In: Venture Capital

Machine Zone’s Mobile Strike tops Far Cry: Primal in Super Bowl month ad spending
March 6, 2016

Check out more of our 20th anniversary of Pokémon coverage this week at GamesBeat. GUEST:
Machine Zone blew away the competition in the Mobile & Video Games category this month for TV advertising, with spending estimated at three times more than its nearest competitor. Propelled by an ad that ran in the first quarter of the Super Bowl, it’s difficult to compare other brands to Machine Zone. In fact, Machine Zone’s estimated spend of $12.4 million this month was larger than the remaining top four brands combined.
GamesBeat has partnered with iSpot.tv, which measures TV advertising in real time, to bring you a monthly report on how gaming brands are spending and which are generating the most digital response.
Although Machine Zone ran six spots in February, it devoted 86 percent of its spend — an estimated $10.7 million — to 3,265 airings of the Super Bowl ad, “Mobile Strike: Fight,” featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The ad generated more than 555 million TV impressions since its Febru..

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500 rare Apple II programs and games are now preserved online at the Internet Archive
March 6, 2016

Check out more of our 20th anniversary of Pokémon coverage this week at GamesBeat. In an industry that constantly lusts toward the future, the Internet Archive has once again helped retain tech’s past by announcing that it has saved more than 500 Apple II programs.
The San Francisco-based non-profit has been doing yeoman’s work for years now, maintaining everything from historical copies of webpages to archiving sound and video to digitizing out-of-copyright books. The program to preserve the catalogue of Apple II programs is yet another example of this work, and one that provides an important record of the dawn of the personal computing age.
The actual work of finding and uploading the programs is being done by a person (or possibly an anonymous collective) who goes under the name “4am.”
According to a post on the Internet Archive blog, the 4am collection now has passed the 500 program milestone. In fact, the 4am page now says it has 631 Apple II programs. These are part of a large..

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China lays out ‘Internet Plus’ policy to become a tech leader
March 6, 2016

(Reuters) – China aims to become a world leader in advanced industries such as semiconductors and in the next generation of chip materials, robotics, aviation equipment and satellites, the government said in its blueprint for development between 2016 and 2020.
In its new draft five-year development plan unveiled on Saturday, Beijing also said it aims to use the internet to bolster a slowing economy and make the country a cyber power.
China aims to boost its R&D spending to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product for the five-year period, compared with 2.1 percent of GDP in 2011-to-2015.
Innovation is the primary driving force for the country’s development, Premier Li Keqiang said in a speech at the start of the annual full session of parliament.
China is hoping to marry its tech sector’s nimbleness and ability to gather and process mountains of data to make other, traditional areas of the economy more advanced and efficient, with an eye to shoring up its slowing economy and helping t..

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Yahoo CFO doesn’t understand intense scrutiny of his company
March 6, 2016

It’s hard to find a company as iconic as Yahoo is in tech. Not surprisingly, Yahoo’s been one of the most closely watched tech companies over the past two decades.
But Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman, who’s been in the position for the last four years, doesn’t seem too excited about it. Rather, he’s flabbergasted by the staggering amount of attention his company’s been attracting from the press.
“I’ve never seen anything like the amount of attention we get given our size. You get papers in New York that — I’m not quite sure why they think we are so interesting as a company. It’s amazing to me,” Goldman said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Thursday.
Goldman may have a point. The level of public scrutiny Yahoo faces from moment-to-moment seems almost unprecedented, especially given its relatively small size compared to other tech giants, like Google or Apple — each worth nearly six-times more than Yahoo.
Part of Goldman’s frustration also comes from the fact tha..

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Why leaving the EU would put London’s booming fintech sector at risk
March 6, 2016

OPINION:
The stage has been set for a decision that will impact the U.K.’s business community for years to come. The EU referendum — confirmed for June 23rd — will determine whether Britain remains a member of one of the world’s most influential markets and whether it will continue to hold a seat at the table.
For tech firms — both in the U.K. and outside it — this undoubtedly places a large question mark over the future and feeds growing uncertainty and unrest. Consensus as to the potential implications of “Brexit” will be difficult to find amongst the trading of wild claims and statistics that is anticipated over the next few months. Nevertheless, it is vital that we start to seek clarity if the tech community is to have its voice heard in the upcoming referendum debate.
Innovation and investment With innovation and investment at its heart, London’s booming FinTech sector has been one of the region’s greatest success stories in recent years. The capital’s unique position as a crea..

