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Nokia Launches Fund to Invest in Smart Vehicles
May 05, 2014
Nokia has created a $100 million fund earmarked for investing in firms that specialize in connected and smart vehicles. The move comes days after the Finnish firm forked over its handset unit to Microsoft. Nokia already has a mapping-and-location company called "Here." The new fund will be designed to support the growth of the ecosystem around Here's mapping and location products and services.
Microsoft vs. Google: Chasing Butts While Running From Risks
May 05, 2014
Google and Microsoft are positioned against each other as primary competitors, and that could mean trouble. I remember past dynamics similar to theirs that didn't end well for either company. Apple focused on IBM (the 1984 ad) and didn't see Microsoft coming. Microsoft focused on AOL and didn't see the Internet coming. Intel focused on AMD so much it missed both Transmeta and ARM.
The Calm Before 2014's Tech Storm: Apple Will Bring the Rain
May 01, 2014
There's a lot shaping up for Apple this year, and it's going to be wild. In fact, there's so much going on at Infinite Loop in Cupertino these days that it makes me believe that 2014 will be the first post-Steve Jobs year when Apple -- in the eyes of the broader tech world -- stops dancing around and finally brings the rain. For starters, the iPhone will get a bigger screen.
MIT Goes Bitcoin-Wild
May 01, 2014
MIT's Bitcoin Club plans to distribute $100 worth of bitcoin to each of its 4,528 incoming undergraduates this fall, in an attempt to create an ecosystem for digital currencies at the institution. Club founder and president Dan Elitzer and sophomore Jeremy Rubin have raised more than $500,000 for the MIT Bitcoin Project from MIT alumni, as well as the Bitcoin community.
Amazon Opens Wearable Tech Outpost
April 30, 2014
AAmazon on Tuesday opened the doors to its Wearable Technology store, a website that sells products in the emerging market. Brands hawking their wares include Samsung, Jawbone and GoPro as well as newcomers like Narrative and Bionym. The site is divided into product categories including martwatches, fitness and wellness, healthcare, wearable cameras, and family, kids and pets.
Nod's Ring May Be Smart but Not Precious
April 29, 2014
Nod Labs on Tuesday jumped into the wearable tech market with a ring device that's designed to serve as a universal controller. Featuring Broadcom Bluetooth Smart and Nexus-Trellis software, Nod's namesake wearable input device is designed to offer touchless interaction with set-top boxes and other connected home devices without the need for remotes or cameras.
Praying Mantises Sport the World's Smallest 3D Glasses
April 29, 2014
What might be the world's smallest 3D glasses have been developed for praying mantises. People, horses, falcons, cats, monkeys and even toads have 3D vision -- but until 1983, everyone thought that invertebrates didn't, because their brains were so small and simple. That year, Samuel Rossel of the University of Zurich in essence said that mantises had 3D vision.
littleBits Goes a Long Way
April 25, 2014
Space fans the world over long have dreamed of exploring the universe for themselves, but a new, 12-module kit from NASA and littleBits aims to give enthusiasts a way to bring the thrill of space exploration closer to home. The new littleBits Space Kit, launched on Thursday, includes an assortment of electronic modules and NASA-designed projects and activities.
France Mulls Banning GPS-Enabled Driver-Finding Apps
April 25, 2014
The French government is considering a ban on GPS-enabled apps that allow would-be passengers to track down nearby drivers. The issue is being fueled by irked taxi unions that increasingly are frustrated with -- and helpless against -- ride-sharing apps. Thus has the government drafted recommendations that include banning services that display maps showing available cars.
Apple's Story: Passion, Patience and Pressure
April 25, 2014
True, market-changing, life-changing innovation comes from three key elements: passion, patience and pressure. Apple is the poster child for this view of innovation. Especially now. Especially when Apple is simply selling millions of profitable iPhones and MacBooks and iPads, quarter after quarter -- after quarter -- with few truly "new" products to show off.
The Incredible Shrinking Technology
April 24, 2014
We are constantly moving. From a morning meeting to a lunch date to an afternoon conference call, we are always on the go and so are our technology devices. They are with us every step of the way, acting as our personal assistants, communicators and life-savers. We are shifting from using static, desktop devices to portable devices in order to accommodate our lightspeed lifestyle.
Lytro's New Shoot Now, Focus Later Camera Targets Prosumers
April 23, 2014
The folks who introduced the masses to ex post facto focusing upped their game Tuesday with the introduction of a new camera aimed at shooters who take their photography seriously. The Illum, by Lytro, contains an updated version of the company's innovative Light Field engine, which allows the focus in a photo to be manipulated after it's shot.
Wearables Just Don't Do It for Nike
April 22, 2014
Nike appears to be retreating from its vanguard position in the computer wearables market. The company reportedly has begun slashing the engineering team working on its FuelBand product, a fitness computer that can be worn on a wrist, laying off as many as 55 of the 70-person team working on FuelBand. However, Nike subsequently insisted the FuelBand was still an important part of its business.
Transcendence and Analytics: What If the End of Mankind as We Know It Were a Good Thing?
April 21, 2014
I saw the movie Transcendence last week, and it was an impressive telling of what might happen were we to achieve singularity. Given this is likely where AI research is taking us and that analytics is a major component to getting there, I not only recommend the movie as entertainment but also as a means to wrapping your head around what we must correct before we take that next big step.
Americans Find Future Tech Both Fascinating and Frightening
April 17, 2014
The pace of technological change is getting faster, and many Americans are optimistic about the results, although a sizable minority are concerned, Pew Research has found. Nearly 60 percent think technological and scientific advances will make life in the future better, but 30 percent fear they will make life worse than it is today. Designer babies and robot caregivers sparked major anxiety.
Chinese Company Creates 3D-Printed Houses
April 17, 2014
Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, a Shanghai-based company, has created 10 3D-printed houses. Each house reportedly cost less than $5,000 and took less than 24 hours to construct. The printer used to create the homes was about 100 feet long, 33 feet wide and more than 20 feet tall. The "ink" was made from high-grade cement and glass fiber.
Samsung Strikes Deal With Fellow Apple Patent Foe
April 16, 2014
Samsung, longtime patent foe of Apple, will partner with Swiss Federal Railways, another -- unlikely -- Apple patent foe. While the deal itself may not be groundbreaking -- Samsung will supply the state-owned rail company with 30,000 mobile devices -- it is interesting given both parties' litigious background with Apple. Samsung's court battles with Apple have been documented ad nauseum.
FBI May Pick Out Your Face in a Crowd
April 16, 2014
The FBI is planning to have a fully operational facial recognition system in place by this summer and may be well on its way to reaching that goal. The system will be able to query a database of photos to identify individuals based on their appearance even if they do not have a criminal record, reported Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Fun and Angst With Google Glass
April 15, 2014
Google Glass, which has been the focus of considerable controversy, went on sale Tuesday -- for one day only -- at $1,500, with Android KitKat and new features that include improved battery life, photo bundles, photo replies and voice command sorting. However, one feature -- video calling -- has been eliminated because fewer than 10 percent of Explorer beta users employed it.
Drone Wars: Google Snatches Titan From Facebook's Grasp
April 15, 2014
Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, a drone maker that could help its efforts to improve Internet access worldwide. Facebook reportedly was interested in buying the company itself. Titan makes high altitude drones that Google could use in a variety of ways as it works to increase Internet connectivity. Titan's technology has plenty of room for growth, Titan said.

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