Stories for Jun. 24, 2014
In Brief

The day before Google’s annual developer conference, Google Glass is getting a lot of improvements. First, although Glass receives subtle hardware tweaks from time to time, its Google Plus page has announced a bump to 2GB of RAM and a slightly bigger battery, among “several [other] hardware updates.” Second, there are 12 new Glassware apps available for download, including Shazam, Duolingo, and other big names. A complete list is here. There’s also a general software update that brings a viewfinder to the device’s camera function. Google’s I/O conference may be the largest collection of Glass Explorers ever assembled, but we’re not expecting a ton of Glass announcements. However, there are three Glass-centered sessions scheduled for Thursday.

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Whisper may get lumped in with Secret and other trendy anonymous-sharing apps, but the editorial team behind the service — led by former Gawker writer Neetzan Zimmerman — is doing some interesting things with it from a journalistic perspective, and that bears watching Read more »

In Brief

Just about a year ago today, Penguin and Random House merged to create the world’s largest book publisher. And HarperCollins announced in May that it’s acquiring Harlequin. Now the season of consolidation continues: The large independent publisher Perseus is being sold off in an unusual three-way deal, Publishers Lunch reported Tuesday, with Hachette Book Group acquiring Perseus Book Group’s publishing imprints and Ingram taking its distribution business. PL notes that the acquisition will bring Hachette’s annual revenues to around $700 million.

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In Brief

Google’s Chromecast streaming stick just got a bunch of new apps: Digital music service Deezer gave its paying subscribers access to casting through its mobile apps. Video workout service Dailyburn added Chromecast support to its website, iOS and Android apps, and PBS Kids added Chromecast support to its mobile apps as well. Earlier on Tuesday, video discovery app Stevie announced its own Chromecast integration.

In Brief

A report released Tuesday by Forrester, which surveyed more than 4,500 people between the ages of 12 and 17, says that Facebook doesn’t have the “teen problem” stemming from a study in 2013 that suggested youth were leaving the network in droves. According to the brief, more than three quarters of teens still use Facebook at least once per month — double the usage numbers of Snapchat, Tumblr, or Pinterest — and 28 percent say they use it “all the time.” While the study doesn’t track how teens see the popularity of Facebook among their peers, the usage levels suggest that teens aren’t abandoning it en masse.

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In Brief

Dell, Cloudera and Intel are working together on an appliance designed to speed the performance of Hadoop environments by moving a lot more data into a shared memory space. Key to the performance improvement is Apache Spark, the in-memory data-processing framework that’s now included in Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution. At this point, it seems like Hadoop vendors are going to sell their wares regardless where they run, so a deal like this really helps Dell make the case that hardware matters in big data environments. The companies claim it’s the first in a family of “Dell Engineered Systems for Cloudera Enterprise.”

lg g watch on wrist

This year’s Google I/O developer event is about to take place. Surely we’ll see Android Wear watches debut but will there be any other hardware? It’s not likely; this year is more about software interface changes and shared experiences in Android and Chrome. Read more »

Stories for Jun. 23, 2014
In Brief

Online marketplace Etsy, which has made its name in selling handmade goods from independent vendors, announced on Monday that it acquired A Little Market — an ecommerce shop based in France that also focuses on handmade goods. The Wall Street Journal reported that the acquisition is the largest from Etsy to date, although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The company says that A Little Market will continue to function independently, providing domestic goods in France. The company has been on a bit of a buying spree, as it acquired technology ecommerce company Grand St. in April of this year.

Both digital publishers and advertisers are trying to come up with a more accurate way of measuring the value of a reader than just raw pageviews or uniques. Upworthy says its “attention minutes” metric is better, and it has opened up the code for anyone to use Read more »

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