Monthly Archives: February 2012

Chris Nuttall

The main tech session of the 2012 TED conference is The Lab, about the “amazingness of invention”. None of your “secret keepers” and “beatboxers” here  – they’re later in the day.

Instead, we have  a roboticist, a materials engineer, a technologist, a techno-illusionist, the director of DARPA…and a muppet. A live blog from the event in Long Beach is after the jump. Read more

Maija Palmer

Whatever the state of consumer confidence in Europe, venture capital investors are betting the people will keep shopping, with three e-commerce start-ups receiving new funding in February. The investment thesis appears to be that you can never have too many shoes, baby items or eco-friendly hammocks.

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Chris Nuttall

It’s time for another TED here in Long Beach, California – the big-ideas conference, where people you’ve never ever heard of before give wonderful talks about things you neither knew nor thought possible, in front of an audience of incredibly famous people that you’re forbidden to name.

It’s the antithesis of the Oscars held a few miles away at the weekend, with both having a theatreful of big names, but deep thinking and world-changing ideas being honoured onstage here rather than the celebrities off-stage getting all the awards. Read more

Richard Waters

Thanks to a hint about Apple’s TV plans that Steve Jobs dropped to biographer Walter Isaacson, all eyes have been fixed on the revolution that may soon come to the dominant living room screen.

But a flurry of activity is already bringing big changes to the TV experience through “second screens” – and the $20m that has now been raised by Scott McNealy’s start-up WayIn is evidence that investors are paying attention.  Read more

As he celebrated Sony’s sweep of Grammy awards at a star-draped after-party in West Hollywood on February 12, Sir Howard Stringer looked like a man relieved.

Adele, the Sony-signed British singer, had won six trophies, capping a year of music successes for the Japanese group and its Welsh-American chief executive, who had lured industry veteran Doug Morris to run his record labels, and pulled off a bid for EMI Music Publishing without committing much capital. Read more

Sean Maloney asks the question that is on my mind before I get to ask it. “Do you think I’m better or that I’m not better?” he inquires, barely 15 minutes into our conversation.

In his case, it is not such an odd question. Two years ago, he did not even know if he would talk again after suffering a stroke. He had been running with his 20-year-old son, then sat on the bed in his San Francisco home and everything went blank. “When I woke up there was nothing. It was terrible, waking up like that and asking what was I doing with my life,” he recalls.

By then, the London-born Mr Maloney was widely seen as the heir apparent to Paul Otellini, Intel’s chief executive, who is due to step down in 2015. Mr Maloney had risen rapidly through the ranks at the company since joining in 1982 – but the stroke called his inexorable ascent into question. “It almost killed me,” he says. Read more

Chris Nuttall

If you think the 5.3in-screen Samsung Galaxy Note is a little too large to fit in a pocket, then you will have a real problem with the 10.1in version just unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Samsung has yet to make an official announcement about the phone, but a gargantuan poster to match the giant-sized device has appeared, and at this size, there seems no argument about whether it is a smartphone or a tablet this time. Read more

Getty images

Gadget lovers may soon be adding glasses to their growing list of tech toys. This week, reports that Google will release “heads-up display glasses” by the end of the year spread quickly in the tech sphere.

Though Google did not confirm if it was working on glasses that will  “be able to stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time”, as the New York Times and 9 to 5 Google reported, many speculated that such a product could be the start of “wearable computing”. Read more

contour camera

As smartphones offer ‘good enough’ cameras for many people, makers of dedicated stills and video cameras are offering more features and appealing to niche audiences. This week we look at the equipment for those wanting to make films as they fall out of aeroplanes or shred the ski slopes.

Contour+ 3/5

I fear for my friend who uses the Color app on his iPhone to beam me live video as he follows and films his kids on the ski slopes in the equivalent of texting while driving.

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ResearchGate, a social network for scientists and academic researchers, has received a second round of venture funding from Founders Fund, adding to the growing cadre of health and science related social start-ups attracting the attention of Silicon Valley investors.

The Series B round builds on the company’s earlier financing from social networking VC gurus Benchmark and Accel in 2010. The company did not disclose the funding amounts for either round. Read more