Crave’s Vesper Is A Vibrator That Hides In Plain Sight


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


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Vesper-dark In a market filled with many, many, many sex toys, Crave stands out by making vibrators that are not only elegant and discreet, but also multifunctional. For example, Duet, the first vibe it produced, charges through USB and can also be used as a thumb drive. Now Crave, which raised a $2.4 million Series A last year, has released its newest product, Vesper, a small vibrator that also doubles as… Read More

Ezeecube Is A Stackable, All Inclusive Media Center For Your Home


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


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Ezeecube Ezeecube wants to be the all-in-one media hub for your home. You can use it to wirelessly back up photos and other files from all your mobile devices and cameras, while removing duplicates and organizing with its photo management software. It also functions as a home media cloud so you can access your files anywhere, while streaming photos and videos to iOS and Android devices, or Windows and… Read More

eBay’s workforce is almost gender-equal, but women trail in tech and leadership roles


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eBay’s workforce is almost gender-equal, but women trail in tech and leadership roles
Image Credit: Flickr user liewcf

eBay posted its diversity report today, revealing that it is closer to a gender-neutral workforce than any other major Internet company. Women make up 42 percent of its staff.

We recently covered how eBay’s Silicon Valley counterparts compare in gender and race diversity. Yahoo’s workforce is 38 percent female. Google and Facebook have 30 percent and 31 percent respectively.

“I do commend eBay for its diversity initiatives — and humility,” gender researcher and author Vivek Wadhwa told VentureBeat in an email.

ebaydiversity

But, when it comes to gender diversity in tech and leadership positions, eBay performs only slightly better than the rest of the pack, with women constituting only 34 percent of its techies and 36 percent of its leaders.

It’s worth noting that eBay was also the first of the major tech companies to have a female CEO, Meg Whitman.

Gender imbalance might spread from the board downward in tech companies. One report from Ernst & Young found that there was an association between the percent of female board members and the percentage of female leaders [PDF].




Max Levchin’s Affirm speeds online checkouts, has a hunger for data


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Max Levchin’s Affirm speeds online checkouts, has a hunger for data

Above: Kara Swisher (left), and Max Levchin (right)

Image Credit: Kia Kokalitcheva/VentureBeat

SAN FRANCISCO — Max Levchin’s new consumer lending company, Affirm, is really about data, it turns out.

During a fireside chat at Mixpanel’s Data Driven Conference, Levchin revealed that at the core of Affirm is the idea that there’s a world of data that’s not being used to estimate lending risk. This could mean missed opportunities and even mistakes “when we look at you and decide if you’re a good risk or a bad risk,” Levchin said.

Affirm partners with merchants who sell online, providing instant credit to shoppers when they make purchases. It also makes the checkout process faster and easier by eliminating the need to enter credit card information and all the other usual steps. Shoppers later settle their Affirm accounts, presumably at a more convenient time.

Affirm differs from traditional consumer credit in that it uses a variety of data sets to assess shoppers, from available credit data to merchant data, and even social media data.

“More broadly, I think there’s a huge number of systems we devaluate,” said Levchin. The lending industry leans heavily on the FICO score, but Levchin finds it very coarse, leaving out a lot of data that could add nuance to a borrower’s risk factor. He compared it to today’s trend of using GitHub activity, for example, when hiring web developers, and how their community participation and interactions can provide additional information about them as candidates.

It’s not that we’re suffering from a lack of data — we have a lot of it actually, Levchin said. It’s just not being put to work, and we haven’t evolved our systems.

“The granularity of a lot of these systems hasn’t changed in a long time,” he said. “Most banks are profitable, they make a lot of money, so there’s not a lot of incentive to challenge the FICO score.”

Data is also crucial to the detection and mitigation of loan default risk. Levchin divided this into two categories: the intentionally criminal kind, also known as fraud, and the accidental kind that happens when a person borrows more money than they can afford to pay back.

