LogEntries Secures $10M Led By Polaris Ventures To Scale Log Management For SMEs

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Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 02.04.26

Last year LogEntries secured a $1.1M seed round led by Polaris Venture Partners. Similar to Splunk, which has IPO’d, LogEntries collects and analyzes huge quantities of machine-generated log data, helping companies track their application logs. But unlike Splunk, which works with big enterprise or ‘the Fortune 500′, LogEntries wants to go after SMEs, or ‘the Fortune 5 million’.

To that end it’s now received $10 million in Series A financing, once again led by Polaris Partners, and participated in by Floodgate, RRE Ventures and new local Irish firm Frontline Ventures. It’s also named Andrew Burton as president and CEO. SaaS Veteran Burton previously held executive roles through two startup IPO’s. LogEntries will use the funds to accelerate product development and expand.

LogEntries claims to have no complex query language and can identify and alert on significant events in a company’s data. The real-time search solution works across the entire software stack and was founded by Dr. Trevor Parsons and Dr. Viliam Holub. It also plugs into Heroku.

Log management systems are notorious for requiring complex technical skills, but instead uses a “collective intelligence” model deal with the data and turn it into actionable insights. The real-time search solution works across the entire software stack was founded by Dr. Trevor Parsons and Dr. Viliam Holub.

Founded in 2010, LogEntries emerged from University College Dublin’s Performance Engineering Laboratory after a decade of joint research with IBM. With support from Launchpad, UCD’s Nova Innovation Center and financial support from Enterprise Ireland, LogEntries was incubated in Dogpatch Labs, Dublin. Polaris backs Dogpatch in Dublin and SF.

Zara launches Russian e-commerce site

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Zara launches Russian e-commerce site

Zara.ru’s new Russian homepage.

One decade after it first entered the Russian market, fashion retailer Zara launched online sales in the country this past summer. Based on the brand’s international IT platform, the site’s functions and design do not differ from those offered to Zara aficionados in 21 other countries where online sales are also available (Western Europe, North America, Poland, China, and Japan).

Russians can settle their online purchases by cash on delivery — which is the rule in Russian e-commerce as far as physical goods are concerned — or by bank card or via Qiwi Wallet, a popular Russian electronic currency.

Qiwi’s cash-in kiosks and virtual currently WebMoney can also be used, even though these payment methods are are mysteriously difficult to locate on Zara’s site. Neither Yandex.Money, the most popular Russian e-currency, nor PayPal, which has just been introduced for domestic operations, are offered.

Zara promises to deliver purchases anywhere in Russia in two to seven business days, depending on the area. This promise is unlikely to be fulfilled in many small Russian cities since the only delivery option available is the Russian Post, which delivers parcels in weeks rather than days.

Inditex, Zara’s mother company, first entered Russia in 2003, during a period of strong commercial expansion. Zara was the first brand to arrive in Russia, which was followed progressively by Inditex’s seven other retail formats. All eight brands are currently present in Russia: Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home, and Uterqüe, with a total of 355 stores in more than 30 cities, Zara’s press service told East-West Digital News.

However, the press service declined to comment on online sales.

With the exception of mail order companies such as La Redoute, the Otto Group, or Yves Rocher, which began developing online business in the late 2000s, Western retailers were absent fom the Russian e-commerce scene until very recently. Auchan’s online sales, launched in 2010, have been limited so far to a few product categories.In early 2012, Benetton discreetly started online operations under the brand TheStore.ru. However, many players are now preparing their online migration.

This story originally appeared on www.ewdn.com.


Copper.io Buys Video Platform Pandastream, The Sixth Acquisition For The Cloud Management Startup

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Most startups grow by developing apps, services, platforms — you name it. They find their way and then they lose their way. They pivot, find success or they fail.

Copper.io, a provider of cloud management tools, took a pivot that did not require changing product features. Instead, Copper.io took a path that most larger companies follow when they need to diversify their offerings. They started making acquisitions. The startup’s latest is Pandastream, a video platform that runs on AWS and supports multiple video codecs. The service allows for streaming to iOS and Android platforms, adjusted to the speed of the connected device. It has customers such as SAP, MIT and McCann Worldgroup.

In its beginnings, Copper.io offered a cost analytics tool for cloud services. In a Skype interview tonight, CEO Ed Byrne said the service was a bit before its time and so they turned to their customers, asking about their developer stacks:

It became obvious there was a nearly standard set of ‘things to do’ and it was a bit of a pain to set up these tools every time you deploy an app – so we are trying to solve that by building and buy the best of breed tools for the modern app stack – and then integrating them so a developer can get up and going much faster. We also feel like PaaS platforms are great to get started, but if you consider the S curve of the development lifecycle – PaaS starts great but doesn’t stay with users when they start scaling. We want to be there for the whole lifecycle.

