Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Latest from TechCrunch

The Latest from TechCrunch

Link to TechCrunch

Watch TC Disrupt SF 2011 Live Day 2

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 09:16 AM PDT

TC Disrupt

TechCrunch is kicking off the second day of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2011 this morning. We’ve embedded the livestream of the event below.

Those at home can also keep up with the action by searching for #TCDisrupt hashtag on Twitter, watching the TechCrunch Disrupt backstage videos or refreshing the page continuously until something new comes up.

Stay tuned. Full agenda for today below.

Tuesday, September 13th

9:00am -9:10am
TechCrunch opening remarks

9:10am -9:20am
Welcome from Mayor Ed Lee, City of San Francisco

9:20am -9:40am
Fireside chat with Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures

9:40am – 10:00am
Founder Stories with Seth Goldstein and Billy Chasen, Turntable.fm

@Venture: Tom Ball, (Austin Ventures), Joe Kraus (Google Ventures), James Slavet
(Greylock Partners), Rich Wong (Accel Partners), Geoge Zachary (Charles River

10:30am – 10:40am
Special product announcement

10:40am- 11:00am

11:00am -11:30am
Fireside chat with Ashton Kutcher, Katalyst Films and angel investor

Power play with Jim Lanzone, CBS Interactive

Introducing The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries with case studies, Intuit's Scott Cook and
Instagram's Kevin Systrom

12:15pm -12:30pm
Fireside chat with Kevin Rose, Milk

12:30pm – 2:00pm

2:00pm -2:15pm
Power play with Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp

Startup Battlefield

2:15pm – 3:15pm
Session 4
Expert Judges: John Ham (Ustream), Hilary Mason (Bit.ly), Kevin Rose (Milk), George Zachary (Charles River Ventures)

3:15pm – 3:30pm
Afternoon snack: Compliments of American Express (starts during first afternoon break time and goes through second afternoon break)

3:30pm – 4:30pm
Session 5
Expert Judges: Gina Bianchini (Mightybell), Chi-Hua Chien (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers), Narendra Rocherolle (Message Bus & The Start Project), Lior
Zorea (Perkins Cole)

4:30pm – 4:45pm

Session 6
Expert Judges: Wesley Chan (Google Ventures), Rebekah Cox (Quora), Mark Suster (Launchpad LA), Yossi Vardi (Angel Investor), Joe Green (Causes)

5:45pm – 7:30pm
Lean Startup Book Launch and Celebratory Cocktails with Eric Ries

End of sessions at entrance to Concourse: RVIP Lounge: Sponsored by uTest

After Party hosted by MailChimp
651 Howard Street
Conference badge required for admission

Microsoft Sold 450 Million Copies Of Windows 7

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 09:05 AM PDT


Today, Microsoft has announced quite the milestone for Windows 7: since its launch in October 2009, a full 450 million licenses have been sold. The numbers are somehow more impressive when broken down; just a hair over 650,000 licenses are sold each day.

Sales of Windows 7 have been on the upswing over the past two months to boot; it seems all that back-to-school prep has given Windows 7 a kick in the pants. The folks in Redmond are fond of calling Windows 7 “the fastest selling version of Windows ever,” and it turns out the claim may not just be a load of marketing fluff.

Microsoft tends to keep unit sales figures quiet, save for big announcements and financial statements, but let’s try and put Microsoft’s achievement in a bit of perspective here. They announced in their Q4 2008 revenue report that they sold 180 million Vista licenses since launch. At this point in Vista’s life (just over a year and half after launch), that averages out to about 335,195 licenses per day. Seems respectable without context, but after the same amount of time, Windows 7 nearly doubles that figure with 632,911 licenses/day.

Vista, to be fair, was a bit of a flop, but 7 compares to its grandfather XP rather nicely too: Microsoft announced that they had sold 210 million copies of XP in May 2004, a window of just about two and a half years since launch. Meanwhile, Windows 7 managed to move 240 million licenses by the time it was a year old.

What does this mean? First, there’s a massive install base of Win7 machines out there and, more important, those same machines should be powerful enough to run Windows 8 when it arrives in the next year or so. In addition it means that more users are connecting to Windows live for SkyDrive sharing and other features – 542,000,000 people to be exact. These are wildly large and impressive numbers and it’s clear that Microsoft has a hit on its hands.

Company: Microsoft
Website: microsoft.com
Launch Date: April 4, 1974

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...