Catching the former requires work, but it’s doable. Predicting the latter is challenging. “People are bad at estimating what will happen to them in the future,” he said, and that’s where historical financial data comes in handy.

For example, Levchin has learned that while two bankruptcies on a person’s record makes them, obviously, a very high risk borrower, just one doesn’t say much about their risk in and of itself. This is a case where more granular data is necessary to paint a full picture.

“Typically, as humans we make up our own story to make up for the lack of data,” he said.

Interestingly, Levchin’s Affirm is not the only company crunching data and giving out on-the-spot online consumer credit. Klarna offers a similar service and is fairly established in Europe.

Paidy (Exchange Corporation), which launched in Japan on Monday, is similar to Affirm, although it uses slightly different data to create Japanese consumer models, not to dynamically set interest rates for shoppers.

Affirm announced that it had secured $45 million in funding in early June.

Affirm is using data to solve hard problems in finance. We make instant lending decisions that make online buying experiences awesome and drive incremental purchases for merchants. Our team brings together a broad experience in payme… read more »

Max Levchin Founder and CEO, Slide; co-founder and former CTO, PayPal Max Levchin cofounded PayPal in late 1998. It was acquired by eBay for $1.5B in 2002, only six months after going public in February. At PayPal Max was a member … read more »




Snowden faces uncertain future as Russian visa expires


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Snowden faces uncertain future as Russian visa expires

Edward Snowden’s temporary Russian visa expired today.

Snowden bolted to Moscow after numerous countries rejected his request for asylum one year ago. At the last minute, Russian president Vladimir Putin granted the former National Security Agency systems administrator a one year visa. He’s been in Moscow and its suburbs ever since.

Now the visa has expired. And the question is, what happens next?

It’s anybody’s guess. Snowden revealed in a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper that he had reached out through back channels to U.S. officials about the possibility of returning to the States if he was guaranteed a fair trial. Snowden said that guarantee was not given.

This may have been bluster. A former high-level intelligence official told VentureBeat Tuesday that he had no knowledge of a request having been made. If Snowden did reach out, it was likely to the Justice or State Department. The official said that, had a request been made, it would have been brought to his attention.

Russian attorney Anatoly Kucherena is Snowden’s Moscow lawyer and also acts as his spokesperson. Kucherena said in an interview with Russian media Thursday that Snowden had been granted not a visa or political asylum but a “temporary leave to remain in Russia.”

Either way, Snowden is still wanted by U.S. authorities on espionage charges. Snowden is accused of illicitly downloading over a million NSA files that disclosed some of the agency’s most covert intelligence collection efforts. These efforts included siphoning data from Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook. The release of the top secret files caused a global firestorm that still continues to reverberate.

An American attorney who has worked on behalf of Snowden, Jesselyn Radack, told Australian radio that Snowden misses home. Snowden, 31, is originally from Maryland.

“I know ultimately he would love to be able to come home, or seek refuge in a country of his choice,” she said.

Not much is known about Snowden’s time in Russia. Former KGB major general Oleg Kalugin told VentureBeat that Snowden is now working for the Russian security service, the FSB, as a technical consultant and that he likely cooperated with his Russian hosts in order to stay in the country.

Edward Snowden is an American former technical contractor for the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who leaked details of several top-secret U.S. and British gov… read more »




Alibaba’s investment values Kabam at more than $1B


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Alibaba’s investment values Kabam at more than $1B

Above: Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam, at ChinaJoy

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Disclosure: The organizers of ChinaJoy paid my way to Shanghai. Our coverage remains objective.

SHANGHAI — Alibaba’s $120 million investment in mobile game publisher Kabam values the U.S. company at more than $1 billion, according to Kabam chief executive Kevin Chou.

That means that Kabam joins a rarefied group of American game companies that have grown up in the digital age and become global players in entertainment.

Speaking at the ChinaJoy expo in Shanghai, Chou said, “We are in an unprecedented time in the game industry. This is a big and comprehensive partnership.”