The company has done six acquisitions in the past four months as part of its effort to build out it cloud management platform. It chooses companies according to the feedback they get from developers. “What’s your stack?” is the question they ask.  Here’s what has resulted. A portfolio of companies that Byrne said cost a bit more than $1 million:

  • CloudVertical: The company’s first app, a tool that measures performance of cloud apps.
  • Twist.io: An alert notification service designed for developers and IT.
  • PandaStream: The company’s latest acquisition serves developers adding video into their apps.
  • PointHQ:  The service provides DNS hosting, going by the name PointDNS.
  • Stackful: A collection of pre-baked environments for developers.  It supports Node.js, Meteor and Ruby on Rails through a simple user interface.
  • Statsmix: A dashboard to monitor apps and web sites.

Copper.io provides a single interface for many of the tools used in a modern application stack, Byrne said. The data is shared on the back-end, adding intelligence along the way.

The team from Copper.io comes from a background in hosting, which is evident in how the service works.  The user signs up for a service and is recommended other tools that they add by checking a box. The tools are connected by APIs.

Copper.io is a collection of services but designed based on feedback, which is actually one of the soundest ways to build a startup. If something is not working, the entrepreneur has to figure out what’s wrong and where to take the business. If they don’t then there is little chance of succeeding.

Still, the company is entering a really crowded market. Cloud management and PaaS offerings are numerous. There are the majors like Red Hat OpenShift, Heroku, Engine Yard and Cloud Foundry. There are dozens of smaller players and a group of homegrown, bake your own services that developers are building.<

It’s a tough market to enter but Copper.io’s model makes sense. Apps are everywhere. The question, though is not about their proliferation but really what people want and how the app can connect with other services to provide that service people really need.

Taking First Steps Into Monetization, Viber Messaging App Announces A Sticker Market

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Viber, the app that has promised free messaging and calls to its users since it’s inception, has today announced it’s first step into monetization.

As has been the case with competing apps like WhatsApp, MessageMe, and even Facebook Messenger, Viber plans to use stickers, large clipart-style emoticons and text, to generate revenue.

The company will be creating its own paid content, as well as licensing content from other sources such as television shows, branded characters, etc. Not all of the content within the Sticker Market will be paid, but some of it will be available through in-app purchase.

Viber first introduced stickers back in December of 2012, but has always maintained an entirely free, and ad-free, experience for its users. The Viber Sticker Market will launch “soon” with an update, but the company wouldn’t go into any further detail regarding timing.

Viber would not disclose the split of revenue between the company and the brand or artist licensing the paid stickers, nor would the company share which brands it is working with for launch.

However, Viber did mention that both Viber and the licenser determine the cost of a sticker. Furthermore, we can “definitely” expect more paid features out of Viber in the future, according to founder Talmon Marco.

Remember, shortly after unveiling stickers, Viber launched a doodle feature.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the company monetize further functionality within that feature, like unlocking extra colors or drawing tools.

For now, however, we’ll have to wait and see how the Sticker Market plays out for the messaging app, which has over 200 million users.

YouTube looks to dethrone MTV with its own music awards

This post is by Aaron Souppouris from The Verge - All Posts

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YouTube is set to move into the awards business with its first ever awards ceremony. This November, the Google-owned video giant will hold the YouTube Music Awards, a live event featuring performances from across the globe. Industry stalwarts like Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Arcade Fire, along with YouTube-native stars including CDZA and Lindsey Stirling will perform in London, Seoul, Moscow, and Rio, with the main event taking place in New York City. Jason Schwartzman will host the awards, with Spike Jonze signed up as creative director.

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YouTube gets its own music awards show, Vevo expands to Germany

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YouTube is getting its own music video awards show: The Google-owned video service announced late Monday that it will hold the YouTube Music Awards on November 3 in New York. The event will feature live performances by Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Arcade Fire as well as YouTube stars like Lindsey Stirling, and it’s going to be hosted by Jason Schwartzman, with Spike Jonze being the creative director.

The whole spectacle will unfold as a live stream on YouTube, and the site’s viewers will also have a chance to influence the program of the evening. From YouTube’s blog:

“On October 17, YouTube Music Awards Nominations will be announced based on the videos that you watched and shared over the past year. We’ll then call on you to determine the songs and artists honored, by sharing the nominees across social media so the awards are judged in full view of everyone.”

Notably absent from the announcement was Vevo, the major-label-owned music video platform that has been supplying many of the most-viewed music videos to YouTube. That may not have been a coincidence: YouTube and Vevo have long been frenemies, with both parties trying to get as much as possible out of their relationship while at the same time trying to keep some independence.

Vevo has brought YouTube billions of views, and Google just invested an estimated $40 to $50 million in the company to keep those music videos coming. But at the same time, Vevo has tried to grow revenue elsewhere, like on its own website or in its apps. The service also launched a 24/7 music video live stream off of YouTube in March, and recently said that it will block an upcoming YouTube feature that will allow users to temporarily download videos to their mobile devices.

