SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Does Facebook Inc have Google envy?
The social networking company’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR, a maker of virtual reality goggles, took Wall Street and technology observers by surprise, not least because of the hefty price for a company with no real revenue and untested technology.
But Facebook’s desire to bet on “the platforms of tomorrow,” as Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg described the deal on Tuesday, also marks a broadening of ambition for a company that has until now focused mainly on bolstering its existing service or defending its turf from immediate threats.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc will acquire two-year-old Oculus VR Inc, a maker of virtual-reality glasses for gaming, for $2 billion, buying its way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena with its first-ever hardware deal.
The acquisition, which comes hot on the heels of its $19 billion deal for messaging service WhatsApp, marks a big bet by Facebook to anticipate the next shift in an evolving technology industry, at a time when consumers are increasingly abandoning their PCs for smartphones.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc slashed its cloud computing service prices on Tuesday, seeking to wrest customers from Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp in the fast-growing market of renting computers and data storage to companies.
Price cuts range from 30 to 85 percent. Google’s Cloud Storage will cost 2.6 cents per gigabyte, about 68 percent lower for most customers. Google’s Compute Engine services will cost 32 percent less across all sizes, regions and classes.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Turkey’s abrupt ban on Twitter Inc stirred concerns on Friday that the country may pull the plug on other social media and Internet services as it grapples with internal turmoil.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has in the past threatened to block Facebook Inc and Google Inc’s YouTube as well, though both remained online.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter Inc said on Friday it hopes access to its social media service in Turkey will be restored soon, a day after it was blocked by the country’s government.
The ban, which has proven to be not entirely effective, is the latest effort by a government to squash critical comments that flow freely over Twitter’s social network and highlights the thorny policy challenge facing the company.
WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Executives of several large U.S. Internet companies, including Google Inc and Facebook Inc, were to meet with President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss changes to government surveillance programs.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama will meet with six tech executives to “continue his dialogue with them on the issues of privacy, technology and intelligence following his January 17 speech.” The meeting is scheduled to start in the Oval Office at 4:05 p.m. EDT (2005 GMT).
SAN FRANCISCO, March 20 (Reuters) – When Google
started testing a free same-day shopping delivery service in San
Francisco last year, industry observers were surprised by the
company’s foray into a notoriously tricky and decidedly
low-margin real-world business.
Others raised their eyebrows when orders of one or two
items, such as toothpaste or a can of soda, sometimes arrived in
a bag big enough to hold a week’s worth of groceries.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A new smarpthone app developed by the Tribune Co will read aloud a personalized “playlist” of news articles along with weather and traffic updates, as the media organization looks for new ways to reach consumers.
The free Newsbeat app released on Thursday is the first product developed by the year-old Tribune Digital Ventures group headed by former Yahoo Inc executive Shashi Seth.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc said on Tuesday that smartwatches based on its Android mobile software will be available later this year, significantly expanding the Internet company’s push into the nascent market for wearable devices.
Google said it was partnering with several consumer electronics and technology companies, including Samsung Electronics Co, LG Electronics and Intel Corp, as well as with fashion company Fossil Group to develop the new line of watches.
SAN FRANCISCO, March 13 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg blasted the U.S. government’s
electronic surveillance practices on Thursday, saying he’d
personally called President Barack Obama to voice his
“When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we
imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own
government,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his personal Facebook