BlackBerry acquires Secusmart, ups voice security ante | ZDNet
Summary: BlackBerry's acquisition of German software firm Secusmart is aimed at securing voice and data and putting better mobile security in every president and chancellor's hand.
Enter the sharknado: a final day at Comic-Con 2014
You can't get into Hall H every day. For the final installment of our animated series , I set off for Comic-Con's biggest venue in search of new adventures. But the line for the day's biggest and best panels was more than a mile long, and I abandoned all hope early on. Fortunately Thunder Levin, the screenwriter of Sharknado and this week's Sharknado 2 , was around to talk to me about upping the ante, crazy filming conditions, and what happened when he introduced himself to Richard Dreyfuss.
'Remote control' contraceptive chip
A contraceptive computer chip that can be controlled by remote control has been developed in Massachusetts.
How To Build A Feminist Workplace
However, it is not enough to tell employees they have these rights. Falk says that workplace culture will not change if women do not feel like they can take advantage of these benefits without managers thinking poorly of them. "If no one is taking vacation, then of course you are going to think twice before taking family leave," she says. She argues that business leaders should reinforce the culture by speaking up, urging employees to go home when they are unwell or have family issues. “This feeds into the idea that the organization cares about you as a person; the little steps build up to making employees feel more comfortable taking advantage of those bigger policies." Park says that senior management also has a responsibility to serve as role models and take advantage of these policies themselves. When Park’s co-founder and COO gave birth to twins, she had to take extended maternity leave and currently works part time. “We’re making it clear that we are keen to hang on to our employees during tricky periods in their life,” she says.
Bubble or no bubble? European startups raise highest quarterly VC financing since 2001 - Digits - WSJ
LONDON—European startups have had a bumper few months, raising €2.1 billion (more than $2.8 billion) from venture-capital investors in the second quarter of 2014, the highest quarterly total since 2001, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource.
First Look Media revises its focus, wants to be more of a journalism lab than a standalone news site
Billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar says First Look Media, the new journalistic venture he is backing with a $250-million investment, will now be focusing more on a series of experiments aimed at figuring out how journalism can serve small communities of interested readers
In Boston, The Internet of Things Is Already in Front Of Your Face
If you want to think about what the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) will look like, walk along Boston’s 400-year-old streets. With its deep elite academic and tech connections, the city is a natural place to experiment and see how people react to--or fail to notice--the network of sensors that experts say will be a trillion-dollar business sector by the end of the decade.
Microsoft faces monopoly investigation in China
A Chinese investigation into Microsoft is probably targeting its "monopoly" of the country's operating systems market, state media have said, after the US software company became the latest foreign firm to go under Beijing's scrutiny.
Bravely Default Sells Over 1 Million Copies - IGN
Bravely Default got off to a great start in North America, where the JRPG sold 200,000 units during its first three weeks of availability. And this isn't the first time we've heard about Bravely Default performing well worldwide either, with Square Enix reportedly refocusing on JRPGs after the success of the 3DS title.
Why Women Entrepreneurs Are Happier Than Male Entrepreneurs
The proof is in the numbers. Women with established businesses ranked their happiness nearly three times as high as women who are not entrepreneurs or established business owners, according to the report. What's more, on average, women entrepreneurs make more a year than those working for an employer--$63,000 as compared to $42,700 in the U.S. “Women entrepreneurs show a substantial boost in well-being as their businesses mature, demonstrating the personal return on investment that comes with venturing into entrepreneurship," says Kelley.
Nuage Networks Cloud Video Series
Nuage Networks brings a unique combination of groundbreaking technologies and unmatched networking expertise to the enterprise and telecommunications industries. The Silicon Valley-based start up has applied radically new thinking to the problem of delivering massively scalable and high programmable SDN solutions with the security and availability required by business-critical environments. Nuage Networks, backed by Alcatel-Lucent’s rapidly growing IP division, has the pedigree to serve the needs of the world’s biggest clouds. The cloud has made promises – the mission of Nuage Networks is to help you realize them.
Apple's Beats Deal Gets Nod From EU
BRUSSELS—European Union antitrust regulators on Monday approved Apple Inc.'s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics LLC, the music-streaming service and headphone maker founded by rapper Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine.
TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon: Get Your Tickets! | TechCrunch
The Disrupt Hackathon is the all-weekend event that kicks off TechCrunch Disrupt. Starting on Saturday, September 6th at 12:30pm, hackers will have 24-hours(ish) to build a working concept, bringing it from soup to nuts to the stage. Following an all-night programming extravaganza, teams will be given exactly one minute to present their working concept in a crowded auditorium in front of the industry’s elite. In addition, to help get you up and running on the latest and greatest in tech, we’re putting together some amazing API workshops.
Killer Instinct Classic 2 for Xbox One outed by Game Rating Board
The legendary fighting game franchise is back with next-generation visuals, over-the-top action, a wild cast of combatants, rocking reactive music, and C-C-C-COMBO BREAKERS! Choose from amongst a wild cast of combatants each with fluid animations, unique combat tactics, and flashy special attacks. Utilize an open-ended combo system to rack up huge combos as your opponent looks for openings to break you and turn the tides of battle. Go online and test yourself against players from all over the world, or brush up on your combat skills in detailed tutorials.
Give me a deluxe apartment in Destiny's sky
There are plenty of mechanical details that need to be tweaked before Destiny is ready for its full public debut, as this weekend's past stress test showed. There are balance issues and a few bugs, and the smart thing for Bungie to do is to really nail down the questing and shooting and matchmaking until they're all pretty much perfect. That's your core gameplay right there, and if that's not satisfying, nobody will really care all that much if you can dye your armor red. After all that's taken care of, however, what I want most next - before more content, even, is a house. Well, more like an apartment. The game says that the Tower is "where the Guardians live," so fine, let me live there.
MMOs are a mechanical hamster wheel - do the quest, get the loot and XP, level up so that you can get better gear and do harder quests, repeat - which can inevitably get really dull over the long term. One way to make the grind more enjoyable is to allow the player to emotionally buy into the conceit at work: I'm not just killing ten Thralls, I'm cleaning out this area to prevent the Hive from gaining a foothold on Earth! Narrative matters if you want to keep players happily churning away in your sustained world, and I don't just mean the narrative you write, but rather the one the player creates for themselves.
This Destiny beta footage came from the moon
In Destiny you are a Guardian of the last city on Earth, able to wield incredible power. Explore the ancient ruins of our solar system, from the red dunes of Mars to the lush jungles of Venus. Defeat Earth’s enemies. Discover all that we have lost. Become legend.
Destiny delivers an all new way to experience first-person action games. A sweeping adventure set within a bold new universe, featuring an unprecedented combination of cooperative, competitive, public, and community activities seamlessly woven into an expansive, persistent, online world.
Watson's First Consumer Role: Helping Military Vets Become Civilians
With over 155,000 active military members becoming civilians each year, there are plenty of questions that need answering, and using Waston eases the burden on USAAA employees. According to IBM, the computer can happily answer questions like "How do I make the most of the Post-9/11 GI Bill?"—and its answers will get better over time. And it's probably a slightly—just slightly—more practical application than, say, writing recipes . [ eWeek ]
UK police start replacing ads on copyright-infringement sites with warnings
The new “Operation Creative” tactic is designed to tackle the funding of copyright-infringement websites without making users vulnerable to malware, as an earlier pilot accidentally did. However, it’s a bit worrying to see police censoring elements of webpages.
Fitbit Steps Into Windows Phone
If you've been holding back on buying a Windows Phone because you weren't able to use your Fitbit with it, that excuse is officially gone. Fitbit is launching a version of its app for Windows Phone on Monday, letting users sync and share their fitness data via a native app.
Napster Owner Rhapsody Passes 2M Paying Users As It Extends unRadio To Europe | TechCrunch
In 2012, Rhapsody nabbed the European assets of streaming service Napster, covering the UK and Germany , to fill out its 2011 acquisition of Napster in the U.S., as part of its strategy to square up globally to Spotify and other online music rivals. Today, it’s putting that reach to use as Rhapsody is expanding its unRadio service for the first time outside of the U.S. The news comes as Rhapsody says that it has now passed 2 million paying subscribers between its eponymous music streaming app, Napster and unRadio.
Chinese hackers steal Israel’s Iron Dome missile data
“Most of the technology in the Arrow 3 wasn’t designed by Israel, but by Boeing and other US defence contractors,” Joseph Drissel, founder and chief executive of US-based CES, told Krebs. “We transferred this technology to them, and they coughed it all up. In the process, they essentially gave up a bunch of stuff that’s probably being used in our systems as well.”