And Vevo doesn’t stop there: The service also had its own announcement to make Monday night, revealing that it just launched a local version in Germany. It’s the 13th country that gets its own Vevo version, but it’s also more than that: YouTube has been in disputes with German rights holders for years, leading to many of its music videos being blocked to German audiences.

But if YouTube doesn’t have Germany, at least it now got its own music awards. Check out the promo video featuring Jason Schwartzman below:

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Obamacare’s online health insurance exchanges open up as government shuts down

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The federal government may be shut down, but one of the key provisions of health care reform is going into effect as scheduled. The Health Insurance Marketplace, which will bring health care to millions of previously uninsured Americans, is now live. Individuals can begin applying for coverage under the exchanges, with benefits beginning as soon as January 1st. Under the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, individuals are required to carry health insurance, and the exchanges help make that possible. Republicans in the House of Representatives have tried to link the passage of the 2014 budget to a delay in the requirement to purchase health insurance, leading to the standoff that resulted in tonight’s shutdown.

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Amazon hiring 70,000 temp workers to fill holiday online orders

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Amazon hiring 70,000 temp workers to fill holiday online orders


Amazon said this evening that it is hiring 70,000 seasonal workers to fulfill holiday online orders. The world’s largest online retailer said that hiring spree will give it a holiday work force that is 40 percent higher than last year.

The Seattle online retailer said that it converted thousands of seasonal employees into regular, full-time roles after the holidays. It plans to do the same this year.

“So far this year, we have converted more than 7,000 temporary employees in the U.S. into full-time, regular roles and we’re looking forward to converting thousands more after this holiday season,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service. “Each year, seasonal jobs lead to thousands of long-term, full-time roles in our sites–jobs that offer great pay, benefits starting on day one and the chance for employees to further their education through our Career Choice program.”

On average, seasonal employees make 94 percent of Amazon warehouse employee starting wages and are eligible for healthcare benefits. Since the start of the last recession in September 2008, Amazon has added more than 40,000 jobs in the U.S. Those jobs include 401(k), healthcare, stock awards, and tuition payment benefits.

Last year, Amazon said it hired 50,000 seasonal workers for the holiday period. And by “holiday,” we mean Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Ramadan, as well as the one traditionally featuring Santa Claus.

Dylan Tweney contributed to this report.


Email and retail join forces: TellApart acquires AdStack for under $10M

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Email and retail join forces: TellApart acquires AdStack for under $10M

Josh McFarland, TellApart’s CEO

TellApart, a company that helps businesses make the most of their customer data, announced today that it had completed the acquisition of AdStack, a provider of email marketing software.

The companies didn’t publicize the exact terms of the deal, but a spokesperson for TellApart said the total consideration, including stock and cash, was in the single digit millions.

TellApart’s technology helps retailers identify their most profitable customers and deliver targeted offers to them, for both online and retail opportunities, to drive those customers to purchase more. It claims that its tools have driven billions of dollars in incremental revenue for its customer list, which includes Brookstone, CafePress, HauteLook, Hayneedle, Neiman Marcus, REVOLVEclothing, Sur La Table, Warby Parker and Wayfair.

AdStack provides real-time analytics for email marketing campaigns, including A/B testing, personalization, targeting. It would seem to be a very complementary service for a retail commerce personalization and targeting company, and that’s exactly how TellApart sees it. ”Email truly is the godfather of native advertising — commercial messages designed to be consumed as content,” TellApart’s chief executive Josh McFarland wrote in a blog post. “Our dynamic email products are starting with a complementary approach — by joining personalized content with beautiful editorial imagery, we will further the intersection of two major trends: native advertising and the programmatic personalization of ad content.”

AdStack had raised a single seed round of $650,000 and was serving “roughly a dozen” paying customers. It employs six people.

TellApart has raised $17.75 million to date, led by Greylock Partners and Bain Capital, and has 45 employees. SV Angel was the company’s seed investor in July, 2009. TellApart has been profitable for over a year, the spokesperson told VentureBeat, with 50 paying customers at present, although the company has not disclosed its revenues.

“We build hardcore systems that tackle big data challenges for the likes of Nordstrom and Bed Bath & Beyond, and for that, we’re rewarded handsomely,” McFarland told VentureBeat in 2012, when we identified TellApart as one of 10 startups leading the way in big data.

Before starting TellApart in 2009, McFarland was formerly at Google where he spent five years working as a lead product manager on AdWords, Audio Ads and Google’s display ads efforts. The company is based in Burlingame, Calif., about half way between Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

VentureBeat is providing our Mobile Advertising Index report to those who filled out the survey. If you haven’t filled out a survey, and want a copy of the report, contact Jason Spangenthal. Speak with the analyst who put this report together to get more in-depth information, inquire within.


