Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘austin’ Category

Austin Bomber Bombed Out

leave a comment »

Good news!

The Austin bomber blew himself up in his own car last night after the Austin Police Department chased him down as he escaped a Red Roof Inn hotel.

So I guess we can say the Mini-Unabomber’s career was cut short by what can only be referred to as “foreseen” circumstances.

I tell you one damn true thing: The entire Austin metropolitan area took a long, deep breath when they woke up to the news this morning.

Like so many armchair sleuths were probably thinking, I would imagine when all was said and done, walking into those FedEx’s with only a baseball cap and stringy blond hair…yeah, that wasn’t one of your more brilliant moves, Einstein.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley indicated “there were several leads that led us to this person,” including, he said, the surveillance video.

Officials apparently haven’t ruled out that the 24-year old man could have had accomplices, nor do they have any insights into his motives. Apparently he wasn’t up for a chat before he took himself out.

Just to recap: The guy was responsible for at least six bombs that killed at least two people and wounded five others, and I would imagine, sent shivers through FedEx, UPS, and other distribution workers across the city.

Acting out of an abundance of caution, Austin Mayor Steve Adler has warned city residents to continue to watch out for suspicious packages that the bomber may have planted before his untimely demise. 

As for all those thoughts and prayers that came Austin’s way these past two weeks (and yes, a little bit of hate, too), they were much appreciated, as was the support from the FBI, ATF, and all the other three letter agencies that landed in Travis County ready to hunt this mother——— down. 

Not to sound too terribly bloodthirsty, but it was a proper and fitting end. When you play with matches…

Written by turbotodd

March 21, 2018 at 9:35 am

Posted in 2018, austin, terrorism

Now They’re Bombing FedEx

leave a comment »

Now bombs are going off and being found in FedEx facilities.

Early this morning, a bomb that was bound for Austin exploded at a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas.  One person was injured by the “concussive” impact of the blast.

It happened just after midnight, according to a report from the Washington Post, but authorities provided few other details.

Then, later this morning, authorities responded to a call about a suspicious package at a FedEx facility near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Southeast Austin.

That is a developing story, and we Austinites are still waiting to hear what the Austin FedEx situation brings.

FedEx: When it positively, absolutely has to blow up near Austin overnight.

Hey, I can joke about this, I live here.

What is no joke is that authorities are being very tightlipped so as not to tip their hands re: the signature of the bomber, but because of this, and despite their being 500+ federal agents on the ground, the public knows jack and is getting antsy.

It’s one thing to pick up a strange package on your porch and have it blow up.  It’s another thing for it to be a package from FedEx.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Could this, in fact, be a Unabomber, Jr., one out to demonstrate how vulnerable our 21st century retail, e-commerce, and delivery chain really is?!

Written by turbotodd

March 20, 2018 at 10:28 am

Posted in 2018, austin, e-commerce, terrorism

Tagged with

Latest Austin Bomb Involved a Trip Wire

with one comment

So another bomb went off here in Austin last night.

This one was in the southwest side of Austin, probably about 4 miles due southwest of where I live just south of downtown.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said this morning that Sunday night’s bomb, which injured two men in their twenties, was triggered by a trip wire and thus "showing a different level of skill above what we were already concerned that this suspect or suspects may possess."

Investigators indicated the device was made to blend in with the surroundings.

They are still investigating whether the blast was a copy cat of the March 2 and March 12 bombings, or the same person. They will not be able to make that determination until they can more closely reveal the kind of shrapnel that was used in the explosive device, although initial reports last night suggested there were nails used in this latest bomb.

In this latest case, the two victims were Anglo males, according to Chief Manley, which, were the bomb made by the same perpetrator, could start to throw into question that these incidents are hate crimes.

If it is the same perp for this latest bomb, they’ve clearly upped the ante with the trip wire.

Now, don’t pick up strange packages whose provenance you don’t know off your front porch, AND watch out for trip wires.

Written by turbotodd

March 19, 2018 at 9:25 am

Posted in 2018, austin, terrorism

Tagged with ,

Austin’s SparkCognition Sparks $24M Series B

leave a comment »

Austin Inno is reporting that Austin-based AI firm SparkCognition announced today it has completed a Series B funding round of $24 million.

That round builds on an earlier round last June of $32.5 million. 

SparkCognition builds AI solutions for applications in energy, oil and gas, manufacturing, finance, aerospace, defense, and security. Its website currently lists four core product lines which the company claims provides “human intelligence at machine scale.”

Austin Inno observes that SparkCognition’s new funding is “part of a wave of recent investment in Austin-based AI and machine learning companies,” with large rounds going to CognitiveScale, Conversable, Tethr, and Cerebri AI last year, among others.

Written by turbotodd

February 20, 2018 at 10:57 am

Big Dell Deal?

leave a comment »

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dell is considering a range of strategic alternatives that could transform the maker of PCs and data-storage devices.

According to the story, the review, which is in a preliminary stage, Dell is expected to explore options including an IPO and a purchase of the rest of VMware, a publicly-traded cloud infrastructure company

Currently, VMware has a market value north of $50 billion.