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Previewing The Future: Hands On With Windows 8

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 09:05 AM PDT


Over the past two days, I’ve been working with a prototype Windows 8 tablet – really a PC – and finding that instead of a disappointing mish-mash of Windows XP and some strange touch UI that the Windows Metro/desktop system is actually quite cool and quite intuitive. The next Windows 8 is, in one way, nothing like the Windows versions that came before and, in other ways, an iterative improvement over what we know as the Windows Desktop.

There is no post-PC world. Everything that runs Windows 8 is a PC. That’s right – this tablet is a PC. In one way, this nomenclature allows Microsoft to avoid the “better than iPad” argument entirely and, on the other hand, it’s an ingenious way for the company to invigorate the faltering desktop market.

The cloud is serious. Microsoft has invested quite a bit of time and effort into their cloud systems. For example, chats held in Microsoft Messenger will be persistent from computer to computer. Profile pictures on your login screen will appear on every machine you log into. Security is granular – your data is safe on the machine or can appear in the cloud. It’s your – or your IT department’s – choice.

Anyone can be a programmer. You can build a usable app in HTML5 and Javscript that will run on Windows 8 and, presumably, Windows Phone. Like iOS, Windows is the DNA of a new breed of device, one that uses the core code that we’re used to and expands – or contracts – it as usual.

Windows isn’t huge anymore. Because of the cloud, Windows can actually boot off of a USB key. Obviously there are some very specific reasons to boot off of a USB drive, but it's cool because it can. Windows now exposes different APIs based on the hardware on which it’s running which makes it work on ARM machines as well as the fastest x86 processor on the market.

There are other ways to work. Windows 8 supports pens, handwriting, touch and, presumably, voice, dance, and song as inputs. You can, for example, add a mouse and keyboard and have a great PC or you can carry the device around for Windows on the go. The device we tested, obviously, has a huge, weirdly-sized screen but otherwise it is a perfectly serviceable workhorse.

Like it or not, Microsoft owns a massive part of the PC business. Is Windows 8 perfect (at least in this early incarnation?) absolutely not. But this version is very… interesting. I love Metro. It’s a fascinating rethinking of the Windows Phone interface and is very similar to Lion’s LaunchPad and Mission Control views. It’s jarring to see the device dump back into standard Windows mode – all of the windows, icons, and buttons look sad and forlorn next to Metro.

This is Windows 8. There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s aimed at consumers, it’s touch-enabled from the ground up, and its an exciting departure from the old. The compromises made by Microsoft in this release – the reliance on old windowing methods is the most glaring – but it’s clear that the cloud access, the new touch interface including handwriting and finger-based UI handling, and all of the improvements, including the slow destruction of the legacy Registry – are all the right way to go.

Plenty of people will be quite comfortable and excited about this OS. Plenty of IT guys face push-back, exasperation, and clamoring to return to the original way of doing things. In the end, Microsoft will win. It’s hard to maneuver a juggernaut, but when its moving don’t stand in its way.

Company: Microsoft
Website: microsoft.com
Launch Date: April 4, 1974

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...

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Upcoming Social Network Altly Is Now AnyBeat, Goes Into Private Beta

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 09:03 AM PDT


I’ve just been given a demo of a new upcoming social networking service called AnyBeat, which was formerly known as Altly and was started by Veoh founder and former MySpace Music exec Dmitry Shapiro.

I guess the screenshots below already kind of make this clear, but any social network that gets started these days is bound to look like Twitter, Facebook or Google+, both in terms of features and design. Sure enough, Anybeat is exactly that: a social network that borrows elements and features from those three popular services, without adding anything extraordinarily unique (for now).

Sure enough, Anybeat looks really clean, and from what I’ve seen in the demo it’s a perfectly fine social network with all the necessary bells and whistles. My problem with it is that it lacks a raison d’ĂȘtre, especially given the head start enjoyed by the Twitters and Facebooks of this world.

Alternatives are great, needed even, but users need a compelling reason to switch, too.

There are some things that Shapiro and his crew have added to try and make Anybeat stand out from the pack, such as the ability to use pseudonyms, a hybrid system of following, grouping, direct messaging and instant messaging other members, a directory that enables people to discover new users to follow, integrated real-time and saveable search, a ‘CRED’ score that is sort of like an internal ranking of how great an Anybeat member a person is, and a special dedicated called ‘Questions’ which is, well, much like Quora or Facebook Questions.

But ultimately, from what I’ve seen at least, there’s basically nothing that would make me want to use Anybeat if I’m already using Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google+ or really any other social network today. That might change in the future, but color me a skeptic for now.

