fredag 31. juli 2009

Roundup: Ad market reset, Windows 7 pricing, Pogue’s voicemail crusade continues

Online advertising stops its nose-dive — Second-quarter global ad revenues, at $7.864 billion, were down 3.4 percent from a year ago. But admit it: After the past year, a 3.4 percent drop almost feels like growth.Is this a “reset” of base level from which the ad market can now grow again? TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld plots the line and explains the economist-speak. Erick, I hate to be all VentureBeat fussy, but do you have more granular data to work with? I’d love to see week-to-week revenues, rather than a plot that jumps in three-month increments. Really, why aren’t we able to keep a real-time ticker on our screens by now?
How to profit from Bubble 3.0 – “Don’t be afraid of a bubble” is the first big step, says Wall Street Journal writer James Altucher. He offers his educated guesses on where the next bubble might appear, and how people in different roles can profit from it.
Windows 7 pricing is higher than home buyers had probably hoped — A box of Windows 7 Home Premium will cost about $150. Upgrade packages will be in the $80-90 range. Buying made simple: You want the Premium edition. The Basic edition lacks the faster, slicker Aero interface that uses your desktop or laptop’s graphics chip —  yes, your laptop has one. The Professional and Ultimate editions have office-IT-network tools and applications that only your boss should pay for. Stick with Premium, which really should be called Normal, and you’ll be fine. Ed Bott at ZD has the long version.
Windows Mobile, meanwhile, has been kicked out of Motorola in favor of Android - Om Malik talked to Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha, who explained that Motorolla has decided that the way for a smartphone handset maker to succeed is to pick one OS and focus everything on it.
David Pogue’s Take Back the Beep campaign continues — The New York Times’ Broadway-trained gadget reviewer has struck a nerve with his attack on “the obnoxious, drawn-out, 15-second instructions that Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile tack on to your own voice mail greeting” in order to run up your monthly minutes usage.
Here’s the cheat sheet on which key to press to skip past voicemail intros on America’s four major carriers.
Verizon: *
Sprint: 1
T-Mobile: #
AT&T: #
Pogue today recounts the responses he got from readers, who seemed unusually polite,  and from wireless carrier PR people, some of whom seemed to barely understand their own voicemail systems.
Space Shuttle Endeavor puts in a perfect landing — Seven astronauts spent the last sixteen days docked to the International Space Station, building an addition to Japan’s billion-dollar lab. Shuttle landings are cool. While the Shuttle is smaller than an airliner, it comes in a lot faster — 215 mph rather than 160 — and with its nose high in the air. Then it pops out a 40-foot parachute to brake itself to 110 mph before rolling to a stop.

Opera CEO still seeks U.S. success

Jon von Tetzchner (pronounced “Yon,” not “John”) co-founded Opera in 1995 after developing a small, fast browser for Norway’s national phone company. The original version needed to fit on a 1.2 megabyte floppy disk and run fast on old PCs too slow for the two browser giants of the time, Internet Explorer 4 and Netscape Communicator.
Fourteen years later, von Tetzchner has carved out a small but solid niche for Opera. The company’s browsers ship pre-installed on more than 200 mobile phone models and cover more than 20 operating systems including the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and ASUS Eee Top PC, all of which ship with Opera as the built-in browser. Von Tetzchner says that by some estimates, Opera is the most-used mobile browser in the world. (Wikipedia has an unsourced figure of 40 million shipped phones with Opera built in.)
But Opera isn’t making Google-sized money. Its first-quarter sales and revenue-sharing deals with mobile carriers, search engines and other sites, added up to just over $27 million in revenue. That’s an impressive 59 percent jump over Q1 2008, at a time when most tech firms were bleeding money. But it’s a lot less than the average Valley CEO would hope to be reporting after 14 years in business.
Opera seems perpetually stuck at around 3 percent global market share for browsers, and very little of that coming from Americans. Von Tetzchner’s earnest new product, Opera Unite, which lets users turn their personal computers into globally accessible content servers, has inspired only a small number of devotees.
I prodded Von Tetzchner about his company’s continued solid-but-small status over lunch in San Francisco today. “What Apple has done is very sexy,” he said, “but you have to keep in mind that iPhones are only two percent of the total number of phones” sold or given away by worldwide carriers. “That leaves 98 percent of the world’s phones not tied to Safari.”
Opera is another company like INQ or GetJar that’s well-known outside the U.S. but unknown to Americans.  ”People often quote our U.S. market share as if is the global figure,” von Tetzchner said. “Our global market share is just over three percent. That is comparable to Safari and Chrome.”
In the U.S. market, Opera still has lots of room for growth in two major markets: Desktop and laptop PCs, and mobile phones. Von Tetzchner has been thus far unable to sell major PC and mobile makers on making Opera their default browser as he did Nintendo.
Now seems like a good time to try again. The past few months have proven that alternative browsers — Safari and Chrome — can draw enthuasiastic user bases through downloads rather than pre-installation. And the rise of app stores seems to be making users more demanding for quality applications that aren’t sloppy and slow. Opera has that in spades — I use it on my BlackBerry.
But as troubled startup Skyfire has learned, a cutting-edge, well-built browser that plays to the new world of social networks and viral videos won’t automatically be snapped up by gadget makers.
Opera has hung in there for nearly fifteen years. To get to the next level, they need a new round of buzz. What’s not clear is where that’s going to come from.

FCC gransker avvisning av Google Voice apps fra iPhone store

Regulatorer fra Federal Communications Commission har sendt brev til AT & T og Apple, krevende å vite "på hvem, hva og hvorfor" av Apples avvisning av Googles offisielle Google Voice app for iPhone, ifølge en rapport fra Wired News reporter Ryan Singel. AT & T har blitt viden ryktet har krevd at Apple fjerne alle Google Voice apps fra butikken. FCC-raske-fire spørsmålene komme ned til detaljer: "Er det noen ord i AT & T's kunde avtaler som begrenser kundens bruk av visse tredje partyapplications? I så fall må du angi hvordan forbrukerne er informert om slike begrensninger, og om slike begrensninger er lagt ut på iTunes nettsted også. Generelt er det AT & T's rolle i certifying programmer på enheter som kjører via AT & Ts 3G-nettverk? Hva, om noen, programmer krever AT & T godkjennelse som skal legges til en enhet? Er det noen forskjeller mellom AT & T's behandling av iPhone og andre enheter som brukes på 3G-nettverk? FCC også skrive Google å spørre hva Android Apps Google har avvist, og hvorfor. Apple, AT & T og Google er pålagt å svare med 21. august og FCC planer om å gjøre mye av sine svar publikum. FCC nettsted har PDF-filer av brev til Apple, AT & T og Google. [Bilde fra Biz]

Video intervju med iPhone hacker Charlie Miller

Charlie Miller (tv) har hatt en rekke treff som en hacker. Denne uken la han til til sin liste, som han offentliggjorde på Black Hat sikkerhet konferansen at han og partner Collin Mulliner kunne hacke en iPhone med en tekstmelding. Charlie Miller har gjort hans navn hacking kule ting som første Apple iPhone, T-Mobile HTC G1-telefon med Googles Android-programvare, Second Life, og Mac-operativsystemet. Han gjør det ikke for en kriminell hensikt, men for skyld for økt sikkerhet. Men han er alltid en torn i siden av store selskaper. Jeg fanget opp med ham torsdag kveld, like etter at Apple sikkerhetseksperter snakket med ham om hvordan de ønsket å teste ut en oppdatering for å fikse hullet han oppdaget. Apple har siden oppdatert feilen. video-intervju med iPhone hacker Charlie Miller fra Dean Takahashi på Vimeo.

FairSoftware tries to kill the handshake deal for iPhone app developers

It’s the classic story. Someone has a great idea, they to decide work with their friends, then there’s real money either owed or earned, and they don’t have a written agreement to help settle their differences — cue the tears. A startup called FairSoftware wants to help you avoid such disasters by creating a business and legal framework for early-stage projects. And this week, it added iPhone applications into the mix.
The Mountain View, Calif. company’s underlying idea is the same across platforms, whether you’re building software, writing a multi-author blog, or, now, building an iPhone app. In each case, if you’ve got a great idea, you can come to the FairSoftware site to find team members. To convince people to work with you, you give them “virtual stock” in the company, and that stock pays off in a share of the revenue when the money starts rolling in (hopefully).
Basically, this heads off the problem that during the early days of a cool project, there usually isn’t a legal structure — that comes later, once the project has transformed into an incorporated company. With FairSoftware, the legal protections are there from the very beginning, they’re what help you build a team and a project. And by offering virtual stock instead of money as a payment, a prospective entrepreneur doesn’t need as much capital to get going.
Behind the scenes, FairSoftware is the one handling the product distribution and the revenue, which it then divvies up among the team members according to the virtual stock. In the case of software and blogs, the company is already taking a 4 percent cut of cut of revenue; chief executive Alain Reynaud says he isn’t doing this with iPhone apps yet, but is definitely looking at ways to make money from that channel too.
In the best case scenario,  your project will become a serious business, and you’ll want to break free from FairSoftware’s system. Reynaud says FairSoftware offers a legal process that making it easy for teams to “graduate” into an incorporated company. That process has protections in place if there has been a falling out within the team, or if there have been other disputes or departures. For example, if a developer left the project, then FairSoftware’s contracts say the code still belongs to the team, but that developer still keeps their shares in the company. And if a company incorporates, those shares become turn into real company ownership.
Reynaud isn’t saying too much about user or project numbers (FairSoftware launched at the TechCrunch50 conference last fall), except that the early reception to the iPhone program is positive, and that he’s been surprised by how many FairSoftware users want to start blogs focused on specific countries.
FairSoftware is self-funded.

Hvem er mor til Jude Law's baby?

På hennes online modell profil, Samantha Burke sier hun brenner for mote og fotografi, og har ambisjoner om å bli skuespiller.

Sandler, Rogen definere 'Funny'

Gitt en cast av Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen og Jonah Hill, og den styrende hånd regissør og skribent Judd Apatow ( "banket opp" og "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"), kanskje det ikke er mer passende tittel enn bare "Funny People".

"Funny People 'ved lege

Mange mennesker liker Adam Sandler.

