Techmeme
February 21, 2014, 1:15 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 …
Mike Isaac / Re/code:
Facebook's WhatsApp Deal Could Jumpstart Internet.org Plans  —  What's cooler than $19 billion?  How about changing the world? … Mark Zuckerberg took a step closer to realizing a dream to bring the Internet to everyone on the planet with Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of mobile messaging service WhatsApp on Wednesday.
Evelyn M. Rusli / Wall Street Journal:
WhatsApp: the Bomb That Shook Silicon Valley  —  On Wednesday afternoon, in a modern office building in San Francisco, entrepreneur Daniel Raffel saw a news alert cross his phone: Facebook Inc. had just paid $19 billion for messaging startup WhatsApp.  —  The founder of mobile app Snapguide …
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.
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 …
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
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.
More: The Verge and Engadget
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.
Pankaj Mishra / TechCrunch:
With $8M In Fresh Funding, Ezetap Is More Than Just A Square For Emerging Markets  —  There are almost 900 million active cell-phone users in India now, and from newer startups to some of the biggest companies in the world, everybody is chasing the next mobile disruption that could potentially result …
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.
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Nokia's Here Maps app is coming to all Windows 8.1 devices  —  If Bing Maps hasn't been getting the job done on your Microsoft Surface, you'll be glad to hear there's another option on the way: Nokia's Here Maps.  The company says it will “soon” launch its mapping software for all Windows 8.1 devices.
Sean Buckley / Engadget:
Tegra Note 7 tablet to get an LTE refresh, early adopters pick up KitKat update  —  Itching for a Tegra-powered gaming device, but insist on a slate with LTE support?  You're in luck: NVIDIA is building a tablet just for you.  Today the company announced the Tegra Note 7 LTE …
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.

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