In: Venture Capital

5 rules for adapting your company to the age of group-storytelling
March 6, 2016

GUEST:
2016 will be the year social storytelling shifts from “me” to “we”, where one-off posts focused on me, me, me, will give way to people using social media and technology to not just link their stories but collaborate in sharing the story of our lives and society in real-time.
We saw hints of this last year in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris as millions of people around the world posted videos of themselves expressing grief, shock, outrage, and hope. In the first 24 hours following the attacks, Instagram reported more than 70 million people using the service to share their support and prayers.
What this illustrates is that we wanted these interactions to be part of the larger social story, and the mainstream media covered it that way. There were stories in The New York Times and on CNN.com that did not just report on the impact of social media but leveraged videos and photos posted to social media to support their own coverage.
The shift from me to we and the our demands..

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Amazon to restore encryption to Fire tablets after complaints
March 6, 2016

(Reuters) – Amazon said it plans to restore an encryption feature on its Fire tablets after customers and privacy advocates criticized the company for quietly removing the security option when it released its latest operating system.
Above: The new Amazon Fire tablet is displayed during a media event introducing new Amazon products in San Francisco, California September 16, 2015.
Image Credit: Reuters/Beck Diefenbach “We will return the option for full-disk encryption with a Fire OS update coming this spring,” company spokeswoman Robin Handaly told Reuters via email on Saturday.
Amazon’s decision to drop encryption from the Fire operating system came to light late this week. The company said it had removed the feature in a version of its Fire OS that began shipping in the fall because few customers used it.
On-device encryption scrambles data so that the device can be accessed only if the user enters the correct password. Well-known cryptologist Bruce Schneier called Amazon’s remova..

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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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