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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.

Nov 20, 2013

Google unveils prepaid debit card

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will offer a prepaid debit card that will allow consumers to purchase goods at stores and to withdraw cash from ATM machines, the Internet company said on Wednesday.

The card, which is only available in the United States, lets consumers access the funds stored in their Google Wallet accounts. Google Wallet is a smartphone app and online payment service that lets consumers buy goods and transfer money to each other.

Nov 18, 2013

Google to pay $17 million to settle states’ Safari probe

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc will pay $17 million to settle allegations by 37 states and the District of Colombia that it secretly tracked Web users by placing special digital files on the Web browsers of their smartphones.

The deal, announced Monday morning, ends a nearly two-year probe by the states into allegations that Google bypassed the privacy settings of customers using Apple Inc’s Safari Web browser by placing “cookies” into the browser.

Nov 18, 2013

SurveyMonkey aims new product at businesses, hires first sales team

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Online company
SurveyMonkey rolled out on Monday its new polling product aimed
at business customers, the company said.

The company also is hiring its first sales people to pitch
the new SurveyMonkey Enterprise product directly to corporations
and other large organizations. The product will also be
available internationally.

Nov 13, 2013

Google’s Motorola seeks comeback with low-cost smartphone

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Motorola is betting that low-cost smartphones can provide the spark to rekindle its struggling business, even as the company’s ownership by Google Inc will force it to sit out of China, the world’s largest smartphone market.

The company’s new Moto G phone, unveiled on Wednesday morning, will be available for $179 without a wireless service contract, about one third of the price of Apple Inc’s new iPhone 5C.

Nov 13, 2013

Sina record revenues fuelled by Weibo, Alibaba

BEIJING/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Chinese Internet company Sina Corp saw record revenue in the third quarter, as profit more than doubled from a year ago due to strong earnings growth from its Weibo microblogging service and a partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Advertising revenue from Sina Weibo, China’s biggest microblogging service with 54 million daily active users, surged 125 percent year-on-year to $43.7 million, reflecting Chinese companies’ embrace of social media as a marketing tool.

Nov 9, 2013

Google mystery barge to be “artistic” high tech exhibition venue

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Able-bodied seamen, decorative sails meant to evoke fish fins and dozens of security cameras will eventually make up the on-board complement of a mysterious four-story barge being built by Internet company Google Inc.

The barge is actually a “technology exhibition space,” that Google will move between several piers in the San Francisco Bay area and other West coast locations over the next two years, according to a 36-page information packet submitted in August to the Port of San Francisco.

Nov 7, 2013

Twitter IPO highlights big money friction in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc’s
initial public offering marks something of a coming out party
for San Francisco as a technology capital, giving the city a
home-grown success story to rival those of Silicon Valley to the
south.

But there is little celebration among community activists
and a growing cadre of middle class residents who resent what
they view as a tech-driven, big-money takeover of the city.

    • 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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