jeudi 30 janvier 2014

Urination detectors enable quick arrests for public peeing

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is hoping to clean up its elevators with urine sensors that alert nearby police officers.


Public urination is a major problem for cities and, somehow, civic facilities seem to bear the brunt of the antisocial behavior. Hoping to curb public peeing, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is planning to clean up its elevators with urine sensors that alert nearby police officers.

The local government body is trialling the new technology — which triggers an alert when hidden sensors detect the splash of urine — in one of the city’s Midtown stations, according to WSB-TV. A sign placed in the elevators warns passengers that the system is in operation. If they proceed to relieve themselves anyway, security guards are immediately notified and can move to catch the culprit before they’ve finished. If they manage to escape, a camera enables police to identify the offender. In the month following the beginning of the pilot program, unlawful peeing incidents dropped to zero except for one case in which an arrest was successfully made.

MARTA hopes to install the system in each of its stations’ 111 elevators starting from this month, as well as reopening restrooms for public use to further encourage hygienic behavior. However, with each detection device costing around USD 10,000 to install, are there more economical ways to deter public urination?

Spotted by Murtaza Patel, written by Springwise

Source : Springwise

3D printer lets users fax physical objects

AIO Robotics’ ZEUS enables users to print, scan, copy and even fax 3D objects.

3D printing is a great innovation in its own right, but perhaps more interesting is the consumer uses that are now being developed around it. Yahoo! Japan has already created a 3D-printing search engine for blind kids, and now AIO Robotics’ ZEUSenables users to print, scan, copy and even fax 3D objects.
Coming in at a similar size to other desktop 3D printers, the sleekly-designed Zeus brings the multi-use capabilities of all-in-one inkjet and laser printers to the world of 3D modeling. Users first insert an SD card which contains the file they want to use. ZEUS then offers four options — print, scan, copy or fax. The file can be used to simply print the 3D object to a resolution of 100 microns. Alternatively, any object placed on the turntable located inside can be scanned with the HD camera and then either saved onto the SD card or quickly copied. Users can even seamlessly send files to other ZEUS owners, whereby the object is immediately printed — once they’ve given permission to use up filament, of course. The video below explains more about the product:
ZEUS could previously be pre-ordered through a Kickstarter campaign for USD 1,999 back in October, and the company will make the device available to purchase from its website in the near future. Are there other ways to make 3D printing more accessible for those without technical knowledge and skill?
Source : Springwise

mercredi 29 janvier 2014

Google Is Making A Land Grab For The Internet Of Things

Before this past December, when Google acquired seven robotics companies back-to-back, the company’s ambitions in the “Internet of Things” space looked as detailed as a freshly started jigsaw puzzle.
But with its last three acquisitions — Boston Dynamics, Nest and DeepMind — it seems like Google is rapidly collecting the individual pieces to put together a “real life Internet,” a network of AI-driven robots and objects that could improve transportation, manufacturing and even day-to-day consumer life.
Google’s “real life Internet,” a business that reaches far beyond web search and online advertising, may look like a General Electric on the Internet of Things side, and an IBM on the software side — where artificial intelligence is at the core of products likeWatson.
At least that’s what it looks like right now, as the search giant is gobbling up almost every company that could fit into the puzzle, combining hardware, software, analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence into, well, something.

Google X, the company’s skunkworks unit that’s been developing driverless cars among several other sci-fi-esque projects, now seems to be leading Google’s hefty meatspace ambitions.
One obvious extrapolation from all these acquisitions is that Google will be in the business of data for a long time. Covering computers, tablets and now phones with Android and building applications like Maps to harvest information about its hundreds of millions of users, Google is now looking far beyond traditional computing devices. Acquiring Nest, which builds smart home devices, was one swift lunge in that direction.
How many more of these diversity acquisitions will we see before 2014 closes out?
Since last Christmas, Google has dropped well over $4 billion on buying seven roboticscompanies and Big Dog maker Boston Dynamicsenlisting Android guru Andy Rubin to figure out what do with them.  Internet of Things darling Nest, and AI company DeepMind will operate outside of the robotics division, according to Liz Gannes.
Google is betting its future on the fact that one day our cars, refrigerators, mobile phones, computers and home devices will communicate with each other, generating insights that can be converted into data. And that these newer channels will result in a massive advertising opportunity.
But what can Google accomplish that IBM and GE cannot?
IBM has invested $1 billion in its AI-driven Watson project, which is expected to bring $10 billion in revenue over the next few years. Facebook too, has set up an artificial intelligence team to understand emotions, and according to The Information and a tipster, was even in the race to acquire DeepMind (our tipster held the Facebook bid at $450 million).
And good old GE is putting all its might behind building software platforms that bridge the physical world of industrial machines with the Internet — a strategy and aim similar to Google’s but for the machine world.
So far, IBM has depended heavily (perhaps doggedly) on Watson for making its artificial intelligence push work. Since its launch around three years ago, IBM has been pushing aggressively to turn its “Jeopardy”-winning computer into a business where healthcare and telecom companies pay to use Watson in real life. But as a WSJ piece earlier this month pointed out, IBM has been struggling to make it work.
On the enterprise side, both IBM and GE are still far away from making any big impact in terms of revenues, despite having the experience of working with Fortune 500 companies for decades.
Watson’s biggest challenge today is solving real-life problems and living up to the “intelligence” part of the artificial intelligence equation.
When asked by the New York Times what he wanted to build at Google, Andy Rubin brought up the example of a windshield wiper that turned itself on when it rains. 
As humble as that sounds, Google ostensibly has a head start in terms of AI-practicality, with Google Now making strides in the proactive computing field. It also has a tremendous advantage in its treasure chest of user data, allowing it to predict and analyze patterns in behavior and needs more robustly than any competitor.
With one of the largest server architectures on the Internet, Google has the big computing power necessary for AI processing at its fingertips. It also has ancillary Google X efforts like Project Loon that could blanket areas in connectivity needed to power robotics.
A “real life Internet” may be closer than we think.
‘Her’ image via IMDB, Warner Bros. 
Source : Techcrunch

