Evernote acquires Mac drawing app Skitch

Online note-taking specialist Evernote has acquired Skitch, a Mac app for annotating photos and otherwise editing images, and plans to dramatically expand the software's availability.

For starters, Evernote is making the $20 app free. In addition, "We are committed, not only to making the Skitch Mac app more awesome, but also to bringing Skitch to every desktop and mobile platform under the sun," Evernote's Andrew Sinkov said in a blog post today.

That expansion begins with Skitch's first mobile app, a free download for Android, Evernote said.

"Our goal is to make Skitch a … Read more

Google takes bold action to match aspirations

commentary Google's announcement today that the company plans to acquire Android handset maker Motorola Mobility seemingly signals the arrival of a bold new Google under the leadership of new Chief Executive Larry Page.

But it's probably more apt to say the move marks the restoration of an older Google ethos--at a new Google scale.

In earlier days, Google was undaunted by traditional business constraints. When it saw an industry it viewed as ripe for the disruption the Internet could provide, it jumped in. YouTube, Google Books, Google Voice, municipal Wi-Fi, and Google Docs are fine examples.

One hallmark … Read more

Google's future handset rivals praise Motorola deal

Four of the biggest makers of Android phones--Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics, and Sony-Ericsson--have lined up to praise the patent protections they expect from Google's planned acquisition of Motorola.

Google published the four companies' eerily similar supporting quotations on its Web site today not long after Google CEO Larry Page announced the $12.5 billion deal. Samsung and HTC already are the target of Apple patent infringement suits.

Unsurprisingly, each phone maker's leader steers well clear of the fact that the company they rely upon for a popular mobile operating system now expects to become a direct competitor. Google'… Read more

Google's Page explains Motorola acquisition

Google plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, the search giant announced today, showing that new Chief Executive Larry Page is willing to make big moves and risk upsetting Android partners that compete with Motorola.

The move also shows that Page is taking the patent threat to the Android operating system very seriously.

Below is the full text of Page's blog post about the acquisition.

Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

8/15/2011 04:35:00 AM [PT]

Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved … Read more

Why green-tech start-ups depend on big business

Luke Fishback believed the energy monitoring company he started had some potential. But when General Electric handed him a $100,000 check from its Ecomagination competition earlier this summer and touted his company Plotwatt in the media, he found himself with an express pass to the big leagues.

"We were flying under the radar and then after Ecomagination all of sudden the phones were ringing off the hook--we got a huge influx of customers," said Fishback. "It just put us on the map."

More important than the money is the marketing muscle and technology depth GE could bring to a tiny company like Plotwatt, which has relied largely on word of mouth to find customers.

"GE is one of those companies that could make our service available to a massive number of homes really quickly," said Fishback. "And it's opened lots of doors for scaling in different ways, including raising funds. Investors look at GE as a smart discriminator in this space."

For the thousands of green-tech start-ups out there, big brothers like GE have never been more important. Corporations, once the nemesis of environmentalists, have emerged as vital partners in getting new energy products to market. Whether businesses continue making bets on smaller players will determine how quickly many green technologies, from solar power to plug-in vehicles, become mass-market or remain niche products. … Read more

Amazon lightens bookbags

Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:

Amazon lets students rent textbooks

Hackers attack News Corp.

Apple Mac OS X Lion launch tomorrow

CNN live news comes to mobile

Google buys

Road Torq is a great safety gadget for summer travel

Heading camping or on a cross-country road trip? It's a good idea to pack a Road Torq.

This handy little device is the size of a medium-size handheld flashlight. But unlike your other flashlights, the Road Torq doesn't require batteries to blast a bright light (1 watt LED) into the night sky.

The device looks like a toy rocket ship when it's standing up on foldable tripod legs. The top also flips up, allowing a flashing beacon to alert passing motorists.

The device can be charged by cracking the handle--2 minutes of hand-cranking equals about 15 minutes … Read more

MelApp checks for skin cancer, tracks moles

You may not have thought of using your iPhone to catalog your moles and freckles, but Health Discovery Corporation has. The company is the developer behind MelApp, a $1.99 iOS app that gives you a risk assessment for melanoma on your skin.

According to the American Melanoma Foundation, one American dies of melanoma every hour. It's worthwhile to dedicate a little time to watching your moles.

Here's the process. Take a picture of a suspicious mole with your camera. Label it, mark the diameter, and indicate how fast the mole's evolution has been. Click on the "Check Risk" button.

The image is uploaded to a server and run through an image analysis risk assessment process. According to the app's developer, MelApp has been validated using an image database licensed from John Hopkins University Medical Center.

MelApp comes back with a high- or low-risk diagnosis based on five parameters ranging from mole asymmetry to rate of evolution. A self-assessment feature can help verify the app's findings.… Read more

The next big thing: Co-opting hackers

Now that he's all rested--albeit presumably no longer tanned--from his spring break skedaddle to South America, Sony PS3 jailbreaker George Hotz must be laughing all the way to the bank.

The 21-year-old Hotz, best known for unlocking the iPhone and for hacking the PlayStation 3--and then being sued by Sony (they've since settled)--now works at Facebook.

We're not sure about the job, though one would have to assume the job description has something to do with security. Hotz apparently has been on the payroll since May, just one month after Sony announced a settlement with the hackerRead more

More calls to split RIM's CEO, chairman roles

The calls for Research in Motion to reconsider its current executive structure are getting louder.

Today major shareholder advisory group International Shareholder Services (ISS) added its voice to the mix, telling clients they should support a proposal to split the company's CEO and chairman roles. Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie are co-CEOs and co-chairmen of the Waterloo, Ontario-based mobile computing company.

"The board's mandate is to represent the interests of shareholders through overseeing management and instilling accountability...Conflicts of interest may arise when one person holds both the Chair and CEO positions," ISS said today, according to Bloomberg. … Read more