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Google-owned Nest to acquire Dropcam for $555 million

The connected home space just got more consolidated. Nest, the Google-owned home automation company known for its internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, has purchased Dropcam, the makers of home surveillance cameras that allow customers to check in on their homes wherever they are. Nest co-founder and head of Engineering Matt Rogers said in a blog… Read More

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Google just quietly bought this stealthy Seattle startup led by ex-Clearwire researchers

Sometimes startups attract corporate attention after releasing cutting-edge products, or nailing down key customers. Others get gobbled up before they ever really get going. The latter situation appears to be the case with Alpental Technologies, a stealthy Seattle area startup that was just recently acquired by Google. Haven’t heard of Alpental? Don’t worry. Not much… Read More

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Google exec Urs Hözle: Our cloud is ‘battle-tested’ and secure

SAN FRANCISCO– As more companies move workloads into cloud services, a key problem remains: How to secure data. Urs Hözle, Google’s Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure, thinks Google has the advantage over its rivals in that arena because of its other consumer businesses. Speaking today at GigaOm’s Structure conference in San Francisco, Hözle said that… Read More

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Google’s Matt Cutts to search marketers: Era of shortcuts is quickly coming to an end

Hundreds of Internet and mobile search marketers are gathering in Seattle this week for SMX Advanced, learning about the latest search-engine optimization techniques and strategies for higher rankings in search results. An annual tradition at the event is the entertaining audience Q&A with Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, which represents a critical part… Read More

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Watch out, Yelp: Amazon has been quietly collecting local reviews for a month

Amazon has quietly launched the ability for customers to write reviews for local restaurants, spas and activities, putting it squarely in competition with other online services, like Yelp, Angie’s List or Google’s Zagat. The reviews capability rolled out last month, part of an iPhone app update for Amazon Local, which sells daily deals, similar to Groupon. According to… Read More

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eBay scales back same-day delivery plans, but denies report that it’s giving up

eBay is drastically scaling back its plans for same-day delivery, but says rumors that the service is shutting down are completely false. “It’s just not true,” said Christopher Payne, an SVP and head of eBay North America, in an interview with GeekWire. “We have no plans to shutdown our same-day delivery offering.” Payne says it will continue to focus on Chicago, Dallas, New York, and the… Read More

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Google buying satellite startup Skybox Imaging for $500M

Google says it will pay $500 million in cash for Skybox Imaging, using the company’s satellites and related technology to improve its Google Maps service. The deal was announced by the search company a few minutes ago. In a post about the news, Skybox says, “We’ve built and launched the world’s smallest high­-resolution imaging satellite, which collects… Read More

Mozilla Chairman Mitchell Baker

Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker: Firefox OS targets all of humanity, not just Apple iOS users

While Apple was busy in San Francisco announcing a new set of features that will wow its fan boys, Mozilla’s Chairman Mitchell Baker was in Seattle discussing devices and tools that can that support a more broader and global community. “Humanity is smart. Sometime in the technology world we think we are smarter, but we are not smarter… Read More

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Microsoft hires its own chief economist, from Google

Microsoft this morning announced a new position of chief economist inside the company, and named Preston McAfee — most recently Google’s director of strategic technologies — to fill the role. Apart from picking up a key person from one of its biggest rivals, the position represents an effort by Microsoft’s new leadership team to change how… Read More

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Tech Moves: Redfin names chief economist; Ex-Apple vet named CEO of X2Biosystems

—Redfin is following in the footsteps of Zillow and Trulia, appointing the Seattle online real estate company’s first-ever chief economist. Housing market expert Nela Richardson is joining Redfin after serving as a former senior economist with Bloomberg Government. Before that, she worked as a research economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and was a… Read More

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Google releases diversity stats: 70% men, 61% white

In an unusual move for a tech giant, Google today released data related to employee gender and ethnicity. Unsurprisingly, there are more men (70%) than women working at Google. Caucasian employees (61%) also make up a majority of the company’s workforce in the U.S. These are numbers that Google isn’t proud of. “Put simply, Google is… Read More

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Chart: As same-day shipping ramps up, retailers focus on free shipping

If same-day delivery is the future of retail, then the present is all about free shipping. Free shipping continues to gain in importance, hitting an all-time (non-holiday) high in the first quarter at 58 percent, according to ComScore. Free shipping in the fourth quarter, which is the busiest period for e-commerce, hit an even more impressive high at 67 percent. But… Read More

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Google unveils new self-driving car, steering wheel and pedals not included

Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin unveiled one of the secret projects Google X has been working on at Re/code’s Code Conference tonight, and it’s … pretty adorable. The tech giant’s advanced research unit has been working on a prototype self-driving car that’s designed to get people from one place to another without requiring any physical user… Read More

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The next battleground for Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google: Artificial Intelligence

  Digital personal assistants today can help you send messages, place phone calls, schedule meetings or find answers from the Internet. But there’s evidence that all the major tech giants are investing heavily in artificial intelligence to try and make digital assistants do a whole lot more helpful. At least that is what Raj Singh, the founder and CEO… Read More

Amazon is a top 10 brand. Chart via Statista.

Chart: Amazon.com joins Google, Microsoft and Apple in list of top global brands

Amazon.com joined the ranks of the world’s top10  brands, jumping four spots with a brand value of $64.2 billion, according to the Millward Brown BrandZ study. Amazon, which is holding its annual shareholders meeting today in Seattle, ranked higher than its brick-and-mortar retail rival Walmart (#22) and e-commerce competitor eBay (#61). Amazon is the first… Read More

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Microsoft’s Xbox loses Twitch to Google’s YouTube (and why that matters)

Google has reportedly beat out Microsoft and others to reach a deal to buy Twitch, a popular videogame streaming company. The acquisition, which is expected to cost $1 billion, according to Variety, will give YouTube a war chest of content that appeals to the hardcore gamer. Over the past three years, San Francisco-based Twitch has become the ESPN of… Read More

Apple's University Village store. (Credit: Apple)

Apple and Google reach settlement in patent disputes

Apple and Google have reached a settlement in a series of fierce patent battles — marking a major legal truce between the companies responsible for the leading smartphone platforms. The two companies told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today that they have agreed to drop all outstanding patent litigation — although they stopped short of licensing their patent… Read More