Posts Tagged ‘people’

CrowdStrike Lands $30 Million Series B Led by Accel Partners

September 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

iStockphoto | dny59 In recent weeks or months, you may have heard the following saying: “There are only two kinds of companies; Those that have been hacked, and those who don’t yet know they’ve been hacked.” I’m told that the phrase originated at CrowdStrike, a computer-security firm based in Irvine, Calif. Today, that firm announced that it has raised a $30 million Series B round of venture capital funding led by Accel Partners, with its founding investor, the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, also participating. Accel partner Sameer Gandhi is joining CrowdStrike’s board of directors. Security is obviously a big topic these days, given all the hacking that’s been going on lately, whether it’s attacks on the New York Times by Syrian hackers bent on spreading propaganda, or theft of intellectual property by China’s People’s Liberation Army . iIf you’re running a company of any size, security has to be huge operational consideration. Crowdstrike runs a cloud-based platform that uses advanced analytics and machine learning to analyze attacks in real time as they happen, and to determine who’s carrying out the attack. This problem of attribution is always a huge problem in computer-security circles. Once you know you’ve been attacked, you want to know who did it. Usually, you can find this out after the fact. It’s a little trickier to figure it out while the attack is still going on. “We’ve built a platform that can identity the kind of attack that is being used, but we can also determine who’s behind it and what their motivation is,” says George Kurtz, CEO and co-founder. The firm uses a big data and analytics platform to keep track of hacking groups around the world, and Kurtz says it can usually figure out who’s behind an attack, and shut it down. Security has become a big focus at Accel, and it coincides with its efforts around big data . Its security-related investments include mobile security firm Lookout , Imperva and Tenable Security. “It’s rare that a couple days go by and you don’t see an article about a major computer-security breach somewhere,” says Accel’s Gandi. “The nature and sophistication of the actual attacks has escalated dramatically, and so have the sources. We’ve gone beyond the days when it was splinter groups

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BlackBerry Pushes for Speedy Sale Process

September 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

BlackBerry Ltd., the beleaguered smartphone maker that has put itself up for sale, is aiming to run a fast auction process that could be wrapped up by November, according to people familiar with the matter. BlackBerry announced in August that it had formed a special committee of board members to “explore strategic alternatives.” Since then, the company has held preliminary talks with parties interested in buying part or all of the company, one of the people said. It has narrowed its list of potential bidders to seek out in a sales process expected to begin soon, this person said. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Jeff Bezos Reveals He Doesn’t Have a Plan to Save the Washington Post

September 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Asa Mathat / Just because Jeff Bezos is going to own the press doesn’t mean he’s changed his approach to the press. When he speaks to journalists, he says nothing. The Washington Post has the first interview with the new owner-t0-be of the Washington Post today. If you’re expecting Bezos to reveal anything about his plans for the paper, then you’ve never sat through an Amazon earnings call, or listened to a Jeff Bezos interview. The gist: Like he said before, he won’t be running the paper day-to-day. And, like he does with Amazon, Bezos plans to manage the paper for the long haul. But when Bezos won’t tell you how many Kindles he’s sold, he’s not saying anything because he doesn’t want to clue you into his plan. The key question for Post, and its readers (and employees): Does he have a plan this time? If you take him at face value, he doesn’t. He’s going to take time — “years” — to experiment, and the only thing he knows is that it’s important for readers to get value out of reading the paper. It would be easy enough to dismiss that non-talk as cover for whatever Bezos really is planning for the paper.

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HTC Developing Smartphone Operating System

August 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

HTC Corp. is developing a mobile software system specifically for Chinese consumers, people familiar with the project say, as part of a big China bet that the Taiwanese smartphone maker hopes will help revive sliding sales. Development of the smartphone operating system is being closely monitored by HTC’s Chairwoman Cher Wang, who has been in discussions with Chinese government officials, said the people. The software involves deep integration with Chinese apps like the Twitter-like microblog Weibo and is slated to launch before the end of the year, they said. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Yahoo Ingests IQ Engines

August 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Add another Yahoo acquisition to the pile. The Internet company has purchased “image intelligence” outfit IQ Engines for an undisclosed price. IQ Engines, which develops image recognition software capable of categorizing pictures based on the people and objects featured in them, is to be rolled into Yahoo’s Flickr team , presumably to help improve the widely used photo services search feature. IQ Engines is the latest in a conga line of acquisitions for Yahoo that so far includes the likes of Tumblr , Xobni , Rockmelt , and Summly .

