5 things that happened in tech this week

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With the pace of technological advancements moving at the speed of light, there are so many things that can happen over the span of one week. Here are some of the biggest stories that happened over the past week you should know about.

Remembering David Goldberg: CEO dies after exercising in Mexico

Image: Bloomberg

The tech industry has suffered a loss of well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist, David Goldberg. Golberg died on May 1 after collapsing and suffering head injuries while exercising during a vacation in Mexico. Efforts to revive the CEO of Surveymonkey.com were unsuccessful and he passed away in the nearby San Javier hospital in Nuevo Vallarta. Goldberg joined SurveyMonkey, a Palo Alto, California-based online polling service, in 2009, and helped build it into a company valued at about $2 billion in December. Goldberg, 47, was married to Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. They had two children together.

Responses of condolences have been pouring into the CEO’s Facebook page. President Obama also had some heartfelt words, recognizing Goldberg as a leader in the tech industry: “David Goldberg embodied the definition of a real leader – someone who was always looking for ways to empower others,” President Barack Obama said in a post on the White House’s Facebook page. “He was generous and kind with everybody and cared less about the limelight than making sure that the people he worked with and loved succeeded in whatever they did.”

Oculus Rift release date 2016

Image: Oculus Rift

One of the most anticipated release dates for virtual reality, Oculus Rift won’t be hitting stores until after holiday season. Oculus VR announced earlier this week that the debut consumer version of its headset won’t ship until the first quarter of 2016, with preorders beginning later this year. Oculus isn’t the only one breaking into the virtual reality world. Sony’s headset Morpheus, and the HTC Vive both have commercial release dates; Sony’s is the first half of 2016 and the Vive is due out at the end of the year.

The company’s blog post, which released the statement, also included two teaser images of the headset. No prices for the headset have been released yet however, Oculus VR teased consumers with promises of “compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality.” Oculus has promised additional details and to show off new software at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles from June 16 to 18.

Disrupt NY Hackathon winners

Image: TechCrunch

It was another great year for hackers at the Disrupt NY Hackathon. Over one hundred teams took to the stage for a one-minute presentation to impress fellow hackers and the judges. However, only one team could take home the coveted $5,000 prize. This year’s winner was the creators behind Witness, a panic button that takes advantage of everything your phone can do. It’s incredibly simple to use – all you have to do to activate Witness, is launch the iPhone app and press the big red button. As soon as you activate it, it will call and text your emergency contacts. Witness will not only record your location, camera and microphone activity, and stream it over cellular and Wi-Fi to your emergency contacts in real time. In addition, activating the app will fade your screen to black so that nobody can notice you are streaming what’s happening. Picorico, a hardware device for modern downhill bikes, and MoolahMe, an app that allows you to broadcast cash requests to nearby users where they then can respond to your requests, rounded out the runners-up for this years event.

Fitbit files for $100M IPO

Image: Fitbit

Fitbit has filed for an S-1 announcing its plans to go public. While the number could change, the fitness-tracking company has set its sights at $100M in its initial public offering. The filing also released information that the company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol, FIT. The company has seen much success recently with celebrity endorsements from author David Sedaris, Shaquille O’Neal and President Barack Obama, who has been seen sporting a Fitbit Surge during public outings.

The company unveiled its first fitbit tracker at the TechCrunch50 conference in 2008 and now has six wearable devices that track health and fitness. The company has sold 20.8 million units, 10.9 million of those being sold last year with a reported net income of $131.8 million. In addition, the company has seen a steady increase in active users, up from 4.5 million users in 2013 to 6.7 million at the end of 2014.

Foursquare brings back check-in badges with Swarm update

Image: Foursquare

Foursquare announced a year ago that it was splitting its app in two. Now the company seems to be heading back in the direction to some of the less popular changes it made when it introduced its new app for check-ins, Swarm. In the original foursquare app, users earned badges when checking-in to certain places at specific time and date. For example, users could earn a “jet-setter” badge when checking into multiple airports or a “hot tamale” badge when checking into Mexican restaurants.

Users have been calling for the app to make check-ins more fun again, and Foursquare has answered. The company announced earlier this week that it would be rolling out 100 new stickers and a lot more challenges on Swarm. Like with badges, check-in to different places to earn stickers. The app has added sharing capabilities where users can add their stickers to check-ins, photos, or send them in messages. In addition, Foursquare announced mayorships will be making their way back into the app soon.

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Kirsten Armour Kirsten is a Vancouver local born and raised. A sharp wit, keen interest in tech, and a passion for writing is the driving force behind the content she produces. She is an avid outdoors person constantly exploring and seeking out adventure whether it be on the beautiful BC coast or somewhere far away in the world. In her downtime, find her curled up with a good book and glass of wine.
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