Breaking news: Bill Maris is leaving GV

Bill Maris, who cofounded GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) in 2009, is leaving the unit at the end of this week, according to a new report from Recode.

Maris, a neuroscience student at Middlebury who cofounded an early web hosting company before joining Google, is reportedly being replaced by David Krane.

Krane is a managing partner at GV; he joined the venture arm in 2010, after spending nearly 10 years as Google’s director of global communications and public affairs.

This is quite a bombshell, and, as Recode notes, comes on the heels of a string of other recent, high-profile departures within Alphabet, parent company to GV and several other units.

Android cofounder Rich Miner recently left GV to start an education project within Google.

Alphabet also recently parted ways with Tony Fadell, the cofounder of Nest Labs (acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in early 2014), and several executives at Google’s self-driving car unit, including CTO Chris Urmson.

Maris wielded a tremendous amount of power at GV, which, as he told this editor in an on-stage interview in February, currently invests $500 million a year. Not everyone realizes that despite GV’s bench of investors, every decision fell to Maris.

As he explained the process during that sit-down: “[A]ll the investment decisions I make, going into a company or when and how to come out of it, is in collaboration with the partner who brings [the deal] forward. So we talk about all the opportunities as a team and everyone is invited to that discussion – not just the investing partners. And we don’t take a vote. It’s not like a democracy in any way. But everyone knows where people stand and we try and give each other good advice, and at the end of the day, the person who brings it forward and I decide whether to move forward or not.”

Asked why GV wasn’t run more democratically, he told me, ” I have no idea, because I’ve never worked as a venture capitalist before. I masquerade as one now . .  . But basically it started out with just me. The buck stops with me. So if we succeed, credit all goes to the team. If we fail, the blame should fall all on me; that’s how management should work.”

Whether that top-down process will change now remains to be seen. GV didn’t return requests for comment this evening.

But a source close to GV suggests that Krane is most assuredly a permanent replacement as CEO, having been promoted to managing director two years ago and working in the most senior post at GV under Maris. (All other GPs operate at a separate level.)

This same source says that Maris, who had a child earlier this year, has no known plans.

Certainly, the move seems sudden, based on TC’s recent conversations with Maris, in which he gave no indication that he’d be leaving GV.

While Recode speculates that strife between Google Capital and GV may have played a factor, as well as that Google has been investing in more companies directly off its balance sheet, what’s clearer is that GV has some valuable stakes in its portfolio, including Uber.

GV had led Uber’s $258 million Series C round in 2013 — at a $4 billion valuation. (It’s now valued at a reported $60 billion valuation.)

Last month, during a separate sit-down with Maris at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Maris noted to me that Uber was Krane’s investment.

Krane also led GV’s investment in Nest Labs and still-private Blue Bottle Coffee.

Pictured: David Krane

A prescription for preventing 3D printing piracy

In the year 2000, the music business was still strong. Record companies produced albums and shipped these physical objects to the stores that sold them. The internet was slowly becoming a system of mass consumption and distribution, but most consumers still purchased physical media. And while the record industry was aware of piracy online, the threat seemed minimal.

Then came Napster.

The music industry tried to stop this large-scale piracy by pursuing both the platforms and individual downloaders — including poor college students. But public opinion turned against the industry. After all, stealing digital music is intangible; it’s different than physically swiping actual CDs or tapes from brick-and-mortar stores. And while today many people access their music legally, it’s safe to say that music industry revenues have yet to recover.

What do pills have in common with MP3 downloads? More than you might think

3D printing, another revolutionary and disruptive technology, makes it cheap and easy to produce physical objects. And just as home copying has changed the copyright industries beyond recognition, 3D printing is poised to do the same to patent-based industries.

That means practically any business that makes physical objects will potentially face a Napster scenario. It may not happen to everyone, but as printer technologies improve and more materials — such as proteins, specialized polymers, metals and other chemicals — become available for printing, it will happen to many.

Take the pharmaceutical industry. Just like a musical recording, where most of the costs are incurred while producing the initial release (hiring the musicians, booking the studio, editing and the like), the bulk of the cost of developing a new pill goes into the front end: research and development, clinical trials and getting through the FDA approval. In fact, the raw ingredients may cost only a few pennies. And 3D printing — or digital manufacturing and distribution, as it’s also known — will make reproducing and delivering these pills, lawfully or unlawfully, much easier.