When it comes to online rape threats, Chvrches singer won’t just ‘deal with it’

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Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry is familiar with sexism. She holds a four-year law degree and a master’s in journalism; her dissertation was on how women are portrayed in the media. In her music career so far, she’s found herself turning down opportunities that could have objectified her, emphasizing her femininity over her talent.

But it appears that the internet has objectified her anyhow. Today, she penned an editorial in The Guardian about the rape threats she receives on the band’s Facebook page, and how she came to the conclusion that no person should have to “just deal with” that kind of abuse:

My current favourites from the latter category include:

“This isn’t rape culture. You’ll know rape culture when I’m raping you,…

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Logentries raises $10M to help companies find the data that matters

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Logentries raises $10M to help companies find the data that matters

Logentries helps companies analyze their log data to find the bits that matter

Big data startup Logentries, which just announced a $10 million funding round, wants to help you find the needles in your digital haystack.

The log management and analysis service processes log data for its clients in real time. To separate the most important bits from the deluge of irrelevant data, the company uses a collective intelligence model to filter the information based on telltale “fingerprints” identified by Logentries and its community.

“For example, if the user is running it on Heroku, we’ve worked with Heroku to pre-identify events and then make that expertise available via our service to the Heroku community,” a Logentries representative told VentureBeat.

The startup has more than 1,000 customers across 100 countries. One client is Parallels Software, a virtualization technology company based in Washington state.

“Parallels needed a log management and analytics solution that worked in the cloud and on-premise,” the rep added. “It is mainly used by their engineering team to identify and troubleshoot issues based on the log management insights that Logentries provides, before these issues become actual problems.”

Logentries today announced that it raised a $10 million funding round led by Polaris Partners, with participation from Floodgate, Frontline Ventures, and RRE Ventures. It also named Andrew Burton president and CEO. Burton previously worked at LogMeIn (and before that, Symantec).

Founded in 2010, Logentries emerged from University College Dublin’s Performance Engineering Laboratory after years of joint research with IBM. It raised a $1.1 million seed round in July 2012.


Logentries snags $10M to build out and market its Splunk competitor

This post is by Barb Darrow from GigaOM

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Logentries, a Boston-based log monitoring and management company with roots in Dublin, Ireland, now has $10 million in Series A funding to staff up and start marketing its service for real. It already claims it’s processing 28 billion log events daily from 1,000 paying customers — including The Financial Times, Hailo, Engine Yard and Airbrake in 100 countries.

The company is taking on Splunk and Sumo Logic – no mean feat — but will make the machine data spewed out in computer log files more easily interpreted by non-techies, said company CEO Andrew Burton (pictured above, second from left.) Burton just joined the startup from LogMein where he was SVP of products, after having spent time at IMlogic, now part of Symantec and Groove Networks, now part of Microsoft.

“We want to do to Splunk what [Logmein’s] Joinme did to Webex which is make it easy to use and accessible,” Burton said in an interview. The market opportunity is big enough for all these companies, he said. But there is a real need for a logging tool that is useable by mere mortals, not just programmers and techies.

Logentries - screenThat means helping users find the needle — the outliers or anomalies they seek — in the massive haystack of other data they also get in the process.

As we’ve all heard numerous times, marketing people are getting a much bigger say in how IT dollars are spent and Logentries is focusing on them. “Business people could use Logentries to check into web site log-ins or signups. There’s a huge opportunity in that sort of application long-term,” Burton said.

Company co-founder and Chief Research Officer Trevor Parsons said taking a single stream of machine data that is pre-processed by Logentries and making it available for multiple application types is the end game. Currently marketing sorts typically use Kissmetrics and Optimizely to “instrument out” that data. Logentries’ pitch is that it can do that solo.

The company launched in 2010 out of the University College Dublin’s Performance Engineering Lab and incubated in Dublin’s Dogpatch Labs. The new funding, which comes atop $1 million in seed money, was led by Polaris Ventures with contributions from Floodgate as well as Frontline Ventures and RRE Ventures.

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US government shuts down after Congress fails to agree on budget

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The US government shut down at midnight, after House Republicans refused to budge on their effort to link the passage of the 2014 federal budget to a delay in the implementation of health care reform. When they wake up this morning, 800,000 workers — about 40 percent of the government’s civilian work force — will be temporarily out of a job, while 1 million federal employees will be asked to work without pay.

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Nate Silver to would-be data scientists: Don’t sweat the degree, just do the work

This post is by Barb Darrow from GigaOM

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Nate Silver, the poster boy of data scientists, says the key to success in that field isn’t fancy degrees or tons of book learning — it’s finding data you’re interested in and really digging in, according to a recent Harvard Business Review blog.

Silver, came to fame with his FiveThirtyEight Blog which is moving from The New York TImes to ESPN. With the big data era upon us, there’s been a ton of discussion about what sort of degrees and credentials are needed to get a lucrative data scientist position. Some universities — backed by vendors in need of data scientists — now offer advanced degrees in data science.

