Google’s Nest and Samsung partner on ‘new’ home automation standard

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Samsung, Google-owned Nest Labs, and five other companies have partnered to create Thread Group, which will focus on developing a new wireless networking protocol for smart homes. Thread uses both the same frequency and radio chips as Zigbee, a standards-based wireless technology utilized by products like Phillips’ customizable Hue LED light bulbs. It can connect more than 250 devices to a low-power, mesh network equipped with internet and cloud access. The new protocol is intended to address some of the issues present within the competition, including lack of interoperability, high power requirements, and hardware dependencies.

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NEA Backs BetterDoctor’s Quest To Develop Tools To Find A Better Doctor

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Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 1.50.32 AM For Ari Tulla, the chief executive officer in NEA’s newest portfolio company, BetterDoctor, the decision to launch a company was a matter of more than just money. Almost ten years ago, Tulla’s wife began treatment for a serious illness. At the time the couple was living in Europe and spent months looking for a doctor, when Tulla’s job with Nokia took him to the U.S. they had… Read More

DigitalOcean Expands To London

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London Eye Cloud hosting company DigitalOcean announced its third expansion into Europe today with a new data center in London. The company added two facilities in the Amsterdam region earlier this year. This new center will be located on the outskirts of London proper to meet the growing developer demand in the area. London’s tech scene has been bubbling up for the past couple of years.… Read More

FiveStars Launches Automated Coupon Delivery Service For Small Businesses

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Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.57.43 AM Culminating what the executive team at the automated customer service management service provider FiveStars calls three years of development work, the company is launching its latest feature — AutoPilot. The new product FiveStars is selling automates the distribution of coupons and discounts based on a customers’ previous purchasing behavior at a store. The new feature rolls up… Read More

Google signs deal to put sensors directly on your eye

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Google and Novartis have this morning announced an agreement to collaborate on the development of the smart contact lens that was unveiled by Google X in January. Using non-invasive sensors, the lens promises to analyze tear fluid in the eye to provide constant measurements of a person’s blood glucose levels. Those can then be sent wirelessly to a mobile device and help diabetics manage their disease more easily.

Novartis has now licensed the technology and, through its eye care subsidiary Alcon, will look to develop it into a commercial product. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said that his company is “very excited to work with Novartis [on using] the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality…

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Google Search On Mobile Now Warns When Your Device Won’t Support A Site

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Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.02.34 Google is on track for mobile search queries to overtake those on desktop this year, and today it took one more step forward in how it is will control that experience on behalf of its users — for better or for worse. The company has announced that it will now flag to its users when websites listed in their search results may have elements that will not show up on a users&#8217… Read More

Leveraging optical transport to create multi-site datacenter services

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The primary objective for networking for decades has been to provide connectivity between resources. In the early days, mere connectivity was valuable enough to make it a service by itself. Then the game shifted to providing bandwidth – essentially more connectivity. Since that time, we have tried different variations of the connectivity-as-a-service model: clean pipes for more secure…

A Rubik’s cube implementation in Three.js

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 In 2003, I took the time to put together a page that explains how to solve the Rubik’s cube with a set of formulas that are easy to memorize. The idea was not necessarily to solve the cube quickly (it takes about 50-60 seconds to solve the cube with this approach) but to make it easy for anyone to beat the cube with little effort, as opposed to the hundreds of formulas that speed cubists…

Microsoft prepares for biggest ever job cuts

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Microsoft is reportedly planning its biggest job cuts for five years. Bloomberg reports that the reductions will likely affect marketing, engineering, and the former Nokia employees that make up Microsoft’s new mobile group. The cuts could be the biggest yet, after Microsoft reduced its headcount by 5,800 in 2009, and reductions are also expected to affect divisions that overlap with the Nokia phone business. Some job cuts will also reportedly hit groups like the global Xbox marketing team.

Microsoft currently has 127,104 employees as of June 5th, and previous reports from Gigaom suggest that the software maker might be planning to cut as much as 10 percent of its workforce. It’s not immediately clear when the rumored job cuts will take…

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Is agile transformation at risk?

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This week I launched agilepatterns.org to help meet the challenge of enterprise scaling. In this posting I set out the rationale for doing so in terms of recent high-profile IT failures, and the need for genuine sponsorship for deep organizational change.
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This week I launched agilepatterns.org to help meet the challenge of enterprise…

Four states were responsible for half of US wiretaps last year

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Half of the phone wiretaps set up in the United States in 2013 were authorized in only four states, according to a report released this month that details last year’s intercepted wire, oral, and electronic communications. California accounted for more than a quarter of the total and New York made up 12 percent, while both Florida and Nevada contributed six percent of the 3,576 requests authorized by federal and state government.

The same report shows that while the number of US wiretaps only increased five percent from 2012, the figure has more than doubled since 2003, when the total amount of authorized wiretaps was 1,442. 3,455 of 2013’s authorizations — 97 percent of the total — were targeted at portable devices such as cell phones,…

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