Spying tools come to iPhone, legality dubious

New software turns the iPhone into a powerful eavesdropping tool, but only for those who are willing to jailbreak the phone and wade into murky legal territory.
Seychelles-based FlexiSpy, a purveyor of snooping applications for mobile devices, has released new software that lets you remotely turn on an iPhone’s microphone and listen in on the surroundings. FlexiSpy likens this to an audio bug — the kind used by the FBI to keep tabs on mobsters.
The remote recording function is being installed on all new iPhones running FlexiSpy, which only works when the phone is jailbroken, meaning it is free from limitations imposed by Apple and AT&T.
This is not the first development in spy technology for mobile devices. FlexiSpy offers a whole range of tools for cell phones, including software that turns the tables by hiding mobile communications from snoopers. Another company, Mobile Spy, offers a similar line of products, but so far doesn’t have the audio bug functionality of Flexispy’s iPhone software.
Concern over cell phone spy tools is growing. It’s not hard to find stories about people discovering that their phone activities are being logged. Last week, Blackberry users in the United Arab Emirates cancelled service en masse with provider Etisalat when they found out the government was installing spy software as part of a routine service update.
Flexispy markets its products as a way to “supervise and protect teenagers and employees, and to investigate infidelity and criminal activity.” These activities are in many cases illegal unless users know they can be spied upon, which usually defeats the purpose.
To clarify, I spoke with Tom Clyde and Scott Dailard, attorneys for Washington, D.C.-based Dow Lohnes. Their firm represents media companies and often provides newsroom counseling on questionable journalistic practices such as hidden microphones.
Clyde said a program like FlexiSpy would be difficult to use within the boundaries of the law. Federal wiretapping statutes say that recording a conversation in the United States requires the consent of at least one party. That means it’s illegal to plant FlexiSpy on your spouse’s iPhone and record his or her affair with another lover.
But how is this different than hiring a private investigator? Simple: Even P.I.s aren’t allowed to trespass, and they certainly can’t tap phone lines. A phone application has access to areas where an investigator cannot go.
Some states, such as California and Connecticut, require consent of both recorded parties, so bugging the phone wouldn’t necessarily be allowed even if the spouse knew about it. The same logic applies when spying on one’s children, Clyde said. One perfectly legal scenario would be installation on company phones, provided the employee is told about the spy software with clear documentation. Law enforcement could also use the software after getting court approval.
Despite the ways in which FlexiSpy can be used illegally, Clyde said the law is currently adequate for addressing legal disputes, should they arise from using mobile spy tools. So far, there hasn’t been much of an uproar.
“To me, this is just another example of where technology is moving quickly enough that it’s collideing with the law, but it’s staying under the radar to a degree where we’re not seeing a lot of civil lawsuits and criminal lawsuits,” he said.
If demand for tools from Flexispy and Mobile Spy grows, that could change.

Attack of the Palm Pre VoIP apps

Voxofon is angling to be the first native VoIP application for the Palm Pre later this year, but a new Web version of IM+ can already access the more-familiar Skype.
IM+ for the Palm Pre, spotted today by JkOnTheRun, can be reached by pointing the Pre’s Web browser to (This actually works on my iPhone as well, but it’s redundant with a native app available.) There, users can call other Skype contacts for free or use pre-paid SkypeOut minutes to reach any mobile phone or landline. The IM+ Web app, which works over 3G, GSM or CDMA networks, is free for 10 days and costs $10 for lifetime use thereafter.
Houston-based Voxofon has a different focus. It doesn’t allow for free calls between users, but positions itself as a way to make cheap international calls. It’s important to note that Palm — and Sprint, for that matter — hasn’t approved the app yet. Chief executive Alexey Goloshubin said Voxofon wanted to get an announcement out now to let people know the company’s working on a solution for Pre owners. The app will be free to download, and rates will start at 1.3 cents per minute.
As with Voxofon’s existing apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones, the Pre app would use a local access number to place calls, so it still eats minutes from the carrier. Goloshubin said the Pre’s application interface for programmers doesn’t allow the low-level programming required for pure VoIP. That’s also why a Pre application wouldn’t be able to intercept outgoing local calls from the main dialer and offer Voxofon dialing instead.
As an alternative to local access, Voxofon can use a callback system that comes in handy for travels abroad. It uses a small amount of Web data to ping the receiving line, which can then call back to a local landline that won’t incur charges for incoming calls.
Voxofon doesn’t have any special deal with Palm or Sprint, so there’s no reason we won’t see other VoIP applications coming along, provided Palm approves them. Given the glacial pace at which Palm’s app store is growing, that could still take a long time.

OS 3.0.1 utgitt: iPhone utnytte til å avslutte alle iPhone utnytter nå løst

Gå og oppdatere iPhone! 3.0.1 er ute, og det løser SMS sårbarhet som er pisket opp i sikkerhet raseri over de siste par dagene. Forhåpentligvis vil vi høre mindre om hvordan uinntagelig Apples OSes er etter denne lille hendelsen.

Motorola klasser opp med Android-drevet Sholes

Alright Motorola, jeg har å gi deg. Etter ser Morrison rock som DayGlo Playskool se (og la oss ikke glemme at heslig svart og lilla Rival), var vi alle litt bekymret for at alle dere hadde glemt alt om en liten konsept kalt "subtilitet. Alas, som det viser seg, vår frykt var [...]

Verizon Samsung Rogue: ikke en smartmobil, men vi fremdeles siklende

Hva skjer når du tar Samsung OmniaPro, forbedre sin tastatur og det generelle utseendet på enheten, deretter strip det av sin smarttelefon OS? Du får Verizon Rogue. For de som leter etter den smarttelefonen pakken uten smarts, det er et fint stykke kit. Som QWERTY-tastaturet ser downright lekkert, det har en bra [...]

HTC Hero flyr mot en 11 oktober starter på Sprint?

Å Internett. Hvordan mysterisk det er. Fullpakket fra e-vinduet til e-vegg med "ekspertene", 95% av dem har ingen anelse hva de snakker om. Deretter er det at andre 5% som til en viss grad har en idé om hva de snakker om. Dessverre er endeløs strøm av falsities (kjeder barna gjør opp Apple-produkter, kjeder [...]

Apple å fikse sikkerhetshull i iPhone som gjør den sårbar for tekst-melding hack

Apple har tydeligvis klart å sy en feil i iPhone som gjør den sårbar for å bli hacket av en tekstmelding. Charlie Miller, sikkerhet forsker ved Independent Security evalueringer beskrevet torsdag hvordan han kunne ta over en iPhone vil én tekstmelding. Han gjorde den avsløring på Black Hat sikkerhet konferansen i Las Vegas. I et intervju i går kveld, Miller fortalte at han fortalte Apple om feilen seks uker siden, men han fikk ikke en følelse at de var bevegelige raskt. Men etter hans siste snakk torsdag jeg så som Apple sikkerhetseksperter nærmet Miller. De spurte ham om de kunne raskt teste oppdateringen de hadde laget i forbindelse med sitt snakk. De trengte mer informasjon på vakt for å kunne å teste om deres løse feilen ville virkelig fungerer. Miller enige om å tilby sin hjelp, og han joked, "Jeg forventer gratis levetid fra AT & T." Apple fyrene lo. Miller trodde det ville ikke være så vanskelig å sy systemet mot sin potensielle angrep. Today, BBC rapporterer at O2, en transportør i Storbritannia, sier Apple vil distribuere en oppdatering på lørdag i nettverk i Storbritannia. Miller og Collin Mulliner fant ut at de kan opprette en tekstmelding som kunne kjøre unfiltered gjennom en tekstmelding behandling og bli rutet til hvilken som helst telefon. De kunne bruke den til å slå en iPhone av hvert 10. sekund, gjengivelsesteknologi det ubrukelig, eller annet kompromiss den.

Kjære YouTube: Når Jill og Kevin får betalt?

Hvis du ikke har sett viral video som sendes Chris Brown's år gamle spor "Forever" til toppen av Amazon og iTunes salg diagrammer, her er din sjanse til å ta opp med resten av Internett. En gushing blogginnlegg på den offisielle Google Blog igår enthused om hvordan opphavsrettsinnehaverne for sangen som brukes i denne videoen var i stand til å tjene penger på sin avslapnings popularitet. I dag, men online trash talk sentre rundt hullet i Googles worldview: Hvorfor har ikke de som laget videoen får en automatisk klipping av handlingen?

Please, please don’t personalize Twitter for me

Slide’s competitive strategy manager Doug Sherrets explained on VentureBeat this morning why a system — generally known as “open data” — that allows companies to share information about each other’s customers would empower them to deliver more serendipitous automatic content to these customers. The concept is called “discovery,” and dates back on the mainstream Internet to Amazon’s product referral service, which launched in the 90s.
But it worries me to see Twitter CEO Biz Stone quoted and linked in the middle of Sherrets’ story, talking up plans to rank Twitter results by authority — by assigning different levels of importance to different users. That would, Stone says, float the “important” tweets to the top.
Biz, that sounds like a great optional feature. But if you replace the current all-tweets-are-equal system with yet another Internet pecking order, you’ll ruin a big part of Twitter’s appeal to the masses, and to me.
There are two reasons the current flatworld-o’-tweets draws us in and keeps us coming back:
1. Too much of the Internet is published by the same few people — We used to call them The 250 on Valleywag. Whenever anyone sets up a new online social scene of any sort, it’s only two weeks until super-sharer Robert Scoble has overrun the thing without trying, and the Huffington Post has gamed the system to serve me back my own articles with the HuffPo’s ads slapped on them. Right now, Twitter gives everyone equal exposure. They can boost their number of followers, but that doesn’t push their tweets higher up on my screen (It does raise the number of retweets of their updates, but not as much as I’d feared.) I guarantee that if Twitter implements a ranking system, the same old crowd will shove everyone else aside. If I want to read the same people over and over, I already have Techmeme.
2. Twitter’s unranked content draws eager participants — People who aren’t already famous or important love Twitter for the same reason they used to love blogging in 2002: They have as much chance of getting seen, read and loved as Malcolm Gladwell. When CNN or Fox News show Twitter search results on TV, @brandondude is as likely to get flashed to the masses as the guys at the New York Times. This is the reason so many people have flocked to flaky little Twitter. It lets everyone feel important, recognized and connected.
Start sifting results for Twitter’s “important” posts, and you’ll throw away all the random dumb stuff that makes us love it. That will drive away the people who contribute the random dumb stuff. Then there won’t be so much random dumb stuff on Twitter anymore. When that happens, I’m gone.
[Image by]

FonGenie automates phone calls for small businesses

If you run a brick-and-mortar store, there’s a decent chance that you or your employees waste a lot of time answering dumb questions on the phone: “What are your hours?” “How do I get to your store?” “Are you open right now?” Now a startup called FonGenie has built a service to automate this process and to help bring in more money, too.
When a business owner signs up with Mountain View, Calif.-based FonGenie, they get access to a website where they type in how the system should respond to phone calls. Not only does this create an automated response, but it also makes it easy for a business to update the system with daily specials and other changes — those updates can also be sent or pulled from other services, like Twitter. (Behind the scenes, the company has created its own phone network and requires businesses to sign up with for a new number, but those businesses can automatically forward calls from their old numbers, so their customers won’t know the difference.)
FonGenie also provides access to an analytics service, which gives clients real-time information about things like how long a customer was on the phone, what options they selected, and when they called. That could help businesses see whether their specials attract much customer interest and help them make decisions like changing store hours if most customers seem to call when they’re closed.
Founder and chief executive James Im says there are call center automation services already offered to big corporations by Nortel and Microsoft’s TellMe, but they’re too expensive for small businesses. FonGenie is officially launching its service now, but some early customers have already been using it. Im says the product seems to fit best with service-oriented retailers (the example he showed me was a spa) that receive between 40 and 100 phone calls a day. Among those early customers, revenue has gone up an average 15 percent since installing the service, Im says, presumably because it becomes easier for them to publicize different promotions.
Im previously founded mobile concierge service HeyCosmo, but has now cut back to an advisory role there. FonGenie, meanwhile, has raised a total of $700,000 from angel investors and Im himself.

