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End of an Era: Larry Ellison to Step Aside as Oracle’s Chief

Oracle announced yesterday afternoon that Larry Ellison has agreed to step down as chief executive officer, concluding what Businessweek described as “one of the most entertaining and profitable runs for a leader in business history.” Ellison, who turned 70 last month, has run the company since co-founding it in 1977. He will remain chairman of Oracle’s board and will become the chief technology officer. Oracle execs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd will share the CEO responsibilities. Read more

Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in IPO: Ready to Take On Google

The Alibaba Group, China’s leading e-commerce operator, raised nearly $21.8 billion in its initial stock sale yesterday. While not the biggest initial public offering to-date, Alibaba did have one of the strongest stock sales on record, surpassing those for Facebook and General Motors. When it begins trading today on the New York Stock Exchange, it is poised to become one of the world’s most impressive Internet powerhouses, a compelling blend of Amazon, eBay, Google and other tech giants. Read more

Nielsen is Finally Going Electronic, Diaries on Their Way Out

Ratings service Nielsen is starting to replace its traditional paper diaries with electronic devices it has developed to measure local TV viewership. Nielsen’s diary-based system, which has been in place in varied formats for at least 60 years, will eventually be retired. To start, the dismantling will affect 14 of the 154 markets in which hand-written viewing diaries are still used to collect data. The new devices will “listen” to the audio portion of shows that are being viewed by consumers. Read more

Apple Introduces iOS 8 with a Focus on Privacy and Sharing

With the release of Apple’s iOS 8, the company is introducing some significant privacy and sharing upgrades. Following the recent hack of celebrity photographs from iCloud accounts, Apple launched a campaign explaining the ways in which it handles personal data. CEO Tim Cook released a statement indicating that he wants Apple to be transparent about these issues. In iOS 8, the company released a feature called Continuity, enhanced user privacy, and family sharing. Read more

Virtual Reality Helmet Could Redefine In-Flight Entertainment

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus a patent in August for headrests that include helmets attached to a carrier. The headrests will relieve passenger stress by providing entertainment in addition to “sensorial isolation with regard to the external environment.” They will play immersive multimedia content on glasses with display screens that are capable of “holographic projection mode,” according to the patent. Read more

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