So Silver’s contention that education is no substitute for experience is somewhat contrarian. But he stuck to it. “… Getting your hands dirty with the data set is, I think, far and away better than spending too much time doing reading and so forth,” Silver said in a Q&A with HBR’s Walter Frick.

And, in case the point wasn’t clear, he added: “I think the applied experience is a lot more important than the academic experience. It probably can’t hurt to take a stats class in college.”

It’s a a little ironic that this endorsement of self-taught skills appeared in a Harvard Business School blog, but what’re you going to do?

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The App Plumber: Parse’s Ilya Sukhar

This post is by Selena Larson from ReadWrite

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ReadWriteBuilders is a series of interviews with developers, designers and other architects of the programmable future.

Coming up with an idea for a new app is often the easy part. Actually coding and debugging it is more of a challenge—and then tying it into “backend” cloud services that offer storage, notifications and integration with social networks can just plain be a real slog.

Which is where services like Parse come in. The “backend as a service” startup, which Facebook acquired in April, aims to make it easy for developers to build great apps that run across multiple platforms such as iOS and Android.

In a sense, Parse and its rivals serve as “app plumbers”—they offer simple connections to the cloud’s “pipes” that handle complex tasks many app developers would just as soon not have to figure out themselves. By doing so, they greatly simplify the task of making apps work on different platforms. That’s no small task: Between the launch of smartwatches and the prospect of self-driving cars in the not-too-distant future, developers and companies are likely to face a proliferation of new platforms to build on. 

I caught up with Ilya Sukhar, cofounder and CEO of Parse, at the company’s developer day earlier this month. Sukhar, who’s immersed in the fluid world of application development, predicts the next few years will be an exciting time for developers.

How Parse Grew

ReadWrite: What made you start Parse?

Ilya Sukhar: I was building these apps, and it was painful. It wasn’t fun. I wasn’t doing what I expected to be doing, I wasn’t spending time on the stuff I was expecting to be spending time on and it dawned on me that something was wrong in the world.

And that’s always a good source for startup ideas, right? When you find something in your life that extends out to others and is particularly painful and needs to be fixed. I was building this series of apps and simultaneously realized that I wasn’t going to be the next Zuckerberg creating social experiences, and realized my strengths lie in platforms and hardware systems. People really needed this.

RW: Did you anticipate or plan on getting acquired by a company like Facebook?

IS: No, I don’t think anyone anticipated getting acquired. I mean, when you’re in the trenches you’re just focused on shipping that product and turning that zero into a one.

I advise a lot of startups these days, and I find that startups focused on getting acquired are the least likely to get acquired. If you’re focused on your product and killing it, grinding it out day after day, people start to approach you. But if you’re building your company and strategizing how to get rich two years from now, you’ll probably never get off the ground. 

RW: How has Parse grown since you were acquired?

IS: It’s grown a lot in terms of usage, a bunch in terms of headcount. We obviously have a lot more resources at our disposal. We also have a lot more users and servers to manage….

We don’t have any new numbers to share, but it’s certainly growing quickly. At certain times we’ve seen ten times the number of signups we had before, so I think that trend is pretty good.

RW: What are some challenges you’ve faced along the way? 

IS: In the early days, the primary challenge was getting people to trust us. We clearly had an interesting product and something that was building quickly and culminating on an interesting platform, but if you’re the Food Network, it’s a big leap of faith to build your entire second screen experience on a startup that, at the time, only had seven people, and we were in a dusty conference room office on Market Street. Getting folks to commit and build something serious on Parse was a big hurdle for us.

Why Apps Are So Hard To Build

RW: Is building applications harder or easier than it was in 2011?  

IS: It’s easier in some ways. There are more companies like ours that are focused on mobile developers, and platforms used to provide great services on the Web that have realized they need to offer great services on mobile. [Platforms like ours] are helpful tools that are starting to move to mobile, but on the other hand there are more platforms like the Windows phone that’s now on the rise. And there is a greater demand for performance. People really expect you to have a great mobile app.

It’s more competitive, like getting ranked on the top charts on the App Store is harder, and the silos of Apple, Google and Microsoft are getting stronger. That’s one thing Parse is focused on—providing a service that transcends silos and lets people build an app on iOS and Android that can share data between them, bringing identity from both places. 

Companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft want you to use all their stuff from the top down, and really tie yourself to just one platform and one way of doing things. I think Parse is really bucking that trend, and there are other companies doing that as well, and I think that’s a great thing for the world of programming. 

RW: What can we anticipate coming out of the partnership between Parse and Facebook?

IS: Parse fits into Facebook’s current vision, which is that Facebook Platform should be the best way to build, grow and monetize cross-platform apps. We’re part of that build category. As you watch Parse going forward, Parse will become the underlying layer that people build on and pull in various Facebook services when they need them. That’s how the product will evolve with the union of the two. 

