Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Latest from TechCrunch

The Latest from TechCrunch

Link to TechCrunch

Evernote Acquires Image Sharing App Skitch

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 09:37 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2011-08-18 at 9.16.23 AM

We’re here at the Evernote Trunk conference, where Evernote CEO Phil Libin is giving a talk about the future of Evernote, announcing that the company has acquired Skitch, one of the best selling apps on the Mac app store. The app costs $20 currently, but Libin says it will eventually be free. “We really expect this to become a fundamental part of Evernote going forward.”

Libin began the talk by giving some statistics about the company’s growth versus a year ago today; Registered Everynote users are today at 12.5 million versus a year ago at 3.9 million, the number more than tripling at 213%, Evernote 30-day-active users are at 4.5 million today versus 1.2 million, a 271% increase from a year ago.

The company is also bringing on 42K new people a day versus 11K a year ago, a 277% increase. Evernote uses a freemium model and its paying users are at 568K versus 92K a year ago according to Libin, a 513% increase.

Libin says that the longer people use Everyone the more likely they are to pay — while 1% of people are using the product after a month, 8% are after a year and after 3 years 25% are converted to paying customer. “We want to be the 100 year company,” Libin said. “We’re dedicated to creating new types of tools that are simple, elegant, delightful and that will change your brain forever.”

 

Updating.




Google Maps Adds A Weather Layer

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 09:23 AM PDT

googleweathermaps

Location and weather go together like peanut butter and jelly. So it only makes sense that our favorite map tool, Google Maps, starts to bring weather into the picture. According to the official Google Blog, that’s exactly what’s happening. The weather layer will not only show you temperatures and conditions in your area, but display weather info for the entire globe, which should make planning your next trip a bit easier.

Courtesy of weather.com, the weather layer will display current conditions with various icons for sun, rain, clouds, etc. Cloud coverage will also appear on the weather layer thanks to the folks over at the U.S. Naval Research Lab. Sun and moon icons also appear to show whether its day or night in other parts of the world.

To add the weather layer, all you need to do is hover over the widget in the upper right-hand corner and choose the weather layer from the list. If you click on a weather icon for a certain city, more detailed information such as humidity levels and wind conditions will appear, along with a forecast for the next four days.

The weather integration also makes it easy to keep tabs on family and friends in other parts of the world. After checking out the weather channel, my grandma calls me every day to talk about how I’m fairing in the rain, or during the heat wave, and if she had any idea how to use a computer or what Google was, this would be a must-have feature.

Check out Google’s demo video after the jump.



Company:
GOOGLE
Launch Date:
7/9/1998
IPO:
25/8/2004, NASDAQ:GOOG

Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of...

Learn more


Google’s Market Cap Down Much More Than $12.5 Billion Since Announcing Motorola Deal

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 09:15 AM PDT

GOOG stock chart

Ever since Google announced its $12.5 billion deal to acquire Motorola on Monday, its stock has been taking a hit. Today, with the entire market in a tailspin over global economic concerns, Google’s market cap is down $17.4 billion (in midday trading) since Friday’s close. In other words, Google has lost more market value than the entire amount it is going to pay for Motorola.

And the proposed deal (which still must pass regulatory review) is all cash, so fluctuations in Google’s share price won’t affect the final amount Google has to pay. Of course, by the time the deal closes probably next year Google’s market cap will be vastly different than it is today. And today’s 22-point drop in Google’s stock price is related more to the overall market rout than to the Googorola deal.

Still, as of yesterday, Google’s market cap was down $10 billion since the deal was announced (based on Google’s 326 million shares outstanding). There is no getting around the fact that Wall Street does not like this deal.

It makes you winder how much of that $17.4 billion of wiped out value can be chalked up to the deal versus the market tanking in general.



Company:
GOOGLE
Launch Date:
7/9/1998
IPO:
25/8/2004, NASDAQ:GOOG

Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of...