Bør Journalister på Twitter? Tre fjerdedeler av NYTimes lesere tror ikke det.

Angivelig, New York Times er fremdeles usikker på om dens journalister bør få tillatelse til å Tweet eller ikke. Fascinert av dette tweet fra forfatter og konsulent Stowe Boyd, jeg registrert på New York Times' Insight Lab, et nettbasert fellesskap / fokus gruppen består av Times leserne interessert i å tilby media selskap med direkte tilbakemelding. Hjemmesiden funksjoner en rask avstemning spør medlemmer om de ønsker å se Times' journalister og redaktører på Twitter eller ikke. Jeg tror dette er det mest presserende problemet New York Times vil høre fra leserne om. For noen grunn, nær tre fjerdedeler av de spurte at de ville foretrekke hvis journalister opphold langt fra mikro-deling tjenesten. Bare 7 prosent hadde ingen anelse om hva Twitter er.

International hip-hop artister finne sine røtter

Seks hip-hop artister fra fem land snakker fire språk er på scenen, varmes opp for sine show på Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Rettstjener: Fra megastar til mentor

Fans av also Usher Raymond IV vise ham som en sang, dans og fungerende superstar.

Gjennomgang: "Funny People 'leverer varene

Comedy er hard; døende er enkelt. Noen stand-up vil fortelle deg det. La oss ha en hånd, og deretter, for Judd Apatow. Hollywood mest vellykkede moderne komedie produsent fortsetter å presse mot risikofylt saksområdet. Nå er det kjendis og morsomme ting som det gjør med folk.

Jackson personlige kokk minnes panikk

Michael Jackson personlige kokk Kai Chase sier den 25 juni var forme seg som en typisk dag i superstar vanligvis fredelig og ryddig hjem til et presserende appell fra Jackson personlige lege sendte panikk feiende gjennom husholdning.

Jeg Forrige for å finne ut Du kan omgå PDF Bruksinformasjon Restriksjoner Med Gmail?

Jeg forventer mange av dere allerede var klar over dette, men jeg kan tenke minst noen av dere ikke ennå, så her går: tilsynelatende kan du løfte bruksstatistikk restriksjoner fra Adobe PDF-filer ved å videresende dem som vedlegg til din Gmail-konto og åpne dem i HTML-modus direkte fra innboksen din. På den måten kan du kopiere uansett 'sikret' PDF inneholder en tekstredigering programmet og gjøre hva du vil med det. Til din orientering: PDF (Portable Document Format) kan være kryptert slik at et passord er nødvendig for å vise eller redigere innhold, og de kan også inneholde DRM restriksjoner som gir ytterligere kontroller som begrenser kopiering, redigering eller utskrift.

Should The Government Jail The Hacker That Broke The Pentagon? Or Hire him?

British hacker Gary McKinnon has finally lost his latest High Court bid to avoid extradition to the United States to face charges for breaking into US military and Nasa computers in 2001 and 2002. After his arrest, and without a lawyer present, McKinnon admitted to hacking, but denies it was malicious or that he caused damage costing $800,000 (£487,000). The argument of his lawyers was not that he shouldn't be tried, but that he should be tried in the UK and that his extreme Asperger's Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, should be taken into account, especially since it could lead to suicide, if he was to be extradited.

He faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted in the U.S. of what prosecutors have called "the biggest military computer hack of all time". He accessed 97 government computers belonging to organisations including the US Navy and Nasa.

Now, exactly what was this hack? McKinnon has always insisted he was looking for classified documents on UFOs which he believed the US authorities had suppressed. This is not a normal guy here. This is a mega geek who believed in UFOs. We're not talking terrorist material. He's been described as a 43-year-old "UFO eccentric".

In fact McKinnon's case reminds me very much of the story of John Forbes Nash, Jr., the subject of the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind. Nash was a mathematical genius who suffered from extreme paranoia - but his work on game theory ended up contributing to U.S. strategy during the Cold War.

Should Gary McKinnon therefore be left to rot in a U.S. jail for the rest of his life? Or should his skills be put to better use?

Jeg avslutter iPhone

Jeg har elsket iPhone, men nå er jeg slutte iPhone. Dette er ikke en lett avgjørelse. Jeg var der i januar 2007 da det ble annonsert, og jeg kjøpte den første iPhone så snart det ble tilgjengelig. Jeg lykkelig kjøpte iPhone 3G et år senere. Jeg har stolt yelled "Jeg er medlem av The Cult Of iPhone." Jeg har vært en unabashed cheerleader for enheten til alle som vil lytte. Og jeg har lo på utviklere som sa at de skulle forlate plattformen. Men jeg er ikke til å oppgradere til iPhone 3GS. I stedet er jeg forlater iPhone og AT & T. Jeg vil grudgingly betale $ 175 AT & T oppsigelse avgift og deretter vil jeg gå videre til en annen enhet. Hva endelig satt meg over kanten?

Ebay I Litigation Med Skype Stiftere Over Key Technology

Kanskje med fordel for etterpåklokskap, skyting Skype-gründer Niklas Zennstrom som konsernsjef i 2007 og utbetale bare 1 / 3 av potensielle earnout ikke var den beste ideen. Zennstrom synes å holde seg en grudge. EBay utvikler nye peer-to-peer-programvare for å kjøre Skype-tjenesten, de avdekket i en kvartalsvis SEC setningen. Eksisterende peer-to-peer-programvare er kontrollert av Joltid, et selskap kontrollert av Skypes grunnleggere Zennstrom og Janus Friis. Programvaren ikke ble kjøpt opp av eBay i 2005 oppkjøp av Skype-tjenesten og er nå gjenstand for søksmål i Storbritannia. EBay er å utvikle ny programvare i tilfelle de mister retten til fortsatt lisens som teknologi, men advarer om at " slik programvareutvikling kan ikke vellykket, kan resultere i tap av funksjonalitet eller kunder selv om vellykket, og vil i noen tilfelle være dyrt. "

Nokia claims N86 8MP doesn't need any xenon, world chuckles

It seems we aren't the only ones that feel sorry the Nokia N86 8MP lacks a xenon flash like its predecessor - the Nokia N82. So the Finnish company decided it had to do something to restore its flagship reputation...

FCC teases med Nokia 5800i XM - bedre kamera, men ikke Wi-Fi?

Den amerikanske FCC nettsted lekket en ny versjon av den populære Nokia 5800. Det kalles 5800i, men i motsetning til hva navnet antyder, er det ikke en ren oppgradering over vanlige 5800 XpressMusic. Det er ingen detaljerte ...

torsdag 30. juli 2009

MySpace Mail launches, officially part of the new MySpace

While MySpace is figuring out its future as a sort of entertainment portal, an older and but still heavily-used product has made it out the door. MySpace Mail has been upgraded from simple messaging to a full-blown email service. You can send and receive real emails.
Rumors of the email upgrade started at the beginning of this year, but the company has been pretty quiet on the product front since new management came in this spring. Meanwhile, the site’s user growth has stagnated around 125 million monthly active users since last year, while rivals like Facebook (and Twitter) continue to grow. It’s nice to see things moving again over at MySpace.
The mail feature will go live over the next couple of weeks. For now, the company has only sent out screenshots. Compare those with the old version I currently see on my MySpace account, which has a sort of faux Outlook Express style.
The interface looks nicer than before, but more interestingly, it includes unique email accounts that match user unique URLs. So for example, Britney Spears has so she’d get You can send and receive real emails just like in Gmail or other programs. You can also just elect to message MySpace friends.
Judging by the MySpace screenshots, some pages in the program also have an “activity stream” showing you what your friends are up to on the site. Other social networks, like Facebook, don’t offer full email features, and use their mail services as more internal messaging services.

The product has been in the works at least since at least the beginning of the year. The email build-out was begun by the company’s previous executives, founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson. They had a broad vision for the role MySpace would play in people’s lives. But parent company News Corp brought in Jonathan Miller as its new “chief digital officer” in late March. He oversees MySpace and a number of other News Corp web sites and properties. Under Miller, News Corp fired DeWolfe and brought in former Facebook executive Owen Van Natta to serve under Miller. Van Natta and his new executive team have been busy cutting staff and refocusing the organization on what it wants to be now.
That vision hasn’t been clear yet. News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch has said the site could become more of an entertainment portal, while Miller has talked about its possibility as an even bigger gaming platform, and how it needs a culture of innovation.
There are two reasons MySpace Mail makes sense for the company. Email is for many Web users the largest use of their online time. And the bands that already use MySpace’s profile pages to communicate with fans can now add email to the list of options, as CNET’s Caroline McCarthy points out, making MySpace Mail the way the reach fans who aren’t otherwise on the site. It will be interesting to see how mail gets integrated in with MySpace Music — perhaps some sort of automatic email feature that bands could do from their music profiles.
In general, smart integrations of email with existing popular MySpace features could drive more users to both the site and this new feature, keeping them around for longer (to serve ads against) and building the MySpace brand.
So, I’m looking forward to some of the other projects that MySpace has been working on for months, but hasn’t released yet, like its virtual currency. Perhaps all of these products will add up to a big comeback — that would make for one of the better comeback stories of the modern social networking era.

