Today in Tech: Would you watch this Silicon Valley reality show?

July 10, 2012: 4:51 PM ET

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has fighting words for Apple; RIM plans to sell its jet to save cash. 

A reality series intrudes on Silicon Valley, and finds it cringing [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

The series, which is now being filmed and is scheduled to be broadcast this winter, shows hard-partying youngsters vying to start companies in a frenzy reminiscent of the dot-com peak of 2000. It is a world where everyone seems to think that a good idea can lead to instant success and untold riches, because, after all, it has so many times before. It is a place where you feel like a failure if only one investor offers to finance you, instead of many begging to get in.

Exclusive: Microsoft's Ballmer throws down gauntlet against Apple [CRN]

"We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple," said an exuberant Ballmer in a 30-minute interview after addressing some 16,000 partners at the company's annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. "We are not. No space uncovered that is Apple's.

RIM said to sell jet to help save $1 billion [BLOOMBERG]

The maker of BlackBerry devices put its nine-passenger Dassault Aviation SA F50EX up for sale, trying to fetch $6 million to $7 million, one of the people said. The person declined to be named because the sale hasn't been completed. Selling the midrange jet would leave RIM with one Dassault F900EX, a longer-range aircraft that can fit 14 passengers, the person said.

Videogames reach for the cloud [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

Despite attractions such as avoiding paying at least $99 for a game console, cloud gaming services have had a modest impact so far. Industry researcher IDC estimated that OnLive had about two million customers during the first quarter of this year, based on a survey of 1,500 U.S. gamers—not much of a foothold compared to console sales by Sony and Microsoft Corp., which have each exceeded 60 million units sold.

How I accidentally kickstarted the domestic drone boom [WIRED]

What are all these amateurs doing with their drones? Like the early personal computers, the main use at this point is experimentation—simple, geeky fun. But as personal drones become more sophisticated and reliable, practical applications are emerging. The film industry is already full of remotely piloted copters serving as camera platforms, with a longer reach than booms as well as cheaper and safer operations than manned helicopters. Some farmers now use drones for crop management, creating aerial maps to optimize water and fertilizer distribution. And there are countless scientific uses for drones, from watching algal blooms in the ocean to low-altitude measurement of the solar reflectivity of the Amazon rain forest. Others are using the craft for wildlife management, tracking endangered species and quietly mapping out nesting areas that are in need of protection.
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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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