The TechCrunch wrecking ball is smashing into Boston as startups in the city are coming off their finest quarter in years. Boston-based startups managed to haul in over $1.two billion in venture financing in 142 offers for the quarter, marking the strongest fundraising environment for Boston tech startups since 2009. Taking the pole position in Boston’s tech resurgence is the online home furnishing retailer Wayfair, which raised $157 million ahead of a planned original public offering later this year. The company is a bit of an outlier in Boston’s technology scene, where biotech, clean technology, & life sciences startups have hoovered up most of the massive financing rounds in recent years. Still the company’s success plus the recent public providing for Care.com hold out the promise of a brand new wave of consumer-facing tech innovation coming out of Beantown. And while the Care public offering caused consternation in a number of corners over Boston’s tech scene and the coverage it receives, the startups in the city are flourishing in various sectors. One need only look at Boston’s startup map on Techscene to see how robust the tech ecosystem in Boston remains. And, as with San Francisco, startup businesses are moving back from the exurbs to take up space in the greater metropolitan area . Beyond Wayfair’s substantial round, startups like the data storage company Actifio managed to join the billionaire club for startups; while application checking company, uTest , and the security company Bit9 also raised large new rounds of funding. In truth, fewer than half of the companies among the top ten startups by capital commitment in the very first quarter were from the life sciences sector, which points to the potential for diversity among the city’s tech scene. Photo by means of Flickr user Emmanuel Huybrechts
4K Tv is here. Kind of. Netflix is now streaming the 2nd season of House of Cards & some nature documentaries in 4K/Ultra HD format. Even so obviously, your Television has to support the higher resolution to get the most from the extra pixel count. Programs accessible for viewing in 4K will crop up with the Ultra HD 4K label. Netflix verified to Multichannel News that the company is now streaming a few titles in the higher resolution. At the moment, Netflix is limiting 4k streaming to only TVs with Netflix and HEVC/H.265 decoding capabilities built in. HDTVtest.com notes that the further resolution stream honestly shines with “bright, colorful scenes” adding that the photos were “rendered with greater sharpness and smoother gradients.” Still, the bitrate of these streams are only around 15 Mbps so while the picture will be superior to HD Netflix, this flavor of 4K isn’t a accurate demonstration of the further resolution. HDTVtest.com adds that to their trained eyes, quite a few Blu-ray titles nonetheless offer a cleaner image. The finest is but to come.
The Micro , a low-cost 3D printer that’s targeting a mainstream consumer user, has blasted past $1 million in crowdfunding pledges on Kickstarter a day after launching its campaign . The Micro maker’s original fundraising target of $50,000 was pledged in just 11 minutes . The small 7.three in³ cube is being built by M3D, a team in Bethesda, MD . The printer has a print layer resolution of between 50 and 350 microns, along with a print region of 4.6 x 4.2 x 4.4?. M3D priced the 1st 250 pledges at $199, helping to drive early momentum to the campaign. The cost has since risen to $299 although the pledges are nonetheless rolling in & have taken the committed funds past the $1 million mark in the past few minutes. The Micro does not offer sophisticated functionality. Which is especially the point. It’s cheap and cheerful, comprising a bare-bones box that can hide the spool of filament in use in its base. Calibration and leveling is built into the printer head so the user does not are obliged to bother themselves with such particulars. The companion software being developed for the Micro likewise focuses on hiding complexity, with a drag and drop interface that is being developed for touchscreen use. But clearly the sweet-spot here is the cost. At $199 the printer was a steal & at that price point, as my TC colleague John Biggs noted , it was likely a loss leader. At $299 the Micro’s makers need to be getting a margin and clients are clearly getting a 3D printer at a cost they like. Or they will be, if M3D can deliver. But with $1M and counting in their Kickstarter coffers as well as a full 28 days left on their campaign to run they are looking well placed to make fantastic on their own pledges (which, since passing the original Kickstarter funding aim, include expanding their own team to get the Micro out to backers as soon as feasible). “We’ll… be growing the M3D team & operations base to deliver The Micro to you as early as probable,” they note.