Roundup: Pogue’s voicemail rage, YouTube monetization, more Techmeme bragging

New York Times gadget guru incites backlash against mobile carriers’ costly voicemail instructions — David Pogue is mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore. Not that you could tell, given Pogue’s perennial good cheer and unfailing politeness. But he went on a tear today, documenting the overly-long welcome messages on American carriers’ voicemail systems. It’s no secret that these pre-recorded messages are designed to cause customers to burn extra minutes. Pogue estimates that at two voicemail check-ins a day, Verizon is making $620 million a year and wasting three hours per year of its customers’s time forcing them to sit through the greetings and instructions. More to the point, they waste crucial minutes in customers’ lives just as those customers are trying to retrieve an important call.
YouTube hit gets monetized, but it won’t say how monetized – The Official Google Blog gushes over the 10 million views to Jill and Kevin’s wedding video, then goes on to chart out how the copyright holders to the song used in the video, “Forever” by Chris Brown, were able to monetize the popularity of the clip. The song, which was released last year, was goosed back up to #3 on Amazon and #4 on iTunes by the popularity of the video. But Google’s post is frustrating because it doesn’t tell us how much anyone actually made. A million bucks? More? Less? It’s natural for business reporters to suspect that numbers withheld are likely to be disappointing. Even more important, Google’s blog post concludes, “One of our main goals at YouTube is to help content creators effectively make money.” OK, so how many of these effective-money-making events have happened so far? One. Let me know when there are ten thousand.
Building iPods in the USA might not be stupidly expensive — A casual estimate by Harvard Business Publishing blogger Umair Haque concludes that the cost savings of assembling iPods in China is not so great. Moving the labor to the U.S., which Haque doesn’t consider such a great place to work, either, would boost the price of these hypothetical “fair-labor iPods” by between 23 and 37 percent.
Microsoft’s Windows Phones need to get a lot better to compete with newer platforms — Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Wingfield proposes that Microsoft’s Windows Phones — as Windows Mobile will be renamed — need to integrate hardware and software design the way Apple does for its iPhones. In a blunt interview with Microsoft exec Robbie Bach, Wingfield charges that Microsoft’s mobile software has only crept ahead incrementally, and there are no wow-phones being built to run that software. Windows phones are, he says, basically boring.
What did the head of the Consumer Electronics Agency really say about Apple and Steve Jobs appearing at January’s Consumer Electronics Show? — At a dinner Wednesday night, CEA chief Gary Shapiro talked to reporters about the possibility of Apple finally appearing at CES 2010, and Steve Jobs being asked to deliver the main keynote. A spat erupted over whether or not Shapiro had hinted that Apple and Jobs might participate. Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Charny claimed Shapiro suggested a strong possibility. GDGT editor Ryan Block said Charny was grossly overstating Shapiro’s remarks. The matter has been settled by Financial Times reporter Chris Nuttall, who published a transcription of the dinner conversation from his Livescribe recording pen. Summary: No Apple, no Steve, no way. Forget it.
VentureBeat rocking it solid as Techmeme’s #4 content source — We’ve decided — no, I’ve decided that my VentureBeat colleagues don’t brag it up enough. With every other biz-news blogger running around flogging all the big news stories they’ve broken and how important and very special they are, we at VB sit off to the sides and hope readers will sort of figure it out on their own. Many don’t, so here’s a cheat sheet.

Movie startup Blowtorch flames out as Ignition’s bad luck streak continues

Blowtorch Entertainment is a new media movie company founded in late 2007 by CEO Kelly Rodriques, who had previously sold managed services startup Totality to Verizon in 2005. Blowtorch’s plan was to produce video content for 18-to-24-year-olds. Ignition Partners, where Rodriques had been an operating partner, invested an undisclosed amount in Blowtorch’s initial $50 million round.
But a report on VentureWire today listed Blowtorch as the latest non-success in Ignition’s portfolio. “Blowtorch’s future is in doubt after the company’s undisclosed hedge fund backers, which provided the majority of capital in the form of debt, pulled out as the financial crisis took its toll,” VentureWire reporter Ty McMahan wrote. Blowtorch’s website is offline, and Rodriques told McMahan, “I’m still hopeful, but I’d be wrong if I told you I wasn’t disappointed.”
Blowtorch’s management team included successful movie producer Paul Schiff (Rushmore, Date Movie, My Cousin Vinny) and Dominic Ianno, who had worked at Sony Music Online Ventures and Artisan Entertainment, among others. Yet the company failed to make good on its plan to distribute movies to theatres and build online social network communities around them.
Rodriques said Blowtorch still plans to release two movies currently in post-production, and hopes to attract new investors. But the company’s future seems iffy at this point. It’s another miss for Ignition, which is one of the Bay Area’s biggest investors, yet has failed to see any of its companies exit big. Last fall, the CEO and CFO of customer relationship management software maker Entellium, in which Ignition had invested a reported $20 million, were arrested by the FBI for keeping two sets of accounting books.

HootSuite, The White House Twitter client, opens to public

Twitter client HootSuite, which makes it easier for people and businesses to manage their brands on the microblogging network, opened up to public beta today. HootSuite seems well-tailored for companies that need to track conversations online and have multiple people manage a single Twitter account. It allows you to add as many columns as you want for tracking search terms on Twitter, and get detailed analytics on how many people have clicked on links you’ve shared.
“We’re focused on power user functionality,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO and founder of Invoke Media, the company behind HootSuite. “We don’t want to confine you to any one interface.”
Since launching in December, HootSuite has become the sixth-most popular way to interact with Twitter, behind iPhone app and Mac client Tweetie and TweetDeck, according to TwitStat. In fact, the White House uses it.

With HootSuite, you can invite other people to edit tweets without handing over password information, so more than one person can be responsible for a company’s brand. HootSuite also owns the URL shortener so it can provide statistical feedback on how many people clicked on links shared through Twitter and the geographical breakdown of visitors. Another useful function is scheduled tweeting for company announcements.

Like competitor TweetDeck, you can create groups of Twitter accounts to follow. Say you want to follow tweets from only your co-workers or tweets from local foodies, you can put their Twitter usernames into a group and create a column around that subject.
Invoke Media was founded in 2000 and has seven employees working on HootSuite. The company is currently looking for a Series A round of funding for the product.

The Little Secret of Web Startups

Dette Gjestene innlegget er skrevet av Marcelo Calbucci, grunnlegger og teknologisjef i Sampa - en personlig hjemmeside skaperen som skal avsluttes neste måned. Han har skrevet en rekke innlegg om erfaringer fra venture på Han er også utgiver av Seattle 2.0, en web-ressurs for tekniske entreprenører og startups i Seattle. Consumer startups er tøff. Du har to grunnleggende valg: Et betalt tilbud eller et gratis tilbud (eller freemium). Hvis du belaste folk en mynt, kan du slå av storparten av de besøkende. Hvis du tilbyr gratis tjenester, kan vokse til å bli den neste YouTube, Wordpress eller Facebook. De fleste entreprenører er ikke uten risiko uvillig og drømmen om å bli stor er bare altfor tiltalende og de fleste av oss ta "fri-rute". Når du tilbyr noe gratis, alle nyanser av mennesker vil prøve å dra nytte av tjenesten. Du mener en tjeneste som Sampa med en sterk familie og baby branding bare frastøte småbedrifter, tenåringer, kriminelle, osv. men det er ikke tilfelle i det hele tatt. Og jeg mistenker mest blogging tjenester, foto-deling eller hjemmeside bygge løsninger ansikt nøyaktig samme problemet vi gjorde.

Wall Street Journal Creating New “LinkedIn Killer” Called WSJ Connect

The Wall Street Journal has long envied the success of professional social network LinkedIn and its 15 million or so monthly visitors ( has just a third of that). In late 2008 they launched WSJ Community, a social network bolted onto the main WSJ site. That community is a ghost town - raise your hand if you've even heard of it, let alone visited it. At some point, they'll likely shut it down as quietly as possible.

But they are still serious about gunning for the LinkedIn crowd and all those monetization opportunities (jobs, ads and a heck of a marketing pool for WSJ subscriptions). They've been working on a new social network, to be called WSJ Connect, we've confirmed. And instead of building it internally, like they did with WSJ Community, they've enlisted the help of another arm of parent company News Corp. - Slingshot Labs. And yes, they call it "LinkedIn Killer" internally.

Slingshot Labs is the R&D arm of News Corp. and works on digital products. Their first product was Daily Fill, which launched earlier this year. They also built the MySpace Events product that we covered in March. They operate fairly independently, have their own funding and 40-50 staff, according to one person familiar with their operations.

WSJ Connect is still in the planning/conceptual stages, says one source, but there is "strong interest" to move the project forward. Importantly, it would leverage the WSJ brand but would be a separate property and unencumbered by the need for a paid subscription to the newspaper.

Gmail Kisses "På vegne av" Goodbye, Aktiverer Støtte for tredjeparts Outbound Servere

Alle som har prøvd å bruke Gmail som et sentralt knutepunkt for sine Email har trolig falt byttedyr til en av tjenestens irriterende feil: det var ikke mulig å bruke et annet område utgående SMTP-servere til å sende e-post. For de aller fleste mennesker dette ikke var en sak - Gmail var glad for å sende e-post til deg fra Gmail-kontoen din, sammen med melding om at det ble sendt "På vegne av" den andre kontoen. Men de tre ordene var fremdeles der, som er en konstant torn i våre sider. Og for å gjøre sakene enda verre, det kan også forvirre folk: de kan begynne å sende meldinger til Gmail-kontoen din i stedet for din primære e-postadresse. I dag kan du kysse disse "På vegne av" 's farvel, som Gmail har nettopp startet tillater brukere å sende meldinger fra tredjepart SMTP-servere. Hvis den forrige avsnitt forvirret deg, her er en forklaring: Mange liker å bruke Gmail websøkindeks grensesnitt for e-posten sin, men ikke har muligheten til å bruke Google Apps på deres mail server, spesielt når det er for deres arbeid konto.

Og Bingo var hans navn-o

Sist februar, da nyheten om det opprinnelige Microsoft-Yahoo deal første brøt det tok ikke lang tid før folk var Photoshopping nye logoer. Flickr brukerne var spesielt lidenskapelig redsel for at et Microsoft-oppkjøp ville ødelegge Flickr's kreative appell. Denne gangen rundt, det er den samme historien. Her er noen av de mer interessante logoer:

AT & T og Samsung introdusere Solstice

Tidligere i dag, AT & T annonsert berøringsskjermen Solstice fra Samsung. Utstyrt med en 3-tommers touch-skjerm, en Akselerometer, Bluetooth, et 2-megapiksel kamera og lite annet, det Solstice er en oppføring nivå berøringsskjermen enheten. Men det virkelig kule ting om Solstice er at den kommer med TouchWiz 2.0. Den andre gen UI fra Samsung funksjoner levende ting, [...]

T-Mobile skyver ut AppPack fortsatt ikke Facebook, men det er Visual Voicemail!

Det synes de plutselig rush av myTouch 3Gs ankommer tidligere enn forventet har tvunget T-Mobile og visse utviklere å frigi sine programmer i Android Market tidlig. Ikke at alle med G1, myTouch 3G eller Hero er klagende. Geodelic ut sin Sherpa app i går og i dag ser vi at T-Mobile's AppPack live. Dette er ikke [...]

The LG Chocolate er nå offisielt!

The LG Chocolate er nå offisielt. (Det lyd du bare hørt er lyden av millioner av mennesker puster en sukk av lettelse.) Den spesifikasjoner er faktisk de samme som finnes i det lekket promo video fra noen dager siden.

