Friday Briefing: Google Patents Project Glass and Facebook IPO Drama
With every Friday comes a fresh batch of charts from Louis Basenese and another rundown of the week’s top technology trends from yours truly.
Please be sure to cast your vote at the end, as this allows us to get to know our readers a bit more. And sometimes, if a topic receives a significant amount of votes, I’ll expand it into a longer article the following week. Just like I did Monday.
Here are this week’s topics of interest…
Tech Trend #1: Google Protects Project Glass
Google’s main idea behind the project is to get technology out of the way, so we can live our lives. Makes sense, considering the glasses keep you updated on your digital life without having to hunch over a screen throughout the day.
Now, Google’s been granted at least nine new patents related to the technology. One of them – titled “Displaying sound indications on a wearable computing system” – has me tuned in.
That’s because it continues Google’s current trend of designing state-of-the-art technology that can help those with disabilities or impairments. Like the company’s self-driving car, which could allow legally blind people to safely get behind the wheel.
This new patent aims to help people with hearing impairments. More specifically, it helps “users detect and interpret nearby sounds. According to Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin, “The glasses’ heads-up display would show arrows and flashing lights to indicate the direction and intensity level of the sound, and even display the words nearby people are speaking.”
In other words, Google’s finding a way to add closed captioning to the entire world.
Tech Trend #2: New Alzheimer’s Treatment
Last Friday, I discussed a new Alzheimer’s trial using a drug called Crenezumab, which is designed to target the buildup of a toxic amyloid protein in the brain.
Drug development company, iPierian, is taking a different route, however. On Monday, the company announced that it’s going to harness the power of stem cells to create a drug that targets “Tau proteins” instead.
According to Xconomy’s Luke Timmerman, “While most Big Pharma companies are focused on reducing the accumulation of amyloid beta plaques as a way of fighting Alzheimer’s… some scientists believe the accumulation of tangles of Tau proteins might be just as important to the disease.”
iPierian won’t be the first company to develop a drug that takes aim at Tau proteins. But it has found a new way to target the cells that could give it a leg up in the industry. And while it hasn’t yet developed a drug that’s ready for clinical trials, the company’s CEO, Nancy Stagliano, says a treatment could be ready for action later this year.
Tech Trend #3: Facebook’s IPO Meltdown Triggers Legal Scuffle
Whether or not you drank the Kool-Aid and bought into Facebook’s (Nasdaq: FB) IPO last Friday, I’m sure you heard that the stock’s performance has been anything but stellar. (Something Louis warned you about, several times before.)
Louis also pointed out today just how much the stock has tanked: “In its first four days of trading, shares of Facebook cratered 31.2% from the opening day high.” And shares continue to tumble today, down almost 4% as I write.
But some investors who fell for the overhyped public offering aren’t just kicking themselves right now. One investor is actually taking legal action against Nasdaq OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ).
According to his complaint, “Orders placed by investors seeking to purchase Facebook shares during the first trading day often took hours to execute… In the meantime, the investors seeking to purchase those shares had no idea if their trades were executed and, accordingly, had no idea if they owned Facebook shares at all.”
He’s not alone, either. Bloomberg reports that “he said there are thousands of investors in the class he seeks to represent in the suit.”
They might have grounds for a lawsuit, too, considering some reports indicate that Nasdaq was aware of glitches in the software it was using to launch the IPO. After you vote below, check out Matthew Weinschenk’s article from yesterday for more information.
Cast Your Vote!
Let us know which topic interested you the most…
That’s all for today. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!