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Google

+ - Google Ventures: Not Just Another VC Firm->

Submitted by
AmyVernon
AmyVernon writes "Jolie O'Dell takes a hard look at Google Ventures and what makes it a different kind of VC firm — one that doesn't believe it's how the companies are picked inasmuch as how the companies are nurtured:

"Google Ventures is a separate entity from Google, Inc. It operates on the same campus but in different buildings, and while it pulls its talent and knowledge resources from the Google pool, it’s very much its own beast. The fund kicked off in 2009 with a goal of investing $100 million each year. Its known portfolio companies currently number 115; if you look for themes among them, you’ll find they range so widely across any criteria you choose that finding such themes is nearly impossible.

Aside from the Google connection, the firm and its partners are obviously different from anything else in their league in a few major ways.

For one thing, Google Ventures partners don’t really put as much emphasis on the almighty picker: the magic 8-ball in every VC’s back pocket that tells him whether or not a company is a good bet. Primarily because such a device doesn’t exist.

“Picking plays a role, don’t get me wrong. But people walk around the venture world thinking they’re such good pickers,” Kraus says. “It’s like Lake Woebegone, where everyone thinks their children are above average.

“We believe helping companies plays more of a role than most people give it credit for.”"

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NASA

+ - THIS should be (a big part of) the future of space exploration!->

Submitted by wisebabo
wisebabo (638845) writes "As long as we are still in debt to the Chinese and can't afford an ambitious space program, we should be developing THESE (humanoid telerobots). Just get the astronaut NEAR the Moon or Mars (or someday Titan!) and operate these without that stupid speed-of-light time delay. A huge proportion of the weight and complexity of going to these places is that last 100 miles so while times are lean this is the way to go.

Maybe James Cameron can be persuaded to do a pre-quel of Avatar, unfortunately I don't think he'll find a planet full of sexy tele-robots!"

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Movies

+ - Could 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' Be the Start of a Genre?->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "One can only imagine what the pitch session for the movie version of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" was like. "It's sort of like 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' only Buffy is the 16th president of the United States." Apparently while freeing the slaves and seeing the United States through the Civil War, Honest Abe was giving undead blood suckers the true death. Could this be the start of a new movie genre of history/horror mash ups?"
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Open Source

+ - Why Open APIs Fall Far Short of Open Source->

Submitted by
itwbennett
itwbennett writes "451 Group analyst Jay Lyman opined in a LinuxInsider column that because of open APIs, 'non-open source software is often open enough.' Not so, says ITworld blogger Brian Proffitt. Sure, open APIs are an easy way for a small developer to 'plug into a big software ecosystem,' but it's a trap. 'If open APIs are the only connector to a software project, the destiny of that code lies solely in the hands of the owners,' says Proffitt. 'Which means that anyone connecting into the application will have to deal with the changes imposed from the top down.'"
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AMD

+ - AMD Launches Radeon HD 7770 and 7750 Graphics->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "AMD is launching two more Radeon HD 7000 series products today, the Radeon HD 7770 and 7750. Unlike their high-end 7970 and 7950 cards, these two new cards are based on a fresh GPU codenamed "Cape Verde". Cape Verde has essentially the same feature set as AMD's more powerful Tahiti, but is pared down to target a totally different market segment, and be more affordable and power friendly too. With typical board power of 55 watts (Radeon HD 7750) and 80 watts (Radeon HD 7770), these cards are targeted at mainstream users or casual gamers looking to upgrade from integrated graphics. Performance-wise, they still can handle just about any game on the market currently but at more modest resolutions and image quality settings."
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Security

+ - Symantec Confirms Leak of pcAnywhere Source Code->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Symantec confirmed that following claims from Anonymous that additional Symantec product source code would be released, the claims are true, and the said files are in fact the legitimate source code from its pcAnywhere product. Not only that, but Symantec says source code from other products is likely to be released as well.

"We can confirm that the [released] source code is legitimate," Symantec said. "It is part of the original cache of code for 2006 versions of the products that Anonymous has claimed to have been in possession during the last few weeks.”

A Symantec spokesperson also said the company anticipates Anonymous to post the rest of the code they have claimed have in their possession. “So far, they have posted code for the 2006 version of Norton Internet Security and pcAnywhere. We also anticipate that at some point, they will post the code for Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition and Norton Systemworks. Both products no longer exist.”

The code release comes after what Symantec said was a failed extortion attempt to get Symantec to pay $50,000 for the hacker not to release the code."