Learn more

Company:
MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS, INC.
Launch Date:
1928

Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) is a data communications and telecommunications equipment provider that succeeded Motorola Inc. following the spin-off of the mobile phones division into Motorola Mobility Holdings,...

Learn more


Appia-Powered App Stores Now Seeing 1 Million Downloads Per Day

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 09:10 AM PDT

appia-1

Appia, a startup that powers a white-label content and commerce platform for everyone and anyone who needs a mobile app store, has passed an important milestone—the company is now seeing 1 million downloads per day (that’s up from 500,000 a few months ago) across all of its app stores.

For background, the company powers mobile app storefronts for more than 40 partners, including four of the world’s top five handset manufacturers (Samsung, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless). The bonus of using Appia's white-label offering is that it enables its partners to deliver apps to more than 3,200 different mobile device makes and models. And company powers an App Stores for Opera Software and Telcel, Mexico's largest operator.

In July alone, Appia’s marketplaces reached over 40 million downloads. And in the 38 months since launching, the Appia marketplace has delivered 200 million cumulative downloads, with over 100 million downloads generated in the last four months alone. In fact, Appia’s download rate is an impressive 2,282% from July 2010. Appia's recently launched pay-per-download marketplace also helped deliver 2.5 million sponsored app downloads in 3 months for 30 partners including Amazon, Priceline and Cupid.com.

The Appia Marketplace boasts 140,000 applications from more than 32,000 developers across every major operating system, including Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Java, Windows and Symbian, with thousands of Android apps being added every month. During July, Appia saw downloads from over 200 countries and 3,500 different handsets.

Of course, for basis of comparison Apple’s App Store is seeing 1 billion app downloads per month, and has racked up an impressive 15 billion total downloads. But as you can see from the chart included in this post, Appia’s app downloads are growing at an impressive rate compared to other mobile app stores. And thanks to an exploding app download market, perhaps this growth will continue.



Company:
APPIA
Launch Date:
2008
Funding:
$29.8M

Appia is the world’s largest open app marketplace and white label storefront platform, supporting all operating systems and handsets. Ranked #15 on the Wall Street Journal's 2011 list of...

Learn more


Video: Crunchy Logistics Brings Multi-Touch To A 150″ Conference Table

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:54 AM PDT

Crunchy Logistics

This is one of the cooler things I’ve seen in a while. Think Microsoft Surface meets Minority Report, minus the bald lady that predicts the future. It’s a multi-touch conference table from an Orlando-based company called Crunchy Logistics, and comes in five different sizes.

The LCD/LED screen has more than 36 touch-points and uses most of the same multi-touch language that we’re used to, like pinch-to-zoom. The size variations are as follows: 55-inch, 65-inch, 70-inch, 130-inch and 150-inch, but the table measures 1.5-inches thick across all models. The table features interactive gaming, and is compatible with both PC and Mac.

This thing could be really great for any business that requires multiple people to interact with certain data, such as architectural firms, engineers, and designers. We’re not quite sure about pricing or availability, but you can bet that this thing won’t be cheap. Then again, it would likely cut costs in other areas of the business, too.

Check out the video after the break.




Apple, China Mobile In Talks To Bring The iPhone To Its 600m Users

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:38 AM PDT

chinamobile-tower

The world’s largest mobile carrier, China Mobile, does not currently support or sell the iPhone. That might be changing, though. Reuters is reporting that the carrier has held meetings with Steve Jobs himself in regards to launching the iPhone on China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier.

There’s clearly a demand. Apparently China Mobile, despite not selling the phone itself, already has 7.44 million iPhones registered on its network. This of course is done through unsanctioned means, but shows China Mobile users will go out of their way to get the iPhone on the network.

One of the roadblocks is that China Mobile operates on a different 3G standard developed in part by the Chinese Government. This TD-SCDMA network isn’t compatible with the two 3G radio variations currently in the iPhone. Those China Mobile subs using a jailbroken iPhone on the network only have access to the slower, legacy 2G EDGE network proving the iPhone’s popularity.

