Paul Allen Was So Much More Than Microsoft’s Co-Founder

Personal computers, conservation, pro football, rock n’ roll and rocket ships: Paul G. Allen couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend, invest and donate the billions he reaped from co-founding Microsoft with childhood friend Bill Gates.

Allen used the fortune he made from Microsoft — whose Windows operating system is found on most of the world’s desktop computers — to invest in other ambitions, from tackling climate change and advancing brain research to finding innovative solutions to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.

“If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it,” Gates quoted his friend as saying.

Allen died Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to his company Vulcan Inc. He was 65. Just two weeks ago, Allen, who owned the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, had announced that the same cancer he had in 2009 had returned.

Gates, who met Allen at a private school in Seattle, said he was heartbroken to have lost one of his “oldest and dearest friends.”

“Personal computing would not have existed without him,” Gates said in a statement, adding that Allen’s “second act” as a philanthropist was “focused on improving people’s lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world.”

Over his lifetime, Allen gave more than $2 billion to efforts aimed at improving education, science, technology, conservation and communities.

“Those fortunate to achieve great wealth should put it to work for the good of humanity,” Allen wrote several years ago, when he announced that he was giving the bulk of his fortune to charity. He said that pledge “reminds us all that our net worth is ultimately defined not by dollars but rather by how well we serve others.”

Allen, who played guitar, built a gleaming pop culture museum in his hometown to showcase his love of rock n’ roll, and funded underwater expeditions that made important shipwreck discoveries, including a U.S. aircraft carrier lost during World War II.

Yet in a sense, Allen also lived up to the moniker once bestowed on him by Wired Magazine: “The Accidental Zillionaire .” He was a programmer who coined Microsoft’s name and made important contributions to its early success, yet was overshadowed by his partner’s acerbic intellect and cutthroat business sense.

At the company’s founding, for instance, Allen let Gates talk him into taking the short end of a 60-40 ownership split. A few years later, …read more

Source:: Time – Technology


Remember Palm? It’s Back With a Tiny Sidekick for Your Gigantic Regular Phone

Now that phones are half a foot long and sell for more than $1,000, a San Francisco-based upstart says it’s time for a smaller companion phone with a throwback name: Palm.

Starting next month, consumers can buy the credit card-sized Palm for $349 from Verizon Communications Inc. Like a smartwatch, the Palm isn’t designed to replace an iPhone — it’s more like an accessory for people who don’t want to lug their main device to the gym or dinner.

“You have your SUV or minivan, but sometimes you want to take a spin in your sports car,” said Howard Nuk, a co-founder of the startup, Palm Ventures Group Inc.

The big question for Palm is whether consumers have enough spending cash to justify a second phone, especially if the first one cost them more than a grand. It’s also unclear how much nostalgia the Palm name will bring to today’s shoppers.

It’s been almost 10 years since Palm Inc. tried to revive its fortunes with a model called the Pre. The flop of that device ultimately led to a takeover by Hewlett-Packard and an unceremonious exit from the stage of Silicon Valley icons.

The name was reborn when Palm Ventures licensed it from TCL, a Chinese manufacturer that also owns the once-iconic BlackBerry brand. Palm Ventures’ co-founders, Nuk and Dennis Miloseski, have backgrounds in mobile and design and previously worked at Samsung Electronics Co.

NBA superstar Stephen Curry also is a Palm backer, potentially giving the device some cachet among younger customers. He’s helping with the marketing of the product.

The Palm phone is about 3.8 inches tall (9.7 centimeters) and 0.3 of an inch thick — roughly half the size of Apple Inc.’s iPhone XS Max and the Samsung Galaxy S9+. The Palm phones run on Android 8.1 and can be paired with iPhones as well as Androids. Popular apps work on the phone, including Apple iTunes.

It also features an 8-megapixel camera in front and a 12-megapixel camera on the back. There is no headphone jack, but it does have Bluetooth.

The original Palm device, like its rival Handspring, was a precursor to today’s smartphones. Known as a personal digital assistant, or PDA, the gadget was popular in the ’90s for taking notes, marking calendars and — eventually — reading emails.

Palm’s star faded with the rise of BlackBerry and the iPhone, but finding a new niche may give the brand a new reason for being.

It’s also a …read more

Source:: Time – Technology


Facebook Says Hackers Accessed Data From 29 Million Accounts In Security Breach

(NEW YORK) — Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts as part of the security breach disclosed two weeks ago.

The exact number hadn’t been known before. Originally Facebook said 50 million accounts could have been affected, but Facebook didn’t know if they had been misused.

The hackers accessed name, email addresses or phone numbers from those 29 million accounts. For 14 million of those accounts, hackers got even more data, such as hometown, birthdate, the last 10 places they checked into or 15 most recent searches. One million accounts were affected but hackers didn’t gain information. The social media service plans to send messages to people whose accounts were hacked.

Facebook says third-party apps and Facebook apps like WhatsApp and Instagram were unaffected by the breach.

…read more

Source:: Time – Technology