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Businesses

Golden Age of Silicon Valley Is Over With Facebook IPO 222

Posted by timothy
from the what's-your-favorite-gravedancing-music? dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Steve Blank, a professor at Berkeley and Stanford and serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, says that the the Facebook IPO is the beginning of the end for Silicon Valley as we know it. "Silicon Valley historically would invest in science, and technology, and, you know, actual silicon," says Blank. "If you were a good venture capitalist you could make $100 million." But there's a new pattern emerging created by two big ideas that will lead to the demise of Silicon Valley as we know it. The first is putting computer devices, mobile and tablet especially, in the hands of billions of people and the second is that we are moving all the social needs that we used to do face-to-face onto the computer and this trend has just begun. "If you think Facebook is the end, ask MySpace. Art, entertainment, everything you can imagine in life is moving to computers. Companies like Facebook for the first time can get total markets approaching the entire population." That's great for Facebook but it means Silicon Valley is screwed as a place for investing in advanced science. "If I have a choice of investing in a blockbuster cancer drug that will pay me nothing for ten years, at best, whereas social media will go big in two years, what do you think I'm going to pick?" concludes Blank. "The headline for me here is that Facebook's success has the unintended consequence of leading to the demise of Silicon Valley as a place where investors take big risks on advanced science and tech that helps the world. The golden age of Silicon valley is over and we're dancing on its grave.""
Android

Microsoft Wins US Import Ban On Motorola's Android Devices 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.
jbrodkin writes "The U.S. International Trade Commission today ordered an import ban on Motorola Mobility Android products, agreeing with Microsoft that the devices infringe a Microsoft patent on 'generating meeting requests' from a mobile device. The import ban stems from a December ruling that the Motorola Atrix, Droid, and Xoom (among 18 total devices) infringed the patent, which Microsoft says is related to Exchange ActiveSync technology. Today, the ITC said in a 'final determination of violation' (PDF) that 'the appropriate form of relief in this investigation is a limited exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry for consumption of mobile devices, associated software and components thereof covered by ... United States Patent No. 6,370,566 and that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, Motorola.' Motorola (which is being acquired by Google) was the last major Android device maker not to pay off Microsoft in a patent licensing deal. Microsoft has already responded to the decision, saying it hopes Motorola will now reconsider."
Software

Wozniak's Original System Description of the Apple ][ 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-you-don't-eat-it-listen-to-me dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Opening with the line, 'To me, a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and inexpensive,' Steve Wozniak gave his system description of the Apple-II in the May, 1977 issue of BYTE. It's instructive to read what was worth bragging about back then (PDF), such as integral graphics: 'A key part of the Apple-II design is an integral video display generator which directly accesses the system's programmable memory. Screen formatting and cursor controls are realized in my design in the form of about 200 bytes of read only memory.' And it shows what the limitations were in those days, 'While writing Apple BASIC, I ran into the problem of manipulating the 16 bit pointer data and its arithmetic in an 8 bit machine. My solution to this problem of handling 16 bit data, notably pointers, with an 8 bit microprocessor was to implement a nonexistent 16 bit processor in software, interpreter fashion.'"
Facebook

Facebook IPO Stumbles Out of the Gate 423

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
Facebook's much-hyped IPO kicked off today, but an anonymous reader points out that things didn't go quite as smoothly as investors hoped. "Public trading didn't get underway until about 11:30 a.m. ET, half an hour after it was supposed to. The delay was likely caused by the huge amount of interest in the stock – especially by retail investors. In the first few minutes of trading, Facebook shares were only up between 5 and 10 per cent and by noon were essentially back down to the IPO price of $38. Many observers had expected the stock to double in price by the end of the day, if not sooner." The NY Times has a data visualization showing how Facebook's IPO compares to other tech IPOs throughout the years, and how the first day of trading treated all of those companies. Meanwhile, the debate is lively over whether the social networking giant will be a good investment. "The banks helping take Facebook public want us to value this 8-year-old upstart at as much as $104 billion, more than Disney or Kraft Foods, though those companies earn three and four times more. That top valuation is also more than 100 times Facebook's earnings last year, versus 13 times for the average company. At such a high price, it will take years for this so-called earnings multiple to fall to a more reasonable level, and that's assuming the company can maintain its torrid earnings growth."
HP