Anybeat has raised just over $1 million from Freestyle Capital, Social Leverage, DFJ, Howard Lindzon, Tom Anderson and other angel investors.

The service is invite-only for the time being, but you can sign up to be alerted.

Company: Altly

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Aviary Lets Developers Add Cool Photo Editing Features To Their iPhone, Android Apps

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 08:55 AM PDT


Aviary has made a name for itself over the years with its powerful photo editing – and other tools – and API for the Web and mobile.

Today, they’re somewhat changing course, business-wise, henceforth focusing primarily on serving the broad developer community with software development kits (SDKs).

Using their SDKs, iOS and Android app developers can add photo editing features such as cropping, sharpening, red-eye removal, filters and effects and whatnot to their applications. Aviary says support for the iPad is underway, and that its SDK is 100% compatible with the forthcoming iOS 5.

Both the iPhone and the Android SDK are free to use and implement. Developers have the ability to customize the photo editing functionality so it fits their apps’ look and feel.

Aviary is launching its new SDKs with 30+ partners in tow. The company has also made a significant hire, attracting former Microsoft Chief of Staff Paul Murphy to head up its partnership efforts as their new VP of Business Development.

Launch partners include picplz, Minus, Snapr, Fashism, Getaround, Pixable and Fotobabble.

Company: Aviary
Website: aviary.com
Launch Date: September 13, 2011
Funding: $7M

Aviary is a collaborative creative suite for artists of all genres. Available both on and offline, via Adobe’s Flex and Air technologies respectively, Aviary enables artists to create on the fly with an inventory of tools for every medium. From image editing to typography to music to 3D to video, artists can create and collaborate using our free, light, and powerful software. Aviary consists of 16 rich web applications that work together to enable artists to create different forms...

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TechCrunch Disrupt Webcast – Live Right Now

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 08:45 AM PDT


HTC Spec Sheets Leaked, Bliss and Runnymede Get Detailed

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 08:35 AM PDT


HTC’s Bliss and Runnymede smartphones have been making waves recently, albeit for completely different reasons. While the Bliss has gained its notoriety for being HTC’s first female-friendly smartphone, the Runnymede (pictured here) is best known for its silly name and appearances in grainy renders.

A recently leaked spec sheet, though, manages to flesh out a few of the phones’ more intriguing details, like the Runnymede’s Beats status and the Bliss’s added charm.

Yep, the HTC Bliss will indeed be shipping with the fabled “charm indicator” in the box. For those new to the Bliss, the charm indicator is reportedly a little doodad meant to hang out of a woman’s purse to visually indicate when she gets a call.

The Bliss will have a 1 GHz processor under its shapely hood, with a 3.7-inch Super LCD WVGA display and a VGA camera on its face. A 5-megapixel camera graces its rear, and 768 of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and the usual complement of Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi radios make up the innards. Sadly, the spec sheet makes no mention of colors, meaning fashionistas like myself may have to make do with just one hue.

The Runnymede has a pretty impressive spec sheet in comparison, and could soon see life as one of HTC’s flagship phones. It sports a 4.7-inch WVGA display, a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm processor, 16 GB of onboard flash storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facer. The Runnymede will be quite pocketable, as it’s just a hair shy of 10mm thick, which is made even more of a plus because HTC wants it to be your go-to music device.

It seems as though the Runnymede will ship in at least a few different flavors, as the spec sheet mentions that some devices will come with Beats headphones while others will ship with Beats Solo headphones. If true, this would put the Runnymede right alongside the rumored Sensation Special Edition as the first phones to take advantage of HTC and Beats Audio’s strategic partnership.

These specs are for the European editions of Bliss and Runnymede respectively, but they paint a compelling enough picture that it’s doubtful much would change in transit to the U.S. Only time will tell though, and we hopefully won’t have to wait too long.

Video: Sony Shows Android 2.3-Powered Walkman With 4.3-Inch Screen, Wi-Fi

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 08:15 AM PDT

Picture 12

Competition for the iPod? Sony Japan announced [JP] the NW-Z1000 series today, their three newest Walkmans, which come with an array of flashy features. The new series was showcased for the first time during IFA in Berlin a few weeks ago, and now Sony priced and dated the devices for their home market.

The main difference between the three models is the internal memory: the NW-Z1050 (price: $364) comes with 16GB on board, while the NW-Z1060 offers 32GB for $429. The NW-Z1070 boasts 64GB and will be available for $563.

