Posts Tagged ‘consumer’
Oculus VR says plans won’t change, as it raises $15 million in venture capital for its virtual reality dreams
“I have a boss now, I guess,” says Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe. “The board.” On Monday, the virtual reality headset company announced that it had finished raising $15 million in Series A venture capital led by Spark Capital and Matrix Partners, adding a new level of management in the process. Both Spark and Matrix will have seats on the Oculus board of directors, guiding the company from here on out. Will new money and new directors change any of the startup company’s plans, though? Oculus says no.
Writing through a daze of jetlagged insomnia, The Verge sanguinely contemplates the city outside its seventh-floor hotel room window. Taipei is a sweltering, buzzing metropolis, which, like America’s New York, can be accurately accused of a chronic inability to ever sleep. As such, this tropical capital is a good embodiment for the show it hosts this week: Computex . The Asian equivalent of CES in the United States , Computex is the main event for all the big Taiwanese brands, from Acer and Asus on the consumer-facing side to Gigabyte and MSI in the internal components arena.
Chinese telecommunications giants ZTE and Huawei are set to face an EU investigation for anti-competitive behavior. Although the pair have both seen moderate success marketing their consumer devices in the region, the investigation is regarding the companies’ infrastructure equipment, which provides the backbone for the industry. In recent years Chinese companies have taken around a quarter of of the EU market, with sales of around €1 billion (roughly $1.3 billion). But according to European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, the success has been due to anti-competitive predatory pricing.
Read the original post:
ZTE and Huawei face EU investigation over predatory pricing
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia’s demeanor was downright subdued today, despite his win in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected a request from ABC, NBC, CBS, and other top broadcasters to issue a preliminary injunction against Aereo, the company he founded. The ruling means Aereo, which streams live TV to internet subscribers without compensating the networks, will not be shut down and therefore is a step closer to throwing traditional TV into a state of chaos.
The chairman of Sony’s board, Howard Stringer, will be retiring in June, according to the Financial Times . Stringer, who stepped back from his role as president in January of 2012 and then reduced his role to just chairman a month later , will be waiting until the next shareholder meeting to step down. Stringer became the CEO of Sony in 2005 and oversaw what can only be described as a turbulent ride in the company’s history, as Apple and Samsung both surpassed the consumer electronics giant in several categories it had once dominated. Last year, Stringer was replaced in his direct management roles by Kazuo Hirai as president and CEO, and Hirai has led an attempt at a resurgence under the “One Sony” initiative . Hirai praised Stringer’s…
Sheriff’s department asks media to stop tweeting as Christopher Dorner manhunt reaches bloody climax
As the manhunt for fugitive ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner nears a potential conclusion in Big Bear Lake, California, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department has asked media in the area to immediately stop tweeting. The department claims that tweets are endangering officers on the scene, and while no explanation was given for how tweets could be impacting the standoff, it’s possible that Dorner is following events on Twitter. The department has also asked local media with helicopters not to zoom in too close with cameras on the cabin Dorner is suspected to be hiding in, suggesting that it’s trying to minimize live coverage of the events.
