Today in Apple history: eWorld closes its virtual doors

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March 9, 1996: Apple confirms that it will shut down its eWorld online service at the end of the month. Part messaging service, part news aggregator — and all with Apple’s customary premium prices — the short-lived eWorld proved ahead of its time. Apple tells eWorld subscribers they can switch to America Online instead. Apple […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Amazon closes in on Apple in race to $1 trillion market cap

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(Reuters) — Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly listed company, is in danger of being beaten by to the $ 1 trillion mark.

Wall Street’s optimism about last year’s 10th anniversary iPhone had propelled Apple’s stock 24 percent higher over the past 12 months, giving it a market capitalization of $ 893 billion.

That is $ 141 billion more than the $ 752 billion market value of Amazon, the world’s second most valuable publicly listed company, but Amazon has been closing the gap.

Amazon’s stock has surged 83 percent over the past year, bolstered by scorchingly fast revenue growth as more shopping moves online and businesses shift their computing operations to the cloud, where Amazon Web Services leads the market.

In January, Amazon announced that it, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co would form a company to cut health care costs for their employees, which was widely seen as a threat to the existing U.S. health care system and underscored Amazon’s ability to disrupt markets.

Amazon dislodged Microsoft as the No. 2 U.S. company by market capitalization in February.

Meanwhile, optimism about Apple’s iPhone X has given way to concerns that demand for the $ 1,000 device may be weaker than expected.

To be sure, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of future performance, and the surge in Amazon shares in recent years has been exceptional by most standards.

But if Amazon’s stock were to keep growing on the trajectory seen over the past year, the company’s market capitalization would hit $ 1 trillion in late August. Apple would reach $ 1 trillion around a week later if its stock price continued to rise at the same pace seen over the past year.

Most Wall Street analysts are not quite that enthusiastic. Analysts on average expect Apple’s stock price to rise 11 percent and reach $ 195 within the next 12 months, which would put its market capitalization at $ 989 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Analysts covering Amazon on average expect its stock to rise 10 percent within the next year to reach $ 1,700, which would give it a market value of $ 823 billion.

Apple on Thursday was up 0.60 percent at $ 176.05, while Amazon rose 0.31 percent to $ 1,549.90.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

Apple – VentureBeat

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The Label’s GDC Indie Showdown Closes Entry Submission Tonight – You Can Win Cash and a Championship Belt

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Heads up indie developers! The Label (formerly known as IndiePlus) are closing submissions for their GDC Indie Showdown tonight at 11:59 PM Pacific time. The contest will award $ 12,500 in cash to the winner, $ 5,000 to the first runnerup, and then $ 2,500 to the second runnerup. The contest is only for indie studios, which The Label helpfully defines as “game teams of no more than 30 members who own at least 75% of the showcased game IP.” That actually works out pretty well as a general indie developer definition! Also, for this contest, the games have to be playable on mobile devices, must not be launched worldwide, and must not have a signed publishing contract.

Unlike a lot of other contests, where the prizes include non-cash prizes, all the prizes here are just straight-up cash. Also, you get a sweet-ass championship belt for winning.The panel of judges have included some notable names in the past, and The Label is publishing titles from notable developers like Edmund McMillen of The Binding of Isaac [$ 14.99] fame, and Asher Vollmer of Threes [$ 2.99] fame. Previous winners of the IndiePlus contests are all really good games, too, so entering and winning this is a sign of big things to come.

You don’t have to submit literally everything you’ll need right away to enter The Label’s Indie Showdown, just your name, email, your game, and a description (including a potential sizzle reel) of your game in order to get started. Better nail that down, and I hope your game is notable enough to get past that first section. With cash and prestige available, this is well worth it. And you better plan to be at GDC in a couple of weeks, too. Enter while you still can!


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Cloud-native platform for IoT edge apps Zededa closes $3.06M in Seed investment

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Zededa, a startup providing a cloud-native approach to the deployment, management and security of real-time edge applications closed $ 3.06M in Seed funding. Wild West Capital, run by Angel investors Kevin DeNuccio and Rich Nottenburg led the round. Almaz Capital also participated in the round.

There’s an increased trend of analyzing data close to the ‘edge’ or devices/systems that generate it. For some IoT apps, such as in self-driving cars and industrial robots, it perfectly makes sense to minimize or even eliminate the time it takes to transfer data to the cloud and then running analytics. However, Zededa takes a different approach to its solution.

