Disaster Relief: Google Tests Self-flying Vehicles, Reveals Ambitions With Project Wing

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Promotions |

Drone

Image by Don McCullough | Wikimedia

Search engine giant Google has finally tested its autonomous aerial vehicles, which would be used to deliver products.

Concept of Delivery Drones

The company’s one of the most technologically advanced projects is called “Project Wing.”

Google X, the company’s research division dedicated to making major technological advancements, built and tested drones near remote farms in Queensland earlier this month.

The company believes Project Wing could be helpful to life-saving missions.

Emergency Response

Google said Project Wing’s goal is to build a system for delivering aid to victims of floods, earthquakes, and other extreme weather events.

“When you have a tool like this you can really allow the operators of those emergency services to add an entirely new dimension to the set of tools and solutions that they can think of,” said Dave Voss, the incoming leader of Project Wing.

“Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation,” explained Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots.

Tech Startup Snapchat Valued at $10B, Raises Huge Funding

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Social Marketing |

Evan Spiegel

Image by Cellanr | Wikimedia

Well-known messaging app Snapchat is said to be worth $10 billion, as the company received a huge round of funding from powerful investors.

Investor interest

The news comes after venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer agreed to invest $20 million in Snapchat.

If the deal goes through, Snapchat would join in the same bracket as tech startups with valuations of $10 billion or more. These tech giants include Dropbox and AirBnB.

Snapchat allows users to send messages and photos that will disappear within seconds.

Big Potential

Though the app is not yet profitable, industry watchers believe investors are betting there is huge money to be made in disappearing messages.

“The bet investors are making is that it is going to be worth the amount of Facebook and Twitter one day,” Ian Maude, of research firm Enders Analysis, said in a statement. “If you have got an audience, you can develop a substantial multibillion-dollar business.”

The company’s rapid user growth has successfully attracted the attention of investors.

Snapchat and Kleiner Perkins refused to confirm the reported valuation and funding.

Burger King, Tim Hortons to Merge: Why the Deal is All About Taxes

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Sales |

Burger King in London

Image by Billy Hicks | Wikimedia

Burger King has announced its plans to acquire Tim Hortons for about $11 billion, a deal that industry watchers consider as a way to secure lower tax rates.

‘Managed independently’

As part of the deal, the headquarters of Burger King will be in Canada and would have a market capitalization worth $18 billion.

3G Capital, Burger King’s biggest investor, will own 51% of the merged business.

“Tim Hortons and Burger King each have strong franchisee networks and iconic brands that are loved by their guests. Following the closing of the transaction, each brand will be managed independently, while benefitting from global scale and reach and sharing of best practices that will come with common ownership by the new company,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Tax burden

Unanimously agreed by both firms, Tim Hortons shareholders will get $59.74 in cash and 0.8025 shares of the new company per share they own.

After the acquisition was confirmed, Burger King has faced criticisms as it potentially takes advantage of lower taxes.

The move re-ignited the “tax inversion” controversy over American firms moving their headquarters abroad, where corporate taxes are lower.

Samsung Buys SmartThings, Invests On Internet of Things

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

samsungSamsung announced on Thursday that it has acquired SmartThings, an open platform for smart home devices.

David Eun, head of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center (OIC), shared that they initially planned to offer partnership with SmartThings, but eventually decided that acquisition is the way to go. He added that the company wanted to invest in improving the Internet of Things and innovating convenient smart appliances.

Despite the acquisition, SmartThings will continue to operate independently, but will move its head office to another location.

CNet reports, “The company’s headquarters will move from Washington, D.C., to OIC’s base in Palo Alto, Calif., and more than half of SmartThing’s 54 employees, plus Hawkinson, will head to California.”

Since the launch of SmartThings in 2012, it has capitalized on smart home technology. With its open platform that supports 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps, it continues to work on Android and iOS operating systems. Its brand has tremendously grown since its conception and has established solid partnerships with companies, such as Belkin, Sons and Philips.

Samsung aims to be the “world’s biggest home appliances maker” by 2015. Eun acknowledges SmartThings’ contributions will be an added asset to Samsung’s continued development of Internet of Things software, services, and devices.

“The efforts we had before will absolutely continue at Samsung, but there are great opportunities to strengthen SmartThings,” he said.

Yahoo Buys Startup Zofari: Why the Company Aims to Boost Local Search Capabilities

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

yahooYahoo has acquired the place recommendation app Zofari, in an attempt to strengthen its services around local search.

Local search business

Zofari, the so-called “Pandora for places,” helps users quickly find locations they want to visit.

They generate recommendations for local businesses, such as bars and cafes.

The recent acquisition, analysts believe, is Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision to specifically improve the company’s mobile services.

‘Very excited’

Though financial terms of the agreement were not revealed, Zofari has released a statement, saying its four employees will be joining the Yahoo Search team.

These employees, the company said, include Nate Weinstein, Jason Kobilka, Shahzad Aziz and Oliver Su.

“After meeting some of the amazing folks on the Yahoo Search team and hearing about their vision, the decision for our team to join Yahoo was an easy one,” the statement says. “We can’t talk about what we’re working on yet but needless to say we are very, very excited.”

So far, Zofari’s apps will remain active, so users can still access it on the App Store, Google Play, or via mobile Web.

Are We There Yet? 3 Features Your Next Car Should Have for Pleasant Road Trips

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Promotions |

You and your kids finally decided to buy a new car and have a road adventure this year. It’s definitely exciting for everyone, but keep in mind that it comes with challenges. Perhaps there’s nothing worse than destroying a family’s excitement because of a car breaking down in the middle of nowhere and back-seat fights.

new car

Your journey should make fun memories that you will cherish for years. Preparation starts at the car showroom. When you have kids, you need to choose a vehicle that will meet your family’s needs.

Flexible seating

After a few hours on the road, you may hear your kids cry and fight. Safety is important when deciding to buy a new car. If your child still uses a car seat, make sure that it’s compatible with the car you want. Knowing how well your car will protect your family should be on your must-have list. Kids need a proper car seat based on their weight and height.

In-car entertainment systems

Taking an 8-hour road trip with kids can be challenging. Children have short attention span, so you need to entertain them. It’s best to have back seat televisions or built-in game consoles to keep your kids quiet and happy. You never have to encounter bored kids again. With in-car entertainment systems, your children will no longer hate the experience of long drives. You can also bring books, cartoons, and movies to keep them occupied.

Wide cargo space

The vehicle’s space is probably on every family’s list. It’s like a luxury item that you don’t want to miss out. Driving with kids means you have to pack well and bring all the necessities. It is best to buy a car that has plenty of cargo space for snacks, clothes, and toys.

Always get the whole family involved when planning a road trip, so you will know what everyone wants, needs, and expects. With the right car and enough preparation, your family will enjoy the trip.

Google Ventures Targets Europe, Plans To Fund Startups Worth $100M

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Internet Marketing | 0 comments

businessmanGoogle has announced its plans to create European venture capital arm, as the company seeks to benefit from the continent’s emerging startups.

New arm for Google Ventures

Google Ventures is launching a $100 million fund dedicated to “invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs.”

“We believe Europe’s start-up scene has enormous potential,” said Bill Maris, overseeing the project, in a blog post to announce the new fund. “We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond – SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others.”

Home to largest companies

Though it’s yet unclear what type of investments the fund would make in the region, the new operation will be based near the so-called Silicon Roundabout.

The search engine giant believes Europe will soon become home to some of the world’s biggest tech firms.

A team will run the new fund. This will include entrepreneur Tom Hulme, angel investor Peter Read, Code.org UK head Avid Larizadeh.