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+ - Should Next-Gen Game Consoles Be Upgradeable?->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Historically, console add-ons that boosted the performance of the primary unit haven't done well. Any attempt to upgrade a system's core performance risks bifurcating the user base and increases work developers must do to ensure that a game runs smoothly on both original and upgraded systems. The other reason is that a number of games rely on very specific hardware characteristics to ensure proper operation. In a PC, swapping a CPU with 256K of L2 for a chip with 512K of L2 is a non-issue assuming proper platform support. Existing software will automatically take advantage of the additional cache. The Xbox 360, on the other hand, allows programmers to lock specific cache blocks and use them for storing data from particular threads. In that case, expanding the amount of L2 cache risks breaking previous games because it changes the range of available cache addresses. The other side of the upgrade argument is that the Xbox 360 has been upgraded more effectively than any previous console; current high-end versions ship with more than 10x the storage of the original, as well as support for HDMI and integrated WiFi. It would also forestall the decline in comparative image quality between console and PC platforms. Here's Battlefield 3 on the PC as compared to the PS3. The PS3 version of the game looks like it's being lit by Spike Lee, with high-powered flood lights just out of view. Textures are minimal and the concrete wall at the left might have been drawn using MS Paint."
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Science

+ - Smartphone reads mood, suggests activities->

Submitted by
garthsundem
garthsundem writes "A new smartphone by researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine "harnesses all the sensor data within the phone to interpret a person's location, activity level (via an accelerometer), social context and mood."

The phone learns your usual patterns of calls and text messages, and then if it senses you are isolated, it will send you a suggestion to call or see friends. In a pilot study, the technology reduced symptoms of depression."

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IT

+ - IT Guy Wanted -- Must Have Own Tools-> 2

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "If you work in IT, you not only put your heart and soul into your job, you often sacrifice your own hardware to the cause, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Often, small-but-critical parts slip from personal stores into the corporate maw. Sometimes I feel like a teacher who has spent his own money on school supplies — and I'm certain I'm not alone. Who knows how many IT folks have used their own gear to get projects completed on time or to save the day while troubleshooting, only to leave those parts behind because they've become indispensible?'"
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The Internet

+ - NFL Issues False DMCA Take Down of Chrysler Ad?->

Submitted by fostytou
fostytou (1805918) writes "The NFL issued a DMCA takedown of a Chrysler ad from last night's superbowl. This caused an incredible amount of lost viewership as well as losing ranking on most-viewed lists which can often offer millions of future advertising at no cost to the advertiser. The potential cost to Chrysler is significant.

The obvious parallel to SOPA / ACTA is exactly why these types of bills must be considered very carefully."

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United Kingdom

+ - Nascent Graphene Institute Makes Steps Towards Transistors ->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "A research team at Manchester has taken a big step towards building transistors with graphene. So far graphene's marvelous conductiviity has actually proved a drawback, but the team has sandwiched a layer of molybdenum disulfide between layers of graphene to provide a high on/off ratio. Also, the British Government is finding £50 million to fund Manchester as a centre for graphene study and development, led by two professors there, Sir Kostya Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim, who shared the 2010 Nobel prize for Physics for their work on graphene."
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Medicine

+ - Complicated Schizophrenia Treatment: There's An App For That?->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Welcome to the age of mobile mind medicine. A research team in Norway, led by Professor Kenneth Hugdahl of the University of Bergen, is in the early stages of developing a mobile app for schizophrenic patients. The app is designed to help schizophrenics train their brain to ignore the ultra-realistic, often unsettling inner voices characteristic of severe cases of the disease."
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Graphics

+ - AMD's New Radeon HD 7950 Tested->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "When AMD announced the high-end Radeon HD 7970, a lower cost Radeon HD 7950 based on the same GPU was planned to arrive a few weeks later. The GPU, which is based on AMD's new architecture dubbed Graphics Core Next, is manufactured using TSMC’s 28nm process and features a whopping 4.31 billion transistors. In its full configuration, found on the Radeon HD 7970, the Tahiti GPU sports 2,048 stream processors with 128 texture units and 32 ROPs. On the Radeon HD 7950, however, a few segments of the GPU have been disabled, resulting in a total of 1,792 active stream processors, with 112 texture units and 32 ROPs. The Radeon HD 7950 is also clocked somewhat lower at 800MHz, although AMD has claimed the cards are highly overclockable. Performance-wise, though the card isn't AMD's fastest, pricing is more palatable and the new card actually beats NVIDIA's high-end GeForce GTX 580 by just a hair."
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The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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