Lots of enterprises are moving to the cloud, nonetheless according to cloud monitoring and optimization service Cloudyn , what’s missing for many of them is insights into how their unique business units are working with a range of cloud services & how much they are paying for them. The company argues that C-level executives need more detailed insight into departmental, workgroup & user-based cloud activities than present solutions can offer. To remedy this issue, Cloudyn is launching its Enterprise Chargeback Edition today. This service is aimed at enterprise finance and IT groups to help them more easily map their cloud costs to deployments at the departmental level. This need to help them to get more insight into how their business units use the cloud & the way to optimize their cloud activities. Using the tool, distinct business units can get their own distinctive views to certain cloud accounts that are pertinent to them and then manage their usage and expense accordingly. Finance and IT teams and managers can also break expenses down to appropriate business units or cost centers & ascertain which units are driving expenses. “With all of the varying pricing models for a number of cloud vendors, we comprehend that cloud expense management is a fair challenge for our enterprise consumer base,” mentioned Sharon Wagner, CEO of Cloudyn, in a statement today. “As a result, we are really pleased to make available this industry-first solution that offers clear insights into how enterprises can spend less on their cloud purchase.”
Printic , the smartphone application that lets you order Polaroid-like photograph prints with your own custom captions, is now expanding its product lineup to also include photo books. The books are comparable in style to those from competitor Mosaic (owned by Mixbook), with a black linen hardcover & cut-out windows on the front, permitting you a sneak peek at some of the photos inside. The Paris-based startup, founded by Benjamin Grelié, Florent Malbranche & Nicolas Reboud, has been bit by bit enhancing their Printic app in the months since its 2012 debut. It now offers boxes of “printics,” as it calls its mini-pictures, as well as calendars, in addition to the new book. Like the prints, the book also ships in an appealing orange box, which makes it feel more like a gift – as countless photograph book orders today are, of course. You can pick out 20 photos to be featured in its 24 pages, after which with an editor, you can tap & hold photos to rearrange the order, crop photos, or tap on a color picker to customize the pages’ background. Photographs are printed on high-end glossy paper, & can include those not only from your Camera Roll or Gallery, but from social networks like Instagram & Facebook. In the future, the company will give consideration to offering additional themes, stickers and caption controls as options, if users demand them, but for now, explains co-founder Malbranche, the thought was to “develop a uncomplicated tool and see how men and women react.” While the book is, as noted above, reminiscent of those Mosaic sells today, nevertheless the customization options it offers now and in the future will be a differentiating factor. Mosaic’s larger vision is that men and women don’t have time to create out picture books, specifically from mobile devices, so its service is more automated. Furthermore, adds Malbranche, “we also wanted to supply Europe and Asia with such a tool – we didn’t have any book making app so far,” he says. (Printic’s books are also available in North America.) The books sell for $29.90 / 24,90, and taxes & shipping are included in the cost. That is a bit pricier than Mosaic ($20), however Mosaic’s flat rate doesn’t incorporate the tax & shipping charges. The company, whose app has been download just below a million occasions to date, is now growing at around 30% month-over-month, & is nonetheless bootstrapped for the time being as the company is cost-effective.
