Alexei's Feed
Apr 7, 2015

Groups urge U.S. FTC to investigate YouTube kids video app

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A coalition of consumer and children advocacy groups plans to urge federal regulators to investigate a YouTube video app aimed at children that the groups say disregards long-established safeguards limiting advertising to young audiences.

The YouTube Kids app, which was released in February, blends video programming and ads in ways that deceive children and parents, according to the groups, which include the Center for Digital Democracy, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Consumers Union.

Apr 2, 2015

Silicon Valley start-up targets atypical market: the elderly

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Young consumers are often the first audience that technology companies target with new gadgets and mobile apps. Now a Silicon Valley company, backed by a few big names on the Internet, is aiming at the elderly.

The Honor online service, which is being unveiled on Thursday, aims to make it easier for older people to get professional in-home care to help with everything from taking a bath to picking up groceries, according to the company.

Mar 27, 2015

Yahoo, Microsoft extend search partnership talks for 30 days

SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 (Reuters) – Yahoo Inc and
Microsoft Corp agreed to extend by 30 days the deadline
to re-negotiate a ten year search deal, as the two Internet
companies attempt to revamp a thorny partnership crafted by
former chief executives.

The search partnership, which took effect in 2010, allowed
the companies to negotiate changes or to terminate the
arrangement entirely after five years. Under the terms of the
deal, the companies had 30 days to make changes following Feb.
23.

Mar 26, 2015

Facebook talks up need for virtual reality, big tech bets

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and drones will enable Facebook Inc to create a more lifelike and useful social network, the company said in its clearest explanation so far for technology projects that have puzzled some investors and analysts.

Facebook executives made the case on Thursday, at its annual developer conference in San Francisco, that initiatives such as its $2 billion purchase of virtual reality headset maker Oculus last year, and the hiring of aerospace experts make sense for the 1.4-billion member social network.

Mar 25, 2015

Facebook brings apps, businesses to Messenger service

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday opened up its Messenger service for developers to create apps and for shoppers to communicate directly with retailers, as the Internet company seeks to expand its reach.

The new features mark Facebook’s latest effort to transform its mobile messaging service into a full-featured platform with the same pull with consumers and businesses as its flagship 1.4-billion user social network.

Mar 24, 2015

Google poaches Morgan Stanley’s CFO

By Alexei Oreskovic and Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Google Inc said it hired Ruth Porat, chief financial officer at Morgan Stanley, as its own finance chief, a move signaling that the search engine company may be looking to bear down on fast growing expenses.

Google’s costs have jumped as the company embarked on an increasing number of ambitious projects including self-driving cars and internet-connected eyeglasses. Last year, the company’s revenue grew 19 percent, while total expenses rose 23.4 percent, a trend that alarmed some analysts.

Mar 18, 2015

Nearly 40 percent of iPhone owners interested in Apple Watch: poll

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – About 40 percent of adult Apple iPhone owners in the United States are interested in buying the company’s new Apple Watch, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The high-tech smartwatch, which will range in price from $350 to $17,000 for an 18-karat gold model, is Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) first major new product in five years and consumer demand for the device is being closely watched by competitors and investors.

Mar 17, 2015

Google X boss says company should have curbed Glass hype

SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 (Reuters) – Google Inc
was wrong to let expectations about its Glass wearable
gadget get overheated, the head of the Google X research lab
said on Tuesday.

The Internet company did not do enough to make clear that
the $1,500 computer that mounts to a pair of eyeglasses was
merely a prototype and not a finished product, Google’s Astro
Teller said during a talk at the South by Southwest Interactive
conference in Austin.

Mar 17, 2015

Google app store gets more oversight

SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 (Reuters) – Google Inc
is tightening supervision of its freewheeling Play
store, forming a special team to screen new apps for malware and
sexually explicit material, and strengthening its age-based
rating system.

The change brings Google Play, a bazaar for digital games,
social media apps and entertainment software, closer to Apple
Inc’s tightly controlled App Store. But Google is not
adopting Apple’s practice of only approving apps that meet its
stringent quality standards.

Mar 16, 2015

Facebook clarifies rules on banned content

By Alexei Oreskovic

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc clarified its rules banning certain content from its social network, as the Internet company strives to curb controversial posts such as support for violent militant groups and nudity without damaging its status as a global hub for users to share information.

The 1.39 billion-member social network updated its “community standards” late Sunday, providing specific examples of content prohibited under its general rules against direct threats, hate speech and criminal activity.

    • About Alexei

      "I write about Internet companies including Google, Yahoo and Facebook. I’ve covered technology and business for more than ten years at publications including TheStreet.com, CNET and The Industry Standard magazine."
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