Under the deal, Alibaba, China’s Internet giant, will take Kabam games such as the upcoming The Lord of the Rings into the Chinese market.

Kabam has games on numerous free-to-play mobile and social games like The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth across mobile and social platforms like iOS, Android, Facebook, and Amazon. Chou said the company expects to generate $500 million in revenue.

Back in 2009, Kabam had just 20 employees. Today, it has more than 800 employees. It launched Kingdoms of Camelot on Facebook in September 2009, and it made $2 million in revenue. It ended 2010 with $37 million in revenue. By 2011, the company raised $75 million from Google and existing investors like Warner Bros.

In 2012, Kabam made the leeap to mobile with Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North. It acquired several new game studios, including Balanced World Studio in Beijing. In 2013, it partnered with NBC Universal to make Fast & Furious 6: The Game. By the time the company finished 2013, Kingdoms of Camelot had generated $200 million over its lifetime. Kabam also set up a $50 million fund to take Asian games into Western markets.

By the end of 2013, 70 percent of Kabam’s revenues were in mobile games. The Hobbit game made more than $100 million in its first 12 months.

Kevin Chou of Kabam at ChinaJoy

Above: Kevin Chou of Kabam at ChinaJoy

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

“It’s an incredible transition for a company that had modest roots,” Chou said.

During the past couple of years, Kabam has invested deeply in Asia.

Kabam has also gone Hollywood. Besides The Lord of the Rings, Kabam will make games based on Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games and Warner Bros.’ Mad Max.

Chou said Kabam grows through its focus on original intellectual property, Hollywood partnerships, third-party partnerships, and acquisitions.

As for the investment in China, Chou said, “We have a lot of things coming in the next months.”

Alibaba will take a seat on Kabam’s board, helping the company get an understanding of the global market for entertainment.

“The market for gaming is truly becoming a global phenomenon,” Chou said. “The future of entertainment is games. It touches hundreds of millions of players every single day.”

He also said the free-to-play is now the dominant business model for games on a global basis.

“This is what makes gaming a truly global phenomenon,” he said. “In the past, there wasn’t a chance to build a truly global gaming company, and today there is.”

The companies announced the deal at the ChinaJoy Expo in Shanghai, a gargantuan event where 250,000 people are gathering to celebrate gaming. Chou said that 2 billion mobile devices will ship across the world this year, and that the market will grow incredibly fast. In North America, there are 232 million mobile devices shipping in 2014, but four times more devices will ship in Asia, according to market researcher IDG.

“Western publishers are interested in Asian markets because we all see the growth,” Chou said.

But Chou said it’s been hard to take games made in the West and market them successfully in Asia, and vice versa. Western game developers are stars at making triple-A games with creative and polished gameplay on high-end platforms like the PC and consoles. They also excel at marketing and advertising, and they’re good at multiplayer games like League of Legends.

Chinese developers are good at making games fast. The engineering talent is plentiful and good. They also understand free-to-play games for very large audiences. Chinese developers have also mastered monetization systems, Chou said.

Kabam’s original Kingdoms of Camelot game had just 2 percent of its revenues from Asia. The latest game, a card battle game called Heroes of Camelot, has 13 percent of its revenues from Asia.

Chou believes Chinese developers have a big opportunity to publish games through Kabam in the U.S. and Europe. One Asian game that Kabam published in the West has generated more than $200 million in revenues. Chou said Chinese developers who partner with Kabam can double their revenue.

“This is about bringing triple-A development and polish to mobile games,” Chou said, showing off a demo of a Marvel Comics game dubbed Marvel Contest of Champions, debuting in the fall.

The Hobbit

Above: The Hobbit

Image Credit: Kabam

Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, plans to go public in what could be one of the biggest initial public offerings in history in the U.S. And the fact that it is investing in a San Francisco-based mobile game company shows how important gaming has become on the global stage.

