Business

Women’s-Only Uber-Like Car Service Readies Launch, Could Face Tricky Legal Issues

If you asked a handful of women whether or not they feel 100 percent safe in taxis, Uber, or Lyft cars – I’m willing to bet the the predominant answer would be not really. Sure, the majority of the time taxi rides go off without incident, but there are those stories – incidents of attempted sexual assault and the like …

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Google Docs Makes Sharing Files Easier

Google announced a new sharing experience for Google Docs aimed at making it easier to share your files with other people. You can still click the big “Share” button at the top of an open file lis usual, and you can share from the Drive list by clicking the person icon at the top of the page after you have …

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Here’s A Google Talk About Managing Your Stress

Google recently hosted a talk from Gadadhara Pandi, an author, meditation teacher, inspirational speaker, and lecturer at Columbia University. Pandi talks about stress management for work-life balance – something we could probably all stand to be a little better at. From the video description: Anxiety, insomnia, muscle tension, fatigue, high blood pressure, and anger are just some of the symptoms …

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Actress and Philanthropist Taylor Re׳ Lynn: Patron of Venice Biennale

Actress Taylor Re׳ Lynn attends La Biennale di Venezia festivities perched rooftop enjoying canapés and the mesmerizing view overlooking the Canale Grande, Basilica di Santa Maria, and San Giorgio Maggiore Church. An avid supporter of the arts, Lynn says supporting the arts has always been an integral part of who I am as an artist. “I support the vision of …

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Twitpic Will Shut Down September 25, Blames Twitter

One of the most popular and Twitter-friendly image hosting sites around, Twitpic, is dead. Twitpic founder Noah Everett has announced that the service will be shutting down on September 25th. Why? Apparently, Twitter was threatening legal action. From the Twitpic blog: A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access …

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Hootsuite Acquires Brightkit To Launch ‘Campaigns’ Offering

Hootsuite announced that it has acquired social campaigns platform Brightkit, which it is using to launch its own new offering called Hootsuite Campaigns. The acquisition actually took place in July, but is just now being announced. “Hootsuite Campaigns helps brands take content to an audience that far exceeds their following on owned channels,” Hootsuite explains. “Marketers can quickly create flexible …

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AOL Launches BBG Fund Focused On Women-Led Tech Start-Ups

AOL announced a new venture fund focused on early stage investments in women-led consumer internet start-ups, and appointed Susan Lyne to run it. It’s called the BBG Fund. The BBG Fund will make seed and Series A investments, focusing on multiplatform media, services, and commerce. AOL says it’s part of a broader initiative to bring more women into tech. Lynne …

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Google’s Calico Partners With AbbVie, Will Open R&D Facility

The ball is starting to get rolling with Google’s anti-aging company Calico. As reported recently, it now has a website, and today, the site added its first piece of news. Calico has partnered with AbbVie to co-invest in an R&D collaboration. The announcement says they “may” co-invest $1.5 billion. Calico will also be creating a R&D facility in the Bay …

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Amazon CFO Thomas Szkutak To Retire

Amazon announced on Wednesday that Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Thomas J. Szkutak will retire from the company next June. He has been CFO since joining Amazon in 2002. Szkutak currently oversees the controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, internal audit and facilities functions at Amazon, in addition to the financial management of its business units. VP of Finance …

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Yelp ‘Extortion’ Suit Dismissed, But Suspicions Remain

Yelp has emerged victorious from an extortion lawsuit, but the reasons why have done little to quell existing suspicions about its business practices. Various lawsuits have been filed against Yelp over the years, accusing the company of extorting small businesses by hiding positive reviews and showing negative ones in order to get businesses to pay for advertising. Beyond the lawsuits, …

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Groupon Launches New Appointment Option

Groupon announced that it is giving local businesses a new time-based deals option that enables them to accept reservations or take appointments so they have more control over when customers actually show up. The complaint about a lack of control is almost as old as Groupon itself. If too many people take advantage of a good deal at the same …

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Netflix Gains Exclusive SVOD Rights To ‘Gotham’

Netflix and Warner Bros. announced an agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive subscription VOD home of the upcoming television series Gotham, which is set to debut on FOX on September 22nd. Netflix will get each season of the series following its linear broadcast, starting next year. If you’re unfamiliar with the show’s premise, here’s how it’s described in the …

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Yelp Busts Businesses By Using Their ‘Private’ Messages As Evidence Of Fake Reviews

