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 …

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Microsoft:
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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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Juli Clover / MacRumors: