Stories for Mar. 3, 2014
In Brief

Events-focused site Meetup has been offline intermittently since Thursday, due to a massive DDoS attack on the company’s servers. According to a blog post from co-founder and CEO Scott Heiferman, it’s the first attack of this magnitude in the 12 years since Meetup was founded, and the chain of attacks were attached to a ransom of $300. The company made the decision not to negotiate with the hackers, and continues to fight off attacks — as of 10 a.m. PST, the website remains down and redirects to the blog post.

Upcoming Events

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In Brief

Ask.fm now has 100 million registered users, the Latvia-based social network said on Monday. The service is apparently used in 150 countries and questions posted there – Ask.fm is kind of like Quora, only skewed more towards the teen demographic – now generate a billion answers a month. Bearing in mind that you don’t have to be registered to use it, Ask.fm also said it gets 190 million unique visitors each month. The 4-year-old service has unfortunately been associated with a number of teen suicides (though not always accurately) and the firm also used Monday’s announcement to promote its Safety Centre advice hub, stressing that it has recently improved cyber-bullying reporting mechanisms and boosted its moderator numbers.

In Brief

DueDil, a rather clever London-based outfit that uses open (and purchased) datasets to provide due diligence services, has raised another $17 million in a Series B round. The cash came from existing investors Notion Capital, Passion Capital and round leader Oak Investment Partners, and it comes on top of the $5m I reported on in April last year. In those 10 months, the “real-time decision intelligence” firm said, it has gained traction among most of the FTSE 100 companies. Customers can currently use the DueDil API to find out information about companies and directors in 22 countries, and the fresh capital injection should help spread that coverage.

Stories for Mar. 2, 2014
Stories for Mar. 1, 2014

pebble steel trio

Advances in low-cost and low-power computing are removing the shackles that have constrained the feature sets of wearable devices. IBM’s Paul Brody predicts this will allow devices like smartwatches and fitness monitors to become more contextually aware and start to blur the lines between wearables and smartphones. Read more »

Weekend Plans

Suzanne Vega, Rupert Murdoch’s broken marriage, Silicon Valley’s circus of innovation, Tom Steyer, the inconvenient billionaire; South Sudan’s old enmities and Facebook’s plan to conquer the world — some of the stories on menu this weekend.  Read more »

Stories for Feb. 28, 2014
On The Web

Apple has been pushing for a windowed release strategy for new music, according to a Billboard report. In talks with record label executives, Apple has pointed to the latest Beyonce album as a possible blueprint for future releases: iTunes offered Beyonce’s self-titled album as an exclusive for one week when it was released in December. After that, it also sold at other retailers, but Spotify and other streaming services only got two tracks. Apple executives think that such windows could boost digital downloads, which declined by 5.7 percent last year.

Updated: This story has been corrected to reflect that it declined 5.7 percent last year, not 57 percent.

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