Stories for Mar. 25, 2014

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In Brief

Y Combinator’s Demo Day for its Winter 2014 class on Tuesday was marked by a formal goodbye to former president Paul Graham. Graham gave up his seat in late February to partner and YC alum Sam Altman. Before the presentation, the partners at Y Combinator went onstage to honor Graham, presenting him with a signed pair of khaki shorts.

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In Brief

Once a startup establishes itself in San Francisco, you don’t see many of them moving into Silicon Valley, but Square is bucking that trend. This spring it’s opening up a satellite office at 5451 Great America Parkway in Santa Clara that will house up to 50 employees living in the South Bay. Square has been on growth tear lately, doubling in size to 800 employees in the past year (though it hasn’t reached 1,000 bodies it projected for the end of 2013). In October, It moved its HQ to a mammoth space at 1445 Market Street. Though it’s opening up new offices in NYC, Atlanta, Tokyo, Waterloo and now the Valley, it still has plenty of room to grow in SF where it can accommodate 2,000 people.

Connected Car Mouse
photo: Shutterstock / Mopic

IBM is putting its data analytics to work on information collected from Peugeot’s in-car sensors, ostensibly combining it with data from traffic infrastructure and smartphones to create better car apps and more network-aware vehicles. Read more »

In Brief

Major League Baseball’s MLB.tv launched on Microsoft’s Xbox One Tuesday, giving users of Microsoft’s new game console a way to watch live baseball games as well as replay full games from the archives. As always, blackout rules apply, and users need to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription as well as a MLB.tv Premium subscription — but if you are a cord cutter who want to follow your team from back home, this may be the best way to do it.

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In Brief

The French consumer rights group UFC-Que Chosir has sued Facebook, Google and Twitter in the Paris high court over their terms of service and data collection practices. In a statement on Tuesday, the group said the French-language terms were inaccessible and sometimes — quelle horreur! — linked to pages in English. UFC-Que Chosir is also concerned about the social networking services not seeking proper user consent before allowing others to exploit their data. The claims seem rather broad, though France does have a track record of cracking down on U.S. web firms’ privacy violations as hard as it can, so the case may turn out to have legs.

In Brief

College students who subscribe to Spotify just got more money to spend on pizza: The streaming music service announced a half-price discount on Tuesday. Instead of the standard $9.99 a month subscription fee, U.S. collegians can take advantage of a new $4.99 plan available on Spotify’s website. The monthly fee offers the same Premium features as the full-priced plan, including ad-free playback of more than 20 million songs, downloadable playlists for offline listening, improved sound quality and Spotify access on various devices and home entertainment systems.

Stories for Mar. 24, 2014

Rob Bearden at Structure Data 2014.

Hadoop vendor Hortonworks has closed a fourth round of venture capital worth $100 million. It follows up on news last week that competitor Cloudera had closed its own $160 million round. Everyone agrees there’s huge opportunity in Hadoop, but capitalizing on it takes capital. Read more »

Box CEO Aaron Levie
photo: Om Malik

If you are interested in reading about Box, its horrid financials and high cost of customer acquisition, or the new reality for enterprise focused startups, then I suggest you stop reading this. Because this is really about Aaron Levie, the co-founder of Box.net and me. Read more »

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