Techmeme
February 20, 2014, 8:30 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 …
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.
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?
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.
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 …
Tweets: @bensign and @caseynewton
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.
Jon Southurst / CoinDesk:
Bitcoin Price Hits $135 on Mt. Gox Following Office Move and Verification Demand  —  Updates and rumors related to Mt. Gox this week include: a possible company relocation, a requirement for users to hold verified accounts to withdraw bitcoins and a fall in Gox's listed price of bitcoin.
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.
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.
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.
Jeff John Roberts / Gigaom:
Whisper app hit with lawsuit over spam texts  —  The popular app Whisper, which lets users post anonymous gossip and confessions, may have some fessing up to do about its marketing practices.  —  According to a lawsuit filed in San Jose, Whisper violated a federal anti-spam law …

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:
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Zoho:
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Juli Clover / MacRumors: