SiliconANGLE http://siliconangle.com Extracting the signal from the noise. Sat, 31 Jan 2015 19:48:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Intel’s new chips cut the cord with wireless docking & display tech http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/intels-new-chips-cut-the-cord-with-wireless-docking-display-tech/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/intels-new-chips-cut-the-cord-with-wireless-docking-display-tech/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:29:08 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216715 Continue reading ]]> Intel CEO Brian Krzanich

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich

Intel has just made its latest bid to persuade enterprises to upgrade their PCs with the release of its 5th generation Intel Core vPro Broadwell chip. This time around, its teasing the prospect of a wire-free workplace, with new wireless docking and display technology, together with a range of IT department-friendly features that enhance device management and security.

The main idea is to rid workplaces of the myriad of computer cables and connectors that get under everyone’s feet. The chips will be built into a range of machines, including desktops, business laptops and mini-PCs.

“We aim to transform the user experience by helping them compute from virtually anywhere without the clutter and burden of wires,” Tom Garrison, general manager of Intel’s business client platforms, said in a statement.

Intel envisions a future where there’ll be no need power cables and power bricks – we’ll simply charge our devices wirelessly, while everything will connect without the need for display and USB cables. Wireless charging is for now still some way off, but Intel is hoping to add the feature when it rolls out its next line of processors, called Skylake, later this year. In the meantime, wireless connectivity has already arrived.

Besides less clutter, the vPro chips offer a complete client manageability and security options. For those unfamiliar with vPro, its an out-of-band management technology Intel has built into a variety of its products, including CPUs, chipsets, NICs and SSDs, among others. Intel brands its tech Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), which offers various IT management tools at the hardware level, meaning remote PCs can be accessed even when they’re switched off.

This can be useful in various scenarios. For example, if a device containing sensitive data is stolen, AMT can access its location, restrict access or wipe all of the data stored on it. Other cool features of AMT include an integrated VMC server that allows for remote monitoring of Intel’s integrated graphics feed, keyboard and mouse controls, and the ability to redirect the boot process of a PC to a remote image.

Intel’s 5th generation Intel Core vPro Broadwell chip is an extremely enterprise-friendly one, but organizations may want to hold off on their upgrades just yet. This release is generally considered to be an interim chip designed to pacify customers until Skylake makes its debut later in the year, on machines running Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system.

photo credit: Jason Rosenberg via photopin cc

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/intels-new-chips-cut-the-cord-with-wireless-docking-display-tech/feed/ 0
Singapore aims to become the first smart nation http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/singapore-aims-to-become-the-first-smart-nation/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/singapore-aims-to-become-the-first-smart-nation/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:00:01 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216602 Continue reading ]]> SiliconANGLE's Smart World Round-up

SiliconANGLE’s Smart World Round-up

This week’s Smart City roundup features what may be the first smart nation, a competition for smart city initiatives and printable electronics may be the future of smart buildings.

Singapore aims to be the first smart nation

 

More and more cities are looking to the Internet of Things to help transform their cities into smart ones. Sensors are being placed in roads, lamp posts, traffic lights and other infrastructures for cities to determine which problems need immediate attention, how they can reduce pollution or even how to solve traffic congestion. For Singapore, authorities aims to transform the whole nation into a smart one to build better services.

“We are working to ‘dashboard’ the entire nation of Singapore, and to use a range of data to continuously improve how we provide critical services to citizens in areas such as health care, transport, and resources,” says Steve Leonard, the executive deputy chairman of Infocomm Development Authority, Singapore’s national technology arm.

Singapore is looking into integrating data and smart services, such as how transport data can be used for self-driving vehicles in getting to their doctor’s appointment or to the hospital. Though the plan to connect the entire nation to the Internet may be for the good of its citizens, some are wary about people’s privacy when every aspect of their lives are connected to the Internet.

Smart London Districts Challenge-led Innovation Competition

 

The Mayor of London’s Office is inviting entrepreneurs and businesses to enter its Smart London Districts Challenge-led Innovation Competition. The competition is in partnership with the Institute for Sustainability and involves some of the capital’s highest-profile redevelopment districts, including Battersea Nine Elms, Croydon, Elephant and Castle, Imperial West and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The competition is looking to award innovations directed at helping London connect its growing population to its surroundings via navigation and wayfinding solutions. The competition is open to anyone, but is also looking to help small businesses get their innovative products off the ground.