China Unicom is currently the only carrier in China to officially support the iPhone, but China Mobile offers a huge opportunity for Apple. Both carriers are state-owned and operated, but where China Unicom operates on traditional wireless standards, only 180 million users are on their network. China Mobile, however, reaches 97% of the Chinese population and has over 600 million subscribers. (Verizon and ATT combined have just 230 million subs in the US)

From the fake Apple Stores to the millions of 2G iPhones, the Chinese people clearly want the latest Apple has to offer — and Apple will not likely turn down the cash.



Company:
APPLE
Launch Date:
1/4/1976
IPO:
1980, NASDAQ:AAPL

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer,...

Learn more


Microsoft Confirms Windows 8 App Store

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:18 AM PDT

windows8screen

Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, has officially confirmed (somewhat subtly) that the upcoming Windows 8 operating system will indeed have an app store. The news was mentioned via a new blog post over on MSDN, where Sinofsky listed the numerous teams which will be contributing to Windows 8′s development.

At the top of the list? A team called “App Store.”

Of course, we already knew a store existed, thanks to Windows 8 screenshots. But it’s still nice to see it in print, along with the confirmation that a team of engineers has been assigned to its development.

Says Sinofsky, “many of the teams listed below describe features or areas that you are familiar with or that you can probably figure out based on the name.”

Yes, “App Store” was an easy one to figure out. Thanks.

The launch of an official app store for Microsoft computers isn’t all that surprising, especially given Windows 8′s mobile-inspired look-and-feel. And let’s not forget that Microsoft’s top competitor Apple already launched its popular Mac App Store 8 months ago.

But what we don’t know about the Windows App Store is how it will differ from Apple’s. After all, fanboyism aside, there are far more programs that run on Windows computers than on Macs. And since Microsoft has publicly stated that Windows 8 will be compatible with all Windows 7 software applications, we’re talking about a lot of potential software applications here.

Surely, not all will be featured in the app store? That could be a mess.

Perhaps only those apps that run on Windows app will be featured?

We also wonder if Windows 8 developers will have to submit their apps for inclusion in the store. Will it be an open market, more akin to Android’s Marketplace, or a curated collection, like Apple’s? Will there be any integration between Windows 8 apps and those that run on Windows Phone?

The only thing we do know from the blog post is that these “feature” teams, as they’re called consist of anywhere from 25 to 40 developers, plus test and program management, all working together.




(Founder Stories) DoubleClick’s Kevin O’Connor: We Were Netscape’s Profits

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:05 AM PDT

When Kevin O’Connor started DoubleClick in the mid-1990s, it was half an online media sales company for early Web companies like Netscape and Excite and half a technology company. “We were their profits,” O’Connor tells Chris Dixon about Netscape in this second installment of his Founder Stories interview. (Watch the first one here).

O’Connor relates how he got DoubleClick going in the early days, why he picked New York over Silicon Valley, and the challenges of introducing measurable advertising just when the Web was starting to take off. “People didn’t want accountability,” he says. Even the technology companies who were customers only wanted to use DoubleClick as their media reps, and not for their technology. When their contract with Netscape came up for renewal, DoubleClick was going to be fired as Netscape’s rep firm because Netscape did not believe in their technology or that that they could sell advertising to CIOs (bundled with servers, which is what Netscape wanted to do). “Have you ever met a CIO that buys advertising? It was so nonsensical.”

The tension between being an advertising network and a technology company continued, but the bet on technology proved to be the correct one. In a previous Founder Stories, former DoubelClick CEO Kevin Ryan relates how during the bust, DoubleClick would lose 70 percent of its clients before coming out on the other side.

In the video below, O’Connor recalls how DoubleClick got through the crash. Fortunately, DoubleClick had just raised $700 million. “So that money saved you,” notes Dixon. He then asks O-Connor what made DoubleClick successful. There is “always that element of luck,” concedes O’Connor, but the two keys to success in his mind for any tech company are to “provide the best technological solution to a big problem and hire smart athletes” (by which he means smart people who are hyper-competitive).



