Uber, SnapCar And Others May Not Be Able To Use Geolocation In France

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 11:13 pm
8493583277_3360dc45ac_b Thomas Thévenoud had an impossible job — he was the French deputy in charge of finding an agreement between urban transportation startups and taxi unions in France. He just announced his report to those companies, and it will become a law in the coming weeks. But some of the 30 points are highly controversial. For example, Uber, Chauffeur-Privé, LeCab and others won’t be able to use… Read More

Russian social media CEO quits, flees country

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 9:06 pm

The founder of Russia's leading social media network - a wunderkind often described as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg - has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company's ownership.

Pure Storage Raises $225M, Valued at Over $3B by Leading Public Market Investors

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 7:56 pm

Pure Storage, the all-flash enterprise storage array company, has closed a $225 million Series F funding round, at a pre-money valuation of over $3 billion.

FCC Tells Internet To Chill, Denies That It Will Kill Net Neutrality

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 7:48 pm
Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 4.37.12 PM Earlier today reports struck that the FCC was considering new net neutrality rules that would allow content purveyors to pay ISPs for preferential access to their networks. This would have made it possible for content companies to speed the delivery of their material across the Internet. The FCC, nearly a full working day after the story broke, has responded in the negative: “There are… Read More

Amazon wants to ship you small-sized items … in bulk

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Amazon wants to ship you small-sized items … in bulk

Above: Big problems can come in small packages

Image Credit: Joe Ravi / Shutterstock

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Amazon became many people’s preferred shopping destination for, well, most things, and now it’s coming up with all sorts of ways to keep that crown. We present to you: Amazon’s Prime Pantry.

With this new service, Amazon Prime members living in mainland U.S. can order up to 45 pounds of “pantry essentials” at Amazon’s low prices, and have the order delivered for a flat $6 fee. The item selection includes popular snacks, packaged foods, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, and more.

Prime Pantry items are also in smaller, “everyday” sizes instead of the bulk sizes. “Shop Everyday Sizes. No more buying in bulk. Buy what you need, when you need,” advertises Pantry’s website. Furthermore, items in these size normally would not qualify for Prime’s free shipping (low-price items are ofter “add-on” items shoppers are advised to add to other purchases), so this new service enables shoppers to get them at an affordable shipping free — it’s like a giant dump of “add-on” items whose total qualifies for free (cheap?) shipping.

And in case you don’t happen to know how to mentally calculate the total weight of your shopping list’s items, a virtual box will show you how much of the box you’ve filled as you shop along. Nifty.

Engadget points out that Amazon seems to be going after Walmart and Costco with this new service, but Instacart could also be at risk. The kinds of items are quite similar to the “grocery” categories Instacart carries, so Pantry, coupled with Amazon Fresh might actually help the company kill Instacart. (There were whispers last week that Instacart could be raising a huge round, so we’ll have to see how this plays out.)

Earlier this month, Amazon launched Dash, a wand-like gadget to make your Amazon Fresh shopping even lazier. Not only can you just point it at a bevy of items you’d like to magically add to your digital shopping list, but you can even tell it — no really, it has voice recognition software — what you’d like, such as “chocolate chips.”

While Amazon hasn’t said much about Pantry officially, other than launching its website, take a look at its intro video featuring all the joys Pantry can bring to a family, of course:

Now imagine your life once the Amazon Prime drones arrive.

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The Return Of Reddit’s /r/Technology Is “Certainly Possible”

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 6:13 pm
Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 6.26.33 PM A whole "department" of Reddit was demoted this week, with the /r/Technology subreddit being removed from the Reddit homepage and the default subreddit subscription feed. Earlier today I spoke to Reddit General Manager Erik Martin about the process of demoting subreddits as a form of punishment for mismanagement. Side note: I know Martin from back in the day when Reddit had only one developer.… Read More

Moving your apps to the cloud gets easier as Amazon adds Docker support

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 5:15 pm
Moving your apps to the cloud gets easier as Amazon adds Docker support
Image Credit: Lee Gilbert/Flickr

The biggest public cloud provider is finally waking up to one of the hottest enabling technologies around for shipping applications to the cloud.

