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Twitch confirms Amazon is acquiring the company for $970 million

It wasn't long ago that we were reporting that according to multiple sources, Google were in the process of acquiring Twitch in a deal worth $1 billion. But now Amazon has confirmed today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Twitch for $970 million, with the deal closing in the coming months.

 

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Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, said: "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month - from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old. Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community."

 

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear had the following to say: "Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming. Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world."

Continue reading 'Twitch confirms Amazon is acquiring the company for $970 million' (full post)

Google acquires Gecko Design, rolls it into its Google X research labs

Google has just announced it has agreed to purchase Gecko Design Inc. for an unknown amount of money, with Gecko Design's president and four other employees joining the ranks of Google's super-secret Google X labs.

 

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Gecko Design has worked on countless projects, and while you might know who they are (don't worry, I don't either) you've probably seen, or use a product that they've worked on. The company was founded back in 1996, and is based out of Los Gatos, California, specializing in designing consumer electronics before it started getting into manufacturing.

 

Jacques Gagné, president of Gecko Design spoke with The Wall Street Journal, where he said that people seek his company as they don't know how to turn their ideas into real products, especially when it's something completely new, that someone else hasn't thought of yet. This is what attracted Google X to Gecko Design, according to Gagné. Gagné also teased that his company began working with Google last year on a project for the secret lab, but declined to add any details to that. So we can presume that it was this project that had the companies talking, leading to the acquisition.

T-Mobile fires back against Sprint, wants to attract acquaintances

In the ongoing effort to attract new subscribers, T-Mobile hopes current subscribers will help attract friends and family to join the company. Any subscriber able to convince someone they know to leave rival Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint will receive one year of unlimited LTE data for free.

 

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A subscriber that lends a hand to T-Mobile can fill out something online, and is required to enter their T-Mobile phone number and the number of the friend or family member.

 

"It continues to amaze me to see the old carriers failing to listen to their customers - or reward them for their loyalty," said John Legere, T-Mobile president and CEO, in a press statement. "That arrogance and indifference has defined the U.S. wireless industry for too long. We're changing all that. In fact, this entire Un-carrier consumer movement is built on the simple act of listening to customers."

Continue reading 'T-Mobile fires back against Sprint, wants to attract acquaintances' (full post)

Report claims eBay is planning to spinoff of PayPal in near future

Auction site eBay might spinoff the PayPal online payments company as early as 2015, with a search for a new PayPal CEO currently underway. It's unknown if eBay is interested in spinning off the entire PayPal business unit, or just part of the company - and likely won't be known until something is officially announced.

 

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Investor Carl Icahn has long wanted eBay and PayPal to separate, but eBay CEO John Donahoe said PayPal was integral to eBay's overall business success. However, Icahn simmered down his demands in April, saying now isn't quite the time for an eBay-PayPal spinoff, but other investors hope PayPal as an independent business unit could attract new interest.

 

"The eBay board and management team remain focused on maximizing shareholder value," said Amanda Miller, eBay spokeswoman, in a statement to the media. "As we discussed during proxy season and in our second-quarter financial results call, the board will continue to assess all alternatives to create that long term value and to enhance the growth and competitive positions of both eBay and PayPal. This position has not changed."

Steve Ballmer teaching at USC, Stanford, enjoying his retirement

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is enjoying his retirement from the technology world, recently stepping down from the Microsoft board. Ballmer looks forward to teaching, learning, and owning the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team during his retirement, as the Stanford dropout heads back into the classroom.

 

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Ballmer is a Harvard University graduate, and then attended Stanford Graduate School of Business for one year. The billionaire wants to stay busy during his retirement, which is why he wants to teach at two of the leading schools in the country - he'll teach at the USC Marshall School of Business next spring, but it's uncertain which course he'll lead.

 

"This combination of an experienced practitioner with a tenured faculty member is a hallmark of the teaching experience at Stanford Graduate School of Business," said Helen Chang, Stanford spokeswoman, in a statement to the media.