Erik Huggers, General Manager of Intel Media, has confirmed that the company is, in fact, working on providing television over the internet , and it plans to do so with new consumer hardware that Huggers described as something with “beautiful industrial design.” He says the service will be relatively full-featured: “we will have live television, catch-up television, on-demand, [and] a set of applications.” The hardware will also include a camera — which can be turned off — that will apparently watch users as they watch TV (including, possibly, for targeting ads). Huggers said one use case for the camera could include synchronizing viewing with viewers across the country for a “real social experience.” The camera could also… Continue reading…
Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a surprising amount of bacteria in the atmosphere, and the recently published study posits that such bacteria may be affecting the planet’s climate and even the global spread of disease. Researchers collected samples of various microorganisms from about six miles above the planet’s surface in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea before, during, and after hurricanes Earl and Karl in 2010. Could airborne fecal matter make you sick? They found 17 different types of bacteria capable of surviving in the troposphere — the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere — consisting of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial microorganisms, and even human and animal fecal matter…. Continue reading…
Today, a group of four senators from both major parties introduced the Immigration Innovation Act, which if passed would boost the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) visas available to foreigners — an immigration reform that tech companies in the US have been lobbying for in recent years. The bill would also direct fees obtained from the program to fund STEM-related educational programs in the US. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) proposed the bill, and both Republicans and Democrats spoke of the need for highly skilled immigrants. The bill would increase the number of H-1B visas and green cards available to skilled candidates, and would… Continue reading…
Philips is exiting the consumer electronics industry — according to The Wall Street Journal , the company has announced the sale of its audio, video, multimedia, and accessories divisions to Japanese company Funai for just over $200 million in cash as well as a brand license fee. While Philips was once seen as an innovator, and helped create the DVD and Blu-ray standards, the company has since proven incapable of transitioning to the world of internet media to compete with the likes of Samsung, Apple, LG, and Sony. Even Philips’ CEO admitted as much: “Since we have online entertainment, people do not buy Blu-ray and DVD players anymore,” Chief Executive Frans van Houten told the WSJ. While the company has already sold off its consumer..
Continue reading here:
Philips exits the consumer electronics business, will focus on medical and lighting products
If Microsoft is going to invest in Dell’s privatization , Redmond wants to have some say over the company’s future roadmap and key decisions. That’s according to The Wall Street Journal , which reports Microsoft’s potential role has become something of a “sticking point” as negotiations to end Dell’s days as a publicly traded company continue. Last week it was revealed that Microsoft is considering throwing in between $1 billion and $3 billion to help right the course of its troubled OEM partner. According to the Journal, an arrangement being floated currently includes nearly 16 percent of founder Michael Dell’s stake in his company, Silver Lake Partners, and Microsoft, with $15 billion worth of debt financing kicked in from various… Continue reading…
View the original here:
Microsoft wants influence over privatized Dell, reports WSJ
Microsoft didn’t have a booth or even an official press event at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but that didn’t stop the company from jumping on stage twice. CEO Steve Ballmer joined Qualcomm for its bizarre opening keynote , and more importantly Microsoft’s Chief Technology Strategy Officer, Eric Rudder, joined the Samsung keynote to showcase the IllumiRoom technology . Based on a combination of a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector, IllumiRoom combines the virtual and physical worlds of a TV and living room for true augmented reality. A mysterious partnership with Samsung emerges Microsoft claims IllumiRoom is a “proof-of-concept system,” but the fit and finish of its promotional video, compared to the low production..
Microsoft just teased the next Xbox at CES
General Electric (GE) wants to replace your laptop’s regular fan with a miniature set of bellows it calls Dual Piezoelectric Cooling Jets (DCJ). Initially developed for use in jet engines, the system works a bit like a diaphragm: it expands to pull in hot air before contracting to rapidly expel it, cooling the air in the process. GE says that, in addition to consuming half the power of a regular fan, its new tech is more than half as thin, enabling cooling systems that are only 4mm tall.
Jet engine cooling tech adapted for silent ultrabooks
Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Each week, we’ll bring you important articles from the previous weeks’ original reports , features and reviews on The Verge . Think of it as a collection of a few of our favorite pieces from the week gone by, which you may have missed, or which you might want to read again. Continue reading…
The Weekender: Windows 8, Microsoft Surface, and the iPad mini
The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? Continue reading…
Not all horseface bipeds have murderous intent. There is a softer, gentler side to the group. Then again, sometimes that side is all a ruse, a way to catch humans off guard and strike when the moment arises. That’s the thing with horsefaces: you can never be sure what they’re feeling
Apple tapped infamous iOS jailbreaker Comex for a remote intern position last year, but the relationship has now come to an end. Why? Well, as the man known as Nicholas Allegra to his parents would have it, the main reason was a neglected email. Speaking to Forbes , Allegra says that Apple sent a message with an offer to continue the internship, but he forgot to reply — which Cupertino apparently looks dimly upon.