Today public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services announced support for open-source technology called Docker on Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon’s platform as a service, which is comparable to services like Google App Engine and Heroku.

Docker lets developers write applications on their desktops and then send it for testing or production deployment on another machine — like a public cloud, for instance — without changing the code. Everything sits inside a Docker “container,” which can be easily moved from one environment to another.

Now it’s possible to run entire applications that sit inside of Docker container on Elastic Beanstalk. “You can think of Docker as an exciting and powerful new runtime environment for Elastic Beanstalk, joining the existing Node.JS, PHP, Python, .NET, Java, and Ruby environments,” Amazon Web Services chief evangelist Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post today.

Such support could bode well for Amazon Web Services, bringing it up to par with other cloud providers and technology companies that have come around to support Docker, including CenturyLink, DigitalOcean, Google, and Red Hat.

Another interesting implication: By supporting Docker, Amazon becomes more open to the simple movement of applications in and out of its cloud. Enterprises and startups have been thinking increasingly seriously about running applications on multiple clouds, and now such companies may move applications in Docker containers to and from Amazon.

Perhaps the biggest winner here is the company that came up with the Docker technology — which happens to also be named Docker.

Elastic Beanstalk news is really big,” Docker chief executive Ben Golub wrote in an email to VentureBeat. “Docker is becoming the de facto standard for containerization, and the ecosystem of places and people where docker comes standard is growing rapidly.”

Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 4:57 pm

This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

Declara’s social enterprise network is making teams smarter — and now it’s $16M richer

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 4:30 pm
Declara’s social enterprise network is making teams smarter — and now it’s $16M richer
Image Credit: mikecogh

Ramona Pierson may be one of the closest things to Wonderwoman we have around. She was not only a math prodigy who joined the Marine Corps and wrote algorithms to find Russia’s nuclear silos and guide F-18 fighter missions, but she also survived a coma, built a analytics-based learning platform, and raised $5 million in seed funding.

And now she’s just raised a new $16 million for her company, Declara. This is Declara’s first round of instiutional funding, and GSV Capital led the round, with additional participation from Data Collective, Founders Fund, and Catamount Ventures. The company will use the new funding to scale operations globally and build out its team. GSV Asset Management co-managing partner Mark Flynn will also join the company’s board.

Declara is a social network that helps people communication and work more efficiently within their organization, and it combines semantic search, predictive analytics and machine learning “to surface the right content  at the right time for individuals, making learning more personalized and discovery oriented,” as the company said in an official statement.

In short, it feeds each member of an organization a well-calibrated and well-timed stream of knowledge, including connections to colleagues, articles, other content, or even experts in order to help them grow their skills as best as possible. This way, the organization as a whole can gain from each member’s own growth.

When the company announced it seed funding, education was already a huge area of focus. Today, its network powers the Educational Services Australia network for the country’s teachers; Bécalos, an organization of Mexico’s Televisa Foundation; and Tu clase, tu país in Chile, among others.

It was also recently selected by Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, Mexico’s largest teacher’s union, to train 1.6 million of the country’s teachers and administrators.

“Learning needs to be a constant discovery where formal learning taught in schools can be combined with informal learning, which is accomplished through everyday social collaboration,” said Ramona Pierson, Declara’s founder and chief executive. 

“In our dynamic, ever-changing world, you can no longer fill up your knowledge tank until age 25 and cruise through life,” said Flynn in a official statement. “Today’s highly effective organizations enable individuals to continuously replenish what they know. Declara delivers an enterprise platform that fosters individualized learning, empowered by big data, accelerating innovation and enabling collaboration.”

Declara was founded in 2012, and raised its $5 million in seed funding last September from Peter Thiel, Founders Fund, and Data Collective.

Gillmor Gang Live 04.23.14

Wednesday 23 April 2014 @ 4:11 pm
Gillmor Gang Artcard Gillmor Gang - Dan Farber, Robert Scoble, Keith Teare, Michael Arrington, and Steve Gillmor. Live recording session today at 5pm Pacific. Click here for the Friendfeed chat Read More

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