here’s a quick breakdown of what cloud providers are offering which distributions of Hadoop as managed services. Read more »
Telstra may have been first to try out the new technology, but we’ll likely see several other operators follow shortly. Verizon plans to use LTE-broadcast to stream live video from the Super Bowl Read more »
As the Federal TradeCommission looks into privacy and data sharing rules for the internet of things, Google’s chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf will keynote the workshop. Read more »
Apple is hiring luxury fashion executives in part because it wants to become a high-end lifestyle brand. Read more »
While advanced 3D printers can print in metal and ceramic, personal 3D printers are mostly limited to plastic varieties known as PLA and ABS. Design and fabrication firm ProtoPlant wants to help them take a small step forward by offering plastics with additives like carbon fiber that are stronger and able to withstand higher temperatures. It is one of the first instances of a company commercializing unusual materials that are compatible with personal printers. In the next few years, we will see the emergence of lots of materials beyond PLA and ABS, with an emphasis on strength and flexibility.
This summer, e-commerce startup Fab cut about 100 people in its Berlin office, but now it looks like the company may be looking to expand its European presence once again. According to the French publication Le Journal du Net, Fab has acquired some assets of the French home decor site MyFab for a reported $4.3 million (or €3.1 million). A Fab spokeswoman confirmed that it had acquired “certain assets” of MyFab but declined to comment further. Earlier this month, the startup, which has raised about $300 million, laid off about 20 percent of its work force.
The earliest adopters of SaaS were smaller businesses. And for companies of this size, from a cost standpoint, cloud makes a whole lot of sense. For larger companies, the equation is not so simple. A different set of priorities and investments means a different cloud strategy. Read more »
Galaxy Gear support is coming to the Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III via Samsung’s “Premium Suite” software update. Read more »
Is objectivity in journalism an outdated concept that has been replaced by transparency and disclosure, or is that a recipe for unbalanced coverage? Glenn Greenwald and the NYT’s Bill Keller debated that question Read more »
When it launched last week, BlackBerry’s new BBM app for Android and iOS devices was limited to users that had previously signed up for more information about it. Everyone was free to download the app, but without early access, you had to enter your e-mail address on a wait list to use it. Now, some 10 million downloads later, BlackBerry has announced that use of the BBM app is now open to everyone. Although reviews so far have been mixed, its popularity shows there could still be some life left in BlackBerry yet, at least from a services perspective.
The awesome city that is Copenhagen is getting some next-gen smart street lighting tech. According to an announcement, smart grid company Silver Spring Networks and street lighting giant Citelum will network 20,000 street lights in Copenhagen in 2014.
Berg’s transition is complete. The London design shop is now a tech startup selling a connected devices platform, and it’s got VC money to boot. Read more »
The company behind the software built it to think and learn like humans do. It could eventually have applications in robotics and image and video search. Read more »
Nvidia is pushing out a software update to its portable Shield gaming console, bringing both Android 4.3 and game button mapping. The latter feature allows Shield owners to use the hardware controls for touchscreen-optimized Android games. This could help boost demand a bit for the $299 handheld. Prior to the update the Shield only supported a few dozen games that natively worked with the buttons, sticks and triggers.
Nvidia is also offering the Shield for $199 with the purchase of select GeForce GTX graphics cards; the deal also includes free game titles. It’s a smart move to bundle a Shield promo with a graphics card because PC games can be streamed to the handheld device for playback with the right card.
When Google execs can’t sleep, presumably because of excitement, and then share that info, it’s a good sign that news is imminent. It looks like Android 4.4, the Nexus 5 phone, Nexus 10 tablet and maybe one other timely device are near. Read more »
A small Canadian startup says its new health-tracking wristband can track a user’s caloric intake using spectroscopy. Read more »
After nearly 18 months in relative stealth mode, ClearStory Data is finally available. It’s a pretty novel way of doing business analytics that tries to let lay users do more by automating much of the hard work. Read more »
Boston is where Lewis Latimer helped Alexander Graham Bell design the first phone. So you’d think the city would have better connectivity now. You’d be wrong. Read more »
Verizon isn’t getting the 6-inch Lumia 1520, but a leaked video shows it might be getting a consolation prize in the form of the 5-inch, aluminum Lumia 929. Read more »
Instagram is a unique place and offers a unique experience, one that is hard to imagine with ads and commercial messages. And that day arrived last week. My reflections on what it mean for brand and display advertising. Read more »