Yelp announced that it has released another round of Consumer Alerts on business pages. This time they’re dishing out a total of sixty-one alerts for businesses including dentists, hairdressers, plumbers, and car dealers. This time, Yelp reveals that it busted some businesses bribing reviewers through messaging on Yelp itself: For example, imagine you were considering using Atticare, a home cleaning …

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Netflix Announces ‘Hemlock Grove’ To Get One More Season

Netflix announced today that it’s bringing Hemlock Grove back for one more season, which would mark the first of Netflix’s originals to be concluded. Hungry for more? #HemlockGrove returns for the Final Season. https://t.co/f5tf2O7sna — Hemlock Grove (@HemlockGrove) September 2, 2014 The show never got the best reviews, but it certainly had a fanbase who will no doubt be disappointed …

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Google Enterprise Gets Name Change To ‘Google For Work’

Google announced the rebranding of Google Enterprise to “Google for Work,” broadening the connotation of its workplace tools brand. Over the years, Google has significantly increased the amount of tools and products it offers for businesses of all sizes, so this makes a great deal of sense. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt reflected on all of this in a blog post, …

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LinkedIn Sales Navigator Hits iOS [Updated]

Update: A LinkedIn spokesperson has informed us that the app went up prematurely, and that the company is still in the process of finalizing some of its functionality. They’ve removed the app, and plan on making it available in the next few weeks. LinkedIn recently unveiled a big redesign of its Sales Navigator tool on the web, promising mobile apps …

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Netflix May Get The Blacklist for a Whopping $2M an Episode

NBC’s Monday night drama The Blacklist has turned out to be a giant hit, and Netflix is reportedly prepared to pay a pretty penny to acquire its streaming rights. Deadline reports that Netflix has acquired the rights to The Blacklist in a deal that would amount to $2 million an episode. This would most likely be the most Netflix has …

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Google Publisher Toolbar Adds New Analytics Integration

Google announced the launch of new Google Analytics integration into the Google Publisher Toolbar. This will enable AdSense publishers to easily access insights right from their site pages, like so: Google Analytics is now integrated by default, so you don’t have to do anything special to turn the functionality on. “In addition to giving you blocking controls and up-to-date information …

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Bill & Melinda Gates Donate $1M to Gun Control Initiative

Bill and Melinda Gates have both offered up $500,000 to The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, “a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations working together to forge commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence.” The main common sense solution that alliance is fighting for is to make background checks mandatory for private sellers – for example those operating at gun shows …

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Salesforce Aims To Give Companies LinkedIn-Like Community Experience

Salesforce announced the launch of the Salesforce1 Community Cloud, which it says propels the company into the fast-growing $3.5 billion enterprise collaboration market. According to Salesforce, the offering enables companies to create their own trusted LinkedIn-like communities, which are connected to their own business processes. These, the company says, can be used to engage customers, partners, and employees in a …

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Snapchat’s $10 Billion Valuation ‘Not Absurd’ Says Twitter CEO

Reacting to the news that ephemeral messaging app Snapchat was moving fast toward a $20 million investment from Kleiner Perkins at a $10 billion valuation, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is defending it – calling it “not absurd.” “Crazy growth, clear monetization path, & one of the best social product thinkers out there,” he tweeted. Snapchat at $10b not absurd. Crazy …

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LinkedIn Recruiter Gets New Projects Experience

LinkedIn announced the launch of a new version of Projects in LinkedIn Recruiter aimed at helping recruiters accelerate their sourcing process. It has a new look and a bunch of a new features. New features include “Smart Project Filters,” “Suggested Professionals,” Stars to help you keep track of people, and new collaboration tools as well as more update features. “To …

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Automattic Announces BruteProtect Acquisition

Automattic, the company that runs WordPress, announced that it has acuiqred BruteProtect, which makes a plugin and service for protecting sites from malicious logins, and saves server resources to help sites run faster. The plugin, according to the company, also keeps sites on the latest versions of WordPress core, plugins, and themes, lending to better security. While the plugin and …

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Yahoo’ s Acquisition Of Flurry Is Now Complete

Last month, Yahoo announced that it reached a definitive agreement to acquire mobile analytics firm Flurry. The company announced on Tuesday that the transaction is now complete. “Together, Flurry and Yahoo will power more insightful analytics and relevant ads to create inspiring and entertaining mobile experiences,” Yahoo said. “We believe the deal benefits customers of both Flurry and Yahoo. Yahoo …

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Google Acquires Visual Effects Solution Zync Render

