Techmeme
February 21, 2014, 2:30 PM

Top News

Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Sources say Amazon readying an Android-based Web TV box competing with Apple TV and Roku, for March rollout  —  Amazon Gets Its TV Box Ready, Again  —  Amazon is gearing up to take on Apple and Roku, again.  —  Industry sources say Amazon is getting ready to launch a Web TV box …
Paul Graham / Y Combinator Posthaven:
Sam Altman for President  —  I'm delighted to announce that Sam Altman has agreed to become president of Y Combinator starting next batch.  I'll continue to do office hours with startups, but Sam is going to lead YC.  —  Why the change?  Because YC needs to grow, and I'm not the best person to grow it.
More: Business Insider and VentureBeatTweets: @bhorowitz
Colleen Taylor / TechCrunch:
Sam Altman Taking Over As President Of Y Combinator, Replacing Paul Graham At The Helm  —  Sam Altman Taking Over As President Of Y Combinator, Replacing Paul Graham At The Helm  —  After nine years at the helm of Y Combinator, Paul Graham is stepping away from his leadership role at the famed Silicon Valley startup incubator.
Tweets: @sama
TechCrunch:
TestFlight Owner Burstly Acquired By Apple  —  Burstly, the makers of an in-app ad management platform called SkyRocket and the parent company of popular mobile app testing platform TestFlight, has been acquired, we're hearing.  Though we're working to get more information on this now …
Bloomberg:
Verizon completes $130B buyout of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless  —  Verizon Sale Cuts Vodafone Value by Half to $100 Billion  —  Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) completes the biggest sale of the past decade today, leaving the wireless carrier about half the size it was …
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Secret Adds Subscribe/Unsubscribe Options, Post Flagging, Unlinking And More  —  Hot anonymous social network Secret has just pushed an update for its app that addresses a number of issues and improves performance.  The new version allows users to subscribe or unsubscribe to any Secret post by swiping left …
More: Medium and The Verge
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Google Acquires Spider.io To Help Spot And Stop Online Ad Fraud  —  London-based Spider.io has been acquired by Google, the company's DoubleClick advertising blog announced today (via Re/Code).  Spider.io is a startup that specialized in weeding out fraudulent clicks around online ads.
Brad Stone / Businessweek:
Invasion of the Taxi Snatchers: Uber Leads an Industry's Disruption  —  Ray Markovich started driving a taxi in Chicago three years ago after shuttering his struggling wireless phone store.  Driving a cab wasn't particularly gratifying or lucrative—he had to pay $400 a week just to lease his 2011 white Ford Escape.
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 …
Kevin Fitchard / Gigaom:
Sprint launches Wi-Fi calling, turning the Galaxy Mega, S4 Mini into IP phones  —  In the next few weeks, Sprint customers with a Samsung Galaxy Mega or a Galaxy S4 Mini will get an over-the-air software update that will turn their devices into IP phones - at least when they're connected to Wi-Fi networks.
Don Clark / Digits:
Samsung to collaborate with UCSF in validating the effectiveness of medical sensors  —  Samsung Forges Medical Tie-Up in San Francisco  —  Samsung Electronics already has a smartwatch, and is positioned to play a broader role in the wearable device movement.
More: 9to5Google
Wall Street Journal:
Korea's dominant text messaging service Kakao preparing for IPO at $2B valuation  —  Kakao Close to Signing Morgan Stanley, Samsung Securities as IPO Advisers  —  Offering Possibly Poised to Value Text-Messaging Company at More Than $2 Billion  —  Kakao Corp. is close to signing Morgan Stanley …
More: TechCrunch and VentureBeatTweets: @wsjd
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Users blast LinkedIn for falsely implying that friends and colleagues have accounts  —  Nowadays, plenty of companies will — with permission — scan your contacts to find people you know already using their app or service.  But LinkedIn may be taking things a step too far …
Ashlee Vance / Businessweek:
Willow Garage, rare privately funded Silicon Valley robotics research lab, shuts down  —  Willow Garage's Last Days  —  In 2006, Scott Hassan, a prolific software engineer, started a research lab dedicated to robotics called Willow Garage.  Since then, he's funded the lab with about $20 million …
More: SiliconBeat and Gigaom
Timothy J. Seppala / Engadget:
Microsoft is hand-picking users to test Xbox One's next software update  —  Ahead of Xbox One's second spring update Microsoft is inviting a handful of gamers to test the patch's mutiplayer features.  As Major Nelson tells it, the invite process starts today and if picked, you'll be first in line to try future updates as well.
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.

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