Catering to coders and entrepreneurs around the world, Facebook this week is cutting the ribbon on its first training center in São Paulo, Brazil. “The space … will bridge the gap in Brazil between a tech sector hungry for skilled talent and an eager but untrained generation with time on their hands,” Reuters reports. Bigger picture, “One in four Brazilians aged 18 to 24, most with more formal education than their parents, were unemployed at the start of the year.”
Google has begun issuing refunds to advertisers whose ads have run on websites with fraudulent traffic, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Hundreds of marketers and agency executives reportedly have been contacted by Google regarding the fraudulent traffic bought via Google's DoubleClick Bid Manager, primarily during the second quarter of this year.
Along every one of its rivals, Samsung said this week that it’s readying a voice-responsive smart speaker. DJ Koh, the president of Samsung's mobile division, made the announcement, CNBC reports. More broadly, “Samsung has big ambitions in the smart home space, hoping to connect products from TVs and refrigerators,” it writes. “The idea is to have Bixby, the company's digital personal assistant at the center.”
Facebook recently lost Eugene Wei, who has run the company’s Oculus virtual reality unit since late 2015, Recode reports. “At Oculus, Wei was in charge of getting creators to provide VR content for the hardware,” it writes. More broadly, “Virtual reality headsets haven’t been embraced by mainstream consumers, despite an initial round of hype and investment.”
Google will offer a medically validated, anonymous screening questionnaire for clinical depression when people conduct Google searches related to the subject of depression, Engadget reports. “The questionnaire is part of a larger effort from internet giants to provide helpful and potentially life-saving information to people with mental health issues,” it notes.
In the hot stream-media device space, Roku’s market share increased from 30% to 37% from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, according to a new report from Parks Associates. “The growth is coming at the expense of Roku’s top competitors, like Apple and Google, with only Amazon’s Fire TV able to increase its install base during the same timeframe,” TechCrunch notes.
About two months ago, dating app Bumble reportedly rejected a $450 million acquisition offer from Match Group. As Forbes reports: “One source suggested the $450 million offer was seen to undervalue Bumble, which has quickly set itself apart in a crowded market with its 'women-first' branding and functionality.” Also of note: “An acquisition would have meant founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe working for a company she sued three years ago.”
Internal “disagreements” forced Apple to rein in its self-driving car ambitions, The New York Times reports. The once-ambitious effort was “dogged by its size and by the lack of a clearly defined vision of what Apple wanted in a vehicle,” the Times writes, citing sources. “Team members complained of shifting priorities and arbitrary or unrealistic deadlines.”
Walmart shoppers will soon be able to place their orders using Google’s voice-activated Assistant, per a new partnership between the two companies. “Specifically, consumers will now be able to take advantage of Walmart’s ‘Easy Reorder’ feature through an integration with Google’s shopping service, Google Express,” TechCrunch reports.
Following the Oculus Rift’s lead, HTC just cut the price of its Vive VR headset from $799 to $599, Engadget reports. “That’s still $100 more than you’d pay for a Rift/Touch combo ($200 if you account for Oculus' summer sale),” it notes. “The company tells us this isn't about clearing inventory, so this isn’t an indication of how well the Vive is selling.”