Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Latest from TechCrunch

The Latest from TechCrunch

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Live From London: Apple’s Remote iPhone Event

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 09:49 AM PDT


When the media invites went out for today’s Apple iPhone event last week, I thought “crap, I’m gonna be in London”. Turns out, that’s not such a bad thing. Apple has set up a live broadcast of the event at the Covent Garden Apple Store here. I’m here, ready to liveblog from 5,000 miles away.

What will we see? The iPhone 5? The iPhone 4S (sure seems like it). iOS 5? Nuance-powered voice controls? New iPods? No iPods? Something else?

Stay tuned for updates as the event starts…

Company: Apple
Website: apple.com
Launch Date: January 4, 1976
IPO: October 4, 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, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod (offered with...

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Apple’s Japanese Site Leaks iPhone 4S Launch Date: October 14

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 09:37 AM PDT

Screen shot 2011-10-04 at 12.35.40 PM

If there was still some shadow of a question in your mind over whether or not the iPhone 4S is real, doubt no more. Apple’s Japanese online store has outted the iPhone 4S, along with a launch date of October 14. First spotted by MacRumors, the page offers a “Learn More” link, but unfortunately clicking through only gets you to iPhone 4 information.

According to the blurb (as translated by Google), the iPhone 4S launch will begin at 8 a.m. on that blessed Friday morning. Last year the sequence of events looked something like this: The iPhone was announced on June 7, went up for pre-order on June 15, and launched in-store on June 24. Based on that, I’d guess that pre-orders will begin Friday morning, October 7. It’s tough to speculate based on history since Apple is clearly changing things up so much this year (two phones, Fall launch, etc.), but either way we’ll have our answers in the next hour or so.

Company: Apple
Website: apple.com
Launch Date: January 4, 1976
IPO: October 4, 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, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod (offered with...

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Nintendo Gets Sued Over The Wii… Again

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 08:39 AM PDT


Remember that one time that company called ThinkOptics tried to sue Nintendo over the Wii? Well, that’s still happening, but the idea seems to be picking up steam. Yet another company has decided to sue Nintendo over the Wii: UltimatePointer.

The patent in question is titled “Easily Deployable Interactive Direct-Pointing System and Presentation Control System and Calibration Method Therefor” (7,746,321), which covers “controlling movement of a computer display cursor based on a point-of-aim of a pointing device within an interaction region includes projecting an image of a computer display to create the interaction region.” It’s worth noting that UltimatePointer’s product, the Upoint Laser, hasn’t made it out of testing yet and is not currently on the market.

Complicated mouthful aside, UltimatePointer claims that Nintendo knew its products were infringing this patent before the patent was ever officially issued, on June 29, 2010. UltimatePointer also took a couple cues from ThinkOptics, and filed their complaint with the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas (which tends to favor the right-holder). Other respondents named in the suit include JJ Games, Best Buy, Game Stop, RadioShack, Sam’s, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Sears, Dell, and many others, reports GamaSutra.

Here’s an excerpt from the complaint (full version embedded below):

Prior to the filing of this action, Nintendo America was expressly and specifically notified of the issuance and existence of the ’321 patent, and that its unauthorized manufacturing, sales and importation of the accused products was was an infringement of the ’321 patent.

Nintendo America refused to cease its infringement after notice of the ’494 publication and notice of the ’321 patent. Instead, Nintendo America continued and still continues to deliberately infringe the ’321 patent. Nintendo America’s infringement of the ’321 patent was and is willful and in bad faith, entitling UltimatePointer to increased damages [...] and to reasonable attorney’s fees.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Eastern District Court — infamous for siding with the patent holder — deals with patent infringement claims from a company who has yet to release their product. Keep in mind, just because the patent was issued in 2010 doesn’t mean that the Upoint Laser (UltimatePointer’s product) was dreamed up and built at that time.

The patent was applied for back in 2005, meaning UltimatePointer has had plenty of time to bring this thing to market. Instead, the company continues “testing,” while simultaneously suing companies who (may or may not) make use of a patent that UltimatePointer has done nothing with.

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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Tech Job Site Dice Reports Shortage Of .NET Developers

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 08:36 AM PDT


According to technology job board Dice’s October report, there’s one particular tech talent now in short supply across the U.S.: Microsoft’s .NET. Job postings requiring .NET are up more than 25% year-over-year, the company says – faster growth than the total job postings on all of Dice.com.

