Techmeme
February 20, 2014, 6:25 PM

Top News

Amir Efrati / The Information:
Google Was Willing to Beat Facebook's $19B Offer for WhatsApp  —  Last week, Google CEO Larry Page met with WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum in a last-ditch effort to prevent the rapidly growing messaging app from selling itself to Facebook, according to three people involved in the deal.
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.
Parmy Olson / Forbes:
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 …
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google Launches Project Tango Smartphone To Experiment With Computer Vision And 3D Sensors  —  Google today announced Project Tango, an Android-based prototype 5″ phone and developer kit with advanced 3D sensors out of its Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) hardware skunkworks group.
Alex Wilhelm / TechCrunch:
Groupon Skyrockets After Hours On Q4 Beat With Revenue Of $768.4M, EPS Of $0.04 [Update: Following Enthusiasm, Investors Turn Sour]  —  Update 1: Investors bid Groupon massively higher following a better than expected financial performance.  However, a mere 10 minutes after pushing Groupon up nearly 15 percent, the tone turned.
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 …
Devindra Hardawar / VentureBeat:
Online bank Simple acquired by Spain's BBVA for $117M — will focus on international growth  —  Nobody expected this Spanish banking acquisition.  —  Simple, the online bank devoted to offering a more humane alternative to traditional banking, announced today that it's being acquired …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Meg Whitman buys more time as HP beats earnings estimates  —  Caption: Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman  —  Hewlett-Packard reported earnings that beat Wall Street's earnings expectations.  —  Analysts had expected a big drop in quarterly revenue, but HP exceeded estimates on both profits and revenues.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Acompli Raises $7.3M Series A From Redpoint & Others To Fix Mobile Email  —  Acompli, a company building a mobile email application which functions as an all-in-one productivity app for iPhone, has raised $7.3 million in Series A funding - a sizable investment that points to the scale of the problem the startup is aiming to solve.
Ryan Lawler / TechCrunch:
Former Motionloft CEO Jon Mills Arrested By The FBI  —  Jon Mills, the founder and former CEO of real-world analytics startup Motionloft, has been arrested by the FBI, the bureau has confirmed.  The arrest follows allegations that Mills lied to investors about an acquisition of his company …
Tim Bray / ongoing:
Tim Bray leaving Google, cites requirement that he end working remotely from Vancouver  —  Leaving Google  —  As of March 17th I'll be an ex-employee.  It's an amicable separation in the face of irreconcilable differences: I wouldn't move to California and Google wouldn't open a Vancouver office.
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Dell joins alliance to bring wireless charging to laptops  —  Wireless charging for laptops is now in the works at one of the top competing standards.  The Alliance for Wireless Power has just added Dell as one of its members, and it's announcing today a new wireless charging initiative …
Samit Sarkar / Polygon:
Xbox One Media Remote coming in early March for $24.99 (update)  —  The Xbox One Media Remote, a standard-looking remote control for Microsoft's latest gaming console, will be available in all Xbox One markets worldwide in early March, the company announced today.  —  In the U.S., it will retail for $24.99.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
5 mind-bending facts about quantum computing  —  In GIF form, five of the most mind-bending things scientists have learned about life on an atomic and sub-atomic level.
Freshdesk:
How to not sound like a robot in your email notifications?  —  Your notifications don't have to be just notifications.  They can be another opportunity to charm your customers and to keep them hooked.  Learn how.
VMware:
Your Grandfather's Backup Tools Weren't Built for Today's Virtual Environments.  —  When the health of your business rides on the availability of your virtual machines and the applications they run …
Zoho:
The customer service lessons we must all learn from that Comcast call  —  By now, you've probably heard the call that hijacked the Internet last week.  If not, let me warn you.  It is painful - incredibly painful.
Pure Storage:
2014: Pure, EMC, HP, and Violin all Up Their Games  —  The past few months have seen bold announcements from EMC, HP, Violin, and of course Pure Storage, the net result of which is that the market has changed and moved forward appreciably.
 

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Juli Clover / MacRumors: