Archive for day September 7th, 2011

Kinetik: An iPhone App That Helps You Find iPhone Apps [IPhone Apps]

It seems kind of weird to have an app to find more apps but with the state of the App Store at something like bajillion and two apps, you need a filter of sorts. Kinetik is an app that makes sharing apps a social thing. More »


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Casey Chan

September 7th

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Is Nike Planning To Release Back To The Future’s Auto-Lacing Air Mags? UPDATE

nike

Marty McFly’s crazy kicks in Back To The Future II have long been a geek’s dream. Ostensibly made by Nike in the film, they would tighten themselves around your feet automatically and, more important, they’ve been the paragon of ultimate geekiness for a certain subset of shoe fanatics.

Well, now it looks like you, too, can go back… to the future. Nike just sent out invitations to an event in LA tomorrow hinting at the actual existence of the Air Mags. The invitation included a pair of Doc’s aluminum shades and a bunch of BTTF merch, so clearly something is afoot.

The company patented the Mags’ power laces back in 2010 so it’s clear that the final product is ready to at least unveil to a legion of panting shoe-heads.

There are folks on NiceKicks already willing to camp out in line for these things, so you’d best act fast.

Unless you’re chicken.



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John Biggs

September 7th

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OH HELL YES: Kenny Rogers and Some Muppets Singing "The Gambler" [Video]

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Joe Brown

September 7th

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I Want to Love This Inductive iPad Charger Mount, But… [Mounts]

iPort did a good thing in creating such an attractive, efficient wall mount that wirelessly charges your iPad. The only thing holding it back in my mind is that it's so bloody expensive for what it does. More »


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Kwame Opam

September 7th

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HTC files new suit against Apple using Motorola/Google patents

HTC on Wednesday filed a patent complaint against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission. The new filing is actually an amended complaint filed previously with the ITC, but it now cites nine new patents previously owned by Google but transferred to HTC just last week. Prior to being held by Google, four of the patents were registered to Motorola, currently the $12.5 billion apple of Google’s eye. Motorola had apparently transferred the patents to Google at some point over the past year. The other five were previously owned by Palm and Openwave before Google took ownership and then passed them to HTC. While Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility has yet to receive regulatory approval, it looks like Google is already arming itself and its partners to protect Android against Apple and other companies currently targeting the platform.

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Zach Epstein

September 7th

Apple

Sept. 21 Could Be D-Day for AT&T/T-Mobile Merger [At&t]

The government's attempt to block the AT&T-T-Mobile merger will see its first day in court just two short weeks from now. The goal of the hearing: figure out of there's a way to settle this all civilized like. More »


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Brian Barrett

September 7th

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Iridium’s New AxcessPoint Hotspot Provides WiFi In The Rainforest

iAPE2

Perhaps best known for their line of rugged, work-anywhere satellite phones, Iridium Communications has revealed today that they’re looking to try something new.

Alongside news of a new handset dubbed the Iridium Extreme, Iridium has also unveiled their new AxcessPoint hotspot, which allows users to get online and get their email fix just about anywhere on the planet.

There are, of course, a few caveats. First and foremost, don’t expect to hop between your favorite social media sites with anything resembling speed. Due to the constraints of such a a wide-reaching network, data speeds top out at roughly 2.3 to 2.4 KB/s — slow enough to make the old 56k modem collecting dust in the closet look like a NASCAR engine. With the correct AxcessPoint software in place, though, Iridium claims that effective data speeds can creep as high as “up to 5x, and email transmission up to 15x.”

There is also the issue of cost. While the AxcessPoint itself will only cost about $200, it has to be connected to either an Iridium 9555 or an Iridium Extreme to work. No word on cost for the Extreme yet, but the older 9555 retails for a little over $1,000. The data connection itself costs around $1.35 per minute, so it’s in your wallet’s best interest not to get sidetracked on Wikipedia.

Of course, if you’re the type to start pulling hair at the first sign of a slow connection and high prices, the AxcessPoint (and Iridium service, naturally) aren’t for you. Iridium’s service has been historically geared toward people and situations where a connection to civilization, however limited, could mean the difference between life and death.

However, if Iridium has their way, that may soon change. The AxcessPoint is part of a larger initiative called Iridium Force that’s meant to make mobile satellite communications more relevant to modern needs. In addition making the AxcessPoint compatible with Android, iOS, and BlackBerry OS, Iridium also hopes that it can make its satellite technology easier to integrate into other products. While it’ll likely be some time before a “Powered by Iridium” logo appears on the back of your new phone, it’s sure to come in handy for whenever you wander into the wilderness unprepared.



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Chris Velazco

September 7th

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Palringo Dives Into Location-Based Chat And Brings Their 11 Million Users Along For The Ride

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Location-based group chat. It’s just one of those ideas that everyone seems to be convinced is a good one, but that no one has really pulled off well just yet.

Tossing their chips into the local chat game today is Palringo, which began its life back in 2007 as the iPhone’s first multi-network IM client. Their kicker? They’ve already got an established userbase of around 11 million users.