Person:
KEVIN O'CONNOR
Website:

Kevin O’Connor is the co-founder and CEO of FindTheBest.com. Before founding FindTheBest in 2009, O'Connor started O’Connor Ventures in 2001, a company specializing in tech startups. In...

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Company:
DOUBLECLICK
Launch Date:
1996

DoubleClick is a provider of digital marketing technology and services. Companies come to DoubleClick for expertise in ad serving, media, video, search and affiliate marketing to help them...

Learn more

Company:
NETSCAPE
Launch Date:
4/4/1994

Netscape was a computer services company, best known for its web browser. Netscape was acquired by AOL in 1998.

Learn more


Andreessen Horowitz Leads $15M Round In Cloud Business Intelligence Platform GoodData

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:00 AM PDT

good-data-1

Startup GoodData, which provides companies with a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) platform, has raised $15 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with existing investors General Catalyst Partners, Fidelity Growth Partners and Windcrest Partners also contributing to the round. This investment brings GoodData’s total funding to $28.5 million. The company has also added two new members to the Board of Directors: John O'Farrell, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and Dave Girouard, President of Google Enterprise. Additionally, this marks Andreessen Horowitz’s fourth investment in GoodData (including two seed investments, and 2010 round).

Founded by serial entrepreneur Roman Stanek, GoodData offers a cloud-based data analytics solution that is more cost-effective than similar products offered by IBM, SAP and Oracle. Basically, companies can plug GoodData’s products into their own cloud-based SaaS products (i.e. Salesforce, Zendesk) and then can access operational dashboards, advanced reporting and data warehousing.

Beyond just structuring data, GoodData also gives companies the best practices and actionable insights based on data, adding a layer of intelligence. The company has a number of analytics apps for SaaS products, including Zendesk, Twilio, Pardot, and Get Satisfaction, which offers these companies’ customers additional insight into data. Currently the company offers 20 applications, and will be expanding to more SaaS platforms with the new funding. The company expects to add another 30 apps by the end of the year.

Stanek tells us that GoodData is disrupting the $25 billion BI and data warehousing space because previously data intelligence used to be a complicated process. But as more companies are relying on cloud applications for business functions such as sales, customer service and more, accessing and making sense of this enormous amount of cloud-based data has become a simplified process that takes minutes, he explains.

And GoodData’s offerings are seeing traction in the enterprise space. Over 2,500 companies, including Software AG, Time Warner Cable, Capgemini and Pandora Media, rely on GoodData's data intelligence products. The company has seen 500% growth in overall platform usage in 2011 alone and is currently managing over 6,500 unique customer data mark. And more than 2 million reports were executed on the GoodData cloud BI platform in July of this year.

Adding Google’s enterprise chief, Girouard, to the board is a pretty significant vote of confidence for the startup. Girouard who will advise the company on product development, service delivery and sales of cloud services, says of the GoodData: “GoodData has an amazing opportunity to build a huge business. Cloud computing and analytics is a killer combination, and GoodData has taken a unique and promising approach to leading in this market.”

Andreessen Horowitz’s O'Farrell is also bullish on GoodData, tells us that that he sees the startup becoming a billion dollar company. He explains that because the mass market still has to move to the cloud, there is still so much more potential for cloud-based businesses like GoodData, which extract valuable information from cloud data. “That’s something businesses will spend a lot of money on,” says O'Farrell.

O’Farrell also made an interesting point about the business intelligence space, in general. He says there isn’t a low barrier of entry to the space, but GoodData goes beyond just providing graphs and simple data visualization tools to offering a powerful platform that actually gives companies actionable insight from all of their business data. This, he says, creates a high barrier to entry, and will help GoodData succeed.