Google announced that it has acquired Zync, which makes Zync Render, a visual effects cloud rendering technology that was used on movies like Star Trek Into Darkness and Looper. The Zync team will join the Google Cloud Platform team. “Creating amazing special effects requires a skilled team of visual artists and designers, backed by a highly powerful infrastructure to render …

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Netflix to FCC: Say No to Comcast / Time Warner Cable Merger

Netflix, clearly unhappy with the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger from the outset, has finally made their concerns official with a petition to the Federal Communications Commission. In a just-filed Petition to Deny, Netflix argues that the entity formed by the merger would “have the incentive and ability – through access fees charged at interconnection points and by other means …

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Amazon Is Officially Acquiring Twitch [Updated]

Update 3: It looks like Google backed out of the deal because of antitrust concerns. Forbes has the story. Update 2: And it’s official. Amazon just put out the press release. Here’s what it says: Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Twitch Interactive, Inc., the leading live video platform for gamers. In …

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Google Acquires Gecko Design For Google [X]

Google has acquired Gecko Design for its Google (X) unit, which is responsible for projects like Google Glass, Driverless Cars, Project Loon, the Google contact lens, and surely many more “moonshot” ideas to come. It’s unclear exactly what the company’s intentions are for the pick-up, but it did confirm the authenticity of the news to Bloomberg. Gecko Design President and …

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Pandora’s Diversity Numbers Warrant Some Semblance of Praise

In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first human woman created by the gods… Nah, I’m just messin’ with you – I’m not going to go down that route. Congratulations are in order, however, to Pandora Radio, for releasing the first set of diversity statistics that don’t immediately trigger a massive groan. There are groans to be had, but the initial …

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eBay Could Spin Off PayPal Next Year [Report]

A new report out today from The Information says that eBay is considering spinning off PayPal as soon as next year – a move investor Carl Icahn very publicly called on eBay to make earlier this year. Jessica Lessin reports: Ebay has been telling potential recruits for the position of PayPal CEO that it’s considering spinning off the payments business …

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Square Announces New Analytics For Sellers

Square announced the launch of Square Analytics as a new feature of Square Register. It’s integrated with the full Square Register suite, including Pickup, Invoices, and Appointments, which launched earlier this month. The offering includes an Analytics homepage, which shows real-time data on business performance, such as most popular items and a comparison to others in the same industry. The …

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This Video Will Give You A Better Understanding Of Google’s Universal Analytics

You’ve had plenty of time to upgrade to Google’s Universal Analytics by now. They opened up access in March of last year, but some may have been hesitant to do so fo fear of the unknown. Universal Analytics is aimed at large enterprises, such as Premium customers and those who want to work with APIs. It offers the ability to …

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UPS Stores Fall Victim to Data Breach

UPS has notified UPS Store customers that their information may have been compromised thanks to a malware attack that affected 51 retail locations across the country. After being notified by a government bulletin on a ‘broad-based malware intrusion’, UPS identified malware on systems in 51 of 4.470 franchised UPS Store locations. This works out to about one percent of all …

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Google Capital Backs Thumbtack, Its 8th Company

Google Capital is leading a $100 million series D round of funding in Thumbtack, a service that is described as helping people “accomplish the personal projects that are central to their lives”. Also contributing to the funding are past investors Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital, and Javelin Venture Partners. Thumbtack has raised a total of $150 million to date. What …

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Square Stand Users ‘Covered’ For EMV Migration

Last month, Square announced plans to release a new Square Reader for chip cards, an EMV solution aimed at combating card fraud and protecting payment data. The company said it is preparing small businesses for the EMV migration and “industry shift” to chip-enabled credit cards. On Wednesday, Square told Square Stand users it has them covered for the shift as …

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GoDaddy Buys Email Marketing Firm Mad Mimi

GoDaddy announced on Wednesday that it has acquired email marketing company Mad Mimi, whose offerings have been geared toward small businesses. GoDaddy’s efforts of late have also been focused specifically on small businesses, so boosting its email marketing efforts for the segment seems like a no-brainer. Mad Mimi founder and CEO Gary Levitt said, “We built Mad Mimi with a …

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Steve Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

Steve Ballmer announced that he is stepping down as a member of Microsoft’s Board of Directors. He resigned as CEO six months ago, handing the reins over to Satya Nadella, who has already laid out the company’s strategy going forward and announced the layoffs of 18,000 people. Last week, Ballmer officially became the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, buying …

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Square Partners With Victory Park Capital To Front Businesses More Money

