Technology

Structure Sensor Review: A Tiny 3D Scanner With Huge Potential

Gizmodo UK - Wed, 2014-07-09 20:30
Structure Sensor was Kickstarted to great success last year, but how good is it in practice?
Categories: Technology

Connected TV Market Crosses 1B Devices As Google Pins Its Hopes On Android TV

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 20:21
 A new report from Strategy Analytics puts the global market for connected TV devices at over 1 billion currently installed units, which include smart TVs, set-top boxes like the Apple TV, game consoles, connected Blu-ray players and more. The market is predicted to double in size between now and 2018, reaching the 2 billion mark, with smart TVs carrying embedded platforms as the main segment… Read More
Categories: Technology

Homestar Runner Will Return!

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 20:14
 Back in April, Homestar Runner got its first content update in over four years. It was the tiniest of updates, but the Internet’s collective 90s kid heart still jumped for joy. Was this a dry run? Were they really playing with the idea of bringing Homestar back? Yep! Read More
Categories: Technology

American Surveillance Victim Is Not Surprised The NSA Was Spying

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 20:10
 Hooshang Amirahmadi feels like a celebrity. That’s what happens after Glenn Greenwald publishes your name, with consent of course, as one of five identified Muslim-Americans monitored by the National Security Agency and the FBI. Read More
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This Could Be the Future of Military Helicopters (No, Really)

Gizmodo UK - Wed, 2014-07-09 20:00
It looks rather stupid doesn't it? But you know what they say, if it's stupid and works then it isn't stupid.
Categories: Technology

Googler, And Former DARPA Director, Regina Dugan Joins Zynga’s Board Of Directors

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 20:00
 Zynga is announcing a new addition to its board of directors — Regina E. Dugan, vice president of engineering and head of the Advanced Technology and Projects group at Google. In a memo sent to the company’s employees, CEO Don Mattrick said Dugan will be “a true catalyst for creative thinking at Zynga.” As highlighted at the recent Google I/O developer conference… Read More
Categories: Technology

Uber Is A Sign Of Epic Technology Battles To Come

Read Write Web - Wed, 2014-07-09 19:53

The best technologies and companies don't commoditize existing markets. They create entirely new markets.

Take Uber. Ostensibly competitive with taxis or sedan services, the reality is that Uber competes with non-use. Or, as Uber CEO technology Travis Kalanick phrases it, "It's not about the market that exists, it's about the market we're creating."

Uber's New Market: People Like Me

I experienced this just last week. I had to drop off my car at a local mechanic, a 15-minute drive. Normally I would have waited for my wife to get home so that we could coordinate the drop off/pick up. 

Rather than inconvenience my wife, I spent $9.01 to have an Uber pick me up at the shop and drive me home. That's not money stolen from a taxi service, as taking a taxi is a completely different thing in my mind. I associate taxis with "cars I ride in when I'm traveling," not to mention "drivers who get angry or pushy if I opt to pay with a credit card." So it never occurred to me to call for a taxi.

See also: Why Uber, Not HP, Is The Future Of Technology

Uber is different. It's the person who picks me up and drops me off whenever I launch an app on my iPhone. It's so convenient that I end up using Uber all the time in situations when I wouldn't bother to call a taxi, not to mention times when a taxi would make sense ... if it weren't less convenient.

Competing Against Car Ownership

In fact, I'm starting to wonder why I own a car at all. I've already used Uber to get to the airport and to business lunches. Heck, but for the fact that I'd miss all the chatter, I'd consider having Uber drive my kids to their soccer practices. (I wonder if Uber would coach practice for me when I'm out of town?) 

I'm not alone in thinking that Uber—and, indeed, all truly disruptive technologies or businesses—doesn't really compete against old-guard incumbents but rather for dollars not yet spent. I used to see this in the Enterprise Content Management market: products or companies like Microsoft SharePoint and Box didn't compete with Documentum or Vignette: they competed for team collaboration dollars in markets that were hitherto undefined or non-existent.

Or, as VisionMobile puts it, the real competition today is against incumbents in separate industries:

In the case of Uber, Kalanick argues that in addition to taxis, Uber competes against private car ownership for some people. As he notes, Uber could make "car ownership a thing of the past."

Skate Where The Puck Is Heading

Years ago then MySQL CEO Marten Mickos argued that MySQL's mission was as follows:

The relational database market is a $9 billion a year market. I want to shrink it to $3 billion and take a third of the market.

But over the years, it has become clear that MySQL is far bigger than this. It's not about commoditizing the legacy database market. It was about enabling a new generation of startups and applications that weren't possible—whether financially or technically—under Oracle and IBM. 

For startups today, the trick is to target the right markets. Going after an incumbent is convenient because it offers an easily defined market that VCs can appreciate and fund. But it's also the hardest type of market to crack, as Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady points out in a fascinating Twitter exchange, wondering why more "more [startups haven't] read their Sun Tzu and prioritize less heavily defended markets."

