A robot with a unique personality might sound like an oxymoron. Or science fiction. But that’s the goal of London-based startup Emotech, launching on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015 today, with a plan to crowdfund its first product, a voice-controlled robot assistant called Olly, early next year.
The bot takes the form of an animated eyeball that is housed in a lamp-shaped cup designed to roll around on your tabletop. So if the thought of a large blinking eyeball that swivels around to look at you when you speak — and talks back — makes you feel at all uneasy, well, this may not be the bot for you.
Osaro, a new, San Francisco-based startup that’s developing advanced machine learning known as deep reinforcement learning, has raised $3.3 million in seed funding to take its technology to market.
The money comes from Scott Banister, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, and Peter Thiel, for whom Osaro cofounder Derik Pridmore once worked (first at Thiel’s hedge fund, Clarium Capital, and later as a principal at his venture firm, Founders Fund).
It has often been said that every company is a software company or even a big data company, but as I attended the Intel Capital Global Summit last week, another thought occurred to me: every company is now also an investment company.
We are in the midst of a tectonic shift in enterprise technology as the cloud has an ever-growing impact on how businesses provision infrastructure and software. Established vendors used to selling copious amounts of hardware and software have been experimenting with various strategies to deal with a rapidly changing marketplace. This has taken several forms including getting bigger, forming partnerships, splitting in two and selling off unprofitable pieces.
In the largest tech deal in history by far, Dell and partners MSD Partners and Silver Lake agreed to buy EMC today for $67 billion or $33.15 a share.
This is way over the price of $27 and change that was being rumored last week, and makes the deal far bigger than the $37 billion that Avago paid for Broadcom just last May. What makes this deal even more interesting though, is that Dell with a valuation of around $25 billion was by far the smaller fish at approximately half the size of EMC.
As technology giants accelerate humanity towards a driverless car future, where we are conditioned to keep our eyeballs on our devices while algorithms take the wheel and navigate the vagaries of the open road, safety questions crash headlong into ethical and philosophical considerations.
Brilliant entrepreneurs are wasting their talents, trapped inside Seattle’s big tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon. Pioneer Square Labs wants to give them a startup to run. Today with $12.5 million from 12 VCs and 50 angels, Pioneer Square Labs launches its startup studio.
It is common wisdom nowadays that a founding team consisting of 2–3 founders is ideal. Doing it solo is simply too hard. Founder burnout is an imminent possibility, and statistics are simply not on your side. Many early stage investors will tell you outright that they will not fund a single-founder venture.
The Dislike button has long been the most requested feature from Facebook users. So when Mark Zuckerberg today said in a public Q&A that the company was working on a way to show empathy for victims of tragedies and other things that are inappropriate to Like, news outlets around the world sprung into action saying the masses would soon get their wish.
When Apple first introduced its widgets platform in iOS 8, the company blocked developers from releasing apps that launched other apps via widgets added to the “Today View” in the Notification Center on the iPhone or iPad. However, Apple later relaxed the rules, allowing apps like Launcher, Workflow, and others to push the boundaries of widgets from being those that simply displayed information to those that allowed you to also take actions by way of other apps.
Imagine if the founder of a very successful consumer technology company knocked on your door and offered to get you in on the ground floor of their new enterprise. Almost any VC would jump at the chance, as would most engineers and designers. But I wonder if they’re most often making a mistake?
I can point to a number of founders who have had repeat success in B2B markets. Founders who have repeatedly built and sold companies for hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars. It’s really hard to think of any on the consumer side of the market.
Scientists at NASA’s Langley Research Center are studying new materials that can self-heal in seconds under extreme temperatures and from flying space junk.
Quartzy is a lab supplies marketplace often used among life scientists at various universities, but particularly at Stanford. The academic institution made that relationship official today. Quartzy will now be deployed in labs across Stanford campus to save the university cash on lab supplies.
Okta, the cloud identity management company, announced a $75 million round. Okta was valued at $1.2 billion in this deal, meaning it has entered the hallowed halls of the Unicorn club, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal.
The password, the chief means of securing access to our most valuable data, has become almost completely useless, no longer even presenting a speed bump for hackers and mischief makers.
There are a myriad of problems with the password in the modern computing context. We are no longer signing onto a single mainframe. We have multiple applications in use across various platforms. That means we are forced to remember far too many passwords. This causes people to use silly ones like 1234 or the same password across multiple sites, not even attempting to be secure.
More than a year after the launch of the first Android Wear watches, Google is now finally bringing iOS support to its smartwatch platform with the launch of its Android Wear mobile app in Apple’s App Store today.
Work isn’t all about fun and games, but QuizUp is trying as hard as it can to change that.
The popular and frustratingly addictive trivia game is announcing a new initiative today to change corporate learning with QuizUp at Work. The program allows corporations to take the fun and competitive nature of QuizUp and combine it with helping employees learn about company programs, products and policies.
In a prospectus filed today by the company, Tesla announced the intention to sell up to 2,100,000 shares of common stock. Underwriters will also receive a 30-day option to purchase up to 315,000 additional shares.
Today at a big press conference, Samsung announced two new flagship phones, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, and its new sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. While a Note update was highly anticipated, the S6 Edge+ is a new beast. And the best way to describe it is that its a direct iPhone 6 Plus competitor.
Early this week the WSJ reported that the Securities Exchange Commission is investigating the selling of pre-IPO company stock, which has seen a recent surge in activity as companies remain private longer and valuations continue to rise.