lundi 27 janvier 2014

Snowden Answers Our Burning Data Collection Question: What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is answering the Internet’s burning questions. Surprisingly, he was even gracious enough to answer my question: “What’s the worst and most realistic harm from bulk collection of data? Why do you think it outweighs national security?”
Snowden, who was granted protection in Russia from American prosecution, has been somewhat press-averse, only holding a few select media interviews. This time, he went directly to netizens to respond to President Obama’s big national security speech last week.
I posted the full response Snowden gave me below. In essence, he argues that the government’s bulk storage of our digital lives causes self-censorship and opens up the potential for severe abuse.
“Study after study has show that human behavior changes when we know we’re being watched. Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively *are* less free,” he wrote.
He also notes that mass-spying, “enables a capability called “retroactive investigation,” where once you come to the government’s attention, they’ve got a very complete record of your daily activity going back, under current law, often as far as five years.”
I generally think Snowden is right, but the problem with his answer is that it doesn’t help us weigh these harms against the possibility of stopping a terrorist. There will most definitely be government abuse and Americans have already started censoring themselves. On the other hand, in the next 30 years, it’s possible this system could prevent one or two terrorists attacks, potentially saving dozens of lives and billions in economic losses.
As far as I’ve been able to find, the available “studies” that Snowden alludes to are only moderately helpful. For instance, one experimental study found that pervasively monitored participants were less likely to engage conversations that were neutral or critical of their peers. Personally, I do find myself watching my words over email since Snowden leaked the documents, despite the fact that the NSA doesn’t care much about me.
The idea of pervasive surveillance has been popular at least since hipster god-father and post-modern idol, philosopher Michel Foucault conceptualized the problems of an all-seeing authority that could randomly spy on individuals, ominously known as thePanopticon.
In practice, America’s former colonial master, the British, have had a public version of the Panopticon since the 1970′s, with their Closed-Circuit TV system (CCTV). CCTV does stop some crime, though it still happens. Many citizens simply forget that they’re being watched; It appears that humans cannot act on being paranoid 24/7.
In other cases, websites that offer more privacy, such as the Duck Duck Go search engine, have seen a spike in traffic. So, Snowden is correct, some people do change their behavior.
But, what is the actual impact of this behavior change? We still get to vote (and so do the British). There is certainly no end to criticisms of President Obama or anyone else in our government. Even if we watch our words, I haven’t noticed a difference in our democracy, for better or worse.
As to the government abuse of records, retroactively: yes, that’s a serious concern, which President Obama acknowledged in his last speech. Historically, our government likes to maintain hit lists and rogue agents like to abuse their powers for personal gain. It’s probably true that no system will ever be secure from the irrationality of a scorned lover.
Here the impacts are much more tangible. In the past, whistleblowers have had a major impact on the course of US history. Daniel Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers hastened the military withdrawal from Vietnam and saved many (many) lives. If we’re comparing body counts, it is as likely that the government could shut up a whistleblower who would otherwise stop a corrupt government initiative, as it is the number of those who could be the victims of terrorism.
Right now, The NSA debate has been maddeningly theoretical. So, here’s where I think everyone can agree with Snowden and why he is, in fact, a national hero. Americans cannot make a democratically informed decision without more information on the effectiveness of mass spying. As Snowden concludes, “it should be the result of public decision rather than closed conference.”
The more people examine classified evidence, the less they are convinced the NSA’s programs have been worthwhile. Large organizations, especially hierarchical ones like the federal government, as disturbingly susceptible to “group think“, where dissenters are actively shunned and groups converge on an idea that often ends up being stupid (i.e. the Bay of Pigs disaster).
The intelligence community needs a lot more critics, especially ones who are specifically tasked with protecting civil liberties. As I predicted, under any reasonable scenario of broader oversight, bulk collection of data, as we know it, will change. Since authorities will have to convince a lot more skeptics, the burden of proof will fall more on the NSA, and ultimately limit their reach.
If that happens, we can thank one person and one alone: Edward Snowden.
Read Snowden’s response in full, below and the rest of his live Q&A here.
“The worst and happening-right-now harm of bulk collection — which again, is a euphemism for mass surveillance — is two-fold.
The first is the chilling effect, which is well-understood. Study after study has show that human behavior changes when we know we’re being watched. Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively *are* less free.
The second, less understood but far more sinister effect of these classified programs, is that they effectively create “permanent records” of our daily activities, even in the absence of any wrongdoing on our part. This enables a capability called “retroactive investigation,” where once you come to the government’s attention, they’ve got a very complete record of your daily activity going back, under current law, often as far as five years. You might not remember where you went to dinner on June 12th 2009, but the government does.
The power these records represent can’t be overstated. In fact, researchers have referred to this sort of data gathering as resulting in “databases of ruin,” where harmful and embarrassing details exist about even the most innocent individuals. The fact that these records are gathered without the government having any reasonable suspicion or probable cause justifying the seizure of data is so divorced from the domain of reason as to be incapable of ever being made lawful at all, and this view was endorsed as recently as today by the federal government’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight board.
Fundamentally, a society in which the pervasive monitoring of the sum of civil activity becomes routine is turning from the traditions of liberty toward what is an inherently illiberal infrastructure of preemptive investigation, a sort of quantified state where the least of actions are measured for propriety. I don’t seek to pass judgment in favor or against such a state in the short time I have here, only to declare that it is not the one we inherited, and should we as a society embrace it, it should be the result of public decision rather than closed conference.”
Source: Techcrunch

