Techmeme
February 20, 2014, 10:55 PM

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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.
Liz Gannes / Re/code:
Before Facebook Deal, WhatsApp Was Helping BuzzFeed and Shazam Go Viral With New Platform Tools  —  Unlike mobile messaging competitors like Line and WeChat, WhatsApp has taken a resolute stance against becoming a platform that distributes games and other apps.
Nicholas Carlson / Business Insider:
‘Early’ WhatsApp Employees Will Make $160 Million Each  —  Yesterday, Facebook bought messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion — $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash, and another $3 billion in stock grants for employees that will vest over the next four years.  —  How much will WhatsApp's employees make in the deal?
More: Forbes, Gawker, POPSUGAR and BBC
Peter Lauria / BuzzFeed:
Mark Zuckerberg Comes Of Age As A Mogul  —  The Facebook CEO has grown into a cocksure leader, solid operator, and gutsy deal-maker, even if the casual dress remains.  —  Jonathan Ernst / Reuters  —  Noticeably absent from the mounds of coverage of how Facebook's $19 billion acquisition …
Adam Bryant / New York Times:
Satya Nadella, Chief of Microsoft, on His New Role  —  This interview with Satya Nadella, the new chief executive of Microsoft, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.  —  Q. What leadership lessons have you learned from your predecessor, Steve Ballmer?
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 …
Om Malik / Gigaom:
Om Malik leaves day-to-day operations at Gigaom, becomes full partner at True Ventures, site raises $8M more  —  Now that Gigaom is all grown up, it's time for the next chapter  —  It's a new year (although it's well underway) and I'm excited to talk about the new phase at Gigaom.
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.
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Inside The Revolutionary 3D Vision Chip At The Heart Of Google's Project Tango Phone  —  At the core of Google's freshly announced experimental Project Tango smartphone platform is a vision processor called the Myriad 1, manufactured by chip startup Movidius and its CEO Remi El-Ouazzane.
Matt Brian / Engadget:
New Google WiFi app could automatically log you into Starbucks and other private hotspots  —  Google is working on a new WiFi app that could take a lot of the drudgery out of accessing wireless hotspots.  According to our sources, the search giant has built Android and iOS versions of an app …
Carl Franzen / The Verge:
Steve Jobs will appear on a US postage stamp in 2015  —  Many of his creations reduced the need to send physical mail, but late Apple founder Steve Jobs will still get a fitting tribute from the US Postal Service: his likeness will appear on a postage stamp beginning in 2015, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.
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 …
Ben Woods / The Next Web:
4G data: The USA is second-slowest while Australia is fastest  —  OpenSignal has released a report today looking at the state of LTE coverage and speeds around the world, revealing that, contrary to what you might expect, not all LTE networks perform comparably.
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.
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.
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 …
Erin Griffith / Fortune:
Birchbox raising $50M Series B  —  The New York-based subscription and commerce company did $80 million to $100 million in revenue in 2013.  —  FORTUNE — Birchbox is close to closing a $50 million Series B round of funding, according to several sources familiar with the situation.
Tweets: @shaig
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.
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
“Pirate Sites Generate $227 Million In Ad Revenue a Year”  —  It's no secret that running a torrent portal, linking site, or cyberlocker can be highly profitable.  Thus far, however, only a few have attempted to quantify the money that flows into these businesses.

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.
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