Tech News: Facebook to Track Your Every (Cursor) Move, Google to Sell Glass on 'Luxury' Barges

By Minyanville Staff  NOV 01, 2013 4:55 PM

Plus, Google Glass gets its first traffic ticket.

 


Purpose of Floating Google Structure Revealed

A mysterious floating barge tied to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been rumored to be either a floating data center or a Google Glass store. Now, CBS News reports the structure is in fact a store, fit with luxury show rooms and a party deck. The store will market Google Glass and other devices to “invitation-only clients,” multiple sources have told CBS.

The barge is composed of 40-foot-tall shipping containers that can be disassembled and transported anywhere via truck or train.

The project has been in planning for over a year at a secret facility run by Google near its Mountain View, California, headquarters. The project has faced delays because of Coast Guard regulations.

Another barge linked to Google has appeared in Portland, Maine.

Facebook to Track Your Cursor?

The Wall Street Journal reports Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is currently testing the ability to track where a user’s cursor travels on a screen and how long it stays on different parts of Facebook's website. Facebook is also collecting other “behavioral” data -- as opposed to “demographic” data -- like whether or not a user’s News Feed is visible onscreen at any given moment when using the website’s mobile app.

The tests are part of a larger technology testing program. Ken Rudin, who left Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) to head analytics at Facebook, says the new tests will determine whether or not to incorporate this new data collection into the company's business within the next few months.

Facebook is not the first company to track this kind of data. Shutterstock (NYSE:SSTK) records all activity on its site and uses it to better modify its photograph selection and pricing.

Google, Oracle, and Others Pitch In to Save Obamacare

The government’s newly launched health care website is getting a helping hand from some of tech’s best and brightest, reports Bloomberg. The site has suffered from repeated outages since its October 1 launch. On October 20, the Obama administration announced a “tech surge” to help solve the underlying software issues that have hindered people from signing up for plans.

Google, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), and Red Hat, Inc (NYSE:RHT) are all contributing engineers to the cause, according to the Obama administration.

First Google Glass Driving Ticket

Cecilia Abadie of San Diego, California, was pulled over and ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving, reports Wired. Although her primary infraction was for speeding, she is the first person to be cited for a traffic violation for wearing Google Glass.

She was specifically charged for violating California’s Vehicle Code Section 27602, which states that a person shall not operate a motor vehicle while a television, video monitor, or screen displaying entertainment or business applications is visible to the driver. The law does not apply to equipment installed in the vehicle (e.g. GPS).

Legislation to prohibit people from wearing Google Glass while operating motor vehicles is currently being considered in both West Virginia and Arizona. The UK is considering a ban as well.

Instagram Ads Launch

Popular online photo-sharing app Instagram launched its first ad today, reports PC World. A full-page Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) ad appeared on the screens of female Instagram users in the US. The ad was a photograph labeled with the word “sponsored.” Video ads will be rolled out soon.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. Facebook has made strides monetizing its own mobile platform. It now seeks to do the same with Instagram, which upon purchase generated no revenue. 

Twitter: @Minyanville


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