The deadline for submission entries is on February 15, 2015 and the winners of the competition will be invited to pitch their innovations to the Smart London Districts Network members later this year.

The promise of printable electronics

 

The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association, which is the united voice of Canada’s Printable Electronics sensor and the Continental Automated Buildings Association, a group dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and building technologies, has signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the future of printable electronics in smart buildings.

CABA members will have a number of PE applications that would spike their interest such as PE-based photovoltaic energy collection, flexible and large-area lights, flexible and large-surface heating elements, PE-based large-area displays, or PE touch pads to replace traditional switches.

“The future of building automation and intelligent buildings lies with innovative and economical solutions that can make buildings smarter, user-centric, greener, more efficient and less costly to operate,” said Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. “PE definitely has a significant role to play in evolving this industry with new products and applications. We welcome the opportunity to work together with the CPEIA and its members.”

photo credit: Richard Cawood via photopin cc
]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/singapore-aims-to-become-the-first-smart-nation/feed/ 0
China legalizes video game console sales http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/china-legalizes-video-game-console-sales/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/china-legalizes-video-game-console-sales/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:00:17 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216682 Continue reading ]]> Xbox One Hits China

Xbox One Hits China

China has officially legalized the sale of home video game consoles after a 14-year ban.

China initially banned video game consoles in 2000 to fight what the government considered to be a corrupting influence on the nation’s children. Bloomberg reports that after a brief trial period of console sales within Shanghai’s free-trade zone, China has finally repealed the ban on game consoles and will soon allow their sale nationwide.

Microsoft Corp. was the first foreign company to begin selling a video game console within China back in September when the company introduced the Xbox One to Shanghai. “We know there are millions of gamers there and lots of pent-up demand,” Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, said at the time.

Analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP estimated that console makers could be looking at a $10 billion video game industry in China, opening the doors for an entirely new market for Microsoft, Sony Corp., and Nintendo Entertainment Co. Ltd.

Some companies are already taking advantage of the news, and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba recently made a $10 million investment into the makers of Ouya, an inexpensive, palm-sized console that is powered by Android.

 

Legalized consoles face tough censorship

 

While the sale of video game consoles is now legal in China, game developers still face incredibly stringent censorship laws that make it very difficult to release games in the country. When the Xbox One first began selling in Shanghai, it shipped with only 10 different titles available for the system.

Sony had also initially made plans to sell the PlayStation 4 in the free-trade zone in Shanghai, but requests for changes made by the Chinese authorities forced the Sony to postpone its original January 11 release date.

With China’s tough stance on violence and other objectionable material in games, it is unclear where the future of foreign game development stands in the country.

Australia, another country with strict rules governing video game content, has effectively banned several games in the past by refusing to rate them until changes are made. For some game developers, access to a foreign market is worth the cost of modifying their game for compliance, but for others, the cost outweighs the gain.

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/china-legalizes-video-game-console-sales/feed/ 0
Building the IIoT: The next industrial revolution http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/building-the-iiot-the-next-industrial-revolution/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/building-the-iiot-the-next-industrial-revolution/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:00:32 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216566 Continue reading ]]> Industrial Internet of Things with SiliconANGLE

Industrial Internet of Things with SiliconANGLE

The economic potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is simply too massive for enterprises to ignore. Accenture LLP says it could add as much as $14 trillion to the world’s economy by 2030, as long as businesses and governments make the necessary investments to build out enabling factors like broadband networks and skills.

Accenture describes the Industrial Internet of Things as a “network of physical objects, systems, platforms and applications that contain embedded technology to communicate and share intelligence with each other, the external environment and with people” in a business setting. It believes that connected devices, combined with Big Data, will generate entirely new lines of business for industrial companies.

But there’s work to do first. In a survey of more than 1,400 business leaders, the consulting firm found that just 36 percent have a full understanding of the Industrial Internet of Things’s implications, and a mere seven percent have developed a comprehensive strategy with investments to match. Those who do put plans in place today stand to reap the benefits of what the report calls the “outcome economy.”