Nokia’s Anna Update For Symbian^3 Devices Is Ready To Roll

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 07:46 AM PDT

symbiananna

Despite the fact that the company has a newly adopted OS in the works with Windows Phone 7, Nokia has always promised to continue supporting Symbian, its first OS. That said, owners of the Nokia N8, C7, C6-01 and E7 will get to download the Symbian Anna software update starting today. The update includes improvements to the browser and maps, along with new icons.

The update will also bring with it a portrait QWERTY keyboard, and split-screen viewing during text input so you can check out web pages, forms and threads as you type. As far as the map improvements go, Ovi Maps will now have a better search function as well as public transportation routes. The update also includes check-ins for social networks, along with email and SMS sharing of your location.

Nokia included new business features in the Anna update as well, bringing meeting request support to email, hardware-accelerated encryption of data, and secure intranet access for users who need IPSEC and SSL VPN enablers. The best part of the update is unfortunately only for owners of the C7, but it’s a pretty sweet improvement. Once C7 owners download the Symbian Anna update, the NFC hardware in the handset will be activated.

Nokia recommends going through the Ovi Suite on PC to get the download, as it’s pretty large and could fail through OTA unless your Wi-Fi connection is super reliable. Oh, and one little bummer before I go: the update is not available in the U.S. right now, and since Nokia wants to halt its Symbian business in North America, it may never be. Currently, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, UAE, and the UK will be the first to get the update, with other countries to follow within the next three weeks.



Company:
NOKIA
Website:
http://nokia.com
IPO:
31/12/1960, NYSE:NOK

Nokia is a Finnish multinational communications corporation. It is primarily engaged in the manufacturing of mobile devices and in converging Internet and communications industries. They make a wide range...

Learn more


OpenDNS Now Serving 30 Million Customers

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 07:30 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2011-08-18 at 10.22.43 AM

Everyone’s favorite alternative DNS service, OpenDNS, is now serving up DNS to 30 million customers world-wide. The company announced this milestone in a short release and notes that they are now sending out more DNS goodness than any other major ISP.

The company says they are now used in one of three US schools, hundreds of thousands of households, and a plethora of major corporations including Nike, Staples, BP, and Burger King.

OpenDNS isn’t new, but it’s fairly unique. It offers free DNS controls as well as parental/organization filtering. They also prevent search term hijacking for many ISPs. There are paid and free accounts available.

Generally, OpenDNS is almost invisible. I’ve been using it for years and although there are plenty of competitors like EasyDNS and FreeDNS, I’ve never seen a pressing need to switch.




Delta Testing In-Flight iPads For Pilots, XOOMs To Follow Shortly

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 07:28 AM PDT

flightpad

While they have typically gone with proprietary tech, Delta has begun testing some off-the-shelf tablets for use as “electronic flight bags” for their pilots. The test program has 22 iPads flying the friendly skies, giving pilots access to flight charts, equipment manuals, and in-flight WiFi in a 1.6lb package.

Delta thinks that having iPads onboard will make for stronger communications between the flight and ground crews. They hope to be able to push up-to-the-minute information to flights from the control center, leaving the flight crew better able to handle changes in flight path, weather, and the occasional emergency.

Each iPad has a specific loadout of flight-related applications, from Jeppesen flight charts to rest period calculators, but Delta SVP Steve Dickson has stated that pilots are able to “download additional apps that customise the product and lend to Delta’s capabilities.” While the iPads are obviously meant strictly for operational use, I get the feeling that there will be at least one pilot who decides to download Angry Birds at cruising altitude.

Now before anyone gets too worried about iPads screwing with aviation instruments, the 50 evaluation pilots are bound by the same restrictions that we normal folk are: the tablets are only to be used pre-flight and when the plane is above 10,000 feet.

The iPads will remain in the field until September, when they will be swapped out for a fleet of Motorola XOOMs. Yes, the iOS/Android debate will be taking to skies, and Delta has currently exploring a third tablet option just to make sure they’ve covered all the bases. Here’s an idea: maybe they can partner up with Best Buy and give a home to all those unloved HP TouchPads.




