Amazon CEO Bezos Helps Recover Apollo 11 Engines from the Atlantic

amazon-ceo-jeff-bezosApollo 11, the spacecraft that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin toward the big leap in human history was carried by the Saturn V rocket to outer space. The rocket had five single chamber liquid fueled engines, each having 1,522,000 ft-lb (6.77 MN) of thrust and stills is considered the most powerful rocket engine ever created. The engines plunged deep into the Atlantic Ocean after the liftoff.

It was last year that Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, announced that he would be funding an expedition team to recover the engines from the bed of Atlantic. The engine which was resting in the ocean bead for 40 years has now been recovered by his team.

The mission took three weeks at the ocean and his team found success in recovering two of five engines from the deep. Last year, Bezos and his team used sonar to find the exact location of the engines and identified that the engines were lying 3 miles deep in the Atlantic Ocean.


With remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) operated from a multi-purpose offshore vessel they tugged out the engines to the surface. After the recovery they found out the serial numbers had faded off.

Bezos says he is uncertain to confirm that the recovered engines belong to Apollo 11. NASA is involved in tracing the roots of the engines. If they can confirm the origin of the engines, Bezos would display the engines at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.


Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch Heads for Apple

Adobe’s Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch has stepped down. What could be Adobe’s loss is sure to be gain for Apple, as Lynch will now take over as as vice president of technology at Apple. Lynch will be reporting to the senior vice president Bob Mansfield at Apple.


So who will fill the CTO position at Adobe? According to the company, there won’t be any replacement for now. But the responsibility will be shared between CEO Shantanu Narayen and senior vice president Bryan Lamkin.

Adobe’s departure note on Lynch reads that he will leave the company on March 22, to join Apple. Lynch’s career has some history working with Apple, when he was also part of developing Mac software.

At the same time, he was also well known for his criticism against Apple for not adopting Adobe’s Flash technology on the iOS platform.

Forrester VP and principal analyst Jeffrey Hammond thinks that the new hiring could make Apple leverage new strategies on cloud computing with the knowledge and experience of Lynch.

Adobe has done a pioneering job in using cloud for their products and this could mean that Apple is looking for gaining an upper hand to challenge its major contenders, Google and Microsoft, who are still rookies in the cloud arena right now.


EA Boss Riccitiello Calls it Quits

You might have already heard game publisher Electronic Arts has seen glitches in its financial numbers this year. And that, in fact, has cost the company its CEO. EA chief executive John Riccitiello has taken up responsibility for the poor show of the company and has decided to call it quits.

john_riccitielloIn a letter to the company, Riccitiello stated that he is “100 percent accountable for the company’s failure to meet financial goals and so is stepping down.

Adding that the company will likely come in at the low end or slightly below the financial estimates it provided to Wall Street last quarter, Riticello revealed that EA has “fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago.”

Riccitiello’s strategy of closing down studios after they released games that didn’t immediately see critical or financial success, is believed to have gone against the fortunes.

Further, for inking exclusive contracts with companies such as NFL, NCAA, and the Arena Football League to use players’ names, he had come under fire with regard to US antitrust laws.

With Riccitiello stepping down, former CEO and current chairman of the board, Larry Probst, will take his place till a new CEO is appointed.


Ashton Kutcher will have to wait to show his Steve Jobs face on screen

The release of the Steve Jobs biopic “Jobs,” starring Ashton Kutcher, has been postponed, with no new date announced yet. Producers have quoted that the delay is aimed at affording more time to market the film.


The film was originally slated for release on April 19th and was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival – where it got mixed reviews. The movie’s story plot can be said as the story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

From the screening, the movie itself looked decent though it did sparked some controversies.  As for Kutcher’s portrayal of Jobs, he did a pretty good impression and as for the dialogues, much of it appears to accurately reflect what’s already out there in books about Steve Jobs. Many of the people who watched the screening thought that the movie is a very worthwhile attempt that goes beyond the character of Steve Jobs, but reflects on the struggle of a visionary leader and a team of geniuses who took no shortcuts to create something beautiful and worthwhile.

Kutcher currently co-stars in the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men as the character Walden Schmidt and he looked a lot alike Jobs in his younger days. This must have been one of the many reasons why he has been casted as Steve Jobs himself.

With no exact date known, audiences all around the world are waiting for the announcement of the movie and hope it doesn’t disappoint.


