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Google social networking boss Gundotra leaving company

Senior VP of Engineering at Google Vic Gundotra before a Google event in San FranciscoSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's head of social networking services, Vic Gundotra, announced on Thursday that he is leaving the Internet search company. Gundotra, who has worked at Google for eight years, did not say where he was going in a message he posted on the Google+ social network announcing the move. In 2011, Gundotra oversaw the launch of the Google+ social network as the Internet search giant sought to catch up with Facebook Inc in the fast-growing social networking market. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Jan Paschal)

Facebook acquires fitness tracking mobile app Moves

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg smiles in the stage before delivering a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in BarcelonaBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc has acquired the maker of a mobile app that can track the distance consumers walk or run and measure the calories burned, giving the social networking company an entree into the nascent market for fitness and health monitoring technology. Facebook did not disclose the price it paid for ProtoGeo Oy, the 2-year-old Helsinki company that makes the Moves app. A Facebook spokesman said the price for ProtoGeo, which has fewer than 10 employees, was not anywhere near what the company had paid for other higher-profile acquisitions recently. Facebook has begun 2014 by going on a shopping spree, paying $19 billion for mobile messaging service WhatsApp in February and $2.3 billion for virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR a couple of weeks later.

FCC pushes back against criticism over Internet traffic plan

Attendees surf the internet at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly HillsThe U.S. communications regulator on Thursday sought to tame an outcry over "net neutrality" rules it is developing, saying the agency would make sure broadband providers which "unreasonably" discriminate against Web traffic are punished. New rules proposed by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler would ban broadband providers from blocking Web content, but would allow deals with content providers to deliver Internet traffic to users faster, as long as such agreements are "commercially reasonable." Consumer advocates sharply criticized Wheeler's draft after details leaked out on Wednesday, as he prepared to share his proposal with other FCC commissioners. That may mean that some traffic, from content providers who do not pay, may be comparatively slower, discouraging users from visiting those sites. In a May 15 vote, the five-member FCC is expected to formally seek public comment on proposed new "open Internet" rules aimed at making sure Internet providers do not restrict consumers' access to online sites and applications.

Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs 7-for-1 stock split

Apple's iPad devices are displayed at its store in TokyoBy Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had famously called on the iPhone maker to boost its buyback program, tweeted his approval of the move on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing the roughly 38 million that Wall Street had predicted. But whether Apple can again produce a revolutionary new product remains the central question in investors' and Silicon Valley executives' minds.

Big tech companies offer millions after Heartbleed crisis

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in ParisBy Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - The world's biggest technology companies are donating millions of dollars to fund improvements in open source programs like OpenSSL, the software whose "Heartbleed" bug has sent the computer industry into turmoil. Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Facebook Inc, Google Inc, IBM, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp are among a dozen companies that have agreed to be founding members of a group known as Core Infrastructure Initiative. Each will donate $300,000 to the venture, which is recruiting more backers among technology companies as well as the financial services sector. Other early supporters are Dell, Fujitsu Ltd NetApp Inc, Rackspace Hosting Inc and VMware Inc. The industry is stepping up after the group of developers who volunteer to maintain OpenSSL revealed that they received donations averaging about $2,000 a year to support the project, whose code is used to secure two-thirds of the world's websites and is incorporated into products from many of the world's most profitable technology companies.

Amazon to pay more than $300 million for HBO shows: report

Worker packs box at Amazon's logistics centre in GrabenSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc will pay more than $300 million over three years to offer older shows from premium-cable channel HBO over the next three years, tech blog Re/code reported on Thursday, citing multiple people familiar with the deal. Amazon's streaming video service will offer shows like "The Sopranos" starting next month. The deal value reported by Re/code is less than the $200 million a year estimated by analysts. HBO is owned by Time Warner Inc. (Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman, Editing by Franklin Paul)

Helicopters Just Should NOT Go Upside Down Like This

Helicopters Just Should NOT Go Upside Down Like ThisHelicopters can feel dangerous enough when they're flying normally. But when they start doing flips, spins and nose dives, you get nervous just watching. This week, Red Bull posted a YouTube video of daredevil Chuck Aaron -- the first and only civilian pilot ever to be licensed to perform helicopter aerobatics -- doing just that. The 54-year-old pilot has spent more than 20,000 hours -- or 833 days -- in the air, so you can assume he knows what he's doing with these stunts. Without that experience, it's safe to say videos like the one above wouldn't be possible.