Citi and Best Buy Launch Mobile Rewards App

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 07:02 AM PDT

Image (1) best-buy.jpg for post 119181

Citi and Best Buy have teamed up to launch a mobile rewards application for iPhone and Android devices. The “Citi ThankYou Rewards” app ties together Best Buy’s inventory systems with Citi’s “ThankYou” Rewards program, a service which allows Citi customers to earn points by using their Citi credit card or performing other banking-related activities.

Now, Citi customers can use the new mobile app to track their rewards points in real time, keep an eye on items they want to buy, and then pay for those items using their earned points.

The free application was built through a collaboration between the two companies, one a major financial institution and the other a leading retailer. As a customer shops in a Best Buy retail store, they can scan the barcodes of the merchandise they want to purchase. The app will display how many points are needed for each item.

And when the customer is ready to checkout, those items are placed in a virtual cart within the app to complete the process. A confirmation email is sent to the customer’s registered Citi ThankYou Rewards email account, directing them to the in-store pickup counter at Best Buy to get their merchandise.

The application also allows users to shop the Best Buy ThankYou Rewards catalog and schedule items for in-store pickup at the location of their choice or have them sent to their home address.

In addition, the mobile app lets Citi ThankYou Rewards members shop for other merchandise in the Rewards catalog not sold through Best Buy. Those items would be shipped directly to your home.

Says Ralph Andretta, EVP of Loyalty and New Products at Citi, there are millions of redemptions available via the ThankYou Rewards program outside of Best Buy, but Citi was excited to partner with the retailer which it sees as an innovative company like itself. This app demonstrates what Citi wants to be, Andretta says: “the best digital bank in the world.”

More details regarding this announcement are available at this morning’s webcast, going on now at www.liveatbestbuy.com/livestream.



Company:
BEST BUY
IPO:
NYSE:BBY

Best Buy Co., Inc. operates as a specialty retailer in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, and Europe. It offers consumer electronic video products, such as televisions, digital cameras...

Learn more


Kleiner Perkins And Warburg Pincus Put $100M Into Chinese Luxury Shopping Site Xiu.com

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 06:31 AM PDT

xiu

Kleiner Perkins China (KPCB China) and private equity firm Warburg Pincus have put $100 million in Chinese online retailer Xiu.com. The company just raised $20 million from Kleiner earlier this year.

Xiu.com was founded in March 2008 and offers middle-to-luxury brand name fashion products – clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, cosmetics and home decor – to China’s middle class. The company boasts 10 buyer offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Australia, Paris, London, Italy, Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.

Bloomberg reports that Xiu is expected to quadruple sales to more than 1 billion yuan ($156.6 million) this year.

Ji Wenhong, founder and CEO of Xiu.com, said in a statement that the company will use the new funding to source inventory from global brands, add more talent, and enhance logistics capacities.

The company says that this funding round marks the largest Series B round raised among Chinese e-commerce industry in history. A spokesman from Warburg Pincus said the ‘the soaring purchasing power and China’s consumption upgrade’ make the firm ‘very confident about Xiu.com’s future.’ Warburg Pincus also said that it plans to further expand its investment in Xiu.com, based on the market and company development.




Watch Out Netflix, Amazon Instant Video Reaches 100,000 On-Demand Titles

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 06:20 AM PDT

amazon_instant_video

Amazon is constantly growing and expanding its catalog of videos available for on-demand streaming. The service just reached the 100k mark with 9,000 of those available under the Prime streaming plan. The bulk of the library is set aside for à la carte renting and buying with TV titles starting at $.99 cent and movies for $3.99. With deep living room penetration, all Amazon needs to do is flip the switch, offer a reasonably-priced subscription plan open to all titles, and effectively shut down Netflix.

