Porsche’s latest sportscar, the 918 Spyder, has broken cover officially, but unlike most of the company’s hard-driving twin seaters, this one relies in part on battery power for its blistering 0-60mph time. The 918 Spyder is actually a hybrid, pairing a 4.6-liter V8 mid-mounted gas engine good for 608HP with a 154HP hybrid module on
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Enterprise Mobility Upstart AirWatch Adds $25M From Accel To Take Its Series A Total To $225M, As It Preps For Acquisitions
AirWatch, the startup that helps businesses manage security and more on employees’ mobile devices, is today announcing that it has raised another $ 25 million, led by Accel with participation also from Insight Venture Partners. The funds come as part of an expanded Series A round, originally for $ 200 million, which the company announced with a splash in February during Mobile World Congress. This Series A is the first outside money raised by AirWatch, and values the company at just over $ 1 billion, according to sources.
Death By A Thousand Cuts? Google Wallet’s Plan To Take On PayPal Leverages Chrome, Android, Google+, Gmail & More
Flying under the radar amid a flurry of announcements coming out of the Google I/O developer conference this morning, is the bigger news of how Google is stepping up its efforts to compete with online payment giants like PayPal with a revamped checkout process for the web, mobile web, within mobile applications running on Android, and more. It’s a proposed death to PayPal by a thousand cuts, leveraging everything from Chrome to Android and even Gmail. What Google hasn’t quite worked out yet is how all this will tie together in the long run, but you can see the plan beginning to form. #1: Google Wallet On The Web: Storing Payment Credentials In Chrome Lets start with the browser, the de facto home for online shopping. It’s not news that the checkout experience is broken. Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest pain points for today’s merchants, mainly because their websites have traditionally offered only cumbersome and tedious forms for shoppers to fill out in order to make a purchase. As noted during today’s keynote, one of the hardest things you can do on the web is try to buy something. The process takes around 21 steps, the company explained. Of course, Google is exaggerating here a bit – billing and shipping details are usually the same, but Google counted each field (street, zip, etc.) twice. That being said, things are even worse on mobile. Google notes that shopping cart abandonment on mobile devices is now an outrageous 97 percent. Again, that seems high (here’s the source for that figure), but the trend Google is illustrating with these slightly puffed up figures is not. For comparison’s sake, Monetate’s data put global cart abandonment at around 82 percent as of Q4 2012. The company has been seeing increases in cart abandonment – which had been around 60 percent over the past several years – due to an increased number of shoppers doing research on mobile phones and other devices. As they reach the point of checking out on mobile, they’re now more likely to give up and move on because of the increased difficulty of the experience on mobile’s small screen, combined with retailers’ failure to roll out mobile-optimized experiences even as percentages of mobile shoppers continue to grow at record rates. A number of startups have been attacking this challenge in various forms – mobile apps featuring universal carts,
If existing dating websites aren’t working for you (or you’re too busy to try them out), you can get help from paid matchmakers and dating coaches on the just-launched service Wednesday Night.
According to the startup, users connect their Facebook accounts and are then given three recommendations. (You can see a mock-up of a recommendation email below.) If they’re interested in dating one of them, they then pay $ 50 and are set up with a date on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. (or occasionally Thursday). They’re also connected with a dating coach who can provide advice via email or text.