RW: Is there anything that you wanted to build for Parse when you first created it that hasn’t come to fruition yet?   

IS: Yes, there are some things, but I can’t share them because then I wouldn’t have anything to announce in six months or a year. [laughs]

And Why It’s Not Getting Any Easier

RW: What do you envision for the future of app development? Where is it going to be in the next five years?

IS: I think it will be really interesting. Even from the time that we’ve started, Android has really risen up. When we were first getting started, most people were iOS-first and now more people are starting with Android, or both.

I think there’s an interesting thing going on where Google is trying to assert more control over Android and it will be interesting to see how that plays out, because they are trying to reign in some of the fragmentation in the marketplace. That could be really great for developers or it could be really hard. A lot of the manufacturers could form their own versions. Who knows? It’s hard to predict.

The world of mobile development will be forever complicated. There are many more devices coming on the market every day. Watches just came on the market, and like James [Yu] was talking about [during the conference], we might have toasters.

That’s why we have the Parse Pledge. The idea is that Parse is this cross-platform tool that lets you depend on us to be there when the next great toaster platform rises up in popularity. Or whatever it might be. We’re there for you and we should be able to give you all the base tools so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

RW: If you had to guess, what do you think the next programmable device will be, after the smartwatch?

IS: I think the watch is the main thing that’s coming and will be interesting in terms of app development. 

But other than that, there’s a clear answer. Cars. You’re going to see the center console of cars become more standardized so people can do useful things like plug in applications and devices in more standardized ways in the center console in cars. That will be really cool.

RW: So kitchen appliances are further on the horizon?

IS: I don’t know, I think self-driving cars and everything you can do in a Tesla is much cooler than a fridge. But I’m not that into cooking. 

Plumbing images via Shutterstock.com. All other images by Selena Larson for ReadWrite

New hope for Do Not Track as California enacts ad disclosure law

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California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill requiring companies to disclose whether they abide by Do Not Track provisions, a move that could build momentum for privacy protections that have stalled at the national level. On Friday, Brown signed AB 370, which requires internet companies that collect personally identifiable information to declare how they respond to Do Not Track requests. The idea is to pressure advertising networks like Google’s AdSense and Facebook’s FBX to be more transparent about how they track users’ activity around the web.

Brown’s signature comes as Do Not Track’s future has been called into question at the national level. Earlier this month, a key online advertising industry group pulled out of…

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Why the Nissan Leaf is labeled “made in the USA” even though 80 percent of it is actually made in Japan

This post is by John Voelcker, Green Car Reports from VentureBeat

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Why the Nissan Leaf is labeled “made in the USA” even though 80 percent of it is actually made in Japan

The 2013 Nissan Leaf electric car is assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, for North American sales.

In fact, Nissan got a low-interest loan for $1.6 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy to make that possible.

So why does every 2013 Leaf carry a window sticker saying that its U.S. and Canadian content is just 15 percent–while 80 percent of its parts content comes from Japan?

Sticker shock

Nissan Leaf label shows most of it is not made in AmericaThe question arose in late July, coming from electric-car enthusiast Andrew Chiang, who photographed the sticker on a brand-new 2013 Leaf at Nissan Sunnyvale, in California.

Chiang posted the photo in the San Francisco Bay Area Nissan Leaf Owners Group on Facebook, and it seemed worthy of an answer.

Ten weeks later, after multiple queries, responses, phone calls, and in-person conversations with various Nissan officials, we’ve pieced together the story.

You can think of it as a Good News/Bad News story.

It gets better

First, the bad news: The earliest 2013 Leafs did indeed have only 15 percent of their parts manufactured in the U.S.

The bulk of the cars’ content was imported from Japan, whether directly by Nissan or by its parts suppliers–even if those suppliers were U.S.-based.

The good news, however, is that the U.S. content will be considerably higher for 2014 Leaf models.

Nissan declined to specify that number, saying that the 2014 models (which will arrive at dealers in December) were still being finalized.

Similar to Focus Electric, soon

But Brian Brockman, a senior manager of corporate communications, suggested that the 2014 Leaf percentage for U.S./Canadian parts content would be “roughly similar to other U.S.-built advanced technology vehicles.”

Asked for an example, Brockman suggested the 2013 Ford Focus Electric–which has a U.S./Canadian parts content of 40 percent, according to the listings of American Automobile Labeling Act (AALA) content compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The 2014 Chevrolet Volt, for purposes of comparison, has a U.S./Canadian parts content of 45 percent. Of the remainder, 19 percent comes from Korea and 17 percent from Japan.

GM did not receive DoE low-interest loans following its 2009 bankruptcy and Federally-backed restructuring.

The Tesla Model S is the third of the three best-selling U.S.-built plug-in electric cars; it is not listed in the 2012, 2013, or 2014 AALA reports.

Tesla paid back its entire $465 million DoE loan in May, several years early.