Amazon reportedly laying the groundwork for its own delivery service

Amazon reportedly laying the groundwork for its own delivery serviceIn a few years, Amazon may handle the entire delivery process for your impulse Prime purchases. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is in the early stages of branching out its delivery operation into something that could eventually compete directly against UPS and FedEx — two companies that play a critical role in getting its packages to customers today. The online retailer is already testing such a service with trucks making "last mile" drop-offs in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, according to the Journal. Aside from giving shoppers greater control over where and when they take a package, Amazon's big plan wculd also eventually cut expenses and bring the company closer to offering same-day delivery in more cities. Amazon has already its own delivery network in the UK.

Hulu Plus adds phone and tablet remote control to PS3, PS4 and Xbox One apps

Hulu Plus adds phone and tablet remote control to PS3, PS4 and Xbox One appsIf you've been enjoying the second screen-style remote control experience on Hulu Plus for the Chromecast, the streaming video site just announced similar support is coming to other devices. First up are the Hulu Plus apps for PS3, PS4 and Xbox One, and other devices are expected to add support soon. Similar to the second screen control Netflix and YouTube have offered, you'll need apps on both devices, logged into the same account.

Google Glass Now Available To Everyone

Google Glass Now Available To EveryoneIt looks like Google may be close to finally releasing a consumer version of its heads-up display. Right now, anyone in the U.S. can get a unit of Glass for $1,500 via Google's website, without an invite. Plus, Google is waving the prescription frames fee of $225.

It’s mostly Android deserters who buy cheap iPhones

It’s mostly Android deserters who buy cheap iPhonesIn its earnings call on Wednesday for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2014, Apple revealed that more than two out of three cheap iPhone buyers are switching over from Android, highlighting the move as a success for the company. Apple’s Tim Cook said that on the quarter, 62% of iPhone 4s buyers and 60% of iPhone 5c buyers ditched Android smartphones to purchase an iPhone. The more than two-year-old iPhone 4s was a hot seller for Apple during the period, and even though the company did not say how many iPhone 4s units it sold out of the total 43 million iPhone sales during the period. Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri said that Apple’s partnership with China Mobile and

Russia's Putin calls the Internet a 'CIA project'

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a media meeting organized by the Russian People's Front in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has mocked the Internet as a CIA project and pledged to protect Russia’s interest in the online industry. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the Internet a CIA project and made comments about Russia's biggest search engine Yandex, sending the company's shares plummeting.

Drones Overhead, Seeing Everything, Always: Inside Google and Facebook's Latest Acquisitions
Imagine a fleet of drones, overhead, out of sight, tens of thousands of feet in the sky. Imagine those drones being powered by sunlight -- effectively aerial satellites that are orbiting constantly, never having to touch down for fuel. Now imagine thousands of them, perhaps tens of thousands of them, with cameras and radio repeaters on board. Such a fleet could image everything, all the time, everywhere, at high-resolution. They could also provide low-cost communications -- effectively cellphone towers 60,000 feet tall. ...

Landlords Accused Of Kicking Out Tenants To List On Airbnb

Landlords Accused Of Kicking Out Tenants To List On AirbnbSan Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera has sued several landlords he alleges evicted their tenants in order to list the apartments for elevated rates on short-term rental sites like Airbnb. In a statement released Wednesday, Herrera announced these are only the first of many investigations his office is conducting in effort to crack down on housing violations aggravating the city’s escalating unaffordability. ...

Google's Take Your Classroom to Work Day takes kids on virtual field trips

Google's Take Your Classroom to Work Day takes kids on virtual field tripsTake Your Child to Work Day gives a sense of what parents' jobs are like, but Google knows that kids can't always afford go to the office. Accordingly, the company is bringing the office to the kids through its first-ever Take Your Classroom to Work Day. The April 24th initiative uses Hangouts video chats to show workplaces that even the luckiest students might never see in person, such as the Chicago Bulls' locker room and the Stan Winston School of Special Effects.

