SiliconANGLE Extracting the signal from the noise. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Catch a case of Google Glass addiction, like this guy Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:00:18 +0000 Continue reading ]]> This week’s Smart Health roundup features a new technology addiction, a yoga mat that tells you if you’re doing the right poses, and a seat cushion that checks more than your posture.

google glass user glasshole


Study reveals Google Glass addiction


A paper published in the professional journal Addictive Behavior reveals what may be the first ever case of Google Glass addiction. The focus of the study is Internet addiction disorder (IAD), described as the problematic use of online video games, computers, and handheld devices. But as technology progresses, the scope of this disorder also broadens to wearable devices. A 31-year old Navy employee exhibited problematic use of Google Glass, which includes dependence on the device, showing signs of frustration and irritation when not permitted to wear Google Glass, formation of habits such as tapping the right temple even when not wearing the device, and poor short term memory.

The Navy employee underwent a 35-day residential treatment and showed improvements such as reduction in irritability, reduction in motor movements to turn on the device, improved short-term memory, and clarity of thought process. The researchers believe that it is the first reported case of IAD that involves the use of Google Glass.



SmartMat is a responsive yoga mat that connects to your smartphone or tablet to delivers audio and visual indicators regarding your yoga poses. The smartMat has three modes to suit your lifestyle: In Home Private, In Class Assist, and Zen Mode. SmartMat analyzes your pose and delivers micro corrections on balance and alignment when needed, tracks your performance, learns new types of yoga, perfects your pose, and records and reviews your entire session in a just minutes.

Users can also connect to the SmartMat network so they can improve their poses, but it will also come with the SmartMat Marketplace where users can choose from various lessons suitable for beginners or advanced practitioners. The SmartMat team plans on “Yogrammers,” yoga programmers, who will record the class visual, audio and corrections, so every session feels like the instructor is right there with you.

Right now SmartMat is a project on Indiegogo Inc. which has already surpassed its funding goal of $110,000, now at $227K+, with nine more days to go.



It’s easy to forget about your posture when you’re sitting at a desk, swamped with work. You could wear a posture corrector, but that can be quite uncomfortable when worn for long periods. Now, there’s a way to correct your sitting posture, while learning about your sitting habits.

Called Darma, this posture-aid looks like a simple cushion but is laced with sensors. It uses algorithms to determine if you’re sitting correctly, stressed, or if you’ve been sitting for too long. Darma is able to collect data such as the sitter’s posture, heartbeat, respiration and stress level, and using Bluetooth 4.0 Darma transfers the gathered data to its app for live feedback, so you can immediately correct your posture or get up for a stretch.

Darma aims to help improve a user’s lifestyle to prevent health conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Darma is currently on Kickstarter Inc. and has raised more than $202K with 22 more days to go.

photo credit: Janitors via photopin cc
]]> 0
When it comes to structured vs. unstructured data, MarkLogic says you can have it all | #BigDataNYC Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:40:28 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Ken Krupa, Enterprise CTO, MarkLogicThe term NoSQL typically refers to a category of databases that address unstructured information more effectively than traditional  relational models, but MarkLogic Inc. wants it to take on an entirely different meaning.

“We don’t like to be be put in a silo; we like to redefine the boundaries of what a database should be,” said MarkLogic Enterprise CTO Ken Krupa in an interview on SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE at the recent BigDataNYC 2014 conference in New York City. The 13-year-old firm’s Not Only SQL database combines the query capabilities of both relational and non-relational architectures. “Search and database shouldn’t be two separate things,” Krups said. “If you’re putting your data in, you want to find it.”

Legacy systems such as Oracle weren’t built for search but rather for structured queries, which leaves users fretting over keywords and syntax. Non-relational databases are more flexible but lack the structure that is so useful in manipulating transactional information. MarkLogic combines the best of both worlds, according to Krupa, providing the freedom to choose the best tool for the job regardless without the preconceptions of the traditional data management world.

