Archive for May 25, 2011

LoKast Relaunches Group Messaging App With Photo, Video, Music Sharing

We’ve written previously about NearVerse’s mobile app LoKast, a proximity based mobile social network. Today, the company is debuting a new version of its iOS app, which combines group messaging with location proximity and media sharing.

On the app you can create spaces, which are visible by others within the app in the same physical place. These spaces essentially serve as min-social networks of sorts, where people can chat and share links, videos, images, music and more. Users can also make networks completely private.

Previously the app was more of an open network, where users could find and share content with any other user that was in their proximity. Now with the ability to create ‘spaces’ within the app, Lokast becomes more of a group messaging app with a dash of location-based discovery.

While the ability to share pictures and media within a group messaging app is appealing, the space itself is competitive, with GroupMe, Google, and many others also offering group messaging apps.

Why Kickstarter Works

I am a big fan of fast growing crowd funding platform Kickstarter, arguably one of the most disruptive and innovative platforms to emerge for the creative community.

Less a technology site, more a socio-cultural movement, Kickstarter is changing how we make things, how we turn dreams into reality and make ideas come to life. While a lot of people focus on Union Square Ventures” Fred Wilson’sbig name portfolio of Twitter, Zynga and Foursquare, I would argue, Kickstarter is the one that transforms the very idea of commerce.

On his blog, Author/publisher Craig Mod tells the story of how folks pledged $24,000 for Art Space Tokyo, a book he co-wrote with Ashley Rawlings, on Kickstarter. I think this quote sums up everything that is awesome about Kickstarter and why it works.

With Kickstarter, people are preordering your idea. Sure, they’re buying something tangible — a CD, a movie, a book, etc — but more than that, they’re pledging money because they believe in you, the creator. If you take the time to extrapolate beyond the obvious low-hanging goals, you can use this money to push the idea — the project — somewhere farther reaching than initially envisaged. And all without giving up any ownership of the idea. This — micro-seed capital without relinquishment of ownership — is where the latent potential of Kickstarter funding lies.

MUNSTER: 3 Reasons Apple’s Stock Will Go Higher (AAPL)

steve jobs app store

Image: via Limitless Droid

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Michael Scott

chart of the day apple shareholders

After soaring throughout 2010, Apple’s stock has basically flattened for 2011.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says investors are worried about Apple’s stock for three reasons:

  • The stock is already owned by major investors, so who’s going to buy up more shares?
  • Apple can’t possibly maintain its impressive growth rates and its about to run into tough comparisons for earnings from a year ago.
  • Apple’s shares have been down since it reported strong earnings. 

We’d add another one Munster seems to be missing: Apple is in an uncertain state right now. It’s unclear what’s happening with Steve Jobs. The next iPhone isn’t coming until September — a break from the normal pattern.

Also, we aren’t hearing rumors about any amazing new products on the horizon.

Regardless of all that, Munster says Apple is still a screaming buy. Here are his three reasons, direct from his note this morning:

  • “Even if the multiple does not increase or goes down, we believe the stock will move higher based on positive earnings revisions. Apple currently trades at 10.8x our CY12 EPS of $30.78 including cash, 8.5x ex-cash. Assuming Apple does more than $48 in EPS in CY14 (25% EPS growth), at current levels the stock would trade at a 6.9x EPS including cash and 4.4x EPS excluding an estimated $120/share in cash. We believe a mid-teens multiple is warranted given EPS growth rates in the mid-to-high 20s over the next four years.”
  • “We believe Apple’s entrance into a new product category, possibly televisions, will unlock new perceived value in the company, and thus the stock.”
  • “We expect Apple to announce software features for iPhones, iPads and Macs at WWDC on 6/6 that could serve as a near-term catalyst, as expectations for the event are relatively low.”

Related: CHART OF THE DAY: Who Bought And Sold Apple Shares Last Quarter

BBC News Android app now available

Good news for Android fans in the UK. The BBC has just announced that from today, a BBC News app for Android devices will be available for download from the Android Market place.

Whilst an iOS app has been available for almost a year, this is the first time Android users have been able to access BBC news content from an official app.

BBC Worldwide will soon be launching an international version of the app for audiences around the globe.

We’ll update this as more news of the app emerges…

Minecraft reportedly to launch on Android as an Xperia Play timed exclusive

It appears that the increasingly popular independent building game will get a period of exclusivity when it comes to Android, launching initially on Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play to take advantage of the smartphone’s customised controls and dedicated joypad.

Xperia Blog reports that the developer of the Android port Mojang, has confirmed that the Xperia Play game will be tweaked slightly make use of the integrated controller and will also be customised so that it can run on mobile devices, meaning gamers will need to expect the game won’t be an exact port of the PC version.