Four-hour testimony in ebook suit will have Apple boss Tim Cook’s participation

Apple’s head Tim Cook has been ordered to testify before the court in regard with an ebook suit. He is supposed to sit for a deposition in the US government’s lawsuit against the company over alleged price-fixing in the e-book market.

cook -jobsUS District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan granted the Justice Department’s request to compel Cook to testify for four hours in the lawsuit, which accuses Apple of conspiring with five publishers to raise ebook prices.

Fighting against this lawsuit, Apple had already quoted back that Cook’s testimony would be “cumulative and duplicative” since the government had already deposed 11 other executives at the iPad maker.

Filed in April 2012 at the US District Court in New York, Apple is the only remaining defendant in this lawsuit. Meanwhile, the 5 publishers are Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers Inc, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, Hachette Book Group Inc and MacMillan and all of them have already settled.

The last publisher to settle was Macmillan in February. The government is not requesting damages but is seeking a finding that Apple violated antitrust law. It is also seeking an order blocking Apple from engaging in similar conduct.

For the law nerds among you, the case is United States vs Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-02826. New York Lawyer Lawrence Buterman said on a teleconference call that Cook had submitted a written declaration in the case in which he said he had played no “meaningful role” in the events at issue.

The Justice Department wants to know what Cook ‘means by his qualifier’ and the government believes it is likely, because of Cook’s “position and closeness” with Jobs, that they had private conversations about e-books.


Nintendo’s Miyamoto Looking to Make Money Out of Cartoons

Nintendo has always been cartoon friendly, and now comes news that Shigeru Miyamoto is dabbling with cartoons in the Pikmin universe.  In an interview with Polygon, Miyamoto confirmed that Nintendo is currently working on creating animated shorts in the Pikmin universe.


He has always declared a strong affection for the carrot-like creatures and the strange Captain Olimar, and now he seems to have found a perfect outlet to expand his universe beyond the boundaries of the games.

Nintendo has been licensing out its characters for animation since it entered the video game business more than 30 years ago.

Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. both got their chances on Saturday mornings, while Super Mario Bros. went through three different transformations from 1989 to 1994. But despite its long history with animated programming, Nintendo has rarely been directly involved with the cartoons’ production till now.

Miyamoto hasn’t yet thought of the Nintendo 3DS as being used for more than just a platform for video games. But Nintendo has an idea to generate some cash and expand into the realm of entertainment distribution.

The videos were originally intended to create hype for the upcoming Pikmin 3 on the Nintendo Wii U, but they could be used for so much more should they become popular enough.

The cartoons are expected to be released before Pikmin 3′s arrival on the Nintendo Wii U, though no official dates are out yet.


Elon Musk Showcases Re-usable Rocket at SXSW

The recent SXSW was more innovative than other similar shows, and the highlight was the  keynote addresses from SpaceX and Tesla owner, Elon Musk.

muskHis keynote even had a video that showed off a rocket that could safely land after being blasted off vertically. Musk said that Texas was the leading candidate for a third launch site for one of SpaceX’s rockets, joining sites at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

He said this would be possible within two years as SpaceX was in talks with Texas legislators. The other contenders are Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Virginia.

The video was of a rocket test, which he said had taken place earlier that week. In the video, a ten-story rocket takes off from a launching pad and hovers several hundred feet in the air before landing in the same spot, upright. It’s an early test of SpaceX’s reusable-rocket project.

Musk told the audience that reusability is extremely important. He also talked about the recent controversy involving his Tesla Motors, which started when a New York Times reporter claimed in a much-circulated column that his electric-powered Model S sedan had ground to a halt during a test-drive up the East Coast.

He responded to that issue by saying that he has no problem with negative feedback and there indeed have been hundreds of negative articles. He then said that he doesn’t have a problem with critical reviews, but he has a problem with false reviews.

As far as his SpaceX missions are concerned, he said this was not about competing with NASA, but he was disappointed that they had not progressed beyond the Apollo missions.


Generation Y Investors Plump for Social Media

Social media networking, which started out as a fun thing, has shifted track into the financial field. According to a new study, seven in ten Generation Y investors use social media for personal finance and investing purposes.

socialThe study was done by Cogent Research, Cambridge, Mass., under a report named “Social Media’s Impact on Personal Finance & Investing.” The report details the impact of major social media outlets on investing behaviour and the perceptions of specific brands among top investors.

Among affluent investors, 9 percent is held by people born in the 80s and 90s – called the Gen Y investors. More than 81 percent of these use the services of financial advisors.

Among the Gen Y investors (around 42%), Facebook is the most preferred means of online portal for investing. 32 percent of the investors opt for YouTube while 23 percent go for financial firms’ websites/blogs.

Twitter is used by 19 percent, while 8 percent uses LinkedIn.

