Re: AQR, Cliff wrote his thesis on momentum investing... which is technical analysis.
While nobody today runs mutual funds by seeking stocks that exhibit candlestick or head-and-shoulder patterns, technical analysis by another name remains alive and well. Today, it is called momentum investing. To be sure, momentum investing is a dressed-up version of technical analysis, replete with academic support and the attempt to explain why the strategy is a "risk factor," but it is nonetheless technical analysis: a signal based solely on a security's price behavior. The idea, of course, is nothing new. Back in the day, the approach was called either price momentum or relative strength--the latter being such a popular term that in the 1980s, newcomer Investors Business Daily trumpeted its relative-strength data as being a prime advantage over incumbent The Wall Street Journal. Whatever its name, favoring stocks that had led the way over the previous several months--and avoiding those that had lagged--was popular long before the academics offered proof. Which, surprisingly, they did. Ironically, among the early proponents of momentum was a student of Gene Fama's, Cliff Asness (founder of AQR), who documented the strategy's success in his 1995 doctoral thesis.
Trust me, both are using more Technicals than Fundamentals. I should be clear though, over longer time horizons technical analysis becomes less successful and is most optimal for intraday strategies. The opposite is true of Fundamental strategies.