Author Archives: Joe Pellicone

Pinup: Bragi Inches Closer To “One Wearable To Rule Them All” With The Dash

Pinup: Bragi Inches Closer To “One Wearable To Rule Them All” With The Dash

Pinup: Bragi Inches Closer To “One Wearable To Rule Them All” With the Dashbragi_brand_BLACK

Wearable technology has many purposes. Some wearable devices are built to track different health information, such as calories burned, steps taken or your heart rate. Other devices, such as the Google Glass, are designed to augment the world around us, providing computer-generated imagery and sound that complements what we can see and hear.

Given that virtually all of these devices are extremely useful to a wide swath of the population, the problem might arise in the future of needing too many different devices to stay practical. Wearing multiple devices for different purposes can create confusion and require excessive attention in order to utilize them most effectively.

bragi_nikolaj_hviid

As a result, Bragi’s design of a wearable device that combines multiple functions into one package makes it eminently worthy of virtually everyone’s attention.

Bragi was founded in 2012 by Danish entrepreneur Nikolaj Hviid. Bragi recently entered into a Kickstarter campaign, with an original goal of $260,000. End uses were so enthralled by Bragi’s device, the Dash, that over $3 million has been pledged by close to 16,000 backers so far.

I imagined a discrete assistant that would entertain and take care of me. Help to understand my body, and let me know when I had reached my limit. Help me to get better at what I do.” says Nikolaj Hviid. “The Dash is as incredible as I imagined it would be.

Bragi’s flagship product, the Dash, is designed to fit a wide variety of different functions all in one compact package. The Dash is a set of wireless (Bluetooth 4.0) earbuds that enables the user to monitor several different health functions, all while listening to your favorite tunes. The specs and features include:

Listen

One of the coolest features of the Dash is that you can listen to music, either through the built-in, 4GB MP3 player or by synching with a smartphone or tablet. The Dash uses aptX® technology, which provides clear, CD-quality sound and uses the full bandwidth over Bluetooth. The Dash can be controlled by using the touch sensors built directly into them.

Track

While an MP3 player is cool and all, it is not exactly a new innovation. However, when you add in the fitness-tracking capabilities found in the Dash, you have a true marvel. The Dash records such information as oxygen saturation, energy spent, heart rate and movement. In addition, the min/max limit warnings allow you to train and exercise to your full potential without going overboard.

Bragi_Dash_plus_App

Communicate

Even with simply the two previously-mentioned features, the Dash would be a device truly worthy of note. However, Bragi sweetens the pot by including the capacity of a wireless headset, using an embedded ear-bone microphone to deliver crystal-clear sound quality. The Dash also provides a transparent mode, which provides the capacity to hear your surroundings when necessary.

Conclusion

Finding ways to use wearable tech without overdoing it with tons off different devices is something that you can expect many companies to be researching in the coming years. Bragi’s Dash is set to be one of the first in a long line of combined wearable tech.

By Joe Pellicone

Pinup: Atheer Labs Takes Aim At Google Glass With Their 3D AR Glasses

Pinup: Atheer Labs Takes Aim At Google Glass With Their 3D AR Glasses

Pinup: Atheer Labs Takes Aim At Google Glass With Their 3D AR Glasses

atheer-labs1

If one were to have to choose a single technology that is simply the most anticipated and cool components to hit the scene in a long time, chances are that augmented reality would be a chief pick. Augmented reality, which is also shortened to AR, is defined as: a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. In essence, what you see and hear can be highly enhanced to produce a whole new mobile experience.

While Google Glass may be the primary focus of the media, in terms of upcoming AR hardware, they are not the only players in the field. In fact, one specific company may release a product that has the capacity to outshine Google Glass. This company would be Atheer Labs.