For the sake of full disclosure: Palringo will be in the StartupAlley at next week’s TechCrunch Disrupt. Given that I wasn’t aware of this until well after I started writing this post, however, I can quite confidently say this didn’t affect my decision to cover the update.

With localized chat, there seems to be two different approaches: pinning clusters of users together automagically behind the scenes (a la Yobongo), or letting uses create/join geotagged rooms on their own. Palringo has gone with the latter.

After you’ve logged into Palringo, you’re shown the standard IM screen with its support for AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live, Facebook, Palringo’s own chat network, and myriad other services. Once you’ve grown bored of the friends you’ve already got, however, a Groups tab down at the bottom leads to a land of new folks — albeit one seemingly filled mostly with kids being kids, people asking each other if they’re over 18, trolls, people complaining about trolls, and trolls trolling people complaining about trolls. Turns out, not much has changed since the “OMG ASL?! Type 1 if you like Hanson“-filled chat rooms of the mid 90′s.

Hopefully the new geotagging features can help fix that. Each new group can be geotagged with a location around which it centers, connecting you with people nearby — which, at least in theory, improves the quality of conversation and connections made. All groups can be viewed on a map, letting you tap around until you find one that fits your interests. Within about 40 miles east of my area, for example, there are currently three: one for people who live in Fremont, one up in Walnut Creek for people who want to talk about Blizzard games, and one way out in Antioch that, as far as I can tell, primarily discusses where to buy weed.

From what I’ve seen so far, I’m not too convinced Palringo will come out on top of the location chat game. Hell, after seeing a number of launches in this space with none that I’m aware of managing to maintain any sort of regular user base, I’m still not even entirely convinced such a game truly exists.


Company:
PALRINGO
Launch Date:
2006
Funding:
£5.65M

Palringo has designed the ultimate mobile group messaging service. With millions of users sending billions of messages each month, Palringo allows anyone with a mobile phone to chat with...

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Greg Kumparak

September 7th

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7 Tools for Being Really, Really Creepy [Toolkit]

Summer's dead, which means it's time to focus on work and study. Which means you're going to be surrounded by friends. And strangers. And strangers who might someday be friends. Oh, but what if they won't? Let's creep 'em out. More »


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Sam Biddle

September 7th

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Evri Launches SportStream Apps To Bring Realtime, Social Sports News To Your Mobile Devices

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Evri, the realtime content discovery engine, acquired Radar Networks early last year, incorporating the startup’s semantic indexing technology into its products. The move laid the groundwork for Evri’s shift into the mobile space, as it has since used its realtime semantic matching algorithms to begin delivering news in targeted categories and the Twine team to expand into mobile. Last year, the startup launched EvriThing Tech to allow readers to create and add their own channels on any tech topics, as well as those from predefined topics. (Similar to what FLUD, and others are doing in the mobile content space.)

Today, Evri is expanding its mobile functionality, launching a suite of sports applications for iOS and Android devices, called SportStream, that will be powered by its eponymous platform. With the NFL season looming, Evri is kicking off its suite of sports apps with SportStream Football, an app that looks to provide readers with realtime push notifications and in-game commentary through social channels — to make your Sunday viewing experience more interactive and a little more Web 2.0.

With SportStream Football, Evri is looking to provide an immersive experience for fans that allows them access to realtime news content from thousands of sources, integrating personalized and up-to-date information from fans’ social feeds, enabling readers to live tweet highlights from games as they happen. Viewers can see in-game score updates and play-by-play summaries, with personalization options for specific teams, like key injury and trade news, for example.

Just as Taptu has created a fantasy football stream for iPad users, Evri is looking to have its targeted and personalized content stream become a great resource not only for fans but for fantasy football players as well.

The objective here, says Evri CEO Will Hunsinger, is not to “out-ESPN ESPN”, but to take advantage of where ESPN’s realtime sports coverage lacks. Not only by scouring the web for information from bloggers and other sports content outside of ESPN’s realm, but by allowing fans of, say, Georgetown sports, to create targeted news feeds for their alma mater’s teams. While ESPN is obviously a robust content source (really, the death star of sports content), there’s plenty of room here for startups to improve on the sports content reading and viewing experience.

With Evri’s well-honed semantic indexing data, the SportStream apps are a great resource for personalized sports info. Evri is smart to go after these enthusiastic, underserved niches. Or, even if sports content isn’t exactly sparse, to give sports fans an easier and less “noisy” reading experience, with realtime functionality, adds weight to the startup’s value proposition. Yes, Pulse recently struck a deal with ESPN, and Taptu is offering a great tablet app, but there’s plenty of room in the market, and Evri’s approach to fan engagement via the social graph and realtime tweeting, is a good start.

We’ll be looking forward to the startup’s next moves.


Company:
EVRI
Launch Date:
7/2007
Funding:
$8.35M

Evri is a personalized news reader for tablets that makes it easier than ever to keep up with topics that interest you. With Evri, you can: Discover breaking...

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Rip Empson

September 7th

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