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Nasdaq Points to Issue With NYSE Arca for Glitch

August 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. executives internally on Thursday pointed to a “connectivity” problem with competing electronic exchange NYSE Arca as the trigger to technical issues that led to a three-hour halt in trading of Nasdaq-listed stocks, according to people familiar with the matter. “There was a connectivity issue between an exchange participant” and the Nasdaq-operated data feed that supplies U.S. markets with information on stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the exchange operator said in a statement issued Thursday evening. Arca, operated by NYSE Euronext, is the unnamed exchange participant referred to in Nasdaq’s statement, the people said. Read the rest of this post on the original site

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Microsoft Bribe Probe Reaches Into Pakistan, Russia Deals

August 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A U.S. investigation into Microsoft Corp.’s relationships with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign officials in return for contracts includes activity in Russia and Pakistan, a sign that the probe is wider reaching than previously known, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reported this year lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission had been conducting a preliminary investigation into kickback allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China, as well as the company’s relationships with certain resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy. In Russia, an anonymous tipster told Microsoft that resellers of its software allegedly funneled kickbacks to executives of a state-owned company to win a deal, the people familiar with the matter said. In Pakistan, a tipster alleged that Microsoft authorized a consulting firm to pay for a five-day trip to Egypt for a government official and his wife in order to win a tender, the people familiar with the matter said.

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Writers’ Room Host Jim Rash Explains How Popular TV Shows Are Made

August 19, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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Al Jazeera America Will Have 6 Minutes of Ads Per Hour

August 15, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

One of the most surprising revelations in a call today with interim Al Jazeera CEO Ehab El Shihabi and president of newsgathering Kate O'Brian was that, unlike its more ad-heavy competitors, Al Jazeera America will have only six minutes per hour of commercials when it launches on Tuesday at 3 p.m. El Shihabi described the limited advertising as "one of our key competitive advantages," emphasizing the company's commitment to serious news over punditry and movie stars at O'Charley's. "There will be less opinion, less yelling, and fewer celebrity sightings," said El Shihabi. "We are not infotainment." The exec asserted forcefully that the programming would satisfy a huge, untapped audience. "We know that there is a desire for the kind of journalism we will have on Al Jazeera America," he said. "Americans want to have more in-depth coverage and less opinion; that is what we will have, and that is how Al Jazeera operates." When pressed, El Shihabi said that the network was "very interested in understanding the market, and how this market matched with the demand for our core identity,” he told TVNewser's Alex Weprin, citing research that said "55 million households that are considered under-served.” "We will have more than 14 hours of live news reported day and night, and we really mean that," said O'Brian. The network will provide around-the-clock coverage of events through its 12 U.S. bureaus, in addition to world news and material from stringers elsewhere in the country. Still, the network is fighting a perception problem. "We have definitely done testing," said El Shihabi. "The questions were 'What do you think about Al Jazeera?' and 'Do you watch Al Jazeera?' Seventy-five percent of the people who did not watch Al Jazeera came from the negative side, and 90 percent of the people who watched Al Jazeera came from the positive side." Both El Shihabi and O'Brian said they believe the programming will silence detractors. "I think people come with their own perceptions," said O'Brian. "Once they watch what we're doing, they'll see very quickly that we are not one news of any sort from one place all the time."

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A la Carte Is the Worst Idea Anyone Has Ever Had

August 14, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

During earnings calls among the major networks last week, there was a consistent refrain: a la carte may be in the news, but it's not on the horizon. Most CEOs simply took questions about a la carte the same way they take all dumb questions: as invitations to discuss their networks' innate superiority to the competition. "We doubt that it will happen, but if it happens, it probably helps us," said Jeff Bewkes to an analyst who essentially admitted in his question that a la carte was an unlikely proposition. Ken Lowe was perhaps the least equivocal on the Scripps Networks Interactive earnings call this past Thursday: "It's a very remote possibility at this point," Lowe said gently in response to an analyst. "It's not something I think is anywhere near in the future even though it's a little bit in the news these days. Really, it gives me a chance to underscore the value of the video package." Indeed. So why are we talking about it at all? Well, Time Warner Cable's Glenn Britt proposed selling cable channels a la carte to CBS head Les Moonves a week ago (a proposal that Moonves laughed off). "if you are unwilling to agree to this proposal," wrote Britt, "we would also be willing to resume carriage by allowing CBS to make its stations available on an a la carte basis at a price and on terms of its choosing, with 100% of that price remitted to CBS." Let's be clear: nobody, least of all Glenn Britt, thinks this is a good idea. Except maybe people in Congress, and that's why Glenn Britt probably shouldn't be pretending he takes the notion seriously.

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