HP To Cut 30,000 Jobs 291

Posted by Soulskill
from the enough-pink-slips-to-kill-a-forest dept.
Axolotl_Rose writes with news that Hewlett-Packard is preparing to cut around 30,000 jobs, close to 10% of its total workforce. CEO Meg Whitman reportedly wants to use that money instead for new products and for bolstering the sales force. From the NY Times: "China, which is one of H.P.’s highest growth areas, will probably be spared, as will its research and development efforts. Ms. Whitman, who became H.P.’s chief executive last September, 'is trying to build a new company,' one senior executive said of the job cuts. 'You can count this as a part of that.' The final plan is expected to be announced on Wednesday, when H.P. announces earnings for its second fiscal quarter. Considered a slow-moving giant in the tech industry, H.P. had revenue of $127 billion in fiscal 2011, but net earnings of just $7.1 billion. While it has a leading position in the sales of low-margin personal computers, H.P. has been late or unsuccessful in many recent tech trends like providing cloud computing services for big companies and smartphones and tablet computers." An article at Forbes suggests HP should instead 'retool' those jobs by recruiting makers and hackers, TED conference speakers, and others who have experience building and inventing things.
Politics

Geeks In the Public Forum? 326

Posted by Soulskill
from the ask-not-what-your-country-can-hack-for-you dept.
cedarhillbilly writes "In his new book The Geek Manifesto, Mark Henderson 'pleads for citizens who value science to force it onto the mainstream political agenda and other main walks of life.' There are some important questions that need answers: 'Do you have to give up your tech practice to undertake a public role?' Also, 'Is political life (compromise, working by consensus, irrationality) antithetical to the "geek" values?'" The Guardian's coverage sums up the idea nicely: "What I desperately want is a move toward an evidence-based culture in politics. Politicians are free to say: 'I think people on drugs should be punished because drugs are immoral.' That's a moral call, albeit a rather stupid one in my opinion. What they shouldn't do is say: 'I want to reduce drug use, and sending all users to prison is the most cost-effective way to achieve that.' That's not a moral call, it's a factual statement; as such it should be evidence-based, or else the person making it should shut the hell up."
Technology

Ask Slashdot: Wrist Watch For the Tech Minded 466

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-than-time dept.
NNUfergs writes "Sure, my smartphone can deliver just about any piece of information I could want in under 30 seconds, but I miss being able to just look at my wrist to get the time, date etc. I've been shopping around for a while and haven't come across anything particularly inspiring. There are loads of various features that have been incorporated into watches, but you usually only see a small, specialized set in a given watch. Budget is always a concern, but I am willing to invest in a quality time piece. In short, I'm not looking for a piece of jewelry; I'm looking for a gadget to wear on my wrist. Are there any neat, fun or just plain cool watches out there for techies? What do you have?"
Networking

The Pirate Bay Returns, Anonymous Hater Takes Credit For DDoS 122

Posted by timothy
from the bad-childhoods-in-the-news dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After being the victim of a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack by an unknown party, The Pirate Bay has returned. An Anonymous traitor who goes by the name AnonNyre has claimed responsibility for the DDoS attack that kept the site offline for days."
Cloud

NVIDIA GeForce GRID Cloud Gaming Acceleration 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-won't-run-crysis dept.
Vigile writes "NVIDIA today announced a new technology partnership with Gaikai, an on-demand gaming company that competes with OnLive, to bring GeForce GRID to the cloud gaming ecosystem. GRID aims to increase both the visual quality and user experience of cloud gaming by decreasing latencies involved in the process — the biggest hindrance to acceptance for consumers. NVIDIA claims to have decreased the time for game stream capture and decode by a factor of three by handling the process completely on the GPU, while also decreasing the 'game time' with the power of the Kepler GPU. NVIDIA hopes to help both gamers and cloud streaming companies by offering 4x the density currently available and at just 75 watts per game stream. The question remains — will mainstream users adopt the on-demand games market as they have the on-demand video market?"
Piracy