“SQL is a domain-specific language for asking a particular type of question provided you can visualize your data in rows and columns,” he explained. “What we say is that just because we don’t start out with rows and columns, let’s not limit ourselves to not being able to ask a SQL question.”

MarkLogic’s affair with defying traditional database design notions also extends to the ingestion phase, where Krupa said his firm’s platform eliminates the need for users to structure information before importing it into their deployments, as is the case with many non-relational alternatives. But users can also choose to normalize data beforehand for a more structured approach. Krupa  said it’s the best of both worlds.

He said MarkLogic allows users start ingesting unfamiliar data without having to plan how they’ll go about analyzing it upfront and, with time, add pre-optimizations as they see fit. The system, goes a step further when it comes to specific types of information such as key-value pairs, which its “decorates” with useful metadata about the contained values to streamline processing.

The combination of structured and unstructured query capabilities, storage optimization and everything else that the firm has thrown into the mix is not unique in the marketplace, but it is for a single solution, Krupa said. “Putting it all together is not as easy as people might think. If you have all these distant products – whether it’s Oracle and a number of acquisitions that they’ve made or finding what you can get from the open-source community – [it takes] a lot of time, costs and in many cases there’s a lot of brittleness associated with that.”

It’s a classic case of the whole exceeding the sum of its parts, the CTO summarized. The ability to wrangle different types of information within the same environment acts to eliminate much of the friction traditionally involved in the task, bringing the experience of querying for business data behind the firewall more up to par with searching Google. The gap is still wide, Krupa admitted, but MarkLogic is determined.

Watch the full interview (26:25)

]]> 0
CRASH Report: Agile and Waterfall two great tastes that go great together Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:11:30 +0000 Continue reading ]]> CAST softwaredevelopers-keyboard-code, which develops an Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) for analyzing the structural quality of software, released its third biennial CAST Research on Application Software Health (CRASH) report on agile development.

The report states that the software development community benefits most in terms of robust and secure applications when enterprise software is built using a mixture of agile and waterfall methods rather than either agile or waterfall alone. For the new report, CAST has examined 1,326 applications from 212 organization from various industrial sectors in Europe, India and the USA. Overall, there were more than 700 million lines of code.

The report found that 28 percent of the applications were less than 50,000 lines of code (LoC), 33 percent were about 50,000 to 200,000 LOC, 29 percent were of more than million LOC and 11 percent were more than that. Most programs namely 565, were written in Java EE, 280 in Cobol, 127 in .NET, 77 in ABAP, 59 in Oracle Forms, 33 in Oracle ERP, 39 in C, 28 in C ++ and 24 in ASP, while 85 were written in mix of programming languages.

Error in business applications

The underlying summary of the report focuses exclusively on the structural quality of code. The company determines five properties of the analyzed code: robustness (stability and defense of errors in modifications), performance (in terms of throughput and resource use), safety (against unauthorized modification), mutability (for prospective modification) and transferability (the care and further development by a completely new team).

On examination, it was found that three-quarters of the applications for the robustness, performance and security factors had scores higher than 3.0 (on a scale of 1 to 4 with 4 being low risk). The aspects of changeability and portability performed considerably worse. CAST found that these two factors in software development cause additional costs resulting in higher risk for robustness, performance, and security. In general, the quality characteristics of applications are not in relation to their size.

Bill Curtis, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist at CAST, said in an interview to InfoQ that damages when these problems strike business critical applications can run into the millions, and in the worst cases they have made software quality a boardroom issue.

“Structural quality represents the engineering of an application—not whether it computes an answer correctly, but whether the architecture and code is constructed in a manner that avoids crashes, unauthorized access, data corruption, inability to scale, excessive complexity, and similar problems,” he said.

He continued, “While I can make a case for several structural quality factors, Security and Reliability are getting the most attention since breaches and critical outages seem to be reported daily.”

