TechSummit Rewind #044

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Google takes artificial intelligence engine TensorFlow open source

TensorFlow

Google is opensourcing TensorFlow, the artificial intelligence engine used by products like Google Photos and Gmail, to accelerate AI’s evolution.

“What we’re hoping is that the community adopts this as a good way of expressing machine learning algorithms of lots of different types, and also contributes to building and improving [TensorFlow] in lots of different and interesting ways.”

-Jeff Dean, Google engineer

“This is really interesting. Google is five to seven years ahead of the rest of the world. If they open source their tools, this can make everybody else better at machine learning.”

-Chris Nicholson, deep learning startup Skymind founder

At the moment, Google is only sharing some of the algorithms that run atop the engine, and it’s not sharing access to the hardware infrastructure that drives the engine. However, the company is giving away at least some of its most important data center software.

TAG Heuer, Google release first luxury Android Wear smartwatch

TAG Heuer Connected Watch

In a New York City event Monday, TAG Heuer unveiled the Connected Watch, a $1,500 Android Wear-toting smartwatch made in partnership with Google and Intel.

The watch is modeled after TAG’s Carrera model, an auto racing timepiece that dates back to 1963. The watch’s profile and long lugs are quite recognizable to anyone familiar with the company’s watches.

At 46.2mm across and 12.8mm thick, the Connected Watch is big but its titanium build makes it surprisingly light. The bezel is marked in five-minute increments and has a black carbide coating that gives some contrast against the case’s brushed and sandblasted surfaces. Paired with one of seven colored vulcanized rubber straps and matching titanium buckle, it looks and feels like one of TAG’s mechanical watches.

The Connected Watch runs Google’s Android Wear operating system and works with Android phones running version 4.3 Jelly Bean of later and iPhones running iOS 8.2 or later.

It uses Bluetooth LE to connect to your smartphone along with WiFi, and has 4GB of onboard storage for apps and media. Gyroscopic sensors are there for basic fitness tracking, but it still relies on your smartphone for GPS. The watch also lacks a heart rate sensor and a speaker, so all notifications come through buzzes on your wrist. In terms of battery life, the Connected Watch is rated for 30 hours of normal use and comes with a USB charging cradle for charging.

Its $1,500 price tag makes it over four times the price of other flagship Android Wear watches and at a similar price point to the Apple Watch Hermes. This premium price tag will get you some features that can’t be found in other Android Wear watches. Owners that register directly with TAG Heuer will get access to company watch faces from company ambassadors like Tom Brady, Cara Delevingne, and Leonardo DiCaprio and apps for timing, restaurant recommendations, and tracking your golf game.

TAG is also offering a new “connected to eternity” service that allows Connected Watch owners to trade in their smartwatch at a company retailer with an additional $1,500 and receive a mechanical TAG Heuer watch in return.

The Connected Watch is available now at 10 TAG Heuer boutiques and at 19 other retail partners across the U.S. and Canada, with an international rollout continuing over the next month.

Microsoft buys Israeli security company Secure Islands

Secure Islands Technologies

Microsoft has acquired data-security company Secure Islands Technologies.

According to execs from the Redmond, WA-based company, Microsoft plans to integrate the Beit Dagon, Israel-based company into the Azure Rights Management Service to help companies meet compliance and protection requirements of their cloud, on-premises, and mobile data.

Secure Islands’ main product is IQProtector, which the company describes as a “policy-driven classification and protection solution.” IQProtector captures unstructured data at the point of creation so it can provide classification based on context and content. Secure Islands also already uses Microsoft’s Rights Management Services technology to apply protection to files and emails.

The company features UBS, OSRAM, Vodafone, and Credit Suisse as its customers.

Atlassian files for IPO with $320M sales, $6.8M net income in 2015

Atlassian

Atlassian has filed an F-1 form with the SEC to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol “TEAM,” with a draft registration originally submitted confidentially to the SEC on August 21st.

The Sydney-based company is responsible for enterprise-focused social products like HipChat, JIRA, and Confluence.