Houston, we have a (patent) problem

If people felt sorry for those poor college students being picked on by the big music industry, imagine how the public will feel about patients with inadequate insurance availing themselves of necessary but pirated prescriptions.

Aprecia may be the exception today, but it has proved that medicines can be printed.

Digitally manufactured pills are not far off. In 2015, the FDA approved the first 3D-printed pill, Spritam levetiracetam, an epilepsy drug manufactured by Aprecia. The manufacturer claims that the 3D-printed pills are actually more effective, because their layered structure is more easily absorbed by the body, courtesy of the way 3D printers work. With 50 patents on its unique proprietary process, the company also claims that its IP is protected. Aprecia may be the exception today, but it has proved that medicines can be printed.

The pros and cons of a DIY maker culture

Despite the potential for threats to IP, 3D printing promises a wealth of benefits, like customization, both to consumers and, if they handle things right, manufacturers. With 3-D printed pharmaceutical medications, doses can be readily tailored to the needs of each patient, much like when pharmacists compound ingredients to make a custom pill for each individual. Likewise, prosthetic limbs are being created to fit each patient exactly.

That is not the only positive aspect of 3D printing. As printers get cheaper, they’ll no doubt begin to appear in pharmacies, which will print pills only as needed, cutting down on costly waste, spoilage and storage. That’s terrific news for the pharmaceutical industry, but there’s a darker side, too. In time, nearly anyone will be able to make the components for almost anything — patented or not, protected or not, dangerous or not.

If a 3D printer in every home sounds a bit far-fetched, a forecast by Gartner predicts that 3D printer shipments will more than double every year between 2016 and 2019, and notes that lower-end models, like those costing less than $2,500, are expected to grow to 40.7 percent of offerings by 2019. Gartner also predicts upwards of $100 billion loss a year in intellectual property worldwide because of 3D printing, because of not only pirating, but industry disruption.

Planning strategically now for a 3D-printed future

Much can be learned from how various industries have dealt with new technology. For the music industry, Napster met the effective end of legal exclusivity in copyrights. When distribution channels shifted and everyone with a computer could download and reproduce songs, copyright became hard to enforce. As soon as a record company sued one infringer, another popped up, like a nightmarish game of Whac-A-Mole. As a result, the value of the copyrights quickly degraded.

However, as we have also seen, not all IP or the products it protects will go down in value. Some things will become more valuable — and that’s where today’s executives should prepare.

Preparing for the ways that 3D printing will affect the market doesn’t always have to be costly.

There are numerous ways companies can proactively plan for the impact that 3D printing technology will have on their business. By investing in quality control and supply chain protection now, pharmaceutical companies, for example, can protect their patents and their market share by ensuring that their supply chain is pure, that their quality is guaranteed and that their customers are getting a safe medication, even when that reassurance costs more. This will appeal to consumers who want to be sure they are getting the real deal when it comes to medication — FDA-approved and quality controlled — not an illegitimate knock-off.

Preparing for the ways that 3D printing will affect the market doesn’t always have to be costly or go against the grain. For example, appliance or automobile manufacturers may encounter sales loss if third-parties 3D print replacement parts at a lower cost than those that are manufacturer-issued. Instead of fighting against this likelihood, manufacturers would do well to adopt the third-party business model of 3D printing spare parts to order. This reasoning can apply not only to heavy manufacturing, but also to medicine, bringing down the costs of so-called “orphan drugs,” those currently not manufactured because of their low potential for profit.

Alternatively, manufactures could skirt similar issues by creating a design that requires a specific type of material, one not compatible with 3D technology. Materials and shapes that have to be mixed or joined in certain ways, for instance, do not easily lend themselves to digital manufacturing technology. Remember, though, that when financial incentives combine with evolving technologies, these types of plans may be short-lived.

Even with the advent of 3D printing, we will still live in a world where legitimate businesses are engaged in the licensed manufacturing and distribution of copyrighted works and respect intellectual property. Patent owners could license manufacturing rights to legitimate 3D printing companies — the official 3D printer of Nike products, say — in which only authorized entities could make the official products. That way, patent owners would get income, 3D printing companies could develop new markets and buyers could get legitimate, quality-controlled products.  This could be done with branded and lower-cost white labelled options.

Along with all the good that digital technology can bring, a major challenge to patents and other forms of intellectual property may be in the offing. Major industry disruption will soon follow. Only this time, with changes perhaps as long as five to 10 years down the line, manufacturers have time to prepare for it and pivot.