Amazon’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. Netflix announced a few weeks back that its most popular subscription plan was increasing in price by 60%. That price change is almost ready to happen and many might be looking for an alternative. Well, here’s Amazon, standing tall with an on-demand three times larger than Netflix’s.

Amazon Instant Video followed Netflix’s lead into supporting as many hardware platforms as possible. The system is available through the web, on most game systems, smartphone platforms, and many, many set-top boxes. Only a few of those devices have access to Amazon Instant Video Prime, which offers videos through a Netflix-style system. The rest are available for purchase or rental, which isn’t the most cost-friendly route for media hogs.

With their huge library and deep reach, Amazon would be a prime suspect to disrupt Netflix’s dominance. Consumers know and trust the Amazon brand. This isn’t a scrappy startup trying to topple Goliath with sheer will. But right now, with Amazon’s per-movie, per-episode pricing, most consumers will probably stick with Netflix — unless Amazon gets the message and outs a competitive plan.



Company:
AMAZON
Launch Date:
1994
IPO:
5/1997, NASDAQ:AMZN

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is a leading global Internet company and one of the most trafficked Internet retail destinations worldwide. Amazon is one of the first companies to sell products deep...

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Company:
NETFLIX
Launch Date:
1997
IPO:
23/5/2003, NASDAQ:NFLX

With more than 23.3 million members in the United States and Canada, Netflix, Inc. is the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For $7.99...

Learn more


Logitech’s G300 Gaming Mouse Ditches The Thumb Buttons For Lefty’s Sake

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 06:05 AM PDT

G300

When it comes to gaming, the better the mouse, the better the gamer. Logitech today announced its next-gen G-series gaming mouse, the G300, and if this thing doesn’t give you a competitive edge, you need to spend more time practicing. With nine customizable controls, you may not have to use the keyboard at all, meaning all the control you could want rests nicely under the palm of your hand.

Because it’s ambidextrous, this is Logitech’s first mouse without thumb controls. Both rightys and leftys can play with the same level of control. The G300 mouse lets you customize up to three different player profiles, too. So let’s say you play Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare 2 interchangeably. You can set the color of the mouse to red for one control customization, and green for another, so that you don’t start using Modern Warfare controls when you’re playing Bad Company. There are seven different color options.

The G300 touts a 2500-DPI optical sensor that tracks both slow and fast movements, and the mouse works well on a number of surfaces. I got to play around with the G300 a bit and felt that it truly is pretty comfortable in either hand. Plus, it comes with optional drag-and-drop software that not only lets you set up your G300 mouse, but lets you connect to other Logitech products like the G-series keyboards and headsets. From there you can set up macros to be shared across all the devices.

In terms of pricing and availability, the G300 will go for an MSRP of $39.99, and will be available across the U.S. and Europe in September.



Company:
LOGITECH
Launch Date:
1981
IPO:
NASDAQ:LOGI

Logitech designs and manufactures computer and electronics peripherals such as mice, keyboards, speakers, and remote controls.

Learn more


Drchrono Raises $650K From Yuri Milner; Launches Patient Check-In iPad App For Doctors

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 05:59 AM PDT

drchrono-picture

Drchrono, a startup that simplifies the professional lives of doctors by bringing electronic health records and much more to the iPad, has raised another $650,000 in seed funding from DST founder Yuri Milner and General Catalyst. In July, the company raised $675,000 in seed funding from General Catalyst, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups, Gmail creator and FriendFeed cofounder Paul Buchheit, Google's Principal Engineer Matt Cutts, and the Start Fund.

As we’ve written in the past, drchrono’s iPad app allows doctors to schedule patient appointments, dictate notes via audio, take pictures, write prescriptions and send them to pharmacies, enable reminders, take clinical notes, access lab results, and, most importantly input electronic health records.

Now, drchrono is looking to disrupt another part of the medical office experience by providing a new iPad app, called OnPatient, which replaces the patient check-in process. So, as soon as you enter a medical office, you are generally given a clipboard with a number of forms to fill out in the waiting room, including general information, medical history, confidentiality agreements and more.