According to the F-1, net income has been positive for the last three years albeit declining significantly in the last year because of significant R&D spending:

  • 2013: $10.8 million
  • 2014: $19.0 million
  • 2015: $6.8 million

Revenues are also positive in the same span:

  • 2013: $148.5 million
  • 2014: $215.1 million
  • 2015: $319.5 million

“We also generated free cash flow of $47.1 million, $65.0 million, and $65.5 million for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively.

“Relative to other enterprise software companies, we invest significantly more in research and development than in sales and marketing.”

-Atlassian, in the F-1 document

According to the company, there are over five million monthly active users of the company’s products, with 48,000 customers (organizations with at least one active and paid license or subscription that needs a payment of over $10 per month) “across virtually every industry sector in more than 160 countries.” Some of Atlassian’s high-profile customers are Fitbit, PayPal, Visa, NASA, MIT, Nordstrom, Tesla, Cisco, and Adobe.

While the company focuses on five main products, two-thirds of Atlassian’s revenues come from planning and project management tool Jira (think Asana), and content creation and collaboration (Quip).

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will act as lead joint book-running managers for the proposed offering, according to an Atlassian statement. Allen & Company, UBS Securities, and Jefferies are also acting as book-running managers for the proposed offering, with Cannaccord Genuity, JMP Securities, Raymond James & Associates, and William Blair & Company are acting as co-managers.

Siri adds Apple Music support on Apple TV to search, play music

Apple TV Siri

In the latest tvOS 9.1 beta, Siri has gained the ability to play any song or album from Apple Music, even if it isn’t in your library. Siri can even search for songs on Apple Music and play the company’s Beats 1 radio station.

When you direct Siri to play music instead of search, music begins playing immediately like it does on iOS.

WordPress now powers 25% of the Web

wordpress_logo

Spoiler Alert: All of Paw Print Media’s sites are powered by WordPress.

WordPress now powers 25% of the Internet, according to W3Techs.

“WordPress is used by 58.7% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 25.0% of all websites.”

-W3Techs

“We should be comfortably past 25% by the end of the year. The big opportunity is still the 57% of websites that don’t use any identifiable CMS yet, and that’s where I think there is still a ton of growth for us (and I’m also rooting for all the other open source CMSes).”

-Matt Mullenweg, Automattic (WordPress’ parent company) founder

Websites, rather than individual web pages, are examined – If a technology is on any of a website’s pages, it’s considered to be used by the entire website. Furthermore, W3Techs only spans the top 10 million websites (including us), based on Alexa’s popularity rankings, using a three-month average ranking.

That said, W3Techs excludes subdomains (for example, all the subdomains of wordpress.com are listed as one website) and redirected domains (Sun.com, which redirects to Oracle.com, are not counted). That definition makes Alexa’s “top 10 million” websites fewer than the “top 10 million” websites, but this “has no statistical significance,” according to W3Techs.

Blue Coat acquires cloud security startup Elastica for $280M

Elastica

Security vendor Blue Coat Systems has acquired Elastica, a startup that detects potentially dangerous use of cloud applications for $280 million.

Opera Max data-saving app now pre-installed on phones from 14 OEMs

Opera Max

Opera’s Max data-management app is now integrated into phones from 14 OEMs, including previously-announced partners like Samsung and Xiaomi, as well as new partners Acer, Hisense, and TWZ. Thanks to these partnerships, Opera now believes that the app will be on over 100 million Android devices by 2017.

Opera Max essentially works as a proxy server that intercepts all the traffic from your phone (except encrypted connections) and then routes it though Opera’s servers, which apply a number of bandwidth-saving techniques to the traffic. This includes compressing images and video, as well as optimizing basic HTML and CSS.

According to the Oslo, Norway-based company, its service can bring data consumption down by as much as 50 percent. For users that spend a lot of time in apps like Instagram, YouTube, and Netflix, savings can increase to 60 percent.

“Many users are wary of using mobile data for fear of spending too much or exceeding their data caps. We see OEMS responding to this and stepping up to lower the barrier to mobile internet access by providing a data-optimization solution on their devices.”

-Sergey Lossev, Opera Max product manager

In addition to the aforementioned OEMs, the app is integrated with the following manufacturers:

  • Cherry Mobile
  • Evercross
  • Fly
  • Mobiistar
  • Micromax
  • Oppo
  • Prestigio
  • Symphony
  • Tecno
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s