Square announced on Tuesday that it is working with Victory Park Capital to extend hundreds of millions of dolalrs to independent businesses as part of its Square Capital program. Square began testing the cash advance program early this year before formally launching it in May. Square Capital enables businesses to sell a specific amount of their future card sales to …

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Adam Carolla Settles Patent Suit With Personal Audio

Comedian and podcaster Adam Carolla has settled a lawsuit with a patent troll called Personal Audio. The suit emerged roughly a year and a half ago, when Personal Audio also sued HowStuffWorks and Togi Entertainment – all over a patent about a “System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence.” TechDirt gets into the patent’s text here, …

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This Guy Says Google Took Away $46K In AdSense Earnings, And He Doesn’t Know Why

It’s not uncommon to hear about an over-dependence on Google costing people big money. There have been plenty of tales of businesses losing all their search visibility after Google algorithm changes. In some cases, people have lost their jobs. In even worse cases, businesses have had to fold or completely change course. Sometimes people get burned by Google in other …

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Here Are The Top 50 Desktop Sites In The U.S.

comScore just released its Media Metrix monthly ranking of the top 50 web properties (desktop) in the United States. The top five consist of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, and AOL, followed by Amazon, Turner Digital, MODE Media (formerly Glam Media), CBS, and Apple. There’s a little change in that top ten since last month. Turner Digital and MODE Media changed …

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Yahoo Acquires Ad Security Company ClarityRay

Yahoo has acquired ClairtyRay, a company that has in the past dealt with getting around ad blockers, but has since been more about ad security and fraud detection. In a message on its homepage, ClarityRay says: Our vision has always been making the eco-system safe, compliant and sustainable for consumers, publishers and advertisers. We helped the online advertising industry take …

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Google Acquires Jetpac, Which Analyzes Image And Location Data

Google has acquired Jetpac, which analyzes image and location data, and could improve Google’s ability to search through it. “We can spot lipstick, blue sky views, hipster mustaches and more, through advanced image processing on billions of photos,” Jetpac claims. It also says it has analyzed “every pixel of public Instagram photos,” which it used for its Jetpac City Guides …

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Bezos’ Washington Post Puts Amazon Affiliate Links In Articles

Over the weekend, some observers noticed that the Washington Post, which was purchased by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last year, was featuring Amazon “Buy it Now” buttons/affiliate links in certain articles. Paul Carr at PandoDaily points to an article called “What Divisive ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ cover says about books and readers.” The article is about the cover art …

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Ask.com Acquires Ask.fm For More Asking

Ask.com announced that it has acquired Ask.fm, a social Q&A service, which has over 180 million global monthly users, according to the company. Ask.fm is available on the web, and for Android and IOS. A post on the Ask blog says: Ask.com has been in the business of finding answering to questions from millions of people over the course of …

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Cisco Cuts 6,000 Jobs As It Reports Better Than Expected Earnings

Cisco announced on Wednesday that it will cut about 6,000 jobs or 8% of its total workforce. The news came as the company reported its earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014, beating Wall Street estimates. Chairman and CEO John Chambers said in a statement, “We are executing well in a tough environment and delivered our best non-GAAP …

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Yelp Enters Chile, Its 28th Country

Yelp announced that it has now penetrated its 28th country – Chile. “The distance from Yelp’s office in Manhattan to our headquarters in San Francisco is 2,600 miles, which happens to be —from toe to tip — the same length as the newest country to join Yelp!” said Miriam Warren, VP of New Markets at Yelp. “It’s the home to …

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Uber and Lyft Have Reached the Shenanigan-Calling Stage of Their Rivalry

Rival on-demand car service companies Uber and lyft are in a real pissing match right now, as they continue to accuse each other of employing some under-the-table techniques to get ahead. On Tuesday Lyft took a shot at Uber, claiming that the company was engaging in a ride cancellation scheme. Lyft claimed to have cross-referenced phone numbers of known Uber …

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Amazon Launches Local Register, A Card Reader & App For Local Businesses

Last month, we heard that Amazon was readying its own card reader, which would compete with Square. Now, the company has officially unveiled it, and it’s called Amazon Local Register. Like Square, It enables local businesses to accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet. Luckily, Amazon has elected not to make it exclusive to its own smartphone …

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Apple’s White, Male CEO Unsatisfied with Company’s White, Maleness

Tech’s diversity problem (both in terms of gender and ethnicity) has been well documented. But in the name of transparency Apple has decided to release its own numbers for scrutiny, following similar moves by other major players. To get straight to the likely unsurprising news, Apple is pretty white and pretty full of dudes. Out of Apple’s 98,000 employees, 70 …

