TWiST #171 News Stories Software
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TWiST #171 News Stories

News stories we're covering for This Week in Startups Episode #171, airing on Friday, July 29, 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! And don't forget to click through to Page 2 for more of the stories we're covering!

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    Brands will now be able to pay to have Twitter feature their tweets in the streams of their followers

    Twitter has long promised that a solution like this for brands would debut

    When a brand you follow tweets, they will automatically be placed at the top of a users stream, regardless of when they fall in the chronological timeline

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    San Francisco renter EJ used the service to rent out her apartment for one week

    When she returned she found her locked closet smashed open and her passport, jewelry, cash and electronics missing

    EJ says Airbnb has been helpful and the company says that they are working with the authorities and using their security infrastructure to assist the police in their investigation

    LAUNCH got confirmation from Airbnb that an insurance offering is in the works (read more:

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    Just weeks after entering the US market, European music service startup Spotify was sued by streaming music service PacketVideo

    The patent in question is for a "device for the distribution of music information in digital form"

    PacketVideo bought the patent a several years ago and the idea contained within it is not new

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    As Verizon has already done, AT&T will limit data rates in an effort to curb the problem of data congestion that has hurt their 3G network performance since the iPhone’s debut

    The heaviest users will see significant speed decreases once they go over a threshold of data, estimated to be somewhere between 2 and 4GB

    Since the iPhone 1’s debut in the summer of 2007, AT&T has seen an 8000% increase in mobile data traffic

    AT&T’s new data throttling is rumored to begin in the first week on October, as is Virgin Mobile’s--coincidence, or sign that the iPhone may be coming to yet another carrier?

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    According to disclosure documents just filed, Google and Facebook both spent record amounts on lobbyists this quarter

    Earlier this year Facebook had to offer an explanation of its privacy efforts to the FTC and Google confirmed it was the target of an FTC antitrust investigation

    Spending $2M in Q2 is the first time that Google has out-spent Microsoft on lobbyists

    Facebook spent $320k in the second quarter (last year their most costly lobbyist spend in a quarter was $130k)

    Google targeted online advertising, privacy issues, openness and competition in online services, and cloud computing, while Facebook targeted international regulation of software companies, restrictions on Internet access by foreign governments and federal privacy legislation

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    The partnership between the two brands launched on July 11 and sold 15,000 deals within the first three days

    The first 25 deals to launch have almost all sold out

    Deals that have performed best are for major US tourist destinations like Las Vegas

    Expedia also revealed that its mobile apps (including stand-alone hotel booking apps) are downloaded an average of 36 times per minute, an increase of 20% over their Q1

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