The fine print

Both Brockman and Billy Hayes, Nissan’s Japan-based vice president for global electric car sales, noted that a number of factors played into the low domestic content number for 2013.

  • Most important, the AALA percentage reflects the country of origin of the materials and parts–even if Nissan purchased them from a U.S. company.
  • The labeling doesn’t reflect any of the labor costs to assemble the Leaf; it’s solely based on the value of the car’s component parts.
  • While the lithium-ion cells for the Leaf’s battery are assembled in Tennessee, the critical electrode material is fabricated in Japan and shipped in huge rolls to Smyrna.
  • Similarly, many of the car’s power electronics, control systems, and other electromechanical components–essentially the rest of its powertrain–are from Japan.
  • The 2013 label was calculated for the very earliest Smyrna-built pre-production Leafs, before Nissan had finished local sourcing for all parts.
  • Those first Leafs used electric motors built in Japan, but production of motors for U.S. Leafs has now been transferred to Decherd, Tennessee.
  • The AALA label is calculated only once a year, and is not modified for running changes.

No other info

Nissan says that the U.S. and Canadian content of the 2013 Leaf has risen during the year’s production, but declined to provide more recent numbers.

The company, indeed, would not offer any other metrics that might provide an alternative picture of the car’s total U.S. economic impact.

“We do not provide other localization metrics outside of the company,” Brockman wrote.

Expanding on the points above, Brockman also provided the following written statement:

The AALA reporting protocols do not fully comprehend the localization effort with Nissan Leaf for a number of reasons. First, due to reporting requirements, 2013 Leaf label values reflect content in vehicles that were built prior to start of production, which included imported content that were subsequently sourced locally.

For example, the label lists the eMotor production source as Japan, but we began producing electric motors for Leaf at Decherd, Tennessee, shortly into the production year.

Nissan is currently tabulating the 2014 Leaf data for AALA, but we expect the percentage of US/Canada content to increase to a level similar to comparable, advanced-technology vehicles.

In addition, AALA does not include production cost in its calculation, and therefore does not reflect the value add that takes place while turning raw materials and basic components into battery packs, electric motors and the fully assembled vehicle.

Finally, AALA is cost-weighted. So an advanced technology vehicle such as Leaf contains specialized components that drive a higher percentage of cost compared to an internal-combustion-engine-powered vehicle.

Since Leaf is just starting to build higher volumes, economies of scale can still, in some cases, be on the side of a global supplier rather than a localized source for materials. As Leaf continues to grow in global volume, Nissan is looking for opportunities to increase efficiency by finding local sources.

What’s an ‘American car’?

For plug-in electric cars, the question of what’s a “U.S. car” can get confusing.

While the 2008-2011 Tesla Roadster was assembled as a rolling “glider” chassis in the U.K., its battery pack (using Japanese cells) and motor and electronics were installed in the U.S. That qualified it to be deemed “made in the U.S.”

Similarly, the short-lived 2012 Coda Sedan was put together in California from a Chinese glider, Chinese lithium-ion cells, and various electric components from other sources. It too was considered to be built in the U.S.

Nissan intersperses Leafs with Altimas, Maximas, and other passenger vehicles on an existing assembly line in its Smyrna plant.

But the adjacent battery-cell assembly plant was built from the ground up–even if the most valuable components it assembles are fabricated overseas.

So if next year’s Leaf has 40 percent of its parts value sourced in the U.S. and Canada, and it’s built in Tennessee, does that make it a U.S.-built car in your mind?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]

This story originally appeared on GreenCarReports.com.

This story originally appeared on www.greencarreports.com.


Intel To Buy Security Company Sensory Networks For $20M

This post is by from TechCrunch

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Intel has acquired Sensory Networks for $20 million to further extend its security capabilities.

Sensory Networks, based in Palo Alto,  was founded in 2002 as a hardware company, providing high-performance technology that maps networks by looking for patterns such as spam, malware and other types of intrusions, said Matt Barrie, one of the company’s co-founders who is now chief executive officer at freelancer.com. Over time, the company moved from a hardware to a software model. Today, the technology runs at 160 gigabytes per second on Intel processors.

Barrie said the challenge with a startup in the high-performance networking space is getting the attention of a company like Cisco that could get considerable value in integrating the security technology. Intel, though, has long-term credibility that would help in forging a relationship with such a networking giant.

The company’s clients include McAfee, which Intel acquired for $7.7 billion. In that light, the acquisition by Intel makes sense when considering the chip maker’s focus on security. In May, the company acquired Stonesoft, a firewall company for $389 million.

Intel has made some big bets on security technology. But often overlooked is the company’s focus on software. Software helps Intel differentiate and be more than just a chip provider. That’s important as software increasingly does what was once required of hardware.

In Race With Twitter, Facebook, Like, Fluffs Its Social TV Numbers

This post is by from TechCrunch

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On the same day that Twitter and Nielsen are debuting their first TV Ratings report emerging from the two companies’ partnership, Facebook is slyly releasing official numbers designed to give its own TV efforts a boost.

