Stories for Apr. 11, 2014
In Brief

According to Dan Primack’s email newsletter Kleiner Perkins greentech-focused Partner Amol Deshpande appears to have launched a startup called the Farmer’s Business Network. Here’s the SEC filing for it, which shows it’s raised $4.6 million (or a $6 million round) and the company’s headquarters are in Kleiner’s offices in Menlo Park. Deshpande is listed as President and CEO.

Making agriculture more efficient through IT, as well as genetics, is a hot area for investment, while traditional “cleantech” has continued to decline. Deshpande lists on his bio that he’s worked on waste energy company Harvest Power, veggie protein startup Beyond Meat, and “a stealth agricultural company,” among others.

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Stories for Apr. 10, 2014
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In Brief

The Senate passed an amended version of the Data Accountability and Transparency (or DATA) Act on Thursday, nearly five months after the House passed its version 388-1 in November. The bill standardizes the process, platforms and formats in which federal agencies report how they spend their money. The bill had strong bipartisan support but faced opposition from the Office of Management and Budget. It could be a coup for certain technology vendors, including supporter Teradata, which stand to win more government deals as all that data becomes easier to store and analyze using commercial software.

In Brief

Twitter announced Thursday that it will roll out new web notifications for its online platform slowly over the coming weeks. If a user is logged in on Twitter’s website and receives a follow, favorite, reply, retweet or direct message, an interactive pop-up window will appear in the lower right-hand corner. Users can opt out or adjust the notifications in the platform’s Settings section. By adding notifications to the newly revamped profile pages, Twitter is clearly interested in making its native platform the place to be in an attempt to lure users away from more efficient third-party systems.

In Brief

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The conditional rule setting service, If This Then That (IFTTT) is on a roll with some new channels for internet of things lovers. The site has new options for the connected Quirky products that use the Wink app. So now your connected egg tray, piggy bank, A/C unit or even your power supply can tie into your email or other web services. I haven’t shelled out (heehee) for the Egg minder yet, but if I did I’d set up a recipe connecting it to Evernote so when I’m close to empty I could add eggs to my grocery list.

In Brief

Like many of its chipmaking competitors, Texas Instruments is really stoked about the promise of connected devices. It all boils down to more chips sold. So TI has built out a partner program for the internet of things to help manufacturers link together devices and services from different companies. Participants in TI’s ecosystem include 2lemetry, ARM, Arrayent, Exosite, IBM, LogMeIn (Xively), Spark, and Thingsquare. Basically if a company buys TI chips they’ll work with software, hardware or cloud offerings from the above vendors.

In Brief

HTC One M8 in hand

After weeks in Verizon stores only, the HTC One M8 finds its way to other carrier partner locations. On Friday, the company said the flagship handset can be picked up from AT&T and Sprint retail stores for $199 with contract; T-Mobile is still taking pre-orders. The phone has earned positive reviews and my own first impressions are very promising; the more I use the HTC One M8, the more I see welcome improvements. HTC is also selling an unlocked, no-contract version of the device for $699.99 directly through its website while Google is offering a Google Play Edition with pure Android for the same price.

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