What The Wright Brothers Could Teach Today's Innovators About Solving Problems
They could of course go and pilot the idea at a few schools and see how long it took. Or they could simply pick up the phone and call someone who made a living selling to schools. One of the team members had a family friend who worked at a company that sold security solutions to schools. He was more than happy to talk about his experiences. It turned out in many cases the sales cycle wasn’t three months--it was three years. Schools move slowly, with decision-making authority intentionally diffuse. That didn’t mean the idea was bad, it just meant the team needed to approach it differently and assume it would grow more slowly than it first projected. There is a misbegotten belief that action is the only way to learn. The combination of LinkedIn and Google mean that experts who can shed light on critical assumptions are no more than a mouse click away.
The wind tunnel allowed the Wright Brothers to learn a tremendous amount without creating full prototypes.
Two VCs Known for Finding Hit Consumer Apps Step Out to Form Binary Capital
Between the two of them, they invested in Snapchat when it had 150,000 users. They found Tinder three months after launch with 65,000 users (while they didn’t invest, they are still close advisers to CEO Sean Rad). They invested in Instagram when it had 250,000 users, Stitchfix when it had a couple hundred users. StyleSeat, Whisper and TaskRabbit are also in the portfolio.
Black Swan Seed Rounds
I started seed investing in 2010 (and much more actively in
2012) before becoming a full-time YC partner.
In this period, I invested in about 40 companies. So far, five of them are in the “really good”
category—a current value of ~100x or more, based on the valuation of the last round
or last offer.
Zillow To Swallow Trulia For $3.5 Billion
Under the terms of the deal, Zillow will pay 0.444 shares of its stock for each share of Trulia, a 25% markup to Trulia’s Friday closing price. The combined company will maintain both brands, with Trulia CEO Pete Flint staying in his job but reporting to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.
Inside NYC's $20B Quest To Build A Neighborhood From Scratch
The site is currently a sunken 30-track rail yard completed in 1987 as a holding area for the Long Island Railroad’s commuter trains. Below those tracks are three active train tunnels carrying commuters in and out of Penn Station, one of New York's central transit hubs, two blocks east. Since the 1990s, the yards have been in play as a potential development site. Under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the area was viewed as a likely site for a football stadium, and a potential venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics, should New York be selected. This passion transferred from Giuliani to his successor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Hudson Yards project had the misfortune of being shackled to the huge stadium until 2005, when, after endless controversy, the state legislature denied approval on the project and the International Olympics Committee balked. Today, the Western Yard is more reasonably reserved for a cluster of residential towers, a public school and one office tower, all of which will be mapped out later.
How to find your Uber passenger rating.
Uber has rating system for Drivers and Passengers. Both can rate each other.
The Most Important Factor Of Startup Success | TechCrunch
Whenever you think of startups, you very likely think of young people brimming with ideas sitting in garages and dorm rooms and solving problems with technology. We are conditioned in a way to consider the idea even over the person who came up with it, but after listening to entrepreneurs, I’ve come to learn, it’s not about the quality of the product idea or even the founders, it’s about the team that grows with the company because if that’s not right, the nascent company probably won’t succeed.
JD.com to sell Microsoft's Xbox One in China
BEIJING (Reuters) - JD.com Inc, China's second-biggest e-commerce company by market share, will accept pre-orders for Microsoft Corp's Xbox One games console in China from July 28 to July 30, the firm said on Monday.
Zillow To Acquire Trulia In $3.5B Stock-For-Stock Deal | TechCrunch
Zillow is going to acquire Trulia in a deal worth $3.5 billion in stock, according to the company . The combination of these two real estate tech companies should secure Zillow’s position as a market leader in the U.S., with Trulia CEO Pete Flint staying on in his role but reporting to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Flint and one other board member from Trulia will join the new combined board of the two companies when the deal closes.
Fleet Unveils An App For Late Night Rides Between Silicon Valley And San Francisco | TechCrunch
They’re offering group rides between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m when trains are scarce or when the system is closed. They have shuttles stopping about a half-dozen Caltrain stations in San Francisco, Millbrae, San Mateo, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose. Each car or shuttle seats between five and 15 people and the cost ranges from $6 to $18, which is much cheaper than an Uber or Lyft.
Apple drops cross-appeal of final judgment in Samsung lawsuit, no longer seeks permanent injunction
Apple further moves to reform the official caption of the remaining appeal (No. 2014-1335) to reflect the dismissal of Apple's cross-appeal. Counsel for Apple has conferred with counsel for Samsung Electronics Corporation, Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (collectively, "Samsung") regarding the substance of this motion. Samsung does not oppose the relief requested in this motion and will not file a response.