Kabam competes with rivals like Supercell, King, and GungHo Entertainment. But while it has proven adept at generating revenues and expanding quickly, it also spends a lot of money. That’s why the company is still raising money at a late stage in its history.

Alibaba will publish popular Kabam mobile games in China across Alibaba’s mobile applications, including Mobile Taobao and Laiwang.

Chou said Kabam received more than five term sheets for investments, but he said Alibaba has made a very strong commitment to getting into the game industry.

“There’s a lot we could build together,” he said. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart.”

Chou said the partnership with Alibaba does not prevent Kabam from doing deals with other companies.

In a Q&A session, Chou acknowledged that the company expanded too fast when it first moved into mobile. It hired too many people, and should have slowed down. But he said company felt a sense of urgency as the market shifted from social network games to mobile.

kabam-mobile

 

Kabam is the leader in the western world for free-to-play core games with 1st and 3rd party published titles available on mobile devices and the Web. The company is revolutionizing the video games industry by innovating in the business… read more »




How Disney World is keeping tabs on visitors with rubbery wristbands


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Beginning last year, Disney World started issuing “MagicBands,” rubberized RFID wristbands that can do everything from unlock your hotel room to act as a fast pass to get you slotted to skip the long lines on rides. It also tracks your every move and lets you buy things. With tens of thousands of visitors to the park every day, Disney is amassing a wealth of personal information on its customers. “MagicBands offer a kind of data tourism, an uncanny experience of a future in which we don’t just tolerate surveillance but openly embrace it as fashion,” Ian Bogost says in his article on the technology. Read the full piece, and see what the inside of a MagicBand looks like, on Medium.

<a href="http://www.theverge.com/entertainment/2014/7/31/5957491/how-disneyworld-is-keeping-tabs-on-visitors-with-rubbery-wristbands">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

Amazon cuts the price of its domain-name service in the cloud


This post is by Jordan Novet from VentureBeat


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Amazon cuts the price of its domain-name service in the cloud
Image Credit: Robert Scoble/Flickr

Public-cloud market leader Amazon Web Services is back at it, lowering the prices of its tools. This time, its Route 53 managed domain-name service (DNS) for translating domain names into IP addresses is becoming less expensive.

Didn’t Mark Twain once say, “If you don’t like the prices for Amazon Web Services now, just wait a few minutes”?

Anyway. Starting tomorrow, customers pay 40 cents, not 50 cents, for every million queries up to a billion queries per month, according to a blog post today from Amazon cloud chief evangelist Jeff Barr.

Route 53 isn’t the biggest service among Amazon Web Services customers, but now it could become popular and appear more compelling in relation to managed DNS providers like Dyn and EasyDNS.

Price-cutting like this is typical for Amazon Web Services. Other recent cuts have brought down the prices of S3 object storage, EC2 compute instances, and the Elasticache caching service.

New evidence suggests that Amazon cloud price cuts aren’t always the best way to post short-term gains.

But Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak told analysts during the company’s recent earnings call, “[It] is fair to say that [price changes] certainly did impact our Q2 results in a meaningful way.”

Expect more price cuts in, oh, another few minutes.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where cu… read more »

Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) is a web service that enables businesses, researchers, data analysts, and developers to easily and cost-effectively process vast amounts of data. It utilizes a hosted Hadoop framework running on th… read more »




NFL players will wear RFID chips this season to track their movements


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This year’s football season is set to begin in September, and for the first time 17 National Football League stadiums will employ radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to better track how players move on the field during games. The league has partnered with Zebra Technologies to use its quarter-sized RFID sensors inside the shoulder pads of players. These sensors will track not just where players are on the field, but also how fast they get going, and what their acceleration was like on the way there — all in real-time.