Here are the main specs of the Z series Walkmans:

  • Android 2.3 as the OS (with access to the Google market)
  • YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and various Sony apps pre-installed (Sony Music Player, Photo Player, etc.)
  • 4.3-inch LCD with 480×800 resolution
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core mobile CPU (1GHz)
  • 512MB main memory
  • IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • DLNA support
  • FM radio
  • internal mono speaker
  • microSD card, USB, HDMI slots
  • battery life for music: 20 hours (video: 5 hours)
  • size: 70.9×134.4×11.1mm, weight: 156g

The Z series Walkmans will hit stores in Japan on December 10.

Watch this video, shot by Diginfonews in Tokyo (in English), for more information:

AMD’s New FX Processor Reaches World Record Clock Speed

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 07:29 AM PDT


It’s amazing what people can do with one of AMD’s new eight-core FX processors, a specially built chassis, and a few tanks of liquid helium. In a pre-release stunt, AMD rounded up a small group of expert overclockers to take the new processor to world record speeds and beyond.

Don’t expect to do the same at home when the FX chips ship in late Q4 2011: overclockers Brian Mchlachlan and Sami Maekinen had the pick of the processor litter, and PCWorld reports that they looked specifically for chips that performed well at higher voltage levels. They took things slowly at first, with the FX eventually bumping up against the 8.0 GHz barrier thanks to a little liquid nitrogen.

It took the application of some liquid helium to really kick things into high gear, as the super-low temperatures allowed the FX to hit 8.429 GHz, besting the old record of 8.308 GHz. How well the system would actually perform under those conditions was left unexplored — this was all about hitting the highest clock speed, so the stress testing and benchmarking that comes with actually using an overclocked CPU was left by the wayside.

AMD was formally presented the Guinness World Record for Highest Frequency of a Computer Processor at their Fusion Zone event in San Francisco today. The timing and location seems to be yet another jab at their eternal rival though, as Intel also chose today to kick off their SF Developer Forum.

Japan Is Getting A 3DS In Pink (“For The Girls”)

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 07:21 AM PDT

nintendo pink

That horrible 3DS cradle Nintendo showed during the Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011 [JP] today wasn’t the only official hardware-related announcement of the show: big N also took the wraps off a very special new 3DS version, the so-called 3DS in “Misty Pink”. Various Gameboy and DS models have seen pink special editions already, so Nintendo is continuing a tradition here.

But the real reason is that Nintendo wants to woo female gamers with the pink 3DS: according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, the ratio of female 3DS users is well below 50% currently, while it stands at 50% for the Wii and a bit more than that for the DS (in Japan, at least).

Nintendo plans to roll out the 3DS Misty Pink in its home market on October 15 for the same price as the regular models (15,000 Yen/US$195). During the conference, Iwata didn’t talk about international sales plans.

For The 3DS: Nintendo Shows Mario 3D, Mario Kart 7 (Full List Of All Future Titles)

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 06:38 AM PDT

Picture 8

The Tokyo Game Show 2011 is starting tomorrow, an exhibition that Nintendo isn’t taking part in traditionally. Instead, big N organized a separate event today, the so-called Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011 [JP], where the company showed a total of 32 new titles that will be rolled out for the 3DS in the next months.

Here’s the full list [JP].

All Nintendo games and their Japanese release dates:

  • Super Mario 3D Land (November 3)
  • Mario Kart 7 (December 1)
  • Paper Mario (2012)
  • Mario Tennis (2012)
  • Luigi’s Mansion 2 (2012)
  • Animal Crossing (2012)
  • Kid Icarus (1st quarter of 2012)
  • Hana to Ikimono Rittai Zukan (September 29)
  • Mario & Sonic at the London Olympics (2012)
  • Fire Emblem (spring 2012)
  • Calciobit (2012)
  • Culdcept (2012)
  • GIRLS MODE (2012)
  • Shinrei Camera (TBA)
  • Tomodachi Collection (TBA)

Screens for Mario Land:

For Mario Kart 7:

All third-party games and their Japanese release dates:

  • Monster Hunter 3 (tri) G (December 10)
  • Biohazard Revelations (early 2012)
  • Dynasty Warriors VS (2012)
  • New Love Plus (December 8th)
  • Metal Gear Solid Snaker Eater 3D (this winter)
  • Beyond the Labyrinth (TBA)
  • World Soccer Winning Eleven 2012 (TBA)
  • Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 3 (November 22)
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (this winter)
  • Bravely Default (2012)
  • Sonic Generations (December 8th)
  • Project Mirai (March 2012)
  • Rhythm Phantom Thief R: The Inheritance of Napoleon (this winter)
  • SD Gundam GGENERATION 3D (December 22)
  • Ace Combat 3 Cross Rumble (this winter)
  • Tekken 3D Prime Edition (this winter)
  • Girl’s RPG: Cinderella Life (this year)

The website Nintendo created for this event is in Japanese only, but I suggest you visit it for a ton screens for every game listed up above.

