Boston Wraps Up Its Best Venture Capital Quarter Since 2009

In Boston startups managed to haul in over $1.two billion in venture financing in 142 offers for the last quarter, marking the strongest fundraising environment for Boston tech start ups since back in 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 start ups in the city are flourishing in various sectors. One need only look at Boston’s start up map on Techscene to see how robust the tech ecosystem in Boston remains. And, as with San Francisco, start up businesses are moving back from the exurbs to take up space in the greater metropolitan area .

Beyond Wayfair’s substantial round, start ups like the data storage company Actifio managed to join the billionaire club for start ups; 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 start ups 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.

Netflix reveals it will begin to stream 4K TV

4K Tv is finally here……Well kind of anyway. The streaming company Netflix is now onto the 2nd season of House of Cards in the new 4K/Ultra HD format. Even so, your Television still needs to be able 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.

HDTVtest.com adds that the further resolution stream shines with “bright, colorful scenes” adding that the photos were “rendered with greater sharpness and smoother gradients.” Still, the streams bitrates are only around 15 Mbps, 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 offer a clearer image.

Micro 3D printer hits 1 million mark within a day

The Micro 3D , a low-cost 3D printer that’s targeting the mainstream user, has rocketed past $1 million in pledges on crowd sourcing website Kickstarter just one day after launching the campaign . The Micro maker’s fundraising target was just $50,000 which— was pledged in the first 11 minutes. The small 7.3 in³ cube is being built by M3D, a team  in Bethesda in the US . 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 continuing to roll in —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 as it was designed to be, comprising a 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 — and so 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. With $1M and counting in their Kickstarter account as well as 28 days left on the campaign,— they are looking well placed. “We’ll… be growing the M3D team and operations base to deliver The Micro to you as early as possible”.

Cloudyn can help your business to manage Cloud costs

Many companies are moving into the cloud these days, nonetheless according to cloud monitoring and optimization company Cloudyn, what’s missing for many of them is insights into how their unique business is working with a range of cloud services and what the associated costs are. Cloudyn 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.

The service is aimed at large finance and IT groups to help them more easily map their cloud deployments costs at the departmental level. This need to help them to get more insight into how their business units use the cloud. Using the tool, distinct business departments 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. “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.”

Create your own photobook right on your smartphone

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 £19.99€, and taxes & shipping are included in the cost. That is a bit pricier than Mosaic (£14). The company, whose app has been download on just below a million occasions so far, is now growing at around 25% month-on-month, and is further bootstrapped for the time being as the company is very cost-effective.

Wattpad receives huge Series B funding

Wattpad the social network 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.

The Wattpad network has around 23 million monthly active users, says CEO and founder Allen Lau, which is up from  6 million around the last time they raised some 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 start ups nowadays).

Wattpad users spend a cumulative total of over 6 billion minutes a 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 start up would like to capitalize on that. Toronto offers an exceptionally distinctive & multilingual talent pool to draw from to make that happen, he notes. Wattpad accommodate any new hires coming off of this round. Wattpad continues to draw interest from top-tier investors & grow its network. Lau’s tip is to watch this space for new mobile product developments.

Google Android TV images are leaked

After the success of Chromecast, Google is reportedly planning Android Tv. Even though it has just launched the Chromecast in Britain, Google is about to assault our living rooms with Android Tv. . 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 smart watches .

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. Google is recommending developers use the latter sparingly. The fight for the living room is getting hotter!

Parcels from Uber now sent via new courier

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 TaskRabbit or Postmates

4k camera added to Sony Alpha 7 digital cameras

Sony has added 4K video to its Alpha 7 line of mirrorless digital cameras. The Alpha 7S can shoot in 4K with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. The palm size camera has a 12.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS full-frame sensor, meaning it is the same size as a standard 35 mm film frame.  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 from 1/8000 to 30 seconds and a body-only weight of 446 grams. The camera follows in the tracks of Sony’s Alpha 7.

Issue with AT & T broadband service

AT&T’s U-verse broadband service Monday that a few clients stated affected each Television & Net service. “Earlier today, a power-related issue triggered a loss of a lot of Tv channels for U-verse clients,” AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel stated by means of email around midday, Pacific Time. “Technicians worked to swiftly resolve the difficulty & about 95 percent of impacted channels are restored, with remaining channels coming back up. We apologize for this inconvenience.” Comments from the carrier’s @uverse Twitter account earlier had said the difficulty apparently knocked out national Television channels. But countless commenters on Twitter & user forums stated they had lost U-verse World wide web and local Television service as well.

A variety of mentioned the service interruption had lasted about 3 hours. User reports of outages rose sharply soon after 10 a.m. Eastern Time and peaked at 2,608 reports about an hour later, in accordance with Downdetector.com , which monitors social media and other sources for info about online service failures. The level of incoming reports had dropped below 300 by about 1 p.m. Eastern Time. AT&T declined to comment on World wide web outages that subscribers reported. U-verse is AT&T’s high-speed Web and Television service, which is delivered primarily over so-known as “fiber to the curb,” with traditional copper lines running from the fiber hub to houses & businesses.

AT&T advertises more than 510 Tv channels and World-wide-internet plans ranging from 3Mbps (bits per second) to 45Mbps downstream.