Agile with Waterfall methods are best

The CAST report shows enterprise can take some advantages on robustness, performance efficiency, security, changeability, etc. by combining features of Agile and Waterfall methods. In fact, for robustness and changeability two third of the scores for the hybrid methods were higher than the median for Agile or Waterfall methods used alone.

“Good structural quality was most often observed when the early architectural analysis characteristic of Waterfall methods was combined with continual testing of the emerging software in Agile sprints. We did not see significant differences between Agile and Waterfall methods in structural quality, it was really their combination into hybrid methods that made a difference,” Curtis said.

Dan Galorath of Galorath Incorporated, also states that agile and hybrid methods being most effective were consistent with Galorath’s observations that Agile itself is not so much a methodology as a mind-set. Iterative or incremental development with constant feedback based on frequent builds allow course corrections when costs are low and keep a project agile (with a small a). And while SCRUM type Agile approaches can be very effective, agile benefits can often achieved using hybrid approaches.

Where work is done according to the waterfall model or agile method, the results in all individual categories are significantly better than those without such an approach. Most preferably, the software is revealed according to the results of the analysis if waterfall and agile methods are interconnected.

The CRASH report concludes that a standard procedure need to be followed to increase the maturity of software development and, secondly, enterprises should eliminate obstacles for disciplined software engineering.

]]> 0
3 Apps with creative uses for your camera Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:24:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Mobile apps have made the smartphone a day planner, a gaming system, a calculator, and a documentation tool, to name just a few capabilities. And now, with some innovative technology and creative use of your phone’s camera, there are even apps that can see and think for themselves. If the robots ever take over, these could be the apps that will have started it all.

Google Goggles



“Google it” has entered the popular lexicon as the answer to almost any question, and Google Goggles takes it to the next level.

This app boasts the ability to grab text and translate it; recognize famous landmarks, artwork, DVDs, and other images; and even solve Sudoku puzzles for you.

Certain types of text will also pull up relevant results on Google such as phone numbers, maps to addresses, currency conversions, and more.

Although it was initially available on both Android and iOS, it is now on Android only.



If you have ever found something in your attic and wondered “What the heck is this thing?” or asked someone “Where did you buy that watch?” then CamFind is for you.

The Android and iOS app can be used to take pictures of shoes, headphones, printers, and just about anything else and tell you where to buy it and how much it costs. It also has the ability to scan QR codes, grab text, and search for similar images.

CamFind also offers several language options to read results out loud, working as a basic translator for some common objects.



One of the coolest, every-day-use apps showcased at the recent Disrupt Europe 2014 conference is PhotoMath, a math program that solves problems in real time using your phone’s camera.

In addition to solving equations in a way that makes old style calculators look even more antiquated, the app also provides step-by-step explanations of how it arrived at its answer, helping users learn math problem solving.

PhotoMath is available on Windows and iOS now with an Android version slated to come out in 2015. Here is a video of PhotoMath in action.


]]> 0
Bitcoin Weekly 2014 October 22: Gavin Andresen Reddit AMA, Bitcoin community vs. NYDFS BitLicense, and more Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:08:38 +0000 Continue reading ]]> bitcoin-weekly-july-2014The current trends in the Bitcoin show that while progress is slow, it’s constantly building momentum. Last week, Andreas Antonopoulos went before the Canadian Senate and gave an amazing 2 hour talk, this week Gavin Andresen went to Reddit and gave amazing answers.

The public comments period for the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) regulatory proposal “BitLicense” have ended and numerous heavyweights in the Bitcoin community and Internet free-speech have weighed in including BitPay, Coinbase, Reddit, the Internet Archive, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, Reddit AMA

Yesterday, Gavin Andresen, notably the best-known Bitcoin Core developer and Chief Scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). AMAs are a proud tradition on Reddit that allow experts, celebrities, politicians, etc. a chance to speak their mind to a multitude of people and have their thoughts recorded.

As of writing, Andresen’s AMA has reached 931 comments and he has actively participated in a large number of threads.

