Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Prime Focus Technologies to Acquire DAX

March 11, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Prime Focus Technologies, the tech arm of Prime Focus, announced Monday that it has inked a deal to acquire DAX, whose services include cloud-based production workflow and media asset management applications. PFT will acquire all DAX assets for $9.1 million, in addition to performance-based payouts.  Cash flow from North American operations will support the payment.... Read more

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Join NYC Talks for Our First Networking Event of 2014

Join NYC Talks for Our First Networking Event of 2014

Super Bowl Gathering
January 22, 2014  |  Blog, Engage, Networking, Talk NYC Events  |  No Comments

We are excited to announce our first networking event of 2014! Mark your calendars for January 29th at the Ainsworth and start Super Bowl weekend a little early this year! Come for the free happy hour and to network with New York's top innovators and thought leaders in the digital sphere, and stay to learn more about the Talk NYC ENGAGE: Digital Storytelling Conference in April.

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Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews

December 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

This is my last column for The Wall Street Journal, after 22 years of reviewing consumer technology products here. So I thought I’d talk about the dozen personal-technology products I reviewed that were most influential over the past two decades. Obviously, narrowing so many products in the most dynamic of modern industries down to 12 is a subjective exercise and others will disagree. Though most were hits, a couple weren’t blockbusters, financially, and one was an outright flop. Instead, I used as my criteria two main things. First, the products had to improve ease of use and add value for average consumers. That was the guiding principle I laid down in the first sentence of my first column, in 1991: “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it’s not your fault.” Second, I chose these 12 because each changed the course of digital history by influencing the products and services that followed, or by changing the way people lived and worked. In some cases, the impact of these mass-market products is still unfolding. All of these products had predecessors, but they managed to take their categories to a new level. Some readers will complain that Apple is overrepresented. My answer: Apple introduced more influential, breakthrough products for average consumers than any other company over the years of this column.

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With Microsoft CEO Race in Home Stretch and Mulally Fading, Here’s My Dark-Horse Pick: VMware’s Gelsinger

December 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about the possibility of an outsider dark-horse candidate emerging in the race to become CEO of Microsoft. Now it might be more of a possibility than ever before, tracking on sources inside the company that have consistently said that there is a male tech executive in the running who has not been named publicly as yet. Said one person about this candidate: He is “in tech, someone folks are excited about, but not a done deal.” By definition, the term “dark horse” is meant to describe a come-out-of-nowhere winner, or, as Wikipedia notes , “a race horse that is not known to gamblers and thus is difficult to place betting odds on.” And make no mistake, this CEO search has turned into a race, with the variety of candidates pulling ahead and then falling behind, with all of them jockeying for position, as the crowd of investors and insiders have also tried to put their own fix in. At the time of my post in mid-November, Ford CEO Alan Mulally was the clear front runner of the process to replace outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. Also in that mix: Enterprise chief Satya Nadella; COO Kevin Turner; strategy exec Tony Bates (whom I have dubbed the Silicon Valley choice); and Nokia exec Stephen Elop. Elop was considered the top contender (by me, at least), after Microsoft bought the mobile phone division of Nokia. But — for a variety of reasons — he soon fell behind two other internal candidates, Bates and Nadella. And further back still, Turner. Among the outsiders, Mulally — who has done a lot of deft lobbying for the job, after helping Ballmer in his efforts to restructure Microsoft — has always been in the forefront of the choice

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While Mulally/Nadella Remain the Favorites, Bates Is Silicon Valley’s Choice for Microsoft CEO

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Tony Bates About 10 days ago, AllThingsD reported once again that Ford CEO Alan Mulally was in the lead position to take over as CEO of Microsoft, with one internal exec as the No. 2 choice. As I noted in a post on November 19 : “Ford CEO Alan Mulally remains in the pole position for the job, with the idea that he will be more a ‘caretaker’ type CEO, whose deep experience and inspirational charisma will get the company on the right path, while also training up a number of internal candidates to eventually take over from him. The top pick among the possible heirs inside for that princeling role: Enterprise chief Satya Nadella.” Bloomberg reported similarly that Mulally and Nadella were the two top candidates yesterday. In the story, it noted that the Microsoft talent search documents are calling for someone with an “extensive track record in managing complex, global organizations within a fast-paced and highly competitive market sector; track record of delivering top and bottom line results. Proven ability to lead a multi-billion dollar organization and large employee base.” Let’s be clear, none of this is new. ATD and others reported in September that Mulally was the leading name in the race to run the software giant. The Mulally/Nadella scenario is both intriguing and also makes basic sense, along with another newer scenario in which a board member — like Seagate’s CEO Stephen J. Luczo — becomes the CEO (inside the company, this is being jokingly called “pulling a Dick Cheney”). But more than a dozen tech leaders in Silicon Valley, as well as several top Microsoft execs, I have talked to over the last week have one single choice to lead the company: Tony Bates. Having the love of Silicon Valley, of course, is perhaps a little dicey for anyone from Microsoft, despite years of bridge-building done by many company execs, including the British-born Bates, after decades of hostility. But those I spoke to said Bates had all the right assets, making him “the best candidate across all of the various criteria,” said one source. “Tony is a bold choice that would say a lot to the rest of the tech world that Microsoft is ready to engage,” said another source close to the company. “Mulally makes sense only if the board wants a transitional figure, which means it basically doesn’t know what to do yet.” Among Bates’s pluses, according to these sources: Scale management experience from his time as an exec at Cisco, where he managed about 12,000 global workers and was responsible for more than $20 billion in revenue. Technical ability, although Bates does not have a technical degree (he dropped out of mechanical engineering program in Britain). But, at Cisco, he was in change of development of a complex networking product, and he also holds many patents related to the area.

