Techmeme
February 21, 2014, 12:40 AM

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.
Kara Swisher / Re/code:
Q&A With Sequoia's Jim Goetz on Wassssup With the WhatsApp Deal  —  So I lobbed in a call to Sequoia Capital this morning to get its VC-of-the-moment Jim Goetz's take on the blockbuster deal in which Facebook forked over $19 billion dollars to buy one of its portfolio companies, WhatsApp.
More: PE Hub Blog, TechCrunch, CNN and PandoDailyTweets: @hanelly
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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.
Salvador Rodriguez / Los Angeles Times:
Google creates ‘near-real-time’ deforestation tracking tool  —  Google and several partners have launched Global Forest Watch, a website that makes it possible for users to track global deforestation.  —  Google is bringing awareness to global deforestation with a new website that lets users …
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.
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
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 …
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:
Microsoft Brings World's Fastest Texting to Windows Phone 8.1  —  Gaurav Sharma appeared relaxed but focused in his purple hoodie on Jan. 16, 2014.  Less than 20 seconds later, Sharma, a 15-year-old …
Atlassian:
Every team needs kick-ass code reviews  —  Code reviews help spread knowledge and coding best practices throughout a team.  In this article we'll take a look at why code reviews are important, and how to optimize the practice.
Zoho Blogs:
2 Ways Live Chat Can Enhance Your Customer Service  —  Landing a new customer is 5x more expensive than keeping an existing customer.  How do we keep our customers happy?  By providing outstanding support.
Silicon Valley Bank:
SVB's Halo Report shares angel investment activity for 2013  —  The 2013 Halo Report finds angel investment activity on the rise with more high-valuation deals closed in 2013 than in 2012.
 

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