Facebook Acquires GazeHawk; Green Dot Acquires Loopt

A look at the ways Mountain View tech companies have made the news this week.

Every week, Mountain View makes news with technology developments, discoveries and sometimes controversies.

In the weekly "" column we’ll relay the past week’s news highlights from our backyard giants, start-ups and small businesses alike.

This week Facebook acquired Mountain View-based GazeHawk, which provides eye-tracking services for websites. Backed by both Y-Combinator and 500 Startups, the six-person start-up will move to Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters next week. So far it appears to be a talent-only acquisition, with the staff to work on completely different projects. In a letter on the site, Co-Founders Brian Krausz and Joe Gershenson, wrote "GazeHawk has developed a best-of-class technology that does not exist anywhere else, and is committed to seeing it continue to provide benefits to others."

Mobile payment sector continues to heat up. Power house Green Dot announced it would acquire Mountain View-based for $43.4 million. Green Dot, whose market cap hovers right over $1 billion, will pay all-cash by the end of the first quarter 2012. To date, Loopt has raised more than $10 million dollars from investors including Sequoia Capital and would discontinue it's current app but keep many of its brand and products, according to CEO Sam Altman.

's privacy issues don't appear to bother 83 percent of the people polled by the Pew Center Internet and American Life Project. Only 6 percent of the 2,253 adults age 18 and over surveyed used Yahoo. According to Pew, in 2004 Google Search had garnered 47 percent of polled users compared to 26 percent who used Yahoo.

During International Women’s Day on Thursday announced the DevelopHer Hackday competition for female developers to collaborate on software projects. The event scheduled for June 30 and July 1, 2012 will be 24-hour long and anyone from students, to hobbyist and professionals are invited to pitch ideas for the contest.

In recent years, many companies have aimed to sequence a gene for under $1,000. But, according to the New York Times, Mountain View based Complete Genomics may actual meet the challenge in the near future. In the past year alone, new cameras have been able to speed up the gene sequencing process by tenfold, allowing the company to sequence 100,000, rather than 10,000, genomes annually.


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