Smart parking meters aren’t so hard to hack

In the name of urban anarchy and intellectual stimulation, a team of three hackers have figured out how to break the security systems of a variety of parking meters.
At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas today, Joe Grand, Jacob Appelbaum and Chris Tarnovsky said used a variety of tactics to figure out how various parking meters work across the country and how they can be tricked into giving you free parking.
While parking meters may not seem like a big deal, they generate roughly $28 billion a year in revenues for contractors and city governments around the country. If they’re compromised, that could put a wrench in the plans of cities that are trying to get more money from parking collection and stop fraud by human meter coin collectors during the recession.
San Francisco has spent $35 million converting from mechanical parking meters to electronic ones since 2003. Yet the researchers found that there was very little thought put into how protect the meters, which have built-in computers.
“Our attack isn’t great technology at all and it shouldn’t even be possible in 2009,” Appelbaum said.
In the case of San Francisco, the trio hacked the parking meters via a process of deduction. The hackers collected data on a variety of parking meters, which vary by manufacturer and city. They bought older parking meters on eBay in order to find out what electronics they used. They found that, once they disassembled the meters, there wasn’t that much protecting the computer inside. They could use hardware detection devices to figure out how the chips worked and then reverse engineered what they did.
Once they figured out the smart card protocol and how it worked, they figured out you can change the code on a smart card to reload the dollar value. In fact, they showed a picture of a parking meter where they had changed the value of money stored on a card to $999.99.
San Francisco is in trouble because they may have to audit their logs every day to prevent massive fraud. There are also serious privacy implications where the logs could show where you’ve parked and which smart card you’ve used to pay for the parking.

Firefox teller ned på Twitter som det nærmer 1 milliard nedlastinger

Mozilla liker store nedlasting tall. I fjor sin nettleser Firefox 3 sette Guinness verdensrekord for programvarenedlastinger på én enkelt dag. I år er noen av teammedlemmene fortalte meg de ikke skulle jage en lignende posten for Firefox 3.5, siden den kan "smelte Internett." Men nå Firefox nærmer seg en annen milepæl - 1 milliard nedlastinger totalt. Enten det er et meningsfylt mål for Firefox marked gjennomtrenging er diskuteres, spesielt når den nyeste versjonen av Firefox 3.5.1, har "bare" er lastet ned 63 millioner ganger. Likevel, en 1 milliard nedlasting feiring er vanskelig å motstå. I dette tilfellet, det er gøy å se Mozilla teller ned gjennom en spesiell konto konto på microblogging service Twitter. De siste tweet (pr. 2:50 Pacific time) sier Firefox har blitt lastet ned 999024648, og er i dag i snitt rundt 20.3 nedlastinger per sekund. Mozilla sier det skal slippe mer informasjon om milepæl på mandag, så vi kan trolig forvente Firefox å krysse 1 milliard nedlasting terskelen gang rundt da.

Search startup Surf Canyon adds more ways to find relevant results

Surf Canyon is a startup that helps users drill in on the search results that best match what they’re looking for. It started out as a destination website, then morphed into a browser plug-in, so users could download it and customize their search results while using the engine of their choice. Now, with the release of version 3.0, the Oakland, Calif. company is launching a search website again.
Is Surf Canyon just confused? Not exactly. Chief executive Mark Cramer says there are a number of reasons to resurrect the website now. For one thing, the company can generate revenue from site advertising. And if Surf Canyon wants to license the technology to another company, the website shows that Surf Canyon can be implemented server-side, rather than requiring users to install it. Plus, Cramer says the search tool can be better-refined and optimized through the site.
“The plug-in, however, is still definitely the core strategy for distributing our technology,” he adds.
The interface is similar whether you’re using Surf Canyon on the site or as a browser plug-in. You type in your search, then Surf Canyon gives you search results from another engine (it supports Google, Yahoo, and Bing, though presumably that will change once Yahoo lets Microsoft take over its search technology). Then, when you see a result that is best-suited to your needs (say, if you’re looking for “snow leopard” the animal rather than the Apple operating system), you can click on the bull’s-eye next to the result, and Surf Canyon gives you similar results. Those suggestions are based on both the result you clicked on and on your behavior during the current search session, which makes it very different from Google’s Similar Pages function, which is based on links — it comes closer to giving you search results that you’re really looking for, rather than forcing you to enter multiple queries as you refine your search.

If Surf Canyon is able to support both the site and the plug-in, this strategy makes sense . On the one hand, the Surf Canyon plug-in makes the feature “portable” and integrates it with your normal search experience. On the other hand, some users might not want to download another plug-in. So people can use Surf Canyon however they prefer. Version 3.0 also allows you to perform Surf Canyon searches within your browser search bar, rather than having to access the website of another search engine. (See the screenshot, annotated by the company, above.)
Surf Canyon has raised a $850,000 in funding. Cramer says the plug-in has been downloaded more than 1 million times, and estimates that it’s used by hundreds of thousands of people in a given week.

Microsoft chases brand advertising dollars with comScore-powered forecasting tool

Through its ten-year deal with Yahoo, Microsoft has bought its way into being a major player in online advertising, serving an estimated 30 percent of the search-based ad market. But there’s one swath of advertisers who still shy away from spending their budgets on online ads: Brand advertisers, who seek to raise the public awareness and image of a specific product, company or person rather than closing a sale immediately. Brand advertisers spend about two-thirds of the estimated $186 billion that makes up the U.S. advertising market, but only spend about 5 percent of this $100+ billion online.
A major roadblock to online brand advertising, according to Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group, is that advertisers haven’t been able to get reliable data on the reach, frequency and audience composition of individual ad placements. Ad networks typically only provide reach and frequency numbers for entire sites, not for individual ad campaigns. So potential brand advertisers don’t know if they’re throwing money away, or planting their brand in front of a huge new audience.
Microsoft’s Reach and Frequency Planner — RF Planner for short — will use comScore data to predict how widely a specific ad buy will be seen, by whom it will be seen, and how often they will see it. “This will allow digital brand marketers to determine whether the impressions delivered by one group of ad placements are likely to be more valuable than those on another when the goal of the campaign is reach and frequency to a specified audience,” says a Microsoft press release on the comScore partnership issued this morning. “For example, the RF Planner will help advertisers forecast whether they would more cost-effectively reach women aged 18 to 35 with 10 million impressions on one group of placements versus 5 million on another.”
The system is already beginning a closed, invite-only beta phase. ComScore, who weren’t immediately available to comment, will provide Microsoft with detailed stats on individual branding ad campaigns, much more precise than generalized metrics for entire websites. Brand advertisers don’t want to know how many people read VentureBeat, they want to know how many people saw the ads for PG&E’s “We Can Do This” campaign, how often, and what was their demographic makeup.
The potential impact of RF Planner is huge. It could make brand advertisers finally feel as comfortable buying Web placement as they do TV spots. That will encourage them to spend more of the other 95% of their budgets online.

Neotract reiser $ 23.7M å behandle urological og gynecological lidelser

Neotract, produsent av utstyr som brukes til å behandle urological og gynecological lidelser, har reist $ 23.73 millioner av en målrettet $ 25.2 million andre runden av midler i henhold til PE Hub. Basert på Pleasanton, California, ble selskapet støttet i denne runden av Johnson & Johnson Development Corp og New Enterprise Associates.

Oh great. Hackers can take over your iPhone with a text message

Security researchers have figured out how to disable or take over the iPhone and other smart phones using simple text messages.
Charlie Miller made his name hacking cool stuff like the first Apple iPhone, the T-Mobile HTC G1 phone with Google Android software, Second Life, and the Mac operating system. He does it all not for a criminal purpose, but for the sake of improving security. But he’s always a thorn in the side of big companies.
He’s at it again, having figured out how to take over your iPhone with this new trick. He and partner Collin Mulliner, a German security researcher getting his doctorate at the Technical University in Berlin, did so by constructing the message with data and programming that causes your iPhone to crash. They then take it over and can run any code they want on it.
If they wanted, they could spread the message by sending it to friends in your address book. The scary thing is that the user doesn’t need to do anything, as in past hacks, where users had to go to a compromised web site to trigger a vulnerability.
The researchers showed a live attack on a demo iPhone. They can use the trick to instigate a “denial of service” attack, where they send the crash messages every 10 seconds and essentially keep the targeted phone off the network. Miller notified Apple of the bug about six weeks ago, but there is no patch yet. Apple has yet to make a comment.
They could, for instance, tell the phone to send all of its data to a third-party location and to continue to do so with each new message or email that arrives. The hackers said they can use the same methods to take over most smart phones. They showed how they also used the same attack to take over a Google Android phone as well as a Windows Mobile Phone.
“We could probably port this to a Palm Pre in an hour,” Miller said.
Other security firms have also demonstrated bugs in SMS messages that can make users vulnerable. Miller, a security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators, said he was surprised that the Short Message System, or SMS text messages, have no real serious protection such as a firewall. That made the job much easier. They figured out what the various text codes mean or control in SMS messages as they are sent to a Short Message Control Center, a processing center at the phone carrier which reviews the messages and routes them to the right phone number.
Once the text message causes the phone to crash, Miller said, he can take over the phone because it’s functioning like a computer. He can pollute the phone’s memory and then run his own program on the phone. Miller and Mulliner did their research by conducting a “man in the middle” attack, sending bogus messages between the applications processor on the phone and its modem, or cell phone radio processor. They found they could send hundreds of thousands of test messages to decipher the various vulnerabilities they could trigger with different codes.

