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A San Mateo, Calif.-based startup called Space-Time Insight has raised a $20 million series C investment round led by London-based firm Zouk Capital. Space-Time provides a platform for analyzing and visualizing streaming data, and is gaining traction in the utility sector. We profiled the company in 2011, specifically its work with California ISO to put real-time energy data on an 80-foot screen in the agency’s control room. Space-Time closed a $14 million series B investment round last September.

On The Web

Vodafone is having trouble finding enough Kabel Deutschland shareholders willing to sell up. Reuters reports the British mobile giant has secured only around 20 percent of the German cable firm’s shares, and it needs 75 percent by midnight Wednesday or the deal is off. It could be shareholders are waiting until the last minute in case a rival offer comes in — either way, it’s a nailbiting finish for freshly flush Vodafone and its plans of pushing further into the European fixed-line market.

In Brief

Narrative Science, a startup that turns complex text documents into reports or articles that are supposed to resemble something written by a human being, has raised an $11.5 million series C funding round. News organizations have already used the company’s software to turn sports stats or corporate earnings statements into articles, but it has potential anywhere someone is trying to analyze loads of text documents. CIA-backed venture capital firm In-Q-Tel invested in Narrative Science in June.

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On The Web

Germany’s Der Spiegel reports that the U.S. National Security Agency can access user data such as contacts lists, SMS traffic and location from the leading phone platforms and — embarrassingly given its security reputation — email from BlackBerry. This latest Snowden revelation begs the question: is any mobile OS safe?

In Brief

Hortonworks is making progress on its mission (via a project called Stinger) to speed up SQL-like queries in Hadoop using Apache Hive. New features in the latest version of Hortonworks’ Hadoop distribution have improved Hive performance tens of times in some instances, and the company is aiming for 100x improvements soon. Hortonworks has also added support for new types of SQL data. Competitor Cloudera opted to forgo Hive in favor of its own Impala technology for interactive queries.

In Brief

eBay has acquired Seattle-based price-prediction startup Decide.com, and the service will shut down on Sept. 30. The entire team will head over to eBay to help the e-commerce giant improve its experience through predictive modeling. The entire team except Co-founder and CTO Oren Etzioni, that is: the University of Washington computer science professor, Madrona Venture Group partner and former Farecast founder is heading up Paul Allen’s new Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Oren Etzioni

Oren Etzioni

On The Web

This post from Slate is spot on, in my humble opinion. It might be overkill, but I can say the same about my own posting habits, and did last year. (I can’t say the same about my wife, though …) There are plenty of reasons to not want a digital profile you didn’t ask for, and advances in behavioral analysis and facial recognition are only making them worse.

In Brief

SwiftKey, a London-based startup that sells a popular “smart” keyboard for Android devices, has closed a $17.5 million series B led by Index Ventures. The company plans to spend the money on research to “fuel further innovation in the fields of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning,” among other things, according to a press release. That’s probably not a bad idea given Google’s vested interest keyboard dominance and focus on cutting-edge text analysis.

On The Web

The New York Times continues the surveillance theme with a scoop about a project called Hemisphere, which involves the collection and long-term retention of phone metadata by AT&T in order to aid local and federal anti-drug law enforcement efforts. The length of the retention time (as much as 26 years) far outstrips anything the NSA is doing. It strikes me as notable that the biggest mass surveillance operations are being carried out in the name of unwinnable, unending wars, namely those on terror and drugs.

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