jeudi 23 janvier 2014

WunderBar lance un kit d’initiation à la création d’objets connectés

kit for connected devices creation
La startup Wunderbar souhaite faciliter la création d’outils connectés auprès des développeurs d’applications, grâce à un kit de matériel informatique et des logiciels open source.
Créer un site internet ou bien même une application mobile devient à la portée du grand public : il existe de plus en plus de solutions pour vulgariser la programmation et le développement sur internet. Au-delà des compétences en matière de logiciel, on voit apparaître des entreprises qui souhaitent faciliter l’accès au développement de matériel informatique (hardware). L’Atelier avait évoqué en juin dernier le lancement par EZ Robot, d’un kit de création de robot pour novices. Aujourd’hui, c’est la startup hollandaise, Relayr basée dans l’accélérateur StatupBootcamp, qui vient de lancer unecampagne de financement sur la plateforme de crowdfunding, Dragon Innovation. La startup souhaite lever des fonds pour le lancement d’un kit de matériel pour les développeurs afin de faciliter la création d'applications pour le marché prometteur de l'Internet des objets. Ce kit, appelé WunderBar, ressemble plus à une barre chocolatée qu’à un dispositif électronique et consiste en une première étape pour donner accès à l’internet des objets aux développeurs n’ayant pas de compétence en hardware, avant de toucher éventuellement plus tard, un marché de masse.

Créer facilement des objets connectés

Le système se compose d'une première pièce activée au WiFi, qui agit comme relais ou module maître des six autres pièces. Ces pièces sont munies de différents capteurs qui permettent de surveiller la température, la proximité, la lumière, la couleur, l'humidité, et le mouvement. Ils sont chacun capable de mesurer un paramètre et de relayer leurs données vers un service de Cloud. Les capteurs peuvent être placés presque n'importe où, être liés à des déclencheurs personnalisés, des règles de notification, et peuvent fonctionner pendant environ un an sur une seule pile. Les données récoltées peuvent ensuite être utilisées dans une application. Un ensemble de documents, didacticiels et exemples d’applications sont fournis par l'entreprise promettant de pouvoir créer une première application opérationnelle en moins de 10 minutes. Le kit de développent permet aussi de faciliter le test des applications grâce à un tableau de bord qui permet aux développeurs de simuler des essais. Le prix de vente devrait être de 149$ ou plus et sera commercialisé à partir de mai 2014.

Mettre en place un terrain fertile pour la création

Cependant, WunderBar n’est pas le premier kit d’initiation à la création de matériel informatique muni de capteurs. BITalino par exemple, est un kit de biocapteurs visant à soutenir le développement des dispositifs médicaux et des applications de suivi de santé. Cette startup européenne est spécialisée dans le domaine de la santé, alors que WunderBart s’adresse à tous les développeurs de logiciels souhaitant réaliser des objets connectés dans une optique ludique d'expérimentation ou de prototypage rapide. De plus, certains éléments du logiciel seront configurés en open source, rendant facile pour les développeurs de matériel d’utiliser des modèles déjà réalisés. Par ce biais, l’entreprise a pour ambition de créer un terrain fertile pour la création. Relayr ayant déjà soulevé 250 000€ auprès de l’entourage de ses fondateurs, souhaite dorénavant obtenir 500 000€ supplémentaires auprès d’investisseurs et via la plateforme de crowdfunding Dragon Innovation.
Source : l'Atelier

mardi 21 janvier 2014

Une minuscule batterie imprimée en 3D rechargeable Li-Ion

Des scientifiques de l'Université de Harvard ont été récompensés par l'industrie de l'électronique imprimée pour leurs travaux sur des micro-batteries au lithium-ion imprimées en 3D de la taille d'un grain de sable.

Les microbatteries imprimées constituent une technologie qui pourrait fournir de l'électricité à de minuscules appareils aussi bien dans les domaines de la médecine, de la communication que celui de l'informatique.

Le Prix 'Académic R&D' a été remis à l'occasion de l'évènement IDTechEx - Printed Electronics 2013 à Santa Clara, en Californie.