 

The ‘outcome economy’

 

The outcome economy is based on selling outputs rather than inputs. Like service level agreements, outcomes guarantee results, giving the customer peace of mind in exchange for a higher price. Industries that could never before promise outcomes because of the inherent uncertainty of processes and equipment will now have the means to do so because they can know exactly what’s going on in the field.

However, few businesses have worked out ideas for creating new value-added services and revenue streams from the Industrial Internet, Accenture says. They see immediate benefits in lower costs and improved quality, but the vast volumes of data generated by sensors can also be used to offer tailored outcomes that have much higher value for customers.

James Heppelmann, CEO of software company PTC, explained in a recent interview with McKinsey & Company how connected products can help companies become more proactive and efficient. Connected products come with three crucial benefits: the ability to service those products better by monitoring their status; the ability to operate those products better; and most importantly, the ability to improve those products.

“You can add feedback loops into the engineering and design processes to understand if the customers use the product like you thought they would,” said Heppelmann. “I think that this will have a transformative effect on the way things are created, operated, and serviced. And a tremendous amount of efficiency and differentiation and value will be created as a result.”

The Accenture study illustrates how this would work in the real world, citing the agricultural sector as an example. Businesses in the sector will be able to go beyond simply selling products to providing a service that offers guaranteed yields for specific crops in different locations through analysis of geo-location, diagnostics, crop, fertilizer, weather and other data. Meanwhile, in the aviation industry, engine manufacturers can generate new revenue streams by carrying out real-time monitoring of engine performance during flight to pre-empt maintainance problems, improve fuel efficiency and avoid travel delays.

Robots and humans, better together?

 

Seven of NineThe workforce will also undergo a dramatic evolution as the Industrial Internet emerges. While some menial jobs will become automated, Accenture believes the Industrial Internet will actually lead to the creation of new jobs, driving the world toward a blended workforce where machines empower humans to make better decisions rather than competing with them. This combination will deliver outcomes that neither could achieve alone and generate jobs in new lines of business that the IIoT creates.

“Amazon now operates one of the world’s largest fleets of industrial robots in its warehouses, where humans and robots work side-by-side, capable of fulfilling orders up to 70% faster than a non-automated warehouse,” the study notes.

Even more beneficial perhaps, is that the Industrial Internet will allow workers to do more. Routine tasks can be automated, allowing workers to engage in more interesting and more rewarding work. Accenture cites a proof-of-concept demonstration involving a Google Glass head-mounted display that improves the effectiveness of surgical procedures. The theory is that this hands-free access to data can be applied to numerous other industries too, such as utilities, allowing field engineers to repair unfamiliar equipment more easily than is possible today.

These advances won’t just relieve workers’ boredom, but also help them to become more productive. Workers will be freed from performing menial tasks and given more time to produce customized products and services. The shift from mass production to tailored outcomes will generate new revenue streams while creating new demand for human talent.

Smoothing a path for the Industrial Internet

 

The Industrial Internet makes some tantalizing promises, but organizations will need to make a serious effort to realize them. A recent report by National Instruments Corp., which builds automated test equipment and virtual instrumentation software for the Industrial Internet, identified a number of key challenges that organizations and technology providers must address if they’re to reap any benefits.

The most daunting of these is the challenge of building out networks to cope with the influx of new connected devices. It’s not just that bandwidth requirements will increase; the Industrial Internet demands better latency and determinism as well. “When dealing with precision machines that can fail if timing is off by a millisecond, adhering to strict requirements becomes pivotal to the health and safety of the machine operators, the machines and the business,” notes National Instruments’ report.

Organizations will also need to change the way they design and augment their industrial systems, says National Instruments. The traditional design and augmentation of industrial systems tends to go one of two ways: either you add functionality by tacking on vendor-defined black boxes, or you design a proprietary or custom end-to-end solution. Neither solution is conducive to the Industrial Internet, so organizations will need to build new systems that are adaptive and scalable through software or added functionality that integrates with the overall solution, says the report.

