The social news voting site Reddit took a step outside the norm back in January when it announced it would allow any Reddit user to create their own custom Reddit. If you liked candy for example, you could create a Reddit devoted to that and restrict its usage to ensure only the people you really wanted participated in your community. However, these custom Reddits still very much retained the look and feel of the actual Reddit, and thus they looked like more or less what they were: Sub-pages. That changes today.
Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive of Nvidia, started his graphics chip company in 1993 and is now the last man standing. Back then, no one could have predicted that PCs and game machines would spawn the powerful visual computing we have today. In a speech in San Jose, Calif., Huang talked about how video games and movie special effects are only the tip of the iceberg for visual computing, which encompasses everything from digital art to medical imaging. Huang is celebrating the growth of this ecosystem this week with his own new visual computing conference, dubbed Nvision 08. But it’s a turbulent time for Nvidia as the company struggles against competitors and its own product bugs. After his speech, Huang took questions on a wide range of topics at a press conference. I’ve blended questions from the general press Q&A with my own one-on-one questions in this edited transcript.
Gears is an open source project run by Google which allows users to take online data offline via a web browser plug-in. It can, for example, allow you to read Google Reader feed items even when your computer is not connected to the Internet, and soon it will allow you to read your Gmail messages too. Unfortunately, thus far to use it you had to be running either Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Mozilla’s Firefox browsers. For those of us on a Mac, Firefox was the only option. Now there is another: Safari.
Brand.net is an online ad network that claims to be the first of its hundreds of competitors to focus “exclusively on brand advertising.” Unlike many ad networks, it doesn’t “own or ‘rep’” web site publisher inventory. The San Mateo, Calif. company has raised $10 million from Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from existing investor InterWest Partners.
The micro-messaging service Twitter tonight suspended the accounts of users don_draper and peggyolson. If those names sound familiar, you’re probably a fan of the hit AMC show Mad Men. Those two Twitter users take their names from two of the main characters on the show, and over the past several weeks had been providing updates, mostly in character from what I could tell.
Microsoft just made a strategic investment of undisclosed size in Move Networks, a startup that helps companies offer high-definition video on the web. The funding should help promote Move Networks’ integration with Microsoft’s Silverlight platform.
Will Facebook users like the redesign? The company made a big gamble in changing the interface to focus on feeds — it’s a move that many in the “early adopter” crowd liked (including myself). But it’s also been met with some pockets of resistance from people who preferred the old site (including my college age sister, who’s in the company’s original demographic).
Live video streaming from mobile devices is an exciting field in an exciting time. It’s also a pretty crowded field with Qik, Flixwagon and Kyte among others all vying to lead the way. Today, Qik gained two key allies on its side: Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen.
As VentureBeat first reported last week, FriendFeed now has its “beta” testing ground site up and running. The site is open to all FriendFeed users who visit beta.friendfeed.com. The purpose of this area is to show off several new features the service is working on before it brings them to the masses.
Digg founder Kevin Rose has gotten a reputation as “the boy who cried ‘wolf’” recently with some of his Apple “leaks.” He was dead wrong about many of the specs for the initial iPhone despite having a “source” and then he was wrong again in talking about Apple-built IM/video chatting coming to the iPhone 3G prior to its launch. As such, I was hesitant to write about his latest Apple leaked news this weekend, but he went on the popular podcast This Week in Tech (TWiT) today to talk about it even more — so I’ll put it out there with that big disclaimer.
Nvidia chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage at the inaugural Nvision 08 conference to celebrate the era of visual computing. You’d expect him to be the chief ambassador for this era, since the graphics chips that his company designs are at the heart of the hardware that powers visual applications, from car designs to video games.
Copy and paste functionality on the iPhone is a dream that Apple has thus far failed to fulfill. As such, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the formation of OpenClip.org, a group that came up with a way to do copy and paste on the device across multiple applications. Unfortunately, Apple has sent OpenClip a wake up call.
Scrabulous, the popular Facebook application based on the board game Scrabble, has been shut down in the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere around the world. According to a statement from developer Jayant Agarwalla, who created the application with his brother Rajat, Facebook started restricting user access on Friday in response to a takedown notice from Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside the U.S. and Canada.
For those still thinking Apple is going to have to recall the iPhone 3G over faulty chip issues hampering its connections, there are two reports today suggesting that will not happen. One indicates the iPhone connections are perfectly normal, while another seems to put the blame solely on the carriers’ networks for any connection woes.
Fwix uses the ubiquitous-in-Silicon-Valley concept of information feeds, exemplified by sites like Facebook and FriendFeed. But somewhat differently than those sites, it takes feeds from other sites around the web, like Craigslist and Yelp, and aggregates them based on what city you’re in. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Fwix only launched on Thursday, for a few major cities. But it claims to be getting decent traffic and is rolling out to 25 more cities today.
Advanced Micro Devices will sell its digital TV chip business to Broadcom for $192.8 million.
Conviva, a San Mateo, Calif. company that was formerly called Rinera Networks, has raised a substantial $20 million in new funding. But, as the headline notes, they don’t want to give the details on why they’re able to attract so much — short of making a few mildly disparaging comments about other companies in the space.
