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BUSINESS
April 4, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO - At 6 feet 4 inches, JR Curley is used to getting noticed. Just not like this. Ever since he got a pair of Google Glass in November, he has been turning heads at the grocery store, in restaurants, on the street, even at Disneyland. People approach him all the time to ask about his head-mounted, Internet-connected computer, which is worn like a pair of glasses. He spends so much time letting them try on Glass that his wife has begun referring to herself as the "Glass bystander.
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BUSINESS
April 4, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Nest this week halted sales of the Nest Protect, its smart smoke detector, after an issue was found within the product that could cause it to delay ringing an alarm if there were a fire. The company, which was acquired earlier this year by Google for more than $3 billion, also encouraged users who own the device to disable a feature called Nest Wave, which is the source of the problem. The feature allows users to turn off the Nest Protect with a wave of their hand, but under certain circumstances, the feature could cause the device to not function properly.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Tech companies have not been shy about spending big bucks on up-and-coming startups in 2014. Facebook in particular has already doled out more than $20 billion in some big-name acquisitions. Google has also had a few transactions, buying two startups for billions of dollars before selling Motorola. A fourth of the way into 2014, here are five of the biggest and most notable tech acquisitions thus far: 1. Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion In one of the biggest tech deals of all time, Facebook snatched up popular mobile messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion . The deal is Facebook's largest acquisition thus far and made the company's 2012 $1 billion purchase of Instagram look like child's play.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- A two-week ban on Twitter in Turkey was lifted on Thursday after a court there ruled that the ban violated freedom of expression. "The ban has been lifted," an official from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office told Reuters. Twitter was blocked ahead of local elections after leaked recordings implicating government officials in corruption were posted on the social networking service. Erdogan pledged to “root out” the network. The controversial ban prompted an international outcry.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
With the addition of Amazon Fire TV this week, the market for video-streaming devices is getting crowded. And maybe that's why Roku made its latest device so small. The Saratoga, Calif., company recently began shipping the Streaming Stick, a video-streaming dongle that users can discreetly plug into their HDTVs to access online video services such as Netflix, HBO Go and Pandora. Measuring 3.1 inches by 1.1 inches and just 0.5 inch tall, the Streaming Stick takes up a lot less space than Roku's other devices, which resemble hockey pucks.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Roku this month began shipping the Streaming Stick, a $49.99 dongle that lets users watch online video content on their TVs. Like Roku's other streaming devices, the Streaming Stick makes it possible for users to easily watch videos from Netflix, YouTube and other providers on their televisions. But the Streaming Stick is much smaller and more discreet than other Roku gadgets -- it plugs into the back of users' TVs. The device is essentially Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast dongle.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Google has kicked off the tech world's annual round of April Fools' Day gags with a Pokemon Challenge. The tech company's Japanese blog on Monday announced that an update for the Android and iPhone versions of Google Maps lets users go around and, you guessed it, try to catch all the Pokemon. The neat mini-game is part of Google's fictional recruiting search for the newly available position of Pokemon Master. VIDEO: HTC One (M8) smartphone better than predecessor in every way To earn the job, recruits must catch all 150 Pokemon that can be found in the game, the company jokes in a video that can be seen above.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Anky van Deursen
Question: I have lived in Silicon Valley my whole life. I am 70 years old and retired. I recently applied for housing at an apartment complex and asked the leasing agent what my chances were of getting an apartment. He told me they had received a lot of applications. When I asked if it was worth it to apply at all, he shrugged and said I was "up against some Google people. " I was outraged. Am I being discriminated against, since he implied that I did not stand a chance of being chosen over a person who works for Google?
BUSINESS
March 25, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
The Google Now notification feature has begun rolling out to all users of the Mountain View tech company's Chrome Web browser. The notification feature has been available to Android and iOS smartphone users for some time. Google Now is designed to provide users with information they may need before they search for it. This includes traffic, weather and news updates. Google began testing Google Now for the beta version of the Chrome browser last month, but this week, it announced that all users of Chrome will soon be able to activate Google Now if they would like.
NEWS
March 25, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield
When I was a kid I didn't want to wear glasses because I was afraid people would make fun of me and call me “four eyes.” Now I'm an adult, and for $1,500 (or so), soon I will be able to buy a pair of Google Glass - and then I can have people make fun of me, or, worse, beat me up. It's called, uh, progress. Of course, Google Glass aren't glasses, although yes, they look like glasses. No, Google Glass are wearable computers. (Fortunately, they're light; imagine having to tote an original IBM PC around on one's head!
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