June 2016

Apollo 12 astronauts brought porn with them while walking on the moon
June 28, 2016

In November 1969, astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad and Alan Bean rode a lunar lander down to the moon's Ocean of Storms while module pilot Dick Gordon orbited overhead.

Conrad and Bean were on their way toward becoming the third and fourth men to walk on the moon, respectively. But their mission, just four months after Neil and Buzz's Apollo 11, lacked either the moment of a first landing or the high drama of Apollo 13's near-disaster. Maybe that's why the details of Apollo 12 have passed from popular memory.

That's too bad, because Apollo 12 was downright zany. This was the mission that was nearly scrapped before it left the atmosphere, where a bad swing of the arm destroyed precious equipment.

And then, of course, there was the porn.

Apollo 12 got struck by lightning in flight and the mission was almost aborted
Probably the most famous event of the Apollo 12 mission came within its first minutes. Reading the mission transcript, the whole launch plays out..

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The founder of one of London’s best-known VC funds is moving to Africa and closing his coworking space
June 28, 2016

Federico Pirzio-Biroli, the founder of London VC fund Playfair Capital, is planning to move to Africa to become an angel investor there, and the fund is closing its coworking space at Warner Yard in Clerkenwell.

Playfair Capital specialises in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and has invested in well-known startups such as restaurant app Dojo, DueDil, Vinaya, Stripe, Streethub, Hassle, and Stratajet.

Pirzio-Biroli told Business Insider that he worked at NGOs in Africa before becoming a technology investor, so this is a logical move for him. He says that angel investing in Africa can make a big difference to economies there, whereas London is now flooded with early stage funding for technology startups.

The Playfair Capital fund isn't going to close its doors completely — instead Pirzio-Biroli is handing over control to his remaining staff and preparing to become a limited, rather than general, partner.

Pirzio-Biroli provided this statement about his move to Africa..

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Cisco is spending $293 million to buy cloud security company CloudLock (CSCO)
June 28, 2016

Cisco announced another acquisition Tuesday morning. It's picking up CloudLock, a Waltham, Mass. company with Israeli roots, for $$293 million in cash and assumed equity awards, plus additional retention-based incentives for CloudLock employees who join Cisco, it says.

The company has about 145 employees, it says.

CloudLock was founded in 2007 by three Israelis Gil Zimmermann, Ron Zalkind and Tsahy Shapsa, and had raised about $35 million from backers like Bessemer Venture Partners, Salesforce's venture funds and Boston-based Ascent Venture Partners.

CloudLock makes technology that allows companies to watch the security of their apps in the cloud, ensure employees aren't sharing sensitive data even with cloud apps that are not built or managed by IT. For instance, it can watch files shared via Box, Dropbox, Office 365, Slack and Amazon Web Services. It claims 700 customers including HBO, Motorola, the US Army, and NASA.

CloudLock fits into Cisco's portfolio in a..

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The most successful tech IPO of the year is skyrocketing today (TWLO)
June 28, 2016

Twilio, the tech company that had a blockbuster initial public offering last week, is on fire again.

Shares of the company, which makes communications software, wer up as high as 21% in midday trading, at $33 — a new high.

The broader market is enjoying a bounce-back on Tuesday, after the massive sell-off triggered by the Brexit vote last week. But Twilio's pop is much bigger than the Nasdaq Composite's 60 point increase, which is about 1.3%.

And Twilio's gains on Tuesday far exceeded its lost ground, about 5%, over the past couple of days.

There's no immediate news about Twilio's business. On Monday, CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer endorsed the company, calling it a “unicorn with real value” and noting that the market “may be willing to pay up for growth again.”

SEE ALSO: This VC firm wrote a $125,000 check over breakfast to Twilio — now it owns a $500 million stake in the company

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NOW WATCH: Mark Cuban explains ..

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THE GLOBAL SMARTPHONE REPORT: The forces behind the global deceleration in smartphone sales
June 28, 2016

The global smartphone market is expected to slow considerably over the next few years. Despite a record-setting holiday quarter, 2015 was likely the last year of double-digit growth for smartphone shipments.

Mature markets were at the heart of this year’s deceleration. Adoption has reached new highs in key markets in the United States, Europe, and China. The pool of first-time buyers in these countries is shrinking rapidly, and sales are now primarily coming from phone upgrades.

Meanwhile, emerging markets will continue to see robust shipment growth. India and Indonesia, in particular, will help fuel a large share of the shipments growth within the global smartphone market over the next few years.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we updated our smartphone forecast through 2021 to reflect slower, stabilizing growth in the long term.

Here are some key points from the report:

The global smartphone market is still growing at a steady pace due to more widespread adoption in ..

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Silicon Valley is obsessed with building utopian cities of the future
June 28, 2016

It's something of a mantra among urban planners, architects, and Silicon Valley types at this point: The world's population is growing rapidly, and by 2050, over two-thirds of people will live in urban areas. Today's cities can't handle the huge influx of people to come, so we have to make some big changes.

If you listen to Silicon Valley, those changes might look like…new cities entirely.

In the spring, Sidewalk Labs (owned by parent company Alphabet Inc.) announced its intentions to build a “smart city” within one or more existing cities in the US. First up is overhauling parking and ride-sharing in Columbus, Ohio, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. The project, which hasn't been approved yet, will use software to analyze transportation data, create an “Airbnb for cars” where vehicles can use short-term rented parking spots, and use artificial intelligence to help parking cops be more efficient (yay?).

Eventually, Sidewalk Labs envisions te..

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Apple has created a way to restrict your iPhone from taking pictures at concerts — here’s how it works (AAPL)
June 28, 2016

Here's an odd one: Apple was granted a patent on Tuesday that would prevent you from taking pictures with your iPhone at places where it might be inappropriate or prohibited, like concerts or museums.

According to Patently Apple, which first discovered the patent, venues could use infrared emitters to broadcast an infrared signal that would temporarily disable smartphone cameras.

Ironically, the receiver for the infrared signal that would block smartphone cameras would be the smartphone cameras themselves.

If you haven't heard or seen the word “infrared” in a while, that's because it's a pretty old standard that's been used for decades for things like TV remotes, and you won't find many new products these days that boast “infrared functionality.”

However, infrared is perfect for the application described in Apple's patent, as it won't disable your camera unless you're pointing it at something or someone you're not supposed to. For ..

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You can now read J.K. Rowling’s latest short story that takes place in the same world as Harry Potter
June 28, 2016

The latest J.K. Rowling-adapted movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” doesn't come out until mid-November. Luckily, Rowling just released the perfect material to hold you over until then: a short story called “Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

The best part? You can read the story right now, for free online, since Rowling published the piece on her entertainment website Pottermore. The new tale is the second entry in Rowling's “Magic in North America” short story collection.

“Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” takes places at the North American version of Hogwarts and follows Isolt Sayre, who seems a lot like the witch-version of good old Harry: she's parentless and lives with her evil aunt, who refuses to let her attend Hogwarts. The young witch hops across the pond to attend Ilvermorny, which has a sorting ceremony and strangely-named houses of its own.

An introductory trailer accompanies the short digital tale. Check out the tra..

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