The National Instruments report also points to the challenge posed by security. Rick Bullotta, Chief Technology Officer at ThingWorx, an application platform for the Internet of Things, told SiliconANGLE that Industrial Internet security should be treated as its own distinct area, separate from desktop, mobile and server security systems. In addition, he stressed that organizations need to be aware of how different devices interact on their networks, and to adapt network monitoring and intrusion prevention/detection systems to take into account each different kind of device. “A formal risk process for risk assessment and mitigation should be a key element of any IoT deployment, as well as an ongoing operation,” Bullotta said.

Finally, NI warns that organizations must be prepared to make a massive investment in the development and deployment of Industrial Internet systems. It’s not enough to just consider today’s or even the immediate future’s needs – organizations must be able to adapt to changing circumstances over time, which means building open, integrated hardware and software solutions together with a real-time network that can scale with new technologies. “The only way to meet the needs of today and tomorrow is not by predicting the future but by deploying a network of systems flexible enough to evolve and adapt,” the report says.

Putting the foundations in place

 

Industrial Internet1But Accenture warns that these efforts will be fruitless if governments fail to invest in the “enabling factors” it says are required to accelerate the IIoT. The technology behind the IIoT must be combined with a number of broader social, economic and political factors if nations are to make the most of their productive and innovative potential, says Accenture.

The problem for organizations is these factors are complex, often indirect and not always under the control of the private sector. Governments will need to make an even bigger investment in digital infrastructure if they’re to faciliate the IIoT, as its success is heavily dependent on the presence of robust infrastructures, such as ubiquitous broadband connectivity and sensors. It’s a point that even less developed nations would do well to take note, as the IIoT could effectively help them to “catch up” with more advanced countries.

“Through targeted investment, emerging markets will have a unique opportunity to
potentially leapfrog developed countries in the Industrial Internet infrastructure,” notes Accenture’s report. “As these countries continue large construction efforts like roads, airports, factories and high-density buildings, they can avoid costly retrofitting faced by developed countries by installing state-of-the-art embedded sensors from the outset.”

But infrastructure is not the only enabling factor required to make the IIoT ‘work’. Policy makers will also need to do their bit, clarifying and simplifying data policies so global companies will be able to work within clear legal guidelines over data ownership, transfer and usage. Meanwhile, industry regulations will need to be updated and relaxed in some of the most heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare and utilities, “to provide more flexibility and incentives for companies to invest and innovate,” notes the report.

Technology has tended to disrupt industries in the past, but the IIoT will present the opportunity for many existing industries to deliver greater value to their customers and create new lines of business. Victory will go to those that start now.

photo credits: Squiggle via photopin cc; Seven of Nine via Wikipedia; Futurilla via photopin cc

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/building-the-iiot-the-next-industrial-revolution/feed/ 0
Alibaba invests $10 million to save Ouya, a palm-sized game console http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/alibaba-invests-10-million-to-save-ouya-a-palm-sized-game-console/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/alibaba-invests-10-million-to-save-ouya-a-palm-sized-game-console/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:40:47 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216667 Continue reading ]]> Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai

Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai

Alibaba has injected $10 million in capital into Santa Monica-based game console maker Ouya, paving the way for the tiny Android-powered system to find new life in China.

Ouya first began as a record breaking Kickstarter project that earned over $8.5 million from backers, making it the third highest earning Kickstarter project to date. The Kickstarter page calls Ouya “A New Kind of Video Game Console,” and promises that the system will be fully open to modification. Under a section titled “Hackers Welcome,” Ouya’s creators wrote, “Have at it: It’s easy to root (and rooting won’t void your warranty).”

Ouya’s library features games that are available for free either as full games, demos, or games supported by microtransactions.

The console was criticized for a lack of compelling titles and underwhelming hardware specs, and despite its early hype and the support of over 63,000 backers, the fun size game console had trouble gaining the traction it needed to stay afloat.

That is where Alibaba comes in.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese e-commerce mega giant has invested $10 million into the floundering company with the intent of building Ouya’s software and game library into its own set-top gaming system. While Ouya could never find its audience in the U.S., the inexpensive device with a library of over 1,000 games could find a huge, untapped market in China.

Since its incredibly successful IPO in September, Alibaba has been acquiring several American startups with the intent of importing technology and services to China. Ouya is the latest of these acquisitions, and it it poised to take advantage of China’s recently lifted restrictions on the sale of video game consoles within the country.