Featured Image: ironstealth/Getty Images

PocketFinder Personal GPS Locator | The Gadget News

Product Description

Be in the Know All Day Long-PocketFinder GPS trackers allow you to track the location of loved ones with the touch of a button. Simply give the device to a child, teen, senior or other loved one and use a computer or mobile device to see their location on a map. You’ll enjoy the sense of control you feel knowing you can keep loved ones safe and secure when you can’t be with them.How It Helps You-PocketFinder is the best personal GPS tracker for anyone who wants to stay connected with loved ones. It helps you (1) keep little ones safe; (2) keep up with your teen’s busy life; (3) stay connected with senior parents. You can even use it for things like luggage or golf clubs.Benefits-24/7 Access – See your devices from your computer or on the go with the free mobile apps for iOS and Android. Full Control – Manage multiple devices on the same account. Stay in the Know – Zone and Speed Limit Alerts keep you connected when you’re busy. Battery Life – Multiple power options give you flexibility and longer battery life. Accurate – GPS and Cellular technology mean accurate locations in the US and around the world. Alerts – Receive zone and speed limit alerts via email, text message and push notifications on mobile devices. Rugged – Waterproof design means reliable performance under almost any condition. History – Review up to 60 days of history.


  • Be in the Know – Give to loved ones and track their location on a map from computer or mobile device
  • Full Control – Track multiple devices and stay connected with free mobile app for iOS and Android
  • Safety & Security – Zones and speed limit alerts keep loved ones safe and secure
  • Package Includes – 1 device, charging base, green silicone case, carabiner – Requires monthly service plan – No contract required
  • Size – 2 inches in diameter and 1.4 ounces (device color: white)

May, 2012 | The Gadget News

A netbook is essentially a compact laptop computer. They have a significantly smaller screen, usually nine or ten inches. They weigh less than three pounds and they have a smaller keyboard. This compact nature means you give up a few things including speed, memory, and some functionality. For example, a netbook will not have a CD or DVD drive. However, the performance of your netbook can be optimized with a few tweaks.


Get a larger battery. Most netbooks come with a three cell battery, though you can buy a six cell. This will help you stay productive longer without worrying about running out of battery. It does, however, make your netbook a bit bulkier and a bit heavier.

Visual Display
Depending on your operating system you can often change or enhance your visual display. For example, if you’re running Windows you can optimize your visuals to be set at “Adjust for best performance,” by getting into your control panel and making that selection.
Many people also recommend using Google Chrome as your browser. It’s fast and light and doesn’t take up much space on your screen. You can, however, modify Firefox to reduce the toolbar at the top and make more room on your small nine inch screen.

Operating System

You can often increase the speed of your computer by downgrading your operating system. Most often people with Windows Vista or 7 on their netbook will choose to downgrade to Windows XP. It uses fewer resources and will help your netbook run faster.

Speed & Memory

The more software and applications you put on your netbook, the slower it is going to be. Additionally, you’ll run out of memory space. Instead, try using web based applications that don’t require a large download or install and look for a cloud storage system.

You can also clean up your “startup” list. These are the applications that automatically run when you start your computer. For example, many times a browser will automatically open upon startup along with Outlook or other productivity software. Reduce your startup programs and your computer will run faster, and start up more quickly.

Finally, it’s also recommended that you defragment your hard drive often. Some suggest you defrag it at least once a week. It depends on how much you use your netbook. Consider defragging it at least once a month and if you find performance is suffering, then increase the frequency. You may be able to set your netbook to automatically perform this action by looking in your control panel.

Additionally, with many netbooks you have the option to increase your memory to 2GB. If you think you’re going to need more memory, then by all means upgrade it.

Netbooks are a viable solution to the need for a lightweight and compact laptop. They offer productivity and functionality at a low cost, and are very portable. And with a few tweaks they can be fast and efficient machines.

China launches the first quantum communications satellite – and what is that, exactly?

Congratulations are in order for China: by launching the world’s first quantum communications satellite, the country has achieved an interesting — if somewhat difficult to explain — milestone in space and cryptography.

Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), nicknamed Micius after the philosopher, lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 1:40 AM local time (late yesterday in the U.S.) and is currently maneuvering itself into a sun-synchronous orbit at 500 km.

So what’s in the package that’s so exciting?

