The European Union is pressuring Google to extend its “right to be forgotten” search policy globally. “In a new set of guidelines agreed Wednesday in Brussels, the body representing the EU’s 28 national privacy regulators said that search engines should apply the bloc’s new right to be forgotten to all of their websites,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “The guidelines escalate a disagreement between regulators and the search giant over how to implement a May decision by Europe’s top court.”
Twitter has reportedly engaged in acquisition talks with Shots, the “selfie” app best known for its Justin Bieber backing. “Twitter is attracted particularly to Shots’ user base -- more than 3 million users, nearly two-thirds of them women under 24,” CNBC reports, citing a source. “The company is run by John Shahidi, known to some as the ‘King of Twitter’ for his broad popularity on the social media service.”
Self-styled “start-up studio” and VC firm betaworks just unveiled a quirky new app name Homescreen, which encourages people to share screenshot of their mobile homescreens with other people via social media. More than a more screen grab, however, “the service uses image recognition technology to let you get in-depth information about [app that appear in a given screenshot] by hovering over any app,” TechCrunch reports. In essence, “Betaworks is creating its own user-generated app recommendation engine.”
Sony is reportedly developing a highly original smartwatch, which will be made out of “electronic paper,” which will allow its entire surface to serve as a digital display. “The watch’s face and wrist band will be made from a patented material that allows the entire surface area to function as a display and change its appearance,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. Expected sometime next year, “the device will emphasize style, rather than trying to outdo more technological offerings like Apple Inc.’s watch and Sony’s own SmartWatch.”
Steve Jobs would be proud. Setting a new record for U.S. corporations, Apple’s market capitalization surpassed $700 billion, this week. “That puts Apple at 1.7 times the capitalization of the world’s second-biggest company, Exxon,” Bloomberg notes. “Confidence in Apple has been growing since the company unveiled larger-screened iPhones in September, followed by slimmer and faster iPads in October.”
Google’s search partnership with Apple and its Safari Web browser expires next year, as, The Information reports, “Yahoo and Microsoft fighting to boot Google search from iPhone when deal is up.” Indeed, “among companies still wringing billions of dollars a year from search ads, all eyes are on the upcoming expiration of the only search distribution deal that matters anymore.”
Nieman Journalism Lab catches up with Stacy-Marie Ishmael, who recently agreed to leave the Financial Times to help Buzzfeed build a better news app. Along with Buzzfeed’s Noah Chestnut, Ishmael wants “to find a way to predict users’ information needs without asking them to commit time to establishing preferences and to provide an overall delightful experience on par with Instagram or Tinder,” according to NiemanLab.
Just in time for the holidays, mobile users of Google’s famous search engine can now expect to see new product details. “The company says it wants to help shoppers make purchase decisions on the go with its new expandable product cards right on Google.com,” VentureBeat reports. “In addition to more detailed information about products, you can now see a list of stores from which you can buy them, as well as product reviews from customers.”
After selling far fewer Galaxy S5 smartphones than expected, Samsung is reportedly exploring a major or reorganization. In all, “Samsung sold about 40% fewer Galaxy S5 smartphones than expected,” The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. As a result, “In one scenario under discussion, co-chief executive and mobile head J.K. Shin … could be moved out of his role overseeing the mobile division.”
To spur innovation, Google is now allowing developers based in China to make money from apps listed on the Google Play Store. At least for the moment, however, these developers can market their apps to Chinese consumers. “Nonetheless, the move will give Chinese developers exposure to the hundreds of millions of Android devices on the planet, opening up opportunities to make money via in-app purchases or subscriptions within free applications, and by selling paid-for apps too,” TechCrunch reports.