Several American companies have sought a foothold in China since the world’s most populous country began easing its economic restrictions over the last few decades. Apple Inc. began manufacturing cheaper versions of the iPhone to target the Asian market, and after initial difficulties it found huge successes in China.

Ouya is not the only Android-powered game console, but Alibaba will likely leverage the creator’s experience and the device’s sleek design to push their set-top offerings out to more Chinese homes.

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/alibaba-invests-10-million-to-save-ouya-a-palm-sized-game-console/feed/ 0
Why buying Oracle’s expensive appliances made sense for Cognizant | #datacenter http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/why-buying-oracles-expensive-appliances-made-sense-for-cognizant-datacenter/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/why-buying-oracles-expensive-appliances-made-sense-for-cognizant-datacenter/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:33:37 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216567 Continue reading ]]> theCUBE Live with Aaron de Los Reyes

theCUBE Live with Aaron de Los Reyes

With the rise of cloud services, it has become rather difficult to justify buying a traditional on-premise appliance when the same functionality is available from an outside provider at a fraction of the cost. For many smaller companies, the refrigerator-sized systems that the likes of Oracle make their living selling aren’t even on the table in the first place.

But for deep-pocketed global enterprises with decades worth of existing infrastructure investments to sustain, including relational databases and other mission-critical software from Larry Ellison’s firm, that’s often the best option. Aaron de Los Reyes of Cognizant Technology Solutions Inc. dropped by theCUBE recently to share his insights on how switching to Oracle’s newly-refreshed converged appliances series helped his company streamline operations.

With over 200,000 workers spread across more than 100 countries, Cognizant is among the largest system integrators in the world. But the bragging rights come at the cost of supporting that presence, which until a few years ago required the company’s operations team to maintain some 200 aging P-Series blade servers from IBM.

Since Cognizant bought the machines in 2003, its business has expanded more than tenfold, growth that de Los Reyes explained the legacy environment simply couldn’t accommodate. But when the operations team started looking at modernizing the deployment around 2010, it evaluated the newer systems in IBM’s portfolio and decided that they offered only a marginal improvement over their existing machines.

Cognizant settled on converged appliances from Oracle. The company took a rather unusual approach to the upgrade, starting with the middleware stack underlying its environment to establish the groundwork before moving its human resources management software onto the new appliances and then adding more production workloads.

“We did it exactly the way most don’t,” de Los Reyes summarized. “We run over 40 modules of PeopleSoft. Playing around with that back-end database is not where you want to start, so the middle[ware] tier – which is the same Java runtime across all of PeopleSoft – is a very logical place. And in a weird way, [advancing directly to] production was also logical, because it all had to be highly uniform.”

Over time, Cognizant also migrated its financial applications, customer relationship management system and learning environment onto the new appliances. The size and capacity of each appliance allows the company to run a much bigger load on each node than it could with its IBM-made blade servers, which de Los Reyes said enabled his company to cut the number of machines in its deployment by over 90 percent to just 10.

Cognizant also reduced the associated labor costs in the process, he added, shifting half of its PeopleSoft administrators to roles where they can make a more active contribution to the bottom line. But the company is only at the start of its modernization journey. According to de Los Reyes, it plans to realign its entire operations around the converged systems to remove the legacy silos that still remain in some corners of the network.

“In the beginning, this was about getting all the engineered systems up and co-existing with what was already there,” the executive reflected. “Now it’s about truly synthesizing them together, so you can have one true platform to have a more push-button atmosphere – and then integrate with cloud services.”

Watch the full interview (12:26)

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/why-buying-oracles-expensive-appliances-made-sense-for-cognizant-datacenter/feed/ 0
Datadog bites off $31 million to grow universal monitoring service http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/datadog-bites-off-31-million-to-grow-universal-monitoring-service/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/datadog-bites-off-31-million-to-grow-universal-monitoring-service/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:30:32 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216603 Continue reading ]]> Alexis Le Quoc Co-Founder DataDog

Alexis Le Quoc Co-Founder DataDog

The venture capital community’s appetite for cloud management startups shows no sign of abating. Following closely behind a series of investments in cross-provider security vendors, Datadog Inc. has landed $31 million in an oversubscribed round of funding to drive the adoption of its multi-platform monitoring service.

