Apple blows bubbles with Carl Icahn's money

Carl Icahn
Getty Images (L) | David Grogan | CNBC (R)
Carl Icahn

The latest news on the companies and trends in the fast-evolving world of the Data Economy:

Carl Icahn wants Apple to spend $50 billion of its cash hoard on a buyback. No sign from Apple this past week that it would comply with the activist investor's request, but it did spend $200 million to acquire social media analysis company Topsy. At the $200 million price tag, Apple could make 250 acquisitions and also reach Icahn's target of $50 billion in cash investments.

Big data company Palantir Technologies, which among other data mining projects helped the U.S. government locate Osama bin Laden, has been valued at $9 billion in a recent round of funding, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook's "like" button is limiting, in the opinion of some users. At a recent company hackathon, a Facebook engineer invented a "sympathize" button.

Apple has unveiled an app, iBeacon, to guide visitors inside Apple retail store locations.

Photo-sharing platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are where advertisers want to be, according to attendees at this past week's The Visual Revolution Summit.

Twitter has created a "tailored audiences" tool in a bid to show advertisers a greater return on their investment.

Microsoft is at work on a "smart" bra that will help to reduce stress.

The big data buzz is working its way into more quarterly earnings conference calls, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The floating barge built by Google and which attracted such a high level of interest—and uninformed speculation in recent weeks—is one of three floating retail barges that the tech giant is planning to build at a cost of $35 million, the San Francisco Chronicle's website reported.

By Eric Rosenbaum, CNBC.com

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