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NASA Launches Interactive Map to View Eclipse; Mozilla Readies New App Store

A look at the ways Mountain View technology 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.

Planning on Sunday evening? NASA’s interactive Google map is helping West Coast viewers track the exact time the moon will pass in front of the sun, covering up to 94 percent of it.

Chinese authorities approved Google’s bid to buy Motorola Mobility, taking the company one step closer to closing a $12.5 billion deal next week. That’s at least if they meet one condition: make the Android operating system for mobile devices available to all at no cost for the next five years.

On Friday, when Facebook went public, LinkedIn shares dropped 5.7 percent by the end of the day. Still, it didn’t fare as badly as sites such as Zynga, which dropped by 13.4 percent, and Yelp, which closed down 12.3 percent. LinkedIn’s CEO Reid Hoffman benefitted from the move, as his initial $35.8 million investment is now valued around $144 million.

Intuit reported this week that its third quarter profits grew by 6.7 percent. The company, which makes the TurboTax software, also said its tax customer base grew by 11 percent during that period.

Mozilla is jumping on the app store bandwagon. In the next few weeks, the browser will be putting its marketplace into a beta mode. It will feature apps built using web development technologies, such as  HTML5 for structure and JavaScript for logical implementation

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