Stories for Apr. 16, 2014
In Brief

U.S. Sen. Al Franken has written to Netflix asking its opinion on Comcast’s efforts to buy Time Warner Cable, implying that Netflix is a good indicator of the potential consumer and content harms of the deal. In his letter, Franken touches on peering challenge, noting that Comcast implied that it was no big thing in its hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee. Since Netflix wasn’t at the hearing, perhaps Sen. Franken just wants to get Netflix’s comments on the record. And while, we aren’t Netflix, if Sen. Franken is interested, here’s how we think regulators should view the deal.

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In Brief

If you mainly use your Kindle to read ebooks, you may be unaware that the device is also an excellent document reader — simply send an email with a document to a specific Amazon email address and it will appear on your e-reader. On Wednesday, Amazon sent an email to Kindle users informing them all documents sent to Kindle are now stored on Amazon Cloud Drive, in a folder labeled “My Send to Kindle Docs,” even documents sent before the cloud drive integration. Previously, documents sent to Kindle were converted to .mobi format, but now those docs are stored in their original format. It’s pretty nifty and allows you to send a document to your reader and make a cloud backup accessible from the browser at the same time.

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In Brief

Selfie app Frontback — which allows users to take advantage of a phone’s front- and rear-facing cameras to switch together two-shot photos to share with friends – released its app for Android on Wednesday. The iPhone app has been around for a year and just surpassed its millionth download in March. The company says that the Android app  includes identical features to the iOS version, but also has a new feature called “Offline Mode,” which allows users to take pictures without an internet connection.

Stories for Apr. 15, 2014
In Brief

Automattic, the San Francisco-based company that is responsible for the WordPress web-publishing and blog-hosting platform — and the associated open-source community — is raising a round of venture capital that could value the company at $1 billion or more, according to a report in Fortune magazine. The financing is said to be in the $100-million to $150-million range. WordPress recently acquired Longreads, a content-sharing community, and has said it wants to get more into content recommendation. Web-publishing competitor Squarespace just closed a financing round of its own that was worth $40 million.

Disclosure: Automattic is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.

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