When asked what would be needed for Andresen to believe “Bitcoin is established,” he replied, “We need regulatory clarity, ease of use, and no-single-point-of-failure security.” The world is still waking up to Bitcoin and its effects—although business is slowly tuning in—it’s going to be more regulatory questions like New York’s infamous Bitlicense.

On the subject of the increasing value of individual Bitcoins (currently at $388) he showed a favor for speaking more often of Bits, or millionths of a Bitcoin. A Bit, as a result, would be $0.000388 approximately, meaning 100 Bits would be about 4 cents.

Apparently, he changed his name from Bell (his birth surname) to Andresen because his wife did not want to be known as “Michele Bell.”

Overall, reading Andresen’s responses to questions shows a solid foundation of a programmer who is passionate about Bitcoin. He sounds forthright, thoughtful, and knowledgeable and at the same time extremely sanguine about the future of Bitcoin itself.

If this sparks a reader’s interest, many could do worse than to peruse the comments in the AMA and pick out Andresen’s responses. CoinDesk has also picked out what they feel are the 12 best answers from his AMA.

Public comments on BitLicense closed, but criticism still strong

This last week effected the last period of time for public comments on New York’s regulatory proposal regarding BitlLicense. The regulation has been met roundly with solid criticism from numerous big businesses in the Bitcoin space including Circle, BitPay, and even the exchange Kraken. The common thread: it would be impossible for small businesses entering into Bitcoin use to comply with BitLicense.

The result: new startups would not choose New York for their incubation; and established businesses may simply be forced to leave.

“If New York develops rules that vary widely from other states it would only serve to complicate a state  license regime that is already inconsistent, onerous and serves as a barrier to entry for many firms,” Circle wrote in its thorough comments on the subject (PDF available.) “The end result could lead to firms exiting the New York market.”

BitPay had equally grim criticism of the proposed regulation, and one particularly pointed remark from the comments stated outright that the regulation “lacks innovative rule making that will deter jobs and innovation.” BitPay further fears that the regulation will serve to create “an unlevel playing field for Bitcoin transactions,” and also notes that it’s hard to tell what ancillary Bitcoin activities would be covered by regulations.

BitPay’s criticism followed that regulation could cover such services as developing open source applications that interact with Bitcoin and even providing encrypted backups for Bitcoin wallets.

Reddit, the Internet Archive, and the EFF have jointly sent in comments on BitLicense opposing the NYDFS proposed regulation. The article describes the regulation as “sprawling” and the EFF cites issues with highly invasive identification requirements in the regulation—up to and including fingerprints and head-shot photographs.

Bitnet raises $14.5 million

A potential competitor in the merchant service Bitcoin finance market just raised a chunk of change. San Francisco Bitcoin payment processing platform Bitnet announced on October 20th that it had closed a Series A funding round worth $14.5 million.

The company sits in a market space that competes with Bitcoin payment services for merchants such as BitPay, Coinbase, and GoCoin.

Amid Bitnet’s accolades, reports Coin Telegraph, is Bitnet’s core development team helped build CyberSource, a payments gateway bought by Visa in 2010 for $12 billion.

Italian administrations hit by encryption Trojan that ransoms for BTC

It’s almost like the plot of a TV show (this happened on The Good Wife recently) but there’s a trojan ransomware program that encrypts entire systems and then requests a Bitcoin payment to unlock (or it destroys the data.)

The original story is posted in Corriere Della Sera, in Italian, which reports that the trojan requests 400 Euros (approximately $506) in BTC before it unlocks the files. Numerous public facilities have been hit with this Trojan. After locking down all files on the network, the software requests 400 Euros (approximately) in BTC before releasing the data.

For background on how this type of trojan works see the Wikipedia entry on CryptoLocker.

The Italian newspaper reports that experts believe the cybercriminals running the ransomware may have accumulated over $100,000 in just five days.