When Google bought Jaiku in October of last year, there was some thought that it would overtake Twitter as the go-to lifestreaming/status update site of choice on the Internet. Instead, Google completely and utterly neglected the service and gave its users a product that ranged from laughably inconsistent to unusable. But there’s a sign that’s about to change.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a lot of friend requests on the micro-messaging service Twitter that were either accounts with icons of scantily clad women, or had usernames eerily similar to other accounts that had also just requested a connection with me. More than likely these are spam accounts, Twitter profiles set up simply to mass promote something without adding any real value. Twitter realized this and promised to work on the situation. True to its word, it’s now begun suspending accounts.
Perspective is a funny thing. Reading many of the headlines for the past two weeks within the tech blogosphere you’d think the iPhone 3G was a massive failure.
Adisn is the latest social data-using ad company to raise venture funding — $1.6 million, from Battery Ventures and angel investors, according to VentureWire. The Long Beach, Calif. company says it is aggregating and analyzing “web conversations,” online profiles, blogs, and user behavior to spot the most meaningful relationships between millions of “seemingly unrelated topics.” It uses this information to target ads that are most relevant to users.
Third party application developers on MySpace just got more guidance on what will happen if they abuse its users: An escalating series of warnings and punishments, ending in a full ban from the platform.
Once at each other’s throats, Google and Verizon Wireless may now be close to a deal that would give mobile subscribers a default starting point for all their searches, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Here’s the latest action:
The rumor of Apple unveiling an “iTunes Unlimited” option for its popular digital music store always gets people in a tizzy. After all, who wouldn’t want to have access to large chunk of the service’s library of music anytime they wanted for a flat fee?
Baseball, while still America’s past time, is no longer its most popular sport. (That would be NFL football.) So it makes sense that the keepers of the game attempt to branch out as fully as possible to lure in new fans and inspire excitement in young people about playing the game again. As such, Major League Baseball (MLB) and ESPN have reached an agreement to put the game on multiple digital platforms, according to USA Today.
Apple is continuing its push for global expansion of the iPhone. The latest country that will be getting the device looks to be Russia. Apple has agreed to a deal with Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), according to Reuters.
Yes we can. That may be what Republican Presidential candidate John McCain’s camp is saying right now about narrowing the race online that is completely dominated by Democratic candidate Barack Obama. To be clear: Obama is still far ahead of McCain in terms of online visibility, but it appears to be less lopsided. The reason? The Internet as a whole may have gotten a little sick of Obama in the past month, according to analytics company Compete.
12seconds has a goal: It wants to be the go-to platform for video status updates. In order to make a good platform, you need a good application programming interface (API). Today, 12seconds is launching that API and announcing its first three partners.
Turn, a Redwood City, Calif. ad network that recently took 15th place in a ComScore survey of the top networks by reach, has raised a $15 million third round of funding.
I can hear it now: What is the deal with Apple? They don’t sell Apples. Why call themselves that? … Yes, ladies and gentleman, Jerry Seinfeld is Microsoft’s new pitchman.
If the iPhone wants to be taken serious as a business device it’s going to have to have applications other than More Cowbell (the app that lets you simulate playing a cowbell). A definite must-have for business users is LinkedIn, the professional online network. Today, it launched through the App Store.
Here’s the latest action:
A new version of FriendFeed, which may or may not be called “FriendFeed Beta” is in the works, FriendFeed co-founder Bret Taylor just confirmed to me.
Facebook is planning to launch a new version of its iPhone application in September that will make the app more like the newly-redesigned web site. So, the deeper rationale for the web site redesign, perhaps, was to make it easier to replicate on mobile applications like this one. Meaning that Facebook’s web users will first get used to the web redesign, then realize they can get the same functionality, cleanly, on mobile devices.
The reason I liked the Internet television service Joost had nothing to do with the content. Rather, I saw its interactivity with other web services while watching the content as the future of television. While Joost itself may be struggling, the idea of adding widgets to the television experience lives on. Today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel announced a partnership with Yahoo on the Widget Channel, an application framework that brings widgets to your television.
With the launch of HoffSpace, I believe that social networking sites have truly achieved their potential. No, it’s not a groundbreaking new initiative from Facebook, nor is it a new site that brings together the best of Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and more. It’s way cooler — a social network for fans of global superstar David Hasselhoff (best known for his starring roles in the TV shows Knight Rider and Baywatch) apparently built using create-your-own-social-network platform Ning.
When DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg took the stage today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) stating that he was about to show the “greatest innovation to occur in the movie business in 70 years,” I was skeptical. By the time he left the stage, I was sold.
MagicPad, the advanced notepad iPhone and iPod Touch application that features the ability to copy and paste is great — but it also is something of a tease because that copy and paste functionality is limited to working within only that app itself. Tonight that changes.
Illegal content. That’s why the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) took down the online music mix tape maker Muxtape yesterday, it said in a statement to Portfolio’s Sam Gustin. While this is hardly surprising to many of us, it’s odd that Muxtape said yesterday that it was under the impression that no artist or label had complained about the music sharing service.