links for 2009-06-15

  • In March, the organizers of a computer-security conference called CanSecWest challenged attendees to break into any one of five smart phones, among them Apple’s popular iPhone. The perceived difficulty of the task–especially breaking into the iPhone–meant that few researchers made any attempt to hack the devices, and none succeeded.
    Now two researchers hope to make things considerably easier for would-be iPhone hackers. Next month, Charles Miller, a principal analyst at Independent Security Evaluators, and Vincenzo Iozzo, a student at the University of Milan, in Italy, will present a way to run nonapproved code on Apple’s mobile device at the Black Hat Security Conference, in Las Vegas.
  • When Guy Kawasaki talks about business innovation, as he did recently at a University of Pennsylvania technology conference, he brings more than 25 years of major-league experience to the conversation — a background that the good-humored investor and entrepreneur calls “my checkered past.” After getting a psychology degree at Stanford and an MBA at UCLA, the Hawaii-born Kawasaki became the second software “evangelist” at Apple Computer, where his job from 1983 to 1987 was to convince people to create software for the Macintosh. Kawasaki fondly recalls his colleagues at Apple as visionary, driven and “arguably the greatest collection of egomaniacs in the history of California — though the record has subsequently been broken by Google.”

  • Say you’re an entrepreneur at a cocktail party snacking on some trail mix when you strike up an innocent conversation with the guy next to you who turns out to be a venture capitalist. He’s interested in hearing more about your company – are you prepared to make the pitch?
    Mark Suster, a general partner at Los Angeles-based venture capital firm GRP Partners, appeared on the Fox Business Network yesterday to help new entrepreneurs develop what he calls the “cocktail pitch.” As he stated in the Fox interview:
  • The new Palm Pre comes from a company that’s been developing handheld gadgets since 1992, but the Pre owes almost nothing to that heritage. It has all the promise — and many of the limits and glitches — of a bright, young startup’s 1.0 release.
    That’s because much of the Palm, Inc., that we knew had to die for the Pre to be born.
    The Sunnyvale, Calif., firm was headed toward extinction not even three years ago, when its Treo smartphones had gone stale and its chief executive scoffed at the idea of Apple getting into the phone business.

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