People I

A GigaOM conversation with GE CEO Jeff Immelt

GE, the industrial era mega-company is waking up to the reality of connectedness and importance of data and how those two will shape not only human but business experiences. GE wants to figure out the industrial Internet and wants Silicon Valley’s help, says CEO Jeff Immelt.

5 cool things at MIT Media Lab

Build-your-own cell phones, a “finger-worn executive assistant,” immersive TV, 3-D printed houses: These are among the many cool technologies on display at MIT’s Media Lab.

Around the world, no set rules for ebook pricing or digital reading

Ebook pricing and device trends that hold in North American countries don’t necessarily work for less developed market. Executives from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, France’s FNAC and India’s Indiaplaza discussed similarities and differences between digital reading cultures Wednesday afternoon at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Design is both the insanely radical and the passionately incremental

Steve Jobs knew that design was the foremost element in translating computing advances born of the clunky world of engineers into something for the average human. But not all design breakthroughs need to stop the world: sometimes, thoughtful incremental improvements can be just as profound.

Simon & Schuster to stream book videos on Roku and Blinkx

Book publisher Simon & Schuster is ramping up video distribution, creating content channels and signing with partners like Roku, Blinkx and Taboola. For now, the videos are intended to promote books and authors, not to drive advertising revenue.

French copyright police warn government over cutbacks

Hadopi, the French body created by former President Nicolas Sarkozy to enforce copyright laws online, has rarely been popular for its three strikes disconnection policy. Now, after hints that the new government may cut its funding, the group’s leader has told politicians to stop meddling.

Meet the man who wants to satirize Silicon Valley

British arch-satirist Armando Iannucci – best known for his documentary-style dissections of the political classes — is getting ready to take on his next project: a black comedy based on Silicon Valley’s worst moments of excess. Fish, meet barrel.

Could Nokia be the surprise winner of Samsung v Apple?

Investors are pushing Nokia’s stock price up as they look for positive news out of the $1bn patent award that Apple has wrung from Samsung. Are they hoping for the impossible? Or is this a surprise inflexion point for the struggling Finnish handset maker?

Sneak peek: A first look at GetGlue HD (video)

GetGlue is getting ready to launch an updated second screen experience dubbed GetGlue HD that adds media from numerous sources as well as a programming guide to the app. GetGlue founder and CEO Alex Iskold stopped by our office to tell us all about it.

GameFounders pushes deadline back after ‘big uptake’

Game-focused startup accelerator GameFounders has decided to knock back its deadline for applications by three days, in what the founders say is an attempt to accommodate a surge in submissions. Applicants will now have until Friday to apply for the Estonian-based program.

Why MOG sold for only $14M

HTC has come clean on how much it spent on MOG, and it ain’t that much: The cell phone maker told his investors that it only forked over $14M for the music subscription service. The question is: Why did MOG sell for so little?

Finally! Beats has acquired music service MOG

After months of speculation, it is finally confirmed that headphones maker Beats Electronics is buying online music service MOG. Beats is the company behind Beats by Dre series of iconic headphones and is part owned by handset maker HTC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

13th Lab raises $700,000 to build its ‘UI for reality’

Swedish startup 13th Lab has just raised $700,000 from Nordic investors Creandum to help build its augmented reality browser and developer tools for iOS. But forget about tacky versions of AR: this team is trying to build a real interface between the digital and the physical.

Finding Nemo: How a startup turns your desktop into an ocean

Neville Spiteri and Scott Yara have come up with a good reason to think about screen savers again: theBlu, a collaborative digital ocean that connects people with ecology and each other. But it is more than just a screensaver – it is a new entertainment & learning platform.

HTC rumored to have bought MOG

Mobile handset maker HTC has bought music subscription service MOG, according to a rumor reported by Business Insider. We haven’t been able to verify the rumor, but have also heard that term sheets have been going back and forth between the two companies.

Why you should go to SXSW. No really!

You should have come down for SXSW. I know it’s too big and it was cold. Sure it was overrun by startups pitching me-too apps and corporate brands, but it was also a celebration about what makes the web awesome, if you looked for it.

Pivotal Labs is said to have been sold

Pivotal Labs, one of the smartest Web teams, known for its pioneering work in agile development, is in talks to be acquired, we have learned. The news will come sometime later this month. And we are still trying to pin down the buyer’s name.

Zipcar backs peer-to-peer car sharing startup Wheelz

Will car sharing pioneer Zipcar move into the emerging industry of peer-to-peer car sharing, or enabling neighbors to rent out other neighbors’ vehicles? Well, Zipcar hasn’t launched such a service, but it’s invested in one of the new peer-to-peer car sharing startups Wheelz.