In addition, 27% of the searches in Dice’s resume database involve those looking for .NET skills and an experience level of  0-3 years. 46% of searches were for those with 4-7 years experience in .NET, and 21% were looking for .NET developers with 8-10 years experience.

Why the shortage? Dice believes that developers are worrying that if they specialize in .NET development, they won’t be able to branch out to other platforms. They also aren’t paid as much as those who specialize in other areas. For example, .NET developers earn around $83,000 per year, but Java developers typically make more than $91,000.

However, Dice says that there are now over 10,000 jobs on its site requesting the skill set, and that if demand continues to outstrip supply, wages will adjust accordingly.

Dice isn’t the only outfit reporting increased interest in .NET talent.  In September, WANTED Analytics, a source of real-time business intelligence for the talent marketplace, reported similar trends. It found that .NET was one of the most commonly advertised job titles along with Java Developer, Web Developer, Sharepoint Developer, Web Designer, PHP Developer and J2ee Developer.

Mobile Ad Spending In The U.S. Expected To Grow 65 Percent In 2011 To $1.2 Billion

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 08:04 AM PDT

mobile ad spend

Spending on mobile ads is expected to reach $1.23 billion this year, according to a revised estimate from eMarketer, which represents a 65 percent increase from 2010. The estimate is slightly up from the $1.1 billion number eMarketer put out a year ago.

The estimates for future years out are also up. They are as follows:

Mobile ad spending

2010: $743 million
2011: $1.2 billion
2012: $1.8 billion
2013: $2.5 billion
2014: $3.4 billion
2015: $4.4 billion

These numbers include display, search, text ads, and even video ads (which are the fastest growing mobile ad unit). Mobile video ads are expected to generate $57.6 million this year, and grow at a 69 percent compound annual rate through 2015, when they are estimated to reach $395.6 million. Next year, mobile display and mobile search will be about even thanks to the growth in app advertising. Each will represent almost $600 million in ad spending in 2012.

Could This Be The Nexus Prime?

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 07:55 AM PDT


Oh, look! What do we have here? A tiny glimpse at what is arguably the hottest Android phone of the year, the Nexus Prime? Leaking in such a way that doesn’t really reveal much, while simultaneously showing off one of the device’s greatest specs (the wonderfully high resolution screen) and teasing the phone’s overall design? On the morning preceding the announcement of the next iPhone? What a crazy coincidence! (Note: italics used for lack of any superior indication of sarcasm.)

Still, obviously planned “leaks” aside: drool.

The guys at GSMArena nabbed the shot, seemingly showing the edge of the Prime while the device sits in a debug readout mode.

Things to note in the picture:

  • Rumors have pinned the display on the Nexus Prime as being “720p”. This photo suggests that the resolution is actually 1184×720 (whereas true 720p is generally 1280×720) — but that’s presumably because it’s not properly counting the pixels used by the software buttons below and the status bar at the top.
  • It also suggests that the Nexus Prime’s display will come in at 320 dpi (dots per inch), putting it just ever-so-slightly below the iPhone 4′s 326 dpi retina display.
  • Rumors have previously suggested that the Prime would have an almost comically huge 4.6″ display. Assuming that the resolution actually is 1280×720 and the onscreen DPI counter is correct, the math for that works out. A 4.6″ display running at 1280×720 would have a DPI of just over 319
  • On screen software buttons!

Real? Fake? Given the almost-too-good timing and the convenient framing of the image, I’d bet the bank, the farm, and the pigs on the former. Either way, we’ll find out the Prime and Ice Cream Sandwich on October 11th.


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Why Did Solyndra Fail So Spectacularly?

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 07:51 AM PDT


The spectacular failure of solar manufacturer Solyndra is being held up by some as a shining example of the Obama administration’s failure to properly manage government subsidies after its collapse left taxpayers with $535 million in federally guaranteed loans. But Solyndra’s failure on its own is not remarkable. There are always risks involved when you’re introducing innovation into a commoditized market. The bigger, and still unanswered, question is why did it take this much capital before it failed, given the warning signs?

