The Google Glass jump stunt at GoogleIO had GoPro written all over it - fantastic marketing for this hot silicon valley startup. So much potential in many orthogonal niches. I can't wait to see where they are going to go next.
[Reproduced from the New York Times]
Cameras Are Cyclists’ ‘Black Boxes’ in Accidents
WASHINGTON — When Evan Wilder went flying onto the pavement during his bicycle commute one morning here, he didn’t have time to notice the license plate of the pickup truck that had sideswiped him after its driver hurled a curse at him. Nor did a witness driving another car.
But the video camera Mr. Wilder had strapped to his head caught the whole episode. After watching a recording of the incident later, Mr. Wilder gave the license plate number to the police and a suspect was eventually charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
“Without the video, we wouldn’t know who did it,” said Mr. Wilder, 33, who was bruised and scraped in the crash.
Cyclists have long had a rocky coexistence with motorists and pedestrians, who often criticize bike riders for a confrontational attitude, and for blowing through stop signs or otherwise exempting themselves from the rules of the road. Now small cameras — the cycling equivalent of the black box on an airplane — are becoming an intermediary in the relationship, providing high-tech evidence in what is sometimes an ugly contest between people who ride the roads on two wheels and those who use four.
Video from these cameras has begun to play an invaluable role in police investigations of a small number of hit-and-runs and other incidents around the country, local authorities say. Lawyers who specialize in representing bicyclists say they expect the use of cameras for this purpose to increase as awareness of the devices goes up and their prices, now starting at around $200, come down.
Some riders even argue that the technology will encourage cyclists to keep themselves in check during dust-ups with drivers.
“I know my actions before and after some event are going to be recorded if I’m the one being a jerk,” Mr. Wilder said. “It makes me want to be careful.”
Bicyclists say cameras can also deter motorist harassment, a problem that many complain about and that cities like Los Angeles and Berkeley, Calif., have sought to combat with new laws.
“It’s a fact of life that on American roads that you get punked, cut off purposely, harassed, not once but on a regular basis,” said Bob Mionske, a former Olympic cyclist who is now a lawyer representing bicyclists in Portland, Ore. “If motorists start to hear about bikes having cameras, they’re going to think twice about running you off the road.”
Gary Souza, a cyclist in Sacramento, said something like that happened to him. He wears a camera on his helmet during his 50-minute commute each way between his home and office. He began riding with the device this year after buying a $7,000 velomobile, a three-wheeled recumbent cycle with a shell around it.
“Even though it’s insured, if anything happens I figured I wanted to get it on camera,” said Mr. Souza, who works in information technology for the state of California.
A couple of months ago, Mr. Souza said, a motorist became upset after the cyclist crossed in front of his vehicle to make a turn. The driver got out of his car to confront Mr. Souza, who pointed to the camera on his head.
“I said, ‘Don’t be stupid,’ ” Mr. Souza said. “He quickly ran back to his car. I’m certain I avoided a couple blows.”
The new cameras, which have started to catch on in the last few years, are meant for shooting video and photos while skiing, surfing and doing other sports. Likewise, many cyclists use them to memorialize their rides.
GoPro and Contour make popular models; GoPro says sales through bike retailers have nearly doubled so far this year from the same period last year.
[Reproduced from Bloomberg via the NY Times]
Google’s Marissa Mayer Tapped as Yahoo’s Chief
BY ANDREW ROSS SORKIN AND EVELYN M. RUSLI
Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the new chief of Yahoo.
Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next C.E.O. of Yahoo, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America.
The appointment of Ms. Mayer, who was employee No. 20 at Google and was one of the few public faces of the company, is considered a surprising coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top flight talent in its battle with competitors like Google and Facebook.
Ms. Mayer, 37, had for years been responsible for the look and feel of Google’s most popular products: the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News and Google Images. More recently, Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was put in charge of the company’s location and local services, including Google Maps, overseeing more than 1,000 product managers. She also sat on Google’s operating committee, part of a small circle of senior executives who had the ear of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
With her appointment as the president and chief executive of Yahoo, Ms. Mayer joins a short list of women in Silicon Valley to hold the top spot. The elite club includes Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and Virginia Rometty, the head of IBM. Another senior woman in Silicon Valley, Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook’s chief operating officer.
I still remember being in Espoo in late 2006 showing a prototype of an unamed touch screen (revolutionary) smartphone concept - the gentleman from Nokia (a very high ranking VP of Marketing) looked at the device and said 'phones will always have a keyboard'.
That explains a lot ....
[Reporduced from the Wall Street Journal]
Nokia Cuts U.S. Price of Flagship Phone in Half
By JOHN D. STOLL
The price of Nokia Corp.'s NOK -2.13% flagship Lumia 900 Windows phone has been cut in half in the critical U.S. market, a little more than three months after the launch of the smartphone at AT&T Inc. T +1.38% stores.
The Lumia 900 hit the market at AT&T stores in April and the device had been priced at $99 with a two-year agreement, but a new price of $49.99 was introduced early Sunday.
The price cut comes as Nokia's smartphone performance is under significant scrutiny given the financial woes the Finnish company has encountered because of market-share losses and pressure on margins.
The Lumia 900's launch has been viewed by analysts as being lackluster.