Excitement is building in the world of car tech as the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge approaches. The event, which is the third and most demanding to date in the DARPA Challenge series, requires driverless vehicles to perform mock military supply missions completely autonomously. Over a 60-mile course, the robotic cars will be required to merge into moving traffic, navigate traffic circles, negotiate busy intersections, and avoiding obstacles. Thirty-five teams will compete in the Grand Challenge semifinals taking place between October 26 and 31, with 20 vehicles going on to compete in the final race on November 3. Check out our … Read more
As a Bay Area native steeped in academia--my father is a college professor--I always wanted to believe in the primacy of universities in just about everything.
That's why, for years, I had assumed that the most important factor in the development of Silicon Valley as the world's leading technology center was Stanford. After all, it is located in Palo Alto, Calif., right in the middle of the Valley, and its students and graduates were behind such industry powerhouses as Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo, Google and many others.
PALO ALTO, Calif.--The 2008 Presidential election will determine whether wireless networks will be open or closed, former Federal Communications Chairman Reed Hundt said during a presentation at the Hot Chips conference taking place here at Stanford this week.
The FCC is gearing up for the January auction of the spectrum--the 1GHz and below part of the spectrum--currently dedicated to UHF TV. It's valuable spectrum, Hundt noted. It goes through walls and building. A nationwide network on the spectrum should cost about one-tenth of the cost it would require to build a network for the 2.4GHz spectrum.
"… Read more
(This is the second post in a series written "live" from Hot Chips 19 at Stanford University.)
Vernor Vinge is best known as a science-fiction writer, but he's also a computer scientist; he retired from his professorship at San Diego State University five years ago. (I mentioned his participation in a panel at Siggraph earlier this month here.)
Vinge's talk was titled "Digital Gaia," a reference to the Gaia Hypothesis. (I see Vinge used the same title for a January, 2000 essay in Wired, here.) Vinge described several scenarios for the future of the integrated-circuit industry, building on some… Read more
I'm blogging today from Hot Chips 19, the annual chip technology conference hosted by Stanford University. I'm planning to summarize each session as it happens.
Before the sessions began, there were some announcements--expected attendance, for example, is about 600 people.
Famed computer architect John Mashey spoke on behalf of the Computer History Museum, giving an update on museum exhibits and inviting Hot Chips attendees to visit while they're in town. The museum will have one of the two working copies of Charles Babbage… Read more
PALO ALTO, Calif.--Another line of start-ups made their case at the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit here on Thursday. A mix of more established and fairly new companies with services that are in beta--some that have already had one or two rounds of funding but are now seeking investors' attention again.
Here is a chunk of the start-ups: Technology enablers Flock is a Web browser that lets you add tools and applications to share media and interact online. We have mentioned it before and the last version of the social browser is now up for beta before its official launch … Read more
PALO ALTO, Calif.--Crazy parents, pay attention. You'll probably be forking money over to Jason Ma in the near future.
Ma, CEO and founder of VC firm Congruent Partners, is behind Vanteus, an education center that helps high-achieving students boost their SAT scores. Companies like Kaplan and the Princeton Review concentrate on a wide swath of students, Ma said.
Vanteus' courses and education modules are geared at kids who want to raise their score from 1800 or 2100 closer to the 2400 maximum. (There are now three modules on the SAT, so an 1800 is equivalent to 1200 in … Read more
Yossi Vardi, the guy who helped bring instant messaging to the world, is now trying to speed up video downloads.
Vardi is an investor in Haifa-based SpeedBit, which sells an application for speeding up downloads of games, videos and music. He claimed that by using the application, the download of a movie decreases from more than an hour to 22 minutes.
Downloading movies, of course, will get worse as high definition spreads. Some of these download services have received their share of customer complaints.
"It's the fastest growing application ever," he said, during a hallway conversation at … Read more
Here are the last of the notable start-ups from today's Always On conference.
GroupSystems is a collaboration service that works on desktops and mobiles. Pitched here: the company's ThinkTank product. It's supposed to replace or augment meetings, and record the decisions made in them. The CEO claims that NASA, the CIA, and other giant organizations use the service. The company, which is backed by the nation of Sweden, is supposed to support complex polling and brainstorming--enough for the nuance in financial due diligence, for example. This is an enterprise play.
Wookah is a multi-engine search tool, pitched … Read more
Somebody's got to help all these Web 2.0 darlings make a few bucks. Here at the Always On Stanford Summit, several advertising and service companies pitched concepts to help companies make money, or save it through more efficient operations.
Spiceworks is a network monitoring product. It looks like Network Magic, in that it automatically detects what's on your network. Except it's built for business, not home. What's interesting about this IT product: It's free, supported by sponsors and advertisers. I have to try this.
Baynote is a service that monitors what users do on … Read more