QUESS is an experiment in the deployment of quantum cryptography — specifically, a prototype that will test whether it’s possible to perform this delicate science from space. I’ll attempt to explain, but bear in mind that hardly anyone on the planet truly understands quantum physics, and some of them are probably bluffing. So this is just the basics — and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, professor.

Inside QUESS is a crystal that can be stimulated into producing two photons that are “entangled” at a subatomic, quantum level. Entangled photons have certain aspects — polarization, for example — that are the same for both regardless of distance; if one changes, the other changes. The how and the why are beyond our pay grade here, so just take entanglement as a given.

The trouble is that photons are rather finicky things, and tend to be bounced, absorbed, and otherwise interfered with when traveling through fibers, air, and so on. QUESS will test whether sending them through space is easier, and whether one of a pair of entangled photons can be successfully sent to the surface while the other remains aboard the satellite.

If this is possible, the entangled photons can be manipulated in order to send information; the satellite could, for example, send binary code by inverting its photon’s polarization, one way for 1, the other way for 0. The ground station would see its photon switching back and forth and record the resulting data.

The critical thing about this is that there is no transmission involved, or at least not one we understand and can intercept. Whatever links the two photons is intangible and undetectable — you can’t entangle a third one to listen in, and if even if you managed to interfere with the process, it would be immediately noticed by both sides of the process, which would see unexpected changes to the photons’ states.

As you can imagine, an undetectable and perfectly secure channel for digital communications is of enormous potential value for an endless list of reasons. China is early to the game with QUESS, but they’re not the only ones playing. Other quantum satellites, though none quite so advanced, are in the ether right now, and more are sure to come. The experiments from the whole set will definitely be interesting — if anyone can find a way to explain what’s going on in them.

Featured Image: Chinese Academy of Sciences

Carnegie Mellon’s Mayhem AI takes home $2 million from DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge

The 2016 DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge has concluded, and the winning team — Carnegie Mellon University’s ForAllSecure — is taking home the $2 million grand prize. What’s that you say — what’s the Cyber Grand Challenge? I’m glad you asked!

Like the other challenges the Defense Department’s R&D arm has offered, the CGC is focused on autonomy — but where the original Grand Challenge and Robotics Challenge were about intelligently navigating the real world, this one is about operating in a threat-filled internet.

Seven teams were invited to Las Vegas to compete on the floor in a 96-round game of “Capture the Flag.” It’s a time-tested competitive hacking game in which teams are assigned servers which must perform certain tasks while constantly being fed new code filled with bugs, security holes, and inefficiencies. Teams must protect their own data while attempting to access that of the others — much like real-life CTF.

The difference in this game is that the players in the game were totally autonomous. Normally a human would be looking at and correcting the code, choosing whether and whom to attack, and so on — but for the CGC, all that has to be done by the system.

The idea is, of course, to produce systems that can patch themselves, watch for intrusions, and so on, with minimal human interaction. It’d be nice to know that your computer is looking out for itself.

After some 8 hours of battle at a ballroom in the Paris hotel (some highlights), the victor emerged: ForAllSecure’s “Mayhem,” with second place going to TechX’s Xandra. That’s $2 million and $1 million respectively, on top of the $750,000 each of the 7 finalists already received.

What’s more, Mayhem is, as of this writing, the first autonomous CTF system to play against humans. The team was invited to enter the CTF tournament at the neighboring DEF CON, and the game is afoot.

The manager of the CGC program, Mike Walker, promptly threw Mayhem under the bus.

“I don’t expect Mayhem to finish well,” he said in the DARPA press release. “This competition is played by masters and this is their home turf. Any finish for the machine save last place would be shocking.”

Not the nicest thing to say about a champion AI that just took first place in an incredibly sophisticated virtual game, but he probably knows what he’s talking about. I’ll update this post when we find out how Mayhem fares against flesh and blood.

Featured Image: DARPA CGC

Brexit one month on: currency lows and talent fear

In late June a referendum vote in the UK delivered the shock verdict that a small majority of the British public wanted the country to leave the European Union.

Next came the resignation of the Prime Minister and a precipitous drop in the value of the pound, which remains languishing far below its former heights. Various economic indicators now suggest the country is heading back towards recession.

So how are UK startups coping with the unraveling of the old world order? In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, TechCrunch spoke to several founders who expressed shock, disappointment and concern for the future. A month on, what — if anything — has changed for them and their businesses?