The five-year-old outfit promises to provide a complete view of an organization’s environment across multiple clouds, applications and even on-premise systems. There are multiple other emerging players touting similar value propositions, notably Stackify Inc. and Cloudyn Inc. – which nabbed $4 million in financing last September – but Datadog nonetheless manages to stand out from the pack, mainly by virtue of breadth.

Its namesake service provides built-in integration with over 100 third party services and technologies ranging from major public clouds to popular open-source projects. Datadog also enables developers to stream data from competing monitoring services that are already implemented in their environments and blend it with direct metrics to put together what it touts as a more complete picture of operations in a single view that encompasses alerts, usage analytics, performance metrics, configuration tracking and other information from both cloud and on-premise services.

To round out the package, the service packs an array of analytic features meant to help users act on that insight and correlate different data points such as uptime and traffic spikes to identify important patterns. It also provides the ability to track updates back to the source, a feature meant to ease the burden of dealing with unexpected bugs, which can become a major nuance in modern cloud development environments that produce upwards of hundreds of changes a day.

That one-stop-shop proposition has brought Datadog a long way since it hit generally availability in 2013, attracting thousands of clients including Spotify Inc., Electronic Arts, Inc and Netflix Inc. (which usually develops its own operational tools) along with many smaller companies. The new funding is designed to sustain that momentum into 2015.

Existing backer Index Ventures, known for its investments in such success stories as Facebook and Box Inc., led the round while RTP Ventures, Openview Venture Partners, Amplify Partners and several other unnamed investors also took the opportunity to increase their stakes in the startup. Datadog plans to spend the new capital, which bumps its total raised past the $50 million mark, on hiring more engineers and step up customer acquisition efforts.

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/datadog-bites-off-31-million-to-grow-universal-monitoring-service/feed/ 0
Facebook’s “Place Tips” shows location-specific newsfeeds http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/facebooks-place-tips-shows-location-specific-newsfeeds/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/facebooks-place-tips-shows-location-specific-newsfeeds/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:30:20 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216659 Continue reading ]]> Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook CEO

Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook CEO

Facebook Inc.’s has launched a new feature called Place Tips, which promises to deliver location-based content to users’ newsfeeds.

Facebook’s product manager Mike LeBeau writes that the new feature “will show you fun, useful and relevant info about the place you’re at.”

Place Tips is an opt-in service that uses a combination of Wi-Fi and GPS data to pinpoint users’ locations. Facebook then uses this information to show users posts by friends about nearby locations, as well as nearby photos, restaurant menus, upcoming local events and more.

Facebook has also begun testing Bluetooth “beacons” at select locations that will feed the app even more detailed information about the area. These Beacons are currently being tested in several businesses and tourist destinations in New York City, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dominique Ansel Bakery, Strand Book Store, the burger joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Brooklyn Bowl, Pianos, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and Veselka.

“We want to be really confident if we’re going to show you something at the top of your News Feed,” LeBeau said, explaining why the beacons are only available at a few locations for now. “As we started building this, we realized we need more confidence to show you the right and relevant things.”

 

Local advertising

 

While location data and the new Facebook Bluetooth beacons will help users find nearby restaurants and attractions, they can also be used to deliver location-targeted advertising much like Twitter’s recently announced postcode targeting ads.

The beacons could also be used to clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of these location-based ads by determining whether a user who saw one of the ads visited that business afterwards. A solid success metric like this would be a huge boost to Facebook’s legitimacy as an advertising platform for non-web businesses.

Facebook is quick to point out that location data is opt-in for their application, and users can turn the feature off whenever they want. Users can also turn off Place Tips itself while leaving location data on, and they can even hide tips for specific locations that they no longer want to see.

You can learn more about Facebook Place Tips on the official help page.

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/facebooks-place-tips-shows-location-specific-newsfeeds/feed/ 0
$13M in Bitcoins traced back to Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/13m-in-bitcoins-traced-back-to-silk-road-kingpin-ross-ulbricht/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/13m-in-bitcoins-traced-back-to-silk-road-kingpin-ross-ulbricht/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:30:21 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216648 Continue reading ]]> Bitcoin News For 2015 With SiliconANGLE

Bitcoin News For 2015 With SiliconANGLE

Alleged Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht is on trial at a Manhattan, NY court, facing charges of conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, conspiring to commit computer hacking and conspiring to commit money laundering, amongst others.

