Posts Tagged ‘capital’
Even though weeks have actually passed because that well-documented OnLive kerfuffle occurred, where unfortunate layoffs and the accumulation of a “new business” were at the forefront of it all, previously unknown details are still coming out of the woodwork. According to Mercury News, the once-promising cloud gaming attire was bought by a venture capital group for a simple $ 4.8 million, which appears to be a reasonably little amount of money for an attire as soon as valued upwards of $ 1.8 billion– not to discuss when contrasted to, state, competing Gaikai’s $ 380 million sale to Sony. Still, this is stated to have been due to the bad shape OnLive was in at the time, with the Palo Alto-based company supposedly owing more than $ 18 million in debt, leaving it with no choice but to take “the best that it might get. “
Filed under: Gaming, InternetOnLive was supposedly sold for roughly $ 5 million to venture capital firm initially appeared on Engadget on Wed, 10 Oct 2012 21:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of supplies. Permalink|Mercury News|E-mail this|Remarks
Man. Man oh man oh man. This is a video of Dan Chen’s ‘Last Moments Robot’, a robot designed to comfort a person as their final bars of life-force flow out of them. You know, because that’s not the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. WARNING: crippling depression follows.
Once the patient lies down and the device is activated, LEDs display the words “Detecting end of life.” At this point, the “doctor” exits the room, leaving the patient alone. Within moments, the LEDs read “End of life detected,” and the robotic arm begins its back-and-forth caressing action…
“The device is meant to raise questions,” he says. “The process of dying is probably the most vulnerable moment of a human life, where one seeks the assurance of human connection. In this installation, human presence is replaced with a robot, questioning the quality of intimacy without humanity.”
“I am the Last Moment Robot. I am here to help you and guide you through your last moment on Earth. I am sorry that your family and friends can’t be with you right now, but don’t be afraid. I am here to comfort you. You are not alone, you are with me. Your family and friends love you very much, they will remember you after you are gone.”
Holy shit, I need cheering up and I need it now. Anybody — tell me something happy. “It’s Friday.” That helped, keep going. “Happy hour at 5.” Go on, I’m listening. “Dying with nothing but a robot by your side.” WOW — you’re a real @$ $ hole, you know that?
Hit the jump for a video of death-bot doing it’s depressing thing.
Intel is betting big on the future of human interfaces with a $ 21 million (143 million kronor) investment in Tobii, a Swedish company that has been working for years on eye-tracking laptops and other devices. A 10% stake, it implies a valuation of around $ 200 million for the 12-year-old company. In 2007 Tobii raised $ 14M, then in 2009 another $ 26.8M, and the $ 21M from Intel Capital continues that trend of steady R&D funding.
The news, announced by co-founder and VP John Elvesjö and reported by Computer Sweden, comes on the heels of Tobii’s newest eye-tracking device, which was announced a week ago at CeBit. The timing probably isn’t a coincidence.
Elvesjö noted that their plan was always to test at small scale in laptops and then expand into larger markets: cars, for instance, or perhaps mobile phones.
Intel is a leader in desktop computing and servers, but it has been taken by surprise in recent years by rival ARM, which now dominates the embedded and mobile space. Eye-tracking is a potentially influential feature that could grow in value especially in the personal and ubiquitous device areas, and Intel probably hopes to secure a functional advantage by integrating next-generation inferface technologies. Tobii technology has already been demonstrated controlling Windows 8 via eye-tracking, and Intel is certainly highly invested in the future of that OS.
Tobii is not yet profitable, which is to be expected in an R&D-heavy company building out a product on venture investments. 2010 saw a ~$ 3.5M loss (other earnings haven’t been reported), but if Intel’s valuation is any indication, that kind of spending is perfectly healthy.
The new model of eye-tracker is smaller, cheaper, better, and draws less power than its predecessor. Their products have historically been quite expensive, but they hope that this new, more easily embeddable device will allow the technology to spread downwards towards consumer devices.
