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Nov 7, 2013

Twitter: from side project to sociocultural sensation

By Alexei Oreskovic

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc, the 140-character messaging service favored by everyone from the Pope to U.S. President Barack Obama, began as a side-project but rapidly morphed into one of the most powerful social and cultural media forces of our time.

In its market debut on Thursday, Twitter soared as much as 92 percent as investors snapped up shares in the microblogging site in a frenzy that recalled the days of the dot-com bubble.

Nov 6, 2013

Google employees lash out at NSA over reports of cable tapping

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A pair of Google Inc employees involved with the internet company’s security systems have publicly lashed out at the National Security Agency, with one of the employees accusing the organization of subverting the law by intercepting communications on cables linking Google’s various data centers.

Nobody at the U.S. National Security Agency or the British intelligence agency “will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process,” wrote Mike Hearn, an engineer at Google, on his personal Google+ page on Tuesday.

Nov 5, 2013

Google offers live video chats on range of topics with new service

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc is launching a service that lets consumers pay for live video chats with experts who can provide everything from step-by-step turkey cooking instructions to marriage counseling.

The Google Helpouts service, introduced on Monday, features roughly 1,000 partners in fashion, fitness, computers and other topics, available for live, one-on-one video consultations. The video sessions can be as short as a few minutes or can last several hours, depending on the topic, with pricing set by each individual provider.

Nov 1, 2013

Google’s mystery barges revealed as luxury showrooms with party deck: report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc’s mysterious barges, which prompted fevered speculation about everything from offshore data centers to floating research labs, may serve a more prosaic role as upscale party venues and showrooms.

The multi-story vessels made out of stacked shipping containers, one moored in the San Francisco Bay and the other at the Portland, Maine harbor, are invitation-only luxury showrooms for Google’s Glass wearable computers and other gadgets, according to local San Francisco TV station KPIX.

Oct 31, 2013

Google launches ‘KitKat’ software, sweetens features on range of phones

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Google Inc on
Thursday unveiled the newest version of its Android smartphone
software, aiming to allow more smartphone users access to its
evolving menu of online services such as driving directions
voice-activated search.

The new “KitKat” version of Android will be able to run on
inexpensive, low-end smartphones as well as the most advanced
devices, Sundar Pichai, Google Senior Vice President of Android,
Chrome and Apps said at a press event in San Francisco on

Oct 31, 2013

Facebook smashes analyst targets but executive comments spook Street

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc posted strong growth in its mobile advertising business on Wednesday but rattled investors after saying that it did not plan to boost the frequency of ads shown to users.

Shares of the world’s No. 1 online social network soared as much as 15 percent in extended trading before suddenly falling to $47.40, down 3 percent from its $49.10 close. The stock settled at $49.16.

Oct 30, 2013

Facebook tops analyst revenue targets as mobile ads surge

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc posted strong growth in its mobile advertising business, driving a 60 percent increase in revenue that beat Wall Street’s targets.

Shares of the world’s No. 1 online social network rose 9.4 percent to $53.60 in after-hours trading.

Oct 30, 2013

Google takes secrecy to new heights with mystery barge

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – How badly does Google want to keep under wraps a mysterious project taking shape on a barge in San Francisco Bay? Badly enough to require U.S. government officials to sign confidentiality agreements.

At least one Coast Guard employee has had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the Internet giant, said Barry Bena, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman. Another person who would only identify himself as an inspector for a California government agency had to do the same.

Oct 29, 2013

Google+ rolls out movie-making features, claims 300 million users

By Alexei Oreskovic

(Reuters) – Google Inc on Tuesday unveiled new technology that creates polished movies, complete with music soundtracks, from collections of home videos and photos that users post on its fledgling Google+ social network.

The new features mark Google’s latest move to try and differentiate its 2-year-old social network from Facebook, the world’s No. 1 online social network with 1.15 billion users.

Oct 27, 2013

Wall Street’s love affair with Facebook hinges on mobile

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc
finally earned Wall Street’s love in the second quarter. Now it
needs to make the relationship last.

Its shares have doubled in just the last three months,
buoyed by an increasing belief among investors that Facebook has
finally struck a winning formula in mobile advertising.

    • 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, CNET and The Industry Standard magazine."
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