Post Tagged with: "TC"

Google Acquires Phonetic Arts To Make Robo-Voices Sound Human

No, Google hasn’t acquired Groupon (yet). But it does have a smaller, though very interesting acquisition to announce: it’s just acquired Phonetic Arts, a company based in the UK that works on speech synthesis in games.

Phonetic Arts makes technology that can convert lines of recorded dialog into a ‘speech library’ — feed it a few hundred lines of recordings using your voice, and it can then piece together those sounds to generate new sentences that sound surprisingly realistic. Up until now the company has primarily been focused on using this technology for games, but Google intends to use it to make its own automated voices sound more fluid and human.

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Tinychat’s Video Chat App Is Blowing Up On Facebook

Tinychat‘s super simple messaging service lives on the Web (and then some), but the fledgling company’s Facebook video chat application is clearly seeing some solid growth of its own. The app is now the single most used video chat application on the Facebook Platform, with roughly 2.4 million monthly active users according to the application page.

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comScore: Android Approaching iOS In Overall U.S. Smartphone Subscribers

comScore released its monthly smartphone mobile report today, which continues to show that the Android OS is eating away at smartphone market share reach from Apple’s iOS and RIM’s BlackBerry OS. The data, which measured smartphone usage from July until October of this year, showed that 60.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during period, up 14 percent from the preceding three month period. comScore says that the 1 out of every 4 mobile subscribers are using a smartphone.

Similar to the data from last month, RIM took the top spot as the leading mobile smartphone platform in the U.S. with 35.8 percent share of U.S. smartphone subscribers, which is down 3.5 percent from the last period. Apple followed with 24.6 percent share (up 0.8 percentage points). Google’s Android OS saw the strongest growth, rising 6.5 percentage points to capture 23.5 percent of smartphone subscribers. Microsoft accounted for 9.7 percent of smartphone subscribers, while Palm accounts for 3.9 percent.

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Comcast: We Are *Not* The Bad Guys In This Whole Netflix-Level 3 Fiasco

This certainly changes things. You’ll recall that the Internet flipped out the other day when it emerged that Netflix‘s traffic carrier, Level 3, said that Comcast was taking advantage of its position as one of the nation’s largest ISPs by demanding more coin to pass on Netflix traffic to its customers. It is, in fact, largely boring tosh, but it speaks to something we’ve been talking about for some time. That is, of course, Net Neutrality, which I tend to capitalize for some reason, almost imbuing it with a greater sense of importance. No matter, for nor Comcast has told its side of the story, and things are quite different in its recollection of events.

Comcast, feeling some FCC heat, says that this particular incident is truly nothing more than a plain ol’ commercial dispute. This isn’t Comcast playing the heel, tap-dancing all over the principles of Net Neutrality. In fact, you might even say that Comcast is the victim here.

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Google Scientist Jumps To LinkedIn To Work On Big Data

LinkedIn has scored a big talent win today, as Google Scientist and Tech Lead Daniel Tunkelang joins the professional social network to work on data initiatives (you can access Tunkelang’s LinkedIn profile here.)

According to Tunkelang’s blog post announcing the new job opportunity, he will be joining the data scientist team at LinkedIn, working under Chief Scientist DJ Patil. Tunkelang writes that he will be working on “products and discover insights from a data collection,” tackling the issues of “information extraction, matching, recommendation, social network analysis, and network visualization.”

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As Milo Finds An Exit, Wishpond Throws Its Hat Into The In-Store Product Inventory Ring

On the heels of Milo’s $75 million acquisition by eBay; a similar product inventory site, called Wishpond, is throwing its hat into the ring. Like Milo, Wishpond lists the real-time inventory of brick and mortar retail stores and is building its product listings platform around large chains like Target or BestBuy as well as from mom and pop shops in small towns.

On the merchant side, Wishpond’s platform integrates with point-of-sale systems and allows retailers to upload their inventory onto the site. Wishpond will not only list the in-stock inventory on its platform, but will also help the merchant create a storefront on their Facebook page (similar to what Payvment does). The startup says that it will populate the page with new products and promotions when applicable.

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CBS-owned Stems Losses To $4.45m, But bulk of Users Still In UK, the UK-based music startup acquired by media giant CBS in 2007 for $280m (£140m), made a loss for 2009 of just under $4.45 million (£2.84 million), reveal new accounts for the company. The loss posted in 2008 was £17.11 million, reflecting the high costs of streaming music, which the company has now cut. It just goes to show how expensive streaming can be…

Financials published on the UK’s Companies House show the company ended last year with net liabilities of £22.24 million, but parent company CBS is still effectively subsidising the company and will “make available such funds as are needed”. We’re hoping that CBS is getting some value out of this relationship.

Over 54% of’s revenues in 2009 were from the UK, 33.5% from the US, 9.4% from EU countries, and 2.3% from the rest of the world.

That’s a gain on US users but the question is, is it enough to sustain CBS as a sugar daddy?

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BMC Acquires Database Automation Solutions Provider GridApp Systems

BMC Software has acquired GridApp Systems, which specializes in the automation of cloud database provisioning, patching and administration. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

With the purchase, BMC is expanding its current offering of appl…

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Intuit-owned is beginning its international expansion today with the launch of its personal finance platform in Canada.

Canadians can access Mint at The main difference between the Canadian version of is that it connects to both Canadian banking financial institutions and U.S. banks and credit unions. Canadian users will still be able to aggregate financial accounts and transaction information, categorize spending, access personal financial data and more.’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android will also be available on the iTunes Canada app store and Android Market.

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Survey Says: 63% Of You Ignore The Ads On This Very Page

Of those of you who aren’t diligently blocking the ads on this page, 63 percent are apparently ignoring them anyway. In fact, a majority of Americans say they ignore Internet advertising the most, compared to television, radio and newspaper ads.

Results of a new Adweek Media/Harris Interactive survey of about 2,100 U.S. adults show that over six in ten respondents say they tend to ignore or disregard Internet ads. Among those who ignore online ads, two in five say they ignore banner ads (43 percent) the most, and one in five say they ignore search engine ads (20 percent) the most.

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