Trulia Acquires Market Leader For $355M To Take Its Business Beyond Listings And Deeper Into SaaS For Real Estate Professionals
Online real estate company Trulia has announced it plans to acquire real estate SaaS CRM provider Market Leader for approximately $ 355 million. The SEC filing is here. Trulia said the combined company will have some 46,000 “premium subscribers” — or more than “any other online real estate marketplace”. The pair said the rational for the merger is to create a “combined platform” that covers both house buyers and real estate agents — aka “the entire real estate market, from consumers to brokerages, agents and franchisors” — with Trulia’s front end listing businesses being complemented by Market Leader’s back-end SaaS CRM. The move is not unexpected, coming after Trulia said it was looking to raise $ 150 million in follow-on funding in March — with some of the money intended to be used “to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products, services, technologies, or other assets”. Announcing the news on its blog, Trulia CEO Pete Flint said: We are very excited to announce that Trulia has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Market Leader, Inc. (NASDAQ: LEDR, “Market Leader”), a provider of Software as a Service (SaaS)-based software that helps agents generate, manage, engage and market to their contacts and provides enterprise tools for franchisors and brokerages to route leads, evaluate lead efficacy, manage agent performance, and track consumer trends. This transformative deal aims to deliver unprecedented functionality and create more value for franchisors, brokerages, agents and consumers. On the price-tag, Trulia said the approximately $ 355 million figure is an “implied price of $ 11.33 per share” (based on Trulia’s closing share price on Tuesday, May 7, 2013). Market Leader’s shareholders will receive $ 6.00 in cash and 0.1553 shares of Trulia’s common stock for each share of Market Leader common stock under the terms of the agreement that was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The purchase price represents an 18% premium to Market Leader’s closing share price of $ 9.61 on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Developing…
To paraphrase Cracker, I would wager what the world needs now is another content management system like I need a hole in the head. However, I’m pleased to note that I will allow Ghost a pass. Ghost is an open source publishing platform with Markdown compatibility and a real-time preview features as well as a very robust statistics-gathering system. It is on Kickstarter now and is fully funded. Funders will get early access to the platform which will be free. $ 16 gets you access to the service. “I came up with Ghost due to the frustrations of trying to manage both small and large blogs with other platforms. They generally fall into two categories. Either complicated content management systems which can “do everything” – or overly simple social networks which are pretty much just for sharing photos of cats. Ghost is about bloggers, it’s about publishing, it’s about journalism, and it’s about promoting and enabling real writing for the web,” said the founder, John O’Nolan. O’Nolan worked as Deputy Head of the WordPress UI Group until he decided to strike off on his own. “Ghost is different from competitors in that it’s open source, completely focused on publishing (not content management like Squarespace/WordPress), and non-profit. And it’s lead by a designer (me) as opposed to most open source projects, headed up by devs,” he said. O’Nolan has built websites for Microsoft, Nokia, and Virgin Atlantic. He is working with Hannah Wolfe, senior developer at Moo.com, and Rob Hawkes of Mozilla. The product allows WordPress programmers to convert their code quickly and easily into Ghost’s native framework. The open source version of the software will launch in September 2013, a month after the launch of the Kickstarter version. The real value of the platform isn’t quite ready to demo but thus far it looks quite promising. The Markdown compatibility is obviously important as is the multi-user features that O’Nolan is building in. Furthermore, any new publishing platform is worth a second look – or a $ 16 investment – especially when it looks so darn beautiful.
Look over to one of the upper corners of the room you’re in. What’s there? If you’re like me, probably nothing.
Three Stanford product design majors are building a speaker to take advantage of the wasted space and natural acoustics of the corners of your room. The Tiptop speaker is a small pyramid that can stand alone or fits into a mold made for the upper corners of a room.
cylonlover writes “At CES in January, Microsoft Research teased its IllumiRoom concept, which involves projecting an image around a TV screen to enhance video games with additional visuals. Unfortunately, the company didn’t offer much info beyond a short video that briefly showed it in action. But the team behind the project recently showed up at the CHI 2013 conference in Paris with some more in-depth details about how IllumiRoom will not only expand the game screen, but completely alter the appearance of your living room.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
It looks like CBS is the latest victim in a series of Social Network account hacks that seem to be prevalent this year. Today, CBS stated that several of its Twitter accounts, including 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, CBSDenver, and its official Twitter account were all compromised earlier today. The hackers used the accounts and tweeted
Chrysler‘s CEO Sergio Marchionne stated yesterday in a speech that the manufacturer will lose approximately $ 10,000 for every Fiat 500 electric vehicle it sells, something he used to demonstrate that electric motors are not – at least presently – the solution to government-mandated fuel regulations. He discussed his concerns regarding present regulation efforts and the
Slumping PC sales and a changing server market are maiming Intel. But its plan to sell services for the home’s biggest screen is a long shot.