Now doctors’ offices can give users Drchrono’s free iPad app instead of a clipboard. On-Patient allows patients to complete family medical history, demographic information, and insurance information; take a profile photo and sign the HIPAA consent form with a digital signature. With the app, you can only fill out your form and are locked into this interface so patients won’t be able to switch to other apps or access other patients’ information.

And to make doctors’ lives easier, the app integrates with drchrono’s medical records interface, so medical personell don’t have to type in all the patient information. On subsequent visits, patients do not have to complete duplicate forms—they need only review their information and make any necessary changes on the iPad.

This is just another way in which drchrono is making the lives of doctors and their employees easier. As you may have heard, the Obama administration is currently offering incentives for doctors to start moving their health records online. drchrono was approved to qualify doctors for receiving $44,000 in incentives when they use the software as an electronic medical records platform. In fact, drchrono is the first native EHR on the iPad to be certified for Meaningful Use under the incentive.

Michael Nusimow, co-founder and CEO of drchrono, tells us that the company has also sweetened the deal for many doctors and is now waiving the set-up fees for its EHR platform (drchrono operates a freemium model). And he reiterated the company’s goal: for every doctor in the country to be using drchrono for medical records and data input.




Lenovo Doubles Q1 Profits, Is Now The World’s No.3 PC Vendor

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 05:34 AM PDT

Image (8) lenovo-t400s-laptop.jpg for post 100900

Lenovo reported results for the first quarter of the fiscal year today, and in a nutshell, things are looking pretty good for the Chinese powerhouse. Quarterly sales soared 15% year-on-year to US$5.9 billion, while net income even ballooned from $54.9 to $108.8 million in the same time frame.

Lenovo says that it grew faster than any other PC maker in the global top 5 (Dell, ASUS, HP, Acer) for the seventh quarter in a row, having shipped 23.1% more PCs worldwide than in the first quarter of last year. The company was especially successful in China, Latin America, India, ASEAN, but also reports historic high market shares in North America (7%) and Western Europe (5.9%).

According to IDC, Lenovo currently controls 12.2% of the market for computers, making it the third largest vendor globally (behind HP and Dell).

In recent months, Lenovo made headlines in the business world by acquiring Germany-based PC maker Medion (the deal instantly made Lenovo the No. 2 computer vendor in that country) and forming an alliance with NEC in Japan.




Japan To Get Android-Based “Yahoo Phone” Next Month

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 02:24 AM PDT

yahoo phone

Japan gets an Android-based “Yahoo Phone” [JP]: what may sound weird at first is actually not that surprising a news item, given that Yahoo is the country’s biggest website. Add to the fact that the country’s third biggest mobile carrier SoftBank, the provider of the phone, is Yahoo Japan’s biggest shareholder, and the emergence of such a handset makes even more sense.

The phone is manufactured by Sharp and is the rebranded version of the so-called “AQUOS PHONE THE PREMIUM SoftBank 009SH” [JP] the company showed a few weeks back. It features Android 2.3 as the OS, a 4-inch LCD with QHD resolution, an 8MP CMOS camera, Bluetooth 3.0, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, a microSDHC slot, a digital TV tuner, an e-wallet function, infrared communication, etc.

Buyers can expect to find selected Android apps and services from Yahoo Japan pre-installed on the device, for example Yahoo Japan Home, Yahoo Japan Auctions, a calendar, dictionary, Yahoo Loco (the company’s LBS), etc.

SoftBank subscribers choosing the phone become Yahoo Japan premium members for free for two years (instead of having to pay $4.50 monthly) and can also get additional points for every purchase made on Yahoo Shopping for the next two years.

SoftBank will start distributing the Yahoo Phone in Japan late next month.

Sorry for the small picture – we’ll add more when we get them.

 




Daily Crunch: Liftoff

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 01:00 AM PDT

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