News Column

Pentagon adds Oculus to its Plan X hacker strategy

May 30, 2014

By Kevin Sablan, The Orange County Register



May 30--Imagine a hacker watching a hacker, all while within the realm of virtual reality. Now picture that hacker as a government operative, wearing VR goggles, stalking a criminal after valuable data.

That scenario could play out in the near future with help from the Oculus Rift, which the Department of Defense is sniffing around, according to Wired magazine.

The DoD is one of many joining a growing list of organizations imagining a future for the evolving VR technology.

Last month reports circulated that the Norwegian military was thinking about driving tanks with the $300 head-mounted hardware from Irvine startup Oculus.

Wired reports the DoD is exploring how the Rift's goggles could be used as part of Plan X, a software platform being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, for managing cyberdefense and attack tools.

The $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook in March is expected to close in the coming weeks. The company has declined most interviews since the acquisition, but for the first time this year Oculus has a large booth at the giant E3 gaming conference that begins June 10 in Los Angeles. That's where Sony and others are expected to unveil details surrounding the latest VR efforts. -- Ian Hamilton

On the move

Buchanan Street Partners, a real estate investment and management firm in Newport Beach, has added Chris Herthel, Tom Lam and Mark Reese to the firm's acquisitions business. Herthel, who previously worked as executive vice president at Shashi Group LLC, is senior vice president. Lam is assistant vice president of institutional portfolio management. He previously worked at Emmes Asset Management as a senior analyst. Reese is vice president of debt investments. He comes from Bolour Associates, where he was a senior underwriter.

Chad Cooper has been appointed chief executive at Digital Offering, an investment bank in Newport Beach. He was previously a managing director at Ascendiant Capital Markets LLC in Irvine. Cooper fills a role previously held by co-founder Gordon McBean, who retains his positions as chief financial officer and chairman of the board.

New ventures

Gamzio Mobile Inc., an Irvine developer of mobile and social casino games, has acquired Go-Go Casino, a Facebook casino app that has been downloaded 361,000 times, from publisher Empire Interactive Media LLC. Gamzio is revamping the app, its first foray into Facebook gaming, after a lack of upgrades led to a decline in users. The company will roll out the new version of the game over the next 45 days. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bridge Bank, a professional business bank based in San Jose, will open a regional office in Costa Mesa. The bank currently provides SBA loans in Orange and Los Angeles counties. The new office will allow Bridge to provide corporate, technology, and international banking services, as well as services from its capital finance and treasury management services divisions. Bridge Capital Holdings, the bank's parent company, has leased the new location at 3200 Park Center Drive from the Irvine Co.

The Shopoff Group, a real estate investment firm in Irvine, has changed its name to Shopoff Realty Investments. The firm expects to double its staff and expand its office space this year.

Coming up

Sunday is the deadline to register for the third annual Teen Entrepreneur Academy at Concordia University Irvine. The weeklong, hands-on training program for high school students who want to start their own businesses begins July 13. Seventy-five U.S. students and 25 from abroad will live on campus as they learn about entrepreneurship and launching a business. A competition will award $1,000 to the team that writes the best business plan. Enrollment is $800 for U.S. students. Visit cui.edu/tea for details.

More than 600 participants are expected to attend the OC Global Women's Conference Thursday at the Hilton Anaheim. The event is organized by Fountain Valley-based Coastline Community College Foundation, a nonprofit that provides students with financial assistance. The daylong event includes career workshops, mentorship programs, awards and panel discussions with leaders discussing professional development, leadership, life skills and social issues. Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens will deliver the keynote speech. General admission is $150. Visit ocglobalwomen.org for details.

Overheard

"When it comes to negotiating, you ultimately carry a bigger stick." -- Katie Kalvoda of Newport Wealth Management talking to Bloomberg about family offices teaming up to make direct investments in companies while circumventing fees charged by intermediary fund managers

Contact the writer: 714-796-3589 or ksablan@ocregister.com

___

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

Visit The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) at www.ocregister.com

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Source: Orange County Register (CA)


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