Atheer Labs was launched in 2013 and is based out of Mountain View, California. Founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate, Soulaiman Itani. Atheer Labs started an Indiegogo campaign in 2013, which raised more than two times of the projected goal of $100,000.

soulaiman-itaniThere are a lot of considerations to make with a wearable system, for example people cannot wear glasses that are more than 100 grams for longer than twenty minutes. We were able to get all of the functionality and immersive experience in 75 grams and we’re now putting it in the hands of the developers. We will support them as they create the next generation of immersive and engaging applications.” says CEO and founder, Soulaiman Itani, in regards to their flagship products, the Atheer One and the Atheer Dev Kit

The Hardware

The Atheer One and the Atheer Dev Kit are the driving forces behind the success of Atheer Labs thus far. These devices are 3D, augmented reality headsets, which operate on an Android-based platform. Given that final products are still on their way, solid specs are not yet available. However, expect them to be comfortable for long periods of time and capable of swapping lenses for better tailoring to each users fashion sense.

The Softwareatheer-One-Dev-Kit

One of Atheer Labs’ primary focal points at this stage of the game is the development of a wide and varied library of apps for use on their devices. Since the underlying platform is Android-based, expect to see close to a billion apps that can be used on them. In addition, their strategy of releasing their Dev Kits to developers early will undoubtedly result in new and more exciting apps, designed specifically for use on the Atheer One.

Conclusion

While end users still have quite a bit of a wait in order to try out the Atheer One, which is slated for release sometime next year, the possibilities it presents truly make it a device eminently worth the delay.

By Joe Pellicone

Pinup: Netskope Provides Nice Blend Of Cloud Security And Performance

Pinup: Netskope Provides Nice Blend Of Cloud Security And Performance

Pinup: Netskope Provides Nice Blend Of Cloud Security And Performancenetskope-logo

Our world has become fairly riddled with cloud services and technology. It seems like every time you turn around, a new tech or service is being rolled out, expanding our capabilities in the cloud to one degree or another. This trend is only expected to grow in the coming years, with cloud computing geared to be the primary means of doing business both on the internet and in the real world.

With these increases come two extremely important considerations that need to be made. The first is to ensure that activities performed by employees using cloud services are secure. The second is to make sure that everything stays running smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, one company in specific has both of these bases completely covered: Netskope.

Founded in 2012 by industry-experts, Sanjay Beri, Lebin Cheng, Ravi Ithal, and Krishna Narayanaswamy. Netskope has received an excess of $56 million in capital from a number of reputable and well-established venture-capital firms. These include Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel Partners, to name just a few.

Says Sanjay Beri, CEO, Netskope, “Cloud apps are the inevitable future because they let people go fast and work flexibly. Up until now, IT couldn’t embrace cloud apps because they couldn’t see what apps were running, what people were doing in them, or enforce policies. We created Netskope to eliminate the catch-22 between being agile and being secure.

Netskope fulfills these goals using the following methods:

Discovery and Visibility

Knowing which cloud apps and services are being used by your employees is the first step in securing them and making them perform at peak efficiency. Netskope identifies all of these apps and services and then makes them visible to appropriate users. In addition, any activity performed using these identified services, such as downloads or shares, are reported on.

Analytics and Insights

Once identification and revelation of which cloud services and apps are being used, Netskope can then analyze them for any potential problems. These can include anomalies in the used app, potential security breaches and the ability to create watch lists. Netskope can also pivot around individual apps, users, devices and instances quite flexibly, creating a granular level of visibility only seen by using Netskope’s services.

Forensic analysis allows for a complete and detailed audit trail to help get to the root of problems that have already occurred. Netskope also provides the capacity to ask just about any security-related questions, with comprehensive and complete answers always expected.

Conclusion

Finding a balance between security and performance is one of the top goals of just about any IT department in any company. Netskope provides these services at a level not before seen with other, comparable services.

By Joe Pellicone

Pinup: BitSight Provides Comprehensive Ratings System For Business-Tech Security

Pinup: BitSight Provides Comprehensive Ratings System For Business-Tech Security

BitSightLogo

Conducting business and communicating with business associates over the internet can be dangerous. From corporate competitors looking to gain insight into your proprietary information, to the black-hat hacker, whose primary goal is chaos and destruction, the internet can many times be just as treacherous as it is helpful.

This certainty is what makes a service like BitSight such a welcome addition to virtually any company that does business in cyberspace.

