Posts Tagged ‘tech’

CBSi Shows Off Programming Extensions, Diverse Portfolio at NewFront

May 1, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Easily the best moment in the CBS Interactive NewFront on Tuesday evening came at the beginning of the presentation, when Les Moonves offered pre-taped advice to both CBSi president Jim Lanzone and the rest of the NewFront audience. After an acronym-filled lecture by Lanzone, Moonves scolded him sharply: "I just fell asleep in alphabet soup!" he said. "If you want the NewFronts to be anything like the upfronts, you've got to be more entertaining than that." Moonves was scathing on the perceived hype around the digital events, too: "This is not the real upfront," he said to laughs from the audience. "These are dramatically different budgets." Criticism from above aside, Lanzone's presentation had some fun moments, notably a video of an overweight guy and a beautiful woman who fall in love, representing CBS' ostensible marriage of quantity and quality. That said, CBSi had its work cut out for it: the division has a huge portfolio of assets that have little to do with each other—everything from review aggregator Metacritic to tech news site CNET to its big announcement of the evening: upcoming spinoff webisodes for CBS broadcast shows Person of Interest and Elementary . Person of Interest: Animated has an anime-influenced style and looks a lot (from the sizzle reel shown at the event) like the animated sections from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1. Elementary's spinoff, Baker Street Irregulars, will star the crew of homeless informants who work with Jonny Lee Miller's consulting detective in the parent show on CBS. CNET will begin showing video series about gadgets, including Next Big Thing, which will tour the tech industry's big events, and CNET Appliances, which will feature video reviews of durable goods from fridges to coffee makers. CBSi property GameSpot, too, will have several series coming up; CNET's biggest announcement seemed to be that it will have a Spanish-language edition coming this fall. CBS made good use of its venue: the Hudson Theater hosted a special performance of the network's Life on Letterman franchise, with French band Phoenix playing a 45-minute set for buyers and fans allowed in to the music hall after the presentation was over. Buyers were wined and dined afterward at the nearby Bryant Park Grill.

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Q&A: Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell on Innovation, the “Next Steve Jobs” and Why Mobile Games Are “Over”

March 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you live in Silicon Valley or any other tech-savvy area, there are three words you may have heard a lot in the past year and a half: Who is the “next Steve Jobs?” Nolan Bushnell, Atari co-founder and one-time employer of both Jobs and Steve Wozniak shortly before the two started Apple, doesn’t have any specific names to answer that question. But what he does have is a new book, out today, to aid in the search: “ Finding the Next Steve Jobs — How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent .” And Bushnell should know about the importance of recognizing that talent — during Atari’s heyday, he turned down the opportunity to own one-third of Jobs’s and Wozniak’s nascent company. By 1980, he writes in the book, “I was beginning to think it might turn out to be a mistake.” “Finding the Next Steve Jobs” is being released by Net Minds , a print/ebook hybrid publishing startup led by former Yahoo exec Tim Sanders. Bushnell said it uses Jobs as a metaphor for the creative iconoclasts who clash with corporate culture and can’t get hired. He sat down with AllThingsD to explain further. AllThingsD: Just how close were you to Steve after his brief involvement with Atari? Nolan Bushnell: We’d talk on the phone infrequently, but he’d come up to [my house in] Woodside about once a month, usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and we’d go up on the hill and talk. Occasionally, I’d go down to his place, but a lot of the time it was him coming up to my place. Why are we even looking for the “next Steve Jobs?” Steve took a failing computer company — and they probably would have never brought him back if they weren’t at the end of their rope — and turned it into the highest-market-cap company in the world. People were always aware that innovative solutions are good for your company. I think this just underscored it in a really powerful way. It wasn’t just through cutting costs or innovative marketing. Though Steve was a pretty good marketer. But that was when he returned to Apple in 1997. Most of the time when people talk about the “next Steve Jobs,” they’re using that phrase to refer to entrepreneurs who are still early on in their careers. So, are those people really that hard up for work?

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Facebook CEO Zuckerberg, Other Tech Execs to Form D.C. Advocacy Group

March 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Mr. Zuckerberg is going to Washington. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is involved in early efforts to form an issues advocacy organization in Washington D.C. in conjunction with other tech executives, according to people familiar with the matter. The group, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle , will focus on building general public support around topics such as immigration, education reform and general long-term economic issues, these sources said. Zuckerberg and the other tech executives will join a bi-partisan group of Beltway insider consultants including Republican strategists Jon Lerner and Rob Jesmer, as well as former Facebook VP of global comms Joe Lockhart (now of the Glover Park Group). Also present is Joe Green, Zuckerberg’s former Harvard roommate who founded NationBuilder.com and Causes.com, and is now an entrepreneur in residence at the Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The news comes after recent political efforts by Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley luminaries, who have pushed Congress and the President to enact comprehensive immigration reform. TechNet, a bi-partisan advocacy group, organized the effort, as well as a series of meetings between the tech execs and top political leaders in Washington. “We call on you to address the need for more qualified, highly-skilled professionals, domestic and foreign, and to enact immigration reform this year,” said the group’s letter to Congress, which was signed by many tech executives including eBay CEO John Donahoe, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr. A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment.

