Facebook acquires voice recognition firm-Reuters

Facebook Inc (FB.O) acquired a company that makes voice recognition technology for wearable devices and Internet- connected appliances, the latest sign of its ambition to extend its reach beyond computers and smartphones, Reuters reported.

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peHUB First Read

First Read huddles against the deep freeze with news Facebook is buying voice-recognition startup Wit.ai, the Dow plunges 331 points as oil prices continue to fall and a hedge fund founder’s son has been arrested for allegedly shooting him to death.

The Chicago skyline is seen as the arctic sea smoke rises off Lake Michigan in Chicago
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peHUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, NPS Pharmaceuticals hires Goldman Sachs to find a buyer, don’t expect many mega IPOs in 2015 and it’s very cold in Chicago right now.

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peHUB First Read

First Read eyes the looming end of 2014 with news Yahoo Directory is about to go dark, Facebook apologizes for insensitivity of its “Year in Review” feature and LPs scramble to get into oversubscribed private equity funds.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stands on the conning tower of a submarine during his inspection of the KPA Naval Unit 167
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In Second Opinion, Facebook’s popularity among teens falls again, Citigroup says Instragram is now worth $35 billion and the FBI now concludes that North Korea was responsible for the Sony Pictures hack.

The American Apparel factory headquarters is pictured in Los Angeles, California
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peHUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, American Apparel fires former CEO Dov Charney again, Sony hackers threaten a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen “The Interview,” and a teenager dupes New York Magazine.

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Formation 8 adds new partner to team

Singapore-based investor Joel Sng has joined Formation 8 as a partner, the company announced in a blog post on its site. Sng’s portfolio of investments include Facebook, Uber, Xiaomi, Razer, SF Express, Airbnb and Palantir. To read more details about Formation 8’s new addition, visit here.

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peHUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, how to price your company for a fundraise, families of victims killed at Sandy Hook are suing the maker of the Bushmaster assault rifle, France will ban Uber in 2015 and the the SEC approves Terra Tech Corp., which sells pot, to raise $6.8 mln.

African-American Congressional staffers stage walk out with Hands Up Don't Shoot pose on the steps of the House of Representatives in Washington to protest the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner
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peHUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, Jeb Bush shares Mitt Romney’s PE problem, Facebook considers adding a “dislike” button, you can now use Bitcoin to add funds to your Microsoft account and Wal-Mart sells the iPhone 6 for $129.

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Meritocracy works if you know the right people

Guest columnist Lisa Suennen is troubled that “there were no White people or Silicon Valley CEOs” at a recent discussion about diversity in the tech business. “I think that until the guys in charge come to the party, the story isn’t going to change,” Suennen writes.

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign
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In Second Opinion, the OC Register is having reporters deliver the newspaper and answer customer calls, Monarch Alternative backs out of talks to take over a $140 mln loan to RadioShack and Uber wants to smear journalists that criticize them.

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peHUB First Read

First Read rings in your chilly East Coast Tuesday with news Nokia is unveiling a new Android tablet, Facebook, Google and Apple lobby for curbs on NSA surveillance and Neil Young urges fans to boycott Starbucks.

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In Second Opinion, we have how to deal with an intern who tries to blackmail you, Uber’s gross revenue is expected to hit a run rate of about $10 billion, why Jeff Bezos should split Amazon in two and the world is running out of chocolate.

friday
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First Read closes out your week with news Halliburton is in talks to buy Baker Hughes, Virgin America goes public and the creator of Farmville says it’s easier to grow pot than deal with Facebook executives.

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