PIPA and SOPA votes shelved. Your move, web.

Updated. Sens. Harry Reid and Lamar Smith will postpone the scheduled votes on PIPA and SOPA. The moves are a big victory for the millions that oppose the bills on the grounds that they are too far-reaching in their attempts to curb piracy.

Vook: iBooks Author has limited appeal for writers, readers

Following Apple’s unveiling of e-book publishing platform iBooks Author Thursday, I reached out to Vook, the startup founded in 2009 by Brad Inman that provides a top-to-bottom publishing experience using a Software-as-a-Service model. Vook sees both flattery and opportunity in Apple’s e-book software.

How Spain’s version of SOPA is setting the web on fire

After much deliberation, Spain’s Sinde Law — an antipiracy initiative similar to America’s proposed SOPA legislation — has passed. But it is not entering the statute books without controversy over its reach, remit and the threats made by the U.S. government to force it through.

Apple names Levinson chairman, adds Disney chief to board

Apple today announced that Arthur D. Levinson, member of Apple’s board since 2005, will be the successor to Steve Jobs as Apple’s non-executive chairman. In addition, Apple has appointed Robert Iger, CEO and President of The Walt Disney Company to the board of directors.

Steve Jobs bio: 379,000 U.S. sales and counting

Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography has clearly been successful, topping best-seller lists ahead of its release, but new numbers reveal the extent of that success. The 656-page book has sold around 379,000 copies in the U.S. during its first week, according to a Nielsen report.

Seed funded startups ripe for shakeout, VCs say

Individual seed investors have been an increasingly powerful force in Silicon Valley’s startup funding landscape. But some venture capital heavyweights say that while the VC industry has been shaken up by the increase of seed backers, the current environment will likely lead to a fall.

Stuck in the Matrix: Where is Yahoo’s Neo?

There has been much debate lately about where Yahoo has gone wrong and what it needs to do to right itself. Salim Ismail, formerly of Yahoo’s in-house incubator Brickhouse, believes that the company’s problems lie in its very structure.

How Lanyrd went from Casablanca to conference circuit

Simon Willison is the ultimate nerd: He’s the face behind several important pieces of web technology and a developer who’s worked for some of the biggest names in the business. Now he and his wife are finding more success with events website Lanyrd.

Yo, HTC — you got problems. And Dr. Dre can’t fix them

HTC spent $300 million to buy majority of Beats Electronics, a lifestyle brand that makes headphones. That deal might buy the company coolness but it might not be enough for a company fighting a tough fight with well funded and more motivated rivals like Samsung.

Top designer Dieter Rams on what makes Apple special

Apple’s head of design Jonny Ive has been public about the influence uber designer Dieter Rams on his work. Now the man behind many of German company Braun’s iconic design speaks about Ive, Steve Jobs, Apple and the importance of design in today’s world.

Merry Holidays, Please Hold Premieres With TED Spoof

This holiday season, customer service start-up Zendesk is sponsoring a web series all about the importance of good customer service, written and directed by Scotty “Got an Office Job” Iseri. The first episode takes aim at one of web video’s most sacred cows.

Will Premium VOD Be A Premium Flop?

Movie studios are keen on creating a new window enabling viewers to watch recently released films without going to the movie theater. With a “premium” VOD service, studios hope to capture the at-home viewing audience while still maintaining the high cost of the big screen.

Sponsor post: Your Killer App Could Win $100,000 From PayPal

PayPal is giving away $160,000 USD in prizes to the most innovative apps to use the
PayPal X Platform, judging based on app innovation and business potential, with additional awards honoring innovation in use of the eBay Developer API, integration with Yahoo and cross-border
payment systems.

Murkowski Resolution Fails: Humdingers from the Debate

A move to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, led by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, failed Thursday afternoon. After hours of debate, the Senate rejected the resolution with a final tally of 47-53.

Alice on the iPad: Is This the Future of Books?

The Alice in Wonderland app for the iPad, from iPhone developer Atomic Antelope, brings a whole new range of interactivity to the classic children’s book. Readers can turn and move the iPad to help Alice grow taller or shorter and throw tarts at the Red Queen.

Daily Sprout

Photos: Tesla Roadster Sport: If you want an electric sports car and the Tesla Roadster isn’t fast or expensive enough for you,…

UMPC Recipe for Success: Mod a MID Tired of waiting for promised MIDs and disappointed that UMPCs are headed the way of the dodo? I suppose you could…

My 10 "Un-Tips" for Starting-Up Right

I recently read Alex Iskold’s great piece 36 Startup Tips and began thinking that had I read this a year ago, maybe…