BitSight was founded in 2011 by MIT-graduates, Nagarjuna Venna and Stephen Boyer. In 2012, BitSight was joined by former Q1 Labs veteran, Shaun McConnon. Since its inception, BitSight has received over $24 million in series-A funding from a veritable who’s who of venture capital firms. These include Globespan Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, and Commonwealth Capital Ventures.

We are excited to bring a new evidence based approach to quantifying security risks while providing our customers with actionable insight to quickly respond to emerging data security threats,” says CEO, Shaun McConnon “BitSight is well positioned to drive innovation in the security risk management market. We are continuing to hire the best people in their fields of expertise to enhance BitSight’s innovative platform.”

Bitsight’s goal is to deliver a clear method, which measures just how safe and secure your company’s data actually is. Primary methods that make this possible are:

BitSight Security Rating Platform

The BitSight Security Rating Platform is designed to gather mountains of data on a daily basis, using sensors that have been deployed across the world. Once this data has been collected, it is separated into several categories based on perceived risk. These risks include the usual suspects, such as botnets, spam and malware.

Once these classifications have been made, BitSight maps the data to your known network. Once completed, the data and paths are analyzed for how often these problems can occur based on your current network configuration. This information is used to assign a rating on just how secure your network is.

Ratings

BitSight has developed a ratings system that is similar in many ways to the way credit scores work with average individuals. Rating numbers range between 250 to 900, with higher scores denoting a more secure network.

The ratings provided by the BitSight Security Rating Platform are very flexible and can be configured to gauge things by whole company to individual user groups. These ratings can then be used to evaluate performance, as well as help leverage third-party risk management and cyber-insurance policies.

While security will always be a matter of concern when dealing with virtual business activities, a service like BitSight can provide clear indication of just how secure your business actually is.

By Joe Pellicone

Pinup: Pertino Brings Cloud Networks To Small Businesses

Pinup: Pertino Brings Cloud Networks To Small Businesses

Pinup: Pertino Brings Cloud Networks To Small Businesses

Computing hardware is expensive. No matter what type of virtual activities you are involved in, shelling out money for the hardware side of things has always been part of the process of getting things working successfully. Having powerful software is definitely a good thing; however, without the hardware to run it on, it is about as useful as a trapdoor on a lifeboat.

pertino

However, cloud-startup, Pertino, is set to change all of that.

Pertino was first launched in September of 2011 and is located in Los Gatos, CA. Pertino was founded by Craig Elliott, former Apple executive, Scott Hankins, former Director of Engineering at Blue Coat Systems, Andrew Mastracci, Architect and Michael Cartsonis, who has since left for employment with Contrast Security. Pertino has raised close to $30 million, from venture firms like Norwest Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

As Craig Elliott, CEO of Pertino Networks, puts it “The cloud and ‘as-a-service’ delivery models have transformed the IT landscape from a computing, storage and application perspective while, at the same time, the network paradigm has changed little. As a result, networks that once enabled businesses now constrain them when it comes to harnessing the disruptive capabilities and economies of the cloud. Pertino Networks was founded to radically simplify and alter the economics of business networks by bringing them into the cloud era.”

Pertino’s services are geared primarily towards smaller businesses that do not have the resources or manpower to develop and maintain the network they need with a hardware solution. Chief areas where this is seen are:

Connection

Pertino delivers fast, LAN-quality connections between all of the devices in your company. Not only are these connections completely hardware free, they also require no advanced configuration to set up. These connections are also fully equipped with 256-bit encryption, which ensures that all your data stays safe, no matter where it is stored.

Security

In addition to the aforementioned encryption, Pertino also includes several other layers of protection. One example of these layers is authentication at the device and user levels, which safeguards your network from access by unauthorized devices and people.

Optimize

Pertino uses only top-tier data centers, providing the same level of performance whether your employees are local or in another part of the world. Pertino also identifies where the accessing employee is and uses the closest data center to ensure no degradation of performance. Traffic itself is also optimized, which locks data into the shortest and clearest paths to and from the Pertino network.

Manage

Pertino’s cloud management console allows you complete access and control over your entire network, all in one easy-to-use location. No matter what type of activities you need to complete, such as update policies, manage users or just monitor performance, it can easily be performed by using the Pertino interface.

