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The Associated Press says it will use algorithm-generated content from Automated Insights to produce earnings reports, which has some professional journalists nervous about robots taking their jobs — but in reality such drudgery is better off being done by algorithms than by human beings Read more »

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Cisco has bought a Danish firm called Assemblage for its skills in wrangling browser technologies like WebRTC for real-time collaboration that don’t require the user to download any programs or plugins. Assemblage currently offers a range of tools including Kollaborate (for videoconferencing), Presentation and Same (for screen-sharing), and says it will continue to do so for now. In a blog post on Friday, Cisco — purveyors of expensive telepresence equipment that plays in the same space — said it was after the startup’s engineering prowess and third-party integration record.

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Whisper may get lumped in with Secret and other trendy anonymous-sharing apps, but the editorial team behind the service — led by former Gawker writer Neetzan Zimmerman — is doing some interesting things with it from a journalistic perspective, and that bears watching Read more »

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Just about a year ago today, Penguin and Random House merged to create the world’s largest book publisher. And HarperCollins announced in May that it’s acquiring Harlequin. Now the season of consolidation continues: The large independent publisher Perseus is being sold off in an unusual three-way deal, Publishers Lunch reported Tuesday, with Hachette Book Group acquiring Perseus Book Group’s publishing imprints and Ingram taking its distribution business. PL notes that the acquisition will bring Hachette’s annual revenues to around $700 million.

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Google’s Chromecast streaming stick just got a bunch of new apps: Digital music service Deezer gave its paying subscribers access to casting through its mobile apps. Video workout service Dailyburn added Chromecast support to its website, iOS and Android apps, and PBS Kids added Chromecast support to its mobile apps as well. Earlier on Tuesday, video discovery app Stevie announced its own Chromecast integration.

Both digital publishers and advertisers are trying to come up with a more accurate way of measuring the value of a reader than just raw pageviews or uniques. Upworthy says its “attention minutes” metric is better, and it has opened up the code for anyone to use Read more »

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Earbits, the music discovery startup that shut down earlier this week due to lack of funds, unexpectedly announced its return Thursday. “A strategic partner has stepped forward and provided the necessary funding to bring Earbits back online indefinitely,” wrote Earbits CEO Joey Flores on the company’s blog. There’s no word yet on who this strategic partner might be and how big of a stake in Earbits it now holds, but Flores said that he would be sharing additional details soon.

In Brief

Twitter has acquired San Francisco-based video sharing startup SnappyTV, both companies announced Thursday without spilling any beans about the financials of the deal. You may have never heard of SnappyTV, but chances are, you’ve seen some of its work on Twitter before: SnappyTV has helped Turner to share March Madness clips in near-realtime, and also powered the video cards of numerous other TV networks. With the acquisition, Twitter obviously wants to bolster its own media chops, but the company promised Thursday that SnappyTV customers will continue to be able to share media on Facebook and elsewhere as well.

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