Dachis Group Debuts ‘Social Business Index’ – Think Of It As Klout For Companies

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 06:34 AM PDT

Social Business Index_1314788850634

Today sees the launch of the Social Business Index, a project from social business services company Dachis Group. In essence, the information service aims to provide some insights into how ‘social’ companies are, and how they stack up against similar corporations in their respective industries and their competitors, and provide some ‘social business’ benchmarks by company, subsidiary, geography, department and brand.

If Klout and PeerIndex are about trying to measure the ‘socialness’ and influence of people and rank them, Dachis Group basically wants to do the same for corporations, in real time.

The company says the Social Business Index is but a lightweight glimpse onto its big data analytics platform. Currently, Dachis Group tracks over 26,000 brands from over 20,000 companies and over 100,000,000 social media accounts worldwide (plus “hundreds of millions” of other sources).

Over 300 large companies have signed on as beta participants, including giants like Samsung, Dell, Coca-Cola, Target, Levi’s and IBM.

The data used to put together the Index is made up of company, employee, partner, vendor, customer, engaged market and influencer data, and derived from APIs and data obtained through purchases, partnerships, scraping, crowdsourcing and otherwise by its internal data team.

Says Jeffrey Dachis, founder and CEO of Dachis Group:

"Unlike the typical 'top 100′ lists that litter software vendor and social media consultant blogs, the Social Business Index is based on deep big data analysis of a company's engagement globally and can give insight to companies on optimizing their social spend."

The top 5 today: Facebook, Google, News Corp, Coinstar and Wal-Mart, in that order.

The Social Business Index is free, with advanced features available to companies and registered users for a fee.

Dachis Group says it will start selling an advanced set of SaaS applications with deeper views and approaches to understanding the data with a SaaS model, as well as premium pricing schemes, before the end of this year.

Company: Dachis Group
Website: dachisgroup.com
Launch Date: September 13, 2011
Funding: $30M

Founded in 2008 by Jeffrey Dachis, Dachis Group was created to unlock the value of social technologies for large corporate enterprises through Social Business Design via our global advisory practice and technology implementation program. The company's strategy is backed by a commitment from Austin Ventures to build and grow organically and through acquisitions.

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Motorola Mobility Invests In Video Publishing Platform Ooyala

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 06:29 AM PDT


After announcing a slew of new features on Facebook, video publishing platform Ooyala is announcing another bit of news today—a new investor. The venture arm of Motorola Mobility, which Google is in the process of acquiring for $12.5 billion, has made a strategic investment in Ooyala. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Ooyala specializes in hosting videos for large corporate and media clients, such as the Telegraph Media Group, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Dell, General Mills, ESPN and TechCrunch. In total, Ooyala has more than 1,000 customers that are delivering over one billion streams to over 100 million consumers per month.

In addition to yesterday’s announcement of Ooyala Social, the company has also pushed its cross-platform technology, called Ooyala Everywhere, which helps publishers deliver professional video across mobile devices, connected TVs and browsers. Ooyala Everywhere also allows publishers to monetize videos through rich media ads, subscriptions, and pay-per-view options. Ooyala’s Backlot powers a HD-capable video distribution, syndication, analytics and monetization platform.

Motorola is particularly interested in this multi-screen video publishing experience, and Motorola’s Wallace Pai, vice president of corporate development and ventures; says in a release: “We share a common vision with Ooyala, and look forward to building on the synergies between our two companies.”

Last fall, Ooyala raised $22 million, bringing its total funding to $42 million since 2007. Investors include Ron Conway, CID Group, Sierra Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners. Fun fact—Ooyala was founded by ex-Google employees in 2007.

Android Beats iOS In European Smartphone Market Share, Still Behind Symbian

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 06:24 AM PDT


Europe is growing quite fond of Google’s Android operating system, according to market research firm ComScore. Android devices now account for nearly a quarter of all the smartphones used in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK — a dramatic jump over the Google OS’s performance last year.