]]> 0
Näkemiin (Goodbye) Nokia! We remember our favorite phones Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:36:33 +0000 Continue reading ]]> nokia phoneThe Nokia Oyj brand is iconic in the world of cell phones, but with Microsoft’s acquisition of the Finnish company’s mobile business, the maker of some of the most popular handsets of 90’s and early 2000’s will soon be forgotten.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Microsoft will be ditching the Nokia brand by 2015, but recent reports suggest that the software giant will be rebranding its mobile unit to Microsoft Lumia in the coming weeks. The Nokia France office has already confirmed the rebranding in its recent post:

“In the coming days, you will receive a message from Facebook on the renaming of this page.

We are about to become “Microsoft Lumia”!

-Stay tuned to learn more soon…;”

Some of Nokia’s sites are already redirecting to Microsoft’s portals such as Treasure Tag, Nokia’s lost-and-found tracking device.

Though Nokia will be rebranded as Microsoft Lumia, it is uncertain what branding will appear on the mobile devices. Will Microsoft Lumia be emblazoned on upcoming devices? Or will it simply carry the Windows logo? We’ll soon find out, but in the meantime, we take a trip down memory lane.

As Nokia has released a multitude of devices over the years, I’ve asked some of my SiliconANGLE colleagues to share their most memorable Nokia phone was and here’s what they have to say:

Our favorite Nokia memories


Kristen Nicole Martin, Senior Managing Editor

Nokia phone: 6500 Slide (2007)

This phone features a 3.2MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a double LED flash and 3G video calling. The 6500 slide supports Java MIDP 2.0 applications, WAP 2.0 browser with XHTML support over HTTP/TCP/IP stack, comes with the Opera Mini browser, Bluetooth 2.0, EDGE, GPRS, over-the-air firmware update and downloads for ringtones, themes, wallpapers and screensavers.

It’s 2.2 QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) LCD display supports up to 16.7 million colors, ambient light sensor, multimedia messaging, push email, 20MB user free internal memory which is expandable up to 4 GB with microSD memory card, has a flight mode and a lot more other features.

Why she liked it: I had it just as the iPhones were coming out and I thought it was better than an iPhone. It could do everything, had a far superior camera, and could be used as a hot spot.



Mike Wheatley, Enterprise News Editor

Nokia phone: 3310 (2000)

Screen shot 2014-10-22 at 11.35.19 AMThis phone features customizable and downloadable profiles, and the screensaver is based on picture message format: Any received picture message can be displayed as a screensaver. The 3310 has a clock, alarm clock, stopwatch, countdown timer, calculator, currency converter from idle mode, uses NITZ (Network Informed Time Zone), and the option to set up to 10 notes in Reminders.

Most importantly (for Mike), the 3310 has four games: Snake II, Pairs II, Space Impact, and Bantumi. This is considered one of Nokia’s toughest phones ever built, and is the subject of various Internet memes for being an all-time badass phone.

Why he liked it: I dropped it off the scaffolding a few times when I was working as a builder in England; it never broke.


Mellisa Tolentino, Staff Writer

As for me, I owned several Nokia phones in my lifetime. I changed phones not because one broke down, but because I either lost it, or I was being a brat and wanted the new model.

I remember my first Nokia phone was the 8210 (1999) which my mom bought. At that time, the trend was “the smaller the phone, the cooler you are.” This meant you could slip it in your pocket and never miss a text or call, because the 8210 would vibrate and ring.  If you ever owned a Nokia device, you know how loud its tones could get.

Pulling out my Nokia 8210 in public always got people’s heads turning, and that’s what I loved most about it (aside from the fact that it was quite durable for its size and make).

Losing the Nokia mobile brand maybe a sad day for some, so here are some funny Nokia memes for kicks:

Funny Nokia memes


Nokia now makes weapons

Nokia weapon



Nokia trumps smartphones

Nokia vs smartphones



No, Taylor

No Taylor


photo credit: P&L Personality Plugin via photopin cc
]]> 0
EMC welcomes a faster, more agile VCE back into its federation Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]> medium_3384051995EMC Corp. has put an end to days of speculation by confirming its intentions to buy out Cisco Systems Inc’s share of the Virtual Computing Environment Company (VCE). Once the deal is completed, VCE will be absorbed into EMC’s greater federation of companies.