Social writing platform and writer’s network Wattpad has been at it for a while now, & they’ve quietly amassed a enormous user base that engages commonly with the site, posting their own stories and reading the stories of others, all the while engaging with one an additional by way of feedback, criticism and assistance. Now, the startup has raised a Series C round of funding worth $46 million, led by OMERS Ventures, and including August Capital, Raine Ventures & Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund, and all the company’s existing investors. Wattpad has around 25 million monthly active users on its network, in accordance with CEO and founder Allen Lau, which is up from users in just 6 or seven million around the last time they raised funding, a $17.3 million Series B back in June 2012. Lau is maybe more excited by the site’s progress in terms of engagement, which they measure by time spent on site (a more reliable metric than a lot of the softer ones put forward by startups nowadays). Wattpad users spend a cumulative total of over six billion minutes per month on the network, Lau tells me, which is up from just 1 billion minutes per month on site in February 2012 . “To give quite a few notion of how much content users are posting on Wattpad, they’re uploading one chapter every half a 2nd,” Lau explained. “Thats about 150,000 uploads every day, & in case you translate that to reading time, that’s about 10 hours of reading uploaded to Wattpad every minute.” That’s what led Wattpad to translate the appetite for publishing on the platform into a method to generate profits for the platform by means of crowdfunding books set up by the network’s authors . The crowdfunding effort debuted back in August of last year, & Lau says that while the pilot experiment is now concluded, that does not mean it is gone away for good. “Those experiments went pretty well, all the jobs met their goals,” Lau stated. “We’re in the process of adjusting the specifics of Fan Funding, and are looking forward to the subsequent evolution of the project.” In the meantime, Wattpad nonetheless drives several revenue through search, but Lau emphasized that for now at least, the focus remains on growing its user group, instead of on unlocking the profit potential of the network. To do that, it intends to use this funding to hire more product developers & supplementary staff to help grow & manage the community. Lau says they’re focusing on hiring in their hometown of Toronto, which is uniquely positioned to foster the kind of growth Wattpad is trying to find. That is since Wattpad is hoping to boost their international expansion. At the moment, 50 % of Wattpad’s network & activity comes from outside North America, plus the startup would like to capitalize on that. Toronto offers an exceptionally distinctive & multilingual talent pool to draw from to make that happen, he notes. A brand new, spacious workplace opening soon in downtown Toronto need to help Wattpad accommodate any new hires coming off of this round. Wattpad continues to draw interest from top-tier investors & grow its network. Lau says to watch for new product developments, especially on mobile, to help pave the way for the subsequent evolution of the company through 2014.
74,457 News Articles By Jason Snell | Tech Hive US | 07 April 14 There’s a lot to like about “Silicon Valley,” the comedy series that premiered Sunday night on HBO. Series creator Mike Judge brings the same absurdist social commentary vibe that served him so well in the cult film “Workplace Space.” & let’s face it–tech-industry culture could be so especially strange that satirizing it is like shooting fish in a barrel. The show opens with Kid Rock wrapping up a efficiency on stage, only for a wide shot to reveal that he’s playing for a couple of dozen individuals, most of whom are not paying him any attention. It is an exaggeration, sure, however I’ve seen significant-name rock acts playing to disinterested crowds of computer programmers plenty of times, and the show nails just how ridiculous it feels. The industry’s unnecessary displays of wealth & inflated sense of self-significance are at the heart of what “Silicon Valley” skewers, so is it any wonder that some actual tech billionaires are uncomfortable concerning the entire factor? I know I laughed out loud at the show’s portrayal of a tech executive who claims that he’s “making the world a better place” (complete with a Photoshopped picture of the executive in Africa) when in reality his company is just “constructing elegant hierarchies for maximum code reuse & extensibility.” Programmers making life less complicated for other programmers is more or less like curing malaria, right? The joke’s so outstanding, the episode recycles it–later the Google-like company Hooli is talked over as “transforming the world as we know it by means of minimal message-oriented transport layers.” There’s also a wonderful, Ballmer-esque moment, when a startup CEO shouts “I love our integrated multiplatform functionality! Yeah!” into a microphone. “Now here’s my fantastic buddy Kid Rock!” Nobody believes anything the guy says–yet the guy might be so deluded that he believes it himself. (He’s celebrating because his company just got paid for out by Google for $200 million. I’d wager that if Judge was shooting this same episode today, he’d make it a cool $10 billion. $200 million is chump modify for 2014′s immense tech players.) Since Sunday’s episode, ” Minimum Viable Product ,” is the show’s premiere, it spends a whole lot of time introducing us to our cast of characters. At the enter is Richard (Thomas Middleditch), a shy programmer who works at Hooli through the day & is creating his own site at night. Richard is living in a “tech incubator” run by Ehrilich Bachman (T.J. Miller), who sold his company for millions and now wanders around wearing How To Meet Ladies t-shirts. Richard’s pals are Big Head (Josh Brener), Gilfoyle (the delightful Martin Starr, who you could keep in mind from “Freaks and Geeks”), & Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani). Turns out that Richard’s site, Pied Piper, has a terrible elevator pitch but a number of excellent underlying programming. Hence begins the bidding war between 2 tech billionaires. Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), who runs Hooli & consults with a “spiritual adviser,” wants to acquire the whole company out from below him. Meanwhile, tech visionary Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) wants to purchase 5 percent of the company & grow to be Richard’s mentor. Belson is a scary, Larry Ellison-like figure who orders his flocks of flunkies around with ease. “I love what you did,” he tells Richard, and then pivots to a subordinate: “Fill him in, Jerry.” Gregory, but, is a loopy Silicon Valley visionary who gives a TED Speak about getting everybody to drop out of university. In its bright, broad strokes & be open to of geeky characters, the show’s tone genuinely reminds me of a parade of nerdy ’80s movies, like “WarGames” and “Real Genius” and “Weird Science.” “Genuine Genius” is 1 of my favorite movies, so that is a compliment. However, from time to time I are obliged to wonder if the show’s satirizing the tech industry’s failings or just falling into the same traps. Of the show’s 9 main characters, there’s only 1 woman–Monica (Amanda Crew), Peter Gregory’s assistant. She’s a excellent character–actually, Monica’s genuinely the first one to realize the value of Richard’s Pied Piper algorithm–though she’s also only one of two female characters who speak in the complete episode. Early on in the episode, one of the characters jokes that silicon-valley parties divide along gender lines in such extreme fashion that they’re more like “hasidic weddings.” As that joke’s falling flat, the characters walk past a single table full of appealing, twentysomething women in black dresses. They are scenery. Later, there is a funnier joke–about a programmer making a breast-focused app due to the fact “that is what men and women need”–so the show clearly wants to comment on the adolescent attitudes of people in the sector. Although the lack of female characters in the show, Monica excepted, is troubling. At the end of the episode, Richard recruits his pals to join him in founding his new startup. It is a legendary, inspiring moment, however the only words he can come up with are other firm’s advertising slogans. “Let’s not be like other organizations–let’s think distinctive,” he attempts. “Let’s just do it. Let’s make it take place.” Richard does not want to fall into the same traps as every other silicon valley start-up, but even his first instincts are unoriginal. You can see where the story is probably going to go from here over the seven remaining episodes. Mike Judge has his work cut out for him. The target of “Silicon Valley’s” satire is so over the top itself that it’s nearly impossible for the jokes to be too ridiculous. The fact is, it is more likely that Judge’s wildest dreams for tech excess will not have the ability to keep up with the actual excesses of the sector. In a world where Google is building self-driving robots & attempting to remedy death while Facebook spends billions of dollars on virtual-reality goggles, how broad is too broad?
74,457 News Articles By Chris Martin | PC Advisor | 07 April 14 After the flop of Google TV and the success of the Chromecast , Google is reportedly planning Android Tv. Even though it has just launched the Chromecast in Britain, Google is mounting yet another assault on the living room with Android Tv, in accordance with The Verge . In a similar approach to Apple TV , Amazon Fire TV and Roku players, Android Tv will display content with Google Now style cards & will make recommendations. “Android Television is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform,” says Google. “It is everything about finding & enjoying content with the least level of friction.” It will be “cinematic, fun, fluid, & quick.” “Android Television is Android, optimized for the living room consumption experience on a Television display,” much like Android Wear is Android particularly for wearable devices like smartwatches . Google is asking developers to create astonishingly easy Tv apps to match the logical set-top-box interface. Screenshots show Google apps including Play Movies & Television, YouTube, Play Music & Hangouts; however there is also 3rd party apps like Vevo, Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. Users will also be in a position to download games with Triple Town & Plants vs Zombies 2 shown in screenshots. Content appears to be king with Google stating that “Access to content need to be easy & magical,” with a rule that it will need to not take more than three clicks or gestures from the homescreen to get something going. Android Television will also support voice input and notifications but Google is recommending developers use the latter sparingly. The fight for the living room is getting hotter with LG launching TVs with webOS this year and Philips putting sets on sale with Android built-in. We may see Android Tv unveiled at Google’s I/O developer conference which takes place in June. Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.
