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February 20, 2014, 10:20 AM

Top News

Facebook:
Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for $4B cash, $12B in Facebook shares, and $3B in restricted stock units, CEO Koum to join Facebook's Board  —  Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp  —  Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross …
Parmy Olson / Forbes:
Jan Koum's rag-to-riches tale, which ended with him signing the WhatsApp deal on the door of his former welfare office  —  Exclusive: The Rags-To-Riches Tale Of How Jan Koum Built WhatsApp Into Facebook's New $19 Billion Baby  —  Jan Koum picked a meaningful spot to sign the $19 billion deal …
Jim Goetz / Sequoia Capital:
WhatsApp in numbers: 450M active users, 32 engineers, $0 in marketing, and only $1/year to use  —  Four Numbers That Explain Why Facebook Acquired WhatsApp  —  WhatsApp Co-Founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton  —  Earlier today, Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp for $16 billion.
Jessi Hempel / Fortune:
Google offered to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion  —  Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $19 billion, but it wasn't the only suitor.  —  My colleague Dan Primack has written a smart post on the numbers that weren't in the press release Facebook (FB) issued announcing it will acquire messaging service WhatsApp.
Jan Koum / WhatsApp Blog:
WhatsApp says it will remain autonomous and nothing will change for users  —  Facebook  —  Almost five years ago we started WhatsApp with a simple mission: building a cool product used globally by everybody.  Nothing else mattered to us.  —  Today we are announcing a partnership …
Amir Efrati / The Information:
Google offered to pay WhatsApp to notify them of any acquisition talks, but was rebuffed  —  Google's Unusual Offer to WhatsApp  —  More than six months ago, Google approached WhatsApp with an odd offer: It would pay the mobile messaging startup in exchange for the right to be notified …
Tweets: @howardlindzon
David Rowan / Wired.co.uk:
WhatsApp: The inside story  —  When he was living on welfare, Jan Koum's family collected food stamps a couple of blocks from the unmarked Mountain View office that now houses his messaging company, WhatsApp.  An émigré at 16 from Communist Ukraine — where phones were routinely tapped …
TechCrunch:
Why Facebook Dropped $19B On Whatsapp: Reach Into Europe, Emerging Markets  —  With 450 million monthly users and a million more signing up each day, WhatsApp was just too far ahead in the international mobile messaging race for Facebook Messenger to catch up as you can see in the 2013 chart above.
Zoran Basich / Venture Capital Dispatch:
Amanda Lefebvre / Office Blogs:
Office Web Apps rebranded as Office Online at Office.com  —  Introducing Office Online at Office.com  —  Today, you'll notice something new about Office.com and Office Web Apps-now officially called Office Online.  An online version of the Office you know and trust has been available for quite a while …
Tim Culpan / Bloomberg:
HTC to preview Qualcomm-based smartwatch to carriers next week, will not demo publicly  —  HTC Said to Plan Smartwatch Preview Amid Declining Market Share  —  HTC Corp. (2498), the Taiwanese smartphone maker struggling with sliding sales, plans to demonstrate the first of three wearable devices next week …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
How One Scammer Manipulated Apple's Top Charts To Earn Tens Of Thousands Daily Using A $10 GameSalad Template  —  Something fishy has been going on with Apple's App Store top charts.  No, I'm not talking about “Flappy Bird” (well, maybe that too), but rather how on earth two different developers used …
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
Tesla CEO Confirms ‘Conversations’ With Apple, Says Any Acquisition ‘Very Unlikely’  —  Following a report earlier this week suggesting Apple had considered purchasing Tesla, Tesla CEO Elon Musk today confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg Television that his company “had conversations” with Apple.
Tom Simonite / MIT Technology Review:
Yahoo Launches $10 Million Research Effort to Invent a Smarter Siri  —  Academics at CMU will try to extend Yahoo's services with mobile apps that act like personal assistants.  —  Yahoo's future mobile apps could come with a dash of intelligence that lets them act like personal assistants.
More: Yahoo Labs
Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch:
Stealthy Security Company Apprity Raises $8 Million  —  The stealthy business security company Apprity, launched by two former Oracle employees, has raised $8 million in its first institutional financing.  —  For its first venture round, Apprity turned to seasoned security technology investors Promod Haque …
Paresh Dave / Los Angeles Times:
University of Maryland hacked; 309,000 Social Security numbers stolen  —  University of Maryland President Wallace Loh, left, in 2012.  On Wednesday, he said a school computer database containing names and Social Security numbers had been hacked.  (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun / November 19, 2012)
Washington Post:
DHS cancels national license plate tracking plan  —  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday ordered the cancelation of a plan by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to develop a national license plate tracking system after privacy advocates raised concern about the initiative.
More: Engadget

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