Read the original post:
Apple and iOS hacker Comex part ways after unanswered e-mail
E Ink’s e-paper displays underpin many of the world’s e-readers, including Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle series. The company’s success, of course, would seemingly spell bad news for the legacy paper industry — an empire built from billions of books and newspapers spanning centuries. Yet Taiwan’s YFY Group, E Ink’s corporate parent, owns paper mills throughout Asia. “Before E Ink came along, no one was complaining about paper.” The irony isn’t lost on E Ink’s chief marketing officer, Sri Peruvemba. “Before E Ink came along, no one was complaining about paper
Originally posted here:
Hot off the Kindle Paperwhite, E Ink looks to the future
We all know the feeling. You’re sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn’t cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out our weekly roundup of essential writing from around the web about technology, culture, media, and the future? Sure, it’s one more thing you can feel guilty about sitting in your Instapaper queue, but it’s better than pulling in vain on your Twitter list again. Continue reading…
The best tech writing of the week, October 7
Setting up a backup is probably on your to-do list. So why haven’t you done it yet? Maybe it’s because you’ve got a million other things to do, or maybe the technical aspects are a little daunting. A backup may seem like just another mundane task in your long list of to-dos, but a day will inevitably come when your hard drive dies, when your laptop is stolen, or when your accounts get brutally hacked
As the long wait for BlackBerry 10 devices continues, rumors continue to swirl that RIM may engage in some radical restructuring at some point — including selling off parts of its business. The latest comes from Bloomberg , reporting that its sources indicate that IBM has “made an informal approach” to acquire RIM’s Enterprise Services unit. Apparently, the board rebuffed IBM’s interest because it still wants to wait and see what will happen with BB10. That’s the same attitude the board reportedly took with regard to selling off other RIM divisions, so it seems like the company is bent on getting BB10 out the door, albeit later than originally planned .
After rolling out a new version of its Windows 8 accessibility tools and taking feedback, Microsoft has made some changes to text-to-speech tool Narrator on the Consumer Preview. Most of them concern the new touch features, which let users move a finger across the screen to be read the icons or content, then tap to select. While the tools were meant to make touch screens easier to navigate for the visually impaired, people apparently had trouble knowing whether the screen had recognized their touch, and the reader was sometimes too slow to recognize when someone had touched an icon. In response, Microsoft has added quick audio cues to provide feedback for actions, and it’s streamlined the gestures people used to navigate.
Since RIM’s dismal earnings report and its delay of BlackBerry 10 , CEO Thorsten Heins has sometimes come off as being in deep denial about the company’s future. In an interview with The Globe and Mail , however, he’s explained why RIM’s next-generation operating system won’t launch this year in relatively frank terms. Heins said that though “the core technology of BlackBerry 10 is ready to go…
See the original post:
Thorsten Heins on delaying BlackBerry 10: ‘I could still see some of the seams’
In an attempt to demonstrate its cloud texting platform, Zipwhip has done the only logical thing — build an espresso machine that accepts orders via texts. The “Textspresso,” as it’s been dubbed, took around three months of on-and-off work to put together and consists of nearly 300 parts. It works like this: you text your order to the machine, say while you’re in a meeting or on your way to the office, and it will automatically grab a mug, brew your drink, and leave it on a warming tray for when you’re ready to pick it up. There’s even an edible ink printer that will write your phone number on the drink’s foam so that orders don’t get mixed up.
Originally posted here:
300-piece espresso machine takes orders through text messages
While RIM’s status as an innovator in the consumer space may be in tatters , it’s a whole other story within the city limits of Washington, DC. The Washington Post reports that around half a million federal workers, including President Obama, are still glued to their BlackBerrys — whether by choice or slow-moving bureaucracy. Obama was famously besotted with his BlackBerry during the 2008 presidential campaign, but soon admitted that owning it had become “no fun” due to the White House’s stringent security requirements that meant only ten people could email him. “We appreciate RIM’s focus on security, which is paramount for government use.” That’s not quite the reason many other workers in Washington are resenting their handsets,… Continue reading…