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Venture Firms Narrow Sights in Tough Times

February 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Venture-capital firms are taking stiff measures to survive a tough fundraising environment and lackluster returns, including gutting their partnerships, slashing their fund sizes and refocusing their investment areas. Take Ignition Partners, for example, formed amid the tech boom in 2000 by several former Microsoft Corp. and McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. executives. While the Seattle venture-capital firm raised around $1.2 billion over the past 12 years, it didn’t produce a consistent string of startup hits. So when it asked investors last year for money for another venture fund, the firm got the cold shoulder. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Google Shares Hit Another All-Time High

February 1, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Shares of Google are on an upswing Friday, hitting a new high for the company of $775.32. That’s up 2.26 percent from the day’s opening price of $758.20. The company’s previous high was $774.38 in October. Google seems to be benefitting from broader bullishness as the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 14,000 for the first time since 2007 based on the latest U.S. jobs report. Google beat expectations (well, mostly — Motorola complicated things ) with its fourth-quarter earnings report on Jan. 22. And the tech sector overall is having a good earnings season, with strong reports from Qualcomm , Facebook , Yahoo and Apple , among others. The company also submitted a proposal to the European Commission about antitrust concerns yesterday. As we reported, a source familiar with the content of the submission said it was only marginally stronger than the deal Google and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced to a month ago. Put together, that could mean Google is likely to scoot away from the threat of major regulatory battles on multiple fronts. Google also said today that it had created a €60 million fund to support digital publishing innovation in France as part of the resolution of its disputes with French news sites

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Google Shares Hit Another All-Time High

February 1, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Shares of Google are on an upswing Friday, hitting a new high for the company of $775.32. That’s up 2.26 percent from the day’s opening price of $758.20. The company’s previous high was $774.38 in October. Google seems to be benefitting from broader bullishness as the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 14,000 for the first time since 2007 based on the latest U.S. jobs report. Google beat expectations (well, mostly — Motorola complicated things ) with its fourth-quarter earnings report on Jan. 22. And the tech sector overall is having a good earnings season, with strong reports from Qualcomm , Facebook , Yahoo and Apple , among others. The company also submitted a proposal to the European Commission about antitrust concerns yesterday.

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As Obama Speaks, Tech Industry Praises Immigration Reform Proposal

January 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amid wide-ranging discussion of U.S. immigration reform — including a set of bipartisan principles introduced this week and a speech by President Barack Obama on the issue today — tech companies are particularly optimistic about a bill introduced this morning that is focused on highly skilled workers. The Immigration Innovation Act , proposed by Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla. and Chris Coons, D-Del., would increase the H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 115,000 and establish triggers for more visas in response to market demand. It would also loosen green card rules for people who are dependents of visa recipients and people with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math from U.S. universities. Early criticism of the bill has targeted the fact that it is a “ piecemeal change ” rather than comprehensive reform, but it’s possible that it could be included in future broad legislation, which hasn’t been proposed yet. But tech leaders were quick to praise the bill, with companies such as Intel , Hewlett Packard and Google and industry groups issuing statements this morning specifically in support of the Immigration Innovation Act, which has already been nicknamed I-Squared. The bill “is a significant step forward in ensuring that the U.S. economy has the workforce and intellectual capacity it needs to enhance innovation, spur job creation and improve our economy,” said HP VP of global government relations Gregg Melinson. “The current focus on immigration reform presents the best opportunity we have seen in years to make needed fixes to the employment side of the immigration equation,” wrote Intel government relations director Peter Muller. Though his most closely watched remarks were about undocumented immigrants, Obama spoke specifically to the tech industry, saying that one in four high-tech companies was started by an immigrant.

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2012 VC Investments Off 10 Percent, Dragged Down by Biotech and Cleantech

January 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The rental prices in San Francisco and the traffic on 101 might give you the feeling the tech industry is in a bubble time, yet again. But not everything in tech is healthy. U.S. venture capital just had a down year, for one thing. That’s in large part because dollars dedicated to new funding in biotech and cleantech fell significantly in 2012. Overall, VCs put $26.5 billion in 3,698 U.S. deals in 2012, a decrease of 10 percent, according to the new MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Biotech investment dollars dropped 15 percent in 2012 and cleantech investments 28 percent. There were fewer first-time fundings for biotech and medical device startups than any year since 1995. Still, venture capital was flowing quite normally to software companies. Not only was that the single largest investment sector in 2012, investments grew 10 percent to $8.3 billion, an 11-year high. If you slice all the categories, including those above, to look at companies whose businesses are on the Internet (that’s 25 percent of total U.S. venture capital dollars), investments were down five percent to $6.7 billion. But still, 2011 had been a record year for Internet funding, so that’s the second-highest total since 2001.

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Tech Resolutions (Comic)

December 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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"Something Ventured" Set to Air in January: The Risky Dudes Who Wrote the Checks That Made Silicon Valley

December 24, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

“Something Ventured: Risk, Reward, and the Original Venture Capitalists” is a documentary that celebrates — pretty much without a lot of criticism — the very first venture capitalists who were behind the tech giants launching companies like Apple, Intel, Cisco, Atari and Genentech. “Something Ventured” is being aired starting in January on public television stations nationwide. The film — which premiered at SXSW last year — focuses on the key VCs, including investor Arthur Rock, Kleiner Perkins’ Tom Perkins, Sequoia Capital’s Don Valentine and New Enterprise Associate’s Dick Kramlich. It’s full of great stories from them and others, such as remembering the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s proclivity to not worry too much about showering. And there are some tasty quotes, too: Perkins: “I don’t know how to write a business plan. I can only tell you how we read them. We start at the back, and if the numbers are big, we look at the front to see what kind of business it is.” Rock: “Steve Jobs is a national treasure. He is so visionary, and so bright. I had to fire him, though.” Valentine: “I’m not interested in entrepreneurs who will do it our way

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