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Archive for February, 2011

Intel Completes McAfee Acquisition

February 28th, 2011 02:18 admin View Comments

Businesses

angry tapir writes “Intel has completed its US$7.68 billion acquisition of security vendor McAfee, the chip maker has announced. The all-cash deal makes Intel a security industry powerhouse, giving it a broad range of consumer and enterprise security products. Intel had been working to get the deal approved by U.S. and European Union regulators since it was announced last August. The European Commission, in particular, had expressed concerns that Intel would give McAfee special treatment when it came to its processors and chipsets, locking other security vendors out of the technology.”

Source: Intel Completes McAfee Acquisition

TellFi Is Google Voice For Companies

February 28th, 2011 02:07 admin View Comments

Launching today is Y Combinator-backed company TellFi, a cloud-based virtual phone system that is specifically tailored to enterprise needs. In building Tellfi, founders Jason Corwin and Conor Lee asked customers what their most desired features were in a calling system, and came up with voicemail transcription, multiphone forwarding, individual extensions for each user, toll-free numbers and support access.

TellFi is in the same space as Grasshopper and Google Voice, but unlike Google Voice TellFi is not free, so you get what you pay for in a sense. Says Corwin, “One of the ways we differentiated ourselves was that the other [enterprise] products were bulky to use … And Google Voice [doesn't] really have a lot of the business class features.  Connection quality is really important to people, as is lack of support. People looking for robust business class features as they dug into it found that TellFi was a better alternative.”

The tiered plans that are $70 a month, $24 a month and $10 a month add extra numbers and additional minutes as the plans increase in price, but the features remain essentially the same. TellFi prides itself in having better call quality and fewer dropped calls than competitors and robust analytics like call logs across all plans.

TellFi also prides itself on its simplicity. All you need to do to set up a business phone system is visit the website and set up an account from an interface that’s designed for non-techie users, “It allows people to jump in, and do what they want and jump out” says Lee.

TellFi now has over 50 clients and hopes to add even more features like conference calling and more in depth analytics for users, rolling out a new feature every two weeks. TellFi is also offering the first 50 interested TechCrunch readers one month of the starter plan free when they sign up for an account, by using the access code “TCReaders.”

Source: TellFi Is Google Voice For Companies

AOL’s Awesome Weekly Drinking Binge

February 28th, 2011 02:04 admin View Comments

One great thing about big corporations are all the rules. AOL has a twenty nine page Standars of Business Conduct policy that all applies to all employees. The document covers things like harassment, safe work environments, privacy, conflicts of interest and gifts. The best part is near the end when it gets into bribery and corruption.

“AOL strictly prohibits…bribery of government officials,” is an example of the rules that we are forced to live by. As you can imagine, it’s mostly common sense, and has been a subject of great amusement around the office for the last several months.

AOL is also very strict about alcohol in the office, and I’ve heard people complaining that HR won’t let them bring in a few beers to celebrate a new product launch. The only real question I had was why in the world they asked permission in the first place.

Our Company prohibits the abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs while performing your job drugs while performing your job duties or while on our premises.

Anyway, the no alcohol policy is one which we have violated each and every day since we were acquired. See, for example, the TechCrunch kegerator.

I guess it all depends on how to define “abuse” though.

Which is why we’re confused by AOL’s weekly drinking binges, called Accelerator Thursdays. We get a deluge of emails urging us to participate in this weekly program, which as far as we can tell consists of very heavy drinking, and lots of drinking games, in all of the AOL’s offices.

From the Dulles office:

In Dulles we will be enjoying beverages from the The Refueling Station (our bar). Beverages will include melted snow (white wine), quick start (red wine) and brew icicles (beer).

Our ice luge drink is fast track (blue caracau, vodka, lemonade).

Detroit:

In Detroit we are kicking off the Luge with White Russians & Margarettia’s! We encouraged everyone to bring forward ideas for future Accelerator events.

Baltimore was less energetic:

We are kicking our AT off with a beer cart.

The last thing I want to do is put a stop to all this. But the next time someone in HR starts bugging me about bribing a government official to get the inside scoop on a story, I’m just pointing to the picture above of that poor AOL employee being forced to drink blue caracau, vodka, lemonade luges from the ice track. :-)

Source: AOL’s Awesome Weekly Drinking Binge

Check Into Foursquare, Facebook Places With Your Watch

February 28th, 2011 02:03 admin View Comments

If you’ve ever thought “I’d get so much more geo-location done in my day if it could all just be done from my watch,” the folks at inPulse smart watch have an app for you.

This hack allows inPulse smart watch users to check into Facebook Places and Foursquare with a tap of their watch button. It’s pretty kludgey right now because it requires a Bluetooth connection to an Android smartphone to work but, as an extension to the standard check-in APIs used on phones, it could prove useful.

The watch polls the smartphone for nearby places to use for check in and then connects to the check-in service to complete the process.

The code is all here and it requires you to register a new app with Facebook, but I think we all can agree that adding this feature to your watch is a great leap forward in human-computer interaction. Or something.

You can get an inPulse watch right here and start getting notifications right on your wrist.

John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Check Into Foursquare, Facebook Places With Your Watch

Apple’s COO Hints At Cheaper iPhone

February 28th, 2011 02:57 admin View Comments

iPhone nano

Forbes reports that Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi apparently had a meeting with Apple COO Tim Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer and VP of Internet Services Eddy Cue last week.

The analyst reports that Apple’s COO suggested that it is “likely to develop lower priced offerings” to expand the iPhone market.