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SurveyMonkey Launches an Enterprise Version

November 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

For years there’s been a well-established tradition among certain distinctive tech companies that goes a little like this: A company launches and builds up a successful product or service. People like it so much they start using it at work, even though the corporate IT policy doesn’t officially support it. Examples that come to mind over the years include the original PalmPilot and, more recently, the cloud file storage service DropBox. It’s a common enough occurrence now that the tech industry has created a phrase to describe the phenomenon — the consumerization of enterprise IT. It’s a term so over-used in recent years that I try to avoid using it entirely, although it’s a rare company that can really claim have done it effectively. Here’s one that seems to have done it, but one that you probably wouldn’t necessarily think about in that way: SurveyMonkey. It turns out that SurveyMonkey, a 14-year old company that specializes in doing Web-based surveys and questionnaires, has never had an enterprise-class product. Now it does and it is called SurveyMonkey Enterprise, an enterprise-grade version that tracks how everyone in a company has been using it, and aggregates all their account data — including the historical data from past surveys — in one place

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Adventures in Google Self-Driving Cars: Pizza Delivery, Scavenger Hunts, and Avoiding Deer

November 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After 500,000 miles of road tests, Google’s self-driving car team gave New Yorker writer Burkhard Bilger unusually deep access for a profile this week . It’s still unclear whether the larger idea of autonomous cars will work at all — the most optimistic estimate seems to be that they will come to market in five to 10 years. But self-driving cars are what put Google on the map as a company that tries to make science fiction into reality, so the tale of how they came to be is compelling. The hero of Bilger’s story is 33-year-old engineer Anthony Levandowski, who joined Google after building a self-driving motorcycle for the DARPA Grand Challenge (though it sounds like that didn’t work all that well). Levandowski was toiling away on Google Street View with the more-famous inventor/professor Sebastian Thrun before the two of them got the go-ahead from Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to start working on self-driving cars. What made the difference? A TV show producer’s wacky idea for a stunt, believe it or not. From Bilger’s piece: “In February of 2008, Levandowski got a call from a producer of “Prototype This!,” a series on the Discovery Channel. Would he be interested in building a self-driving pizza delivery car? Within five weeks, he and a team of fellow Berkeley graduates and other engineers had retrofitted a Prius for the purpose. They patched together a guidance system and persuaded the California Highway Patrol to let the car cross the Bay Bridge—from San Francisco to Treasure Island. It would be the first time an unmanned car had driven legally on American streets.” The successful bridge crossing earned Page and Brin’s go-ahead within a few months, according to Thrun. Then the two Google co-founders, “like boys plotting a scavenger hunt,” gave the self-driving car team a set of 10 100-mile itineraries. “The roads wound through every part of the Bay Area— from the leafy lanes of Menlo Park to the switchbacks of Lombard Street. If the driver took the wheel or tapped the brakes even once, the trip was disqualified.” The team completed all 10 in a year and a half. There’s a lot more to the story, but the real question is, what’s next for the self-driving car? There are challenges on multiple fronts, now that the scavenger-hunt phase is over. 1) Jumping over legal hurdles. 2) Figuring out how to bring the cars to market, given carmakers are allergic to the word “self driving” (though they’re OK with smaller and subtler tweaks, where machine smarts help drivers out). And 3) Making next technological leaps forward in sensors and machine learning.

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Dear Mayor-Elect de Blasio …