When Intel lifted the veil from its stealthy media division in February, many outsiders scratched their heads. Why was the chip manufacturer, which has tried and failed to sell consumer products before, trying to launch a TV service, one of the trickiest consumer markets of all?
Despite its potential, the jury is arguably still out on the best use-case for Augmented Reality. But one startup, Augment, thinks it has the answer: helping to sell products by letting customers see what they might look like in the real world.
A graduate of the Paris-based accelerator Le Camping, today the company is announcing a €220k (~$ 289k) funding round — capital it will use to take its offering to the U.S., where it has recently hired a biz dev and sales person, and incorporated a local subsidiary.
A new class of smarter robots is being readied for the workplace.
A new class of industrial robot is appearing. These robots are smart, affordable, and safe enough to work alongside humans, and they can do many tasks that human workers perform today (see “This Robot Could Transform Manufacturing”). But does that necessarily mean there will be fewer jobs left for humans to do?
I was fortunate enough to spend a solid chunk of my adolescence strapped into an ill-fitting vest and shooting lasers at friends of mine, but a group of technically minded youngsters and their mentors in southern California didn’t just want to play laser tag.
No, the crew at San Diego-based ThoughtSTEM wanted to whip up a (slightly) more subtle laser tag system of their own, and they’re just about there — now they’ve kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to help bring it to market.
Lyft and Sidecar may be the kings of ridesharing right now, but Uber is coming up in the rearview mirror.
“This is not a Facebook Phone.” Yeah, whatever. The HTC First is the first phone that has Facebook partnering up with an OEM to bake an Android pie with Facebook Home filling, so I’m calling it the Facebook Phone. There will be more. This is just the first. And guess what?
It’s really good.
The infrastructure-as-a-service-providers (IaaS) market is starting to exhibit a deeper diversity. Call it the “Cloud 2.0″ era if you will. ProfitBricks is one of these companies showing its muscle in this new arena with the announcement of the world’s largest instance size. These large instance sizes scale to 62 cores and 240GB of RAM and reflect how the company is trying to differentiate against reigning cloud giant AWS. ProfitBricks pairs these giant, flexible instances with pricing granularity and super-fast InfiniBand networking technology. The new instances are designed for companies that run large databases and multiple compute nodes in a cluster, or those that are looking for compute power to help run big data implementations. ProfitBricks U.S. CEO Bob Rizika said it offers high-performance networking by combining the large instance sizes with the InfiniBand networking that can run at 80 gigabytes per second. ProfitBricks Cloud Platform Evangelist Pete Johnson likens IaaS to a game of Tetris – in which you are trying to fit various sizes of virtual machines on top of physical hardware to maximize utilization. This is particularly critical for a public cloud provider. With InfiniBand, ProfitBricks can rearrange the pieces, and at 80 Gbits/sec, its hypervisor can move a VM from one physical machine to another without the VM ever knowing. This helps maximize the physical hardware and keep prices competitive. As a result, the company claims it has the best price-performance ratio. Customers can deploy fewer, more powerful instances. ProfitBricks bills by the minute and customers can provision any combination of CPU cores and RAM that they wish. They can change the number of CPU cores or amount of RAM on-the-fly, live, without rebooting the VM. ProfitBricks raised $ 19.5 million in March and now has a total of $ 38.3 million in funding. Founders Achim Weiss and Andreas Gauger built 1&1 Internet, one of the world’s largest web-hosting providers with 70,000 servers and 10 million customers. The company has some muscle not only in funding, but also what it can offer in terms of scaling out and up. Scaling up allows for new apps to be deployed in an environment similar to AWS and means building out vertically to one stack with up to 62 cores. Analyst Ben Kepes said this last September about ProfitBricks: In order to reach these massive machine levels, ProfitBricks runs on its own proprietary virtual machine management software – this software has the ability to
Duncan J Murray writes “Currently exhibiting at The Barbican, London is an exhibit on Neuroscience, which includes this 20-minute auditory exhibit looking at (or should that be listening to) — sounds of neurons firing, simulations of cochlear implants, the mosquito frequency, neverending scales, phantom words and speech reconstructed from intracranial electrophysiological recording, as well as other auditory illusions. It is worth a listen.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The Cira Centre, a 29-story skyscraper in Philadelphia, is about to become the surface upon which a giant game of Pong takes place. This will be achieved using many hundreds of LED lights that create a playable version of the classic Atari game, taking many residents through a trip down nostalgia lane. The game will
When it comes to streaming boxes, Simple.TV is a bit of an outlier, as it performs all the usual functions as a DVR, but it can then stream video that it captures to other devices. Anyway, what started out as a Kickstarter campaign has now become venture-backed, as the Simple.TV team has raised $ 5.7 million to make its funky little standalone DVR a mainstream device.
