Technology News Headlines for May 23 2012 ( Wednesday )

Oracle Spends $300 Million Buying Vitrue, A Social Marketing Firm
TechCrunch reports that Oracle has just spent $300 million buying Vitrue, a smallish firm that's an expert in social media-based marketing--though the news has been confirmed by press release, the price remains officially undisclosed. Vitrue was said to be on course for revenues near $100 million this year, and is seen as a go-to name for big firms keen to attract Facebook fans and leverage platforms like Facebook or Twitter to spread news. Oracle, of course, is one of the older big names associated with IT and the Net.

IBM Bans Siri, Frightened Of Privacy Implications

Wired has learned that while IBM allows staff to bring iPhones to work, it has banned them from using Apple's advanced voice recognition and control system Siri over privacy concerns. The worry, according to IBM, is that Apple collects and stores voice samples and the returned text in its servers, and thus vital financial or technologically secret information may be being "leaked" to Apple by IBM employees who are unwitting in the process. Nuance, whose technology powers Siri, built the system to collate voice samples in order to make it a more powerful voice recognizer (it's why it's localized to a limited set of nations, for example) and Apple maintains that Siri's data is not kept for a long time and that much of it is anonymized.

Hewlett Packard Expected To Reveal Mass Layoff.
HP will reveal its latest financial results later today, but as had been previously rumored, it's now expected to announce sweeping job cuts. Between 25,000 and 35,000 people could find themselves laid off--meaning around 10% of the company's workforce could be losing their jobs as part of CEO Meg Whitman's plans to trim the fat off the company which seems to be underperforming. The move is likely to be driven by an expected slip in HP's financial performance, with a predicted fall in revenue of around 5% versus last year's figures. 

Google's Doodle Honors Synthesizer Genius Moog

Google may today be sharing its most sophisticated Google Doodle yet. In honor of analogue synthesizer inventor Bob Moog (pronounced to rhyme with "vogue," by the way, not like the "oog" of Google) the Google logo is a fully-functional synthesizer. You can tweak many of the electronic parameters in the same way you would on a real Moog, and you can even record your tootlings with a simulated period-relevant four track recorder--it even lets you share your tunes via short links or Google+. Google's blog post notes the synthesizer was built using separate inter-connected components, much like the real thing. Google's using the doodle to promote Google Chrome, recently overtaking Internet Explorer to become the most-used browser, because if you access it using a modern browser like Apple's Safari it cheekily suggests you "Upgrade to a modern browser and see what this doodle can really do".
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