In commoditized markets, explains Brad Zangler of Pivotal Investments, a firm with numerous investments in the cleantech/greentech space, the challenge is to disrupt the cost of producing energy, not just to create a worthy innovation. In fact, in a business like solar, the go-to-market strategy is just as important as the technology a company is developing. In Solyndra’s case, that technology was a new, unique type of tubular solar panel. The shape itself was an innovation. But the company was also benefitting from another advantage: it didn’t use polysilicon, so it wasn’t affected by the shortages which were hurting its competitors. In 2008, polysilicon was more than $400 per kilogram, but by the time the federal government issued Solyndra’s loan, the prices had fallen to just over $50 per kilogram.

The earlier shortages were obviously going to be a temporary issue, given that new polysilicon plants were in the process of being built, explains Michael Butler, CEO of Cascadia Capital and managing director of the firm's Sustainable Industries practice group. He says, ”any first year economic student knows the price goes down if the supply increases. Which raises the question: “what were they [the government] thinking?”

Zenger agrees, also noting, as did Butler, that the government has smart people working there, which leaves many wondering what happened. Did the due diligence stop? Did they miss key indicators that could have pointed to issues? Did they misinterpret the data they were seeing?

These questions get murkier, thanks to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), which now says there were several factors that could have served as warning signs ahead of or shortly after the government investment. These included the price shifts in polysilicon (as noted above), the panels’ inability to work with residential roofing systems or in large solar farms (a key part of the solar market) and increasing competition in manufacturing capabilities from expansions in China and Taiwan.

Solyndra, says CRS, was planning to drive down its costs by scaling up its operations with the government backing, but there was no guarantee that it would be successful. Clearly, it was not.

Perhaps the real issue with Solyndra is not its failure, the politics of how that loan was achieved or the government’s possible oversights of the surrounding risks. Perhaps the failure is an indication of why the government isn’t the best entity to be investing in markets where a winner or loser has to be chosen. The government’s process is not driven by the same market considerations which drive private investors, Zenger explains, and the decision-making has “way more influencers.” No argument there.

As for private investors, Solyndra’s failure doesn’t have much impact on their current investment plans – over the past year, they have been shifting money away from companies dependent on government subsidies, like solar, biomass and wind to other areas like smart grid technologies, energy efficiency technologies, battery storage and transportation.

And the solar stock declines? As Aaron Chew, an analyst with Maxim Group told CNN Money, they have nothing to do with Solyndra. “They’d be here even without that. Solyndra gets a lot of attention for symbolic reasons. But what’s happening is you have oversupply and plunging prices and that’s just being exacerbated by Europe.”

Demand is lower in Europe than previously expected and some governments have cut down on solar subsidies, potentially limiting Solyndra’s ability to sell there.

If anything, Solyndra’s crash shows just how quickly the bottom can fall out in commoditized markets, how easy it is to underestimate how low the price needs to go to gain traction, and frankly, how hard it is to introduce innovation into markets that have existed for years, like energy. Solyndra had the innovations, but it didn’t get to the price point where it could compete, not only with other energy sources, but even with the conventional solar panels it was trying to disrupt.

Private investors are not surprised or concerned by a solar failure – they price it in from the start. And by the time there’s a public failure like Solyndra, investors will have already changed their course. But the bigger problem with the now-politicized Solyndra situation is that it sends out a message that says failure is unacceptable. “That is an absolute mistake,” says Zenger. “We have to fail in order to succeed. We have to try new things.”

Of course “we” should. But when the “we” is the U.S. taxpayer, debates about how much risk is too much risk is going to be hotly debated…for a long time to come.

As for smaller companies trying new things in solar, it may get worse before it gets better. Those with capital may have staying power – like the ones trading on the public market, for example. But more will go bankrupt, allowing survivors to swoop in and buy some interesting technologies and products in the meantime.  The fittest will keep on innovating and be rewarded by the market.

MB&F Introduces The Legacy Machine Number 1

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 07:49 AM PDT


As you’ll recall, I’m a big watch fan and a bigger MB&F fan although I am quite pleased I don’t own one of these $77,000+ monstrosities. These watches are for men who are living the yachting life while injecting human growth hormone taken from the pituitary glands of the recently dead and drinking rum out of human skulls, not for us mere mortals.

Now, however, there’s something that’s a little more approachable. The Legacy Machine is a “standard-looking” watch with a few tricks up its sleeve. Inspired by turn of the century design and machinery, it’s the closest to a steampunk that I think you’ll see MB&F making. I has two independent timezones, a vertical power reserve (that little thinger that sticks up at what would be six o’clock) and a special curved crystal.