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Steve Ballmer Becomes Owner Of Clippers

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is now the proud new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The NBA released the following statement: The transaction in which Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers closed today following the entry of an order by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell …

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Comcast & Time Warner Cable Pass Time Awaiting Merger Approval by Helping Give Award to FCC Commissioner

Do you pay a lot for cable and internet? Neat, me too. Check this out. You’ve probably never heard of it, but The Walter Kaitz Foundation is a decades-old non-profit organization with the stated mission of promoting diversity in the cable telecommunications industry. Every September, the Walter Kaitz Foundation holds a dinner in New York City called the Kaitz Dinner. …

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Uber Is Playing Dirty, According to Lyft

According to Lyft, rival on-demand car service Uber isn’t playing fair. CNNMoney is reporting that data obtained from Lyft suggests that Uber is strategically throwing wrenches into Lyft operations – mainly by requesting and then canceling rides. Obviously, this tactic would not only indispose Lyft drivers, making it harder keep up with customer demand, but it would also cost Lyft …

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Demand Media Appoints Sean Moriarty As New CEO, Acquires Saatchi Online

Demand Media just announced that it has appointed former CEO of Ticketmaster and Saatchi Art, Sean Moriarty, as its new CEO. The company has also acquired Saatchi Online, Inc. which operates online art gallery Saatchi Art. Co-founder and interim CEO Shawn Colo has been appointed President and will join the board of directors. “Following last week’s spinoff of domain registrar …

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BuzzFeed Is About To Get A Lot Bigger

BuzzFeed, the publisher you either love or hate (or possibly some strange mixture of the two) announced a major expansion plan, propelled by a fresh injection of cash in the form of a $50 million series E round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz. The publisher says its editorial team will grow and become three separate divisions: BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed Buzz, …

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Square Adds New Appointment Management Tool

Square announced the launch of Square Appointments, a new offering for its register service that lets businesses manage their appointments and avoid missing out on sales. The product has been in pilot mode for a while. Square acquired appointment-booking software maker BookFresh in February, though it remains as its own separate product. “Service businesses lose sales to no-shows, waste time …

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Google Commits $250 Million To Battle Drug Abuse (And Of Course Settle A Lawsuit)

Late on Friday, news came out that Google committed $250 million at $50 million per year over the next five years, to develop an internal program that will help the search engine spread awareness about drug abuse, and combat rogue online pharmacies. The commitment is part of a settlement with shareholders over a suit related to Google’s former allowance of …

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Will Arnett Confirms Arrested Development Season 5 For Netflix

We’ve been hearing this week that Arrested Development Season 5 is definitely going to happen on Netflix. It’s still just a matter of time. Will Arnett, who of course plays George Oscar Bluth, appeared on the Tonight Show, and confirmed as much. Asked if Arrested Development is coming back for antoher season, Arnett said, “And the answer is YES!” to …

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Eric Schmidt’s New Book Is More Loyal Than A Puppy

Google Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt has a new book coming out called How Google Works. He co-wrote it with former Google SVP and current advisor to Larry Page, Jonathan Rosenberg and Google Director of Executive Communications Alan Eagle. Page provides the foreword. I wonder where Google’s robot puppies fit into the spectrum of usefulness. Here’s the book’s …

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Facebook Announces Acquisition Of PrivateCore

Facebook is buying PrivateCore, a secure server technology company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer announced the news in a post today (via TechCrunch): I’ve seen how much people care about the security of data they entrust to services like Facebook. We finished implementing HTTPS encryption by default over a year ago, …

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Was Yelp Misleading About Its Reviews?

Yelp is no stranger to legal battles, nor is it a stranger to complaints about how it handles reviews. Now, the company faces a new class action suit from shareholders, accusing it of selling over $81 million in stock, while misleading shareholders about the legitimacy of reviews. Do you believe Yelp would mislead investors about its reviews, or do you …

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Netflix Passes HBO in Subscriber Revenue, Still Getting Its Ass Kicked in Other Areas Though

Netflix unveiled solid Q2 earnings a couple weeks ago, also announcing that it had surpassed 50 million global subscribers. Well, another thing happened last quarter. Netflix surpassed HBO in subscriber revenue for the very first time ($1.146 billion to $1.141 billion) – and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is rather excited about it. Post by Reed Hastings. Yeah, the profit thing …

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Yelp Continues To Celebrate Being 10 Years Old With An Infographic

