Top Startup and Tech News Today-7 Things You Missed Today

Top Startup and Tech News Today-7 Things You Missed Today

1.  Facebook tramples Twitter’s turf with media-friendly tracking

Facebook is adding APIs that will let media organizations track social media trends. Certain media partners, such as Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC, and more will get access to a Public Feed API. This will let them see a real-time feed of what Facebook users are saying about certain keywords.

There will be a second API, Keyword Insights, which gives media users an aggregated result of the frequency of keywords used in posts. These posts can be further broken down based on gender, age, location, and etc; this is all occurs while keeping the poster anonymous.

VP of media partnerships at Facebook, Justin Osofsky, says that, “starting today, selected news organizations can begin to integrated Facebook conversations into their broadcasts or coverage.” Currently, Twitter is popular media medium in which partners see what’s trending real-time; Facebook now wants a piece of this action.

2. Daily News’ Innovation Lab will nurture cutting-edge media technology startups

News on Monday announced the launch of Innovation Lab, which is a program that will provide select startups with guidance, support, seed money, and a testing ground; this is all being done in hopes of cultivating tech products that will transform media. Through a partnership with New York’s Hometown Newspaper, successful applicants will have access to the News’ staff and will be able to tap into its technology. The startups will also have the opportunity to showcase their products on The News’ digital websites; the digital properties of The News’ reach about 17 million unique visitors a month, and generate more than 150 million page views.

Chosen applications will be housed at The News’ headquarters in lower Manhattan. They will have access to entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and investors, who will offer them mentorship and guidance. They will also be offered free legal, accounting, and other services as well as six months of office space post-graduation from this program. Participating companies will be asked to give The News’ 5% of their common stock. They can also choose to receive up to $25,000 in seed funding and have the opportunity to enter into a commercial agreement with The News.

3. Apple sued for false advertising after dividing up the final 16 episodes of Breaking Bad into two seasons on iTunes

Noam Lazebnik is filing a class action suit against Apple after finding out that his $20 “Season Pass” of “Breaking Bad” was only good for the first eight episodes of the show’s final season, as opposed to the entire season. The fifth and final season of “Breaking Bad” contains 16 episodes but was broken into two separate installments of eight. iTunes decided to treat this show’s final installment of eight episodes as an entirely new sixth season. Unsurprisingly, some fans feel as though they are being swindled out of their money.

Fans have complained that when the final season of “Breaking Bad” was announced, it was referred to as the ‘Final Season’ and slated to include 16 episodes. However, the producers of the show have been arguing that the final 16 episodes were split into parts to ensure that the final episodes received the attention they deserved. What does that mean? No one is really sure. What is very clear though is that customers who bought a season pass thought it would give them access to the whole and final season – not half of it. So, they are suing for false advertising.

The plaintiff is not filing for millions of dollars – he just wants his $20 back.

4. TitStare: The Worst Joke in Technology

On Sunday, two Australians debuted their new app at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Jethro Batts and David Boulton, sauntered up onto the stage and announced, “We’re here to bring you Titstare! Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits.” Many laughed at this, many were amused, and many were confused. Twitter, in response, exploded with anger and controversy. Some were amused and some were far from it. “I am a woman and I found them funny,” said one user, while another complained, “There goes my attempt to tach my 9yo girl how welcome tech industry is to women.”

TechCrunch posted a formal apology onto its website, calling the presentation “misogynistic” and acknowledging sexism as a major problem in the tech industry. Creators of Titstare, Batts and Boulton, posted “#titstare guys here, sorry if we offended some of you, very unintentional. Just a fun Aussie hack.”

5. Twitter Buys Mobile Ad Exchange Startup MoPub for $350 Million

Twitter has announced its acquisition of MoPub, a startup that specializes in mobile advertising exchange. Sources say the price was a $350 million in stock. The buy, which is Twitter’s largest to date, is a move that will hopefully help Twitter keep better track of its ad inventory. Twitter now hopes to offer the right ad space at the right time to third-party publishers. Revenue product VP Kevin Weil says, “If you step back, think about the opportunity here in the industry trends… One is a massive shift to mobile devices on the consumer side, while the other is a shift towards programmatic buying on the ad side. MoPub sits at that intersection. So does Twitter.”

6. Google Makes New Offer to Settle Its European Union Antitrust Case

Last week, Google made its second try to settle a three-year old antitrust case it has with the European Union. Rivals continue to call for Google to cede more control of its Internet search and advertising business. The latest offer by Google was acknowledged in Italy by Alumnia, the EU’s competition commissioner. The case claims that Google has abused its dominance in the Internet search and advertising field by favoring its own products and services in search results. Google powers 90% of the searches in many European markets, so a claim like this is a large one.

Google’s latest proposal addressed the areas of concern brought up by the EU. Mr. Alumnia said that a swiftly negotiated settlement would be preferred but he would be willing to go through the arduous process of issuing formal charges against the company if they did not negotiate and reach a decal. This case is a serious problem for Google in Europe; they could be forced to change their practice and face a fine up to $5 billion.

7. Benevolent hackers convene at Penn

More than 1,000 programmers met up at Penn this weekend for the “biggest university hackathon in the world.” Hackathons are like a programmer’s sleepover; students spend 48 hours at the Palestra, working to brainstorm, design, and then build an app, website, or hardware product. Food and caffeine flows freely, and most players averaged 5-10 hours of sleep the entire weekend. 20 teams were chosen to demonstrate their products on Sunday, and more than $30,000 in cash and prizes were handed out to participants. The grand prize was $10,000, which went to Swap, a platform where developers can change their mobile apps without having to send a version through Apple’s time-consuming and download-dependent App store. There were roughly 500 participants from over 100 universities, and teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, Zurich, Swizterland, Israel, and more.


Jessie Yen


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