The fallout from Hurricane Sandy is still affecting startups left and right. New York’s Fab.com sent a memo to customers today saying that it is temporarily halting shipments of packages because its New Jersey-based warehouses are currently without power.
The company’s headquarters in New York’s West Village also remain without power and are closed. CEO Jason Goldberg says that about a dozen Fab employees are, in fact, working from his home right now trying to figure out how to get operations back in swing as soon as possible.
This adds to the storm’s toll on the startup community. Several New York-based media sites like Gawker, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed all went down last night. Not only that, public equity markets are closed today, keeping all of those vested Facebook employees from liquidating part of their holdings because the lock-up dates for rank-and-file employees passed in the last week. Google also cancelled a major Android launch while AllThingsD had to call off a major mobile conference.
Goldberg sent this memo out to customers this afternoon:
Fab HQ. Fab’s headquarters are in the West Village of New York City, at 95 Morton Street. Our offices are 1 block from the Hudson river and our street and building were impacted by the storm. Our office is currently without power and it is closed until further notice. As our offices are on the 5th and 8th floors of the building, we are hopeful that there was no interior damage.
Fab Warehouse. Fab operates out of two warehouses in New Jersey. Both of our warehouses are currently without power and thus are closed. As such, we are unable to ship packages today. We hope to have power restored to our warehouses very soon.
Fab Team. About 1/3 of Fab’s employees are currently without power. The other 2/3’ds of us with power are welcoming those without power into our homes. There’s this beautiful, heart-warming email thread amongst Fab employees called, “Team Together” where team members with power are offering up their homes. It’s special. We’re a Fab Family.
As I write this 12 Fab team members are huddled around my kitchen table working on out recovery plans and our holiday shops. Hotel Betashop (my couch!) is open tonight too!
Fab Website, Apps & Customers. We are doing everything possible to maintain a business-as-usual approach to Fab during these challenging times.
We are launching daily new offerings in the morning and evening, as usual. There are currently 10,000 products on Fab and there will be 1000+ new items added to Fab daily.
We will launch our Holiday Shops on November 1st as previously scheduled.
All Fab packages will ship as soon as humanly possible. Our teams are unloading packages in the warehouse as I write this and shipments will go out ASAP.
I will let everyone know as soon as we have more news. We’re hopeful that power will be restored very soon.
Even in tough times, it helps to smile. We’re all designed to—more than ever.
See the rest here: New York’s Fab.com Temporarily Halts Shipping Over Hurricane Sandy Fallout
Getting a little ahead of itself, UK mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse has pushed live preorders for LG’s Nexus 4, confirming specifications and a delivery date of October 30.
The Nexus 4, which is expected to be unveiled at Google’s Android-focused event on October 29, is listed as featuring the following specifications (via Reddit):
A 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB RAM, 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 LCD display, 8-megapixel camera (recording 1080p video at 30fps) , 8GB of internal storage, NFC and will run Google’s Android 4.2 (retaining the Jelly Bean codename).
The device will be available in black only, at least via Carphone Warehouse, on Vodafone and O2 networks. The interesting thing to note is that the retailer appears to be utilising the same press shot that was leaked earlier in the week, which many believe has been taken from a third-party ROM:
Despite the image inconsistency, the specifications match the details provided by our source, which covered Google’s launch products and some software improvements expected to be included in Android 4.2.
One of the rumors we have also been hearing is that Google has been working on a Swype competitor for its stock Android keyboard. This appears to have been confirmed by Carphone Warehouse’s listing, which notes the following on its Nexus 4 ‘Features’ tab:
Stay in touch with Gesture Typing, a faster way of typing that lets you spell words by dragging your finger across the screen from letter to letter.
According to our source, Google will launch a new 32GB Nexus 7 variant (including a 3G model) on October 29, a Samsung-made Nexus 10 (Codename Manta) tablet, debut new “Content in the center” features which will allow users to access Play Store content from a widget and ‘Tablet Sharing’ which will suit families and enterprise users, providing them with a simple and easy to switch between several users on a tablet, each with their own email and apps.
Click here for a complete rundown of the specifications and features of the new devices.
Image Credit: AFP/Getty
Cloud-based data warehouse company Treasure Data officially opened its doors this week with $1.5 million in funding that includes an investment from Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto – the creator of the Ruby programming language.
The other investors include angel investor Bill Tai; Naren Gupta of Nexus Venture and a director with Red Hat and TIBCO, as well as the people behind Gluster and Heroku. Gluster sold to Red Hat last year and Heroku is now part of Salesforce.com.