Having the capabilities of a powerful network is an excellent way for a small business to develop and grow their company in as short a time as possible. By using Pertino’s services, your company can enjoy the stellar growth possibilities all companies strive for.

By Joe Pellicone

E3 2014: The Biggest Event In Cloud Gaming

E3 2014: The Biggest Event In Cloud Gaming

E3 2014: The Biggest Event In Cloud Video Gaming Is Almost Upon Us!

E3-2014-Gamespot

One of the most exciting things that any true cloud gamer has to look forward to each year is the many different events that are put on in different areas of the country. These events come in all sizes, ranging from the big behemoths that everyone attends, to the smaller more local events hosted in cities around the world.  There is, however, one event in particular that has proven itself to be the most popular and widely-attended affair of them all: E3. First established in 1995, E3, which stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, has been a leading source of news and product-release information for industry professionals of all types. E3 2014 will be held from Tuesday June 10th to June 12 in Los Angeles. So what does E3 have in store for us this year? Let’s take a look!

Microsoft

It would be difficult to contend with the claim that Microsoft has had a bit of a difficult year with the release of the Xbox One. Primary among the reasons for that was price, since the One is a full $100 more than the PS4. This makes the recent decision to unbundle the Kinect something that will be talked about furiously at E3 2014. Microsoft will also look to release the next installment in one of the most popular cloud games franchise ever: Halo. Halo 5 is projected to debut sometime in 2015; however, given just how popular the franchise is, expect a lot of hype about it.

Finally, serious talk about Microsoft’s new program for indie publishers, ID@Xbox, is also expected. Historically, Microsoft has always been shy about supporting indie gamers in the past. This is expected to change dramatically, giving rise to a whole new category of cloud games on the Xbox One.

Sony

Sony has had a pretty decent year, with their new PS4 having sold over 7 million units to date. However, given how many changes Microsoft is announcing, can they hold their lead? Experts claim this is possible, but in order to achieve it, they need to stay on the offensive. Sony’s strategy behind their offensive will primarily be the number and quality of new cloud games that will be released. A wide range of these games will be from indie sources, an easy feat given their well developed relationships with many indie publishers.

Playstation Now, Sony’s bid at the cloud gaming industry is also set to receive some clarification at E3 2014. How will it work? Will you be able to get digital versions of games you already own? These questions and more should gain clear answers by the end of the event.

Virtual Reality

Facebook’s bid in the realm of virtual reality, the Oculus Rift, recently received an upgrade in the form of a second developer’s kit. Unfortunately, the consumer version is still about a year away; however, new and exciting features now available in Dev Kit 2 (the second developer’s kit) will be showcased this year. Sony’s Project Morpheus, the hardware they are using to take aim at the virtual reality industry, is also expected to be the subject of more than one discussion and presentation. While we are still a ways off in terms of a public release, any new information will be most welcome.

Will you be attending this year’s E3? Perhaps you are reading this after attendance and would like to share your experiences? Let us know in the Comments section below!

By Joe Pellicone

Pinup: ZenPayroll Brings Powerful Payroll Services To The Cloud

Pinup: ZenPayroll Brings Powerful Payroll Services To The Cloud

Pinup: ZenPayroll Brings Powerful Payroll Services To The Cloud

While payroll may be one of the most important aspects of any business, considering the fact that it is difficult to get employees to do work without compensating them, it has seen little improvement under the current administration of leaders. These include such financial-software giants like Intuit, Paychex and ADP, all of whom have dominated the payroll service industry for decades.zenpayroll-logo

However, it looks like tech-startup, ZenPayroll, is set to change all that.

ZenPayroll was launched in 2012 by Stanford serial entrepreneurs, Tomer London, Joshua Reeves and Edward Kim. ZenPayroll has received multiple rounds of funding, which total to an excess of $26 million. ZenPayroll investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, General Catalyst Ventures and the CEOs of Yelp, Box, Dropbox and Yammer.

With over 30 years of experience, the team behind ZenPayroll is well equipped to achieve their goal: bringing exceptional payroll services to a cloud environment.

