Fusion-io competitor Virident closes $21M round

Virident, the PCIe solid state memory player that competes head to head with Fusion-io, scored $21 million in Series C funding including money from new investors Intel Capital and Cisco Systems, as well as contributions from Sequoia Capital and Artiman Ventures.

Virident Makes Flash Memory Go Green

The last time I sat down with Raj Parekh was eight years ago. He was involved with Comstellar Technologies, a telecom incubator that he started with Raj Singh (Fiberlane, that turned into Siara Systems, Cerent & Cyras –- all of which sold for many billions of dollars) and former CEO of Telcordia, Sanjiv Ahuja (who until recently was CEO of Orange).

It was the heyday of telecom bubble and, getting caught up in the euphoria, it was described as a MetaCompany that wanted to cash in on the telecom boom. We all know how that boom ended. Parekh, Singh and Ahuja went their separate ways and eventually we lost touch. So when Parekh emailed I was intrigued and wanted to know what he was up to now.

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In a Flash Spansion Cuts Power

Spansion, a flash memory maker, said today that it’s figured out a way to cut data center power consumption by replacing a particular type of computer memory. It’s a money-saving approach as well: the switch from dynamic random access memory to Flash memory in one data center cut the cost of owning those servers (which includes power consumption) by almost 50 percent, the company said.

Computers are using more and more power — and costing IT departments a lot more money. Chalk it up to the ever-growing mountain of information that computers needs to sift through, and quickly. This has prompted search engines such as Google to use servers stacked with fast DRAM memory to rapidly offer up search results.

Traditionally, the way to handle more information has been to buy more servers in order to get more DRAM (Micron is offering lower-power DRAM as a “green” product). Spansion hopes to change all that by using a proprietary Flash memory called EcoRAM that replaces DRAM.
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New Ways to Track Time

We’ve covered plenty of ways to keep track of your billable hours in the past. Most of these fall into one or two categories: desktop solutions and web sites. There are a few services with other ways to get the data into your timesheet, though, and depending on your working habits they may be worth a look.

ScreenshotHarvest primarily takes the web site approach, but they offer something specialized for the cutting-edge web worker: iPhone-optimized entry via a special site. It’s likely we’ll see native iPhone time applications in a month or two, but meanwhile, this service (starting at $12/month) has you covered.

ScreenshotFor another take on easier entry, check out Tsheets. They’re also a web service, with multiuser features, but their latest idea is innovative: time entry via Jott. If you don’t have time to wrestle with a UI, you can just call and dictate your time. Pricing starts at $9.95 monthly for 5 employees.

Did you participate in the GottaBeMobile awards?

Logo3Don’t worry, if you didn’t vote yet, you still have time. GottaBeMobile has opened up nominations for the best Tablet PC and UMPC, plus there are forthcoming categories as well. This link will take you to the main award information and it provides links to each category. If I had to guess on each of these, I’d pick… well, wait a second, that might skew your thoughts. I’ll list my predictions / nominations after the jump. Don’t peek unless you want to! 😉
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Blowtorch Aims to Burn through Movie Biz

Get ready to put your skeptic face on. A company raises more than $50 million from VCs and hedge funds before even launching a web site. They’re talking about people using their company name as a verb. They’re saying their model is so revolutionary they’ll have spend tens of millions of dollars on content to demonstrate it. They’re even building a companion social network.
Ladies and gentleman, meet Blowtorch Entertainment.

With such high ambitions and so much money there’s definitely a chance for a spectacular flameout here, but Blowtorch is a pretty good idea. The company wants to facilitate young people (18- to 24-year-olds) interacting with and influencing the movies they consume, by having them pitch script ideas and get a say in movie casting, wardrobe, score, trailer, and locations. Viewers will also participate in the site by bringing in videos from around the web, creating parodies and their own takes (a.k.a. “blowtorching” the content), and getting into special screenings of Blowtorch movies. Because yes, with all its money and connections, Blowtorch has already negotiated for its films to be shown in select theaters nationwide and be sold and shown by DVD, TV, and VOD outlets.
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