If Dell pursued a public listing, writes the Journal, it would be one of the biggest IPOs in recent years, and could also provide the company with cash to invest in the business and pay down debt.

The backstory: Dell went private in a roughly $25 billion leveraged buyout in 2013 by Its founder, Michael Dell, and investment firm Silver Lake. In 2016, Dell bought EMC for $67 billion in the largest technology takeover ever.

Bloomberg is also now reporting this story, and indicated that the board is meeting later this month to discuss strategic options, including the IPO.

Raising cash could help the company further expand or pay off some of its debt, Bloomberg continues, noting that Dell currently has about $46 billion in debt.

Dell is also considering a public share sale for its Pivotal Software Inc. cloud-computing venture. Dell met with bankers last year to discuss that possibility and was told the company could fetch a valuation of $5 billion to $7 billion, said one of the people. Still, any Pivotal offering may wait until the company has converted more of its business into wider-margin software and subscriptions and away from less-profitable services businesses, the person said.
– via Bloomberg.com

 

 

Written by turbotodd

January 26, 2018 at 10:01 am

Posted in 2018, austin, dell, emc, wall street

Apple Acquires Workflow

leave a comment »

Happy Thursday… Much as with March Madness, there were some significant upsets yesterday in the Dell World Golf Championships here in Austin Texas… Most tragic was last year’s winner, Jason Day, announcing his withdrawal from the tournament after six holes due to his mother’s terminal cancer. He held a gutwrenching press conference, but the former world number one golfer clearly has his priorities in the right place.

Jason, here’s wishing you and your entire family all the best as your mom fights for her life. For those of us familiar with your backstory, we know how much of a fighter she is and how much she helped you get to where you are today.

Now, back to the technology news of the day: Apple has finalized a deal to acquire Workflow, a tool that lets you put together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks.

TechCrunch reported the news, but was unable to get financial details for the deal. As they write:

Workflow has been around for a couple of years and we’ve covered it and its updates. It shares some similarity with the service IFTTT, in that it allows people to group together a bunch of actions that can allow them to perform complicated tasks with one tap. It had built up a sizeable number of users and downloads over the past few years.
– via TechCrunch

They also report that the Workflow app will continue to be made available on the App Store and will be made free later today.

Which makes all you people who bought the app in the last week suckers.

Written by turbotodd

March 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down…

with 2 comments

What a week.  I spent most of it either in meetings or on airplanes (save for that happy detour to Fenway Park, which still has a smile on my face).

Speaking of which, it’s April 20, 2012 — the official anniversary of the 100th year of Fenway’s existence.  Happy birthday to all my friends in Boston, and to people everywhere who adore Fenway Park — of which I now count myself a happy one.

FYI, for the hardcore Fenway fanatics, Sports Illustrated is offering up a very nice tome about the history of Fenway for $21.00 US.  You can find it here.

But boy, what a week otherwise.  The jokes about today being 4/20 aside (a point which many marketers are taking advantage of…for example, the Magnolia bio-documentary about Bob Marley, entitled simply “Marley,” is out today…And Austin is unveiling the new Willie Nelson statue today at 4:20 PM this afternoon.  Coincidence?)

You can read all about the marketing advantage being taken of on this date from none other than the Wall Street Journal.

No, I was more referring to the bummer news about Dick Clark and Levon Helm.  Helm, of course, was the drummer in Bob Dylan’s original backing band, “Levon and the Hawks,” before going on to co-found the band named, appropriately enough, “The Band.”

Helm died of throat cancer earlier this week, and in recent years had been most known for his “Midnight Rambles” at his studio in Woodstock, NY, which earned him three Grammys in recent years.  But of course, “The Band” fans remember classics like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.”

Bob Dylan had this to say about his old friend and former band-mate on his own website: “He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”

Surely we will.

But we’ll also miss Dick Clark, a radio and TV personality who’s “American Bandstand” helped grow generations of music fans, and helped launch or boost the careers of an endless stream of renowned musicians, ranging from first guest Elvis Presley (who used to sign my mom’s arm during his Louisiana Hayride performances!) to Smokey Robinson to the Talking Heads…the list of musical acts featured on “Bandstand” goes on and on and on.

And never mind us welcoming Dick Clark into our homes, and the subsequent New Year, every New Year’s Rockin’ Eve starting in 1972.

We’ll miss you both terribly, Dick and Levon.  May you both continue to find the musical beat in the Great Beyond.

How fitting, then, that the very same week, the friends who brought you some of the great hack attacks of the late 2000s, Anonymous, announce they’re putting together a social music platform, one that pulls up songs streaming from all around the Internet (including from the likes of YouTube), and lets anonymous users put them into playlists and share them — all while intending to shield the service from being shut down by lawsuits.

Ladies and germs, welcome to “Anontune.”  This short video (featured on Wired’s Web site) indicates it will focus on “information about the music.”

We’ll wait and see if Anontune makes it past the first “bridge,” but my read on the situation is that this move could revitalize Hilary Rosen’s career (CEO of the RIAA from 1998-2003, Rosen led the organization in its successful efforts to bring down Napster).

%d bloggers like this: