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Article from GigaOm.

Despite concerns that Kickstarter wonder Ouya, an Android-based TV gaming console, might not deliver, the project is hitting its deadlines with the release on Friday of 1,200 developer consoles.

Ouya announced that the development kits were being shipped to developers, who can also access the Ouya SDK (ODK) online under a free Apache license.

The release of the hardware and software should give developers time to prepare games for the platform, which is expected to be released to the public around March. That’s still the milestone that everyone will be watching but the signs look good for Ouya to make it there.

Ouya

An early look at the Ouya UI

The company has been under a lot of scrutiny since it debuted as a Kickstarter project in July. The $99 console, built off the Android platform, raised $8.6 million from more than 63,000 backers. That has raised expectations and also concerns about whether the system is for real and can deliver as promised. We chatted with CEO and founder Julie Uhrman shortly after the launch — she assured us that it wasn’t rocket science putting Ouya together and that she was confident Ouya will hit the market by this spring.

The developer console still has plenty of bugs, Ouya has warned developers, and the triggers and D-pad on the controller are not final. Developers will also get a look at an early version of the console UI.

Following a recent CNN report that most of the biggest Kickstarter projects were shipping late, it’s nice to see that Ouya is keeping to its promise. We still don’t know what the quality and experience is like and what the game library will ultimately be. And as Kickstarter has pointed out, it’s not always important that projects ship on time if the end result suffers. But this thing looks like it’s for real.

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Article from GigaOm.

It was a busy week around our offices. You might have heard that we hosted our Structure 2012 conference. Nevertheless, between all the talk of clouds, software-defined networks and giant data sets, I did manage to read some good articles and wanted to share those with you.

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Article by Om Malik @ GigaOm.

This is going to be a busy weekend for me. While the weather in San Francisco threatens to be “summer-like,” I am going to be sitting at home and preparing for our Structure 2012 conference. Nevertheless here are seven stories that might be worth reading this weekend.

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Article from GigaOm.

YouTube has seen its video uploads grow 50 percent over the last year: Users are now uploading 72 hours of video every minute, compared to 48 hours just a year ago. The Google-owned video site announced the milestone Sunday night to celebrate its seventh birthday.

The amount of video uploaded to YouTube has increased steadily over the last few years. In early 2007, users were uploading six hours of video every minute to the site. By January of 2009, that number had grown to 15 hours. By March of 2010, the total reached 24 hours, only to go up to 35 hours by November of that year.

YouTube officially launched in May of 2005, but the first video was actually uploaded on April 23 2005. It shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo, and is still available on the site.

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Article from GigaOm.

“Demandware who? Yeah, that is exactly what I thought. However, a tweet from financial and venture industry observer Dan Primack alerted me to the initial public offering of this Burlington, Mass.-based e-commerce platform provider that sells its services to folks like Barneys, Crocs and Tory Burch. The IPO has priced at $16 a share which values the company at $448 million. The company is raising $88 million.”

The company lost money on mere a $56 million in 2011 revenue, a sign that Wall Street is ready to punt on even marginal technology IPOs — so expect more of those to follow in coming months. Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money show said that one should not confuse a “trade with an investment.” In other words, buy at the time of IPO and then flip it. Buying later is a sucker’s bet. About Demandware, Cramer said, that if the stock priced below $15 it is good. “Anything more than that and there might not be enough juice to merit buying,” he said. Oops!”

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Article from GigaOm.

Vyatta, a company providing open source networking software, has raised $12 million in expansion round financing as the entire networking field finds itself on the cusp of fundamental changes. The round, its fifth, was led by HighBAR Partners and brings Vyatta’s total fundingto $45 million. Also participating in this round are existing investors JPMorgan, Arrowpath Venture Partners and Citrix Systems.

Vyatta launched its first product in 2006, but has shifted from a focus on its open source routing software to delivering software that handles a wide range of networking functions. The company now has more than 1,000 customers and hopes this round of funding will help it expand as networking enters a new phase.

