Techmeme
February 21, 2014, 8:15 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.
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.
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.
Nicholas Carlson / Business Insider:
‘Early’ WhatsApp Employees Will Make $160 Million Each  —  Yesterday, Facebook bought messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion — $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash, and another $3 billion in stock grants for employees that will vest over the next four years.  —  How much will WhatsApp's employees make in the deal?
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 …
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?
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 …
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.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
More Cortana details: Siri/Google Now-like virtual assistant to replace Bing search feature in Windows Phone 8.1  —  Apple has Siri, and Microsoft is about to get Cortana  —  Microsoft has been in a state of “shut up and ship” with Windows Phone for more than a year now.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …

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