<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/31/5957277/nfl-players-will-wear-rfid-chips-this-season-to-track-their-movements">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

Alibaba Invests $120M In Kabam At A Valuation Above $1B


This post is by Kyle Russell from TechCrunch


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Kabam Dragons of Atlantis game Chinese conglomerate Alibaba is making another big investment in an American startup. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is investing $120 million in mobile game developer Kabam, best known for games like “Dragons of Atlantis” and for buying the naming rights to UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. Read More

eBay Reports More Diverse Staff Than Other Tech Companies


This post is by Cat Zakrzewski from TechCrunch


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eBay According to a report released Thursday, eBay maintains one of the highest rates of gender diversity in the tech industry — 42 percent of its total employees are female. Women make up 24 percent of the company’s tech employees. Although this may seem like a relatively low number when considering women make up almost 50 percent of the company’s non-tech employees, it puts… Read More

Spaceflight to launch network for communicating with tiny satellites


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It’s expensive and difficult to communicate with satellites, especially if an organization is only launching one or two. Spaceflight will allow paying customers to reach their spacecraft wherever they are above Earth.
Spaceflight to launch network for communicating with tiny satellites originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.

<a href="https://gigaom.com/2014/07/31/spaceflight-to-launch-network-for-communicating-with-tiny-satellites/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=feed&%23038;utm_campaign=feed">Continue reading&hellip;</a>.

Rebellious French carrier Free bids $15B for rebellious U.S. carrier T-Mobile


This post is by Mark Sullivan from VentureBeat


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Rebellious French carrier Free bids $15B for rebellious U.S. carrier T-Mobile

Above: T-Mobile CEO John Legere offers to pay ETF charges for competitors.

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

NOTE: GrowthBeat — VentureBeat’s provocative new marketing-tech event — is a week away! We’ve gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.


Nobody saw this one coming. Just as Sprint is sweating it out in front of its hoped-for acquisition of insurgent U.S. cellular carrier T-Mobile, a French carrier called Free drops in with a $15 billion bid for T-Mobile.

Free is owned by the French conglomerate Iliad.

Iliad said it offered $15 billion in cash for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile US, or $33 a share. That’s considerably less than what others have offered for the company. Reports have said that T-Mobile and Sprint have been in serious talks for the past few months about a merger deal between the two carriers valued at more than $30 billion.

For Iliad, the T-Mobile offer represents a chance to jump into the U.S. cellular market, which is the richest market in the world. Iliad believes that deal has no anti-trust implications because it is a foreign carrier. (And that might carry some weight, given that T-Mobile’s origins are in Germany — its parent company is Deutsche Telekom.)

The man behind the Illiad (which operates under the Free brandname) is Xavier Niel, a dynamic French entrepreneur and businessman. Think of him as the Richard Branson of France, complete with long hair and an outspoken, rebellious attitude.

It may take some serious chutzpah and salesmanship to push this deal through, but Niel may have it.

“He always does thing very creatively, outside of normal business practice,” Scality CEO and Niel acquaintance Jerome Lecat told VentureBeat Thursday. “He will exploit any room for interpretation in regulations, and will always try to spend as little money as possible.”

As it stands, Niel and company are offering far less for T-Mobile than Sprint is prepared to pay.

“I don’t know what is his twist is on this deal, but I doubt he would have made an offer if he did not have a chance,” Lecat says.

T-Mobile is saying only that it received the Iliad offer, nothing else for now.

However, in a call with analysts after the company’s quarterly earnings announcement Thursday, T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere — another long-haired, outspoken executive — stressed that his company has several deal options, not just the one with Sprint.

T-Mobile is the fourth largest carrier in the U.S., just behind Sprint. By subscriber count, both Sprint and T-Mobile trail AT&T and Verizon by a wide margin. It is thought that a merger of the two would create a worthwhile competitor to the two market giants.

Who knows — there may be a budding bromance between Niel and Legere.

But there’s no doubt Legere also received a call from Sprint CEO  Dan Hesse today to ask if they were still buddies.

T-Mobile had a market value of about $26 billion at the close of the markets Thursday. Sprint is valued at $30 billion. Sprint shares lost 5.3 percent of their value, falling to $7.35 with the news of Iliad’s offer today.

