Facebook Is Going To Have Fun: Purchases WhatsApp For A Sizable $16 Billion

downloadFacebook has entered an agreement with WhatsApp — to purchase said developer of the app with the same name for a sizable $16 billion. WhatsApp will continue to operate independently after the acquisition, but claims the deal “accelerates Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world.” Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s CEO and Co-Founder, Jan Koum, will join Facebook’s board; it’s interesting news on its own, because the app will have its own say in the large forest that is Facebook operations.

Also, WhatsApp has incredible statistics: a user base of 750 million, the social messaging app has 70 percent of those users active on any particular day; definitely a way for Facebook to reach its social dominance in another form.

Via: Facebook Press Release (Zuckerberg)

Google Wants To Bring Its Fiber To 34 More Cities, 9 Of Them Soon

9-new-google-fiber-cities Google has just published a blog post detailing their plans for expanding Google Fiber (1 gigabit internet speeds and even better) around the United States, to 34 cities in the long-term, 9 cities of which plans are being made for in the short-term. Those cities, for those of you wondering, are Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, and San Jose. Yes, most of those cities are in the south, but what is the most interesting is San Antonio; AT&T’s hometown.

Meanwhile, New Englanders, especially in New York, are patiently awaiting the arrival of Google Fiber, which at its current pace, could take quite a while.

Via: Google

HTC’s “All New One” Leaks In Full Press Image Form, In Gold Paint

htc-one-evleaksA brand new HTC One, called “The All New One” is apparently what the Taiwanese company is going with for the next flagship device they plan to reveal on March 25th in New York City and London.

Seen here, as a leaked press image, the new One will apparently come in a gold paint job, as well as the silver we’re accustomed to, and hopefully in black as well, which can take advantage of all those sleek unibody aluminum lines. Also including are not one, but two (get it?) rear-facing cameras.

Bad pun aside, we’ll know more about this new device as time progresses.

Via@evleaks [Twitter]

Bioshock’s Acclaimed Studio Is No Longer


The studio responsible for Bioshock and Bioshock: Infinite? Currently being broken up, for some reason. Actually, creative lead Ken Levine said on the company’s website that himself and “about fifteen members of the Irrational team” formed a new, smaller venture within the parent company that owns Irrational (who also owns Grand Theft Auto-developer Rockstar Games). The result will be”To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable.”

Basically, he’s handing over the responsibility of BioShock to Take-Two and him and the rest of his team are going to pursue other projects. As for the future of the franchise; that’s all speculation or unconfirmed, as of yet.

ViaIrrational Games

HTC Books A Press Event For March 25th In Both NYC And London

save-the-date-htc-2014-02-18-01Much like the press event in 2013 that was simultaneous in both NYC and London, HTC is ready to unveil the successor the well-reviewed but not hotcake-selling handset, the HTC One. In this case, whatever HTC brings to the event is going to decide its future, once and for all. And that is both incredibly interesting and frightening.

Booked for March 25th, we’ll be ready to give the coverage you all so longingly desire — for example, if HTC will just call the new device the HTC Two. Hopefully not.

The McLaren 650S Is A Unqiue Bridge Of Comfort And Speed

mclaren-650sThis is the McLaren 650S, a solid supercar with design traits taken from its fellow brethren — the MP4-12C and the hypercar of dreams, the P1 — and in the end, is designed to be a comfortable yet fast supercar.

Pushed along the road by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine cranking 641 horsepower, the 650S also features the British’s company’s ProActive Chassis Control system, which helps you make those corners, safely and quickly.

As for comfort? LED headlamps, satellite radio and navigation, Bluetooth, and even a rear parking camera all round out that section of the feature list.

More will be revealed at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March, but for know, gaze upon another beautiful idea of engineering and design. PR after the break.

Google’s Acquisition Of SlickLogin Could Mean Even Bigger Things For The Death Of Passwords

slicklogin-tech-crunch-startup-logosOr rather, the reincarnation of passwords. It doesn’t take a security expert to see the flaws the exist in traditional passwords: they need to be remembered, can easily be stolen or cracked, and generally multiple variations or complete unique passwords need to be made to manage an individual’s social, financial, or business accounts.

That’s where the team of SlickLogin was trying to make big changes: by emitting an almost-inaudible tone from a computer when logging-in, a user would hold their smartphone to the speaker, hear the tone, and send the credentials to the requested form or app.

This way, 2-step authentication via a code sent to your phone via text is obsolete, and the use of your private credentials to log-in somewhere requires your very presence, and your trusty smartphone.

The details of the acquisition (i.e. how much, why, what’s going on) haven’t truly been revealed by either company, but at the very least, Google is continuing its journey in finding out new ways of protecting information, as their researchers have done in the past.

Via: SlickLogin, TechCrunch

Titanfall Becomes An Open Beta On PC And Xbox One

TitanfallRevealWell, after some Microsoft Azure server maintenance which took the Titanfall beta servers offline for a while, developer Respawn Entertainment has flipped the switch on beta codes and invitations; instead all Xbox One users can partake in the beta, until a systemic limit is reached. The same arrangement is being prepared for PC users later on.

Meanwhile, I’ll still drop Titans on your shoddy battle maneuvers. Be ready, pilots.

ViaMajor Nelson