From the PR:

In fidelity to high-quality 19th century pocket watches, LM1 features a sedately oscillating (2.5 Hz), large diameter balance with traditional Breguet overcoil suspended from majestic twin arches; its enigmatic regulating mechanism in full view, but without apparent connection to the movement. Both the hours AND the minutes on each of the two sub dials can be set completely independently of each other – dual time zone complications usually do not allow independent adjustment of the minutes – their domed dials further reinforcing visual references to the golden age of watchmaking (1780-1850). Looking like a miniature sextant, a world-first vertical power reserve indicator keeps track of available power while providing a visual three-dimensional counterpoint to the graceful arches supporting the balance.

How much is the pleasure of this thing’s company? About $92,000 on a good day, which prices it far out the reach of non-Warlocks. This is still a prototype but it should be released some time this year.

The Future Of The European Eco-system – The End Of The Beginning

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 07:34 AM PDT


This is a guest post by Paul Jozefak of Neuhaus Partners, commenting on the release of a working paper put out by the European Investment Fund, a major LP in Europe. You can follow Paul at his blog or on Twitter.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) put out a working paper [PDF] recently that initially sounds like bad news. Fortunately, for those of us in the market long enough, it's actually good news. As a side note, I'm glad to see this paper come out from the EIF. For those of you not in the know, they are one of the largest limited partners (LP's: investors in venture capital funds) in Europe and are basically in almost all the funds throughout the market. Hence anything from them is going to be based on information that truly represents the situation in Europe.

Report: TDK Technology “More Than Doubles” Capacity Of HDDs

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 07:01 AM PDT

Picture 3

Potentially big news from The Nikkei: Japan’s biggest business daily has learned yesterday that TDK developed a technology that can “more than double” the storage space of hard disc drives. It appears TDK has developed a special laser that heats up a hard disk’s surface with a precision of a few dozen nanometers.

According to The Nikkei, TDK also changed the material used in the magnetic head and redesigned its structure to expand the recording density. As a result, more data can be stored on drives of the same size.

To be more specific, TDK’s technology apparently makes it possible to store one terabyte on one platter. The Nikkei says that TDK plans to pitch HDD manufacturers by saying a drive with two platters produced with their technology can save 1,600 hours of HD video (two weeks of HDTV content from five channels).

The company currently aims at commercializing the technology as early as next year. It has been working on expanding recording density in HDDs for years.

Mindshare Technologies Lands $20 Million To Turn Customer Feedback Into Actionable Intelligence

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 07:00 AM PDT


Mindshare Technologies, the provider of survey technologies and realtime customer feedback solutions, announced today that it has received a $20 million investment from Sorenson Capital, a private equity firm that specializes in buyout and growth equity investments. The PrivateBank and Trust Company also contributed to the investment, which will be used to accelerate product growth and ramp up hiring.

As part of the investment, Fraser Bullock, managing director of Sorenson Capital and former COO of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics as well as Ron Mika, a co-founder and managing director of Sorenson Capital, will be joining Mindshare’s board of directors.

Mindshare Technologies provides companies with automated survey and feedback management tools that allow businesses to more effectively interact with their customers and employees, improve customer satisfaction, and encourage customer loyalty. The company also develops and utilizes custom speech and text analytics to allow businesses to automate their customer feedback, using these text analysis tools to pull out key phrases, and save companies from hiring a giant customer relations department.

Different from CRM and the Salesforces of the world, Mindshare instead works with enterprises to build “Enterprise Feedback Management” solutions, which allow these businesses to collect, analyze, consolidate, and use feedback sources from a variety of channels to improve business operations and profitability. Using its proprietary survey technology to capture the voice of the customer in realtime, Mindshare works with businesses to transform this unique data into actionable intelligence and reporting.

The company currently completes more than 175,000 surveys each day in 106 countries, 28 languages, and 25 different industries. According to the team, in August 2011, the company recorded monthly revenues of more than $1.6 million, and grew revenues at 33-percent in 2010. Mindshare currently works with brands like Arby's, Hertz, Tony Roma's, Comcast, Marriott and more to improve customer interaction and loyalty.

For more on Mindshare, check ‘em out at home here.