Business as usual-ish

It’s clear that Brexit remains a massive question mark over the future direction of the UK and its digital economy, with no plan for leaving the European Union yet set out, nor firm timetable for the government to trigger Article 50 — which would start the up to two-year process of disentanglement from the European project. So the current ‘post-referendum, pre-actual-Brexit’ period might well turn out to be “the quiet before the storm”, as one founder puts it.

In the meantime, business in the UK isn’t grinding to a halt. And, generally speaking, things have returned to normal-ish for the startups we spoke to a month+ after the referendum vote — with some even reporting record summers. Although others have seen a small drop in demand. One, a currency exchange startup, attributed its dip to Brexit-based uncertainty, given the wild swings of pound sterling.

For others there are also some potentially more disquieting signs, with evidence of a slowdown in decision-making with overseas partners and investors, as entities outside the UK grapple with what Brexit means for them, and assess possible risks — figuring out whether they need to rethink their own UK-market strategy. The strength and depth of any impact there — if hesitation turns into out-and-out rejection — is clearly going to take more time to shake out.

Currency swings and roundabouts

The post-Brexit value of sterling has caused some of the most immediate knocks on the UK startups we spoke to, with founders generally having to be more “currency aware”, as one put it. Another founder notes having to absorb a rising salary bill on account of paying some of their staff in Euros. Another recounts having to help one of their suppliers, who they pay in GBP, by covering 75 per cent of sterling’s value drop after their supplier’s margin was all but wiped out overnight.

The same business also tells us it lost out on a potential hire, after being outbid by a starup in another European country — which was able to offer a higher salary level because of the pound being so low.

On the flip side of a fallen pound, UK startups are now cheaper to foreign investors, as we’ve seen with the Softbank ARM acquisition. And, if the UK economy heads for recession — with the accompanying knock-on effect on rents and house prices — the cost of living in London might become more affordable, in theory boosting its attractiveness to lower waged startup workers. But the same founder who suggested this went on to emphasize that the huge negatives of recession will obviously weigh very heavily in that scenario too.

Another longer term concern on the money and currency front is what will happen to early stage investment in the UK, given how large a chunk comes from European VC funds. While, in the short term, funds have closed and still have that money to invest, and investments have continued to be made in UK startups since the referendum result, the question is what will happen when the time comes to close the next fund? Where will that money be ending up? In the UK, or elsewhere in Europe?

The human cost

The biggest and most pressing concern for UK startups in the wake of the Brexit referendum result remains what will happen with free movement, with many worried about the impact on existing non-UK EU staff and whether they will have easy access to a Europe-wide talent pool in future or not.

There’s also anecdotal evidence from UK startups that some EU workers are questioning whether they should now accept a job in London or the UK, given the uncertainty over their future status in the country.

One founder also recounted several instances of non-British EU workers being made to feel unwelcome in the UK after the referendum vote, and expressed concern about the UK’s social cohesiveness and the future trajectory of ‘Britishness’ — suggesting the UK could see a brain-drain if entrepreneurs feel compelled to look elsewhere for a social structure that matches their expectations for tolerance and liberal values.

A swift political reboot

Perhaps the brightest point as UK startups perceive it in the gloomy summer after the Brexit vote, is that the country already has a new government in place, under Prime Minister Theresa May — who triumphed earlier than expected in the Tory leadership race after her last rival voluntarily stepped aside. One founder pointed out that if this coronation had not happened the government would still be leaderless even now — thankful of one small mercy in a time of vast uncertainty.

Another founder expressed awe at the speed with which the Tory factions had regrouped around a new leader. While, on the flip side, several bemoaned the lack of a unified official opposition at such a crucial juncture for UK Plc. The official opposition Labour party remains riven with splits and embroiled in a self-induced leadership contest.

Clearly not all the founders that TechCrunch spoke to are politically affiliated with the Conservative party but many expressed relief at a new Prime Minister who is perceived to be experienced and detail-oriented — a sense of partial relief doubtless encouraged by the fact she was a Remainer (if only a weak one).

Technocratic, stable political leadership might not be able to save the UK from the fast-accelerating economic ravages of Brexit but for UK entrepreneurs — who overwhelmingly voted to Remain — it beats the alternative: the party’s hardline Brexiteer wing. Aka the “headbangers” as one founder dubbed them — noting that his biggest fear at this point is that “the full, totally cut-the-cord, independent UK [politicians] start getting listened to”.