Source: WSJ

 




This is what Instagram for Android would look like with Google’s Material Design


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Google’s “Material” redesign isn’t expected until later this year, but it’s already getting people excited. The new user interface style is supposed to be based around how physical objects move and is “grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink.” Google is already encouraging third-party developers to redesign their apps to fit with the new style, but some people just can’t wait for that to happen. Designer Emmanuel Pacamalan has created a concept video showing Instagram rebuilt using Material Design principles, and the results are gorgeous.

Instagram has traditionally been very slow to add visual features, but did a big redesign for iOS 7, so it would make sense that we could see a new look for the upcoming…

<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/31/5957343/this-is-what-instagram-for-android-would-look-like-with-googles-material-design">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

Funding Daily: DNA analysis, housing for spoiled college kids, and … divorce


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Funding Daily: DNA analysis, housing for spoiled college kids, and … divorce
Image Credit: Shutterstock


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Today’s funding includes the usual — a company that claims it has totally changed the way we communicate — and the surprisingly unusual, including a service to streamline divorcing, a new international currency, and a company devoted to fancy apartments for college kids. (Because living in dorms is so pre-tech uprising.)

Moogsoft raises $11.3M second round

IT operations management company Moogsoft announced today that it has raised $11.3 in a second round of funding, bringing its total funding to $18 million. The round was led by new investor Wing Venture Capital with participation from existing investors, including Redpoint Ventures. The company says it will use the funding to continue building out its technology and international growth.

Read the press release.

‘Uber’ of mortgage lending picks up $3.8M

Mortgage lending is still quite broken, and the crisis of the mid-to-late 2000s only made lenders even more fearful of getting tangled up with unreliable borrowers. That’s why Privlo, armed with a fresh $3.8 million in seed funding, is setting out to build an alternative mortgage-lending company.

Read more on VentureBeat: ‘Uber’ of mortgage lending picks up $3.8M

Stripe puts $3M into Stellar

Stripe might be best known for enabling online merchants and websites to process payments more easily, but its team also strongly believes in decentralized payment networks and cryptocurrencies. Today, Stripe announced that it has invested $3 million into Stellar, which is an open source project, a currency-exchange network, a currency in its own right, and a non-profit. Stellar also launches today.

Read more on VentureBeat: Payment processor Stripe helps launch a new currency, the Stellar

Wevorce raises $1.7M

Wevorce, a startup that aims to streamline the divorce process and bring it online, today announced a $1.69 million raise in a public filing.

Read more on VentureBeat: Wevorce raises $1.7 million to make divorce less terrible

23andMe gets a $1.4M NIH grant

Late last year the FDA barred 23andMe from dispensing health information products to consumers based on analysis of their DNA.

Read more on VentureBeat: 23andMe gets a $1.4M NIH grant, still awaits FDA approval

Abodo raises $1.25M for college student apartments

Abodo wants college kids to find upscale digs easily. Its investors agreed.

Read more on VentureBeat: Abodo raises $1.25 million for its upscale apartment service for college students

Entefy raises $1.1M

Entefy, a company that bills itself as “the future of conversation” (seriously), has raised $1.1 million according to an SEC filing. The startup closed $1.5 million in funding just a few months ago, and it previously raised over $2 million in its previous round.

Read the SEC filing.

Michael Dell backs Eagle Eye

Security cameras are still in the stone ages, but Eagle Eye wants to bring them into the age of the cloud.

Read more on VentureBeat: Michael Dell is funding this company to move surveillance cameras onto the cloud

Bigwords takes $300K

Bigwords.com is a website where students can find cheap textbooks. But now the company says its launching an online shopping service that automatically integrates crowdsourced coupons with proprietary multi-item price comparison technology. The service is now used by millions of consumers annually, the company says. Bigwords.com also says it’s raised $300,000 from Lighter Capital.  Lighter Capital’s investment is the first time Bigwords.com has taken external capital under current ownership.

