Stories for Mar. 6, 2014

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On The Web

Looks like Dish’s internet TV deal with Disney may open the floodgates for news about similar arrangements: Reuters is reporting that DirecTV is in negotiations with Disney about also launching an internet-based TV service with programming from ABC and ESPN. DirecTV’s retransmission agreement with Disney is up soon, so the timing couldn’t be better.

On The Web

North Bridge Venture Partners co-founders Rich Damore and Ed Anderson are stepping down as general partners although they will continue to be involved with the company’s second equity growth fund, according to Fortune’s Dan Primack. Damore and Anderson led a series of big deals over the past two decades and one source close to the company said this is a generational shift. Remaining movers and shakers at the company include Structure faves Paul Santinelli, Michael Skok and Jonathan Heiliger, who once ran operations at Facebook.

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Stories for Mar. 5, 2014
In Brief

Adventure and travel site Peek announced on Wednesday that it’s raised $5 million in a Series A funding round led by Montage Ventures. The company, which operates as part travel guide, part deals and booking service, is best known for its high-profile investor pool: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Eric Schmidt participated in the company’s initial seed round of $1.4 million. The company says that the money will go towards expanding Peek’s reach to 11 new cities (it currently operates domestically and internationally, including cities like San Francisco, New York and London) as well as accelerating its vendor platform, Peek Professional.

 

In Brief

A new study might help confirm that D-Wave Systems’ quantum computer chip might actually be what it claims to be. Conducted at the University of Southern California, where the D-Wave system owned by aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin is based, a team of scientists has concluded that the 128-qubit processor “behaved in a way that agrees with a model called ‘quantum Monte Carlo,’ yet disagreed with two candidate classical models.” In two weeks at our Structure Data conference, D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell will talk about what quantum computers can do and how they’ll be available as cloud services.

In Brief

In what came as a little surprise, Dish Network has walked away with every one of the 176 spectrum licenses the Federal Communications Commission auctioned off in the PCS band last month, according to FCC documentation (pdf). And given that every other major carrier declined to participate, Dish walked away with those airwaves at the minimum reserve price of $1.56 billion. Dish now owns 10 MHz nationwide of the same airwaves carriers use in their 2G and 3G networks. It plans to couple those frequencies with the mobile broadband spectrum it owns in the neighboring satellite band to build its LTE network.

In Brief

Google announced a Gmail for iOS update on Wednesday that should virtually eliminate manually refreshing your Inbox on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The software now supports background refreshing so messages are pre-fetched and synchronized. Users will have to enable the background refresh function after updating the app, which can be found in the iTunes App Store. Apple notes that enabling background refresh for an application can impact battery life, so you’ll need to consider if the constant mail syncing is worth it compared to the manual or scheduled refreshing of your Inbox in Gmail for iOS.

In Brief

Tableau and Splunk, two of the more successful (and ubiquitous) data startups turned public companies over the past several years, have partnered on a new connector that lets Tableau users access Splunk as a data source within the analytics software. However, it’s not just the existence of a connector that’s valuable for users, but what it means — that they can now combine Splunk data with other data within Tableau to visually analyze all of it together. As Tableau grows more popular, partnering with it is becoming a popular move for everyone from large software vendors to small startups such as BigML.

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