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Microsoft and Google employees in U.S. National Guard may join cyber war against Islamic State
March 6, 2016

(Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the National Guard’s cyber squadrons will play an increasingly important role in assessing the vulnerabilities of U.S. industrial infrastructure and could be asked to join the fight against Islamic State.
The National Guard – a reserve military force that resides in the states but can be mobilized for national needs – is a key part of the military’s larger effort to set up over 120 cyber squadrons to respond to cyber attacks and prevent them.
One such unit, the 262nd squadron, is a 101-person team that includes employees of Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google. The unit is “famous throughout the country” for several high profile vulnerability assessments, Carter said at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington late on Friday.
He told reporters the squadron was not currently engaging in offensive cyber missions but could be in the future.
“Units like this can also participate in offensive cyber operations of the kind that I hav..

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Facebook exec jailed over encrypted WhatsApp data says Brazil’s police treated him with respect
March 6, 2016

(Reuters) – A Facebook executive who spent about 24 hours in a Brazilian jail this week said authorities treated him with respect and that the incident will not slow the company’s expansion in Brazil.
Diego Dzodan, a Facebook vice president based in São Paulo, was arrested on Tuesday due to a dispute over law enforcement demands for data from the company’s encrypted WhatsApp messaging service for use in a secretive drug trafficking investigation.
He was released on Wednesday after an appeals judge overturned a court order to arrest him.
“I was treated with a lot of respect,” Dzodan said at a Saturday conference on Latin American business trends organized by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.
He said Facebook has no access to data that travels over the its secure WhatsApp messaging service, making compliance with the request from Brazilian officials impossible.
“The way that information is encrypted from one cell phone to another, th..

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How adblockers drive YouTubers to shill for mobile game makers
March 6, 2016

Check out more of our 20th anniversary of Pokémon coverage this week at GamesBeat. FEATURE:
Disclaimer The organizers of Casual Connect paid my way to Amsterdam. Our coverage remains fair.
The business model of the Internet is changing as more people install tools to block advertisements, and this is forcing content creators into situations where they need to cross the line from neutral commentator to paid spokesperson.
Roostr.tv is a company that acts as an intermediary that connects mobile game studios with YouTube video personalities looking to make more money. It is a marketplace where developers can pay YouTubers to make content featuring their mobile games. Each Roostr.tv partner gets a unique link as part of their advertising campaigns, and they get paid a set amount for each person who installs the game using that link. For developers, this creates a way to avoid paying $4.23 on average for a new player that may not spend a lot — or anything — on their game. That’s a record ..

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How fabled research lab SRI invents the future, one startup at a time
March 6, 2016

Nick Triantos was on a mission to find a job where he could help build the next big thing. That’s what drew him to SRI where he’s the managing director of its venture arm. The non-profit research firm has a storied past in technology, from creating liquid crystal displays (LCD), to eye tracking technology, the mouse, ARPANET (the predecessor to the modern-age Internet), the digital fax machine, 9-1-1, virtual private networks, natural language speech recognition, and Siri.
Above: SRI Ventures managing director Nick Triantos
Image Credit: SRI But while many of its programs are government funded, that hasn’t stopped SRI from working with the private sector to commercialize its innovations. In an interview with VentureBeat, Triantos explained how SRI is entrepreneurial in nature — more than 60 ventures have been spun out in its 60 year history, including Nuance, Tempo AI, Desti, and Symantec — and it’s always on the hunt for ways to make its technology advances more widely available.
SR..

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Google’s Tilt Brush on the HTC Vive VR headset will make you feel like a 3D artist
March 6, 2016

Check out more of our 20th anniversary of Pokémon coverage this week at GamesBeat. One of my favorite apps on the HTC Vive Pre virtual reality headset is Google’s Tilt Brush, a 3D painting program that lets your turn the virtual world into your canvas.
This kind of VR experience could very well be one of the killer apps for virtual reality, which tech advisor Digi-Capital predicts will be a $30 billion market by 2020. It may not look like much in my hands, but real artists can truly create some eye-popping virtual paintings that are more like museum experiences. I expect that VR art is going to be one of the best uses for the medium, as people figure out what they want to do in the new worlds that we’re about to create.
VR is a new frontier, and we’re at the very beginning of it. Dozens of apps are coming, and some of them will truly make you feel like you are somewhere else. Tilt Brush is one of those applications that you can get lost in. I certainly wish I was better at drawing, b..

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