Facebook buys Wit.ai, a speech recognition startup

Mark Zuckerberg at a Bloomberg TV interview at the company’s headquarters on Dec. 2, 2014. Image: David Paul Morris Facebook may soon be able to understand you a bit better — or at least your voice. Facebook has agreed to acquire Wit.ai, a speech recognition and natural language processing service. The deal could help the…

Gold-Backed Bitcoin Spinoff Aims to Keep Some Fun in Virtual Currency

Image: Antana On the spectrum of currency ideologues, gold bugs and Bitcoin enthusiasts occupy equal but opposite positions. They’re both suspicious that governments are going to meddle around with normal money so much that it becomes useless — it’s just that one group thinks math is the antidote and the other believes in hoarding metal…

Want to Know How Much Your Bitcoins Are Worth? Just Google It

Image: Flickr, Zach Copley Google’s search engine has had a built-in currency converter for years now, and now it added an interesting addition to the mix: Bitcoin. To find out how much a certain amount of Bitcoin is worth in any currency or vice versa, just Google “X Y to Bitcoin,” where “X” is the…

Winklevoss Twins Think Bitcoin Could Be a Bigger Deal Than Facebook

Cameron (left) and Tyler Winklevoss, Principals of Winklevoss Capital Management, in New York on Jan. 28, 2014.Image: Craig Ruttle/Associated Press Who needs Facebook? The Winklevii think they’ve found something even bigger. Tyler Winklevoss, half of the most famous twins in tech, told The Guardian that he believes Bitcoin could have a larger impact on the…

75 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

The holiday season is just around the corner — the “season of giving.” Well, let’s call this the “season of buying” because before all that giving happens, you’ll have to find gifts for all those special someones in your life. At Mashable, we’re constantly writing about the newest and coolest knickknacks from the tech world,…

Why Don’t More Chinese Internet Companies Expand Overseas?

We’ve written a lot about Tencent’s success with WeChat, which now has 50 million overseas users, but the truth is that Chinese Internet companies don’t step outside the country’s borders often. And when they do, they tend not to succeed. What’s stopping other Chinese web companies from seeing the same kind of success WeChat has…

Beyond Bitcoin: Your Guide to Digital Currencies

The way we pay for goods has transformed over the years — from barter to skins, gold-backed currencies to fiat money. In the past couple of decades, however, it has taken another turn: to stateless digital currency. Once the work of science fiction or relegated to in-game monetary systems like Second Life’s Linden Dollars, Tencent…

Darth Vader Pepsi Takes Marketing to the Dark Side

Lest you still long for the good old days when Star Wars wasn’t owned by Disney, we present one of the last legacies of Lucasfilm: a partnership with Pepsi in Japan that yielded the world’s first official Darth Vader cola. The Vader version of “energy cola” — which adds royal jelly extract, ginseng and guarana…

Ouya Raises More Than $2.4 Million and Two Other Stories You Need to Know

Welcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. Today, we’re looking at three particularly interesting stories. Ouya Raises More Than $2.4 Million on Kickstarter Ouya has raised more than$2.4 million, far surpassing its initial goal of $950,000,…

Media Summit: Tech, Advertising and Fashion All In One Place

At this year’s Mashable Media Summit, we’ll bring together some of the most influential leaders in the digital media space to discuss the hottest trends, from fashion’s role in publishing to drone journalism, along with the future of mobile and apps. There are only a limited number of tickets available for the Media Summit, so…