Funding: $20M

Mindshare Technologies provides survey technology to capture customer feedback and then report on it for operational improvement and increased customer loyalty. Mindshare is a privately held company founded in 2002. Mindshare serves more than 25 different industries including travel, hospitality, restaurant, financial, salon, automotive, and retail. Clients range from small regional chains to large multinational corporations with over 30,000 locations. Mindshare helps companies improve operational excellence, foster consumer satisfaction, build customer loyalty, and support employee retention. Our industry...

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Dad Fixes Broken Bugaboo With DIY 3D-Printed Parts

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:59 AM PDT


If you don’t know what a “Bugaboo pram” is then you’re lucky. If you do, you’ll realize that these strollers are not only wildly expensive to buy but wildly expensive to fix. We’ve gone through a few strollers – a Bugaboo included – over the years and we’ve had to fix a few here and there. Although there are folks who want to help DIYers, parts and service can reach $250 or more. Now, however, you can print your own replacement parts for a few dollars.

This Instructable describes out one Dad built his own metal parts by measuring the broken pieces and printing them at Shapeways. He talked to Geekdad about his experiences:

Duann Scott: I was looking for a way to get our Bugaboo stroller repaired but found the service available slow and expensive so I took things into my own hands, googled and found the Bugaboo Repair Guy was helping people to repair their stroller, offering instructions and parts fairly cheap. I followed his instructions but the part that was broken on mine he did not have parts for so I decided to make my own.

3D Modeling the part in CAD took me about 5 minutes, the hardest part was measuring the broken part as there is an angled straight off of a curved section so getting the right angle was kinda tricky but I did the old trick of laying my screen on its back, making the image 1:1 and putting the broken part on top to check. Perhaps not best practice in engineering firms but it worked.

Nerd Dads FTW.

Save Yourselves: Cosmo Noah Tsunami Shelter/Playhouse

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:43 AM PDT


These balls, made by Cosmo Power, cost a few hundred thousand yen and can be used as a Tsunami shelter. It seats four (small) adults and can double as a teeny, tiny playhouse for kids until needed.

Sadly, they’ve been working on these things for years yet shipped only two so far. This is especially tragic in light of current events but it’s an ingenious way to survive a deluge. I wonder how long it will last on a playground until it starts to break, thereby reducing its utility.

via DaddyTypes

Reevoo Spreads Its Crowd-sourced Product Reviews Across Kelkoo

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:39 AM PDT


Reevoo, a long-time customer reviews startup which last year raised a Series B round of funding from existing investors Eden Ventures, Banexi Ventures and angels, keeps on keeping on. Today’s it’s added Kelkoo's ten European websites as distribution partners for its Reevoo Broadcast product.

Microsoft’s Hotmail Android App Goes Live

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:37 AM PDT


Microsoft’s newly announced Hotmail for Android application is available now in the Android Market. The app, which aims to serve the world’s largest webmail platform, offers a handful of standard features including push email, synced calendar and contacts, support for multiple accounts and more.

There’s nothing too remarkable about the app itself, which also lists par-for-the-course abilities like the ability to send attachments (No? In an email app?!), the ability to send pictures, and access to folders and subfolders.

More interesting, perhaps, is the related news that Hotmail will finally become available as a selectable account option in the “Mail” settings area on iOS 5 (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad). Currently, Microsoft’s only presence here is the “Microsoft Exchange” option. While it is possible to set up access to Hotmail using that option, it’s not as straightforward, and, for obvious reasons, many consumers probably don’t even realize that their iPhone supports Hotmail.

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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(Founder Stories) Heiferman: “I Don’t Trust People In Our Industry Who Don’t Use Facebook”

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:32 AM PDT

SH Sequence 7 Advice-tc_upload.mp4-1

Episode I of Chris Dixon’s Founder Stories interview with Scott Heiferman‘s concluded with Heiferman giving Dixon some of his thoughts on the future of social media. In this episode, Dixon, who is a light Facebook user, seems mildly surprised that Heiferman is a Facebook fan—mentioning privacy as one reason why.

Heiferman tells Dixon Facebook makes “great product (Dixon agrees)  … it’s an elegant beautiful product and what else matters?” He then adds, “I don’t trust people in our industry who don’t use Facebook” saying “it’s the soul of how hundreds of millions of people are really experiencing their first time of participating online.” However, as the two round out their conversation Heiferman also expresses doubts that Facebook will maintain its dominance indefinitely.

Their discussion weaves into the topic of the singularity. Heiferman suggests that “the real singularity is when everyone on the planet has a phone and is connected and is on Facebook or however that social networking happens, and what gets unleashed when that happens, we can’t even imagine.”

