TWiST #139 News Stories Anything
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TWiST #139 News Stories

News stories we're covering for This Week in Startups Episode #139, airing on Friday, May 6th, will be posted here. Vote up the stories you most want to see discussed on the show. If you have suggestions for news topics that aren't listed here, leave them in the comments section below and we can add them! Don't forget to click through to Page 2 to see all the stories we're working on!

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    Twitter Buying TweetDeck

    TechCrunch is reporting that Twitter has purchased TweetDeck for $40-$50 million in a deal including both cash and Twitter stock. UberMedia had initially been announced as a potential purchaser for TweetDeck back in February, and that deal was rumored to be in the $25-$30 million range. TechCrunch and other tech blogs are postulating that this is a defensive move for Twitter, which did not want to risk having TweetDeck go to a competitior.

    QUESTION: Thoughts on this deal? Is Twitter's plan now just to gobble up any competing third-party products that threaten its own apps market share?

    SOURCE: TechCrunch
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    Disqus Announces $10M Raise

    North Bridge and Union Square Ventures have participated in a round that will bring in a total of $10M to the commenting platform. Disquis co-founder Daniel Ha says the company has 500 million unique visitors per month over the 750,000 sites currently utilizing the system. According to Ha, Facebook Comments have been live now for 2 years, and the recently-added widget has not affected Disqus' growth.

    QUESTION: Is Ha being overly optimistic here? Think Facebook Comments will have a long-term impact on Disqus? What can the company do to offset this?

    SOURCE: VentureBeat
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    Warner Bros. Acquires Flixster, and Rotten Tomatoes

    Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has purchased the social movie app Flixster for between $60 million and $90 million. Flixster has raised $7 million to date. According to the terms of the deal, Flixster will continue to operate independently of the WB, though it will move beyond its core functionality of "movie discovery."

    Making things more interesting is Flixster's acquisition of movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes from News Corp in 2010. Warners is claiming that all the Flixster properties will continue to operate independently and will remain "studio agnostic."

    QUESTION: Do you take Warner Bros. at their word here? Does it make more sense for them, long-term, to build Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes as strong independent brands, or use them to drive more interest to Warner Bros. properties?

    SOURCE: TechCrunch
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    Assange: Facebook is a Spy Machine

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims that popular websites, such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo, are little more than tools for the U.S. intelligence community. "Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented," Assange said in the interview, which was videotaped and published on the site. "Here we have the world's most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. intelligence."

    Facebook responded that they have never been pressured to turn over data, and they would only do so if compelled by US law.

    QUESTION: Is Assange just paranoid? Or is there a real threat to liberty implicit in having Americans suddenly leaving all sorts of personal information on these third-party sites?

    SOURCES: CNET News, Forbes Blogs
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    - 1's Socialcam Hits the Web

    Video sharing app Socialcam, from, launched right around SXSW and quickly received over 250,000 downloads. The app - called "Instagram for Video" - lets you very quickly shoot videos on your phone and then distribute them via e-mail or Twitter. Since launch, the site has already streamlined the upload process, and then this week, it added a website with profile pages collecting all of your uploaded videos. (Interesting sidenote: Currently, all videos added to Socialcam are open to the public. There isn't even a privacy option!)

    QUESTION: Does this have the breakout potential of something like Instagram, or is there just necessarily a smaller market for people who want to make and distribute videos of themselves. Can this co-exist with a community as large and entrenched as YouTube? Thoughts on a system like this that doesn't even include privacy considerations?

    SOURCE: TechCrunch
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    Google Analytics Tracks Page Load Speeds

    A new feature added to Google Analytics this week displays load times for pages under difference circumstances, including visitor location, media placement and the technology used to access the page. Google says page load speed impacts Analytics user site conversion rates, as well as AdSense offerings and standings in Google search results.

    SOURCE: Google Analytics
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