May’s reputation for political caution is therefore being (mostly) welcomed as a salve for self-inflicted Brexit harm at this early point on the post-referendum timeline. Not rushing blindly ahead is generally seen as prudent. Although some founders were eager for a little more business certainty, especially on key points like freedom of movement.

The (relative) blessing of an experience Remainer as the least worse Tory leader for horribly uncertain times definitely only goes so far — and may prove to be a short lived honeymoon for May in time, as Brexit’s complexities pile up.

Plentiful political concerns persist for startups about the sustained uncertainty of the UK’s future — from fears about looming recession, to the lack of a concrete Brexit plan, to worries about immigration and borders, and concerns about losing beneficial EU regulatory frameworks, like financial passporting. All topped off by founders’ underlying ideological objections to the UK divorcing itself from the EU.

Make more connections is the sentiment you’d expect from the startup scene. So for many UK entrepreneurs, the Brexit vote clearly feels very personal indeed.

NB: The below interviews have been lightly edited for clarity

Read the prior article in the sequence: What UK startups make of the shocking Brexit vote

Michael Kent, founder and CEO

On a micro level my firm, I guess my sector, the immediate economic impact — I’m more bullish. Customers keep coming. We had our strongest ever month last month. But as we should do — we’re growing fast. But at a macro level if you look at a lot of the leading economic indicators I’m a little bit worried because I think it’s probably going to be slack growth next year. In the UK. That’s not great for anyone… Recessions suck.

We haven’t seen any fundamental weakness in customer demand. We’ve seen people continuing to transact, pretty much at normal rates. I think it’s more of a reflection of the kind of people that we serve — they tend to be people who are sending a good chunk of their monthly salary home and they’ve got to do that regardless of what the pound’s doing or whether Brexit’s happening or what the politicians are saying. So I’m not surprised. I think [business has] probably been a…

Devices could recycle radio waves instead of transmitting them with new ‘interscatter’ technique

If we’re ever to have things like smart contact lenses and permanent brain implants, one of the things we need to figure out is the power problem. Those devices need energy for collecting, processing and especially transmitting data — but that last one might not be a problem anymore, thanks to a new technique called interscatter communication.

Producing a wireless signal that’s strong enough to be detected five or 10 feet away isn’t that costly energy-wise when you’ve got a big all-day battery you can recharge easily, like in a smartphone.

But for tiny devices, especially those intended for use inside the body, power is a much more serious consideration. Their batteries are tiny and it’s not like you can just pull your pacemaker out and juice it up on your laptop. So anything that reduces power draw is welcome for the next generation of smart embedded devices.

To that end, three graduate students from UW’s electrical engineering program created a technique that eliminates the necessity to produce wireless signals at all. Instead, using interscatter, the device can essentially harvest and re-deploy signals it receives.

It works like this: One device, say an earpiece, transmits a special “single-tone” signal carrying no data, in the Bluetooth frequency. The interscatter device receives this signal and allows it to bounce off its antenna — but not before it has manipulated it ever so slightly, re-encoding the blank signal as a Wi-Fi one. This altered transmission (really a sort of distorted reflection) can be picked up by a phone or laptop just like any other data over Wi-Fi.

Cool, right? And the best part is, because that slight alteration of the received waves is all that requires power, it’s 10,000 times more efficient than producing that Wi-Fi signal itself, and 1,000 times more efficient than Bluetooth.

Savings that huge could open up possibilities for lots of implanted devices, but that’s by no means the only possibility. The team has also built interscatter into some prototype credit cards that recycle signals to communicate with a payment system or each other.

One of the next steps in the project will be to miniaturize the technology further; so far, it’s been built on bulky FPGA boards, but once the design is finalized it could be shrunk down onto an ordinary integrated circuit board. But because the signals are standard, the other devices can be anything, from Apple Watches to Samsung Galaxy phones.

The paper describing interscatter is by Vikram Iyer, Vamsi Talla, Bryce Kellogg and their professors, Shyamnath Gollakota and Joshua Smith; it will be presented August 22 at the SIGCOMM conference in Brazil.

Featured Image: Mark Stone/University of Washington

ASUS Launched Zenfone 3, Zenfone Deluxe And Zenfone Ultra

ASUS is back again in smartphone market after a long break with its 3 new beast smartphones of Zenfone series which are Zenfone 3, Zenfone 3 Deluxe, Zenfone 3 Ultra.
ASUS finally adopted the glass and metal design formula as all three smartphones are made up of glass and metal body. We will talk about each and every phone below so don’t miss a point.