In the video below, Dixon switches topics and inquires about Meetup’s origins. Heiferman tells Dixon after 9/11 he read Bowling Alone and was inspired to find a way for people to connect and trust one another. Living in what he calls “a coarser, nastier world” Heiferman says Meetup is designed to show folks that “there are people in your neighborhood who would be really damn helpful to you” so “you all should meet up and meet up regularly and a community can emerge.”

Watch both videos for additional insights, along with episode I of Heiferman’s interview. Past episodes of Founder Stories including interviews with Dustin Moskovitz, Kevin Ryan, Christopher Poole and Dennis Crowley are here.

Episode III is coming up.

Scott Heiferman is a Co-Founder and CEO of Meetup, the world’s largest network of local community groups. Over 50,000 Meetups (self-organized community events) happen each week. Millions of people in over more than 100 countries “use the internet to get off the internet” using Meetup, which is built on the idea that every town needs support groups, playgroups, bookclubs, business circles, running groups, community action groups, etc. Previously, Heiferman co-founded Fotolog, a photo sharing network where over 30...

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Chris Dixon currently works as the CEO and Co-founder of Hunch. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee. Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that are still in stealth mode. In addition to his personal investments, Chris is also a...

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Company: Meetup
Website: meetup.com
Launch Date: July 1, 2002
Funding: $18.3M

Meetup is a local community organizing network. Over 6.5 million people have created and joined long-lasting local Meetup Groups around shared interests and purposes. These groups and clubs have held over 1 million local meetups.

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Toshiba Releases 3 New Camileo Camcorders In Time For The Holidays

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:26 AM PDT


Toshiba has announced today that three of their new Camileo camcorders will be hitting store shelves this month. There are a handful of features that all three cameras share: they all for example sport a swivelling 3-inch LCD touchscreen, on-screen video trimming, and the traditional barrel design.

Those aren’t the only similarities you’ll see here. The Camileo X400 and X416 are almost twins, as instanced by their near-identical bodies and spec sheets. They both pack a 23x optical zoom lens, electronic image stabilzation, and an external hotshoe for microphones. Oh, lest I forget, they also both shoot in 1080p. Really, the only thing that these don’t have in common are their storage options.

While both versions can take full-size SD cards, the X416 also comes with 16 GB of onboard storage. That’s about 3 hours of 1080p HD video, if you’re the type to keep track. The X400 will set you back $279, while the X416′s memory bump gives it a $319 pricetag.

The X200 is meant to be the wallet-friendly model here, and it shows. It also shoots in 1080p, but it sports a much smaller 12x optical zoom lens, and a smattering of artsy shooting modes. Want to shoot in black and white? No problem. Want to capture a flower blooming because it’s a metaphor for your life? Just fire up time-lapse mode. The wallet-friendly X200 will retail for $229.

If these new camcorders have somehow struck your fancy, they’re already up for sale on ToshibaDirect.com. Otherwise, feel free to wait until they hit store shelves on October 10.

IBM Buys Network Security Intelligence Company Q1 Labs

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:15 AM PDT

Q1 Labs

IBM is announcing the acquisition of Q1 Labs, Massachusetts-based provider of security intelligence software. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

Q1 Labs software collects and analyzes information from hundreds of sources across an organization such as the network, applications, user activity, mobile endpoints, and physical security devices such as badge readers — including both cloud-based and on-premise sources.

Q1′s network security software, QRadar, include log, threat, and compliance management solutions; as well as Flow and Event Processors for processing network and security events, and network and application flow data. Q1 Labs analytics and correlation capabilities can automatically detect and flag actions across an enterprise that deviate from prescribed policies and typical behavior to help prevent breaches, such as an employee accessing unauthorized information.

The company has 1,800 clients and serves various industries, including publicly traded companies; financial institutions; retail organizations; healthcare institutions; utility, manufacturing, and transportation companies; educational institutions; and federal, state, and local government agencies. Q1 Labs also has strategic partnership with Juniper Networks; Enterasys; Nortel; McAfee; Foundry Networks, and 3Com.

IBM says the acquisition will help its clients more intelligently secure their enterprises by applying analytics to connect information from key security domains and creating security dashboards for their organizations. IBM also plans to apply Q1 Labs’ analytics to drive greater security intelligence capabilities across its security products and services such as identity and access management, database security, application security, enterprise risk management, intrusion prevention, endpoint management and network security.

