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Dec 20, 2013

San Francisco protesters blockade another tech company bus

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – About 40 protesters in San Francisco blocked a technology company’s employee bus on Friday to demonstrate resentment towards the booming tech industry’s impact on the city.

Protesters surrounded the corporate bus in the Mission district as it was picking up employees for the morning commute.

Dec 17, 2013

Facebook to test video ads, opening new revenue source

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc took a first step on Tuesday toward selling video ads that play automatically in newsfeeds, moving cautiously to unlock a source of revenue that could annoy users.

The world’s largest social network, which had long been expected to try and grab a larger slice of the $66 billion U.S. television advertising market, will start by working with Summit Entertainment on ads for “Divergent,” based on the popular series of science-fiction books.

Dec 16, 2013

Google acquires developer of military robots

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Big Dog, a four-legged robot that can climb muddy hills, and Cheetah, a robot which can outrun the fastest human, are among the robots that now belong to Google Inc.

The world’s largest Internet search company acquired Boston Dynamics, a privately held company best known for building robots that look as if they belong in a science-fiction movie and which are often co-developed or funded by the U.S. military.

Dec 13, 2013

Google removes privacy feature from Android mobile software

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Google Inc has
removed an experimental privacy feature from its Android mobile
software that had allowed users to block apps from collecting
personal information such as address book data and a user’s
location.

The change means that owners of smartphones using Android
4.4.2, the latest version of the world’s most popular operating
system for mobile devices released this week, must provide
access to their personal data in order to use certain apps.

Dec 12, 2013

Instagram unveils private photo-sharing, messaging

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Photo-sharing service Instagram unveiled a new feature Thursday that allows users to send images and messages privately, as the Facebook-owned company sought to bolster its appeal among younger consumers who are increasingly using mobile messaging applications.

The new Instagram Direct feature allows users to send a photo or video to a single person or up to 15 people, and to have real-time text conversations.

Dec 11, 2013

Google executives’ planes saved millions in costs due to error – NASA

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The company that manages a fleet of airplanes owned and leased by Google Inc executives Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt improperly bought fuel from the government at below-market rates, for a savings of up to $5.3 million according to a report released by the NASA Inspector General on Wednesday.

The 10-page report said the discounted fuel purchases were the result of a “misunderstanding” between a Defense Department fuel provider and the NASA Ames Research Center, which manages the California airfield where a Boeing 767, a military-type Alpha Jet and several other aircraft are stored.

Dec 11, 2013

Google execs’ planes saved millions in costs due to error- NASA

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The company that manages a
fleet of airplanes owned and leased by Google Inc
executives Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt improperly
bought fuel from the government at below-market rates, for a
savings of up to $5.3 million according to a report released by
the NASA Inspector General on Wednesday.

The 10-page report said the discounted fuel purchases were
the result of a “misunderstanding” between a Defense Department
fuel provider and the NASA Ames Research Center, which manages
the California airfield where a Boeing 767, a military-type
Alpha Jet and several other aircraft are stored.

Dec 5, 2013

Google’s mystery barge in San Francisco Bay under investigation

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The agency that oversees development in the San Francisco Bay in California has begun a formal investigation into the construction of a secretive Google Inc barge on an island in the bay.

The probe, which began in the past week, will examine what permits are needed to build the barge and whether the owners of the Treasure Island pier where the vessel is moored have the proper permits, said Larry Goldzband, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Nov 26, 2013

Insight: At Web startups, glossy numbers often mean little

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A growing group of social and mobile Web services are poised to become the next Facebook Inc. Just ask them.

Online startups with eye-popping statistics that purport to show their popularity have captivated the attention of the media and investors. Companies boast of everything from skyrocketing Web page views to user sign-ups to shared digital photos as measures of their success.

Nov 26, 2013

At Web startups, glossy numbers often mean little

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 26 (Reuters) – A growing group of
social and mobile Web services are poised to become the next
Facebook Inc. Just ask them.

Online startups with eye-popping statistics that purport to
show their popularity have captivated the attention of the media
and investors. Companies boast of everything from skyrocketing
Web page views to user sign-ups to shared digital photos as
measures of their success.

    • 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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