Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16 Billion Dollars
On February 19th 2014 the rich, older uncle of social networking announces it will pay $16 billion in a cash-and-stock deal to acquire smartphone-messaging app WhatsApp Inc. The deal marks the latest signal that Facebook is willing to pay huge sums to acquire rival apps that gain sway with consumers. Founder of WhatsApp Jan Koum states unlike competing messaging apps that make money with advertising or games, “we want to get out of the way. We want to let people have a conversation.” Does this mean no advertising revenue from a $16 billion dollar investment? It will be fascinating to see what the future brings of this Facebook/WhatsApp acquisition.
Pinterest Brings Place Pins to iPad, GIFs to Mobile
Pinterest has made some of its newest features available on its tablet and smartphone apps. Besides supporting GIFs, the Pinterest app now also includes the “Place Pins” feature, which allows users to map out the locations of sights and restaurants in a city they are planning to visit, keep a map of their favourite food joints from their hometown and much more. This not only allows for endless possibilities from a user perspective, but once Pinterest will start monetising Place Pins, imagine the opportunities it could bring to your client from an advertising perspective! http://mashable.com/2014/02/17/pinterest-mobile-updates-2/
Apple technology to extend to headphones that hear your pulse
The latest patent applications filed by Apple suggest that it’s investigating headphones that measure a range of health parameters, as well as possibly responding to head-based gesture controls. The latest patent describes a monitoring system that works via “an audio output device configured to be positioned within a user’s ear” to measure a range of factors including body temperature, perspiration and the user’s heart rate. Personally I think that being told you sweat too much by your head phones is kind of creepy. http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/apple-technology-to-extend-to-headphones-that-hear-your-pulse/story-fnda1lbo-1226831406897
Uber Sydney Flipped The Local Cab Market The Bird By Making Trips 40 Percent Cheaper
In a bid to make the local cab market more competitive, Uber has decided that all cab rides booked through UberTAXI (not Uber Black or LUX) 40 per cent cheaper between the hours of 10am and 5pm. “We’re obsessed with efficiency and hate seeing cabs drive around empty. With these lower prices, we think you’ll find a few new reasons to ride Sydney’s taxis more often,” they wrote in a blog post. We swear this is not a paid post, but hopefully something to keep in mind when booking your next cab. http://blog.uber.com/meetubertaxi
Apple launches iTunes Radio in Australia
In the already saturated market of music streaming services Apple has launched their iTunes Radio to the Australian market. Apple has selected Australia as the first country outside of the United States to launch its highly-anticipated iTunes Radio service, which uses algorithms to track your listening preferences and recommend new and different songs that you might like to hear. It will be interesting to see in coming months how Spotify and Pandora subscribers will react to iTunes Radio.
There have been a few minor problems at the Sochi Olympics
Anyone who ever doubted Russia’s ability to complete the Olympic Village on time may enjoy this one. A Twitter account dedicated solely to the shortcomings of the Sochi Olympics. From missing Olympic rings, unfinished hotel rooms to toilets with spectator seating. These whinging westerns obviously expected too much. https://twitter.com/SochiProb
Google buys start-up that uses sounds instead of passwords
Google has bought an Israel-based start-up specialising in using sounds instead of passwords for logging in. SlickLogin technology could replace passwords in some cases but is more likely to be looked at for use as an added layer of security. This may come as bad news to those who are prone to forgetting passwords. http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/google-buys-startup-that-uses-sounds-instead-of-passwords-20140218-32wzu.html