The Isis mobile payment service backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon may have been a bit overshadowed by Google Wallet in recent months, but it’s still on track for a “mid-2012″ trial launch in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah, and it’s now gotten a boost from a trio of new financial partners. Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard confirmed today that they’ll each support the NFC-based service and let folks load their credit, debit and prepaid cards into their Isis Mobile Wallet, joining existing partners Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Unfortunately, any specific launch details beyond that still remain a bit on the light side, with Isis only promising that a national rollout will follow sometime after the initial trial launch.
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capitalchaos.net DECAPITATED on CAPITAL CHAOS 2006 @ The Boardwalk – Orangevale, CA also on the bill were KRISIUN, SIX FEET UNDER & ABYSMAL DAWN..Decapitated is a technical death metal band from Poland. They formed in 1996 in Krosno in southern Poland, when the average age of the band was fourteen and all the members were still attending music school. They released their first demo Cemeterial Gardens in 1997 and their second demo, The Eye of Horus in 1998. After these releases, the band was considered as genuine contenders of the underground metal community, and eventually signed with Wicked World/Earache Records for the release of the debut album, Winds of Creation. With Vitek (aged 18) and Vogg (being aged 22) they are one of the youngest bands in the genre to have had success. Martin and Vogg conjointly hold gigs with the Polish experimental symphonic/technical black metal band Lux Occulta. Decapitated also toured the UK upon the release of Winds of Creation, and in light of a phenomenal response, the band was led to being voted “Best Newcomer” in Terrorizer Magazine’s 2000 Reader’s Poll, and a further European tour in 2001 with Immolation continued to contribute to the band’s musical reputation. www.decapitatedband.net Decapitated released their first demo, Cemeterial Gardens, in 1997 and released their debut album, Winds of Creation, three years later. Its successor, Nihility is a more condensed, brutal and technical album, with an almost industrial guitar tone …
Gaming hardware company Razer has been on our radar for quite a long time: they’ve made high-end gaming peripherals like mice and keyboards for years, and have recently expanded into more esoteric devices and game-specific partnerships. They’ve been running under their own steam this whole time as what’s called a “successful business,” but they’ve decided to take a big funding round to expand their reach.
IDG-Accel, specifically their joint China Capital Fund, has chipped in to the tune of $ 50 million, a minority investment that allows the fund to join the board at Razer, and allows Razer to expand further into the whole-systems business, something that requires considerably more R&D and space to manage.
Razer tells us that the new money and board member shouldn’t affect day-to-day operation, and says the investment was “fairly straightforward,” though they wouldn’t say whether it was contingent on any goals, markets, or products.
The money will largely be used for R&D, particularly in gaming user interfaces and systems. The company has been putting more effort into partnership deals, like World of Warcraft branded mice and keyboards, and most recently they put out a full-on gaming laptop, the Blade, with a built-in touchscreen and LCD keys among other things. Presumably more systems like this or product partnerships with larger OEMs will be enabled by the cash infusion.
And the fact that the fund is China-focused is not trivial; the Chinese gaming market is exploding and is considerably more PC-based than the US and Japan, where consoles are more popular. PC gaming is the primordial ooze from which Razer emerged, and although it is still going strong here, it’s going stronger in China and Razer likely senses the magnitude of the opportunity.
Contently, a platform that connects brands with quality content and gives freelance writers the shot at a regular paycheck, announced today that it has closed a $ 335K debt round from Founder Collective. This comes on the heels of the news that TechStars had chosen Contently to be one of the 12 startups to take part in its New York City summer program, which began last week.
The startup is keying into the idea that content farms have become the bane of content production, spamming search engines with low-quality, SEO-optimized content that takes up space rather than inform. Contently hopes to fight this trend by building a business around real engaging, sharable content, rather than an anonymous, outsourced engine intended to game search algorithms.
