Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Modria Wants You to Settle Your Workplace Problems (and Even Patent Disputes) Online

November 24, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As anyone who’s ever gotten wrapped up in an online-commenting flame war knows, the Internet doesn’t have the best reputation for resolving disputes. Too often, the discussion doesn’t stray far from “I’m right!” versus “No, I am!” But conflicts arise online all the time, as Colin Rule knows. The “online dispute guy,” as his coworkers once called him, cut his tech teeth at eBay and PayPal, where he led the group that stepped in when buyers and sellers clashed. Now, Rule has spun off from eBay to become the CEO of Modria, one of a slew of organizations trying to solve more and more types of disputes online. Modria launched Monday with $1.25 million in seed funding, with The Wall Street Journal also reporting that the company is seeking about $4 million in its Series A round.

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Here’s How Bravo’s "Silicon Valley" Stars Pitch Start-Up Investors (Slides)

November 6, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While Americans geared up for Election Day coverage on Monday evening, much of Silicon Valley was glued to a different channel. It was the premier of “ Start-Ups: Silicon Valley ,” the Bravo-produced reality show which follows a group of twentysomethings through the trials of tech entrepreneurship. It’s been the hot topic of the technorati for months, all of whom were eager to see just how drastically wrong a big cable network would portray the tech scene. Bravo didn’t disappoint. I spent the evening at one of the many Bay Area viewing parties with a group of tech reporters, entrepreneurs and other industry folk. Like any subculture enamored with itself, we took great joy in watching what amounted to something everyone expected: Strings of tech buzzwords. Engineers reciting equations amid kegstands. Waxing philosophically over Valley “ecosystems” while poolside. In essence, a laughable caricature of our own little world. The highlight, by far, was watching brother and sister duo Ben and Hermione Way pitch their start-up idea, “Ignite,” to angel investor Dave McClure. After Hermione takes a nap under McClure’s desk (yes, really), the siblings walk a skeptical McClure through their vision of a health app for smartphones. We’ve managed to get our hands on a copy of the pitch deck the two created for investors, which give some insight (but not much) into their company vision

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Facebook Plans Press Event for "Gifts" Nov. 1

October 18, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Here’s yet another tech company with a press event lined up for the next couple weeks: Facebook is inviting reporters to “come see what’s new with Facebook Gifts” at the FAO Schwarz store in Manhattan Nov. 1. Facebook unveiled the ability to buy physical gifts for other users last month.

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The Fine Print on Twitter’s Latest Developer Dustup With IFTTT

September 21, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Despite being constantly connected to a smartphone, there are things that hapoen on the Web when I’m not paying attention. (Shocking, I know.) IFTTT — short for “If This Then That” — has been one of my favorite services to keep tabs on people and companies when I’m not paying rapt attention to Twitter and Facebook. It works with a number of existing Web services like Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds and the like. Say someone important like Twitter CEO Dick Costolo decides to tweet something. As a Twitter beat reporter, I want to know what Dick has to say when he says it. Using IFTTT, I can have the service send me an email, an SMS, even a phone call. It’s very useful, especially when, you know, I want to try and get some sleep. Sadly, in an email today to its users, IFTTT announced that it was ending support for Twitter triggers, one of what I’d call the most useful parts of the service. When I saw the email in my inbox, I was instantly bummed. The way the email was worded, too, made it seem like IFTTT was the latest in a string of companies affected by Twitter’s recent overhaul of its developer guidelines (currently a hotbed of contention in the tech community that relies upon Twitter’s platform to power their services). “In recent weeks, Twitter has announced policy changes* that will affect how applications and users like yourself can interact with Twitter’s data

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With Glass, Google Gives a Fashion Icon a New Toy (Video)

September 13, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

DVF It’s tough being a rich and famous fashion mogul. You’ve seen the best of the world. You have exclusive access to private events. You have expensive tastes — as you should. And then all of the sudden, Google hands you a fancy new toy. That’s been the case for famed designer Diane Von Furstenburg, who’s been playing with Google Glass , the tech company’s wearable augmented reality glasses hardware. Von Furstenburg (or DVF, for short) used them to document her days in the lead up to New York Fashion Week, the premier runway event of the haute couture world, where designers the world round come to show off their new clothing lines. DVF basically used Glass as a personal diary in the days leading up to her runway show, capturing the sights of Manhattan along with showing the hardware off to her suite of models. It’s also the first actual video that’s been shot using the glasses — unlike the highly criticized, completely produced promotional video that showed what Google imagined Glass would be able to do one day. What better way to upstage your fashion contemporaries, then, by slapping a pair of unreleased, unobtainable Glasses that just so happen to be color-coordinated with your entire new line? After meeting Sergey Brin at a conference, DVF thought it would be fah-bu-lous to include Glass in her own work. Brin was kind enough to loan her a number of pairs, complete with Google staff, who taught the models how to use the things. The timing of all this was interesting, too. In allowing Glass to make some high-profile appearances this week (Wall Street Journal reporter Spencer E. Ante got to play with a set as well ), Google could stay on the radar while Apple dominated the news . And if Google looked future-focused even as iPhone 5 was being nicked as an incremental step, well, all the better. Check out the video below to see rich people playing with their new toys.