Not only this, but it's far more interesting to open up new markets. Wallets are harder to find at first, but once the formula works (Google AdWords, anyone?), it really, really works. 

So think big. Don't try to undermine the "taxis" of your market. Obliterate car ownership instead.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Lee, CC  2.0.

Categories: Technology

You Can Literally Control Another Human Being With This Wild VR Setup

Gizmodo UK - Wed, 2014-07-09 19:30
Not content with controlling one body? Why not try and control another.
Categories: Technology

Tinder’s Sean Rad To Join Us At Disrupt SF 2014

Mobile Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 19:16
 Sean Rad, the co-inventor of the hottest dating game in the land, will be joining us onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 to chat about the success of Tinder and its plans for monetization. Tinder is also currently the subject of a lawsuit served by its former VP of Marketing Whitney Wolfe, which we have covered here. The app in its present iteration has been around since 2012, but… Read More
Categories: Technology

Tinder’s Sean Rad To Join Us At Disrupt SF 2014

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 19:16
 Sean Rad, the co-inventor of the hottest dating game in the land, will be joining us onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 to chat about the success of Tinder and its plans for monetization. Tinder is also currently the subject of a lawsuit served by its former VP of Marketing Whitney Wolfe, which we have covered here. The app in its present iteration has been around since 2012, but… Read More
Categories: Technology

Advocacy Groups, Lawmakers Condemn NSA Surveillance Of Muslim-Americans

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 19:07
 Response to a recent report detailing surveillance of Muslim-Americans by the U.S. government has been swift and negative, with condemnation piling up from privacy and religious organizations alike. Delivering on a long-held promise, journalist Glenn Greenwald today published the names of five prominent Muslim-Americans who were under governmental surveillance for years. The group included… Read More
Categories: Technology

Low-Power, Color Displays

Technolgy Review - Wed, 2014-07-09 19:04

Oxford University researchers demonstrate that materials used in DVDs could make color displays that don’t sap power.

Researchers at Oxford University have used a type of phase-change material to make devices whose color changes instantly in response to a small jolt of power.  The materials, which are used in some types of DVDs, could lead to ultra-low-power, full-color displays, according to an article describing the work in the journal Nature.

Categories: Technology

World’s Tallest Waterslide First-Person View: HOLY SHIT

Gizmodo UK - Wed, 2014-07-09 19:00
That dinghy might need a thorough hosing after each trip.
Categories: Technology

Ultratext Is A Simple GIF-Making App That Works With iMessage

Mobile Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 18:47
 There’s nothing more obnoxious than texting someone who doesn’t respond (at least somewhat) promptly. And their excuse? “Sorry, I didn’t see your text!” Ha, no more, my so-called friends, no more! A new app called Ultratext will help get their attention by letting you easily create colorful, flashing GIF messages you can quickly send via iMessage. Read More
Categories: Technology

Ultratext Is A Simple GIF-Making App That Works With iMessage

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 18:47
 There’s nothing more obnoxious than texting someone who doesn’t respond (at least somewhat) promptly. And their excuse? “Sorry, I didn’t see your text!” Ha, no more, my so-called friends, no more! A new app called Ultratext will help get their attention by letting you easily create colorful, flashing GIF messages you can quickly send via iMessage. Read More
Categories: Technology

Someone Please Turn This Cool Isometric Animation Into a Weird Game

Gizmodo UK - Wed, 2014-07-09 18:45
Inspired by modern architecture, isometric video games and sci-fi literature, this beautiful animation from artist Fabrice Le Nezet follows some tiny people in an epic journey.
Categories: Technology

You Can Finally Send Anything on Your Android’s Screen to Chromecast

Gizmodo UK - Wed, 2014-07-09 18:41
It's still rolling out, but at least we know we don't have very long to wait.
Categories: Technology

Android Wear Needs To Be More Thoughtful About Bugging You

Tech Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 18:39
 Upon picking up the Samsung Gear Live from Google’s I/O developer event recently, I immediately thought that I’d be making a permanent switch from the Basis, my current watch. It’s thinner, has a step counter, and a sensor for getting your resting heart rate — not quite as advanced as what the Basis is packing, but I’m not a fitness nut. Read More
Categories: Technology

FBI and NSA Spied on Specific, Innocent Muslim-Americans

Gizmodo UK - Wed, 2014-07-09 18:30
New documents have revealed that the NSA and FBI spied on specific, law-abiding Muslim-American leaders after 9/11.
Categories: Technology

PayPal Makes Good On Its Braintree Acquisition With Launch Of New Developer Tools, The Braintree v.zero SDK

Mobile Crunch - Wed, 2014-07-09 18:29
 Payments gateway Braintree is making its first significant product announcement since its acquisition by PayPal last year, with the launch of a jointly developed Braintree SDK (software development kit) for developers. The new toolset is being called the “Braintree v.zero SDK” to indicate how it’s been rebuilt from the ground up, and is said to be easier and quicker to… Read More
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