La catégorie 'academic' du prix met en valeur les chercheurs qui ont "contribué de manière significative au cours des 24 derniers mois à la compréhension des principes et des connaissances accumulées dans l'électronique imprimée."
Une minuscule batterie imprimée en 3D rechargeable Li-Ion

Illustration : Pour créer cette micro-batterie, une imprimante 3D sur mesure expulse une encre spéciale à travers une buse aussi fine qu'un cheveu humain. Ces encres se solidifient pour créer l'anode (rouge) et la cathode (violet) de la batterie, couche par couche. Un boîtier (vert) entoure ensuite les électrodes. La solution d'électrolyte est enfin ajoutée pour créer une micro-batterie en état de marche.

L'équipe de recherche de Jennifer A. Lewis de Harvard a imprimé des microbatteries 3D rechargeables, Li-ion à forte densité, comprenant une anode, une cathode et des micro-réseaux tous interconnectés à une échelle sub-millimétrique.

Ces microbatteries occupent des volumes minuscules (1 mm3), soit l'équivalent d'un grain de sable ou sont 1.000 fois plus petites que les batteries rechargeables disponibles sur le marché. L'université travaille actuellement sur le développement de ces batteries à destination d'un large éventail d'applications autonomes, comme des dispositifs biomédicaux, des micro-drones, ou des réseaux de capteurs distribués (par exemple, la poussière intelligente !).

Le travail a été annoncé en juin 2013 et publiée en ligne dans la revue 'Advanced Materials'.

Ce prix a été donné à Jennifer A. Lewis, professeur de génie biologique de la SEAS, et à un corps professoral membre de l'Institut Wyss de l'Université de Harvard.

Source : Enerzine

JPMorgan, Credit Suisse Ramp Up Startup Push for Deals

When SurveyMonkey Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dave Goldberg wanted to buy out investors from his Internet company and attract new ones who wouldn’t balk at his aim to stay private, he steered clear of traditional startup financiers in the venture-capital community.
Instead, Goldberg turned to an entirely different adviser: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)
Jimmy Lee, vice chairman of the investment bank who normally works on multibillion dollar deals, traveled from New York to SurveyMonkey’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, to brainstorm Goldberg’s options. Goldberg later hired JPMorgan to lead a $350 million syndicated loan for the online survey provider as part of an $800 million recapitalization the closely held company completed last year.
“Considering what a small company we are, SurveyMonkey isn’t something Jimmy would usually spend time on,” Goldberg, who is married to Facebook Inc. (FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, said in an interview. The recapitalization, which also involved selling $444 million in equity to Goldberg, Tiger Global Management LLC and Google Inc. (GOOG), valued SurveyMonkey at $1.35 billion.
Wall Street investment banks -- from JPMorgan to Bank of America Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) -- are increasingly catering to closely held technology startups, especially in Silicon Valley. While firms led by Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) have long cultivated relationships with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to later earn fees managing initial public offerings and advising on acquisitions, many banks have expanded the roster of services in recent years.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Dave Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey Inc.

Big Payoff

The push includes beefing up technology teams, organizing invitation-only conferences for entrepreneurs, starting coverage areas for venture capital and using balance sheets to finance startups or extend credit.
The efforts come as more startups stay private for longer and reach a bigger scale, raising the prospect of a larger payoff down the road for banks when the hottest companies ultimately go public or get sold.
“Technology is the fastest growing and most far reaching sector in the world,” Lee said in an interview. “It’s therefore a priority for any global investment banking business.”

More Firepower

In a sign of how seriously the banks are taking startups, JPMorgan in the past four years has relocated veteran bankers Mike Millman, Kurt Simon and Rod Reed to Silicon Valley. Jeremy Geller moved in February to head the firm’s private banking in Northern California, a business where headcount has since grown 30 percent.
Credit Suisse has since 2011 moved Anthony Armstrong, its co-head of Americas M&A, and David Wah, its global co-head of technology, media and telecom group, from New York to San Francisco. The bank also hired Chris Gaertner and Imran Khan after losing star George Boutros in 2010 to boutique adviser Qatalyst Group Ltd.
Goldman Sachs earlier this month named Dan Dees co-head of its global technology group alongside Anthony Noto, who had led Twitter Inc. (TWTR)’s IPO late last year. The securities firm moved current co-head George Lee to chairman of the group and made him chief information officer for the investment banking division.