Microsoft China placed under official investigation as offices in four cities raided
Stick with Windows 7, upgrade to a minimum quad core i5 3400 GHz, 8GB of RAM and decent motherboard and turn off all background file transfer, and remote functionality. Windows 8 is unproven, untested, unnecessary. XP was a great OS. It was very hard to let go. But if you have been keeping up since DOS, Win3.1, I have to agree, (on the right platform) and a hell of lot more tweaking, and setup and maintenance utilities. Windows 7 is a (relatively for MS OS) decent robust, compatible, OS, if set up with the hardware above. It does require a good antivirus program, registry cleaner, defragger, and you should be doing back up images because it is so much work to set up... But once you get there it is awesome. i.e. it can perform equal MAC (finally!! but you have to be able to get under the hood and set it up yourself...) Get a your hands on dedicated utilities, which has always been the case with Windows. The hardware platform required is probably the best price point performance I have seen in 20 years. ie. This is the FIRST time I have seen boards that have working integrated network, audio and video!!! So your only purchase is board, CPU and RAM (if your upgrading) Because of the peripherals plugin switch on the board you will also have to buy a new box.
'Hobbit' trailer shows a Middle-earth gearing up for battle - CNET
Comic-Con attendees were treated to the first teaser trailer for the upcoming finale of Peter Jackson's " The Hobbit " trilogy this weekend, and based on what we've seen, the finale is going to be pretty epic. The trailer shows a Middle-earth gearing up for battle, with humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, and wizards, not to mention a hobbit and a dragon, all readying for an epic showdown.
NPR One Delivers A Curated Public Radio Stream For The Smartphone Era | TechCrunch
The app is separate from their existing offerings for mobile, and available free on the App Store and on Google Play. It uses a combination of streams of NPR’s public news broadcasts, combined with stories that are curated for your specific tastes. You can get regionally relevant content by letting the device have access to your location settings, and you can also search for podcasts and other content to teach the app about what you want and get it instantly. Marking stories as interesting takes a single click, and that will help inform what kind of content appears in your feed in the future.
One Family, Two Generations Of Stay-At-Home Dads
When my son, Aaron, was born, I had already opted out of corp. life into restaurants. Long hours but my then wife's schedule as a dentist gave me more time with my son than would've corporate life. When he turned 4, closing the restaurants & taking that year gave me even more time with him. I wouldn't give up those extra hours & days for the world. I only realized how important those extra moments in time were as I returned to the structure of consulting and full time positions taking me around the world with long periods away from him & later from his step-sister (who even now look at & refer to each other as true "brother & sister"). What I find interesting, Charlie, is that in 2014 you "cut back tall brush to forge my own trail" and have. In 1993 I attempted to launch Solo/Parenting - a magazine, cable TV show and website for single parents and couldn't get the funding. Today, I still define my life as, "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound". You Have.
Lawsuit: "Happy Birthday" is not in copyright, and Warner owes the world hundreds of millions for improperly collected royalties
The full lawsuit, embedded below, goes through a detailed history of the song and any possible copyright claims around it. It covers the basic history of "Good Morning to You," but also notes that the "happy birthday" lyrics appeared by 1901 at the latest, citing a January 1901 edition of Inland Educator and Indiana School Journal which describes children singing a song called "happy birthday to you." They also point to a 1907 book that uses a similar structure for a song called "good-bye to you" which also notes that you can sing "happy birthday to you" using the same music. In 1911, the full "lyrics" to Happy Birthday to You were published, with a notation that it's "sung to the same tune as 'Good Morning.'" There's much more in the history basically showing that the eventual copyright that Warner/Chappell holds is almost entirely unrelated to the song Happy Birthday to You.
The detail in the filing is impressive, and I can't wait to see how Warner/Chappell replies. As the filing notes, there are a variety of copyright claims around the song, but all are invalid or expired, and the very, very narrow copyright that Warner/Chappell might hold is not on the song itself.
Rising Share Prices Could Ignite A New Tech Acquisition Spree | TechCrunch
Facebook’s shares receded as did the stock price of other technology firms as investors temporarily soured on tech stocks. Keep in mind that when Facebook’s share price declined, the cost of its acquisitions declined — when you buy something with stock, and that stock value declines, you bought it at a discount. It’s like buying something with dollars, and then watching the value of those dollars decline, while the thing you bought theoretically appreciates in value. There is a material incentive to pull the trigger on acquisitions when your company is trading at a higher share price.
