Sony’s Waterproof Wearable To Be Available Worldwide In March

TechCrunch

Sony introduced the SmartBand SWR10 at CES 2014. The diminutive wearable is part of Sony’s push into an ever-connected experience centered around its Xperia products. Sony was mum about the release schedule back at CES, but today, at Mobile World Congress, the company announced that the device will be available in 60 markets next month.

The SmartBand sports the standard affair of fitness tracking. But Sony is positioning this device as much more than a fitness tracker. According to the press release, it’s “a new user experience based around three core pillars – Lifelogging, ‘Wearing smart’ and ‘Life tools’.”

Besides Lifelogging, the other two items are needless branding for standard functions found on wearables. This includes sleep monitoring, vibrating notification alerts, and remote control of media playback. Sony loves to brand things.

The Lifelogging is a bit convoluted. From the sound of it, this function uses the SmartBand as…

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Sony Taps Its Display, Gaming, And Photography Might For Latest Mobile Flagships

TechCrunch

Meet Sony’s Xperia Z2 line. With the Z2 Tablet and Z2 smartphone, Sony clearly hopes impressive specs and waterproof technology will help the company gain market share in 2014. The tablet and phone are refreshingly similar. Qualcomm’s 2.3GHz 801 Snapdragon powers both devices. They both have class-leading cameras and displays. And following in Sony’s recent tradition, they’re both waterproof.

The Sony of today is different from the Sony of even five years ago. The company is going lean with its product offerings with a strong focus on photography, gaming and mobile products. The Sony Z2 Tablet and Z2 smartphone are prime examples of the company tapping all its divisions to make the best possible product.

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The Z2 Tablet rocks a 10.1-inch display up front and LTE capability. Like the Z1 before it, the Z2 has a 8.1MP camera on the back and a 2MP around front. And even with the…

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Nokia Forks Android In Mobile Services Push — $122 Nokia X Will Also Be Lumia “Feeder”

TechCrunch

More proof, if proof were needed, that Android won the smartphone OS wars: Nokia, the former world No.1 smartphone maker and, nowadays, the primary OEM for Microsoft’s third-placed Windows Phone platform has just announced a new family of smartphones built upon the Android Open Source Project — confirming a slew of earlier rumours that Nokia was cooking up an Android device strategy.

The first device in Nokia’s Droidy new family was unveiled today at its Mobile World Conference press conference in Barcelona, with both the forthcoming family and this its debut member known as the Nokia X (Update: Nokia also announced the Nokia X+: the same handset but with additional memory, (coming early Q2, for €99/$136); and the Nokia XL, a larger handset with a 5-inch display, also coming in early Q2 for €109/$150).

The twist is it doesn’t look like the standard icon-filled Android that the market…

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Facebook-led Internet.org Partners With Nokia On SocialEDU In Rwanda, Unilever In India, Ericsson On New Lab To Connect Developing Economies

TechCrunch

Later today Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg will be appearing onstage at Mobile World Congress — his first appearance at the Barcelona-based event — to talk about bridging digital divide. Ahead of that Internet.org, the Facebook-led project to help bring connectivity to developing economies, has unveiled a number of new projects: an education partnership with Nokia and local carrier Airtel, edX and the government in Rwanda called SocialEDU; a project with Unilever in India; and a new Internet.org Innovation Lab with Ericsson in its Menlo Park HQ.

SocialEDU, the pilot project in Rwanda, will give students free access to an online education platform. What’s perhaps most eye-catching about the project is that it will be run using low-cost smartphones and cloud services. Facebook worked with edX to create a MOOC-style experience that will be based around a mobile app that integrates with Facebook. Airtel will provide free data access for…

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Tuniu.com The Latest IPO To Rise In The East

TechCrunch

The initial public offering for Chinese online tour booking website Tuniu may not carry the heft of the impending Alibaba IPO juggernaut (rumored at $130 billion and counting), but it is a sign of investors’ continuing demand for public offerings from Chinese tech companies.

The Beijing-based tour site has selected Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley to run the offering process for its expected $100 million IPO, according to several sources with knowledge of the company’s plans.

In  the clearest public sign of the company’s intentions, one of its investors, Gobi Partners, announced that Conor Yang, the architect behind the public offering of both AirMedia Group and Dangdang.com, had been hired as Tuniu’s chief financial officer earlier this year.

Tuniu has raised over $60 million in venture funding from investors including DCM, Gobi Partners, Sequoia Capital, Highland Capital Partners, and the Tokyo-based Internet services company, Rakuten Inc. 

Group…

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Index Leads $870K Seed Round For Resource Guru’s Cloud-Based Team Scheduling App

TechCrunch

Index Ventures has led a $870,000 seed round into Resource Guru, a London-based startup that wants to disrupt companies’ use of spreadsheets to manage staff, equipment and other resources — and replace them with its cloud-based team scheduling software.

“Most managers still rely on complicated spreadsheets or cumbersome software to manage their teams and resources, neither of which makes allocating resources particularly easy and efficient,” said Robin Klein, partner at Index Ventures, in a statement. “We’ve been impressed how Resource Guru tackled this problem with its simple to use online tool that leads to huge time savings and increased productivity.”

Prior to this round Resource Guru, which was founded back in May 2011, had raised money from friends, family and angel investors. Other investors in the seed round included both existing and new names but these have not been disclosed. Its total funding to date stands at $1.14 million.

Resource Guru said…

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