Deals Pipeline

The potential rewards are vast. Heading into 2014, the pipeline of U.S. technology IPOs contained 590 venture capital and private equity-backed startups that have raised $55.35 billion, according to a Dec. 12 study from CB Insights. More than half of the companies are based in California and 25 were valued at more than $1 billion, the study found.
Last year, there were 131 deals in the U.S. in which a technology or Internet company sold equity on the public market or in a private placement for a total of $28.8 billion, compared with 80 equity deals worth $25.42 billion in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists say the increased attention from investment bankers is tangible. Goldberg said that it was far easier to recapitalize in 2013 than to line up a mere $37 million in debt financing from Bank of America in 2009.
Some of the challenge five years ago was that the recession made banks unwilling to lend. It also related to another, more fundamental obstacle: many banks didn’t get the way startups work, Goldberg said.
“After the financial crisis, the credit market was very tough,” Goldberg said. “Traditional banks also had a hard time understanding our subscribers-based business model.”

Wooing Wanelo

Wall Street firms have since made a bigger effort to woo technology entrepreneurs and serve their corporate and personal financial needs.
“Banks were quiet for a while in Silicon Valley,” Geoff Yang, general partner of Redpoint Ventures, a venture-capital firm based in Menlo Park, California, said in an interview. “They are now courting venture capitalists and entrepreneurs like in the old days.”
Investment banks are even reaching out to some of the youngest Internet startups. Deena Varshavskaya founded San Francisco-based social shopping startup Wanelo Inc. in 2010 and landed $14 million in venture funding over the last two years.
Even though her company was barely two years old, Varshavskaya said she was invited to speak at Goldman Sachs’s dotCommerce conference in New York last June. Goldman Sachs later named her one of the “100 most intriguing entrepreneurs” of 2013 at the firm’s Builders and Innovators Conference in Tucson, Arizona, where Hillary Clinton and Elon Musk were among the speakers.

Many Invitations

Varshavskaya, 33, also gave a presentation at Goldman Sachs’s Internet Private Company conference in Las Vegas in November and she will speak next month at its Technology and Internet conference in San Francisco.
“They bring together high-quality innovators and community building, which is an important foundation for our future growth,” said Varshavskaya, who adds that the relationship with Goldman Sachs’s bankers “will be useful in the future.”
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have long been the go-to investment banks in Silicon Valley. To be more competitive, Goldman Sachs started the private company conference in Las Vegas three years ago and its Builders and Innovators conference two years ago. It also ramped up direct investments in Web startups including Dropbox Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.

Morgan, Goldman

Last year, Morgan Stanley topped the league table of underwriters of technology and Internet IPOs measured by dollar value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs was first by number of technology and Internet IPOs underwritten and earned fees, according to the data.
Morgan Stanley’s technology team, led by Michael Grimes, Paul Chamberlain and Colin Stewart, the firm’s vice chairman of global capital markets, has had one of the longest-lasting footprints in Silicon Valley, opening an office in 1994 and staying through the aftermath of the dot-com bust last decade when numerous Internet startups flopped. To build relationships with startups, the firm has organized conferences, including a chief technology officer summit where it gathers hundreds of potential clients.
Other Wall Street firms have also beefed up their Silicon Valley presence. Bank of America organizes a Tech & OPS conference for venture capitalists in November and a Private Company conference in May. Last year, it hired Buz Walters from Goldman Sachs to head the bank’s venture-capital group.
“Many technology companies that go public tend to become well-known global brand names,” Walters said in an interview. “That’s why banks make an effort to work on their deals.”

