July 30, 2014, 1:10 PM

Top News

Snapchat Said in Funding Talks With Alibaba at $10 Billion  —  Snapchat Inc., the company that makes a mobile application for disappearing photo messages, is in talks with investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) for a round of financing that may value the company at $10 billion, people with knowledge of the situation said.
Derrick Harris / Gigaom:
Twitter acquires deep learning startup Madbits  —  Twitter has acquired Madbits, a deep-learning-based computer vision startup founded by proteges of Facebook AI director Yann LeCun.  It's the latest in a spate of deep learning and computer vision acquisitions that also includes Google, Yahoo, Dropbox and Pinterest.
Joe Belfiore / Windows Phone Blog:
Windows Phone 8.1 Update expands Cortana to new countries, adds “Live” folders on start screen, and more  —  Windows Phone 8.1 Update brings Cortana to new markets + new features  —  Back in April, you heard me talk about how we believe Windows Phone 8.1 is the world's …
Kevin Fitchard / Gigaom:
Virgin Mobile intros a blank-slate smartphone plan you can customize any way you like  —  Virgin Mobile's new prepaid plan can be anything you want it to be from a bare-bones emergency calling service to a custom unlimited Facebook plan.  —  Next month, Virgin Mobile USA will offer a new …
Jon Fingas / Engadget:
FreedomPop's free data and voice are now available on tablets  —  Many people can't really justify buying a cellular-equipped tablet — why pay for more data when your phone probably does the trick?  FreedomPop is undoubtedly aware of that thriftiness, as it just started offering its namesake free service on tablets.
Michael Carney / PandoDaily:
EXCLUSIVE: Payments giant First Data acquires Gyft in an effort to bring digital gift cards to the masses  —  Gyft, a Redwood City-based virtual gift card provider has been acquired by payment giant First Data, Pando has learned.  The terms of the transaction were undisclosed …
More: Gyft and TechCrunch
Brad Smith / Wall Street Journal:
Microsoft's general counsel on how the government wants the right to access emails stored abroad  —  We're Fighting the Feds Over Your Email  —  Governments want the right to see email stored anywhere in the world.  Microsoft says not so fast.  —  On Thursday Microsoft will oppose …
Andy Fixmer / Mashable:
Netflix Signs Peering Deal With AT&T to Reduce Buffering  —  This story has been updated to include a statement from AT&T confirming the peering deal.  —  Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to give its streaming service direct access to AT&T's network, with the goal of reducing buffering …
Shane Harris / Foreign Policy:
Ex-NSA head Keith Alexander says his new company IronNet Cybersecurity invented unique technology to detect hackers, will file at least nine patents  —  The NSA's Cyber-King Goes Corporate  —  Here's why Keith Alexander thinks he's worth a million dollars a month.  —  GOOGLE +

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