What real-time data means to me: A better commute

Real-time: It’s a hot new buzzword trying describe the potential that immediately available data can have in our day-to-day lives. But what potential? When I’ve tried to think about how real-time data services are going to transform my daily routine, I haven’t been too successful.
Until I found a couple Twitter accounts a few weeks ago, @caltrain and @bikecar, that have been helping me enjoy a better commute ever since. My main method of getting to Silicon Valley is a combination of bicycle and the local light rail service, the Caltrain. The rail line runs between San Francisco and San Jose, so I can just bring my bike on board, get off and bike to meetings or events in key local suburbs like Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Mateo.
That is, except when the train doesn’t have enough room for bikes. There’s only one or two cars on each train with room for bikes, and things can get crowded, especially during rush hour. I’ve missed more than one meeting because a train conductor has turned me away at the bike car door.
Enter @bikecar. It’s a group Twitter account created by San Francisco-based Ravi Pina, who bikes and takes the train down to his network engineering job at voice technology company Tellme in Mountain View. Essentially, the account lets any rider share their immediate observations about each train and the space for bikes on it. The result is a steady stream of real-time or almost real-time updates that affect when and how I will be able to get around for my job — information that I can’t otherwise get. From the point that another rider tweets about bike space, its only a matter of seconds or a few minutes until I can see it, and know whether or not the train headed towards me is going to have room for my bike. That means I can call ahead to delay a meeting or make other arrangements sooner than I’d be able to otherwise.
Note: The tweets are written in a sort of short-hand, as you can see from the screenshots. For example, “SB” means southbound from San Francisco to San Jose and “old” cars mean the larger, noisier, grimier and older model of Caltrain trains.
Here’s how the account gets its data, for my fellow bicycle-train commuters who want to help out. You email Pina (more here), he gives you a unique email for the bike car account. You send emails (from your phone) to the account, including your desired 140-character tweet within the subject line. Then the system automatically posts your message as a tweet on the @bikecar account. Sure, its a cobbled-together, volunteer-run honor system in lieu of information you might hope that Caltrain would itself provide. Perhaps one day Caltrain will ask its conductors to be taking constant counts of bike car space, have them send that data in to some switchboard, and post it on digital displays at each Caltrain stop and on its web site. But Caltrain seems to have chronic budget problems despite its popularity, and A free but valuable service like this has yet to emerge.
The more general service, @caltrain, lets anyone (who gets a key from Pina) share when trains are late. Although it has more followers — currently 2014 versus @bikecar’s 309 — it is less useful for me because the train is almost always on time these days.
A Silicon Valley geek who has been on Twitter since its early days, Pina first got the idea for the service in the fall of 2007, when Caltrain was having an especially “bad time with mechanical issues and fatalities” and when “I was getting bumped from the bike car repeatedly.” He built the service himself, uses open source software including the Postfix email server and perl programming language, running everything off of his own server for free. Although still small, the services have been spreading by word-of-mouth between local train and bicycle users.
Pina’s service may not ever be a business, but rather a labor of love and necessity that wins him the appreciation of Caltrain’s bikers. And so it may be with many other services that incorporate real-time data. What they are doing, though, is making little bits of the world run more efficiently. Personally, I’m getting to more meetings on time. I’m getting a productivity gain. And certainly others can find ways to benefit from the concept. If there’s a massive train delay on evening, perhaps a coffee shop near a Caltrain station will know it should stay open an extra hour or two for the stranded train passengers. But the larger vision for Twitter and its ecosystem is that thousands of pieces of data — like bike cars on trains, taxis, ambulances and everything else in a metropolitan area — being mapped out. In fact, other groups, like DIY City are using Twitter to try to do the same thing with real-time car traffic (good thing there are no bike traffic jams, huh?).
As Twitter founder Jack Dorsey explained in a recent interview, his service is about letting normal people share information about the world:
Twitter has been my life’s work in many senses. It started with a fascination with cities and how they work, and what’s going on in them right now. That led me to the only thing that was tractable in discovering that, which was bicycle messengers and truck couriers roaming about, delivering packages.
That allowed me to create this visualization — to create software that allowed me to see how this was all moving in a city. Then we started adding in the next element, which are taxi cabs. Now we have another entity roaming about the metropolis, reporting where it is and what work it has, going over GPS and CB radio or cellphone. And then you get to the emergency services: ambulances, firetrucks and police — and suddenly you have have this very rich sense of what’s happening right now in the city.
But it’s missing the public. It’s missing normal people.
And that’s where Twitter came in. What really brought me to that conclusion …
… was instant messenger. This aspect where you can just locate your buddy list and at a glance locate what your friends are up to, or what they say they’re up to. I found the same parallels in dispatch — here’s a bunch of ambulances and couriers reporting where they are, and here’s my friends. Now, the problem with IM is that you’re bound to the computer, so it really limited the interestingness of the messages.
Twitter is still figuring out its revenue model. But so far, it appears to be trying to help businesses find and better serve current and potential customers on it service. Surely, with the central role that it is playing in day-to-day communication for random little groups of people (like bike-train commuters), its revenue is not a matter of if but when.

Zemanta utfordringer link-forhåndsvisning startups med Zemanta Ballonger

Bloggere og andre elektroniske utgivere har noen alternativer hvis de vil forbedre sine nettsteder med forhåndsvisninger av webområdene og innholdet de lenke til - det er Snap, som har eksistert en stund, samt en nyere oppstart kalt Apture. Nå semantiske publisering Zemanta har skrevet konkurransen med et produkt som kalles Zemanta standpunkter. Disse verktøyene er nyttig for utgivere fordi de tillater dem å gjøre leseopplevelse ved å koble til annet innhold uten å tvinge leseren til å forlate sine nettsteder. På leserens side, Zemanta ikke synes å ha noen standout funksjoner - ja, det synes noe begrenset av hva slags innhold du kan forhåndsvise (den Zemanta site sier Ballonger støtter Freebase, YouTube, Google Maps og MusicBrainz). Grensesnittet er ikke så god som Apture's, enten fordi det gjør leseren klikke på en "preview her"-knappen, klikke på selve koblingen bare tar deg til den andre side, som en vanlig kobling. Men det er et par elementer som gjør Zemanta Ballonger høres lovende. Først, de er åpen kildekode, noe som betyr bloggere og utviklere kan ta koden, og lage flere funksjoner. Andre, de virker som en passe godt for Zemanta kjernenettverk produkt - Zemanta bruker semantikkteknologi å anbefale lenker, bilder og annet innhold som du skriver et blogginnlegg. Nå kan det også gi en bedre måte å lenke til dette innholdet, også. Plus, Ballonger er gratis. Zemanta har reist totalt $ 1,5 millioner i støtte fra Union Square Ventures, TAG, og Eden Ventures, og det sier det avsluttende en ny runde.

'Twilight' fotballspiller stunned mister rolle

"Twilight" fansen var ikke de eneste som overrasket over de nyhetene som Bryce Dallas Howard ble erstattet Rachelle Lefevre på den tredje filmen "Eclipse".

Classic'60s sangen er organist vinner royalty

The organist på banebrytende 1960 sangen "En hvitere Shade of Pale" har vunnet en lang kjører juridiske kamp for en aksje i royalty for melodien.

3jam solves Google Voice’s portability problem, for a price

In theory, call management programs like Google Voice are attractive, except they’re useless to people who don’t want to hand out new phone numbers to their contacts.
3jam, which launched today, solves the problem by letting users port over existing phone numbers to the service, which otherwise is a lot like Google Voice. Starting at $5 per month, 3jam offers call forwarding, voicemail transcription, text by e-mail and low call rates. It can also forward calls to Skype or IM, which Google Voice does not.
But 3jam’s greatest asset, at least for now, is number portability. This can be done directly through 3jam’s Web site and costs a one-time fee of $25.
Porting a number also cancels service with the user’s existing provider, which could be problematic. Dropping a cell phone contract early can result in hefty charges, and doing so even out of contract leaves the user without any wireless service at all. Technically, the user would have to sign up for another cell phone plan and number, and have 3jam include that number when forwarding calls.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing if 3jam can establish a foothold in the marketplace and prove itself as a trustworthy place to store telephone numbers. CEO and Co-Founder Andy Jagoe wouldn’t forecast how many users he’d like to have down the line, but he said the company’s plan to stick around entails white labeling 3jam’s service to other companies, as it’s doing with text messaging for Peek, and offering additional service like group text messaging.
On portability, though, 3jam could get outdone by the very service it’s trying to beat. TechCrunch has reported that Google is working on number portability and hopes to roll it out by year-end. If that happens, 3jam’s going to have a tough time competing with free when it comes to nabbing more users.

Developers beware: Apple undermines my6sense app launch

Developing apps for the iPhone can be a profitable business, but Apple’s review and approval process is still a black box. Apple’s intractable system can foil an app’s launch, as happened today for Israeli company my6sense.
My6sense has built an RSS feed reader for the iPhone that includes smarts that decide what the human operating the app would most like to read next. The app also monitors updates from Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn and Flickr.
But for unknown reasons, Apple has been sitting on my6space’s app for weeks. The company scheduled a launch for today, July 31, and briefed reporters on its product and corporate background. Those of us who agreed not to publish our stories before 9 am today (an “embargo” in PR jargon) were offered interviews with my6sense CEO Barak Hachamov.
This morning, though, my6sense’s PR contact emailed to let me know that Apple still hadn’t approved the app in time for launch day. Many publications, including CNET, chose to run their stories anyway, with a conspicuous change to describe my6sense’s product as coming soon, rather than downloadable right now.
The unreliable lead time on approval is a huge risk for developers. With the App Store perhaps already over 70,000 apps, most of them fighting for attention with others, a few days of waiting around for an app to be approved could cost an app developer the buzz they need to make real money from their apps. But planning press and marketing ahead of time risks having, as my6sense did today, a launch day without a launched product.
My6sense will now have to hope that people who read about its app today will remember to download it in the future. If and when my6space’s app is finally approved, a much smaller group of reporters and bloggers will write about it again. A much smaller group of users will download and try it. A much smaller amount of revenue will flow into my6space’s pockets.
App developers are discovering what tech reporters have known for years: Relying on Apple for your livelihood is a risky business.

Apple files patent for apparent iPhone nano

While other phone makers rush to catch up with Apple’s iPhone, the Cupertino-based gadget maker appears to be leaping ahead with a new phone roughly the size of the company’s current iPod nano — 3.6 inches tall, 2.5 inches wide, and one-quarter inch thick.
The new phone’s gimmick is that it has a two-sided interface — a screen on the front, and a “force-sensitive touch-surface” on the back that replicates the iPod’s clickwheel, but also tracks the user’s fingertip and displays it on the front-side display as a cursor. Users will operate the click wheel with one finger behind the phone while looking at the display side.
MacNN writer Jack Purcher, who was alerted to the patent filing and blogged a half dozen of its illustrations, summarizes the interface as “confusing.” Without a demo video, it’s hard to follow the text description of how the device’s front and back sides work.
US Patent Office documents, Purcher says, show that FingerWorks founder John G. Elias was the original owner of the patent, but ownership has been transferred to Apple. Elias sold FingerWorks’ assets to Apple in 2005 and is now an Apple employee.
Will this nano-Phone ship, and when? Our best guess is that Apple willunveil the iPhone nano at CES in January, or at a separate event around that time to upstage other phone makers’ announcements. The phone would become available in the middle of 2010. Price, subsidized by a mobile carrier? It’s tempting to say “Free,” but we’ll go with $49 because Apple likes to position its products as cost-effective premium gadgets, rather than giveaways.
[Images from US Patent Office via MacNN]

Simpson skritt etter Romo breakup

Bare uker etter Tony Romo brøt med Jessica Simpson, NFL star har blitt koblet til en annen kvinne - Natalie Smith - men Smith far forteller MENNESKENE rapporter om et intimt forhold mellom de to " veldig dumt. "

Søn sett på satellitt operatør ProtoStar

ProtoStar, et selskap som leier satellitt bruksstatistikk til bredbånd leverandører i Asia, har arkivert for konkurs, og beveger seg raskt til å selge av sine gjenværende satellitter, rapporter VentureWire. San Francisco-baserte selskapet falt på harde tider da det mistet to kunder til den økonomiske nedgangen, setter en av sine satellitter i kommisjon. ProtoStar fortsatt har en sizable mengden gjeld, men sine kreditorer har begrudgingly enige om å holde den flytende før det selger av sin resterende satellittene. Å sette fart i prosessen, har selskapet klaget til den amerikanske Konkurs domstol å låne $ 16 millioner mer fra långivere inkludert Wells Fargo å sluttføre aktivum salg. Det sier konkurs saksbehandlingen har vært komplisert av sine mange utenlandske klienter og långivere som ikke kjenner amerikansk politikk. ProtoStar reist $ 182 millioner i egenkapital fra New Enterprise Associates, Redshift Ventures og VantagePoint Venture Partners. I dag har den $ 528 millioner i eiendeler og USD 463 millioner i gjeld til navnet.