About 28 percent of Generation X investors (those born between 1964 and 1980) make use of financial firms’ websites and blogs. Among this age group, the use of Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter are 15 percent, 6 percent, 7 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

Among genders, men use financial firms’ websites and blogs more than women (the report states 26 percent for men and 16 percent for women).


Tim Cook and Jimmy Iovine Talk to Launch New Audio Service

cookA meeting that took place in late February, where Apple’s Tim Cook and Beats Audio CEO and hip-hop mogul Jimmy Iovine discussed a music service dubbed ‘Project Daisy, is finally bearing fruit. Lovine, who besides co-owning Beats is chairman of music label Interscope-Geffen-A&M, has a long history with Apple and was one of the first industry executives to ink a deal over what would become iTunes.

Apple has been rumored to be working on building a streaming music service that will compete with the likes of existing offerings from Rhapsody, MOG and Rdio.

Reports even claim an Apple-branded solution will launch by the end of 2013. But this has not been confirmed yet. The meeting between Cook and Iovine was set up in January, immediately after Beats announced Daisy without explaining the upcoming project’s business model or how it plans to differentiate itself from existing services such as Spotify and Pandora.

Beats Audio is a partner of HTC Corp., a major Apple rival. Therefore, it is unclear whether Beats can work with the Cupertino, California, over a major new business project that is supposed to become a significant revenue stream.

No official comments are out yet regarding this. If the reports bear fruit, it will be a real treat for music lovers.


Tech Valley’s New Senior VP Brings 24 Years of Wisdom on Board

techvalleyTech Valley Communications Corporation has brought on board James Capuano as Senior Vice President to head its network operations. Founded in 1999, the company has been a service provider of voice, data, high-speed Internet and collocation services.

In the 14 years of its existence, the company has seen substantial growth. Bringing in James Capuano is being considered as a strategic move to take the company to new heights. Capuano brings with him 24 years of experience in network operations and engineering. He also has rich experience in business and network integration.

Capuano has had a key role in the last few companies he worked with. At Unite Private Networks, he served as the Chief Technology Officer.. He was the Chief Operating Officer at Veroxity Technology Partners and the Vice President Engineering and Operations at RCN Metro. He has had a stellar performance record in all these roles.

Capuano is said to have expressed his excitement about joining the growing company.

Tech Valley is all set to cash in on James Capuano’s knowledge and work towards building a bigger company. It has gradually become a leading provider of telecom services in upstate New York.

In the last few years, Tech Valley has been honored six times consecutively with the New York State Public Service Commission’s Commendation for Excellent Service. Capuano is likely to only add to the feather in the company’s crown.


Yahoo! Upsets Women With No Work-From-Home Policy

When you have a choice, you may not take it. However, when you don’t, you certainly crave for at least being given the option to choose. This is probably what goes through most of us when it comes to human resource policies in companies.

Marissa-MayerMarissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo!, could not have expected anything but wrath when she took away the option of working from home from its employees.

While only a small percentage of people in America work from home, they prefer having the flexibility of opting to if required. This seems to be the general sentiment of netizens the world over with their reactions to Mayer’s decision.

The internet is abuzz with how wrong the decision is. Mayer’s decision seems to have upset working moms the most. It is imperative that a majority of women with young children will be affected by this decision.

Given the reaction of people the world over, one wonders what Mayer had in mind when she came up with this idea. One would assume employee demoralization was not her idea and that she was rooting for increased productivity.

Does taking away a privilege such as this not affect productivity adversely? Could she not go for a few changes in the work-from-policy and not do away with completely?

One wonders if the hue and cry over this will make the Yahoo! CEO revisit her decision.


Nokia head falls without explanation!

Ilari Nurmi, Vice President in charge of product marketing products Windows Phone 8 t Nokia, leaves without explanation while the Lumia performs a mixed output.

“I left Nokia. I am grateful for the 15 years here. I wish the best for Nokia and I will try to get the Lumia 920 when it becomes available, “said Ilari Nurmi cryptically tweeted.

If the main person said no more, the Finnish giant is not even more talkative than Ilari Nurmi, vice president in charge of product marketing products Windows Phone 8, who occupied a key position, including being responsible for piloting the launch of several Windows Phone smartphones in the world.

But all the little quirks at the launch of Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 920, like the episode of faked pictures during the presentation of the new Lumia, the lack of communication about the price and launch details, a long wait between the announcement and launch are all “details” that could justify a head falls even though the launch of the new Lumia is rather mixed.

This remains speculation, since it is impossible to know what motivated the departure of a part of this level at Nokia, but doubts remain …