Crytek is looking to reunite Darksiders with its original creators, Vigil. The company hired 35 of Vigil’s employees after the company failed to receive any bids back in THQ’s original auctions. Crytek launched a new studio in Austin, Texas called Crytek USA and housed all of the Vigil employees there. Crytek USA is currently headed
Backed By General Catalyst Partners & First Round Capital, Chloe & Isabel Offers A Modern, Tech-Savvy Take On Direct-Selling
When many people think of direct-selling, they envision Tupperware parties or pink-suited women lugging cases of cosmetics door-to-door. New direct-selling companies, however, are using social media to disrupt the industry. Chloe & Isabel is part of the new wave of startups currently re-defining direct selling, and giving people with an entrepreneurial bent–in particular young women–a way to leverage their social medial contacts into a business.
The Internet, as we all know, is primarily a medium for viewing cat photos.
Sony has thrown out a pair of new Android smartphones, the Xperia SP and Xperia L, hitting the midrange with features like “Exmor RS for mobile” cameras as on the flagship Xperia Z. Of the two phones, each expected to arrive in Q2 2013, the Sony Xperia SP is the most interesting: a 4.6-inch 720p
The number of cabs per capita in Austin is probably quite reasonable for a city of under a million, but during SXSW, taxis can be difficult to come by, plagued by ridiculous traffic and a surge of carless visitors. So, to make our way from last night’s Engadget+gdgt event to our hotel — a roughly 15-mile drive north of the city center — we turned to Uber’s Android app. Selecting the UberX option, we were told, would net us a free ride, but we were expecting a clunky cab to pull up; instead, we got a brand new Tesla Model S, with a tie-clad chauffeur to match. The driver, we learned, was on loan from Dallas, while the gorgeous all-electric car was likely to quietly roll its way to distant roads following this week’s Central Texas geek fest. But we weren’t leaving Austin without our ride.
Gallery: Tesla Model S with UberX
Filed under: Transportation
Capcom hopes to increase the popularity of its Monster Hunter game series in the U.S. The franchise has been and still is one of the most popular in Japan. Throughout the world, the Monster Hunter game series has sold over 22 million copies, but the majority of the sales occurred in Japan. There have been
European privacy authorities approved a plan to come up with measures to curb Google’s collection, combination and storage of its users’ personal information before the summer.
During a developer conference at Mobile World Congress today, Samsung announced Wallet, an Apple Passbook-style ticket and coupon management app that looks to compete against Apple’s own offering. Samsung has already launched the open API to the app, and the tool will allow users to save tickets, boarding passes, coupons, and other paperwork to a
On June 14th, 2010, Michael Arrington awarded a Crunchie to two members of Goatse Security via a blog post for discovering, publishing and trying to fix a pretty egregious security flaw that they discovered on AT&T’s public website. Before going to jail, Andrew Auernheimer’s (aka “weev”) bucket list of what he wanted was the Crunchie that TechCrunch awarded to him.
A new app called Moves logs walking, biking, and running—no extra effort required. It’s how self-tracking is meant to be.