Finland: Open WiFi Access Point Owner Not Liable For Infringement 156

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the pirating-play-goers dept.
New submitter mjrauhal writes "In Finland, the operator of an open WiFi access point was found not guilty for copyright infringement allegedly committed over said access point. The operation of such access points would have become legally risky were this decided otherwise. Appeal by the Finnish Anti-Piracy Center is still possible for this district court ruling."
Businesses

Solyndra's High-tech Plant To Be Sold 233

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-bailout-for-you dept.
Velcroman1 writes, quoting Fox News: "For sale: manufacturing and office facility with 411,618 square feet, state of the art electrical, air, and power distribution systems — and a troubled past. As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Solyndra is reportedly very close to landing a buyer for its mammoth, high-tech production plant in Fremont, Calif. The listing agent recently gave Fox News a tour of what the new owners will get for their multi-million dollar investment. Now the once-bustling offices, conference rooms, and cubicles are eerily quiet as the facility is 'decommissioned,' according to Greg Matter with Jones Lang LaSalle realty. One wonders about the conversations held, and emails written, in the corner office formerly occupied by CEO Brian Harrison."
Security

LulzSec Member Pleads Not Guilty In Stratfor Leak Case 89

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the freegan-crust-punk-enjoying-free-prison-food dept.
TheGift73 writes with an update on one of the many LulzSec court cases. From the article: "A former LulzSec member has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he hacked into the servers of global intelligence company Stratfor and stole credit card data and personal details of 860,000 of its clients. Jeremy Hammond entered the plea on Monday during a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Associated Press reported. He's been held in federal custody since an initial court appearance in Chicago in early March, when federal prosecutors named him as a lieutenant of LulzSec ringleader Hector Xavier 'Sabu' Monsegur. There was no request for Hammond to be released on bail during Monday's hearing, according to the AP report."
Displays

Plastic Logic Shows Off a Color ePaper Screen 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the technology-that-should-totally-be-here-by-now dept.
Nate the greatest writes "I'm sure you've heard about the color E-ink screen which was rumored to be used on the next Kindle. As of today, E-ink no longer has that market niche to themselves. Plastic Logic held a press conference in Russia this morning where they unveiled a new color screen that uses their plastic-based screen tech. The resolution is low (75ppi), but if the video is any sign, then this might be a better screen than the 9.7" Triton color E-ink screen used on the Jetbook Color. And that's not all Plastic Logic showed off this morning; they also developed a frontlight for their screen, and they can play video at 12 frames per second. But best of all, they cut one of their screens in half just to show that it could still work."
Windows

Windows RT Browser Restrictions Draw Antitrust Attention 375

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-like-deja-vu-but-different dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last week we heard complaints from Mozilla that Windows RT would restrict users' choice in web browsers, unfairly favoring Internet Explorer over alternatives like Firefox and Chrome. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the situation is now on the Senate Judiciary Committee's radar, and they will look into claims that Microsoft is engaging in anti-competitive behavior. That said, it could be a difficult case to make, since Windows RT is destined for ARM-based tablets, and Apple currently dominates that market. 'When it comes to proving abuse of monopoly power, an important question is determining the market in which a monopolist has power — the relevant market, in antitrust legal terms. In the [late '90s] DOJ case, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings of fact concluded Microsoft had a monopoly in the market for "Intel-compatible PC operating systems." Windows on ARM doesn't run on x86 chips, so by Jackson's standards, Windows RT hasn't been judged to be part of Microsoft's monopoly.' Microsoft addressed some of these issues in a blog post in February."

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