It is expected that as soon as the exclusive is up, the game will become available for all Android devices, with an iOS port also expected in the near future.

However, the developers have stated that the game will be a “release early and update frequently” title, suggesting a launch won’t too far away. Sony Ericsson has already begun inviting the media to attend its announcement at this year’s E3 expo which carries a small Minecraft logo, telling attendees to “stay in the light and take refuge with Sony Ericsson to keep the creepers at bay.”

Pricing and launch dates will likely be announced at E3, we will of course bring you the news as soon as it happens.

10 Things You Need To Know This Morning (MSFT, NOK, AAPL, GOOG, AMZN, BKS)

Jay Yarow
May 25, 2011, 7:06 AM



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See Also:

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Michael Scott

windows phone 7

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Otto Berkes, the last of the Xbox cofounders, and the man who had been trying to get Microsoft to make iPad-like computers before the iPad existed has left the company.
  • Nokia and Microsoft aren’t likely to make a Windows Phone OS-based tablet.

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Young Entrepreneurs Rule – Meet Peter Thiel’s First “20 Under 20″ Thiel Fellows

Well-known tech executive turned high-profile investor Peter Thiel, former PayPal CEO and an early backer of Facebook, this morning announced the appointment of the first 24 Thiel Fellows.

These are remarkable young entrepreneurs and creative minds that, as inaugural members of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, will pursue “innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow”.

During a two-year tenure, each of them will receive $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation as well as mentorship from Peter Thiel’s obviously impressive network of people.

Originally, the organization planned to award only twenty fellowships, but James O’Neill, who heads the Thiel Foundation, says the number of outstanding candidates far exceeded their expectations. Below are the names of the 24 ‘chosen ones’, who were selected from more than four hundred people – all younger than twenty – who applied to be Thiel Fellows.

I’m not including their bios as it would make this post a bit long, but do yourself a favor and check out these extraordinary youngsters here.

BIOTECH: Laura Deming, Darren Zhu and Alexander Kiselev

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Daniel Friedman, Paul Gu, Eric McKay and Dale Stephens

ECONOMICS FINANCE: Jeffrey Lim and Faheem Zaman

EDUCATION: Nick Cammarata, David Merfield, Andrew Hsu and John Marbach

ENERGY: Tom Currier, Jim Danielson, Eden Full and Sujay Tyle

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: James Proud, Christopher Rueth, Ben Yu and Sebastien Zany

MOBILITY: Gary Kurek

ROBOTICS: David (Jiageng) Luan

SPACE: John Burnham

I’d wager they’re all in for a life-changing, two-year experience that will be hard to match.

Or do you think they should go to school instead? Discuss.

Gootip: You Know What’s Hipper Than Hipster? Actually Launching

You know what’s hipper than Hipster? Actually launching.

OK, that’s not quite what the three-person team behind new local QA site Gootip said but it’s true that this tiny French startup launched this week has got their product out in the wild in full before their US-based rival.

Ignoring the host of other location-based QA offerings, Gootip is also keen to point out that it isn’t a Hipster clone and that the company started work on their product before the Hipster buzz. Unlike Hipster, Gootip hasn’t taken funding either.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cord Cutters: How to Turn Your Roku Into a DVR

Roku’s media player is a great device to watch content from Netflix and Hulu Plus on, but it lacks access to live TV — that is, unless you use a neat little hack to turn your Roku into a DVR that is capable of serving up live and archived broadcast content. Check it out:

Show notes for this episode:

Are you doing unique and interesting things with your Roku DVR? Or maybe you own an EyeTV tuner and watch recordings on other devices? Please share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments, get in touch with us on Twitter (@cordcutters) or email us at cordcutters @

Related content from GigaOM Pro (subscription req’d):

Telstra to implement bandwidth shaping on excess mobile data

Telstra has announced that it will begin shaping — that is, intentionally slowing — mobile data connections once customers have exceeded their data allowance.

The Australian mobile industry is marked by pathetically small data allowances and outrageous charges when usage exceeds those allowances. While that might sound good for telco coffers, it’s a rough ride for consumers and it leads to more bad debts than actual revenue: people go over-the-top with their YouTube viewing without realizing the costs associated, and end up with a bill they just can’t afford to pay.

In an effort to reduce both customer outrage and the company’s reliance on debt collectors, Telstra will discontinue excess usage charges and bring the connection speed down to 48 kilobits per second, from a maximum of 20 megabits per second on the Telstra NextG network.

That’s a speed in the general vicinity of dial-up Internet, and slower than the standard shaped speed for broadband connections to homes. But unlike most broadband companies, Telstra will permit its users to pay a fee to have the shaping removed for the remainder of the month.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has voiced its approval of Telstra’s decision, and the company says we’ll see these changes implemented by the end of the year.

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