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Facebook Did What? I don’t know if y’all heard, but Facebook announced it has agreed to acquire messaging app company WhatsApp for $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion worth of stock. An additional $3 billion worth of stock goes to the founders of WhatsApp and its employees that vests over 4 years. Co-founder an CEO of WhatsApp Jan Koum also gets a spot on Facebook’s board. Fortune reported Google had offered $10 billion but no board seat.
NPD releases US smartphone market numbers: The smartphone market grew there by 21% in 2013. Apple captured 45% of the market growing a bit over 2012’s 44%. Samsung and LG also grew at the expense of HTC and Motorola.
The Kansas legislation attempting to ban nearly all municipal broadband networks is apparently dead: Joshua Montgomery, who runs a small ISP in Lawrence, KS, told Ars Technica he thinks they killed the issue at least for a year. A Senate committee hearing has been canceled and not rescheduled. Kansas Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D) told Montgomery in an e-mail that the bill “has lost its momentum at this time.”
News From You
KAPT_Kipper posted the GigaOm story about Aereo losing its court case in the US District Court covering the 10th Circuit including Utah and Colorado. Judge Dale Kimball is the first of three Distrcit Court’s not accept Aereo’s argument that renting a micro antenna to a customer over the Internet is not a public transmission. Judge Kimball wrote “Aereo’s device or process transmits Plaintiffs’ copyrighted programs to the public.” The Supreme Court will hear Aereo’s case April 22. In the meantime Aereo will have to shut down operations in Salt Lake City and Denver.
Dmmacs submitted a GigaOm story about Visa and MasterCard announcing upgrades to their point-of-sale systems to take advantage of new capabilities in Android 4.4, aka Kit Kat. Previous NFC systems required hardware cooperation, meaning mobile carriers could keep out competing payment products in favor of their own. Google has developed host card emulation which allows the security element to be done in software allowing Visa and MasterCard to use NFC without any cooperation front he hardware makers.
Kylde pointed us to a Slashdot posting about Mercedes-Benz new 360-degree video capture method. A ball made of wide-angle cameras allows the viewer to swivel and tilt the camera angle in pretty much any direction as the car speeds around the track. And yes there’s an iOS app. The device will launch with the Mercedes AMG F1 team this year.
And flying spatula submitted this Engadget article about Waze updating its navigation map for Android and iOS to talk to your calendar. If your appointment has a location you can now ask Waze for directions right from inside the calendar.
More links from the show
Pick of the Day
Gazelle Tom uses Gazelle to sell older gadgets with minimal fuss.