I feel like Yelp has been celebrating being ten years old for months now (according to Google, it was founded in October). August 6th is apparently the date Yelp considers to be the anniversary. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote a blog post talking about the company’s decade of existence, and sharing an infograhpic full of stats. He writes, “In summer of …

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Messaging App Emu: We’re Joining Google

Messaging apps continue to attract the interest of Internet giants. Google has apparently acquired Emu, which which created a mobile messaging app with virtual assistant features. We are thrilled to announce that we'll be joining Google later this month. Thanks for your support and feedback! http://t.co/mOtRlEx4g7 — Emu (@emuchat) August 5, 2014 A message on Emu’s site (via TechCrunch) says: …

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Bob Iger Talks Disney’s Relationship With Netflix

Disney posted its fiscal Q3 earnings on Tuesday. The company had a record quarter with earnings per share up 27% from the prior year. CEO Bob Iger said, “Our strategy of building strong brands and franchises continues to create great value across our company. This quarter we delivered the highest EPS in the company’s history, and we’ve now generated greater …

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Justin.tv Shuts Down After Seven Years

There was a time when Justin.tv was one of the biggest sites in streaming video, but that time has passed, and the site is now shutting down. It did, however, spawn Twitch, which lives on. In a post on the company blog, Justin.tv says: Justin.tv pioneered live video on the Internet and spawned one of the largest video platforms ever: …

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Etsy Wholesale Graduates From Beta

Etsy Wholesale launched in beta over a year ago. Today, it has graduated out of it. As announced a few months ago, there’s a one-time joining fee of $100, and Etsy collects a 3.5% transaction fee for wholesale purchase orders. “Over the last year, we’ve worked with independent boutiques throughout the US, partnered with retailers such as Nordstrom and West …

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What Happens When You Charge People For Negative Yelp Reviews

Historic hotel Union Street Guest House learned a harsh lesson this week, which should serve as a cautionary tale to those worrying about their Yelp reviews a little too much. Reviews on Yelp and other sites are controversial for a variety of reasons, but businesses going to extreme lengths to keep negative reviews away are bound to only draw more …

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Salesforce Desk.com Adds Video Customer Support

Salesforce announced the launch of a new video support center for Desk.com, which it claims “empowers companies to transform their customer service offerings through video.” A spokesperson for the company tells WebProNews, “Now, companies can add video content from any of the leading video platforms to their online customer service strategy to empower customers to find instant, visual access to …

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Department Of Labor: LinkedIn To Pay $6 Million In Unpaid Overtime, Damages

The United States Department of Labor announced that LinkedIn has agreed to pay $3,346,195 in overtime back wages and $2,509,646 in liquidated damages to 359 former and current employees. The money will go to people from the company’s California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York branches. The DoL’s Wage and Hour Division investigated the company, finding that it violated the overtime …

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Union Street Guest House Charges Guests $500 For Negative Yelp Reviews

The Union Street Guest House in Hudson, New York has a strange policy. It charges guests who book weddings $500 for any negative reviews left on websites like Yelp by the wedding parties’ guests. On the hotel’s Events & Weddings page, there’s a section called “Reviews,” which says: Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and …

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Square Is Apparently About To Buy Caviar For About $90 Million [Updated]

Update: Square just made the announcement: We are excited to share the news that we’ve acquired Caviar. The Caviar team has built a seamless delivery experience that instantly connects buyers with top-rated, popular restaurants that do not otherwise offer delivery on their own. For restaurants, Caviar is an affordable, convenient alternative to an in-house delivery solution and drives additional revenue. …

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Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers Will Reportedly Run iTunes Radio

As you may know, Apple has officially completed its acquisition of Beats after winning regulatory approval earlier this week. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting, citing people familiar with the matter, that Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers will oversee iTunes Radio. The report says: Rogers, a former Yahoo executive, will run both teams to create cohesion in Apple’s streaming-music …

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Comcast Is On A Roll With This Customer Service Thing

Earlier this year, Comcast took control of FEARnet, a popular channel and website among horror enthusiasts, and this week, shut both down, and let go of the people that operated them. Even the farewell note they posted on the site is gone, because, well, the site is gone. I mean, really? They couldn’t have even kept a landing page up …

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Apple Excitedly Welcomes Beats ‘To The Family’

Apple’s acquisition of Beats is officially official. The company even put out an extra special landing page welcoming the team to the Apple family. Most of its acquisitions are barely even acknowledged. Welcome to the family—Jimmy, Dre, Luke, Ian and the entire beats team! http://t.co/qECVlXlYQZ — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 1, 2014 Apple’s “welcome to the family” message says: Today we …