“True digital transformation requires a drastic shift from today’s embedded computing mindset to a more secure-by-design, cloud-native approach. This will unlock the power of millions of cloud app developers and allow them to digitize the physical world as billions of ‘things’ become smart and connected.” ZEDEDA CEO and Co-Founder Said Ouissal

However, the startup hasn’t explained how it achieves the so-called ‘cloud-native’ approach of deploying and managing edge-apps. It appears Zededa is still going through the R&D phase as it will use the funding proceeds for continued research and product development, investment in community open-source projects, and sales and marketing.

The startup has lined up resources having experience in operating systems, virtualization, networking, security, blockchain, cloud and application platforms. Its investors have previously funded IoT startups including Theatro and Sensity Systems (now Verizon).

As billions of devices and sensors get internet connected, there are a number of startups branching out in edge-domain. Losant, an edge-to-analytics platform for enterprise IoT customers raised a $ 5.2M Series A round. Interestingly, Losant was backed by Rise of the Rest, a seed-stage fund backing startups outside Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston area. The fund is backed by Eric Schmitt, Jeff Bezos, Meg Whiteman, Michael Bloomberg, and Reid Hoffman and other investors who believe innovation and next-gen technologies need not come from Silicon Valley and that’s why they’re betting on areas outside the Valley.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

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Microsoft Teams closes in on Slack by adding guest accounts

Microsoft is giving Teams, its Slack-like app, the ability to invite any guest to a chat room. While you can invite collaborators to a Team room right now, they need to have an account in the company's Azure Active Directory first. With the new featu…
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Xperiel closes $7M Series A round: Uses IoT & AR platform

Xperiel, an Internet of Things Augmented Reality (IoT/AR) company raised a $ 7M Series A round. Investors include Scott Cook, Co-Founder of Intuit, Cyan Banister of Founders Fund, WTI and the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings.

The startup promises to help businesses reach customers via mesh-up of IoT and VR. It provides a platform called Real World Web (RWW) using Xperiel’s patented technology. It is also introducing a programming language called ROX for its RWW platform. ROX is itself based on ‘Pebbling’, a technology that Experiel claims can help build complex, multi-app, real-world services without complex coding requirements. The main goal of using this technology is to quickly create interactive, immersive digital experiences for consumers.

The closest comparison Xperiel makes is with Photoshop, Maya, or SimCity and other graphical applications. It also introduces the concept of ‘Triggers’ which the startup explains as follows:

“The key to unlocking the powers of the RWW will be a form of augmented reality that we call ‘triggers’. Many companies have used triggers in the past which make use of different sensors of the phone in order to create different types of physical user interactions in the real world”.

Xperiel’s main application is in professional sports, entertainment, retail and the startup boasts having customers such as New York Jets, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pepsico. These brands use its platform to design immersive applications that work across any device or operating system.

“Xperiel’s advancement in linking next-generation technology with real-time data, an array of sensors and beacons in a device-agnostic platform represents the future of customer engagement and we’re thrilled to be a part of their growth beyond sports.” Sacramento Kings CTO Ryan Montoya

As IoT and VR go mainstream, startups have meshed up both technologies to create superior and more engaging experiences. Another AR/IoT startup called RealWear also closed $ 17M in new funding. The startup provides wearables incorporating VR capabilities that industrial workers can use. Tesla, Walmart, and Amazon are reported to be among RealWear’s customers.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Google closes $1.1B HTC deal, setting up collision course with Apple’s iPhone

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Google has officially cemented its $ 1.1 billion deal for HTC’s engineering and design teams, putting the company in a position to more directly challenge Apple in the smartphone market.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Google closes $1.1 billion deal for HTC design talent

Google’s $ 1.1 billion deal to acquire most of HTC’s smartphone design division has officially closed. Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh announced the news in a blog post, hailing the arrival of an “incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come.”

The deal involves more than 2,000 HTC engineers moving over to Google. They will all remain in Taiwan; Osterloh notes that Taipei is becoming Google’s biggest engineering hub in the Asia-Pacific region. HTC’s contract manufacturing operations and VR division are not affected, but a substantial majority of the smartphone R&D team is joining Google, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move represents a serious expansion of Google’s…

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