November 7, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Tony Fischer Photography via photopin cc Congratulations on your election as Mayor of New York City. When you take office on January 1, the technology sector in New York will be larger and more vibrant than ever. This is good news, since technology-based innovation has become not only America’s new engine of prosperity and job creation, but inarguably New York City’s as well. Each new high-skilled tech job leads to five additional new jobs in the local economy. As Executive Director of the New York Technology Council (NYTECH), I can assure you that tech is not only an innovative sector in its own right, but also a leading force behind innovation in many other sectors of the New York economy, including finance, advertising, media, publishing, retail, entertainment, fashion, transportation, health care and education. As mayor, one of your priorities must be helping grow the tech sector, aiming to make NYC the best environment in the world for technology businesses of all ages and sizes. Here are ten ways you can help improve the environment for tech and tech businesses to flourish in NYC: Actively promote NYC as the leading center for tech-based innovation Further encourage entrepreneurship so that NYC becomes even more of a magnet for the most creative talent in the world Support the NYC Tech Campus projects and encourage closer ties between business and academia Develop and support programs to increase the diversity of the tech workforce in NYC Improve and promote STEM education at all levels Work with industry to improve broadband wireline and wireless connectively citywide Improve public transportation and help keep NYC affordable for its workforce Improve public education so highly-skilled workers won’t leave for the suburbs as they start families Reduce bureaucracy and red tape for businesses of all sizes Advocate on behalf of issues that matter to the tech community, such as comprehensive immigration reform Beyond helping the technology sector to prosper, you could and should use technology and the tech community to help reduce inequality among New York City’s people. More specifically, tech can reduce the digital divide, the economic divide and the divide between citizens and their government. The members of NYTECH, who range from individuals to startups to some of the largest corporations in the United States, stand ready to help you ensure that New York City is the greatest and most tech-savvy city in the world. Erik K. Grimmelmann is the executive director of the New York Technology Council (NYTECH), which is a membership-driven, nonprofit organization focused on developing and promoting the technology industry in New York City.

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Yahoo’s Mayer on the Talent Hunt for Tech Journalists (Even From AllThingsD!)

November 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

This weekend, a Yahoo recruiter tried to poach two of our fine AllThingsD reporters for what was described as a “new initiative within our Tech Vertical.” According to the recruiter, who used LinkedIn for the outreach, the effort had the “backing of [Yahoo CEO] Marissa Mayer, as well as many of our executives, and will be the first of many of these types of editorial models that we expect to roll out globally within the next year.” As I had previously written, Mayer is pushing a new content effort that will focus on bringing big content to Yahoo, including the recent splashy hiring of the New York Times’ gadget reviewer, David Pogue, also for the tech effort. She has also been in talks with well-known television news star Katie Couric about an interview-type show that would appear on the homepage. Among many execs in the Web space, Mayer has always been more attracted to the flashier media scene, having struck deals for Google to buy content properties like Zagat while she was there. But, let’s be clear, none of her efforts there were particularly successful. Additional efforts to up Yahoo’s content business will require the hiring of a top media exec to replace recently departed media chief Mickie Rosen. Internal sources said that Mayer has said she is aiming to hire a top television exec for the job, to underscore the company’s commitment to video. For now, it seems, tech is just the start, according to the email from the Yahoo recruiter, without any reference to a very similar previous Yahoo effort called Tech Ticker, which petered out many years ago. And, years before that, there was another content effort, called Finance Vision. In other words, Yahoo has been no Netflix in its many efforts to jump into the content space, save for a series of light Web shows like “Primetime in No Time.” One show, though — “Burning Love,” created and commissioned under former media head Ross Levinsohn — has generated a lot of buzz and traffic. Mayer seems to have even bigger plans. though, using tech an some sort of “anchor.” “The initiative is a news website, focused on technology, that is extremely social friendly and another way to drive significant traffic back to our platform,” wrote the recruiter. “We have identified this endeavor as a key anchor of our media strategy and a high growth opportunity for the media organization.” It’s nice to see Mayer finally acknowledging the importance of what tech journalists do, even if it means she is trying to fish in our pond. (Marissa, bygones on the poaching, as I see it as a compliment to our excellent work at AllThingsD ! So, let’s have just-us-media-ladies lunch, and I can explain how a tech blog works and stuff.) Here’s the full email to one of our staffers this weekend: I am the North American Recruiting Lead for Yahoo’s Global Media and Commerce organization

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Lenovo Launches Yoga Tablet With Multiple Modes and a Side of Ashton Kutcher

October 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Ashton Kutcher is back pushing another tech product. But it’s not another Nikon camera or a Steve Jobs movie . Rather, it’s a new tablet from Lenovo . Tonight, the actor joined Lenovo onstage at an event in Los Angeles to unveil the Yoga Tablet. The Android Jelly Bean (4.2) device comes in an 8- and 10-inch model and will be available tomorrow for $249 and $299, respectively. When designing the Yoga Tablet, Lenovo said it wanted to do something that would help make its device stand out from the “sea of sameness,” referring to the fact that all tablets look alike. As a result, it features a cylindrical handle that allows you to use the tablet in several different modes — a concept Lenovo borrowed from its line of Yoga convertible laptops . In Hold mode, you can simply grip the handle for a more comfortable experience when reading e-books and messages. Rotating the cylinder 90 degrees will expose a stand, so you can prop the tablet on a desk for watching movies or video chats. Finally, you can lay the device down with the stand out to angle the screen for easier typing and viewing. One other benefit to the cylindrical handle, says Lenovo, is that it allowed them to include a larger battery. The Yoga Tablet is powered by dual batteries, similar in power to those used in laptops, and Lenovo estimates battery life to be around 18 hours in reading mode. Both the 8- and 10-inch Yoga Tablet have 1,280 by 800-pixel touchscreens, quad-core processors from MediaTek and 16 gigabytes of internal memory with microSD expansion options

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