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eBay Sucks Slightly Less Than Others at Diversity

eBay just followed suit and released their gender and ethnic diversity figures, and it looks like the company have hurdled a pretty low bar. Or limboed a very high bar. Something easy. According to eBay, their company is made up of 58 percent male employees. This beats Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, who have all released their diversity figures …

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LinkedIn Sales Navigator Gets Big Refresh

LinkedIn announced the launch of a major refresh to its Sales Navigator tool in the middle of its Q2 earnings report on Thursday. It’s described as an “enterprise-focused SaaS product. On the company’s earnings call, CEO Jeff Weiner had this to say about it: “This new SaaS product delivers a customized view into LinkedIn to better connect sales professionals with …

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Twitter Acquires Mitro Labs, As EFF Helps Turn Mitro Into Open Source Project

Twitter is apparently on something of an acquisition spree. This week, we already learned that Twitter acquired Madbits, which specializes in deep/machine learning. Earlier this week, it announced the acquisition of CardSpring. On its earnings call this week, Twitter also announced that it closed the previously announced acquisition of Tap Commerce. Now, it has acquired Mitro Labs, apparently for its …

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InPowered Is The Anti-Klout. Here’s Why.

InPowered is the anti-Klout. Okay, maybe Klouchebag is the real anti-Klout, but there can be more than one can’t there? Besides, Klouchebag is dead. InPowered offers products aimed at helping marketers “discover and promote expert opinions about their brands.” Our past coverage of Klout apparently caught their eye as they’ve just introduced a new “Expert Ranking” feature, which is supposed …

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Android Antitrust Investigation Starting To Ramp Up

An EU antitrust investigation into Google’s business practices related to Android has been in the works for over a year, following a complaint filed by FairSearch.org in April, 2013. Now, things are starting to heat up. Reuters is reporting that regulators are getting ready to challenge the company’s mobile software business in the coming months. According to the report: Two …

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Google Analytics Gets Bot And Spider Filtering

Google announced that it is adding bot and spider filtering to Google Analytics after hearing from users that it’s been hard to identify real traffic coming to pages. There’s a new checkbox option in the view level of the management user interface. It’s labeled “Exclude traffic from known bots and spiders”. “Selecting this option will exclude all hits that come …

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Yelp Becomes Profitable For First Time Since Going Public

Yelp just released its Q2 earnings report with revenue of $88.8 million, up 61% year-over-year. Net income was $2.7 million, or $0.04 per share, compared to a net loss of $(0.9) million, or $(0.01) per share in the same quarter last year. That last part is the real news. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said, “We delivered great results this quarter. Our …

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Andrew Mason Starts A New Company Called Detour, Gets Pooped On

It turns out that Groupon founder and former CEO Andrew Mason has been doing more than just sitting around eating ice cream by himself and recording motivational business albums. He’s also been creating a new company called Detour. First of all, let’s get the poop thing out of the way. BloombergBusinessWeek ran an interview with Mason about Detour. The first …

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Amazon Offers $1 Video Credit If You Let Them Take Their Sweet Ass Time Shipping

Amazon Prime members: As long as you’re in no rush to get your new yoga mat, Amazon will give Prime members a $1 Amazon Instant Video credit if you let them take their time in shipping it. They’re calling it “No-Rush” shipping, and it’s the latest move from a company who is really struggling with rising shipping costs. This is …

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Pinterest Acquires Icebergs, Which Is Shutting Down

Pinterest has acquired Icebergs, a service that let users organize and share content for creative projects. The product will be shutting down as its founders join Pinterest, relocating from Spain to San Francisco. Icebergs announced the news on its site: Over a year ago, we set out to create a private space in the cloud for you to save, organize …

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Square To Launch New Chip Card Reader For Small Businesses

Square announced on Wednesday that it plans to release a new Square Reader for chip cards, an EMV solution aimed at combating card fraud and protecting payment data. The company says it is preparing small businesses for the EMV migration and “industry shift” to chip-enabled credit cards. EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is a global standard for chip cards (cards …

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Snapchat Is Apparently Worth $10 Billion

Snapchat has been reported as the fastest-growing social app. It’s inspired an absolutely pointless ripoff from a huge international company. It’s so popular among teens that it’s making them lose their frickin’ minds. But is it really worth $10 billion? Apparently, according to a new report from Bloomberg. They quote people familiar with the matter who say that Snapchat is …

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Twitter Acquires Machine Learning Company Madbits