Qatalyst, Allen

Smaller banks are also making a play for startups. Qatalyst, which former Credit Suisse bankerFrank Quattrone started in San Francisco in 2008, has become the go-to bank for technology companies seeking to sell themselves to large acquirers like Hewlett-Packard Co. It competes with Allen & Co., the New York-based boutique bank famous for its invitation-only Sun Valley, Idaho conference every July that attracts technology and media moguls including Goldberg and his wife.
At JPMorgan, the bank has gone beyond boosting its technology team by starting a digital growth fund in 2011 that invested in Twitter and wearable device maker Jawbone.
The efforts have resulted in deals, including JPMorgan leading Facebook’s secondary offering of $3.85 billion of shares last month. JPMorgan ranked third in the league table of technology IPO underwriters last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“We put leadership out here to connect the West Coast to the firm to serve clients’ corporate and personal financial needs,” said Noah Wintroub, head of JPMorgan’s Internet and digital media group in San Francisco. “The word spread.”
Source : Bloomberg

Death and startups: Most startups croak 20 months after their last funding round

Death and startups: Most startups croak 20 months after their last funding roundSam Howzit/Flickr

For most startups, death is not a question of if, but when.

While that conclusion may seem obvious, the data to support it is pretty hard to come by. Which makes sense: After all, no one — not founders, not venture capital firms — is going to go out of their way to tell the world when they’ve failed. But they will trumpet their victories. It’s the survivorship bias in full effect.
Still, research firm CBI Insights has managed to get some good data on startup death, which happens a lot more than all the funding news would lead you to believe. Here are some of the most interesting findings:
Most die young. Considering how vulnerable most early-stage companies are, it’s not surprising to learn that over half of them die before they raise $1 million, and 70 percent die before raising $5 million. Most dead companies raised $11.3 million on average, with a median of $1.3 million.

Cash doesn’t (always) buy longevity: But even raising cash won’t save most startups from death. CBI Insights says that, on average, startups will last 20 months after their last founding round (though many will keep lumbering on long after).

Most dead companies are Internet companies. By sector, most dead tech companies were focused on the Internet, which makes sense considering that that’s where all the money has been over the past few years. More Internet companies chasing VC cash means more dead Internet companies. That much is inevitable.
Social is bad news. If you’re trying to launch your own tech company, do yourself a favor and stay out of social, which most of the dead startups focused on. Same goes for marketplace companies (i.e., eBay wannabes) and those dabbling in advertising, sales, and marketing.
What’s especially funny about these numbers is that CB Insights is using them to sell its list of “dying tech companies,” which it’s selling for nearly $7,000. That list, the company says, would be valuable for anyone looking for potential employees or even just products or IP.
Maybe Yahoo will be interested?
Source :

mardi 14 janvier 2014

Big data analysis reveals the top trends and brands at CES at a glance

Big data analysis reveals the top trends and brands at CES at a glance
Kontera shows what drove conversations about CES.
Big data analysis from Kontera reveals what everybody talked about when it comes to the 2014 International CES. Kontera, a big data analytics and marketing platform, sifts through millions of sources to find out the buzz on an event or topic. Here’s the results of their study of the last three days of CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas.
Below Kontera shows the most popular topics in certain key terms in a tag cloud. The results show that Sony was the most popular term related to CES (in purple). Computing and Intel were the most popular terms related to wearables (in light blue-gray), and Samsung was the most popular term related to 4K (in orange).
The data comes from the Brand Insights and Discovery module in Kontera’s Content Activation platform. The platform analyzes and trends consumer interest and content consumption across more than 400 million real-time content views each day, including 300 million web and mobile content views as well as 100 million social stream activities.
The analysis is done for hundreds of sub-topics and tens of thousands of granular concepts (like a brand names, a product attributes, specific consumer needs, and daily events).
In a separate analysis of Twitter, the social media firm Hotwire/33Digital said the top five brands were: Samsung, Sony, LG, Logitech, and PlayStation. The top five trends were 4K resolution, wearables, smart gadgets, 3D printing, and the internet of things.
The Consumer Electronics Association said that the event had more than 3,200 exhibitors across 2 million square feet, with more than 150,000 attendees, including 35,000 from outside the U.S. Final numbers will be out after an audit.
Kontera shows the interest in topics such as CES, 4K, and wearables.
Kontera shows the interest in topics such as CES, 4K, and wearables.
Source :