Q1 Labs, which has raised $29 million in funding, will actually join the newly-formed IBM Security Systems division, which will be led by Brendan Hannigan, CEO of Q1 Labs. For Big Blue, network security and services is a $94 billion opportunity.

Q1 Labs will join more than 10 strategic security acquisitions IBM has made in the last ten years and the more than 25 analytics-related purchases, including the recently announced acquisition of security analytics software firm, i2. IBM says it currently monitors 12 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries and holds 3,000 security patents.

Big Blue’s recent acquisitions include Algorithmics, and I2.

Company: IBM
Website: ibm.com
Launch Date: October 4, 1896

IBM, acronym for International Business Machines, is a multinational computer technology and consulting corporation. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and offers infrastructure services, hosting services, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.

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CEATEC 2011: Toshiba’s HDD/Blu-Ray Server Records 15 Days Of Digital TV From 6 Channels

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:10 AM PDT


You have an HDD/Blu-ray recorder connected to your TV but never enough space on it? Then Toshiba’s REGZA DBR-M190 might do the trick for you (if you live in Japan, at least). As with most devices at CEATEC 2011, the recorder was pre-announced [JP] by the company just ahead of the exhibition.

The DBR-M190 boasts no less than 5TB of storage: according to Toshiba, 4TB are reserved for the time-shift function, which allows users to simultaneously record up to six six terrestrial digital channels in SD for 15 days (the remaining terabyte can be used to store other programs).

I couldn’t check the quality of content compressed that radically at the Toshiba booth today, but buyers can opt for shorter recording times and better quality. All stored programs can be copied over to an external HDD.

The built-in REGZA Link Share function makes it possible to not only watch content on the TV but also to stream it to other devices, for example compatible Toshiba tablets or smartphones (which is why the DBR-M190 is actually being marketed as a “REGZA server”).

The device is compatible to 3D Blu-ray discs and will go on sale in Japan next month (price: US$2,600). A trimmed down version, the DBR-M180, with 2TB for time shift and 500GB regular storage space will set buyers back US$1,950.

AnyClip Brings Thousands Of Full Films, Movie Clips To Dailymotion

Posted: 04 Oct 2011 05:59 AM PDT


Exclusive - While YouTube is reportedly paving the way for a major content push in collaboration with studios and networks, its not-so-small competitor Dailymotion isn’t sitting still either. The company has inked a deal with AnyClip to brings thousands of full-length feature films and 50,000 fully license movie clips to its popular video sharing platform.

AnyClip works with studios like Universal and Vivendi, with more deals coming soon, to gain access to full-length films rather than only promotional material, unlike competitor MovieClips. Focused on a B2B model, AnyClip works together with distribution partners to fill their websites with licensed clips.

AnyClip’s proprietary tagging tech extracts and indexes over 5,000 individual pieces of metadata from full-length feature films (including actors, objects, characters and places) and is even able to understand the mood and emotional tone of given scenes, the company says.

Enter Dailymotion, which welcomes some 114 million unique visitors and generates over 1.2 billion video views every month, according to comScore.

Starting today, Dailymotion users will gain access to AnyClip's library of over 50,000 clips, from major movie studios such as Universal Pictures, Vivendi Entertainment and several indie distribution firms. To get a taste of what they have to offer, check out their list of most popular clips.

Company: AnyClip
Website: anyclip.com
Launch Date: October 4, 2011

AnyClip enables users to find any moment from any movie in its database. Its technology and innovative user experience allows consumers to relive their favorite moments from their favorite movies. AnyClip partners with film and television studios to create new promotional channels for movies and monetize their catalog content. Leveraging its distribution network, AnyClip allows third-party sites to provide their users with fun, exciting and legal movie content services, increasing traffic and ARPU.

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Company: Dailymotion
Website: dailymotion.com
Launch Date: January 3, 2005
Funding: $68.5M

Dailymotion is a social video site based out of Paris that offers a mix of both amateur and professional content. They are differentiating their site by offering a mix of professional content, contextual advertising, and paying top content producers (companies or individuals) through their MotionMaker program. Dailymotion offers a healthy mix of individual videos, channels and groups that can be viewed by popularity, most recent, most views and most rated. In July 2007, Dailymotion announced that they would be...

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