Tech wrap: Google+ now open to the masses

September 20, 2011

Google has opened up its Google+ social network to anyone who’d like to give it a whirl, after a successful three-month run as an invite-only service. The company also rolled out a slew of new features for Google+, including integration of its flagship search engine into the platform, and expanded its Hangouts video-chatting feature to enable mobile use on its own Android-based smartphones. Support for Hangouts on Apple’s iOS mobile software is “coming soon”, Google promised in a blog post. Users will soon have the option to broadcast their Hangouts sessions beyond the nine allowed participants as well by opening them up to live viewing by anyone. Want to record a chat for posterity? Well, that’s coming soon too.

Connecting on Facebook, friendship no longer required

September 14, 2011

For years, connecting with people on Facebook has been a consensual act.

But that’s about to change as Facebook, the world’s largest Internet social networking service, introduces a new feature that means people will no longer need to be friends to form a relationship.

Facebook to Google: You say Circles, We say Smart Lists

September 13, 2011

Facebook is unleashing another volley of product changes, as the world’s No.1 Internet social networking service moves to eliminate any gaps between its offering and new rival Google+.

Tech wrap: Broadcom buys NetLogic

September 12, 2011

Chipmaker Broadcom Corp plans to buy NetLogic Microsystems Inc for about $3.7 billion to expand its lineup of chips used in wireless network equipment to take advantage of growing demand for mobile data services.

Tech wrap: Google’s appetite for local grows with Zagat buy

September 8, 2011

Google bought Zagat, the popular dining recommendations and ratings authority, jumping into a niche Web market alongside the likes of OpenTable and Yelp. The 32-year-old Zagat, which polls consumers and compiles reviews about restaurants around the world, will become a cornerstone of Google’s “local offering” and work in tandem with its mapping services and core search engine, the Internet search and advertising leader said.

Tech wrap: Groupon rethinks IPO

September 6, 2011

Groupon called off an IPO roadshow slated for next week because of market volatility, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Internet coupons site is reassessing the timing for an offering on a week-by-week basis, the newspaper added, citing an unidentified source. Some on Wall Street have questioned Groupon’s financial disclosures, while others are concerned the company’s rapid growth is starting to slow in North America. Groupon CEO Andrew Mason sent a memo to employees recently that was widely reported in the media, in which he blasted critics in the press and on Wall Street.

Google pulls the plug on more products – the Larry Page clean-up continues

September 2, 2011

It’s no secret that the new, Larry Page-led Google is pruning its sprawling collection of products.

Tech wrap: AT&T preps plan to salvage T-Mobile deal

September 2, 2011

AT&T was expected to soon present a two-track plan that allows the company to try to find a settlement before the government lawsuit to block its planned $39 billion acquisition of smaller rival T-Mobile USA reaches the court. Details of AT&T’s proposed settlement were not available, but it is expected to include pledges to maintain T-Mobile’s relatively cheap mobile subscription plans, and asset sales.

The future is calling, AT&T, and it’s not T-Mobile

September 2, 2011

By John C Abell
The opinions expressed are his own.

The proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger is shaping up to be an iconic business case saga and a judicial milestone. Who would have thought that nearly 40 years after the U.S. Department of Justice convinced a judge to break up “Ma Bell” that the DoJ might be able to convince another judge to tell that same company you can’t get too big again?

Tech wrap: Apple taps Eddy Cue to boost iAd, iCloud

September 1, 2011

Apple promoted veteran exec Eddy Cue to oversee Apple’s advertising service called iAd and iCloud, according to a leaked memo published by 9to5Mac. Cue played a major role in creating the Apple online store in 1998, the iTunes Music Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008, new CEO Tim Cook said in the email to employees.