Catamount finalizes $ 80M tidlig stadium fond

San Francisco-basert venture-firmaet Catamount Ventures kunngjort at det lukket sitt fjerde fond på $ 80 millioner, ifølge VentureWire. Planer om å bruke mindre fondet skal tilbake tidlig fase selskaper innen IT og cleantech sektor. Fondet hadde opprinnelig reist $ 74,15 millioner kroner i februar, men var i stand til å feste på en ekstra $ 15 millioner fra en undisclosed kilde. Faktisk Catamount har avvist å nevne noen av bidragsyterne, men regulatorisk registreringssystem for fundraise lister BP, Horsley Bridge Partnere og Legacy Ventures. Det sier at det begynner å helle mer tungt på institusjonelle investorer i motsetning til enkelte begrensede partnere - som leverte mesteparten av firmaets første tre fond. Catamount reist sitt første fond i 2002, pålydende $ 15 millioner. Dette ble etterfulgt av en 30 millioner dollar fondet i 2005 og en $ 85 million fondet i første halvdel av 2007. Den fjerde fond, den bare annonsert, har ennå ikke brukt til investeringer - men avtaler kan være mindre enn en uke unna ifølge ledelsen. Firmaets nåværende porteføljen inkluderer bærekraftig teknologi selskaper Rutenett Net, Ecohaus og Verdiem, forbruker internett selskaper CafePress, Flock og Linden Lab (produsent av Second Life), og Forretningsteknologi selskaper eSilicon, Real Time Genomics og Siterra.

Heatwave Interactive unveiling hip-hop online role-playing game with T.I.

We all want to live the lifestyle of musicians. Parties, concerts, groupies.
That’s the idea behind Platinum Life, a new kind of online role-playing game from Heatwave Interactive, which has teamed up to make the game with hip hop artist T.I., who has sold millions of records.
“The game is about the aspiration to live the life of T.I.,” said Anthony Castoro, chief executive of Heatwave.
In the online game, you play the role of an up-and-coming artist. You select a manager, who advises you to get more street cred. That gives you the chance to undertake missions, as if you were playing a conventional game. You can earn cred by doing crowd-pleasing antics at Madison Square Garden. You can develop trademark dance moves and essentially battle for the favor of the audience. Other missions involve bailing out the boyfriend of one of your backup singers so she can get on with the show. You start at dive bars and try to become a superstar.
“It sounds weird,” Castoro acknowledges. “But it plays great.”
It may take a few years to get the massively multiplayer online game done. Castoro says the title will likely take advantage of the emerging “free to play” business model, where gamers can start playing for free but have to pay for things such as fan collectibles, songs, or clothing.
If the idea pans out, it could become the vehicle for many more music games. It could also unlock a new genre in music games that goes beyond the rhythm games such as Guitar Hero and the violent gang-related games with hip hop themes. The music industry likes it because it is a way to get people to pay for music. If a consumer buys an iTunes song, the music label gets no more than 99 cents. But if you integrate that music into a game, there is potential for much more revenue related to the track.
Austin-based Heatwave been working on the idea since last year and even before it raised a major round of funding, Castoro said. (The company raised $7.5 million from Syndicated Communications Venture Partners  in April). Over time, the company will raise more money. Heatwave was founded in 2007 by Castoro, a former developer at Electronic Arts and Sony Online Entertainment, and veteran entrepreneur Donn Clendenon.
Much of the development time so far has been focused on interviewing musicians and record label executives about the music lifestyle. They learned that much of the stress comes from operating on extremely tight schedules. The game can accentuate that to make the play more fun. About 20 people are working in preproduction on the game and more will be added when full-scale work begins. In the meantime, Heatwave has other projects in the works, including an unannounced social networking game that should debut in the fourth quarter.
I consider this to be an innovative approach to music games. But I don’t know if fans will go for it or not, since it’s fresh territory for a video game fan.

Spy bilde snags Steve Jobs tilbake til Apple

TMZ slå tech bloggere med dette bildet av Apples CEO Steve Jobs krysset en av gatene som går gjennom Apples campus i Cupertino, California i nedre enden av Silicon Valley. Jobs, som helse har vært en varm sladder emne måneder, er spesielt tynn etter en leversykdom transplantasjon om lag tre måneder siden. Den fullstendige bildet nedenfor. Bildet var TMZ sier, tatt på en iPhone rundt 3 pm onsdag. TMZ innebærer at bildet er ansvarlig for Apples aksjekurs hoppe opp fire punkter denne morgenen til rundt $ 164, men det er ikke sannsynlig. Den store nyheter for investorer er kanskje at Apple skal delta neste januar's Consumer Electronics Show, den høyprofilerte gadget utstilling holdt i Las Vega.

iPhone Devs: Lite / Free mobile apps virkelig betale

Skaperen av iCombat skrev en analyse av sin erfaring med å gjøre og gir bort en gratis "lite"-versjon av hans app sammen hans betalt, full versjon. Resultatet? Det lønner seg å lage et lite versjon tidlig og oppdatere det ofte gås brukerne i å laste ned - og betale oppmerksomhet - [...]

Five marketing time wasters

Deciding how to allocate time and resources is a difficult process for any business -and it’s even harder for start-ups. But of all the allocation decisions to be made, there’s none more difficult than marketing.
Promote your company too little and you’re almost certainly doomed to fail. Promote it too much and you’re squandering dollars that might be better spent on R&D or preparing for a fundraising round.
As you consider your marketing strategies, here are five things you can (and should) avoid. Some may sound appealing on paper, but they don’t contribute much, if anything, in the early stages of your company’s life.
Bloated Marketing Requirements Documents (MRD) - How often have you been a part of a team that produced a 30 page MRD with detailed specifications for your product before you have even tested your product concepts, validated the customer need and verified your pricing assumptions? It happens more often than you think.
The primary goal of a startup is to identify and meet a market need with a product or service that can be profitable. Spending inordinate amounts of time on detailed MRDs without frequent customer interaction not only wastes the time of the product manager and colleagues who review the document, but  it can point you down the wrong product development path, which can be a fatal misstep.
Direct mail lead generation - Direct marketing is well on its way to extinction for startups, but there are still a number of direct mail service providers trying to keep this medium of lead generation alive.
Email campaigns typically have a sub-1 percent response rate. “Snail mail” direct marketing is inordinately expensive. In either case, these programs rarely justify the time, financial expenditure and effort required. And even when you do get a response, you end up spending additional sales dollars as you’re forced to wade through the inevitable unqualified leads that come from the large databases required to make these programs work.
Analyst subscriptions - A subscription to a premium analyst service like Gartner Group can run upwards of $30-$40k per year. Very rarely do these services pay off for a startup.
Many companies sign up simply hoping the subscription will result in more favorable reviews by the analyst. While this can sometimes be the case, it’s pretty infrequent. You’re better served developing a relationship with key analysts.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid analyst paid services all together. Engaging an analyst for consulting on product direction and business development input is often very helpful in refining your product and business strategy.  Independent ROI case studies like Forrester’s Total Economic Impact can effectively communicate the value your product brings to your customers.
Branding, advertising, and trade show sponsorships - Beware of spending any time or money on services whose stated objective is creating “buzz” or “brand awareness.”
In the vast majority of cases, brand awareness is a byproduct of a successful business that listens to its customers and creates great products. Sponsorships aren’t cheap and they’ll drain your early stage capital with very little tangible return.
Detailed sales PowerPoint presentations - PowerPoint presentations can be tremendous tools when presenting at a conference or in front of a large audience, but for startup sales meetings they are often counterproductive.
Too much time is spent crafting, refining and training your team on the perfect presentation.  The inherent problem with PowerPoint for early sales situations is that it favors one-way communication.
Startup sales meetings should be as much about listening as presenting. Slides should only be used to communicate concepts that don’t lend themselves to a conversation - like graphics, charts or illustrations to enhance understanding.
Instead of long presentations, startup sales meetings should be collaborative and conversational with the following objectives:

Validate your customer problem
Explain and demonstrate your product
Establish your credentials
Validate your pricing
Listen, listen, listen

If you’re in the early stages, you should be saying ‘no’ to far more marketing projects than you say ‘yes’. Focus your efforts on helping ideal customers find your company, enhancing and refining your product to create value and address real problems, and communicating effectively through a variety of mediums.
Marketing departments should be held accountable for the ROI they bring to the company - and should be stingy about how they spend their time and budget.

"Entourage" star: "Jeg er ikke lenger en grønnskolling"

Jeremy Piven er den type fyr som kan få deg til å le bare ved å løfte en øyenbryn.

Advokat: Ex-kone ikke vil søke forvaring av Jackson kids

Michael Jackson's ex-kone og mor til hans to eldste barn, Debbie Rowe, har inngått en avtale om ikke å utfordre singer mor for forvaring av barn, en Jackson-familien advokat sa i en CBS News intervjuet.

Bilder av Nokia N97 Mini lekkasje, Symbian verden holder pusten

Tilgjengelig informasjon ikke får noe mer enn en spion skudd eller to, men vi snakker det virkelig mye her. De mest populære håndsettet i vår database for flere uker på rad - Nokia N97 er å ha en baby bror snart ...

Jude Law skal bli far igjen

Skuespiller Jude Law venter sitt fjerde barn, hans publicist sa.

Legen eneste fokus Jackson forespørsel

Michael Jackson's cardiologist er det sentrale fokus for en føderal etterforskning i singer død, en rettshåndhevelse offisielle fortalte CNN. Fremlegging var blant flere utbygginger i en historie som fortsetter å samle damp mer enn en måned etter dødsfallet av pop-ikonet på den 25 juni.

Jon Gosselin kommer tilbake til sitt barn

Etter en uke i fast lane, Jon Gosselin returnerte til forstads liv med sine unger tirsdag.

