Techmeme
February 20, 2014, 10:55 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.
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:
Teachers use Bing home page lesson plans to encourage critical thinking skills  —  Find out how free lesson plans based on images like this Siberian tiger from Bing's home page encourage students to explore subjects in creative and thought-provoking ways.
Intel:
Disrupting the Data Center to Create the Digital Services Economy  —  I had the pleasure of joining Tom Krazit on stage at the Gigaom Structure'14 conference to share Intel's vision of the data center in support of the growth of the digital services economy.
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