GaS news — what happened next: October to December 2013

Concluding our look back at later developments to stories we brought you on Geeks Are Sexy this year, we look at October to December. Twitter published the documentation for its public stock offering, officially confirming that despite massive growth in revenue it had never turned a profit. That didn’t seem to deter investors: the stock went on sale at $26 and closed the same day at $44.90. At the time of writing the price was hovering at just under $60, giving the company a market value of $32 billion, three times that of media giant News Corporation, but considerably less than that of Facebook.

Motorola revealed it had begun working with a Dutch designer who’d come up with the idea of a modular mobile phone. The design, a little like Lego, involves a baseboard with individual components clipping in place with metal pins that would also send and receive electrical signals. The concept was to make it easier to customize and upgrade handsets. Motorola is now accepting applications from the public to help in the development process, with 100 participants getting a free handset if and when it’s made. The company has also said it will be using some of the techniques developed in “Project Ara” for its existing Moto Maker program that lets users customize the Moto X handset.

Google created a mystery by using a shell company to register four barges, three of which it then located off the coasts of California, Maine and Oregon. A British bookmaker even took bets on their purpose, with the odds-on favorite being a floating data center, using the ocean for cooling. Google has yet to confirm their precise use, but has said “Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.” Worked stopped on the California barge and local officials have begun an investigation into whether Google has the correct permits.

The buildings of the Internet Archive were hit by a fire, leading to an appeal for donations to rectify the damage. Project chief Brewster Kahle has since announced that supporters donated around $60,000 in the first two days of the appeal. Several hundred thousand dollar’s worth of equipment was lost in the fire, not all of which was covered by insurance. Around 20 boxes of books and film was destroyed in a scanning room hit by the blaze. Most had either already been scanned in and/or could be physically replaced, but some of it proved irreplacable.

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