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Hyperloop Dreams: JumpStarter Thinks It Can, It Thinks It Can
August 30, 2013
JumpStarter aims to use its new JumpStartFund platform to help Elon Musk's Hyperloop project draw the attention and investments it needs to get off the ground. Musk's design for a high-speed transportation system that could transport people between San Francisco and Los Angeles in a little more than half an hour has drawn interest from the science and tech communities.
Google's Barra Gets the Heck Out of Dodge
August 29, 2013
Google executive Hugo Barra, one of the leading public faces for Android, has left for up-and-coming Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. "In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally -- as Vice President, Xiaomi Global," Barra announced. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge."
Microsoft's Post-Ballmer Comeback
August 29, 2013
Windows 8 is the torpedo that sunk Steve Ballmer, the headlines have been screaming. The news we were all expecting finally arrived last Friday with the announcement that Steve Ballmer would step down as Microsoft's CEO. Now the question is who will replace Ballmer -- and will that person be the right choice? If the company gets this right, it can return to a successful growth track.
Former Windows Boss Sinofsky Resurfaces in VC World
August 24, 2013
Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, who shocked the high-tech industry when he abruptly parted ways with the company shortly after Windows 8 was launched, has joined venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a board partner. Sinofsky, a 23-year veteran at Redmond, led the creation of Windows 7 and 8 and six versions of Microsoft Office.
Emotiv Promises a New Window Onto Your Brain
August 24, 2013
You likely already know the things you like to do, like watching a sporting event, as well as the things that you don't like to do, such as sitting in traffic. We all experience feelings when participating in such activities, and those feelings form the basis of a personal body of knowledge that we draw on to know whether we like doing a thing or not.
A Year Later, Apple's Secret Supply Chain Seems Reined in With Cheesecloth
August 22, 2013
I'm trying to stay excited about Apple's Sept. 10 iPhone-revealing media ceremony, but instead I'm settling into the notion that we'll have a gold iPhone and a bunch of plastic entry iPhone models in vague fugly colors. I should have been more worried when Apple's master of design, Jony Ive, showed off iOS 7 with a palette of pastels at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year.
Facebook Aims to 'Friend' the World - With Benefits
August 21, 2013
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday launched Internet.org, a project with a goal no less lofty than to provide Internet access to everyone on the planet. With other founding members including Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, the project aims to develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online.
Dismal Quarter Sheds No Light on Dell's Murky Future
August 16, 2013
Dell posted its Q2 earnings report Thursday, reporting a 72 percent drop in net income. The report comes in the throes of a long-running battle for Dell's future. Founder and CEO Michael Dell is leading an effort to take the company private through a $25 billion deal, but activist shareholder Carl Icahn has come out strongly against it, suggesting an alternate plan.
Steve Jobs Must Have Had the Worst Best Friend Ever
August 15, 2013
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison seems to think Apple is doomed now that Steve Jobs is gone. He essentially said so, publicly, to master interviewer Charlie Rose. He did it with a passively dramatic raising and lowering of his finger. My first reaction was that Ellison -- undeniably one of the most rigorous, ruthless and successful tech CEOs on the planet -- must not have known Steve Jobs all that well.
Elon Musk Blazes Hyperloop Trail
August 13, 2013
Uber-industrialist Elon Musk on Monday released the alpha plans for his proposed Hyperloop high-speed travel system between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Hyperloop will consist of streamlined capsules riding like hovercraft on an air cushion in a steel tube with solar arrays on its roof to provide power to the system. The tube will be supported every 100 feet by pylons.
RAPIRO: This Little Robot Likes Raspberry Pi
August 13, 2013
A variety of factors can propel a Kickstarter project to funding success, but there's no denying that the sheer seductiveness of the product is a big one. Case in point: RAPIRO. Short for RAspberry PI RObot, RAPIRO is a super-cute humanlike mini-robot now being offered as a kit on Kickstarter. When assembled, it can walk on its feet, grip items in its hands and swivel its head and waist.
Mr. Bezos Goes to Washington
August 06, 2013
News that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is acquiring The Washington Post shook the publishing world on Monday. He is buying the paper for $250 million in cash. Bezos is making the acquisition as an individual -- the Post is not to be part of Amazon's vast array of products and services. Much is being said about this sale epitomizing the demise of print journalism's golden era.
Yahoo Puts on 50 New Thinking Caps
August 03, 2013
Yahoo plans to breathe some new life into its research and development lab by hiring 50 new PhDs by the end of the year. Spearheaded by CEO Marissa Mayer, the initiative already has resulted in 30 researchers joining the lab, with an additional 20 anticipated by the end of 2013. Yahoo is looking for new hires in mobile, Big Data and other specialties.
VuPack Camera Mount Puts You Back in the Picture
July 26, 2013
One of the most fundamental keys to garnering interest in a democratically funded project is to propose something that people are going to seriously want. Wishy-washy concepts won't cut it -- it's got to be seductive. The svelte Pebble smartwatch is a good example of this funding technique, and it raised millions on Kickstarter. The Ouya video game console is another.
SolePower: Stepping Away From the Grid
July 12, 2013
Here's a charging method that could make a lot of sense. It's one that isn't reliant on the sun to convert solar radiation into power; it also isn't reliant on heavy batteries for its mojo. Instead, SolePower's Kickstarter project aims to generate power kinetically with each step you take. That's via a shoe insert, specifically, and it uses the same principle as a hand-crank flashlight.
Monkey Light Pro: Bicycle Bling - at a Hefty Price
June 28, 2013
If you've been anywhere near Mid-City or central parts of baked-concrete urban Los Angeles in the last few years, you may have noticed the Midnight Ridazz, a large social bike group who generally ride in the evening and at night -- often en masse. This group of bicycle enthusiasts have been whizzing around the streets of LA in the dark since 2004 and make an impressive sight.
In Space, No One Can Hear PayPal Cha-Ching
June 27, 2013
It was once virtually unthinkable for a company to operate on a global scale, but if a recent move by PayPal is any indication, this small planet of ours may soon be just the beginning. In fact, PayPal on Thursday announced the launch of PayPal Galactic, an initiative that's designed to address the upcoming need for universal payments from space.
2 Years Later, HP's Botched Palm Acquisition Still Stings
June 13, 2013
Former Palm CEO and webOS creator Jon Rubinstein is apparently still brooding over Palm's acquisition by HP. Two years later, he looks back at what HP did with webOS -- or rather what it didn't do -- and he is very disappointed, he said in a recent interview. When HP acquired Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010, it did indeed look as though webOS was destined for great things.
What's Riding on Jony Ive's iOS Redesign
May 30, 2013
Jonathan Ive, the famed knight and industrial designer of the world's most admired Apple gadgets, has his work cut out for him. On the surface, he's the guy at Apple who's going to get rid of the hideous green felt that is our Game Center iOS app and the yellow lined notebook paper in the Notes app, along with other silly skeuomorphic designs in iOS.
Joe Tucci's Magic Turnaround Formula
May 13, 2013
I've been focused on and off on turnarounds since I covered IBM's from the inside out in the 1990s, so I don't know how I missed this, but EMC2's turnaround was clearly a success, and its unique resulting organizational structure is incredibly subtle. The company is actually far more similar in breadth to HP than most folks realize, largely because they mix up EMC and EMC2.

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