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"The Jury Has Now Spoken": Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Memo to Employees on Patent Win Over Samsung

August 25, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After Apple’s legal victory over Samsung in the much-disputed patent infringement battle earlier today, its CEO Tim Cook sent a memo to the tech giant’s employees. Cook, who took over at the company exactly a year ago, said Apple had gone to court “very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work.” He stressed that the lawsuit “has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values.” The memo was similar, though perhaps more emotional, than a company statement earlier today. Apple said, in part, “The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy.” Here is the full Cook memo, which was obtained by 9to5Mac : Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere. Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy. We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than we knew. The jury has now spoken.

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Apple Now Biggest-Ever U.S. Company

Apple Now Biggest-Ever U.S. Company

August 22, 2012  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Apple Inc. AAPL -1.39% surpassed Microsoft Corp. MSFT +0.20% Monday as the largest U.S. company ever, measured by stock-market value. Apple hit the new milestone—$623.52 billion—at a time when its influence on the economy, on the stock market and on popular culture rivals that of some of the most powerful companies in U.S. history: General Motors Co., GM -1.11% whose Corvette and Impala typified a confident postwar manufacturing giant; Microsoft, whose technology heralded the arrival of the personal computer and the early Internet age; and International Business Machines Corp., IBM -0.92% whose buttoned-down rigor inspired rivals to reach for greatness. "It is one of those iconic

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First Mover: David Wertheimer

August 20, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 44 New gig President, digital, Fox Broadcasting Company Old gig CEO, Entertainment Technology Center, USC So you’re Fox’s digital guru. Shouldn’t that make you want to step up your Twitter game? I mean, 39 tweets? Obviously, I spend a huge amount of time working with our team on what we want to do with social media. But it’s not about me—it’s about getting people to engage on another level with the shows, the characters and the network itself. I think putting myself in the center of the conversation would take something away from how I think about my job. But I do monitor my feed very closely. It’s like listening in on a great watercooler conversation. How do platforms like Twitter change the rules of the linear TV game? Viewers fundamentally want to have a more social experience around television, they want to react to what they’re watching in real time and share their thoughts with their friends. The more conversation there is around the shows, the more people will want to watch live TV. As was the case with American Idol , which was an inherently social show even before the advent of Twitter. So the allure of watching live is being part of a national conversation? It’s no accident that we’re No. 1 on the social media network. And a big part of our strategic thinking is devising new ways to engage people at the time of a show’s airing. We set social TV records with the American Idol finale this year, and now even some of our scripted series, like New Girl , have moments that people just want to talk about as they are happening

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Revolving Door: Yahoo Departures Begin, Even as Mayer’s Team Still TBD

August 3, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After former interim CEO Ross Levinsohn departed Yahoo earlier this week, I noted that it was only a matter of time before more execs headed out the door with the changeover to new leader and former Googler Marissa Mayer. So it is written, so it shall be done, it seems, with two significant departures from the company this week — with one tech exec going to Apple and another product exec headed to an interesting new online education initiative. According to several sources, Adam Bechtel — who has been the VP of infrastructure at Yahoo — will be leaving for an unspecified job at Apple. At Yahoo, Bechtel was essentially the No. 2 exec under tech, platform and ops head David Dibble and had purview over its data centers, network, systems, storage and edge technologies. He joined Yahoo almost a decade ago, via its acquisition of Inktomi. Also out the Yahoo door is Jonathan Katzman, a product ace who led social initiatives across Yahoo. He was a key driver of its most notably successful product in a while, Social Bar, which has become one of the most popular apps on Facebook for sharing. Katzman came to Yahoo after its acquired Xoopit — an email-focused sharing product — in 2009.

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Exclusive: Could Jon Miller’s Digital Future at News Corp. Include a New Investment Fund?

July 18, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

One of the issues that seem to have gotten lost in the complex transaction that will ultimately break apart News Corp. into two separate entities — an entertainment company and a publishing one — is the fate of its overall digital strategy in the new paradigm. That arena for the media behemoth is now being headed by Jon Miller, the longtime Internet exec and investor, who was hired by the media giant in 2009 as chief digital officer to lead its tech and online initiatives. His job has encompassed everything from his failed effort to revive its once mighty Myspace property to selling it and other properties off to working on its Hulu partnership. Miller has also been active in China, looking for digital investment opportunities for News Corp.

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