Friday, December 11, 2015

OpenAI Sets Out to Guide Artificial Intelligence Development

OpenAI, a new non-profit artificial intelligence research company, has set a course to guide the development of artificial intelligence technology "to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return."

In a blog posting, the OpenAI team said it is "hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it's equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly."

The endeavor is backed by $1 billion in funding commitments from prominent Silicon Valley figures, including Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, amongst other. Corporate backers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys, and YC Research.

OpenAI's research will be led by Ilya Sutskever, previously a leading researcher at Google and one of the world experts in machine learning. The technology team includes Greg Brockman, formerly the CTO of Stripe.

https://openai.com/blog/introducing-openai/

Another Buyer Bids for Atmel

Atmel confirmed the receipt of an unsolicited proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Atmel common stock for $9.00 in cash per share. The name of the bidder was not disclosed.

Atmel said the offer also provided the option to receive, in lieu of cash, shares of the acquiror in an amount of up to $1.0 billion in aggregate value, based on a ten-day trailing average of the acquiror's closing stock price measured as of transaction close.

Atmel's board of directors, in consultation with its financial and external legal advisors, has determined that the proposal would reasonably be expected to result in a "Company Superior Proposal" (as defined in the Dialog merger agreement) and that the failure to participate in discussions or negotiations with the potential acquiror regarding the proposal would reasonably be expected to be inconsistent with the directors' fiduciary duties under applicable law.

http://ir.atmel.com/releases.cfm


  • On September September 20, Atmel entered into a merger agreement with Dialog Semiconductor plc.


India Grants National Long Distance license to NTT Com

The government of India has granted a National Long Distance license to NTT Communications India Network Services, a newly established Indian subsidiary of the Japanese carrier.

NTT Com anticipates launching India domestic network services by the end of this month. The launch will include IP-VPN and other reliable, high-quality connectivity services to meet the growing demands of companies such as automobile dealers and retailers with distributed sites across India. Customers will be able to use multiple local carriers for carrier-redundant access, one of the many ways NTT Com aims to provide secure, cost-efficient networks backed by strong service-level agreements for the mission-critical systems of its enterprise customers.

NTT Com will combine its new network services with managed-hosting and cloud services currently offered by another NTT Com subsidiary, Netmagic Solutions, which owns nine data centers in India.

Sharad Sanghi, the managing director and CEO of Netmagic, stated: “NTT Com – Netmagic will now offer world-class ICT solutions comprising secure, high-quality private-network services, including IP-VPN connecting data centers and the cloud to customers’ domestic sales or production bases. Netmagic, which launched its largest data center in Mumbai recently, is committed to constantly upgrading its product roadmap for data centers & cloud offerings.”

http://www.ntt.com
http://www.netmagicsolutions.com

CloudEndure Raises $7 million for Migration & Recovery Solutions

CloudEndure, a start-up based in Israel, announced $7 million in new funding for its cloud live-migration and disaster recovery solutions.

CloudEndure’s Cloud Workload Mobility technology creates an exact copy of an entire application at an alternative cloud location – at the touch of a button, within minutes, and with the latest data. CloudEndure supports physical, virtualized or cloud-based applications as the source and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft’s Azure and OpenStack as target cloud locations. The company was founded in 2012.

Infosys, a leading information technology services provider working with the world’s leading enterprises, co-led the round, along with previous investor, Magma Venture Partners. The new capital will enable CloudEndure to scale its sales and marketing operations to meet increasing demand for its enterprise-grade Disaster Recovery (DR) solution.

“We are excited to announce this investment and validation from Infosys and our existing investors,” stated Ofer Gadish, CEO of CloudEndure. “This new capital will enable us to scale our efforts to meet increased demand from enterprise companies seeking a new generation of DR solutions. We’ll also continue to innovate and extend our solution to meet the dynamic needs of our growing customer base.”

http://www.cloudendure.com


  • CloudEndure is headed by Ofer CEO, who previously was the CEO and Co-Founder of AcceloWeb and VP & General Manager in Limelight Networks after its acquisition of AcceloWeb.

First Intelsat EpicNG Satellite Arrives in French Guiana Ahead of Launch

The first of the Intelsat EpicNG series of High Throughput Satellites, Intelsat 29e, arrived at the Guiana Space Center ahead of its scheduled launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on the 27th of January 2016.

Manufactured by Boeing and equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft,

Intelsat 29e will bring High Throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to North and Latin America and the North Atlantic region. The satellite was manufactured by Boeing and is designed to be fully interoperable with the already deployed Intelsat satellite fleet and terrestrial infrastructure.

