LOS ANGELES – Visual changes to your Facebook news feed leads your Friday tech news headlines.
The social network is taking on Periscope with live video streaming. Celebrities and journalists have been testing the feature for the last few months. Now Facebook is opening it up to select numbers of Facebook users, by adding a “live video” icon into the status updates. Expect to see this feature rolled out to more users in the coming year.
–Google introduced a new app Friday to make panoramic virtual reality photos for Android phones. It works with the $10 VR viewer Google Cardboard, and hence, the app is called Cardboard Camera, and it’s free.
–What’s not free is the GoPro Hero 4 Session camera, announced earlier this year as the smallest, lightest and easiest to use GoPro camera. That was all true, but at $399, consumers yawned. Then GoPro lowered the price to $299 a few weeks ago. That didn’t move the needle, so now GoPro just lowered the price again–to $199. Considering that the video quality is lower than that of other GoPro cameras, the $199 price sounds about right.
–What didn’t sound so right was this sentence leaving the lips of a high-powered Silicon Valley billionaire. Michael Moritz was asked why his Sequoia Capital firm didn’t hire more women. He said he’d like to hire them, can’t find perfect candidates, and that he was “not prepared to lower our standards” to bring them in. Ouch. Sequoia is the firm that helped launch Apple, Google, Dropbox and others, and it will be interesting to see what kind of damage control the firm comes up with for this comment.
–Finally, research firm IDC released stats on wearable tech, like fitness trackers and smart watches for the third quarter, and it wasn’t the Apple Watch in first place, but little Fitbit, which sold 4.7 million fitness trackers to 3.9 million for Apple Watch. While the watch hasn’t become a mass market item, IDC says Apple has nearly 7.5 million to date. For comparison, the company sold over 50 million iPhones in the most recent quarter.
And that’s your daily tech news roundup from USA TODAY.
Follow Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham
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