74,457 News Articles By Zach Miners | 07 April 14 Not content with delivering men and women to their destination, Uber is now delivering packages as well. The company rolled out a brand new service on Monday known as Rush , which lets people order pickup & delivery of packages employing the Uber app. It’s at first accessible only south of 110th Street in Manhattan, nonetheless Uber says it will enhance that coverage quickly. If the service is prosperous, presumably it will bring it to other cities as well. Packages are delivered by bike messenger or by foot, and users can select a pickup location in the app in much the same way they order a car today. Uber says a messenger will arrive within minutes. The user can then track the location of the package and share that location with the recipient. It could be a wise move by Uber, whose automobile service is already widely accepted among urban professionals — the same kind of individuals that use courier services today. And it piggybacks on the GPS in phones, allowing people to see how far their package has gotten. Uber is just beginning with the service, and it notes that messenger availability will be confined to start. It also cannot guarantee the accuracy of ETAs, and “tracking may pause if a messenger hops on the subway.” Still, it marks a brand new direction for Uber & is the latest example of an in essence offline service being turned into an on-demand mobile app. Uber & its rivals, which includes Lyft and Sidecar, have already turned the taxi business on its head. Uber had apparently planned to announce the service Tuesday nonetheless news began to leak out early, partly because of Uber’s not-so-subtle hints. “We’re rolling out quite a few large news on Tuesday,” Uber stated in a tweet Saturday posted to its New York City Twitter account, featuring a photograph of a bicycle wheel. It has also posted job ads on Craigslist to employ couriers. They will be paid US$20-$30 per hour, the ad says, and be given an iPhone 4S in order to receive delivery orders. There are already apps that help individuals get every day chores done, such as Postmates , WunWun & TaskRabbit . Uber notes that, as opposed to some of those apps, its couriers won’t purchase items for delivery. Zach Miners handles social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers . Zach’s e-mail address is zach email@example.com
74,457 News Articles By Tim Hornyak | 07 April 14 Sony has added 4K video ability to its Alpha 7 line of lightweight interchangeable-lens mirrorless digital cameras. Unveiled at NAB 2014 in Las Vegas, the Alpha 7S can shoot in 4K with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. The palm-sized camera has a 12.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS full-frame sensor, meaning it is the same size as a time-honored 35 mm film frame. Sony said that when used in the 24p/30p 4K film setting, it’s the only full-frame sensor that can read the overall width of the pixel array without pixel binning for video. Pixel binning refers to the process of combining the data from a group of pixels into a single pixel. 24p & 30p refer to video formats with 24 and 30 frames per 2nd, respectively. For photography buffs who like shooting at night, the camera also has a sensitivity range that extends from ISO 50 to 409600, allowing users to capture clear videos in very low light conditions. Indoor, poorly lit sporting events, which would demand a high shutter speed with low noise, are one scenario where the Alpha 7S would excel, based on Sony. Since the 7S has a fairly minimal footprint, recording in 4K video requires an external 3rd-party 4K recorder by way of an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) link. The camera can record to a compatible memory card at full HD with 1920 by 1080 resolution at frame rates of 60p, 60i, 30p and 24p. For those who need to deliver slow-motion effects, switching to APS-C (Advanced Photograph Program type C), a smaller image sensor format than full frame, will allow it to capture footage at 120 frames per 2nd at standard HD resolution. The shooter has shutter speeds ranging from 1/8000 to 30 seconds, a 25-point autofocus procedure and a body-only weight of 446 grams. Sony has not however announced pricing or availability for the Alpha 7S. The camera follows in the tracks of Sony’s Alpha seven, which has a 24.3-megapixel sensor, plus the Alpha 7R, which has a 36.4-megapixel sensor. Sony’s online retail outlet lists the bodies of the Alpha seven & 7R for US$1,699 and $2,299, respectively.