Intelsat named a number of customers in the region who have already committed to Intelsat EpicNG, include Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, BT Latam Venezuela, Anditel, S.A.S, Axesat, Amazonia Cabo Ltda., Cadena Ecuatoriana de Television C.A., Canal 10 CETV, Corporacion Nacional de Telecommunicaciones CNTE.P., Fox Latin America Channels do Brasil, Igrege Mundial do Poder de Deus, Radio e Televisao Banderantes and Telefonica del Peru.

http://www.intelsat.com/infrastructure/intelsat-epicng/


 Intelsat Plans "EpicNG" Broadband Satellites

Intelsat unveiled its EpicNG platform -- a new approach to satellite and network architecture utilizing multiple frequency bands, wide beams, spot beams and frequency reuse technology. EpicNG will be the company's next generation of satellites, promising higher throughputs and lower cost per bit. It will be a complementary overlay to the company's existing constellation of satellites and global IntelsatONE terrestrial network.

Target markets include wireless and fixed telecommunications, enterprise, mobility, video and government applications requiring broadband infrastructure across the major continents. Intelsat said its EpicNG platform will bring high throughput technology to its spectral rights in the C-, Ku- and Ka-bands. Customers will be able to use existing hardware and network topologies, and in many cases, define their own service characteristics, enabling them to offer customized solutions to their end users and build upon their current business success. Initially, the Intelsat EpicNG platform will feature two next generation satellites, and Intelsat is currently evaluating proposals by several manufacturers. These first two satellites, Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e, have projected in-services dates in 2015 and 2016, and feature wide coverage and high throughput capacity; combined they will serve every populated region in the world.

 "The Intelsat EpicNG platform represents the next generation of satellites, a progressive evolution of the Intelsat fleet," said Intelsat Chief Executive Officer Dave McGlade. "As the global demand for bandwidth surges and penetration of communications reaches ever further into developing regions and mobile applications, we are strategically investing in this platform to support our customers with a highly reliable and efficient broadband infrastructure as they launch new services and enter new geographies." “With Intelsat EpicNG, we will deliver innovation that creates immediate value for our customers,” said Intelsat SVP and Chief Technical Officer Thierry Guillemin. "As bandwidth demand grows, speed and throughput is critical. However, equally important is the operating environment. Our customers operate vast infrastructures, with millions of dollars invested in capital equipment and operational teams that must be managed efficiently. Intelsat EpicNG caters to this environment, with an architecture open to a wide array of network topologies and terminal technologies. Combined with multi-band frequency reuse, this is high throughput with the benefits of backward and forward compatibility. Operational excellence is core to our approach, and Intelsat EpicNG is designed to support the same in our customers’ businesses."
http://www.intelsatepic.com

Microsoft Looks to Build Huge Data Center in San Antonio

Microsoft has acquired 158 acres of land in San Antonio with plans to build one of the largest data centers in the country, according to a report from the San Antonio Business Journal.

Microsoft reportedly looks to break ground in the coming months on an eight-building data center campus of over 1 million square feet.  The company did not comment on the report.
feet.
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2015/12/10/exclusive-microsoft-buys-nearly-160-acres-in-far.html

Microsoft Azure Takes Big Steps Forward

At its AzureCon 2015 event, Microsoft rolled out a number of big improvements to its Azure cloud platform centered around containers, security, infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company also announced the availability of Microsoft Azure services in India from three regional data centers:  Central India in Pune, South India in Chennai, and West India in Mumbai


"We live in a connected world, and the intelligent cloud is powering it all,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud + Enterprise Division. “As data and devices continue to proliferate, there is vast opportunity for businesses to tap into their data to make their applications more intelligent

Highlights include:

General availability of Azure File Storage, featuring support of SMB 3.0 and the ability to mount file shares from anywhere (Azure or on-premises).