Nintendo kommer ned til jorden som salg og fortjeneste raser nedover i juni kvartal

Nintendo har trosset tyngdekraften i lavkonjunktur, så sterk salgs-og resultatvekst som er det misunnelse i bransjen. Men i sin første fiscal kvartalet som endte 30. juni selskapet fikk en omsetning slippe 40 prosent og fortjenesten faller 60,6 prosent. Det japanske videospill selskapet sier at både omsetning og resultat var ned fra samme periode for et år siden på grunn av valutasvingninger og en uregelmessighet i 2009 line-up. Siste året har selskapet lansert store treff i første halvdel av året. Super Smash Bros klammeri, Mario Kart for Wii, og Wii Fit alle debuterte i første halvår. Dette året spill som Super Mario Bros Wii og Wii Sports Resort er debuting i andre halvår. Vi får se om det teori holder opp. Men for de siste fire månedene, US konsollen spillet har salget vært fallende og analytikere tror at lavkonjunktur kan endelig ta sin toll. Være mengden av rimeligere eller gratis spill på andre plattformer kan også klippe til konsoll salg. Likevel, for å sette Nintendo ytelse i perspektiv, Sony tapte $ 390 millioner i kvartalet og spill divisjon rapportert et tap i dag. The Wii-konsoll har solgt mer enn 52,6 millioner enheter på verdensbasis, med 384 millioner spill solgt. DS og DSi Håndholdt har nå solgt 107,75 kroner og 596 millioner stykker av programvare. Nintendo prognoser vil selge 26 millioner Wiis i full regnskapsår avsluttet 31. mars 2010, samt 220 millioner Wii-spill. Planer om å selge 30 millioner DS og DSi avdelinger og 180 millioner håndholdte spill. Salget ble $ 2,67 milliarder i kvartalet, ned 40,1 prosent fra et år siden. Resultat etter skatt var NOK 445,8 millioner, ned 60,6 prosent fra et år siden.

onsdag 29. juli 2009

uShow lets videos skip to the good stuff

Sometimes, the best part of a video is a minute or two past the starting point, and a new service called uShow is making it easier for users to get there.
The service lets users tag online video with notes or names of people they follow on Twitter or Facebook. Once tagged, a link to the video can be shared with anyone, and it automatically jumps to the relevant playback point.
The idea is, if you saw yourself in a concert video, or felt that only the final minute of a particular Saturday Night Live skit was funny, you could share that part of the video without asking friends to fast forward. Aside from casual use among friends, uShow hopes bloggers will use the service in their posts and musicians will encourage tagging from their fans.
Using the service, which technically launches Thursday but has quietly allowed new participants for several months, is fairly simple. Videos can be pulled in from YouTube by copying and pasting the link, and uploads are also possible from the user’s computer, Webcam or mobile device. Clicking on the video adds a tag and creates a link that can be distributed freely, and comments on the video get pushed out to Twitter and YouTube. Anyone can watch the videos, but only registered users can add tags of their own.

uShow plans to monetize through standard overlay ads that appear in the bottom third of the video window, and by selling research on what people watch. The site’s founder and CEO, Joe Shapiro, and President Bill Eichen said that right now, they’re just focused on building an audience. They hope to have 100,000 registrants by the time they look for venture funding. They’ll be seeking $3 million to $5 million in the fourth quarter.
I think uShow will live or die based not on its current state, but on how well it plays with existing means of communication and networking. Right now, users can’t embed videos on other Web sites, as the company is still working on a way to incorporate display ads, but any blogger will tell you that they’d rather embed a video than link to it. I also wondered if uShow would try to forge partnerships with third-party Twitter clients, such as Tweetie and TweetDeck. Shapiro said an application programming interface is on the way but didn’t offer any concrete details.
Shapiro and Eichen also hinted at relationships with established video sites, which could be promising if they are indeed working with sites like Hulu or YouTube. Still, it’s not clear how a service like uShow would get involved with those larger sites without drastically changing the core video-watching experience.
uShow has offices in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Calif., and employs five full-time people who are mostly working for equity. The site was initially funded on individual investments in the low six figures, Eichen said. data: Economy may be bouncing back

Economic forecasts? National numbers on consumer spending? Who needs them, when we’ve got user data from personal finance site
Okay, so we’re not talking about data that represents the US public as a whole — not only is it a limited group, it’s also risky comparing data between time periods, since Mint’s user base has grown and changed since the service launched in the fall of 2007. But hey, the Mountain View, Calif. company can provide some real insight into how its more than 1 million (presumably budget-conscious and tech-savvy) users are spending their money. And when you’re looking for signs of economic hope, you can’t be too picky.
Mint says it has been releasing quarterly reports on user spending since the beginning of 2008, and every quarter since then, spending-per-user (measured in eight categories) has declined, falling by 15 percent over the last year. That steady finally stopped in the second quarter of 2009, when spending actually increased by about $400, or a little more than 3 percent. Also encouraging: The biggest jump was in shopping and travel, where spending increased 17 percent, perhaps showing that users who had been holding off on purchases are starting to spend again.
Don’t confuse this with a huge surge, though; even with the increase, spending levels in Q2 2009 were 12 percent below those in the same period last year.
Mint is also starting to release data about spending with specific retailers. Just for laughs, I asked to see a comparison of spending at Fry’s Electronic’s and Apple Stores. It’s doesn’t make sense to compare the total amount spent at each store, since there are many more Apple Stores than Fry’s locations, so I’ve become more interested in the Apple data alone — apparently there are a lot of Apple fanboys and fangirls among Mint’s users. For example, those users spent an average of more than $400 each in Apple Stores last month, adding up to a total of $20 million.

Roundup: Milken launches business advice site, Palm blowhard proves wrong, Microsoft goes on a “permanent diet”

Michael Milken-backed business advice site goes live — Bizmore is a new businessperson-to-businessperson advice site aimed at small business and small enterprise execs. The site, which I’ll disclose that I worked on for all of three days last year, aims to fill a perceived gap in sound business advice on the Internet at sites like BNET. In fact, Bizmore stole BNET editor Jeff Davis to be its editor in chief. The New York Times reports on the site’s funding and management team, but notably doesn’t have a quote from Milken. My cheap advice to Bizmore was: “Post one message per day from Michael Milken’s BlackBerry,” but it’s not clear yet if the site’s biggest name will play a regular role.
Microsoft deal doesn’t help Yahoo’s stock price – Chief Yahoo Carol Bartz claimed her company’s search and advertising deal with Microsoft would deliver “boatloads of value” to Yahoo. Wall Street does not agree. The New York Times runs down the main reason: Traders had hoped, and had been led to believe by pontificators, that Microsoft would hand Yahoo an up-front payment of as much as $1.5 billion. Microsoft’s upfront payment? Zero. Yahoo’s ship, the Times concludes, has yet to come in.
Palm investor’s forecasts for Pre sales prove utterly, totally wrong – “You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two- year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later.” Elevation Partners co-founder and Palm investor Roger McNamee gave Bloomberg that zinger in March. Hey, that day is today! TechCrunch dutifully reports that Palm sent the SEC a list of ten corrections and clarifications to McNamee’s claims, of which this is the best:
8. The statement in the second paragraph of the article that “not one” person who bought an Apple, Inc. iPhone on the first shipment date “will still be using an iPhone a month” after the two-year anniversary of that day is an exaggerated prediction of consumer behavior pattern and is withdrawn.
Linux alpha geek quits on “benevolent dictator” Linus Torvalds — British software developer Alan Cox has for years been the unsung hero of the Linux operating system, keeping parts of the open-source system “rock-solid” and leaving Finnish founder Linus Torvalds free to work on the next version. But after a recent online spat with Torvalds over a bunch of stuff most of us are unable to follow, Cox has abandoned his role. It’s important because Torvalds has for years failed to produce a succession plan should anything happen to him. No problem, Linux fans said. Alan Cox will handle it. Slashdot reports that Cox has handed over his keys to his part of the source code with the parting words, “I no longer care.”
Windows Mobile will be renamed Windows Phone — It’s such a seemingly small change, but look again. Microsoft has dropped the phone industry’s inane use of the adjective “mobile” as a noun, and will instead call its product what normal people would: A phone. Besides, is there any other kind of phone besides a mobile one now? Beyond the welcome return to English, Microsoft is also distancing its product from the pre-iPhone reputation of the mobile phone industry. You know: Rip-off pricing, a weak choice of “on deck” apps chosen by executives far from customers’ hands, and gibberish model names and numbers that don’t mean anything. Here’s a thought, Microsoft: Make it shockingly easy for us to Bing ourselves a Windows Phone.
Microsoft pledges to return to Bill Gates-era frugality – One last Microsoft item: Don’t forget that Redmond’s unsinkable Titanic of software suffered its first annual drop in sales ever this past quarter. Chief financial officer Chris Liddell told Bloomberg that the the company has found ways to save a few hundred million dollars a year by operating its data centers and software distrubution methods more efficiently. They’ve ditched failed YouTube competitor SoapBox, and laid off the entire Flight Simulator team. “This is not a crash diet where you stop eating for a couple of quarters — this is a new diet regime where you slim down and stay slim,” Liddell said. We know this will lead to cheap shots at CEO Steve Ballmer’s girth, so we’ll say this: Follow Ballmer to the Microsoft gym some morning and see if you can keep up.
[Photo Credit: University of Auckland]

Cleantech investing surges 73 percent in Q2 after gloomy Q1

Investment in the cleantech sector leaped 73 percent to $572 million in the second quarter. Financing was distributed across 48 rounds — a full 100 percent increase from the previous quarter, according to new analysis from Ernst & Young based on Dow Jones Venture Source data. These stats defy the basement levels of investment in the sector earlier this year.
That being said, the figures are still down from where they were a year ago. The second quarter of 2008 saw the second-highest amount of cleantech investing ever (a hard act to follow). This year’s Q2 saw 59 percent less money invested across 16 percent fewer deals. The dip from last year can easily be attributed to the downturn in the economy. Many investment firms responded to the contracting liquidity by choosing only later-stage and less-risky startups to back. Most cleantech companies are still in their early days, and involve sizable amounts of risk.
Breaking down the data from the recently-ended quarter provides insight into where the market may be headed in the coming months. The bulk of the money — $157 million — was invested in energy and electricity generation companies. Impressively, this is a 181 percent increase over the preceding quarter. About $148 million of it went to the solar industry. Solar was huge this year — sucking up 26 percent of cleantech financing overall.
Energy efficiency also saw big wins in Q2, with investing jumping 168 percent from Q1 to $152 million. The category included the $30 million investment in consumer energy management company Tendril.
Alternative fuels garnered $53 million, comprised largely of the $40 million sunk into Colorado biofuel company Gevo. Transportation, perhaps the sexiest of the cleantech segments, took in $65 million, including Daimler’s highly-publicized acquisition of a $50 million stake in electric vehicle darling Tesla Motors.
Ernst & Young says the increase in cleantech financing shows a boost of confidence in the sector that had been all but depleted following the downturn — not that firms’ attitudes changed all that much toward early stage vs. later stage startups. The data shows that most investors threw support behind companies in the product shipping stage as opposed to the product development stage. About 65 percent of the deals were with companies in the shipping stage, up from 54 percent in Q1. Product development-stage companies saw only 27 percent of the investment, down from 46 percent in Q1.
Another trend observed in the data is a preference toward funding particular assets or projects. For example, First Wind captured $504 million for a 203.5 megawatt energy-generation development. SunPower also nailed down a large chunk of change for a 1.1 megawatt photovoltaic project in California from Wells Fargo. About $2.9 billion went toward financing cleantech assets in the second quarter — a massive increase from the $307 million earmarked for this purpose in the first quarter.
In addition to increased confidence in cleantech companies’ performance, many investors are betting on the space getting a huge boost from the U.S. Department of Energy — primarily through the stimulus package. Already, the DOE has issued $47 million of these funds to help complete eight smart grid demonstration projects. And many solar, wind, transportation and biofuel startups are awaiting their pieces of the pie. There is activity in this area at the state level as well, with Oregon considering legislation that would make the streets more friendly to electric cars and Michigan providing large tax incentives to battery manufacturers.
With most of the government money scheduled to land in September, it will be interesting to see how much the third quarter number change from the Q2 figures reported her. Even if most companies are left waiting for their money, the anticipation will probably produce substantial changes on its own.