By Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw
Facebook unveiled the sleek, unfolding pages of its Paper app last month to appreciative oohs and aahs from reviewers, marking a new era for the social network as design becomes more central to companies up and down Silicon Valley.
Paper was developed with a small unit of designers who wanted to break away from the site’s basic ‘blue and white’ look to create an app inspired by the National Geographic magazine. Read more
Nok Nok? Who’s there? Usually someone with a terribly easy to guess password, a cyber criminal’s dream. But perhaps not for long.
Lenovo, the Chinese PC and phone manufacturer, has invested in Nok Nok Labs, a cyber security start up which aims to transform the industry by replacing passwords with a new technology which works with everything from fingerprints to voice recognition.
Nok Nok Labs raised $16.5m from Lenovo as well as venture capitalists DCM and Onset Ventures on Thursday to create a platform which will support the latest authentication technology. Lenovo will join the board of Nok Nok – and the assumption is, use the new tech in its devices from laptops to smartphones. Read more
“A million dollars isn’t cool. Do you know what’s cool? A billion dollars.” So early Facebook investor Sean Parker’s character said to a young Mark Zuckerberg in the film The Social Network.
Ten years on, the founder and chief executive of Facebook may have a new answer to what’s cool: a $150bn market capitalisation, almost $8bn in revenue and personal wealth estimated at $30bn. Read more
Yahoo has lost its chief operating officer who was in charge of steering the internet company’s advertising business, as it continues to lose share in the digital ad market.
Henrique de Castro is leaving swiftly after reports he fell out with Marissa Mayer, who poached him from her former home Google as part of her turnaround plan for the purple-plastered company. Read more
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has unveiled his much-anticipated new product, a search engine for social networks called Jelly.
Jelly is designed for users to tap the knowledge of their networks, sending photos and asking questions of their friends and friends of friends. Mr Stone, who left day-to-day operations at Twitter a couple of years ago, co-founded the company in April but until now the product had top secret. Read more
President Barack Obama will meet technology leaders on Tuesday morning for a two-hour discussion about everything from the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programme, to how the industry can address income inequality.
Big name tech executives from the eight companies which called on the US government to stop the spy agencies collecting such vast amounts of communications data will be pressing their case home “aggressively”, according to a spokesperson for one of the companies. Read more
Apple, the world’s largest public company by market capitalisation, has a problem. The lawyer appointed to ensure it is not price-fixing e-book sales is just too expensive.
The iPhone and iPad maker complained to the New York court this week that Michael Bromwich’s $1,100 an hour fee is “excessive” and he has not justified it as either “reasonable” or customary”. Read more
Until Twitter revealed its list of principal shareholders in its initial public offering filing, few knew who actually owned the company.
But now a new book published on Tuesday reveals how three co-founders split the stock and why Evan Williams may be the only one to become a billionaire from the offering.
Pinterest – the online scrapbook which started to show adverts just this month – has been valued at whopping $3.8bn in its latest round of fundraising.
This more than 50 per cent rise in valuation in only eight months shows investors have faith the site is transforming from the home of Mid-Western wedding planners to a store front for big brand marketers. Read more
By Hannah Kuchler in San Francisco and Arash Massoudi in New York
Any worries that Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, would not be able to list its shares in the US appear to have been put to rest. The company, which is preparing for an initial public offering in the coming months, has received assurances from the New York Stock and Nasdaq that the partnership structure for its expected share offering will be permitted under the rules of both exchanges. According to media reports confirmed by a person familiar with the matter, Alibaba will now be able to go public with the structure that the Hong Kong Exchange refused to accept. NYSE, Nasdaq and Alibaba declined to comment. Read more
Twitter released an updated version of its initial public offering filing on Tuesday afternoon in the US, announcing it will list on the NYSE and giving details about its last three months as a private company.
Here are five things you need to know from the messaging platform’s release:
1. Losses are mounting. Net losses widened significantly from June to September, rising from $70m in the first six months, to $134m for the first nine months as the cost of revenue increased. Read more
Lookout, a leader in mobile security, has raised $55m in a fundraising round which saw Deutsche Telekom, the German telecoms company, and Qualcomm, the chipmaker.
The money will be used for expanding into selling its software to businesses and protecting the “Internet of Things”.
The San Francisco-based company also raised money from VC firms Greylock Partners and Mithril Capital Management, on top of getting more funding from its current investors Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Before this funding round, it had raised $76.5m in total.
John Hering, co-founder and chief executive, said the company wants to become the leading security firm for the “post-PC era” and hopes to work closely with Qualcomm to develop security software for the new wave of devices which are being connected to the internet. Read more
Twitter took advantage of the new Jobs Act to file the drafts of its initial public offering document in secret, denying journalists and investors the chance to watch its rough and tumble with the SEC.
But when the registration document was published on Thursday, the SEC also revealed the draft filings Twitter had made since it filed in private way back in July. There’s no big secret hiding here but a few interesting changes that give an indication of what Twitter may have been talking to the SEC about – although of course, they could have just decided to change it themselves. Read more
Sunday night’s US finale of Emmy award-winning TV series Breaking Bad sent viewers flocking to their laptops to hear a song played on the programme, boosting downloads of the 1970s British rock band Badfinger’s hit “Baby Blue” by almost 3000 per cent this week. In the last hours of Sunday night, the track was bought 5,300 times, compared to 200 the week before.
As TV viewers got ready to wean themselves off their addiction to the Crystal Meth fest, they found comfort in being able to instantly hear the song featured on the show, as well as other Badfinger songs. Sales of those tunes increased their sales by up to 260 per cent.
But according to the data from research firm Nielsen, the real story is in the streaming. Read more