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Google parent tops Apple as world’s most valuable company

SAN FRANCISCO – Alphabet, Google’s new parent company, topped Apple as the world’s most valuable business in after-hours trading Monday after reporting surging earnings. Alphabet Inc. earned $4.9 billion in net income on revenue of $21.3 billion in the fourth quarter. If not for employee stock expenses and certain other items, Google said it would …

Facebook resorts to a touch of ‘Photo Magic’ to impress users of its Messenger application

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook is trying to make it easier to send photos as the holiday season’s picture-taking frenzy escalates with the arrival of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The world’s largest social networking service is offering a feature call “Photo Magic” that will automatically address a message so it can be sent quickly to …

Back off, tablets: PC companies plan a $70-M ad campaign

SAN FRANCISCO — So many people have gone so long without buying a new personal computer that the industry’s biggest players are trying something different: a quirky advertising campaign. The $70 million marketing push aims to highlight how much better PCs have gotten since smartphones and tablets came along. Rival PC makers Hewlett-Packard, Dell and …

Netflix raising us price for most popular video plan by $1

SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix is raising the price of its Internet video service by $1 for new customers in the U.S., Canada and some Latin America countries to help cover its escalating costs for shows such as “House of Cards” and other original programming. The new price of $10 per month for Netflix’s standard plan …

Amazon dangles $50 tablet computer to hook more consumers

SAN FRANCISCO – Amazon is dangling a $50 tablet computer in its latest attempt to lure consumers who can’t afford or don’t want the more expensive Internet-connected devices made by Apple and other rivals. The 7-inch Fire tablet unveiled Thursday marks Amazon’s most aggressive attempt yet to undercut Apple, which has been the market leader …

Toyota to invest $50m in car-tech research at Stanford, MIT

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. – Toyota is investing $50 million with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in hopes of gaining an edge in an accelerating race to phase out human drivers. The financial commitment announced Friday by the Japanese automaker will be made over the next five years at joint research centers …

Google refines logo as it prepares to join Alphabet

SAN FRANCISCO – Google is refining its famous logo as it prepares to become a part of a new holding company called Alphabet. The revised design unveiled Tuesday features the same mix of blue, red, yellow and green that Google has been using throughout its nearly 17-year history, though the hues are slightly different shades. …

Apple aims to boost mobile device sales with Cisco’s help

SAN FRANCISCO – Apple is leaning on Cisco Systems’ Internet networking expertise in its latest attempt to sell more iPhones and iPads to corporate customers. The alliance announced Monday calls for Cisco to ensure that corporate Internet connections relying on its gear deliver content quickly and securely to iPhones and iPads. Cisco will also help …

Google tries to woo iPhone owners with Android watch app

SAN FRANCISCO – Google is introducing an application that will connect Android smartwatches with Apple’s iPhone, escalating the rivals’ battle to strap their technology on people’s wrists. The move thrusts Google on to Apple’s turf in an attempt to boost the lackluster sales of watches running on its Android Wear software. The program uniting the …

Google heads down new path with ‘OnHub’ wireless router

SAN FRANCISCO – Google is making a Wi-Fi router as part of its ambition to provide better Internet connections that make it easier for people to access its digital services and see more of its online advertising. Pre-orders for the $199 wireless router, called OnHub, can be made beginning Tuesday at Google’s online store, Amazon.com …

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