In July 2010, Android only accounted for 6% of the smartphones used in those five European markets, putting it dead last behind Symbian, Apple, Microsoft, and RIM. One year later, Android has zoomed past their rivals in Cupertino, and now is second only to Symbian in terms of market share.

Now, a full 22.3% of EU5 smartphones run on Android, a 16 point bump over last year. The most popular Android handsets are made by HTC, accounting for 34.6% of all devices, with Samsung hot on their heels at 31.7%.

Symbian’s hold on the lead is, at present, tenuous at best: while it powered more than half of the smartphones in the EU5 last year, usage has slipped to 37.8%, a drastic shift by any stretch. Given Android’s explosion in popularity, this could be Symbian’s last appearance in the top spot.

Meanwhile, Apple slips to third place with 20.3% of the market. They’ve benefitted from a very slight increase in market share over the last year, but that could all change soon. When Apple’s long-awaited iPhone 5 (or 4S, or whatever it ends up being called) launches, it’s likely to steal a bit of market share from all parties, perhaps securing them a second place finish next time around.

The entire landscape is in flux, and the chart below may not look anything like it does when ComScore’s next report pops up. Android will probably continue to pick up steam thanks to HTC and Samsung’s wide product lines, and Apple (as mentioned) will see a bump thanks to new hardware. Similarly, RIM’s forthcoming QNX BlackBerrys could help them pick up some steam, as could Microsoft’s WP7 Mango update.

Fanhattan App Helps You Choose What To Watch On The iPad

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 06:00 AM PDT


There are plenty of apps that let you watch TV and movies on your iPad: Hulu Plus, Netflix, Vudu and even trusty old iTunes. But how do you know what’s available out there? Guess what! There’s an app for that. Fanhattan just launched on the App Store, and it’s all about discovery.

When you load up the app, you have two options: Movies or TV. From there, Fanhattan groups content into genres like Hottest, Newest, Top Rated, Critic’s Picks, and Oscar Award Winners or Emmy Nominated Shows. But that’s pretty basic right? Fanhattan takes it a step further with Smart Browse.

The feature lets you check off certain attributes to narrow down results, like checking off the Action and Fantasy genres. Then you can decide that you only want to watch Action/Fantasy movies with a 3+ star rating. That narrows down your results even more, but you can continue to specify what you’re looking for. You can filter by release date, choose between services, filter by ratings, and then choose how you want the content to be sorted.

The app also connects with Facebook, letting you post your faves to your wall and get recommendations your Facebook friends. The app currently supports the following video streaming services: Vudu, iTunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix and the ABC Player. When you’ve selected the movie/TV Show you want to watch, Fanhattan automatically shows you all the services that offer it, and what it’ll cost you to watch. Maybe it’s free w/membership on Netflix but $2.99 on iTunes. Now you know.

The app also offers a summary of the show/movie, cast and crew information, Rotten Tomatoes reviews, clips from the movie, iTunes prices for the soundtrack, and even where to buy “fan gear.” Fanhattan also offers up similar movie titles.

As far as the UI is concerned, the gestures and layout are very intuitive but I did experience a few choppy moments scrolling around. Obviously, these are things that can be fixed with an update, but it’s worth mentioning. Another little bug I noticed was that when you click into the Watch Now panel, Netflix-supported content doesn’t have a link the same way Hulu Plus and iTunes do. Not sure why the app is forgetting about Netflix, but again, it shouldn’t be too complicated a fix.

As more and more content becomes available on iPad, the more a way to sort through it will be necessary. Fanhattan seems to be ahead of the curve.

Fanhattan is available today on the iPad as a free download from the App Store.

Company: Fanhattan
Website: fanhattan.com
Launch Date: September 13, 2011

Fanhattan is a service that will inspire you to discover all the world’s entertainment. On launch in early 2011, Fanhattan will bring a new approach to entertainment discovery by helping you browse all the world’s movies and TV shows with a simple and elegant user experience – in the living room, on the web, and on the go. The service will encourage exploration by combining movies and TV shows with an expansive world of related content, visual assets, and...

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TechStars Launches Cloud Startup Accelerator (Bonus: New Trailer Of Its “Reality TV Show”)

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 05:40 AM PDT


Exclusive - Startup accelerator TechStars, arguably one of the best of its genre in the world, is today announcing the launch of its first thematically focused business kickstarter. Dubbed TechStars Cloud, the sub-accelerator will focus exclusively on backing cloud computing and infrastructure startups, and companies that work with OpenStack.

