Facebook has entered into an agreement to purchase WhatsApp, the massively popular messaging client, for $16 billion in cash and stock. As was the case with Instagram, the company says WhatsApp will continue to operate independently after the acquisition — separate from Facebook Messenger — but claims the deal "accelerates Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world." Facebook is also throwing in an extra $3 billion in restricted stock units that will go to WhatsApp’s employees; In a press release announcing the monumental buyout, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board of directors as part of the deal, but his team will remain stationed in Mountain View, California.
Now, from the world of medical news: Fox News profiled a Reddit user who learned he had testicular cancer after checking out a picture a Reddit user named "uniballer" posted of his own testicle on Reddit. Fox News apparently has a segment called "Fox on Reddit," in which it covers news from the Reddit world. (If you are not familar, Reddit is a social bookmarking site that has a reputation for being a bit nerdy. Also a bit guy-heavy.) On this episode, Taylor Tyree is interviewed.
Mark your calendars, everyone: Sundar Pichai has just announced that Google I/O 2014 will be held between June 25th and 26th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Registration info and other details are coming next month. It's too soon for any big clues as to what will be unveiled this year, although Google used its 2013 I/O presentations to announce All Access music streaming, its first Google Play Edition phone and the Glass Developer Kit.
By Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is exploring a major expansion of its super-fast "Fiber" TV and Internet service, which could extend the nascent network to 34 more U.S. cities and pose a competitive threat to home broadband providers. Google executives told reporters on Wednesday the search company has reached out in recent weeks to cities from nine metropolitan areas around the country, including San Jose, Atlanta and Nashville, to discuss the feasibility of building out Fiber, which Google says delivers the Internet at speeds up to 100 times faster than average networks. As Google delivers more music, videos and other content to mobile devices, it is increasing investment in ensuring it gets the bandwidth it needs. Google had initially billed its first Fiber broadband offer, launched in Kansas City last year, as a test project to spur development of Web services and technology.
With a consumer reception that could be described as lukewarm at best, mobile payments haven't exactly been a raging success. Despite Google's efforts, Wallet failed to take off, while Isis also continues to struggle, despite support from major US carriers. Now, MasterCard and Visa are readying yet another potential solution, this time tapping the new Host Card Emulation (HCE) support in Android 4.4.
Google just announced dates for its annual I/O developers conference, an event that's typically brought new products along with updates to other Google services. The timing was announced by Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai on Google+, though Pichai didn't share any details on what to expect. Those who want to attend in person will instead "submit" their interest, with Google randomly selecting who gets in.
The Olympic Games have strict rules when it comes to advertising, which is why you don't see athletes covered in brand names, NASCAR-style. As the New York Times reports, at Sochi 2014 many snowboarders are displaying huge, colorful manufacturer logos on the bottom of their boards, logos which are front and center when the athletes perform high-flying tricks. These logos are allowed under IOC rules, which state that "the identification of the manufacturer may be carried as generally used on products sold through the retail trade during the period of 12 months prior to the games." And for brands like Burton Snowboards — which sponsored eight of the 12 finalists in the men's half-pipe competition — it's an amazing form of advertising.
As it turns out, their concern may have been justified: Security researchers recently uncovered several critical security flaws in Belkin's WeMo line of smart home devices that could have thrown homes into chaos. According to a statement from IOActive, software flaws in WeMo devices could have allowed attackers to control the devices remotely, install their own malicious firmware, monitor conditions in a target's home or even access a target's computer network. WeMo devices include light switches, motion detectors and security cameras.
So you've splurged for that HDTV, and now it's time to outfit the rest of that home theater. You're in luck. Today's roundup of discounted tech offers both a pair of soundbar/subwoofer combos and two set-top boxes. Head on past the break to take a look at how you could improve the sights and sounds in your living room... while saving a few bucks, too.
Tinder users could have had their near-exact location revealed for more than two months last year while a flaw in the app remained unfixed. Utilizing the flaw meant knowing a user's current city and their behind-the-scenes identifier in the app, however, which meant that the hacker would likely have had to intercept their target's phone traffic in the past before putting the vulnerability to use. The vulnerability may have been around since July The firm says that it identified the vulnerability and first reporting it to Tinder in late October.
By Andrea Shalal-Esa HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has unveiled new technology that will for the first time allow AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots to see targeting and surveillance data in full, high-resolution color, instead of the fuzzy black and white images they get now. An Army official said new sensors developed by Lockheed Martin Corp over the past four years could help avoid mistakes such as the 2007 attack by two U.S. Apache helicopters that killed 12 people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff, after they were mistaken for armed insurgents. U.S. Central Command has said an investigation of the incident found that U.S. forces were not aware of the presence of the news staffers and believed a camera held by one of the men was a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. "This additional situational awareness ... will give soldiers what they need to make the right decisions on the battlefield," Army Lieutenant Colonel Steven Van Riper, the Army's product manager for the Apache sensors, told reporters when asked if the new technology help avert such mistakes.
Google has only made plans to roll out gigabit internet access in three US cities so far, but it's not content with stopping there. The company is now exploring the feasibility of deploying Google Fiber in 34 cities located ...