My new favorite app tracks the amount of exercise I get with remarkable accuracy, and I don’t have to do anything but turn it on. It’s called Moves, and it logs time spent walking, cycling, and running—as long as I’ve got my smartphone with me, which I always do. It’s dead simple, requiring no manual data entry or extra strap-on gadgets to take in my movement data and display it for me in a way that’s easy to understand and analyze.
Microsoft and Symantec have dismantled a botnet that took over millions of computers for criminal activities such as identity theft and click fraud.
Lucas123 writes “Ultrathin notebooks, smart phones and SSDs are all putting pressure on the hard drive market, which is set to take an almost 12% revenue loss this year, according to a new report from IHS iSuppli. Hard drive market revenue is set to drop to about $ 32.7 billion this year, down 11.8% from $ 37.1 billion last year. At the same time, In what appears to be a grim scenario, the optical disk drive industry is expected to encounter continued challenges this year, and optical drives could eventually be abandoned by PC makers altogether.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide.
angry tapir writes “An international team of astronomers has used the CSIRO-run Australia Telescope Compact Array to measure the cooling of the universe since the Big Bang. According to the CSIRO, it is the most accurate reading yet of how hot the universe used to be. When the universe was half its current age its temperature was -267.92 degrees Celsius (5.08 Kelvin), the team found, which is warmer than today’s universe (270.27 degrees Celsius).”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
This week Amazon has unveiled Kindle book rentals in an extremely quiet fashion, opting to test it out with the public before doing any sort of press on the topic – but you can try it out right this minute if you wish. What you’re going to be doing here is renting a title for
We’ve seen a few companies try their hands at tablet gaming, but now Razer is officially entering the space with its new Edge tablet. To say that the Edge is “new” is somewhat misleading, as we were introduced to a version of this tablet at CES 2012. Back then, it had been dubbed Project Fiona,
Strategy Analytics: Samsung To Extend Lead Over Apple’s iPhone In 2013, And Take 33% Of Global Smartphone Market
Samsung will increase its lead over Apple in the smartphone space this year, according to analyst Strategy Analytics. Speaking to Reuters, the analyst said it expects the Korean electronics giant to achieve 35 per cent year-on-year growth in smartphones in 2013, fulled by its broad portfolio of handsets. This is slightly higher than the 33 per cent growth it’s projecting for Apple.
I love talking about taxes. Our President and both houses of Congress have finally all agreed on a deal on this whole fiscal cliff mess. I’ve been holding my breath on this because I thought for sure that I’d be paying a lot more in taxes this year. But I dodged the bullet. All venture capitalists did, actually. Nothing the government agreed to in the last few days actually affects the asset wealthy in this country. If you’re a Hollywood agent barely getting by with a million dollar a year salary and two ex spouses, your life sucks right now. You’re going to have barely any money left over at the end of each month for cocaine with the tax increase. Small business owners will also take a hit because their business profits are considered income in most cases Luckily I’m not in any of the groups who are being affected much. I have some money in the bank from selling TechCrunch a couple of years ago, which of course isn’t taxed on an ongoing basis. So I’m good there. And even better, there hasn’t been a word mentioned about the carried interest loophole. Most of the money I make now comes from investments from CrunchFund. And the vast majority of that is what’s called carried interest. Even though I’m investing other people’s money, the government calls it a capital gain. So instead of paying 39.6 percent on that money (I won’t call it income), I pay only 15 percent (or maybe 20 percent under the new rules – it isn’t clear to me). In other words, income is a sucker’s game. Carried interest rocks. Everyone wants the rich to pay more in taxes. They’re thinking about Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet when they say “rich people.” But really rich people like that are totally protected. Their accumulated wealth can only be touched by inflation. And if they’re in the hedge fund game, most of their “income” is taxed at just 15 percent. Which is why Warren Buffet can pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. And why, even after calling for tax increases for the rich, he’ll still be paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. Kill This Loophole Many of us benefiting from it have been asking for it to end for years because it is so vastly unfair. It’s not often that something is so