Google buys a big chunk of HTC’s smartphone business

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The rumors are (mostly) true: Google is buying a part of HTC to beef up its hardware business.

Google announced the agreement late Wednesday. Senior Vice President of Hardware Rock Osterloh wrote in a blog post that a “team of HTC talent” would join Google’s hardware team, along with a non-exclusive license for some of HTC’s intellectual property.

The deal is less dramatic than what was expected by many — that Google would buy HTC’s entire smartphone business in a long-term bid to go toe-to-toe with Apple in the smartphone market — but it does show Google felt it needed more direct control over hardware assets to be more nimble competitor.  Read more…

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Why the latest Google rumor makes total sense

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Here’s a rumor that will blow your mind: Google is apparently “in the final stage of negotiations” to acquire HTC’s smartphone division.

The rumor comes from the Chinese-language site Commercial Times and suggests that Google will acquire only the mobile arm of HTC, not the entire company. The financial news outlet based in Taiwan doesn’t specify how much the deal would be worth.

The possible acquisition — although shocking — makes quite a lot of sense when you consider all that’s happened in the in past few years. Google is desperate to challenge Apple’s dominance in the mobile industry with its own premium phone built from scratch.  Read more…

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Facebook quietly bought a startup that can manipulate videos

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Fake news, it’s a big deal on Facebook, and we might just be getting more of it in the form of videos.

Facebook recently bought a startup with an expertise in video manipulation, Deutsche Startups reported. The German-based startup Fayteq has software that is able to remove or add objects in videos, even live ones, and add effects to them. 

The company offers “innovative technologies in the area of off-line and real-time video manipulation, removing the border between reality and fiction,” described Siegfried Vater, an investor and partner of Fayteq, according to TechEu. Read more…

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After Spectacles, Snapchat’s next big thing could be a foldable selfie drone

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