Social Network Attempts to Recapture Early Spirit of Facebook

In response to the evolving user base of popular social networks such as Facebook, a new venture called Blend hopes to return social media to a younger crowd with its app designed exclusively for undergraduate students. San Jose, CA-based Blend currently enables users to share photos and win gift cards, but has plans to become more of a social network with interactive features like commenting. Founded in May 2013, Blend has nine employees, including its three young co-founders. Continue reading Social Network Attempts to Recapture Early Spirit of Facebook

Hollywood Executives Discuss Piracy with President Obama

Entertainment media execs met with President Obama this week to discuss including copyright protections in new trade agreements and help in facilitating improved relations between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. During the meeting, the president offered his administration’s assistance in bridging the divide between the two industries. A priority in Hollywood is to stop search engines from linking to websites that stream pirated content. Continue reading Hollywood Executives Discuss Piracy with President Obama

MPAA Study Highlights Role of Google Search in Online Piracy

The Motion Picture Association of America released a report yesterday that criticizes the impact of Google and other search engines on the piracy of movies and television shows. The report determined that between 2010 and 2012, search engines influenced 20 percent of sessions that resulted in acts of piracy. The largest share of search queries (82 percent) that led to infringing film and TV content URLs originated from Google, according to the study. Continue reading MPAA Study Highlights Role of Google Search in Online Piracy

Twitter Announces Filing for IPO in Fewer Than 140 Characters

Twitter announced filing its much-anticipated initial public offering last Thursday, in what could become the highest-profile tech stock market debut since last year’s Facebook IPO. The social media giant filed “confidential” paperwork with securities regulators to sell shares, but did not make public the company’s financials, including revenues. Filing confidentially is a new feature in the stock market created by the JOBS Act, designed for companies making less than $1 billion in revenue. Continue reading Twitter Announces Filing for IPO in Fewer Than 140 Characters

Intel Creates Ultrasmall Quark Chips for Wearable Computing

Chip manufacturer Intel is debuting very small processors that have a wide variety of uses from wearable devices to medical and industrial applications. Some have criticized the company for not entering the smartphone market fast enough, but with Quark, Intel plans to pursue embedded computing technologies emerging in wearable devices and the Internet of Things. Intel will have to address the expected low price of these chips, along with increased competition from other chip makers. Continue reading Intel Creates Ultrasmall Quark Chips for Wearable Computing

Predictive Search Knows What You Want Without You Asking

Startups and large tech companies such as Google are working on predictive search, a software service that acts as a digital personal assistant, anticipating needs and wants before being asked, and presenting this information to the user. This is the newest development in Web searching, particularly with mobile devices. As it becomes more mainstream, some are concerned about privacy and whether the constant data will be less than helpful. Continue reading Predictive Search Knows What You Want Without You Asking

Google Drives Past Auto Manufacturers in Vehicle Automation

Most major automakers are developing more automated driving systems. Some of the features, such as cruise control that adjusts to the speeds of surrounding cars, blind spot radar and other collision avoidance systems, are already available. The push to deliver automated cars reflects the differences of automakers and Silicon Valley tech companies. Established car companies typically take a more incremental tactic than Silicon Valley, taking into account decades of manufacturing experience. Continue reading Google Drives Past Auto Manufacturers in Vehicle Automation

New Audio App is the Pandora for Podcasts and News Radio

Silicon Valley startup Concept.io has launched the Swell smartphone app, which automatically collects Internet radio and podcast content based on user interest. Swell tracks what content is played, how often, and what is skipped, using an algorithm to build a user profile. The app also tracks a user’s Twitter stream to identify areas of interest in order to add relevant audio programs. Swell is currently available for iOS, with Android on the way. Continue reading New Audio App is the Pandora for Podcasts and News Radio

Google All Access: Potential Impact of Another Music Service

Google unveiled its All Access streaming music service at this week’s I/O developers conference in San Francisco. The service, viewed as a potential competitor to Spotify, also has some musicians concerned about a future in which music listeners choose subscriptions to access music libraries rather than paying to download individual songs. Industry execs, labels and artists are debating the pros and cons of cloud-based music distribution. Continue reading Google All Access: Potential Impact of Another Music Service

Tech Giants Developing Open Source Networking Project

According to Raymie Stata, former chief technology officer at Yahoo, deciding to change the way a network operates can lead to cases where you have to physically rearrange hardware. But here’s the problem: networking gear is often old and outdated. While developers are constantly creating and updating software for computers and smartphones, hardware development remains relatively stagnant. Continue reading Tech Giants Developing Open Source Networking Project

Free Messaging Apps Impact Facebook and Mobile Carriers

A fast-growing variety of free messaging apps — including WhatsApp, WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk — are now commonly used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. The apps are causing concern for an array of tech companies since communication via free messaging does not benefit mobile carriers or phone makers financially. Use of the messaging apps can also reduce time spent on conversational channels such as social networks. Continue reading Free Messaging Apps Impact Facebook and Mobile Carriers

Facebook CEO Plans to Launch Political Advocacy Group

News that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly in the process of co-organizing a political advocacy group made up of top leaders in technology is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The group would push for federal legislation on issues like immigration and education, according to sources familiar with the matter. Zuckerberg plans to raise $50 million to launch the group with his former Harvard roommate Joe Green. Continue reading Facebook CEO Plans to Launch Political Advocacy Group

Hardware, Gadgets Outpacing Software at SXSW this Year

Among the most talked-about things at this year’s South by Southwest conference are a camera that automatically takes photos every 30 seconds, a new gaming console and a gadget that allows people to control their computers and other devices by waving their hands. It is estimated that at least two-dozen panels, talks and presentations at this year’s SXSW involve a new device or gadget. Continue reading Hardware, Gadgets Outpacing Software at SXSW this Year

Will the Tech Industry Go All In for Online Gambling?

Las Vegas could soon be facing competition from social networks and gaming companies. “Silicon Valley is betting that online gambling is its next billion-dollar business, with developers across the industry turning casual games into occasions for adults to wager,” reports The New York Times. The games are aimed at overseas markets for now, where attitudes and laws regarding gambling are more relaxed and very lucrative. Continue reading Will the Tech Industry Go All In for Online Gambling?

Samsung to Tap Silicon Valley Innovation in Post-PC Era

Samsung disclosed details this week regarding its planned Silicon Valley innovation center, which will help build partnerships between entrepreneurs and the company’s nine product divisions to develop new product ideas. The center is also expected to encourage expansion of the company’s mergers and acquisitions strategy by determining which companies and emerging technologies can help fill existing product gaps. Continue reading Samsung to Tap Silicon Valley Innovation in Post-PC Era

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