For its first thematically focused accelerator, TechStars has attracted some high-profile mentors, including Pat Condon (founder of Rackspace Hosting), Jeff Lawson (founder & CEO of Twilio), Brad Feld (Foundry Group), George Karidis (CSO of SoftLayer), Jud Valeski (co)founder & CEO of Gnip), Rajat Bhargava (founder & CEO of StillSecure, Interliant), and many others.

The inaugural TechStars Cloud program will run from January to April 2012 in San Antonio, Texas, and will be co-organized with Rackspace Hosting.

TechStars will select roughly ten companies – evidently focused on cloud computing and infrastructure – to participate. They will receive seed funding, mentorship from people like the aforementioned, and benefit from a number of perks available only to TechStars startups and alumni.

Interested companies should apply by October 21st for priority consideration, with a final application deadline of November 9th, 2011.

The program will be managed by Jason Seats, the founder of Slicehost (acquired by RackSpace in 2008), and Nicole Glaros, currently the Managing Director of TechStars in Boulder (she’s temporarily relocating to San Antonio).

In case you hadn’t heard, TechStars is also the subject of a documentary “reality TV” show on Bloomberg TV, which premiers tonight at 9 PM Eastern Time.

In six episodes, viewers will receive an inside look of what the TechStars program is like for startups (more specifically, those who participated in the NYC program in early 2011) and mentors alike.

Below is the new trailer for the show, which hasn’t yet been publicly released:

Company: TechStars
Website: techstars.org
Launch Date: January 10, 2006
Funding: $10M

TechStars is a seed fund. It offers $6,000 per founder to companies that make its list for up to 3 founders. In return, TechStars takes 6% equity in the company in common/founders stock. Company founders spend their whole summer in Boulder, Colorado working in a common space and collaborating when appropriate. TechStars mentors everyone accepted into their program with business and other advice. Many times over the summer guest entrepreneurs will speak to...

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Apsalar Raises $5 Million For Mobile Analytics And Behavioral Targeting Platform

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 05:14 AM PDT


Apsalar, a San Francisco startup that offers mobile analytics, behavioral targeting and optimization solutions to iOS and Android app developers and publishers, has raised $5 million in funding in a round led by Thomvest Ventures.

Battery Ventures, DN Capital and other existing investors such as 500 Startups and Founder’s Co-op also participated in the round. Founded in 2010, Apsala has raised $5.8 million in funding to date.

In a separate release, the startup announced that it has hired Anton Commissaris, a founding member of Mint.com’s executive team, to become its new ‘Chief Revenue Officer’.

Apsalar’s set of tools helps app developers and publishers gain insights on how their apps are used through a self-service SDK or API, in order for them to identify and deliver personalized content and offers to users.

Commissaris, who became Director, Revenue & Business Development at Intuit’s Consumer Group after the acquisition of Mint.com, will be responsible for driving the company’s sales and business development activities.

Don Butler, managing director at Thomvest Ventures, has joined Apsalar’s board of directors.

Company: Apsalar
Website: apsalar.com
Funding: $5.8M

Apsalar is a mobile behavioral targeting & analytics platform for iOS and Android developers. The company's user-level analytics enables mobile app developers to optimize conversion rates, increase retention & monetization, as well as enhance user experience within their apps. Apsalar's innovative cohort-based engagement analyses and conversion funnels are helping major mobile applications maximize their revenues. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California and was founded by a team of veterans in user-level analytics and conversion optimization. Investors include 500 Startups...

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The Ghastly Nintendo 3DS Slidepad Is Real, Ships To Japan This December

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 05:10 AM PDT


Nintendo took to the Tokyo Game Show stage today to announce several new products including the new features of 3D video capture and upgraded online distribution. But they didn’t announce the Slidepad. Instead, the 3DS add-on just appeared on the gaming company’s website as if they were a tad embarrassed, or rather confused, about its existence.

Well, there goes Nintendo. They had a good run, right? Nearly every product from the last 10 years save the Gamecube has been built by beautiful geniuses set to change the gaming world. The Gameboy, the DS, the N64, and Wii were novel ideas and therefore prospered in the marketplace. Then came the 3DS, built around a gimmick rather than a new paradigm. The high price, coupled with lackluster launch titles, caused the 3DS to stumble out of the gate and ultimately lead to a major price reduction. It’s a sad time in Super Mario Land.

