Nervana Systems raises $3.3M to build hardware designed for deep learning


Nervana Systems, a San Diego-based startup building a specialized system for deep learning applications, has raised a $3.3 million series A round of venture capital. Draper Fisher Jurvetson led the round, which also included Allen & Co., AME Ventures and Fuel Capital. Nervana launched in April with a $600,00 seed round.

The idea behind the company is that deep learning — the advanced type of machine learning that is presently revolutionizing fields such as computer vision and text analysis — could really benefit from hardware designed specifically for the types of neural networks on which it’s based and the amount of data they often need to crunch. Indeed, the computers in play do matter: the application of GPUs to run deep learning algorithms drastically improved their performance and made them a viable option for certain tasks. GPUs are now the preferred processor type for many researchers and practitioners in the space.


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With $27.8M in Series B funding, Jaunt plans to bring cinematic virtual reality to the masses



Just five months after coming out of stealth mode, virtual reality cinema startup Jaunt is looking to scale big time with a $27.8 million Series B round. The company will use the funds to grow its team, build more of its 360-degree cameras and produce films.

Jaunt’s small team is based out of Palo Alto, Calif., where it has been prototyping and building a unique camera that sports a ring of lenses. Together, they capture a nearly full sphere of video that can then be edited with Jaunt’s software. Inside a virtual reality headset, viewers can look around as if they are inside the movie.

The Jaunt camera. Photo by Signe Brewster. The Jaunt camera. Photo by Signe Brewster.

Highland Capital Partners led the round. Further funding came from Google Ventures and existing investors Redpoint Ventures, British Sky Broadcasting, Peter Gotcher and Blake Krikorian. Jaunt raised an $6.8 million round in April.

Earlier this month I spent a day on the set

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The Ice Bucket Challenge

Who’s next?

Life in the Boomer Lane



Life in the Boomer Lane, consumed with the online hunt for the perfect winter boots, was unaware of the Ice Bucket Challenge. She was alerted to this when she received three text videos of her children, one jumping into a pool, one pouring a bucket of water over his head and one pouring a bucket of ice over his, after each, in turn had challenged the other.  The videos were hilarious, and once again reaffirmed to LBL that if you change enough diapers and survive enough tantrums, your children will ultimately grow up to amuse you. .

The Ice Bucket Challenge turns out to be for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fairly horrific disorder. Some people know it as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”, after baseball great Lou Gehrig publicly revealed his diagnosis. Years later, English theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking again increased awareness. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative…

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Gigaom Research webinar: Customer-driven infrastructure: building future-ready consumer applications


Cloud enables flexibility, agility, nimbleness, and lower human and capital costs. Cloud adoption is fueled by many corporate, cultural, and economic factors such as cost cutting in times of economic uncertainty, scaling up or down (resource elasticity), time savings, data center simplification, need to free up IT resources and personnel for newer or more critical initiatives (flexibility), processing workload spikes during peak seasons.

Enterprises quickly learn in their cloud maturity process that the infrastructure needs of customer-facing applications are fundamentally different from internally-consumed apps. They require availability, scalability, and, above all, flexibility that enterprise line-of-business apps do not. When your application is your brand and even a minute variance in performance can demonstrate a quantifiable impact on revenue, businesses can and must build ROI into their infrastructure decisions.

As with all applications, extensibility and workload portability are essential, but customer-facing applications bring additional gravity to infrastructure choices. Decisions such as…

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LinkedIn’s Senior VP of Product Deep Nishar has resigned


LinkedIn’s Senior VP of Product Deep Nishar will be leaving the company October 3rd, according to Re/code. LinkedIn released a statement to the publication saying, “We want to thank Deep for his many years of dedication and contributions to the company and wish him the best as he embarks on his next endeavor.” Neither Nishar nor LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner have commented as to what prompted the sudden departure.

LinkedIn’s statement to Re/Code also hinted that Nishar hadn’t figured out where he’s headed next, although he may stay busy enough in his startup mentorship capacity and board advisory role to not need a full-time role elsewhere.

Nishar played a crucial role during LinkedIn’s scaling years. He was with the company since January 2009 and oversaw — according to his LinkedIn profile — product management, data science, user experience, web development, business development and online sales. During his tenure, the site grew from 30 million members…

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Immersive journalism: What if you could experience a news event in 3D by using an Oculus Rift?



If you’ve heard of the Oculus Rift at all, you probably think of it as the off-the-charts geeky, facemask-style VR headset that’s designed for playing 3D video games. And that’s true — but virtual reality has other applications as well, including potentially journalistic ones: USC fellow and documentary filmmaker Nonny de la Peña, for example, is creating immersive experiences that give participants an inside look at a news story, such as the war in Syria, or the military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

As Wired explains, de la Peña talked about her work at a recent conference in Sweden, and how she got the idea from early versions of “documentary games” like JFK Reloaded, which put players in Dallas at the time of the president’s shooting. So much of journalism is about “capturing a moment in time,” said de la Peña, a former journalist who has written for Newsweek and…

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