Zenfone 3 key specs are :-

  • 5.5-inch FHD (1920×1080) IPS display 
  • 64-bit Qualcomm Octa-Core Snapdragon 625 @2.0Ghz
  • Adreno™ 506
  • RAM – 3GB / 4GB LPDDR3
  • Internal – 32GB/ 64GB ( up to128 GB via SD card)
  • Battery – 3000mAh (non-removable)
  • OS – Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • 4G LTE
  • Front Camera – 8MP Camera, f/2.0 aperture, Fix Focus 


  • Rear Camera – 16MP Camera, f/2.0 aperture, 6 P Largan lens ( Auto Focus, 0.03 second laser auto-focus, 4-axis Optical Image Stabilization, Dual-LED real tone flash)
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • Ports – Type C 2.0 and 3.5mm audio jack (1 Head phone / Mic-in)
  • Dual Sim
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth V 4.2 
  • UI – ASUS ZenUI 3.0
  • 5 magnet speaker for up to 40% better performance by ASUS SonicMaster 3.0

The ASUS Zenfone 3 is fully covered  in 2.5D Gorilla Glass and 7.7mm thick which means its a glass finish smartphone available in 
Sapphire Black/Moonlight White/Shimmer Gold colors.

Now lets talk about the next Zenfone 3 Deluxe, The key specs of Zenfone 3 Deluxe are–

  • 5.7-inch FHD(1920×1080) Super Amoled Display with Corning® Gorilla® Glass4 (Super Anti Scratch) protection
  • 64-bit Qualcomm® Quad-Core Snapdragon 820 @2.15Ghz
  • Adreno™ 530 624 MHz with OpenGL 3.0 support
  • RAM – 6GB
  • Internal – 64GB/ 128GB / 256GB ( Upgradable ) 
  • 3000mAh (non-removable) with BoostMaster Fast Charging
  • OS – Android 6.0 (Zen UI 3.0)
  • 4G LTE

  • Front Camera – 8MP Camera , f/2.0 aperture 85˚ wide-viewing angle
  • Rear Camera – 23MP Camera, f/2.0 aperture, 6 P Largan lens ( Same As Zenfone 3)
  • FingerPrint Sensor
  • Type C 3.1 and 3.5mm audio jack(1 Head phone / Mic-in)
  • Dual Sim
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth V 4.2 +A2DP +EDR
  • Built-in Mono speaker – 5 magnet speaker for up to 40% better performance by ASUS SonicMaster 3.0

Its the upgraded version of Zenfone 2 Deluxe and 7.5mm thick means more slim than Zenfone 3. Available in Glacier Silver/Titanium Gray/Shimmer Gold colors.

Now lets head to biggest smartphone of ASUS yet, Zenfone 3 Ultra. Lets have a look at key specs –

  • 6.8-inch FHD(1920×1080) IPS display with full-screen lamination with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
  • 64-bit Qualcomm Quad-Core Snapdragon 652 @1.8Ghz
  • Adreno™ 510
  • RAM 3GB / 4GB LPDDR3
  • Internal – 32GB/ 64GB / 128GB (Upgradable)
  •  4600mAh Lithium battery with BoostMaster Fast Charging
  • OS – Android 6.0 (Zen UI 3.0)

  • Dual Sim (4G LTE)
  • Front Camera – 8MP Camera , f/2.0 aperture 85˚ wide-viewing angle
    Auto Focus
  • Rear Camera – 23MP Camera, f/2.0 aperture, 6 P Largan lens (Same As Zenfone 3) 0.03 sec Ultrafast TriTech auto focus
  • FingerPrint Sensor
  • Type C 2.0 with 3.5mm audio jack(1 Head phone / Mic-in) and Miracast, Support HDMI (Support USB OTG: USB2.0)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth V 4.2 +A2DP +EDR
  • Dual FIVE-magnet speakers for louder sound volume and less distortion, ASUS SonicMaster 3.0, World’s 1st with DTS Headphone:X™ for virtual 7.1 surround sound, Hi-Res Audio 192kHz/24-bit standard that is 4 times better than CD quality, NXP Smart AMP technology delivers up to 4X sound volume.

Its the biggest model of ASUS Zenfone series yet and available in Glacier Silver/Titanium Gray/Rose Gold colors. Soon they are gonna launch in India. Lets see how 2 smartphone and a phablet impress the customers.