The Slidepad, if that it’s real name, will hit Japanese retailers December 10 for ¥1500 ($19.50). The add-on runs on a single AAA rather than sporting a newfangled battery pack to extend the life of the 3DS. Because, you know, it would be nice to get a little something extra out of the massive thing riding shotgun on the 3DS.

Since its exsitance wasn’t announced through the usual PR channels, there’s no official word on when its hitting the states. However, Nintendo’s standard operating procedure dictates that when the company releases something in Japan, the states will see the same device several months later meaning the Slidepad will likely launch elsewhere in 2012.

Company: Nintendo
Website: nintendo.com

Nintendo, a technology company widely known for its line of game consoles, was actually founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. It began as a Card Game company and evolved into one of the largest Japanese companies with a Market Capitalization of over $85 billion. It’s most recent game console, the Wii, has been one of the most difficult consumer devices to buy, because of such high demand.

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Logitech’s Wireless Trackpad Signals The End Of The Mouse Era (For Windows This Time)

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 03:55 AM PDT

Looks like a Logitech product

zLooks familiar, eh? Logitech clearly drew inspiration from Apple for the Wireless Touchpad, but that’s fine in my book. The Wireless Trackpad doesn’t have the magic repertoire of the Apple counterpart, but the new Logitech product seemingly has enough parlor tricks to get job done and on a Windows computer no less.

It’s hard to ignore the similarities of the Logitech Wireless Touchpad and the Apple Magic Trackpad, therefore it’s equally hard to ignore past posts. You see, per MG, the mouse’s days are numbered, but apparently, since his infamous posts declaring the traditional mouse’s death by Apple was published well over a year ago, the venerable mouse must be dying a slow, comfortable death. No, the mouse isn’t exactly dead, but MG was right by declaring the Magic Mouse a harbinger foretelling our computing future. I guess the future is here.

Much like with the Apple Magic Trackpad, the Logitech Wireless Trackpad allows for four-finger multitouch for easier navigation, scrolling, jumping tabs, and switching apps. However, unlike with the Apple version, these functions are not built into the OS so the device may not function as well for anything but those everyday tasks.

The Logitech Wireless Trackpad works through Logitech’s fantastic 2.4GHz Unifying receiver that allows for a total of five wireless Logitech devices including mice and keyboards. Plug in the little USB receiver and let the multitouch fun begin.

The Wireless Trackpad features standard Logitech dress. It’s plastic, but like all the rest of Logitech’s products, it looks and feels great but not as fantastic as the aluminum Apple Magic Trackpad. Logitech states that a single AA battery will provide four months of use and thankfully built-in convenient LED battery indicators. Expect the Wireless Trackpad later this month in both American and European retailers for $50.

The mouse isn’t dead yet despite MG’s claims. The Apple Magic Trackpad might have singled its decline but not any more than the rise of slate devices. The traditional PC as a whole is dying quicker than these desktop trackpad input devices can overtake mice. That said, the Apple Trackpad was an instant hit with the Apple crowd because Mac notebooks have fantastic (read: the best) trackpads out of any notebook and users wanted that control scheme on their desktop. Windows notebooks aren’t that lucky and owners often suffer from horrible, horrible trackpad experiences most often caused by poor drivers.

Logitech has the right idea with the Wireless Trackpad, but here’s hoping that Windows, drivers, or 3rd party software doesn’t kill the dream.

Company: Logitech
Website: logitech.com
Launch Date: September 13, 1981

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

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BonitaSoft Raises $11M To Take On IBM, Oracle With Open Source BPM Solutions

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 01:35 AM PDT


BonitaSoft, a provider of open source business process management (BPM) solutions, this morning announced that it has landed $11 million in funding in a Series B round led by Serena Capital. Existing investors such as Ventech and Auriga Partners also participated.

With its open source BPM suite, BonitaSoft aims to disrupt a segment currently dominated by vendors such as IBM Lombardi, Oracle, and Tibco.

The BonitaSoft suite includes a design studio to model business processes, a BPM engine that adapts to various information systems architectures, and an end-user interface for managing and interacting with processes.

BonitaSoft’s solution can interoperate with internal and external systems due to a library of hundreds of ‘Connectors’ and a community of 8,000 members who contribute connectors, business processes and other extensions.

The funding round brings BonitaSoft’s total capital raised to $14 million.

Company: BonitaSoft
Website: bonitasoft.com
Funding: $14M

BonitaSoft is a software company created by the founders of the Bonita open source project. BonitaSoft aims at becoming the leading Open Source provider of agile Business Process Management Solutions for all types of organizations.

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