Earlier in the trial, Ulbricht’s legal team admitted that he was the founder of darknet marketplace Silk Road, but stated that he did not control many of its operations. Then a few days later, the same legal team accused Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of the now defunct Mt.Gox Bitcoin exchange service, as the operator and owner of Silk Road, not Ulbricht. This was backed by evidence obtained by the Department of Homeland Security, which suggested it also believed Karpeles was the man behind Silk Road’s operations.

So is Ulbricht in the clear? No, as new evidence arose from the trial on Thursday.

Former FBI special agent Ilhwan Yum, who personally worked on the case, told the court he was able to trace 3,760 Bitcoin transactions over 12 months which ended in late August 2013. The transactions were traced back from Silk Road’s servers to Ulbricht’s Samsung 700z laptop, which was seized when he was arrested in October 2013. According to Yum, he was able to trace 700,000 Bitcoins along the Blockchain from the marketplace to what they deemed as Ulbricht’s personal wallets. At that time, the Bitcoin traced was worth a total of $13.4 million.

When asked by the prosecutor if the transactions were one-to-one transfers, Yum insisted: “Yes, direct, one-to-one transfers.”

Ulbricht’s defense attorney, Joshua Dratel questioned Yum’s involvement in the analysis of the Bitcoins. Dratel queried whether Yum did all the analysis himself, or if someone else put in most of the work. Yum admitted that he only put in 40 hours of analysis while cryptologist Matthew Edman performed 60 hours. Dratel motioned for Yum’s testimonial to be struck as hearsay, but the motion was denied by Judge Katherine Forrest, who ruled that Yum was sufficiently involved in the analysis.

The trial continues.

photo credit: btckeychain via photopin cc

]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/13m-in-bitcoins-traced-back-to-silk-road-kingpin-ross-ulbricht/feed/ 0
Delaware to implement digital driver’s licenses, follows Iowa’s lead http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/delaware-to-implement-digital-drivers-licenses-follows-iowas-lead/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/delaware-to-implement-digital-drivers-licenses-follows-iowas-lead/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:15:34 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=216625 Continue reading ]]> The Move To Digital Licences Slowly Increasing

The Move To Digital Licences Slowly Increasing

Delaware is looking to allow motorists to use and present digital driver’s licenses. On Thursday, December 29, the Delaware state House of Representatives authorized their Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to start the exploration and implementation process of virtual driver’s licenses.

Delaware is not the only state in the U.S. to start considering this route. Late last year, Iowa announced their pilot program to launch digital licenses to motorists and they were set to be the first state in the U.S. to offer the new technology. However, it now looks like Delaware, which has a much smaller population, may claim the achievement.

Both Delaware and Iowa, along with 40 other U.S. states, share the same driver’s license vendor, MorphoTrust USA. The vendor has been working on the smartphone app that will allow digital versions of driver’s licenses for the past two years.

MorphoTrust vice president Jenny Openshaw stated in an interview earlier this month, “We anticipated this shift a couple of years ago, and are pleased that this process has reached a stage today where we are talking with many of the 42 states that we supply with physical licenses about piloting the concept. Of course Iowa is the state that is furthest down that road.”

Whether it is Delaware or Iowa who wins the race to digital driver’s licenses, motorists would still receive a hard copy of their driver’s license and would then have the option of downloading the app.

Both states are working frantically to make digital driver’s licenses a reality for motorists; however, there are still plenty of questions surrounding the concept of digital licenses, with one of the biggest concerns being security. Openshaw said that they are working on various security features, some that will be visible to the naked eye, and some hidden. MorphoTrust and the state partners are also considering biometrics, like “fingerprint, iris or facial recognition technologies,” in order to add an extra layer of security.

It’s unclear how the system would work for people with a digital driver’s license travelling to states where the technology is not supported.

photo: Barbara J. Perenic
]]>
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/30/delaware-to-implement-digital-drivers-licenses-follows-iowas-lead/feed/ 0