Forbes reports:

The analyst says Cook “appeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offerings†to expand the market for the iPhone. Cook said the company is planning “clever things†to address the prepaid market, and that Apple did not want its products to be “just for the rich,†and that the company is “not ceding any market.â€

We’ve heard rumors that Apple is working on a cheaper and smaller iPhone model, which could be priced at $200 without requiring a contract. However, New York Times reported that although Apple is exploring ways to reduce the price of the iPhone to make it affordable to a wider audience by changing internal components of the device, it is not working on a smaller iPhone.

The analyst also reports that Cook believes that the tablet market will be much bigger than the PC market. He wrote:

Cook indicated that the tablet market would be much bigger than the PC market. Sacconaghi concludes that if so, it could eventually be a $60 billion to $100 billion business for Apple alone. Cook also said he expected intense competition in tablets, more so than in smart phones, with all PC and smart phone vendors likely to participate, but he added that Apple has a strong head start, and that it has interesting new things in the pipeline.

What do you think? Should Apple launch a cheaper iPhone model? Please share your views in the comments section below.

[via Forbes]

Source: Apple’s COO Hints At Cheaper iPhone

Creator Of Angry Bird’s Physics Engine Calls Out Rovio For Not Giving Him Credit

February 28th, 2011 02:45 admin View Comments

Aaaawkwaaard!

I’m not at this week’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco for various reasons (the main one being that I’ve been covering events non-stop for nearly two months and my body is falling apart), but we’re keeping a pretty close eye on things just in case. We’re hearing that things just got a little dramatic in the “ANGRY BIRDS – An Entertainment Franchise in the Making” panel headed by Rovio’s “Might Eagle” (read: head honcho) Peter Vesterbacka.

Read the rest at MobileCrunch >>

Source: Creator Of Angry Bird’s Physics Engine Calls Out Rovio For Not Giving Him Credit

DEMO 2011: How to Protect Your Facebook Page from Spam, Viruses and Profanity

February 28th, 2011 02:38 admin View Comments

You learned long ago not to leave your computer unprotected against the elements of the Internet. You would never think of accessing the Internet without anti-virus software (hush, you Mac folks), so why would you leave one of your most important online presences – your Facebook Page – unprotected?

Today at DEMO, WebSense launched Defensio 2.0 for Facebook, a Facebook app that can help keep your company’s Facebook Page safe and clear from malicious links, spam and profanity.

Defensio breaks down security for your page into three basic categories: Spam, malicious content and profanity. For each category, you can set the app to either alert you, quarantine the item, or automatically delete it.

defensio-screenshot-1.png

Beyond these three basic categories and settings, the app also allows you to select a number of different website types to block from being posted on your page.

defensio-screenshot-2.png

Defensio isn’t the first of its kind, however. Last October, we wrote about a similar app by BitDefender, which performed a similar task. BitDefender’s app, however, was directed more at the average user, helping to prevent oversharing and privacy infringing activities, in addition to malicious links. Defensio also has a full moderation panel that allows the Facebook Page’s owner to look through quarantined items and decide to either allow or disallow them.

Defensio looks to be more directed at small businesses and those of you with a brand Facebook Page. Would you want to stop your friends from swearing on your personal Facebook page? Maybe not. Your brand’s Facebook Page, however, is a different thing all together.

Source: DEMO 2011: How to Protect Your Facebook Page from Spam, Viruses and Profanity

Sony PlayStation 3 Imports Temporarily Banned In Europe

February 28th, 2011 02:28 admin View Comments

PlayStation (Games)

tekgoblin writes “Looks like Sony is in some trouble in Europe. LG recently complained about Sony and filed a U.S. patent dispute over their blu-ray technology. Now they have been granted a preliminary injunction in the matter in Europe. This injunction prevents the PlayStation 3 from currently being imported to Europe. For at least the next 10 days, every PlayStation that is imported will be seized by government officials.”

Source: Sony PlayStation 3 Imports Temporarily Banned In Europe

Great Moments In Tech Punditry: The Day Facebook Lost Half Its Value

February 28th, 2011 02:25 admin View Comments

Angel investor and fight picker Jason Calacanis on February 10, 2010:

Facebook lost half its value today.

Google Buzz 1.0 is a better product than the seven-year old Facebook. Look at Scoble’s post from TED… he never left GMAIL and he instantly has tons of comments… and they are more intelligent than the ones on Facebook.

Facebook has stolen everyone’s ideas for six years and today they just got a taste of their own medicine. Google has ripped off their interface and done it 10x better.

Game over… Facebook is the new MySpace.

Via

Source: Great Moments In Tech Punditry: The Day Facebook Lost Half Its Value

Scientists, Not Just Tourists, Are Getting Tickets to Ride Into Suborbital Space

February 28th, 2011 02:50 admin View Comments

Space

Science, perhaps even more than tourism (free reg. may be required to read), could turn out to be big business for Virgin Galactic and other companies that are aiming to provide short rides above the 62-mile altitude that marks the official entry into outer space, eventually on a daily basis.” Virgin is looking at ticket prices in the $200,000 range, which is peanuts compared to the millions some scientific space expeditions can cost, even for brief experiments. And if you don’t even have *that* much in your research budget, John Carmack has been touting $105,000 space flights for nearly a year now, and Xcor Aerospace has been taking $95,000 space ride reservations since 2008. It looks like the biggest customer for short space flights for scientific experiments so far is the Southwest Research Institute, but many others are lining up, especially since, the article quotes one scientist as saying, “It’s almost impossible to get research on the space station at the moment.” Of course, none of these commercial space ventures has actually carried any paying passengers into space yet, but it’s only a matter of time before some of them do.

Source: Scientists, Not Just Tourists, Are Getting Tickets to Ride Into Suborbital Space

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