Continue reading 'Steve Ballmer teaching at USC, Stanford, enjoying his retirement' (full post)

Over one million takedown requests per day being sent to Google

You know what Google receives everyday? Over one million takedown requests for pirate links, that's what. The Mountain View-based search giant receives a huge one million DMCA takedown notices per day, with the last seven days seeing a request for the removal of over 8 million results from its search engine.

 

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In the years past, the amount of takedown requests was in the hundreds, but now it is far beyond that. The growth of the Internet itself, as well as piracy has really turbo boosted the amount of DCMA takedowns.

Bitcoin value drops 12% down to $435.60, lowest rate since May

The bitcoin cryptocurrency has surged among consumers and businesses, but volatility has concerned many investors - and with values dropping almost 12 percent, from $492.95 down to $435.60 on Monday, there might be rightful concern.

 

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What happened on Monday was considered highly unusual, as values started at almost $500 on Monday morning. However, the BTC-e platform bitcoin value slump trended downward, there were three trades that occurred at $309, but there were more than a thousand transactions valued from $309 to $400.

 

"We have seen crashes like this before and they follow a certain pattern, namely a sharp drop followed by a swift rebound to about a bit less than the previous level," said Raffael Danielli, Matlab Trading margin trading critic, in a statement to CoinDesk.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin value drops 12% down to $435.60, lowest rate since May' (full post)

Steve Ballmer officially steps down from Microsoft board

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote a letter addressed to current CEO Satya Nadella, stating he is stepping down as a Microsoft board member. Ballmer retired almost six months ago and Microsoft picked Nadella to try to steer the company into a mobile, cloud-connected world.

 

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"I bleed Microsoft - have for 34 years and I always will," Ballmer wrote in the letter. "I continue to love discussing the company's future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can."

 

It's not a surprise to hear Ballmer has stepped down from the board, especially as his focus turns more towards the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. In addition to owning the NBA franchise, Ballmer has stayed active in the non-profit community, teaching and studying, which is "taking a lot of time."

Continue reading 'Steve Ballmer officially steps down from Microsoft board' (full post)

Lake Tahoe-area home site sells for $1.6 million in bitcoins

A Silicon Valley resident purchased a 1.4-acre home site near Lake Tahoe, a popular Northern California tourist destination, for $1.6 million in bitcoins. It was the first time the Martis Camp real estate company handled a transaction in bitcoins, but enjoyed a pleasurable experience this time around. The deal closed on August 6 and serves as a significant real estate transaction using bitcoins, with many companies still seeking cold, hard cash.

 

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"We didn't know much about (Bitcoin)," said Brian Hull, Martis Camp sales director, in a statement to the media. "We actually closed in the quickest time frame that we've ever closed on a developer lot transaction."

 

Earlier in the year, the Sacramento Kings NBA team became the first professional sports team to begin accepting bitcoins - as more businesses embrace the sometimes volatile cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, Overstock.com estimates $6 million to $8 million in bitcoin sales during 2014, with the popular e-tailer serving as a major business early adopter.

Continue reading 'Lake Tahoe-area home site sells for $1.6 million in bitcoins' (full post)

Roku Smart TVs coming from HiSense and TCL in weeks

Roku has been making set top boxes with its streaming service on them for a long time now and the company is set to move into a different category with a new product. The new product is a line of Smart TVs that are said to be streaming displays first and normal TVs second.

 

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The TVs are called Roku smart TVs and will come from Chinese makers like HiSense and TCL. Models will ship from both companies in a range of screen sizes and are said to start shipping in a few weeks. When the TVs are first turned on, owners will see options for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go.

 

Access to content from a cable box or TV antenna will also be offered and the setup menu will allow users to change what they see first to input from a cable box if desired. The TVs will also include remotes that have one touch access to streaming services. A 32-inch Roku smart TV will sell for $229 with a 40-inch going for $329 from TCL.

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