Today in Tech: Meet Facebook's location-tracking app

February 5, 2013: 4:30 AM ET

Also: Twitter buys its way into social TV; how much will Dell ultimately sell for?

facebook_logoFacebook is said to create mobile location-tracking app [BLOOMBERG]

The app, scheduled for release by mid-March, is designed to help users find nearby friends and would run even when the program isn't open on a handset, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public.

Facebook is adding features to help it profit from the surging portion of its more than 1 billion users who access the service via handheld devices. The tracking app could help Facebook sell ads based on users' whereabouts and daily habits. It may also raise the hackles of consumers and privacy advocates concerned about the company's handling of personal information.

Meet the data brains behind the rise of Facebook [WIRED]

But that's why Parikh and his team build tools like Scuba. Scuba is a new-age software platform that lets Facebook engineers instantly analyze data describing the length and breadth of the company's massive infrastructure. Typically, when you crunch such enormous amounts of information, there's a time lag. You might need hours to process it all. But Scuba is what's called an in-memory data store. It keeps all that data in the high-speed memory systems running across hundreds of computer servers — not the hard disks, the memory systems — and this means you can query the data in near realtime.

What will Dell's price be? [FORTUNE]

Multiple press reports suggest that the final price will be between $13 and $14 per share, but it's hard to imagine anything below $14. For starters, Dell shares closed Friday at $13.63 per share (although they're off 2.6% as of this writing). I know that bakes in the buyout report premium -- prior trading levels were closer to $11 per share -- but pre-announcement leaks usually create premiums on top of premiums. Plus, $13 per share wouldn't even be a 20% premium over prior trades. Given that most everyone seems to feel Dell is trading below its earnings, Silver Lake is going to need to make an offer that doesn't look like it's a giant favor to Michael Dell.

Twitter makes big acquisition, buys social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs [BUSINESS INSIDER]

Twitter's move into social TV makes a lot of sense. It hired a Head of TV last fall and there's a strong correlation between people watching shows and tweeting about them. Just look at last night's Super Bowl. With the help of a lengthy blackout, it was the most social event to ever air. According to Bluefin Labs, the event racked up 30.6 million mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and GetGlue, up from 12.2 million one year prior.

Jawbone buys Visere & MassiveHealth to marry data & design with wearable computing [GIGAOM]

The company is buying two startups – Visere and MassiveHealth (behind the Eatery app) for an undisclosed amount of money in order to create a better experience around the UP, its personal health focused wearable computing device. ... As I have often said, hardware today needs to be more than hardware; it needs to marry connectivity, data and design to create a compelling user experience that keeps people coming back. The better the user experience, the more people engage with the device. Amazon's Kindle, Nest's thermostat and Sonos' devices are examples of this new hardware equation.

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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