Technology News Headlines for July 20 2012 ( Friday )

Betaworks' News.Me Team Is Rebuilding An All-New Digg, Launching August 1
The team at, a mobile news app from NYC tech incubator Betaworks, says we'll see a completely rebuilt version of Digg on August 1, built out in just six weeks by their team of 10. We already knew Betaworks was going to put the team to work on Digg when it announced it had acquired the social news site two weeks ago. Betaworks said it would adopt a startup like approach to its rebuild efforts, with faster development cycles. What we didn't expect was to see the team attempt to resurrect the Digg brand. For all the glory Digg claimed in the early Web 2.0 days, the brand has become so muddied that we wonder whether keeping the brand is a smart move. Then again, even winning over a fraction of the old army of fiercly loyal Diggers would be a powerful get for the next version of the site.

Facebook Buys Popular iOS, Mac Developers Acrylic
Facebook has continued its post-IPO spending spree with a purchase of popular Mac and iOS developer house Acrylic--the firm behind news aggregator Pulp and Wallet, a secure database. Both of these popular titles don't form part of the Facebook deal, but it's been noted they will receive no further development--leaving "hundreds of thousands" of users (in the company's own words), eventually, with apps that are far behind the times. Acrylic's team notes that working with Facebook represents the chance to make a "big impact in many people's lives."

After A Two-Year Delay, Kayak's IPO Soars On Its First Day Of Trading
After shaky market conditions that held up Kayak's IPO for two years, the online travel company--which debuted on the NASDAQ today at an initial price of $26 a share--hit a soaring $35 high before closing at $33.48. The good news has been a long time coming for Kayak, which first filed its intent to IPO in November 2010, when it was looking to raise $50 million. But, bit by bit, factors kept Kayak pushing the date back further and further. For one, Google closed its $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA last April. Then Facebook's botched IPO left investors questioning the stability of Silicon Valley companies at large. But today's closing price left Kayak at a healthy $91 million raised. "Our team intends to stay focused on creating the best place to plan and book travel," the company said in a statement. "We will continue to strive to innovate and improve our technology in order to provide travelers with comprehensive, accurate and intuitive travel tools that they can access from whatever device they choose."

Good News For Gmail: Google Captures Sparrow
Gmail's notoriously limited iOS app is about to get some help from the creators of a popular alternative email app called Sparrow. Sparrow's developers, who also developed a similar email client for Mac, announced on Friday that their company has been acquired by Google.

Sparrow has a more intuitive interface than gmail's app, allowing users to complete tasks by swiping an email message or to refresh their messages by pulling down. By reducing the number of taps it takes to respond to and archive emails, the app has become known as a good tool for powering through mass amounts of email.

Gmail's app, meanwhile, has been criticized for not supporting multiple accounts, something that Sparrow has been praised for.

Though the Sparrow team will now be working on new projects with gmail, CEO Dom Leca wrote that Sparrow will remain available with support for users.

The acquisition, though good news for gmail users, is not necessarily good news for diehard Sparrow fans. An iPad app the startup teased earlier this year is now unlikely to materialize, as are any new features for its paid apps.

iTunes In The Cloud Expands To Over 35 Countries For Movies
Apple has included several more countries in the list of nations that can use its iTunes in the Cloud for movie downloads internationally, MacRumours has noticed. In total, Apple users in 154 countries have access to iTunes in the Cloud, and all of those can use the apps and Books upload and access featurea across devices. In comparison, now including the new additions, iTunes users in 38 countries can now use it for movies. (Also, 57 of 154 countries are approved to use iTunes for music, 55 have access to music video uploads, and 5 have access to TV shows.) Amazon's competing cloud service for media, Cloud Drive, is available in 27 countries.

Google Announces Steady Q2 Results
Google has posted its Q2 numbers (incidentally, via a link on its brand new Google Investor Relations Google+ page), listing revenues of $8.36 billion, 35 percent up from last year,roughly matching investors' expectations of the company. Google's international revenues added up to $5.96 billion representing 54% of its total revenues, a consistent figure since 2010. This quarter, Google's numbers included performance by fully acquired Motorola Mobility, which posted revenues of $1.25 billion and an operating loss of $233 million.

Mayer To Earn $100 Million (And Maybe Much More) From Yahoo Move
New CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer may be in line for around $100 million in total compensation for her move from Google. She's due for $1 million in basic salary and up to $2 million in bonuses, but an SEC filing notes that Mayer will also get around $12 million in restricted stock vesting over three years, a $30 million retention award, and an additional $30 million in stock vesting over five years, half of which is performance-related. With a few other perks--including compensation for lost income from her previous employer Google--the figure totals to around $100 million over five years. In comparison Tim Cook, new CEO of Apple, was Silicon Valley's highest paid boss in 2011 with around $378 million in total awards--Cook, however, absented himself from a potential $75 million dividend payoff earlier this year.
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