That’s all we have for now….

Keep Visiting…

Facebook’s video editor is embarrassingly old, and Apple is creeping

You know you screwed up if Apple is about to one-up you on social. Facebook hasn’t upgraded its video editor in well over three years. Lagging far behind Snapchat, YouTube and even Instagram, it’s a stretch to even call the featureless artifact a video editor. 

All you can do with an uploaded video is trim the ends and toggle the sound on or off. That’s a glaring failure considering Mark Zuckerberg wants “video at the heart of all our apps and services.”

And now, Apple is plotting to seize the opportunity Facebook has left vacant. Bloomberg reports Apple is building a lightweight mobile video editor designed for one-minute, one-handed use.

That’s exactly what Facebook should have built years ago.

Facebook cut pro? No.

Facebook’s outdated video uploader has almost no features

Since late 2013, Facebook has poured resources into improving video consumption while neglecting how users record and share. It launched auto-play video in the feed, prompting an explosion in viewership. Better analytics taught creators what works. Those advances took it from hardly any video views to 1 billion per day in September 2014, to 8 billion in November 2015, to likely many more today.

It’s not like Facebook couldn’t build an editor. It developed the video sharing app Poke in 12 days, launched Slingshot, which offered solid video editing and has watched its acquisition Instagram build a modern video editor. Meanwhile, Facebook Live has become the company darling. After launching last August, it’s already added filters and is working on a drawing tool.

Perhaps the closest thing Facebook has to a video editor is its Moments photo-sharing app’s automatic slideshow movie maker. It stitches your photos and videos together with themed transitions and music to create a more interesting mini-film. It’s supposed to be rolling out to the main app, but I don’t see it and it still lacks most basic editing tools.

So here we are, three years after I wrote that “right now Facebook’s video creation tool is painfully outdated,” and nothing has changed. That’s shameful for a company that claims to “move fast.”

What should Facebook’s video uploader be able to do? At the very least, it should let you:

  • Combine multiple clips into one video
  • Add color filters

That would at least bring it up to 2014 standards. To be considered passable in the modern age, it should also let you:

  • Stabilize shaky video
  • Add overlaid text, drawings, emoji and stickers
  • Manually combine videos and photos into Stories

And if Facebook wanted to actually get its shit together, it’d create a best-in-class video recorder and uploader with some of these features that let you:

  • For comparison, Snapchat’s video editor includes all sorts of expression tools

  • Add geofilters representing nearby neighborhoods, events, landmarks or businesses (Snapchat)
  • Create split-screen collages with multiple videos and/or photos shown at once (Editing apps)
  • Add video effects like slow-mo, fast-forward or reverse (Snapchat)
  • Select a soundtrack (Vine, YouTube)
  • Reorder clips (Editing apps)
  • Choose transitions between clips (iMovie)
  • Record video while your device is playing audio (Snapchat)
  • Zoom by scrolling one finger up and down instead of spreading and pinching with two fingers
  • Do lipsyncing (, Dubsmash)
  • Sync-to-beat for creating audio loops (Vine)
  • Ghost outlines of your previous clip to line up shots (Vine)

Plus, I’m sure Facebook’s team could come up with some cool other features. These wouldn’t have to overcomplicate the video uploader. They could be tucked in an editing options drawer so people who just want to add a clip, filter the color, slap some text on and post it could do that without getting confused.

Unlocking self-expression

Facebook needs a way to reverse the trend of declining original content sharing, which The Information reports was down 15 percent year over year as of February. Yet it’s not giving people the tools they need to create unique, compelling content. Instead, big publishers with their professional editing teams are filling the feed with social-optimized video that looks pretty but feels generic and impersonal.

At least Facebook’s app has started to integrate its acquisition of animated selfie maker MSQRD into a new camerafeed design. But that focuses on enhancing clips shot in the app, not editing existing clips.

If Facebook doesn’t make a move, Apple and others will, and those videos won’t necessarily end up on Facebook. Building a great editor gives Facebook leverage to choose whether those videos should just live on its social network, be downloadable or even be easily shared to other apps.

I’ve been blogging about Facebook for six years. For the last half of that, I’ve secretly hoped that every time the company wanted to brief me, it’d show off some slick new video editing interface. But I’ve been disappointed time and time again, and saddened by the missed chance to empower 1.71 billion people to become creators.

So seriously, Facebook…