Leaked Nexus 6 details suggest Google will follow Apple’s lead

Leaked Nexus 6 details suggest Google will follow Apple’s leadThe Nexus 5 was one of the best smartphone bargains we saw in 2013 and now Google might be planning to deliver a new budget smartphone that will be the best bargain yet. G4Games has spotted a new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News that claims Google will use a MediaTek 64-bit processor for its upcoming budget Nexus smartphone, often referred to as the “Nexus 6.” The blog says that if the report is accurate, then the next-generation low-cost Nexus will either run a “quad-core MT6732 64-bit chip clocked at 1.5GHz, or the octa-core MT6752 SoC running at a frequency of 2.0GHz,” either of which would be an incredibly powerful processor for a supposed budget device. For the uninitiated, chips with more

The follow-up to 'Punch Quest' will get more expensive over time

The follow-up to 'Punch Quest' will get more expensive over timeDespite that less than positive experience, the initial plan was to make Wayward Souls free as well. The problem was that while LoL supports dozens of different characters, that doesn't quite work for a character-driven RPG like Wayward Souls. "Characters in Wayward Souls are super complicated," says Rocketcat's Kepa Auwae, noting that things like equipment and weapon upgrades can significantly change the experience, and supporting a huge roster of characters and classes with those features proved very difficult. While Wayward Souls is a paid download and features no in-app purchases, its price isn't fixed.

Google Senior VP and head of Google+ Vic Gundotra is leaving the company

Google Senior VP and head of Google+ Vic Gundotra is leaving the companyVic Gundotra, who is known for his role in building Google's social network, has announced that he's leaving the company after a tenure of eight years. Appropriately, Gundotra made his intentions known in a post on Google+, saying that "now is the time for a new journey, a continuation." He was careful not to mention any specifics about what lies ahead, other than stating that he's "excited about what's next."

Google+ boss Vic Gundotra is leaving the company

Google+ boss Vic Gundotra is leaving the companyVic Gundotra, a longtime Google employee who has led Google+ since the beginning, is leaving the company. In a post on Google+, Gundotra says he wants to try new things. The social network will now reportedly be led by David Besbris, a Google vice president of engineering. Gundotra joined Google almost eight years ago after a long career at Microsoft.

Russian law orders bloggers to register, restricts pornography and obscene language

Russian law orders bloggers to register, restricts pornography and obscene languageA new Russian law, adopted by the Duma on Tuesday, is placing serious restrictions on the nation's bloggers. While the restrictions are severe, the law is also surprisingly easy to circumvent, since it does not apply to blogs hosted overseas.

Ride-sharing app Lyft expands to new markets
NEW YORK (AP) — Lyft, the on-demand ride-sharing app best known by the fuzzy pink moustaches on its cars, is launching its service in 24 new U.S. markets.

Anyone can buy Google Glass right now

Anyone can buy Google Glass right nowGoogle surprised consumers last week by opening up Glass sales to the general public, but it looks like that one day promotion might have been the final step in preparation for the full launch. One user in the Google Glass subreddit discovered that despite the fact that the one day sale ended a week ago, Google Glass is once again available for purchase via the Glass website. Whether you’re a member of the Explorer program or not, you can add Glass to your cart, complete with a pair of frames or shades, and check out right now. Google hasn’t officially announced anything, so it could be an internal mistake, but the chances are good that this is the first sign of

Opera's Coast iPhone browser is a speed dial for your favorite sites

Opera's Coast iPhone browser is a speed dial for your favorite sitesLast year Opera introduced Coast, a simple mobile browser designed specifically for the iPad, and today it brought the same unique experience to the iPhone. Coast is a little different than Chrome or Safari, and streamlines browsing by organizing shortcuts to sites on menu pages like they're apps. Think of it like your phone's home screen, except exclusively for the internet.

Peter Jackson announces new title for his final 'Hobbit' film: 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Peter Jackson announces new title for his final 'Hobbit' film: 'The Battle of the Five Armies'With The Desolation of Smaug in the rearview mirror, director Peter Jackson is gearing up for his final Middle-earth film and the conclusion of his trilogy of movies loosely based on The Hobbit. Ever since the project was announced, the final film has had the subtitle of There and Back Again, but Jackson has just announced that the final film will now have a much more action-oriented name. The third and final film in will now official be titled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, a reference to the massive, climactic conflict that wraps up Tolkien's novel.

Leica's new camera is a stunning work of aluminum art

Leica's new camera is a stunning work of aluminum artEarlier today, Leica unveiled its new Leica T camera system. It's an all-new mirrorless camera platform with a distinctly different design than anything Leica has produced before. Leica had a little help along the way: the company called upon Audi's design team to work on the project, and the final result looks very similar to an iPhone or other modern, unibody metal smartphone.