The networking world has changed drastically, thanks to a sharp increase in virtualized servers. Suddenly the static networking infrastructure no longer works as well when it is easy for developers to spin up a virtual machine on the fly. All those dynamic VMs however still have to connect to the network, as well as a lot of gear, such as firewalls. Plus, policies, such as those associated with HIPAA compliance or security issues all require knowledge of the network.

Kelly Herrell, Vyatta’s CEO, said that in the last six months or so, Vyatta has gone from seeing about 20 percent of its customers interested in its virtualization product to about 50 to 60 percent today. Herrell called it, “a head-snapping change.”

Vyatta’s software is an OS that allows a customer to program out its network topology on demand to adapt to the constantly changing underlying infrastructure. Other companies, such as Embrane, are trying to offer these tools, and still more are offering some type of holistic and abstracted network view. Vyatta believes its advantage is that its long history in building networking software helps it rise above the newcomers to the field as well as its many customers that are using its software in their data centers in production environments.”

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Article from GigaOm.

It’s no secret that the larger economy has hit a rough patch in recent months. Although Silicon Valley has — in general – fared better than many other parts of the world, the venture capital industry is not immune to the negative effects of the macro-economic slowdown.

In the third quarter of 2011, venture capital investment activity fell 12 percent in terms of dollars and 14 percent in terms of deals compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest edition of the MoneyTree Report assembled by accounting giant Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).VCs invested $6.9 billion in 876 deals during the July through September timeframe in 2011, the MoneyTree report says, a notable decline from the $7.9 billion invested in 1,015 deals during the second quarter of 2011.


To be fair, the industry is still up compared to last year. For the first three quarters of 2011, VCs invested $21.2 billion, which is 20 percent more than VCs invested in the first three quarters of 2010. And 2010 saw an even bigger drop between the second and third quarters of the year. But VC funding is not exactly predictable according to the time of year — in 2009, for instance, the third quarter of the year was stronger than the second.

The VC industry is not as predictably cyclical as others because it generally takes its cues from a fluctuating variety of places: the worldwide economy, the entrepreneurial environment, the stock market’s appetite for IPOs, and larger companies’ appetite for acquisitions. It’s a complicated mix, but at the moment, it seems venture capitalists may be nervous about the larger environment of financial unrest, and the IPO window that opened earlier this year seems to be closing.

Seed funding takes a hit

Seed funding — which has recently been the hotshot of the industry as more angel and individual investors have become active in funding the startup scene — took a major hit in the third quarter of 2011. Seed stage investments fell a whopping 56 percent in terms of dollars quarter-over-quarter, and 41 percent year-over-year, to $179 million. It’s not just the total amount of seed investment that’s fallen, it’s also the amount of money per deal: The average seed deal in the third quarter was worth $2 million, a 43 percent drop from the average seed deal in the second quarter of 2011, which was $3.3 million.

And late stage deals have started to see major declines as well. Later stage startup investments decreased 20 percent in dollars and 30 percent in deals in the third quarter compared to the second, MoneyTree reported. Middle, or expansion, stage deals were relatively robust: Expansion stage dollars increased two percent quarter-over-quarter and 43 percent year-over-year, with $2.5 billion going into 260 deals.

Software is still strong

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The software space has held up fairly well, receiving the highest level of funding for all industries during the third quarter with $2 billion invested from venture capitalists. That’s a 23-percent increase in dollars from the second quarter, and according to MoneyTree, the highest quarterly investment in the sector in nearly a decade, since the fourth quarter of 2001.

The web industry had a relatively soft quarter, as investments in Internet-specific companies fell 33 percent quarter-over-quarter during the third quarter to $1.6 billion. But it’s not exactly time to cry for Internet startups; the third quarter had a very tough act to follow, because Internet-specific VC deals hit a 10-year high in the second quarter of 2011.

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