In: Venture Capital

6 ways marketing clouds will help you burn the competition (webinar)
March 13, 2016

VB WEBINAR:
With marketing covering more territory and tasks than ever, marketing clouds are becoming indispensable. But figuring out where to start and how to choose can make walking on hot coals a more attractive undertaking. Join us for this quick one-hour webinar and learn what platforms are considered the best — and how they’ll help you edge out the competition.
Register here for free.
It may seem a wild idea to think you could accomplish all your online marketing assignments at once. While that may not be entirely possible, marketing clouds can get you pretty close.
Certainly, with more than 2,000 products available in the martech ecosystem, marketers should be using more than a Google spreadsheet to keep track of their online duties. This is where marketing clouds come in. They bring all the functionality you need into one place, in one system of record, with one unified profile of your customers, and one unified, simple user interface to control it all.
To state it more si..

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Sony’s Future Lab unveils Project N hands-free headphone prototype
March 13, 2016

Sony’s Future Lab has unveiled the first of many concept prototypes that it wants your feedback on. At the South by Southwest interactive conference, the company touted its first project — called “N” — a hands-free headphone that may remind you of LG’s Tone Infinim Wireless headset, but with the difference that it includes voice control.
This wearable device, which is equipped with open speakers and responds to voice prompts, doesn’t require any earpieces, although Sony has also experimented with an open-ear concept. It features a camera, sensors, and a GPS feature. So far, Project N has ties with Strava, AccuWeather, and Yelp as content partners.
Up close, the design looked like a premium Sony device and didn’t feel cheap. The audio quality was sharp and the voice technology, which was created by Sony, can be activated by saying “Hey Arc.”
Above: A concept prototype of Sony’s interactive display projector.
Image Credit: Ken Yeung/VentureBeat Other prototypes that Sony showed off in..

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Mark Zuckerberg congratulates Google for ‘historic milestone in AI research’
March 13, 2016

Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had some complimentary things to say about Google today. His remarks came a few hours after Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence (AI) program beat Lee Sedol, a highly decorated player of the board game Go, in the third consecutive game of a five-game match in Sedol’s native South Korea.
Google competes with Facebook on some fronts, and both companies are at the forefront of AI research. In fact, the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group has been training its own AI software to play Go, but clearly it’s not yet at the same level as AlphaGo. Zuck’s praise for Google could be read as a challenge to Facebook researchers to step their game up.
FAIR head Yann LeCun today also offered congratulatory words to Google.
In January, I asked Demis Hassabis — head of the Google DeepMind research group that’s behind AlphaGo — if there were any plans for AlphaGo to take on Facebook’s computer Go player. He told me that there were not. ..

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Android N’s split-screen feature is a step forward for tablets like the Pixel C
March 13, 2016

The developer preview of Android N, the upcoming version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, comes with a few new features that build on its predecessor, Android Marshmallow, right out of the box (and more new stuff will arrive in previews to follow). One highlight of this initial preview is a split-screen mode that works in both portrait and landscape orientations on smartphones and tablets.
Split-screen is particularly impressive on Google’s recently released Pixel C convertible tablet, which is one of just two tablets that can run this first developer preview. The other is the Nexus 9. Sure, split-screen does work on Android phones — I’ve been experimenting with it on a Nexus 5X — but on tablets it looks more impressive, and you can be more productive.
The change is important because it will give Android feature parity. Microsoft’s Surface, and any other convertible tablet that runs Windows, lets you split your screen like a champ with little tinkering, and for years Sam..

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The F-bombs fly in our Gordon Ramsay interview
March 13, 2016

If Kim Kardashian can make $80 million from her mobile game in partnership with Glu Mobile, then, hell, Gordon Ramsay should be able to make a whole lot f****** more. After all, the reality TV chef star swears a lot more than Kardashian, who, together with Glu, pioneered the lucrative market for celebrity mobile games.
We were part of a small group of journalists who interviewed Ramsay last week at Glu’s headquarters in San Francisco, alongside game maker Becky Ann Hughes and Glu CEO Niccolo De Masi. Ramsay said he has been working on the chef’s game for almost two years as part of an effort to grab a bigger slice of the $34 billion mobile game market.
The Michelin-starred Ramsay said the seeds for the collaboration started in May 2014, when Glu acquired PlayFirst, a studio that created the Diner Dash and Cooking Dash games. De Masi approached Ramsay about making a game based on his celebrity personality, combined with the moment-to-moment, frenetic gameplay of the Dash games. Ramsay..

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Bitcoin transactions jump following consensus on how to scale the currency
March 13, 2016

GUEST:
On the February 23, 2016, bitcoin saw the highest number of bitcoin transactions so far in a single day. According to a tracking graph on Blockchain.info, there were about 260,578 transactions in the day.
The highest peak before this was in October, 2015, when about 241,346 transactions were carried out in a single day.
This February surge came just a few days after representatives of the bitcoin mining community, core developers, and entrepreneurs met in Hong Kong and arrived at a consensus on how to move forward with scaling the bitcoin block size.
It is easy to interpret the rise in transactions as a result of the confidence that the consensus has injected into the bitcoin market.
For some time now, it has been a general belief that the seemingly never-ending wrangling within the bitcoin community on how to scale the bitcoin network is affecting the image of bitcoin negatively.
The network always responds appropriately The metric that has always been used to point this ..

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India’s Micromax is struggling
March 13, 2016

MUMBAI (By Himank Sharma, Reuters) – A year ago, Micromax vaulted past Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to become India’s leading smartphone brand. Today, its market share has nearly halved, several top executives have resigned, and the company is looking for growth outside India.
In Micromax’s slide to second place is a tale of the promise and peril of India’s booming but hyper-competitive smartphone industry.
India is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. Shipments of smartphones jumped 29 percent to 103 million units last year.
Rapid growth has helped nurture a crop of local brands, led by Micromax, that outsourced production to Chinese manufacturers. Now, as Samsung rolls out more affordable phones, the same Chinese factories are entering the Indian market with their own brands, depressing prices and forcing Indian mobile makers to rethink their strategies.
“What the Indian brands did to the global brands two years ago, Chinese phone makers are doing the same to Indian brand..

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2000’s Diablo II gets a new patch
March 12, 2016

Blizzard is still supporting one of its classic games.
The developer announced today that it has released a new patch for Diablo II, an action role-playing game that the company released back in 2000. The update focuses on making the title playable on modern PC operating systems.
“There is still a large Diablo II community around the world, and we thank you for continuing to play and slay with us,” Blizzard noted on its site. “This journey starts by making Diablo II run on modern platforms, but it does not end there.”
Blizzard noted that it wants to improve cheat-detection and hack-prevention in future updates.
Diablo III, Diablo II’s successor, came out in 2012, and it’s still popular with fans. However, some prefer Diablo II for its more old-school sensibilities (many were upset to see Diablo III get rid of skill trees, a sort of player progression that has you picking new skills along branching paths). It’s nice to see Blizzard support those fans by continuing to work on such an..

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