Stories for Aug. 27, 2014

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In Brief

Expect Labs is expanding the scope of its MindMeld API with a new offering focused specifically on enabling voice-powered mobile recommendation apps for retailers. The company first announced its API business earlier this year (after becoming known for its MindMeld app that listens to conversations and surfaces related content in real time) and appears on a mission to create specialized version for a handful of industries. In July, Expect Labs released a search API targeting media apps like Netflix, and its website shows a handful of upcoming versions, including ones targeting cooking apps and customer service.

In Brief

Square is putting together a new $200 million funding round led by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, according to a CNBC report. Square raised the same amount in 2012 in a big Series D that included Starbucks, and in April it went to the banks for an additional $100 million in debt financing. According to CNBC’s sources, the new funding would value Square at about $6 billion.

In Brief

google play music sonos

Just two months after launching a program for its subscribers to stream music on its network without counting the data usage against them, T-Mobile has served up 7,000 terabytes of audio. That’s a lot of tunes from the various supported music services. Now the carrier is doubling the services its subscribers can use without hitting their LTE limits by adding AccuRadio, Black Planet, Grooveshark, Radio Paradise, Rdio and Songza to the Music Freedom initiative. A customer poll indicated subscribers want Google Play Music added to the list, which T-Mobile says it will do later this year. The new music services join  iHeartRadio, iTunesRadio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Samsung Milk, Slacker and Spotify in the program.

In order for companies to improve their internal data centers’ efficiency and improve their applications’ performance, many are turning to using a “core and pod” setup. In this type of arrangement, data center operators figure out the best configuration of common data center gear and software to suit their applications’ needs. Read more »

In Brief

The Berlin-based fertility tracking startup Clue has raised funding from new and old investors, taking total funding to €1 million ($1.32 million). The new investors/advisors include Andreas Ehn (current Wrapp CTO and former Spotify CTO), Sriram Krishnan (also a former Spotify exec), and Björn Jeffery (CEO of kids’ apps outfit Toca Boca). Heroku co-founder Adam Wiggins, who was already a technical advisor, has also become interim CTO. Clue said in a statement that it’s been ranked the number one “health and fitness” iOS app in 28 countries this year. All those advisors will no doubt help it develop its mysterious new hardware, which Clue tells me is “still in the works.”

Stories for Aug. 26, 2014
In Brief

AT&T is giving its Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega more responsibility and a new title, placing him in charge of a combined mobile and business division, FierceWireless reported on Tuesday. Taking de la Vega’s place as head of mobility will be Glenn Lurie, the AT&T President and rising star who ran AT&T’s emerging devices group, encompassing everything from tablets, Kindles and smart watches to connected cars and Ma Bell’s new Digital Life smart home program. To get an idea of how AT&T’s new Mobility CEO thinks, check out my interview with Lurie on the internet of things from 2012.

In Brief

The August lock.
August, the startup that raised $8 million for its Yves Behar-designed smart lock, started shipping to pre-order customers today after a months-long wait. The existing orders will be staggered throughout the fall with a public availability for later this fall. For insights on the delay check out my podcast with August CEO Jason Johnson. Or you can hear him onstage at Structure Connect in October discussing how he designed the lock for openness.

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