As co-founder, Josh Reeves puts it: “A lot of our focus is on how you perceive compensation. A lot of companies make it into a very impersonal event. Work should be rewarded and rewarding. When we set out to make ZenPayroll, it wasn’t about creating just a better, cheaper and faster product [than ADP or Paychex]. It was more about rethinking compensation.

ZenPayroll’s list of services is long and varied, and encompasses virtually every aspect of the payroll process. These include:

Automation

One of the most tedious aspects of any accounting department is having to handle all of the different parts that go into paying your employees, as well as keeping good records. ZenPayroll automates quite a bit of this process, including tax filings and the conversion of government documents into an electronic format, to name a few.

Access

ZenPayroll can be accessed from virtually any authorized device, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Security is present on the same level as most banking institutions, which includes a full 256-bit SSL encryption. Access can be had at any time of the day or night, preventing employees who work odd hours from being denied admittance to key services.

Payments

Direct deposit is easy to set up through ZenPayroll, and can be changed and reconfigured at no extra charge. This includes not only standard employees, but also independent contractors, providing a well-rounded solution for any company’s employee portfolio. In addition, if the reimbursement of expenses is a normal part of your payroll activities, they can easily be integrated to disperse with direct deposit.

Reports

Bank statements, cost reports and payroll journals are just a few of the types of activities that you can generate reports for with ZenPayroll. This allows you to understand your payroll activities to a much higher degree, potentially allowing you to cut some costs and save money.

Payroll services do not have to be the tedious, frustrating activities of days gone by. Incorporating ZenPayroll into your company’s cloud services can go a long way towards reducing your accounting department’s workload.

By Joe Pellicone

Pinup: Skyhigh – Finding And Managing Your Employees’ Cloud Services

Pinup: Skyhigh – Finding And Managing Your Employees’ Cloud Services

Pinup: Skyhigh – Finding And Managing Your Employees’ Cloud Servicesskyhigh

It would be difficult to argue with the contention that cloud services have truly revolutionized the way we do business and handle information. The capability to access, change and share information, regardless of where you may be, is one of the best ways to grow a business in today’s interconnected world.

There is, unfortunately, a negative side effect of the extreme proliferation of cloud services. With so many different cloud apps and software available, your employees may begin to use an unsecured program, which could put your company’s vital data at risk.

This area is where cloud-startup, Skyhigh, truly reigns supreme.

Originally founded in 2011, by former Hewlett-Packard general manager Rajiv Gupta, Skyhigh is designed to identify which cloud services your employees are using, regardless of which computing device they are using it from, or where they may be. Skyhigh has received over $20 million in series-B funding from venture-capital firm, Sequoia Capital.

As Rajiv Gupta, CEO of Skyhigh Networks, puts it, “We provide real data around cloud usage, adoption of enterprise-ready services, the category of services demanded by employees, as well as malware and other vulnerabilities from these cloud services. It’s this type of data and analysis that CIOs use to maximize the value of cloud services and help drive an organized, productive, and safe movement to the cloud.

Skyhigh’s services cover many different areas and functions. Most notable of these are:

Discover

Skyhigh is extremely effective at identifying which cloud services your employees are using on their computing devices. Skyhigh identifies unrecognized services that may have slipped by your firewall or proxy server. Skyhigh can also actually reduce the time spent authorizing new cloud services by up to 90 percent!

Analyze

Skyhigh will identify which cloud services are most used by your employees, allowing you to approve those compatible with your security as quickly as possible. In addition, activity that may indicate a breach of security is analyzed, which allows you to respond to potential problems as quickly as possible.

Secure

Given that unencrypted data is an attractive target for would-be thieves, Skyhigh’s ability to encrypt data is most welcome. Skyhigh can encrypt data directly in the cloud, as well as allow you full control over the encryption keys. These actions combined form a powerful defense against exposure to potential security breaches.

Conclusion

With so many cloud services available free for anyone to use, the potential for security risks from unsecured apps and services increases by an order of magnitude. Skyhigh expertly addresses these issues and provides exceptional solutions, which will effectively shield your network from potential incursions.

By Joe Pellicone

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