Archive for May, 2013

SoftBank Capital Raises $53 Million for New York Startups

May 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

SoftBank Capital announced Thursday it raised a $53 million fund aimed at backing early-stage, New York-area startups. New York partner Jordan Levy will oversee investments; partners including Ron Fisher, Joe Medved and Ron Schreiber will also manage the fund, with help from special partners Eric Hippeau and Mike Perlis.

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Dish Bid for Clearwire Complicates Telecom Deal Dance

May 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Dish Network Corp.’s last-minute bid for Clearwire Corp. complicates an already dizzying set of telecom deals and creates a variety of scenarios that are sending stocks in varying directions. After the fourth bid in the battle for Clearwire, a mobile broadband provider that is majority owned by Sprint Nextel Corp., investors in the involved companies are weighing how all the offers could play out as the wireless industry consolidates. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Inside the Motorola Truck at D11: NFC Dog Tags, 3-D Printers and More

May 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Motorola wants to show makers some love. The Google-owned handset maker recently commissioned a van, wrapped in Velcro and filled with hackable phones, to drive around the country and lure in developers. And it made a pit stop in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., to show off its stuff at the D: All Things Digital conference. Dr. Regina Dugan, Motorola’s senior vice president of advanced technology and projects, was on hand to give a tour of the van, along with Moto engineer Jason Chua. Spoiler alert: While I took a look at some of the interesting prototyping tools in the van, I didn’t get to throw on a velcro suit and attach myself to the wall of the van. In total, Motorola said, the van will stop at 12 universities and four Maker Faires over the next five months. Is the Make With Moto truck cool enough to get the company some cachet with the maker crowd

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Kaz Hirai: Sony PlayStation 4 Will Be First and Foremost a Game Player

May 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Where Microsoft has positioned the Xbox One as much as an entertainment device as a game console, Sony plans to tout its PlayStation 4 as primarily a device for games. “The most important thing we need to make sure we do at least initially is that we all agree and understand that the PS4 is a great videogame console that appeals to video gamers,” Hirai said in a briefing with reporters after his onstage appearance at D: All Things Digital . “If we miss that part then I don’t think we get the initial establishment of the console.” Hirai said that formula has worked in the past, including with the PlayStation 3. That said, there are capabilities in the device that will make it well suited to other uses, Hirai said, without giving details. “We take a look at this first and foremost as a game console,” Hirai said. “We don’t want to end there. That’s an area we will obviously reveal and talk about in the coming months.” Another important area for Sony is its retail store effort, something Hirai said is continuing and changing with the adoption of new retail formats including the addition of smaller-format stores and kiosks. The company is rolling out the approach it took in its Los Angeles-area store to other retail locations around the globe, he said. “[Retail] is important in telling the Sony story in a compelling way,” Hirai said. Full D11 Conference Coverage

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Study: Cross-Ownership of Media Doesn’t Impact Minorities

May 30, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

One of the biggest arguments against liberalizing the cross-ownership of media properties in a local market—that it would limit minority and female ownership—was shot down in a study conducted as part of the Federal Communications Commission's long-overdue review of media ownership rules. Submitted Thursday to acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, the study concluded that "cross-media interests' impact on minority and women broadcast ownership is not sufficiently material to be a material justification for tightening or retaining the rules." Clyburn had pushed for a study of the impact of cross-ownership on minority and women earlier this year when the FCC was deadlocked over former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's draft that proposed to lift the ban on owning a newspaper and radio station in the same market. The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council offered to commission and pay for the independent study, promising to deliver it to the FCC by the end of May.

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Android and Chrome Head Sundar Pichai: The Full D11 Interview (Video)

May 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sundar Pichai leads both of Google’s operating systems — Android and Chrome — as well as many of the company’s apps. Pichai said today at D11 that he knows people won’t believe him, but he’s not dismayed by a world where Samsung is becoming the dominant force in Android, and Amazon and Facebook reshape Android almost beyond recognition. That’s because Google has invested immensely in services that he doesn’t think those players can match: search, maps and YouTube among them, and next up Google Now and Google Play Music All Access, which is coming to iOS “in a few weeks.” “It’s not just the operating system, but it’s the services on top of it, the cloud services,” Pichai said. “That’s where the innovation lies.” Plus, in addition to its Nexus devices, Google is taking back the option for consumers to buy phones that run its own version of Android. It previously announced it would sell an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 for $649 , and now it will also sell an unlocked HTC One for $599 .

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Facebook Adds Verified Accounts, Following Twitter’s Lead

May 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

How legit is that star’s Facebook page? We’re about to find out. Taking a page from rival Twitter’s playbook, Facebook has announced it is slowly rolling out “verified” pages for celebrities, journalists, brands and other public figures and entities with large audiences. This step is another way that the social media giant is moving in... Read more

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Ads for PBS Station Invent Ludicrous, Fake Reality Shows You’d Still Probably Watch

May 30, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Are you excited about the reality show Knitting Wars? If sew, too bad—it's fake. It's one of five bogus lowbrow programs dreamed up by CHI & Partners in New York for a poster campaign advertising New York PBS station Thirteen. The other shows: Bad Bad Bag Boys ("Cleanup on every aisle"), Bayou Eskimos ("Their life is headed south"), The Dillionarie ("Life's a pickle") and Married to a Mime ("She's got plenty to say"). They're all ludicrous, but you wouldn't bat an eye if they were on TLC. "The fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV," says each ad, before asking you to support more "quality" programming on PBS. It is sort of sad that quality programming is so scarce today. It's like each new show is trying to out-stupid the last. So PBS makes a great point and delivers it with its trademark dry wit. That's just like them. They're such killjoys. More posters below.

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Keshet Agrees Deals for ‘Prisoners of War’

May 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Keshet Intl., the distribution arm of the Israeli broadcaster, has closed a raft of deals on drama skein “Prisoners of War.” The show, which was created by Gideon Raff and inspired the U.S. makeover “Homeland,” has been acquired by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, Spain’s LUK International for broadcast, DVD and VOD rights, Universal Pictures for VOD... Read more

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Windows 8.1 Will Feature More Bing, More Personalization and a Boot-to-Desktop Option

May 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

With a forthcoming update, Microsoft will improve on the Windows 8 start screen while also offering up a new option to bypass the tile interface and boot directly to the traditional desktop. Windows 8.1, due out later this year, will offer new options to personalize the lock and home screens, more deeply integrated Bing search as well as a new version of the Internet Explorer browser. Files can also be saved to Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service. Microsoft has been dribbling out details about the free update, previously code-named Windows Blue, since early this year. A preview version is due next month at Microsoft’s Build developer conference. Although Microsoft has sold more than 100 million licenses for Windows 8 , the operating system has come in for a fair share of criticism for its steep learning curve and failure to reignite the PC market. Windows 8 is the company’s huge bet to transition its desktop operating system into software that can power everything from small tablets to giant, multi-screen computers using both touch input as well as keyboard and mouse. The company bills it as a no-compromise solution, but critics say it offers the best of neither world.

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