As marketing dollars shit towards social media and content marketing (according to Custom Content Council, 68 percent of CMOs are shifting marketing budgets to focus on content marketing), and simultaneously, as digital content production ushers in a new era where many bloggers and journalists are now managing freelance careers, Contently’s value is twofold. On the one hand, Contently wants to help web marketers build content strategies optimized for readers online, based on content produced by real, accredited journalists.
Contently believes that marketers want to be producing magazine-quality content that does their brands justice, and for that reason, SEO manipulation isn’t a sustainable model for businesses — or those that take advantage of its rapid-fire content production.
On the other hand, Contently wants to become a source of steady work for freelance content producers. But, to assure brands that they will be getting quality content, the startup is currently only working with journalists and bloggers who have credentials that include “major publications and well known blogs”. Of course, “major” and “well known” are in the eye of the beholder, but Contently Co-founder Shane Snow says that writers from Boston Globe, Gawker, LA Times, New York Times, and Wired are already on board.
For its writers, the New York City-based startup is setting the minimum publishers pay for the work they produce to ensure that they won’t be given $ 10 gigs, a la Demand Media. Snow says that writers who blog full-time for Contently can make make more than $ 50K a year, a bold statement, considering that 66 percent of journalists make less than that.
Contently then aims to become a hub, where journalists can manage their careers, without having to worry about vetting clients or whoring themselves out for little money just to pay the rent. Plus, no more late checks. (And they can get bylines like this one.)
For businesses, hiring journalists, bloggers, or copy writers in-house is an expensive endeavor, which is why so many have turned to outsourcing production to freelancers. Of course, finding high quality freelancers on Craigslist, Odesk, or Elance can be more time-consuming than hiring in-house. This is where Contently’s value proposition comes into play, offering businesses easy access to quality content and journalists a steady source of revenue. For publishers, these writers become their stringers, Snow says, in a way that’s more like telecommuting than Mechanical Turk-style outsourcing — they want to get rid of the anonymity.
“Contently is something that literally every one of our portfolio companies could use”, Founder Collective Managing Partner Eric Paley told us. “Contently makes content marketing turnkey for it’s growing base of clients”.
Contently launched its closed beta in December 2010, and has since seen companies like Mint, Grasshopper, and Wix use the startup to hire freelance writers and plan their digital content strategies.
For more, check out the startup at home and sign up for here.
Hasselblad, makers of $ 10,000+ cameras that once flew to the moon, is now owned by the Ventizz Capital Fund IV, a Swiss/German capital fund. Not much will change, at least internally, but there is some thought being put to expanding the Hasselblad line to the general public, a move that sounds just about ham-handed enough for a Swiss/German capital fund to try.
Considering their flagship device is the H4D-200MS, a 200 megapixel shooter that costs more than a Honda Jazz, I’d worry that Ventizz will dilute the brand by pumping out 12-megapixel, rebadged Panasonics like Leica. However, knowing the Teutonic luxury market that’s probably exactly what they’ll do and people will eat it up.
Change may be afoot over at Hasselblad, now that the high-end camera maker has been acquired by Ventizz Capital Fund IV — a private equity firm based in Switzerland and Germany. Neither party disclosed any financial details, but Ventizz said it will implement “no major structural or key management changes” at its newly acquired company. It remains to be seen whether or not this acquisition brings about any changes at the strategic level, though Hasselblad CEO Larry Hansen said his company is looking forward to exploring “brand new markets” — including, we hope, the “sub-$ 10,000″ one. Full PR after the break.
Continue reading Hasselblad acquired by Ventizz Capital Fund, will explore ‘brand new markets’
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The time for leaked memos, rampant speculation and obscure references was brought to an abrupt end this morning when Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer delivered the announcement of Nokia and Microsoft’s future strategic alliance. It all revolves around Windows Phone 7 becoming the smartphone strategy around Espoo, but there are still plenty of details to be explicated, highlighted and mulled over. Stephen Elop is about ready to take the stage here in central London to officially kick off Nokia’s annual Capital Markets Day, where we expect him to give us a clearer picture of what to expect from this tie-up of industry giants. Our liveblog, after the break you shall find.
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