In a press call this morning, EMC said it’s going to buy out most of Cisco’s shares in VCE before the end of this quarter, though the networking giant will retain a 10 percent stake.

“VCE’s size, scale and market reach now requires a more traditional business structure,” said Joe Tucci, chairman and CEO of EMC, in a statement. “Our commitment to increased investment will enable VCE to significantly expand the scale and scope of its solutions, helping customers take better advantage of hybrid cloud and next-generation IT opportunities.”

Once the dust has settled, EMC’s expanded federation will consist of five companies: EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA and VCE.

That is exactly the opposite of what one of EMC Corp’s biggest shareholders, Elliott Management, wants to see. The so-called ‘activist’ investment firm has been agitating in the background for weeks, trying to get EMC to sell off VMware to “maximize shareholder value”, even if it’s to the long-term detriment of both companies. Today’s announcement is a not-too-subtle statement of intent: EMC intends to keep its federation together at all costs.

Whether or not that will dissuade Elliot Management remains to be seen. “The last thing on investors’ minds is the future of VCE,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, to Bloomberg. “EMC has a fire in its house right now and the company appears focused on painting its bedroom, while the Street wants a resolution on the strategic ownership situation sooner rather than later.”

What’s next for VCE


VCE sells converged vBlock systems based on Cisco’s networking and servers, EMC’s storage and VMware’s virtualization software. Up until now the company was jointly funded by its two parents – the EMC federation and Cisco – and it’s done well to date. According to Gartner, it’s the industry leader in converged systems, with quarterly revenues surpassing $500 million and 50 percent year-on-year quarterly growth. Equally important is that VCE has driven additional sales of both Cisco’s and EMC’s gear.

So why the sudden shake up? Actually, not all that much has changed. VCE will still do exactly the same thing, but with its own organization structure and mission. It will continue selling its vBlocks. It’ll continue to follow its strategy of “unleash simplicity”.

What is different is that VCE should be more agile without Cisco’s involvement. Cisco’s COO Gary Moore summed it up when he said that VCE is at the top of its market, and to stay on top it needs to move fast as the industry evolves towards hybrid clouds.

Within EMC’s federation, VCE’s reporting chain becomes a lot more streamlined. CEO Praveen Akkiraju will report directly to EMC II CEO David Goulden, which means he can make decisions faster, without waiting for the go-ahead from multiple owners.

“Now that VCE is a $2 billion company looking to expand beyond platforms to deliver hybrid cloud solutions, it’s critical to evolve to a structure that supports our broader mission from the technology and financial perspectives,” said Akkiraju.

Cisco still gets access to an important sales channel, and it was clear that vBlock will continue to be a joint Cisco, EMC and VMware effort. VCE will push forward with a number of new products already planned, including an ACI-enabled vBlock.

“As EMC, Cisco and VCE all look to build solutions and deliver solutions for a software-led and cloud-enabled world, there will be plenty of opportunities to work together,” wrote Wikibon analyst Stu Miniman in a professional alert. “VCE, EMC and Cisco all face threats from open source and hyperconverged (aka Server SAN) offerings; this restructure of ownership should enable – not limit – options of embracing/attacking new opportunities.”

We can only speculate about what the new VCE will achieve, but if its second incarnation is as successful as its first, backers and customers alike will see plenty of rewards.

photo credit: liquidnight via photopin cc
]]> 0
5 worthy wireless chargers (and 3 to watch out for) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:01:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Not many smartphones or tablets today have built-in support for wireless charging, but a growing market of wireless chargers could encourage manufacturers to incorporate such capabilities into their devices.

If you’re gadget’s already setup for wireless charging but can’t find a wireless charging pad that fits your lifestyle or budget, we’ve got some cool suggestions for you.