  • More that 40% of revenue on Azure comes from start-ups
  • 80% of Fortune 500 are using the Microsoft cloud.
  • New Azure Container Service -- building on work with Docker and Mesosphere to create and manage scalable clusters of host machines onto which containerized applications can be deployed, orchestrated, and managed. Azure Container Service makes it easier to create and manage clusters of hosts pre-configured with Docker, Apache Mesos, Marathon and Docker Swarm. This work couples Azure's hyper-scale and enterprise-grade cloud with proven open source technologies to deliver the foundation for the container deployment, orchestration, and management service any team building container apps will need.
  • New N-series, a new family of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) powered by NVIDIA GPUs. Microsoft is the first hyper-scale provider to announce VMs featuring NVIDIA Grid 2.0 technology and the industry-leading Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform for professional graphics applications, deep learning, high-performance computing and more. A preview will be available in a few months.
  • New Azure Mobile Engagement -- a new SaaS-delivered, data-driven user engagement platform that enables real-time fine-grain user segmentation, app user analytics, contextually-aware smart push notifications and in-app messaging across all connected devices.
  • New Linux for Azure Data Lake -- aiming to make big data technology simpler and more accessible. Azure Data Lake makes HDInsight, which is Microsoft's Apache Hadoop-based service. Customers logging into the Azure Portal will now have a choice to select either Windows or Linux when deploying HDInsight. 
  • New Azure IoT Suite -- brings together preconfigured offerings to enable companies to leverage Azure Stream Analytics for IoT. The latest Stream Analytics updates include support for IoT Hub input the ability to output stream analytics to Azure DocumentDB.
  • New Azure CDN using the Akamai network -- integrating Akamai’s  CDN capabilities directly into the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. 
  • New Shared Access Signatures, delivering full parity with storage account keys and providing a more secure alternative to delegating access to storage users than storage account keys provide.
  • New Azure Storage client library for iOS.
  • The Azure Storage client library for Java will soon support client-side encryption complementing the existing capability in the Azure Storage client library for .Net.
  • New Azure support for the Financial Services Industry, including a detailed set of Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Data Security Standard (DSS) guidance describing Azure and customer shared responsibilities.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/

LookingGlass Acquires Cyveillance, Adds $50 Million in Funding

LookingGlass Cyber Solutions announced its acquisition of Cyveillance, a provider of open-source threat intelligence (OSINT), along with a $50 million round of Series C financing.

Founded in 1997, Cyveillance delivers an open source intelligence-led approach to security through continuous, comprehensive monitoring and analysis of millions of online data sources to protect client information, infrastructure, and employees from physical and online threats. The Cyveillance Cyber Threat Center, a cloud-based platform, combines web search, social media monitoring, underground channel information, and global intelligence with investigative tools and databases of threat actors, domain names and IP data, phishing activity, and malware to help identify risks and threats to every aspect of a business.


LookingGlass said the combination of its suite of threat and Internet intelligence driven solutions with Cyveillance’s customer-specific customized solutions focused on unstructured and open source intelligence enables broad visibility and unparalleled understanding of risks and threats across the entire Internet to help clients take swift, confident action on prioritized, relevant threats.

The new funding was led by NewSpring Capital. In addition to supporting the acquisition of Cyveillance, capital from the transaction will be used to fund further growth initiatives including product development, further product integration, international expansion, sales, marketing and customer support. ARC Securities advised LookingGlass on the acquisition and capital raise. In addition to NewSpring Capital, LookingGlass investors include Alsop Louie Partners and the Neuberger Berman Group.

This caps off a record year following the company’s $20 million Series B Funding and earlier acquisitions of CloudShield and Kleissner & Associates.

“Our acquisition of Cyveillance further advances our corporate strategy of delivering the most comprehensive threat intelligence capability in the market. The addition of Cyveillance allows LookingGlass to expand our coverage across the risk landscape helping security teams stay ahead of threats in an efficient and effective way,” said Chris Coleman, CEO of LookingGlass.

http://www.LGScout.com

Vonage Picks Velocloud for SD-WAN

Vonage has selected VeloCloud's Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) technology to launch a new SmartWAN service.

Vonage SmartWAN will help to enhance the performance of mission critical applications such as Virtual Desktop, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), CRM tools and Hosted Email. Additional benefits include QoS and brownout/blackout protection, as well as the ability to maximize bandwidth resources across multiple locations. The same technology also benefits customers with a single broadband connection.

Vonage chose VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN technology for its unique combination of Dynamic Multipath Optimization and on-demand remediation capabilities across multiple network connections or over a single connection. It also enables bandwidth on-demand, provides direct & optimal access to cloud-based applications, and simplifies deployment of services.

“Vonage is renowned for its commitment to providing reliable and high performance UCaaS voice and data services solutions in the cloud over both private networks and broadband connections,” said Sanjay Uppal, CEO and Co-Founder of VeloCloud. “Vonage’s choice of VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN technology for their next generation Managed UC and SD-WAN solutions is a great testament to the high quality, cost effective experience it delivers.”

“As businesses increase the usage of video, online collaboration tools and other cloud applications, maintaining the quality of shared bandwidth becomes vital,” said Sanjay Srinivasan, Vice President and Chief Technology Architect Business Engineering for Vonage. “Vonage SmartWAN complements the features and functionality of a company’s cloud-based unified communications solution with the added reliability they need to maintain Quality of Service and keep their businesses running smoothly.”

http://www.vonage.com
http://www.velocloud.com

See also