5 Car-Themed Wallpapers for iPad
This week, we have hand-picked five car-themed wallpapers for iPad that look beautiful. Most wallpapers are probably more suitable for the Lock screen, but some are fitting for the Home screen as well. Keep in mind that these wallpapers are designed for the latest iPad Air with Retina display, but may work with other iPad models.
Device 6 developer drops anchor on The Sailor's Dream
The Sailor's Dream is a melancholic, introspective game that features a lot of writing – most likely good writing, considering developer Simogo's previous work – the open seas, a series of islands and a splintered story that you piece together in whichever order you see fit. The Sailor's Dream is in the same vein as Simogo's most recent games, Year Walk and Device 6 , but the studio says it's softer and carries less of a classic challenge.
"We're throwing out some more traditional game challenge-elements; in fact, The Sailor's Dream won't feature any puzzles at all," Simogo writes . "That doesn't mean you won't find playful things in the game, though – there are plenty of things to touch, play and tinker with. And it definitely doesn't mean that we want it to be easily digested! We hope it will leave you pondering and wondering and find reasons to talk about it with friends, and hopefully even return to it. It's a fractured story told in different ways, from different perspectives. When it comes to telling the story, we're drawing inspirations from both books, radio plays and even musicals.
Apple's Retina MacBook Pros get updates with doubled RAM and slightly faster processors
The 15-inch model is now packing a 2.2GHz chip and the high-end stock version comes with a 2.5GHz Intel processor. The more expensive stock rMBP — the closest thing Apple has to a professional mobile workstation — received a price cut from $2600 to $2500. Both 15-inch rMBPs now come with 16GB of RAM, but unfortunately, the built-in graphics card is still the NVIDIA GeForce 750M, a disappointment for those hoping for an update to the GeForce 800M. Apple also added two new built-to-order upgrades for those looking to max their machines out: an option for a 1TB SSD — costing an extra $500 — and an optional upgrade to a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7.
The Danger of Financial Jargon
When I was growing up, my father worked for the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. His kind of banking wasn’t at all the fancy go-go modern investment banking that wrecked the global financial system in 2008. It involved lending to small businesses to get them started. At home, my father couldn’t bear to talk about money; his own father had been the type of control freak who uses money to express that control. If I brought up the question of my allowance, it appeared to cause him actual physical pain. On the other hand, when the subject was at one remove, he was vivacious and funny at telling stories and explaining how things worked, so much so that, forty years later, some of the things he said still make me smile. When he first joined the bank, it had a telegraphic codebook for communicating with the head office, in Hong Kong. The codebook quoted a typical message: “The marketplace is dominated by small Manchurian bears.” Dad explained that the message indicated the influence of pessimistic small-scale investors who were either based in Manchuria or had made investments there.
With Apple’s Novel Acquisition, A Chance To Reinvent The Book | TechCrunch
While some purists may hate this “immersive” or “entertaining” approach to books, we don’t need to worry that these new experiences are going to somehow eliminate great literature. Rather, we are starting to see the creation of a new modality for users, who can have the freedom to interact with text in ways that are impossible with music or videos. While there will always be a place for the linear book, we shouldn’t forget that some of the most celebrated works of literature from Dickens and Dostoevsky were written as serial fiction.
A 'Fake ID' Flaw in Android Leaves Millions of Phones Vulnerable
A team of security researchers has discovered a security flaw in Google's mobile OS which affects handsets running versions up to and including 4.4—leaving a potential 82 percent of Android users at risk.
Excuse me while I kiss the skybox: Timelapse footage of Destiny's skies
If Ralph Waldo Emerson was right, and the sky is indeed the "daily bread of the eyes," then the gorgeous, multi-layered heavens found in the Destiny beta rate at least a spongecake (or a dozen especially flaky croissants).
Scrap anonymity at web service sign-up, UK Lords advise
In a report about tackling online issues like bullying and revenge porn, the Lords tentatively advised that web services should demand real names at sign-up, even if they then allow usage to be anonymous or pseudonymous.
Mozilla Interim Chief Chris Beard named permanent CEO at the Firefox Web browser firm
The maker of the Firefox Web browser, Mozilla Corp., has named Chris Beard as its permanent chief executive, the company said Monday.