5 worthy wireless chargers


Mugenizer N12

If you’re looking for a portable charger that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your bag or desk, you might want to consider the Mugenizer N12. It’s shaped like a hockey puck, and its USB neatly tucks underneath when not in use. The Mugenizer N12 can be plugged into a computer or laptop, or use a USB adaptor to plug it into a wall. The Mugenizer N12 costs $50.95.


Adata Elite CE700

Priced at $39.99, ADATA Technology Inc.’s Elite CE700 Qi wireless charger allows users to power up smartphones either lying flat, at an angle, and even on landscape or profile mode, which means you can still use it while charging.

The Elite CE700 Qi features overvoltage and overheating protection by automatically stopping the charging process to prevent damaging. It has LED indicator lights of varying colors to let you know if it’s on standby, charging, done charging, or a device is not compatible.


RAVPower Portable Wireless Charging pad

productImage4565RAVPower Inc. has come up with a solution that allows people to wirelessly charge their smartphone on the go with its RAVPower RP-WCN11 Wireless Charger Charging Pad with Built-in 4800mAh External Battery. It features LED indicator lights to let you know how much power is left in the external battery, and you can use it as a wireless or wired powerbank when needed.

When a device is removed or the battery is fully charged, the wireless charger automatically goes into idle mode to save energy. Though it’s thicker than most wireless chargers, the fact that you can use it on the go makes up for the girth. Priced at $48.44.


TYLT VÜ Wireless Charger

The TYLT VÜ Wireless Charger is unique in its design, as it is a cradle instead of a flat charging pad. It has a soft rubber surface with a 45º angle cradle to secure your mobile device without slipping. The TYLT VÜ has an LED indicator that lets you know if the device is charging or not, and its USB cable neatly tucks underneath the cradle when not in use. TYLT VÜ is priced at $69.99 and comes in black, red, blue, and yellow.


DiGiYes Double-position Inductive Wireless Charger

Charging on double-duty, the DiGiYes Double-position Inductive Wireless Charger will help you charge two devices simultaneously. The large charging pad features two wireless charging symbols so you’ll know where to place your device. Priced at $45.67.




3 wireless chargers to watch for


Intel’s wireless charging bowl

In January, Intel Corp. introduced a wireless charging bowl at CES 2014. What makes it different from other wireless chargers is its shape. The bowl acts as a valet station for more than just your phone, holding keys and other items emptied from pockets at the end of the day. The ubiquitous design means Intel hopes its charging bowl can power up more than just smartphones, as more key fobs and wearable tech could one day be charged wirelessly as well. Intel plans to release this wireless charging bowl before 2014 ends.


Energous’ WattUp

Energous Corporation is developing WattUp, a way to wirelessly charge mobile devices without being tied to the location of the charger itself. WattUp is a router for your devices, but instead of throwing signals to connect your device to the internet, it sends of invisible power waves to charge up your device. This means you just need to be in range of the WattUp router. So long as your device is equipped with the compatible technology, you’re free to watch videos, play games, chat until you drop, without having to worry about draining the juice out of your mobile device.


LG’s TechTop

LG Hausys Ltd. also has a wireless charger on our watch list, called TechTop. It’s an embedded surface technology to be integrated into HI-MACS and Viatera surfaces.  It works just like most wireless chargers, as you have to place the device on a specific area for a connection to be established and charging to initiate. Once the battery is full, the rate of charge automatically reduces to prevent damage and extend the device’s battery life.

]]> 0
Illumio emerges from stealth with Adaptive Security Platform Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:33:05 +0000 Continue reading ]]> illumio_logo_mark_color_finalIllumio, the much anticipated virtualization security startup emerged from stealth mode today to show off its Adaptive Security Platform to address the massive data center transformation to the cloud.  The bottleneck in this transformation is security.

This company claimed its new adaptive security model is a first-of-its-kind solution that provides granular visibility and security across all data center and cloud environments. Morgan Stanley, Plantronics, Creative Artists Agency, Yahoo and NTT I  are among Illumio’s initial customers.

