Stories for Aug. 4, 2014

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photo: Gigaom Illustration

Less than two months after launching and Facebook’s buzzed-about Slingshot messaging app has already dropped off the downloads chart. Its trajectory mirrors that of another high profile, failed Facebook effort to combat Snapchat: Poke. Read more »

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Gigaom Research

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An increasingly large swath of businesses are realizing that the cloud-plus-data-centers model provides the best of both worlds, and integrating the public virtual cloud with the physical data center is the best way to cost effectively scale, secure, and serve modern production workloads. Read more at Gigaom Research »

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In Brief

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Can the market support a notebook computer that runs a mobile operating system? That’s the question HP is attempting to answer with its SlateBook, a 14-inch laptop powered by Google Android software. The SlateBook 14 was announced in June with a July 20 launch but the computer is only shipping just now notes Android Headlines. The $430 cost gets you hardware similar to a less pricey Chromebook. There is an advantage to running Android instead of Google’s ChromeOS though: Hundreds of thousands of available apps. Is that enough to bring mass appeal? I don’t think so, but HP will surely find a niche audience with this product.

In Brief

Like peers such as Axel Springer, the German magazine-publishing giant Bauer Media has been branching out into the digital world as an investor, notably in Swedish health startup Lifesum earlier this year. Now it’s really diving in: On Monday, Bauer announced the creation of Bauer Venture Partners, with €100 million ($134 million) lined up for a decade’s worth of investments. Created alongside VC Thomas Preuss, late of Neuhaus Partners, the fund will invest in European tech startups at a range of stages. As I noted when Google came to town with a $100 million fund a few weeks back, the days of European startups complaining about a lack of local capital seem to be fast receding.

Stories for Aug. 3, 2014
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Stories for Aug. 1, 2014
In Brief

Airbnb has officially wrapped up its long-rumored $475 million Series D, according to its SEC filing on the matter. No investors from private equity firm TPG or smaller firm Dragoneer Investment Group, which were previously reported to be leading the round, were mentioned. VentureBeat scooped the news, pointing out that the only people listed on the filing were Airbnb executives and counsel, Alfred Lin from Sequoia, and Jeff Jordan from Andreessen-Horowitz.

In Brief

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The Killing may have been too depressing for network TV, but thanks to Netflix, the dark and brilliant crime drama is now back for a short final season: All six episodes of season four went live on Netflix Friday. The Killing is not a newbie on Netflix: The streaming service previously collaborated with AMC on the production of season three. But with this season being a Netflix exclusive, you’ll actually get to hear some swear words, according to an interview with executive producer Veena Sud.

In Brief

It is now legal to unlock a cell phone in the United States. As promised, President Barack Obama signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law on Friday, the White House announced in a blog post. Previously, unlocking your phone — modifying its firmware — could be considered a violation of federal copyright law, although it was rarely enforced. If you want to celebrate by unlocking your device (without fear of a fine) here’s a handy tip sheet for all four big carriers’ policies and procedures.

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