Facebook claims that AMC’s hot “Breaking Bad” finale was a hit across its social network, generating more than 5.5 million interactions from 3 million+ users. Twitter, meanwhile, saw 1.47 million tweets in comparison from 682,000+ uniques for the same show. What does this mean for Twitter, whose forthcoming IPO is heavily dependent on its TV partnerships and ad business? Is Facebook moving in for the kill?

Well, maybe. But Facebook’s numbers feel a little fudged here.

For background, Facebook announced that it will begin sending out weekly TV reports to the U.S.’s top four networks this week – a move that was not coincidentally disclosed just ahead of the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating report’s launch. Facebook says it will send data to ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS as well as a few other select partners, in order to demonstrate to what extent social conversations around TV programs are now taking place on its own network.

For example, Facebook found that ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” generated over a million interactions across 750,000 users on its network. Previously, reports had stated that Facebook sees five times as much TV-related activity on its network than on Twitter. But as TechCrunch’s Josh Constine said before, that’s not a fair comparison.


A Like Is Not Equal To A Tweet 

To state the obvious, Facebook is much bigger than Twitter: 1.15 billion monthly actives versus Twitter’s 200+ million. One could argue its numbers for almost anything will be bigger. But really, it’s Facebook’s looser definition of active engagement that makes comparing its figures to Twitter’s a problem. Facebook, you see, counts nearly any engagement with its content among its “interactions” – it includes not only those posting status updates themselves, but also others who then like, comment or re-share that post to their own networks of friends.

Facebook counting a “like” as an “interaction” is like Twitter counting a “favorite.” It’s not an ideal metric to lump in with Facebook posts or re-shares, but, rather, should be treated as a separate category of interaction.

After all, there are a number of reasons why you may like someone’s Facebook status, and it’s not always directly related to the TV content they’ve shared. You might like a post because your friend also cracked a funny joke of some sort along with their note about the show they’re watching, but that doesn’t mean you’re also a viewer or a fan. Or the post might contain more information beyond the TV show identified through basic keyword matching, and it’s the other part of the post that you’re actually “liking.”

Many social networks like to fluff their numbers when it serves a purpose. Google reports steady increases in Google+ growth, for example, making it sound like Google+ (the destination website) is a bigger player in social than it really is. In reality, Google+ numbers are growing because Google+ is being baked in as the social layer across Google products ranging from Gmail to, most recently, YouTube comments.

Facebook’s Social TV Data Could Become Better In Time 

At launch, Facebook’s TV reports are not on par with Twitter’s. It will not include other data like how many people saw activity where a TV show is being discussed – something Twitter and Nielsen’s TV Rating report is already doing. And tracking this metric will be more difficult on Facebook, because its filtered News Feed doesn’t show users every post from friends.

There are also hints that Facebook has had to work quickly to overcome potentially bad data here, indicating that its move to court TV networks is more reactive than proactive in this situation. In The WSJ’s relaying of Facebook’s news, it noted that before fine-tuning its system, which relies on keywords, Facebook had problems where it reported CBS’s “NCIS” too highly because “NCIS” is a string of letters found in the more often mentioned term “San Francisco.” (To address this issue, Facebook had to create a database of characters and other keywords related to each show in order to not end up with false positives.)

That said, as Facebook ramps up its efforts in this space, its data could become more valuable in the long run because there’s more of it, and it includes profile demographics. The company has already unleashed anonymized data to select news outlets and marketers for other purposes, so there’s no reason why it couldn’t do the same for TV networks now.

Twitter Winning The Second Screen For Now 

Meanwhile, as Facebook gets up to speed with social TV data, Twitter is building out a business based on being the preferred “second screen” app. To serve up TV ratings and analysis, Twitter partnered with Nielsen, which owns SocialGuide, for TV ratings. It acquired companies like Bluefin Labs and Trendrr to further beef up its social TV efforts. With Twitter Amplify, it’s allowing broadcasters to embed short video clips in their tweets in near real-time. And it partnered with CBS on Amplify just this month. It’s also privately experimenting with a DVR-like functionality that would allow you to replay TV-related tweets as you watch a show after its original airing.

In addition, Twitter rolled out TV Ad Targeting programs this summer, which let U.S. advertisers target those who just saw their TV commercials while watching a given show. Twitter has a semantic understanding of what people are talking about here, too. Most importantly, being pushed the ad twice seems to work well, according to early reports. Nielsen found that the combination of TV ad and follow-up tweet delivered 95 percent stronger message association and 58 percent higher purchase intent than TV ads alone.

With all these initiatives underway, Twitter, though smaller and less diverse (the site sees a disproportionate number of young female users CBS’s chief researcher officer told The WSJ), is for now ahead of Facebook in terms of making a business out of the social TV data it has on hand.