Twitter has made another acquisition, picking up Madbits, which specializes in deep learning/machine learning, and has been working on technologies that can help extract information from raw media, such as images. This is the kind of thing that a company like Twitter could obviously put to good use with the amount of such raw media that saturates the service every …

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Instagram’s Bolt App Launches – But Not in the US

Despite the protests of an app with the same name, Instagram has officially launched Bolt – but not in the US. As of now, users can only download Bolt in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa. This shouldn’t surprise you, as Facebook commonly tests things in English-speaking countries that aren’t the US before taking them global. Bolt, which was leaked …

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BlackBerry Acquires ‘Anti-Eavesdropping’ Company Secusmart

BlackBerry announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Secusmart, a voice and data encryption company, which makes “anti-eavesdropping” solutions for government organizations and companies. The two companies have partnered in the past, offering Secusmart technology, including the SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10 solution, to BlackBerry customers. “We are always improving our security solutions to keep up with the growing …

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These Are The People Tasked With Helping Yelp Better Cater To Small Businesses

Back in May, Yelp put a call out to small businesses, seeking out new members for its Small Business Advisory Council. Any local business owner was eligible to apply. On Tuesday, the company announced the new members it has appointed. Over 1,000 business owners replied, and they have a list of 25 active members, which are supposed to represent local …

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Yelp Launches Video Upload Feature. Is Your Business Ready?

A couple months ago, we learned that Yelp was preparing to launch a video feature. The company has now officially launched it. Do you like the idea of Yelp users taking videos from within your business and posting it to the site? Share your thoughts in the comments. The idea behind the feature, according to Yelp, is that users will …

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Chris Beard Is Mozilla’s CEO (Not Just Temporarily)

Mozilla announced today that it has appointed Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla Corp., the for-profit part of Mozilla. They’re going with Beard after reviewing “many internal and external candidates”. Beard was appointed interim CEO (as well as to the board of directors) back in April after Brendan Eich stepped down amid controversy surrounding his support for California anti-gay law …

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Amazon May Be Readying Its Own Card Reader

Is Amazon preparing to unveil a Square competitor? According to reportedly leaked documents from office supplies retailer Staples, Amazon is about to put a card reader on the market. The documents reference an “Amazon Card Reader” alongside other established players like PayPal, Square, and Staples’ own mobile payments reader. According to 9to5Mac, the product is being listed at $9.99. Though …

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Apple Gets EU Approval For Beats Acquisition, Is Reportedly About To Buy Swell

Apple’s acquisition of Beats has gained approval from the European Commission. The Commission concluded that the combination of these businesses does not raise any competition concerns because their combined market share is low, and because the two companies themselves aren’t “close competitors”. The headphones offered by each company, the Commission said, differ “markedly in functionality and design”. Also, it noted, …

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Zillow Buys Trulia in $3.5 Billion Stock Deal

Zillow, the massive online real estate site, has agreed to acquire Trulia, the less-massive but still very large real estate site, for $3.5 billion. The deal is a stock-for-stock transaction. Trulia isn’t going away or anything – as the company will continue to operate both the Zillow and Trulia brands. “Consumers love using Zillow and Trulia to find vital information …

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Gartner: SCM Software Revenue To Hit $10 Billion This Year

Supply chain management software is on pace to hit $10 billion in revenue this year, according to a report from Gartner. That would be an increase of 12.2% over last year, and would be the biggest growth the industry has seen since 2011. The firm surveyed nearly 450 North American supply chain professionals in the fourth quarter of 2013. Respondents …

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Lyft Launching in NYC After Making Concessions

The battle of Lyft vs. New York City – mainly its Taxi and Limo Commission – has finally produced a resolution. Lyft will launch in all five boroughs of NYC tonight, but only after making some pretty big concessions. “Tonight, after making positive progress with local and state leaders, Lyft will launch in all five boroughs of New York City. …

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Pinterest: Beloved by Women, Run by Men

Pinterest, by most every account, is a female-dominated social network. One recent report found that its user base is as much as 80 percent female. Not only that, but women are making 92 percent of the pins. 92 percent! It turns out, however, that this social network, beloved by women, is pretty much run by men – just like every …

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Google Reportedly Buys Twitch For $1 Billion

Update: VentureBeat is reporting that Google has reached a deal to buy Twitch for $1 billion, and that the company is joining YouTube. Still, neither company is commenting. Original article (May 19): Google is reportedly in talks to acquire video game streaming company Twitch. Variety reports that it’s an all-cash offer, and is expected to be announced imminently. The Wall …

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