Techmeme
January 17, 2015, 1:35 AM

Top News

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Sources: Google is interested in buying mobile payments company Softcard, price could be less than $100M  —  Google Is In Talks With Softcard, The Mobile Payments Company  —  Apple has Apple Pay, and now it looks like Google may be fattening up its own wallet.
Ashlee Vance / Businessweek:
Elon Musk planning low-orbit Internet satellite system to compete with OneWeb, based out of SpaceX's new Seattle office  —  Revealed: Elon Musk's Plan to Build a Space Internet  —  Because he doesn't have enough going on, Elon Musk—he of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SolarCity, and the Hyperloop—is launching another project.
Faryaab S. / SamMobile:
Samsung to use Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor in Galaxy S6 instead of swipe-based sensor  —  Exclusive: Samsung opts for a touch-based fingerprint sensor for the Galaxy S6  —  A smartphone is one of the most personal devices a human being can own, and it's one of those devices where compromising on security is not an option.
Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Republicans introduce net neutrality legislation which would strip rule-making power from the FCC, avoid a major reclassification of broadband service  —  Republicans want a net neutrality law, but only if it stops the FCC from handling it  —  A month before the FCC votes on a new net neutrality proposal …
Elizabeth Dwoskin / Wall Street Journal:
Palantir was valued at $15B in November, making it the third most valuable VC-backed company  —  Palantir Raising More Money After Tagged With $15 Billion Valuation  —  Palantir Technologies, one of the more secretive companies in Silicon Valley, was valued at $15 billion in November …
Douglas MacMillan / Wall Street Journal:
Yahoo combines ad products into one unit, to be led by Prashant Fuloria, former executive at Google, Flurry, and Facebook  —  Yahoo Reorganizes Ad Product Team, Says Memo to Staff  —  Marissa Mayer is reorganizing management at Yahoo as part of her effort to jumpstart the company's stagnant advertising business.
Steven Levy / Backchannel:
How Google Search is using Knowledge Graph, Voice Search, and Google Now to transition to the mobile dominant world  —  How Google Search Dealt With Mobile  —  Google's flagship product has been part of our lives for so long that we take it for granted.  But Google doesn't.
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
Obama backs call for tech backdoors  —  President Obama wants a backdoor to track people's social media messages.  —  The president on Friday came to the defense of British Prime Minister David Cameron's call for tech companies to create holes in their technology to allow the government to track suspected terrorists or criminals.
Casey Newton / The Verge:
Facebook Messenger tests Google Voice-style transcriptions for sound clips  —  Another victory in the war against voicemail  —  Voicemail is one of the least efficient ways of communicating, and yet a form of it survives in many messaging apps.  Facebook added voice clips to Facebook Messenger in 2013 …
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Holtzbrinck Ventures Closes $331M Fund To Back More Consumer And E-Commerce Startups  —  One of the more prolific VCs in Europe with close ties to e-commerce startup factory Rocket Internet has closed another fund — its biggest yet — to back more consumer internet businesses in the region and beyond, with an emphasis on e-commerce.
More: PE Hub BlogTweets: @ingridlunden and @_fredrik
Ben Woods / The Next Web:
Google makes it easier to buy tickets for live events, straight from search results and Maps  —  Google has inked a deal with live event companies Ticketfly, Ticketmaster and AXS to integrate sales for live shows into its Search and Google Maps search results on mobile or desktop, as well as within the Google Maps app.

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Intercom:
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