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Google Conquers Mountain View; Pinpoint Genomics Helps Lung Cancer Patients

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 “Bits and Bytes” column we’ll relay the past week’s news highlights from our backyard giants, start-ups and small businesses alike.

For Mountain View residents, Google’s presence has become even more recognizable in the past year. In 2011, its office space expanded by 67 percent. It dished down $two billion in order to make 79 purchases of intellectual property, adding 2.9 million square foot of space to the community.

In addition to making changes to its privacy policy this week, Google altered the age at which users can access Google +. Previously open only to adults, now those as young as 13 can sign into the site beginning March 1. The company will be able to track their activities as long as they are logged in.

Symantec, the biggest maker of computer security software, boasted good news this week: Its net income in December, at $240 million, was almost double the amount it was a year earlier. Still, its fourth quarter sales and profit were lower than customers predicted, with profit at 41 to 42 cents a share, instead of the 43 cents antcipated.

Mountain View’s Pinpoint Genomics developed a test that can more accurately predict the survival odds for early-stage lung cancer patients. The results would give cancer patients more guidance of whether or not to undergo additional treatments such as chemotherapy or targeted radiation, and potentially save lives, the researchers say.

Wireless operator company Skyfire has raised its biggest round of funding as of yet: $8 million in a Series C round. Through the funding, they’re looking to boost their sales and support resources, and expand into European and Asian markets.

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