US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new Internet rules that would allow Internet service providers to charge content companies for faster delivery of their services over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

Apple’s next big thing is already here – and it’s about to get even bigger

Apple’s next big thing is already here – and it’s about to get even biggerAmid Apple’s strong fiscal second-quarter results and continued promise of new products and services, was the burgeoning growth of Apple TV, Apple’s $99 set-top box that’s rapidly changing industries and causing competitors to pick their heads up and take notice. On Wednesday night’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook touched on the issue after an analyst asked why Cook no longer referred to Apple TV as a hobby. Previously, former CEO Steve Jobs and Cook have both referred to Apple TV as a hobby, but noted that something more could be there, though it wasn’t quite clear yet. Cook said the reason he took the hobby label off of Apple TV was the enormous revenue it drove for Apple in 2013. “The reason

Verizon profit misses expectations, shares fall

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with Vodafone and Verizon logos as he poses with a Samsung Galaxy S3 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of ZenicaBy Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc's reluctance to offer mass discounts in a near-saturated mobile market is costing it new subscribers, analysts said on Thursday as the largest U.S. wireless carrier missed Wall Street's profit expectations. Shares of Verizon were down nearly 3 percent at midday on Thursday, making it the biggest percentage loser among Dow Jones industrial average component stocks. While its rivals have engaged in aggressive discounting, Verizon has been more conservative in price cuts in an attempt to preserve revenue per user at the expense of subscriber adds. "Verizon and AT&T have solid networks but their price premium is so large that it is going to be very hard for everyone to have their cake and eat it too," said Craig Moffett, a senior analyst at MoffettNathanson.

Google Glass now available to anyone, may be prepping for public launch

Google Glass now available to anyone, may be prepping for public launchGoogle offered Glass to the public as part of a one day sale not long ago. Now it seems that anyone can order one again without an invite. There's been no announcement so far, no fan fair -- a few Redditors just happened to discover that you can head straight to the order page and add one to your cart.

Twitter Accounts Hacked, Used for 'Life-Changing' Spam

Twitter Accounts Hacked, Used for 'Life-Changing' SpamHundreds of Twitter accounts were hijacked and used to spread spam for several hours last night (Apr. 23). The issue appears to have originated from, a social photosharing website that lets users connect their Twitter accounts.  The spam tweets read "If I didn't try this my life wouldn't have changed," and contained links to a Web page touting a "miracle diet pill" called Garcinia Cambogia.

Heartbleed Used by Identity Thieves in Phishing Scam

Heartbleed Used by Identity Thieves in Phishing ScamAs many security experts predicated, scammers are exploiting the news of the Heartbleed Internet-security bug, sending unsuspecting citizens email messages asking them to log into sensitive accounts.

How Comcast gets whatever it wants despite being one of America’s most hated companies

How Comcast gets whatever it wants despite being one of America’s most hated companiesComcast may be one of the most hated companies in the United States, but it does have a lot of friends where it matters most: In government. OpenSecrets does a nice job of breaking down Comcast’s extensive ties to current and former government officials, headlined by former FCC commissioner Meredith Baker, who became a lobbyist for Comcast right after leaving her post at the commission, and former FCC chairman Michael Powell, who is now lobbying in favor of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger as the head of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. But that’s not all — OpenSecrets documents four other former FCC officials who went directly from working at the FCC to working at Comcast, including “Rudy Brioche, who

US to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new Internet rules that would allow Internet service providers to charge content companies for faster delivery of their services over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

FCC fails to clarify new net neutrality plans

FCC fails to clarify new net neutrality plansFCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has just published a blog post that expands on a statement he gave last night on the topics of net neutrality and an open internet. Earlier yesterday, The Wall Street Journal issued a troubling report alleging that the FCC will soon propose new rules that effectively spell the end of net neutrality. "There has been a great deal of misinformation that has recently surfaced regarding the draft Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we will today circulate to the Commission," he says. "To be very direct, the proposal would establish that behavior harmful to consumers or competition by limiting the openness of the internet will not be permitted." But here again, Wheeler carefully steps around a major aspect of the Journal's report, which claims that under the proposed rules, internet providers will be able to charge companies for speedier access to consumers.

New report reveals huge iPhone 6 design changes

New report reveals huge iPhone 6 design changesA new report from Macotakara, a source with a good track record reporting on unreleased Apple products, reveals that the iPhone 6 will be curvier than its predecessors when it comes to the phone’s housing and display. Instead of the rather square lines as seen on current iPhone models, the iPhone 6 will reportedly have curved edges and thus a more rounded display, similar to the Galaxy S3 smartphone released two years ago by Samsung. According to the publication, the design also somewhat resembles an existing metallic bumper design for existing iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 model, made by Japanese company Squair (image above). An earlier report from Bloomberg last year also stated that Apple’s new iPhones would feature curved

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