23andMe is a DNA analysis service providing information and tools for individuals to learn about and explore their DNA. We use the Illumina OmniExpress Plus Genotyping BeadChip (shown here). In addition to the variants already included… read more »




Watch Deadmau5 and Toronto mayor Rob Ford get coffee in a Nyan Cat Ferrari


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Electronic dance music artist Deadmau5 created an internet stir with his meme-tastic Nyan Cat Ferrari at the Gumball 3000 earlier this summer, but after the race is done, what do you do with a souped-up cat-powered hyper-car? Why, take Toronto mayor Rob Ford on a coffee run, of course. It’s hard to know what to expect when you get a rock star DJ and a disgraced mayor together, but the result is oddly sedate. They mostly talk about traffic, coffee, and being in the Ferrari itself.  Still, the video is worth watching to see Rob Ford, recently out of rehab for an addiction to crack cocaine, order a quintuple espresso.

<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/31/5957281/watch-this-edm-deadmaus-and-rob-ford-get-coffee">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

PagerDuty gets $27.2M to become your company’s monitor of monitors


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PagerDuty gets $27.2M to become your company’s monitor of monitors
Image Credit: PagerDuty

PagerDuty, a popular tool among developers and system administrators, stands to get more helpful and less of an annoyance, thanks to $27.2 million in new funding.

Sysadmins and others use PagerDuty to stay on top of alerts from several monitoring tools. Getting those kinds of alerts is often critical (your website is down!) but if they’re not well-managed, these alerts can lead to stress, confusion, and premature hair loss.

The startup announced its new round today, saying much of the new money will go toward product development. In particular, co-founder and chief executive Alex Solomon said in an interview with VentureBeat, PagerDuty wants to stop what some customers have called alert fatigue, which implies being disturbed by too many non-issues.

“Our thinking there … is to build a rules engine to allow our users and customers to set up rules themselves, and beyond that, adding machine learning and intelligence to the system to make it more automated and smarter, so that it’s less manual configuration,” Solomon said.

From there, he said, PagerDuty would like to give people context around the root cause of issues and draw correlations across issues.

Such features could make PagerDuty appeal more to companies’ engineering and operations teams, which often use multiple tools to keep an eye on the health of their services, including AppDynamics, Nagios, New Relic, Pingdom, and Splunk.

Solomon said his startup’s biggest competitors are homegrown tools, but Boundary and OpsGenie could also be considered competitors.

PagerDuty could become even more useful by incorporating better ways to communicate. The startup has connected with collaboration tools like Atlassian’s Hipchat and Slack, but that might not be enough. PagerDuty might evolve by “perhaps building our own collaboration system to help solve problems faster and reduce the resolution time,” Solomon said.

PagerDuty started in 2009. It claims thousands of customers including Adobe, Airbnb, Groupon, Intuit, Panasonic, and theb University of California, San Francisco.

To date the San Francisco-based startup has raised $39.8 million, including last year’s $10.7 million round.

Bessemer Venture Partners led the new round. Andreessen Horowitz, Baseline Ventures, and Harrison Metal also participated.

PagerDuty's SaaS alerting and incident tracking system helps IT operations and DevOps engineers resolve critical errors in their IT systems as quickly as possible. PagerDuty integrates with all IT infrastructure monitoring tools –… read more »

Alex Solomon is the CEO and co-founder of PagerDuty, a SaaS company focused on building the leading IT operations management platform for IT operations engineers and DevOps. The company is funded by Andreessen Horowitz. Previously, Al… read more »




10 Malware Removal Apps Tested, Malwarebytes Comes out on Top


This post is by Patrick Allan from Lifehacker


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10 Malware Removal Apps Tested, Malwarebytes Comes out on Top

A recent test done by the independent antivirus research group AV-TEST—whose tests we’ve mentioned in the past —took a look at the performance of today’s most popular malware removal applications. Most of the applications showed excellent performance, but only Malwarebytes—a free download—managed a perfect score.

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