Treasure Data has developed a service that brings high-end analysis to the business or business unit that has traditionally not had the resources to afford a solutions from companies like IBM, Oracle or Teradata. Founder and CEO Hiro Yoshikawa says the total cost of ownership for a data warehouse suite from one of the enterprise players can cost as much as $5 million. Treasure Data is a subscription service that, at the low end, costs $1,500 per month or $1,200 per month with a 12-month commitment. On average, Yoshikawa says the cost over time is more than 10 times less than what an enterprise data warehouse offering would cost.
The company has been quietly developing a service that in less than a year has more than 10 customers that include Fortune 500 companies. It has more than 100 billion records stored and is processing 10,000 messages per second.
Treasure Data borrows from Hadoop but with a twist. Whereas Cloudera and Hortonworks have made their mark with Hadoop distributions that they install on a hosted server cluster run by the customer, it requires customization and a team of people with highly specialized skills. Hadoop is a way to scale data across a distributed infrastructure to set it up for analysis. By contrast, Treasure Data does not require an infrastructure investment.
Here is how the company positions what it offers:
Treasure Data adds an agent to applications that then feed into a cloud-based environment as illustrated in this diagram:
Treasure Data has all the markings of a company with huge disruptive potential. Its challenge is in scaling to compete with the giants. That means scaling in terms of the data it processes and the overall business. But the need for better analytics is significant. Treasure Data is well-positioned to compete in this fast-growing market.
Just in time for the 2012 London Olympics, Samsung, one of the games’ official partners, has released a Union Jack-bearing Olympics-edition Galaxy S III, a little something special for Londoners enjoying one of the most revered sporting traditions on the planet.
Unfortunately for everyone who isn’t on the Queen’s team, the phone doesn’t actually support the Olympic games as much as it does the hosting country, Great Britain. It comes with a limited edition Union Jack back casing on the same blue background we’ve come to admire on the GSIII. The idea is that Brits can wave their phone during the game to show support.
The phone will officially be made available at Carphone Warehouse on August 1, with prices starting at £28 per month.
But the phone is more than a clever case to be waved. Samsung recently announced that the Galaxy S III and its awesome NFC capabilities will allow users to open their hotel room doors with the phone (instead of a keycard), courtesy of a deal with the Holiday Inn in Statford city.
The phone can also control lighting and change the channel on the TV for competing athletes, according to the Inquirer.
Samsung’s VP of Telecommunication and Networks, Simon Stanford, had the following to say:
As a Worldwide Olympic Partner, we at Samsung want everyone to get behind Team GB and offer them support during the Olympic Games.
We are delighted to be able to offer Carphone Warehouse customers the chance to own this exclusive London 2012 Samsung Galaxy SIII handset, combining the chance to support Team GB with owning a piece of cutting-edge Samsung technology.
AnyVivo, a startup that launched this spring out of Y Combinator’s Winter 2012 program, has a pretty big mission: It wants to be the e-commerce hub for all living things. You might think that Amazon sells everything, and you’re almost right — but AnyVivo wants to pick up exactly where it leaves off, at pets and plants. Selling and shipping such things is actually pretty complicated from a warehousing and logistical perspective, but AnyVivo says it wants to take on the challenge.
The company has started with a focus on one thing: Jellyfish. With its flagship site Jellyfish Art, the company sells custom kits with jellyfish tanks, instructions, food, and the animals themselves. It sounds esoteric, but it’s actually been quite lucrative. AnyVivo is currently profitable, employing a staff of six out of a 6,000 square foot warehouse in downtown San Francisco.
Things are going so swimmingly (ha) that for now, the company is opting to not take on any outside venture capital money beyond the small seed round that Y Combinator invests in all its portfolio companies. In this current funding environment, which is proving especially strong for Y Combinator Winter 2012 startups, that in itself is newsworthy.
But cooler still is AnyVivo’s warehouse, where it breeds and houses jellyfish until they ship out to customers. So TechCrunch TV headed on over to AnyVivo’s headquarters to get an inside look at the company and interview its co-founders, Alex Andon and Cameron Urban. Watch the video embedded above to hear about the initial vision for AnyVivo, why they started with jellyfish, what plants and animals are next on the list, and more. Of course I think you should watch the whole thing, but if you just want to get your zen on and see the jellies floating around, you can start the video at around the 4:30 mark.