Early Twitter investor: Google still doesn’t understand social and should buy Twitter

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Okay, we know what you’re probably thinking – that of course he’d want Google to buy Twitter, as he’s a shareholder, and a particularly large one in Twitter, at that – and as such has a large financial interest in its success. But Chris Sacca, who has worked as the Head of Special Initiatives at Google, is a smart guy with early investments in a lot of now-successful companies including Uber, Instagram, Bitly, and many more. And he thinks that Twitter and Google would be mutually benefited if they were married together as one.

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Samsung acquires Apple Pay competitor LoopPay to accelerate its mobile commerce effort

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Samsung announced in a press release this evening that it has purchased LoopPay, an Apple Pay like mobile payment company. LoopPay turns existing magnetic stripe card readers into secure, contactless receivers. This means that, in an ideal world, LoopPay would be available in nearly every retailer that accepts magnetic strip cards. A specific acquisition price is unclear at this point.

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Google acquires Odysee, team behind photo backup and sharing app joins Google+

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An app called Odysee has been acquired by Google, and the “Platform Team” behind it will be joining the Google+ team. The app, while definitely not all too well known, let users automatically back up their photos and videos from their smartphones to the cloud as well as a home computer.

The team will continue to work on “building amazing products” at Google, but it’s not exactly clear yet what the team is going to be doing—or what parts of Odysee may or may not be making it into Google+. Auto-upload of photos to Google+ has been pushed in the company’s official app for quite some time now, so maybe the team is coming on board to flesh out and expand that functionality of the service… Read more

Google acquires Launchpad Toys, makes popular Toontastic kids app free

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It appears that Google is about ready to jump into the kid-friendly mobile app space, as Launchpad toys has today announced that they’ve been acquired by the Mountain View company. Known for its Toontastic storytelling app for kids, the company is joining Google to “create even more amazing creativity tools for kids.”

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Samsung looking to extend partnership with BlackBerry despite false acquisition rumors

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While rumors that Samsung was in talks to acquire BlackBerry for as much as $7.5 billion ultimately proved to be untrue, the two smartphone makers remain interested in working with one another. “We want to work with BlackBerry and develop this partnership, not acquire the company,” J.K. Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile phone business, told The Wall Street Journal. Read more

RelativeWave acquired by Google, makes its mobile app prototyping software free for Mac

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RelativeWave, the company behind the mobile app prototyping software Form, today announced it’s joining Google. The company made an announcement on its website noting that it will continue working on the Form app and as of today make it available for free through the Mac App Store. The app previously sold for $79. Read more

Google buys Lift Labs, maker of Parkinson’s Disease fighting smart spoon

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Google has acquired Lift Labs, a San Francisco company that has developed eating utensils that provide “proactive care” for people with essential tremor and Parkinson’s Disease. A Google spokesperson confirmed the deal with The New York Times, saying that the company will be rolled into the search giant’s Life Sciences unit, which is part of its super secret Google X lab.

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Google acquires cloud-based visual effects company Zync to join Cloud Platform team

Zync logoGoogle announced on Tuesday that it has acquired cloud-based visual effects company Zync, which provided the rendering technology behind the movies Star Trek Into Darkness and Looper. Zync will be joining the Google Cloud Platform team, bolstering the company’s cloud-based offerings for creative professionals.

Zync Render is an in-house tool that provides integrated image rendering for visual effects professionals, offering users flexible solutions and greater creative freedoms with decreased longterm overhead and startup costs. The rendering tool has been used by over a dozen feature films and hundreds of commercials.  Read more

Google acquiring Gecko Design for help with X projects

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Google is acquiring Gecko Design, a firm that helps develop products for companies like Hewlett-Packard, Slingmedia, Dell, Fitbit and furniture maker Herman Miller. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed but the Los Gatos, California company will be rolled into Google’s X lab, which is responsible for items like Glass and the search giant’s driverless car.

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Google acquires Jetpac city guide software, will discontinue service in September

Google has acquired Jetpac, a city guide application for iPhone, the app’s developers announced today (via The Next Web). The free app (and others by the Jetpac team) will be removed from the App Store in the coming days, and the service that powers it will be shut down on September 15th.

Google hasn’t said exactly what it plans to do with the company’s technology, which automatically scans users’ photos to detect local points of interest like coffee shops or “hipster hangouts.” The service featuerd data for over 6,000 cities, according to the App Store description.  It seems logical, however, that Google would attempt to integrate these features with Google Maps or a location-based Google Now feature.

You can grab the Jetpac app for free on the iTunes Store, though it won’t be very useful beyond its mid-September shutdown.

Google acquires mobile video startup Directr, adds talent to the YouTube ads team

YouTube has acquired a startup called Directr according to a post on the company’s website, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. Directr is a startup that makes two iOS apps for video creation—one focused on everyday users, and the other designed with small business marketing videos in mind.

The company says that for now, “everything you love about Directr is staying the same.” Directr’s current employees, however, will be joining the YouTube video ads team. Neither party has said how much the buyout cost yet, but Directr has confirmed that despite the change of ownership, it will continue to offer its current apps, which will now be available for free.

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