Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Beau Cronin, co-founder of Prior Knowledge and current senior manager of predictive products at Salesforce, recognizes that VR is in the process of transforming from a specialty technology where innovation is driven by small groups of experts, to a general-purpose technology that will tap into a huge, broader market of users and hackers. In a recent article, he postulates that VR today is where the Internet was in 1993, just before Netscape. At that time there was a re-evaluation of all the rules, often done by outsiders. Continue reading Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

VR News: Oculus Rift Secures $75 Million in Venture Funding

Virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which began as a Kickstarter project seeking $250,000 (and eventually generated $2.4 million), is expected to transition from prototype to available product, thanks to $75 million in Series B venture funding led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Oculus VR also announced that Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of the individuals behind Mosaic and Netscape, will join the company’s board of directors. Continue reading VR News: Oculus Rift Secures $75 Million in Venture Funding

Netscape Founder Predicts the Death of Traditional Retail

Netscape creator Marc Andreessen, who has invested in successful ventures such as Pinterest and Foursquare, recently discussed his views on the future of commerce. The tech investor believes traditional retail stores will die off, while e-commerce stores will be the only way people shop in the future. He expects a big shift in the next three to four years, a different view from those who suggest innovation in e-commerce is slowing. Continue reading Netscape Founder Predicts the Death of Traditional Retail

Programming across Multiple Platforms: Is HTML5 Changing the Web?

  • HTML5 is quickly becoming the standard online programming technology, with support from the likes of Amazon, Rovio Entertainment, Pandora, Zynga and various online publications. The trend has also been fueled by browser support from competitors Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla.
  • Last week, Adobe announced it would stop development of the rival Flash format for mobile devices.
  • “HTML5 is a major step forward,” says Netscape creator Marc Andreessen. “HTML5 is going to put power back in the hands of creative people,” adds Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee.
  • “Some 34 percent of the 100 most popular websites used HTML5 in the quarter ended in September, according to, a blog that tracks Web technologies,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Resume searches by hiring managers looking for HTML5 expertise more than doubled between the first quarter and the third quarter.”
  • “If you want to be delivering a Web experience around multiple devices, you have to be doing it in HTML5,” explains Danny Winokur, Adobe’s general manager for interactive development.
  • The technology is also being used for media-rich ads and games for social network apps. The article suggests this is only the beginning.

Walt Mossberg Looks Back on Covering 20 Years of CE Innovation

  • Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg looks back on two decades of consumer electronics and the impact of tech innovation on our personal and professional lives.
  • The first line of his first “Personal Technology” column in 1991: “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it’s not your fault.”
  • Mossberg takes a trip down memory lane recalling the era of his early reports: “Mobile phones were huge bricks. Digital cameras for consumers cost a fortune and took monochrome pictures. Digital music players and video recorders, e-readers and tablets were nowhere to be found.”
  • From Motorola’s MicroTac Lite pocket-size phone ($1,500-$2,500) in 1992 to Apple’s popular iPad today, Mossberg offers an interesting snapshot of personal technology spanning two game-changing decades.
  • Featured in the article: AOL, Apple’s QuickTake digital camera, Windows 95, Netscape, Palm Pilot, Sony Vaio, iMac, DVR, Google and more. There’s also an interesting Tech Timeline graphic included.