Further consolidating the wearable technology space, Jawbone has acquired BodyMedia for over $100 million, AllThingsD reports, citing sources. BodyMedia makes health-monitoring armbands. Key to the deal, “BodyMedia has had more than 80 patents issued over the years, many in the area of multi-sensor technology,” according to AllThingsD.
Web giants like Google and Facebook are increasing using 501(c)(4) groups to their own ends, Politico reports. “These top tech executives and their companies are embracing stealth, not-for-profit campaigns that can advertise and advance their pet causes -- from tax and immigration reform to new online privacy laws -- without ever disclosing a single donation,” it writes.
In five years, tablets will have gone the way of the rotary phone, BlackBerry chief exec Thorsten Heins predicted this week. “Tablets themselves are not a good business model,” Heins told Bloomberg. If nothing else, Heins’ prophecy is a good indication that BlackBerry doesn’t have grand tablet plans of its own.
Twitter has officially expanded its self-service ad program to all businesses and individuals, CNet reports. “Twitter has allowed organizations to pay for promoted tweets and promoted accounts since last March, but it was on an invite-only basis.” The move should mean for ad revenue for the micro-blogging leader.
In China, Web giant Alibaba has agreed to pay $586 million for a nearly 20% stake in Sina Corporation’s Weibo service. Weibo, as The New York Times’ Dealbook reports, is the most popular of China’s microblogging services. “Alibaba and Sina also agreed to cooperate in improving ways to marry social networking with e-commerce, as microblogging services like Sina’s continue to grow in popularity.”
Pushing the limits of credulity, The New York Times’ Bits blog surveys the emerging field of brain computer interfaces. “The technology … was conceived to enable people with paralysis and other disabilities to interact with computers or control robotic arms, all by simply thinking about such actions,” it writes. But, “before long, these technologies could well be in consumer electronics, too.”
In early June, Google plans to shutdown its Meebo Bar publishing tool. “Meebo, which was acquired by Google last year, is a messaging service that spun out several products relating to advertising and social networking -- one of which is the Meebo Bar,” The Next Web writes. Explaining the decision, TNW suggests that the Meebo Bar was taking attention away from the Google+ Sign-In service and other related plug-ins.
Ready to reshape search for all consumers, Google on Monday made its Now application compatible with all iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. Launched earlier this year for Android, Google Now predicts content it thinks users will like based on previous search queries, location, and other personal data. “The look and feel of the app is virtually identical on both platforms,” The Verge writes, which its calls “a testament to Google's newfound ability to make well-designed apps on iOS.”
Breaking into the mobile-backend-as-a-service (or mBaaS) space, Facebook just bought Parse for a reported $85 million. “The utilities in Parse’s toolbox will allow mobile apps like games integrate with Facebook more directly,” Forbes writes. “This, in a way, gives Facebook its own mobile app framework but doesn’t necessarily put it into direct competition with established app palyers [sic].”
Yahoo chairman Fred Amoroso plans to step down in June. Why? For one, “Marissa Mayer wasn't his first choice for CEO,” Business Insider writes, citing sources. Also, “it is widely thought among senior Yahoo executives that Amoroso was the person who convinced Yahoo to enter into a disastrous patent lawsuit against Facebook last year.”