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Mark Zuckerberg cashes in as Facebook offers new shares

Posted December 20, 2013 By David Kolle

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, plans to cash in $US2.3 billion worth of shares as part of a new share offering by the huge social network.

Mark ZuckerbergA Facebook report said the company plans to sell 70 million shares in a follow-on offering to the huge initial public offering in May 2012.

Of the total amount, Zuckerberg will sell around 41 million shares, mainly to satisfy his tax obligations, the company said in a statement.

The 27 million new shares would raise some $US1.5 billion for the company “for working capital and other general corporate purposes,” the statement said.

Zuckerberg’s sale will have little impact on his control of the company. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Google ordered to pay $17 million in settlement.

Posted November 22, 2013 By David Kolle

Google has been ordered to payout $17 million to 37 states and the District of Columbia.

double clickThe payout is to settle claims it violated consumer privacy by placing unauthorised cookies on computers using certain Apple Safari web browsers in 2011 and 2012.

The New York Attorney General‘s office said Google Inc. altered coding from its Doubleclick advertising platform to circumvent default privacy settings on Safari without consumers’ knowledge or consent. Altering the coding allowed Google to put Doubleclick cookies on Safari web browsers. Google disabled the coding in February 2012 after the practice was widely reported.

Google also agreed Monday to injunctive relief that requires it to take certain actions, including improving the information it provides about cookies.

Google Inc. said that whilst the cookies collected no personal information and that it’s pleased to have reached the settlement.

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Google+ launches new photo features. #Google+

Posted October 31, 2013 By David Kolle

Google is unveiled new tools that automatically edit images posted on its social network in an attempt to pull users from other social sites.

Google+Many of the 18 or so new features revealed this week rely on technology designed to identify the photos and videos that might be more relevant to the individual users of Google+.

Google launched the service 2 years ago as an alternative to Facebook.

Google+ now has 540 million active monthly users, up from 390 million in May. But many of those users may only be watching YouTube videos or reading email in Gmail while logged into Google. The service has 300 million active monthly users “in the stream” – users who actually visit the Google+ website or app directly. 

But it has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook, which has nearly 1.2 billion active users.

In an attempt to turn Google+ into a photo-sharing hub, it added an assortment of automatic ways to manage images five months ago.

The latest features build upon those innovations. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Yahoo! this week acquired startup company LookFlow, who were developing new ways for people to find, collect and share content they have an interest in.

lookflow-logo-smallThe company used state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology to deliver what it called “a revolution in online search and discovery.”

In other words, Yahoo is interested in LookFlow’s machine learning algorithms. Since the startup focused on images, it makes sense Yahoo will work on integrating the technology into Flickr.

“We have acquired LookFlow, an enhanced image recognition company,” a Yahoo spokesperson has confirmed. “As part of the acquisition, we’re bringing five talented engineers and the technology they built into our Flickr organization in San Francisco.”

LookFlow is promising its product will appear “in future versions of Flickr” but naturally it won’t share in what capacity. Given that Flickr launched in February 2004, it was designed long before social sharing and viral propagation was the norm. As such, it has had difficulty keeping up with various competitors that have been designed from the ground up with discoverability in mind.

We built LookFlow as an entirely new way to explore images you love — combining delightful user experiences with the latest advances in machine learning.

Flickr is the largest collection of images we love. They share our passion for creating phenomenal experiences & technology to help you discover those images.

We couldn’t be more excited.

Fret not, LookFlow fans. Keep an eye out for our product in future versions of Flickr — with many more wonderful photos and all that Flickr awesomeness!

We’ll also be helping Yahoo build a new deep learning group. If you’re passionate about deep learning and want to help solve big problems, please contact us.

Thanks to all the friends of LookFlow that have supported us. Special thanks to Michael Dearing, John Lilly, Reid Hoffman, Alex Rampell, Josh McFarland, Max Ventilla, and Jeff Hammerbacher.

–Bobby, Simon and Team LookFlow

Yet LookFlow’s team won’t just be working on Flickr. According to its announcement, the startup will also be helping Yahoo build a new learning group, for which it is already recruiting.


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