February 19, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook has agreed to buy popular mobile messaging company WhatsApp for about $16 billion in cash and stock, the giant social network said Wednesday. WhatsApp's current owners would get $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion in Facebook shares. In addition, $3 billion in restricted stock units would be granted to WhatsApp's founders and employees. The stock units would vest over four years after the deal closes. If it goes through, the blockbuster deal would hand Facebook a mobile messaging service that is especially popular with young people. More than 450 million people use the service each month.
February 19, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook made WhatsApp the kind of offer it couldn't possibly refuse: $19 billion plus a pledge to pay out $2 billion if the deal doesn't go through. But some users of the popular mobile messaging app say the acquisition is a raw deal for them. And they have gathered on Twitter to say they plan to delete the WhatsApp app. Many of them are complaining about Facebook's privacy incursions. But the main objection seems to be all the ads on Facebook -- and how Facebook exploits what you share with your friends to pitch stuff to you and them.
February 17, 2014 |
Joey Mucha used to seal a business deal with a handshake or an e-mail. Now he whips out his smartphone. The San Francisco entrepreneur runs a side business renting out skee ball machines. With the company growing steadily, Mucha decided last year he needed to use contracts to protect his clients and the business. But he didn't go to a pricey lawyer. Instead, the 27-year-old downloaded a smartphone app called Shake. It guided him through the process of creating easy-to-read contracts, which customers can then sign with a swipe of their fingers on the screen.
February 14, 2014 |
Psssst! Do you want to get freaky, give voice to your wildest or most romantic sexual Valentine's Day fantasies, and at the same time, contribute to legitimate scientific research? There's an app for that. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, which has tracked and chronicled Americans' changing sexual habits and mores for more than 60 years, invites you download their free Kinsey Reporter app and dish on the erotic activities you have engaged in -- or wish you could engage in -- this Valentine's Day. Kinsey's mobile app, available from the Apple App Store and Google Play, allows scientists at Indiana University to collect anonymous data on sexual activity in the United States and around the world, and to make the organization's anonymous data and analyses available for public view.
February 13, 2014 |
Attending the opera was once straighforward. Buy a ticket and go. But that was before the information age. A little more can be involved these days. The latest wrinkle is what is being called the world's first interactive live stream of an opera, which will occur Sunday at the Hammer Museum. It's Tod Machover's “robot opera” (the press release's quotes, not mine), “Death and the Powers.” The simulcast will be of a live Dallas Opera performance. Tickets are free and you can get them at the Hammer website.
February 11, 2014 |
Networks, advertisers and tech start-ups have been trying to better engage consumers who increasingly play with their smartphones and tablets while watching TV. According to a TV industry study, they have a long way to go. Companies have been putting out apps that let viewers vote during reality shows, participate in polls, play trivia games and comment on the episodes with other viewers, encouraging fans to participate along with the programs...
February 9, 2014 |
The creator of Flappy Bird has removed the popular game from both the Apple App Store and Google Play. Users who have already installed the game will be able to keep playing it, but it is not possible for new users to download the game, which was at the top of the free-apps chart for both Apple iOS and Android devices before being removed. Dong Nguyen, the game's developer, on Saturday tweeted that he would remove Flappy Bird from the app stores, just a few days after telling the Verge that Flappy Bird was making about $50,000 a day on average from advertisements.
February 8, 2014 |
"Flappy Bird" will not be available for download after Sunday morning, game developer Dong Nguyen said Saturday in a surprising series of tweets. The game has recently risen to the top of charts of both the Apple App Store and Google Play . Users tap their smartphone screen to propel a bird through a series of gaps between green tubes, which look like the ones in the popular Mario Nintendo video games. If a user hits a tube, his character dies. The point of the game is to get the highest possible score, but "Flappy Bird" is notorious for its extreme level of difficulty.
February 8, 2014 |
Enjoy whirlwind tours of Los Angeles neighborhoods, eavesdrop on celebrities, drive interest in your in-progress screenplay. Just when you thought this town's attention span couldn't get any shorter - or its residents any more publicity-hungry - along comes social video to prove that entertainment can be had in as little time as it takes to blurt out a one-liner. When photo-sharing site Instagram introduced its 15-second video feature last June, many predicted that it would spell the demise of the Twitter-owned 6.5-second video service, Vine, launched just six months earlier.
February 7, 2014 |
A cyber security researcher has discovered a vulnerability within the Snapchat mobile app that makes it possible for hackers to launch a denial-of-service attack that temporarily freezes a user's iPhone. Jaime Sanchez, who works as a cyber-security consultant for Telefonica, a major telecommunications company in Spain, said he and another researcher found a weakness in Snapchat's system that allows hackers to send thousands of messages to individual users in a matter of seconds.