Internet of Things
Tech and the City
When people hear “Internet of Things,” their first inclination is to think of Google-owned talking thermostats. But it’s the less-buzzworthy global communications titans like Intel and Cisco who have been building up their portfolio of Internet of Things companies over the past few years — and they’re only getting started.
Intel recently bought up Basis Systems, which makes health tracking bands, and Cisco’s portfolio includes companies that put sensors in home utility meters and bicycles. These are companies that made their multinational empires building satellites and wireless networks — and now they want to develop consumer products that put sensors in alarm clocks, hearing aids and thermostats.
A few months ago, City 24×7 teamed up with the city of New York to create touchscreen neighborhood directories in phone booths across the city. Today, in partnership with Cisco, the company announced that it’s rolling out the high tech public communications systems to 250 more phone booths across the New York area.
Each phone booth is outfitted with a 32-inch touchscreen device that offers directory information, city news and alerts, transportation schedules, restaurants and maps. City 24×7 has partnered with a host of companies to bring up-to-the minute info to each booth.
“You can get your real time train alerts, best New York restaurants through Zagat, green market information through Grow NYC, theater tickets through Theater Mania,” said Tom Touchet, City 24×7′s CEO. City 24×7 has also partnered with CityMaps for hyperlocal maps for each booth, and will provide services for those who are disabled and have difficulty using a standard pay phone.
Actually, being in the billion dollar startup club kind of sucks. [New York Times]
Any person with children who purchases a computer in the U.K. will be forced to apply anti-porn safety controls to it, because there’s absolutely no way kids who want to look at porn will be able to get around that. [Daily Mail]
Cisco balls so hard they just dished out $1.2 billion in cash for Meraki, a wifi startup. [TechCrunch]
How did nerds impact the election? Turns out 30,000 Redditors registered to vote after President Obama linked to a voter registration page in his AMA. [The Atlantic]
According to U.S. search results, Americans care more about Twinkies than the Israel/Gaza conflict. We are all the worst. [Virtus Machina]
Holla for a dolla
When you hire a former CIA operations officer to be a VP at your tech company, you have to expect that he’ll bring a little of his spy training with him. Such is the case with Cisco VP Mike Quinn, who is so furious at a memo leaker inside the company that he has threatened to make tracking down that sonofabitch his new hobby.
When Mr. Quinn found out that a member of the Cisco “family” had leaked a memo regarding responses to a bit of negative press, he went all Tony Soprano on employees’ asses:
Awful Daily Deals
SalesCrunch, the “next-generation online meeting platform,” announced today that it’s willing to take one of Cisco’s more extraneous ventures off the company’s hands for the generous price of $1 (plus 15 percent equity). WebEx, for which Cisco paid a whopping $3.2 billion in 2007, is online meeting software, which is completely different from Cisco’s main business, router manufacturing.
Nobody told the copywriters at Gilt Groupe that Cisco decided to shutter Flip cam this week.