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Week in Tech: 7/19/14

Wearable tech inching closer to everyday, Rent the Runway introducing accessories and Alibaba's Jack Ma wants to be bigger than Wal-Mart.

WEARABLE TECH INCHING CLOSER TO THE EVERYDAY: The soldiers in the wearable revolution are amassing, and they’re a formidable force, from tech giants Intel Corp., Google Inc. and Apple Inc., to online retailers Net-a-porter and Amazon to brands such as Under Armour and Fossil.

RENT THE RUNWAY’S NEXT PHASE: Rent the Runway introduced an accessories category this week, making thousands of handbags, sunglasses, scarves, outerwear, hats and pieces of jewelry unlimitedly available to members for a price of $75 per month.
 
ALIBABA’S MA THINKING BIG: Jack Ma, executive chairman and founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is known for thinking big and attendees at a business conference here got a sense of just how audacious his ambitions are: He wants to be bigger than Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

ALIBABA IPO SEEN POSSIBLE IN SEPT.:
Alibaba Group is said to be envisioning an initial public offering in September, and the company on Friday, in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, valued itself at $130 billion, up from the $117 billion valuation late last month.

ALIBABA REPORTS MEDIA BLACKMAIL ATTEMPT TO POLICE:
Alibaba Group has reported a blackmail attempt by a media organization to police, the company said on its official microblog on Friday.

KATE BOSWORTH TO LAUNCH STYLE THIEF:
Partnering with a co-owner of specialty retail chain American Rag Cie and a former president of Gemstar-TV Guide Interactive, Kate Bosworth is launching an app called Style Thief that lets people snap a photo, do an image search for a fashion item and buy it through a couple of clicks.

RETAILERS AIM TO STAY COMPETITIVE IN TECH: Retailers from Nordstrom Inc. to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have opened up “labs” in hopes that a geeky start-up vibe will attract the right talent to generate the next big thing in digital commerce or some proprietary add-on.

THE SOCIABLE MR. EDELSTEIN: Stylist and fashion editor Matthew Edelstein, whose résumé includes Details and W magazines, introduced his men’s color-blocked T-shirt collection in an unusual way on Tuesday — on Instagram.

INTERNET SALES TAX BILL REVIVED IN SENATE: A group of senators, led by Sens. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) and Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), have introduced legislation that combined their own bill enabling states to collect sales taxes from out-of-state online sellers with a House-passed bill extending a permanent ban on states taxing Internet access.

WEIGHING TECH’S PLACE IN FASHION: The worlds of fashion and technology continue to collide — and just how deeply technology is changing the apparel and accessories trade — was in focus at the Fashion Tech Forum, hosted by Karen Harvey Consulting Group in Manhattan.

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