Steve Herrod, VMware former CTO, @theCUBE alum, and now venture capitalist at General Catalyst, has been a big time supporter of and investor in this new model.

In an interview at #VMworld with Dave Vellante and me, Steve said Illumio is notable in its concept of perimeter-less security.  With cloud computing, mobile apps, and virtualization vaporizing traditional perimeters and breaches at an all-time high, new models need to emerge.  Can Illumio be that model?

According to Steve Herrod “[Security] used to be where the good guys were inside the company and bad guys were outside the company. This was the old way the perimeter could be secure.  Now, with both insider threats and mobile apps, the security model is completely reversed. The good guys and bad guys are everywhere. There isn’t a perimeter.  This new dynamic is killing and transforming the old IT security models for cloud, mobile, and API based services.

{Note: new video player has Steve Herrod interview by chapter  }

Why Illumio

Unlike traditional firewalls and network security offerings that focus on the perimeter, Illumio ASP runs on any physical or virtual workload and inspects and protects the instances wherever they run.  It dynamically computes and manages security from the smallest to the largest environments and reduces the attack surface exposed to bad actors.

Illumio was founded by Andrew Rubin and P.J. Kirner and includes a veteran executive team from Cisco, McAfee, Nicira, Riverbed and VMware. The company has raised $42.5 million in funding to date from Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Formation 8 and Data Collective as well as individual investors including founder and chief executive officer Marc Benioff and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

“Adaptive Security is the quantum leap for the data center and cloud,” said Andrew Rubin, CEO of Illumio. “We are removing today’s intractable roadblock for enterprises that want to both move quickly and enhance their security. Now enterprises can operate securely at enormous scale in any environment.”

Years ago, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger told us “security needs a do over.” This might be that opportunity.  “New game in cloud and mobile creates new rules which creates new players/brands,” says Wikibon analyst Dave Vellante who spoke with  me today in response to the news.

No doubt the security market is in dire need for new solutions and the money is there to be spent as companies are getting hacked left and right.

]]> 0
Airbnb coming to San Francisco despite opposition Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:29:01 +0000 Continue reading ]]>  

san francisco homes houses on a hillA new law passed in San Francisco yesterday will make it easier for residents and travelers to use social network room rental services like Airbnb Inc. and VRBO (a branch of HomeAway Inc.) within the city.

These services allow people to temporarily rent out their homes while they are away, giving homeowners a bit of extra income and giving travelers a cheaper, more private alternative to hotels. Airbnb boasts that its service is the “easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.”

Previously, the city of San Francisco banned residents from temporarily renting out space for anything less than 30 days. The new law lifts this ban, allowing short-term rentals and opening the door for Airbnb.

The new law is not without its opponents, however. U.S. Senator and former mayor of San Francisco Dianne Feinstein wrote a letter condemning the law and urging the current mayor to veto it. Sen. Feinstein said:

As such, those of us who value the residential character of our neighborhoods and are invested in the city’s quality of life will see all of this washed away by a blanket commercialization of our neighborhoods.

This would not be the first housing or zoning controversy in San Francisco, as the booming technology industry in the area has dramatically raised the cost of living and is driving out many non-tech residents in what has been called the San Francisco housing crisis.

The crisis might be offset as more and more office jobs are created, but the zoning laws in some areas prevent sufficient housing from being built to support the influx of jobs. A proposed business park in Mountain View earlier this year could bring as many as 42,000 new employees to the area, but the nearby North Bayshore area would only allow 7,000 new homes to be constructed by 2030.

Despite Sen. Feinstein’s criticisms, Airbnb is optimistic about the new short-term rental law. Airbnb said in a statement: “This balanced and sensible legislation will help San Franciscans share their home and the city they love and earn a little extra money to pay the bills. We look forward to working with everyone to make this city an even better place to visit and call home.”

photo credit: mescon via photopin cc
]]> 0