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Refinery29 Joins the Big Media Startup Club, with a $50 Million Funding Round

It’s no longer surprising when investors write big checks to a media startup. But here’s a fun game — see if you can find the outlier in this group:

Vox Media raises $46.5 million.
• BuzzFeed raises $50 million.
• Refinery29 raises $50 million.

Ok, ok – we didn’t make it that hard. Refinery29‘s raise is …

Startups

Google Plays Nice With European Publishers, Dumps $163 Million Into Innovation Fund

After being thwacked so many times in Europe, Google is taking a new tack: Extend an olive branch to the fourth estate.

In London on Tuesday, the Internet giant will launch the Digital News Initiative, a program to support and fund online journalism, in collaboration with eight European …

Google

Twitter’s Latest Attempt at Content Misses the Mark

Twitter says it’s not a media company, but it’s creating media anyway — and it’s not going so great.

Twitter retired its Discover tab a few weeks back, replacing it with a more detailed trends section where trending topics now include a short, computer-generated description.

And over the weekend, one …

Social Media

Apple Finally Breaks Its Silence on Apple Watch Sales. Just Kidding.

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke effusively Monday about how consumers have embraced the Apple Watch on social media; he waxed rhapsodic over how developers had delivered some 3,500 apps for Apple’s first new gadget category in five years.

“We can’t wait to see more of the inspiring apps that developers …

Tim Cook

Apple Pay Coming to Best Buy Stores as Retailer Breaks Ranks From Walmart-Led Rival

Best Buy is the first big-name U.S. retailer to break ranks with a Walmart-led Apple Pay competitor, announcing today that it will accept Apple’s digital payment system in its U.S. stores later this year. Best Buy has also started accepting Apple Pay as a payment method in its apps, Apple CEO Tim …

Best Buy

iPhone Meets Its Sibling (Comic)

iPhone

In Wake of Earthquake, Wireless Carriers Offer Free Calls to Nepal

Since the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, people across the globe have been trying to reach friends and family in the region.

To make it easier, U.S. wireless phone companies are officially waiving the fees for all calls and texts to Nepal.

Google Exec Dan Fredinburg Killed in …

Phones

Apple Reports Strong Second Quarter, Buoyed by iPhone 6 Sales

Stronger than expected sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus helped Apple beat Wall Street’s projections in its March quarter.

The technology giant posted earnings of $13.6 billion or $2.33 per share in its second quarter, up nearly 33 percent from the same time last year. Revenues rose to $58 billion, …

iPhone

Twitter Is Testing a New Look for Search

Twitter has made a lot of changes lately to help users find more tweets.

It partnered with Google to show tweets in search results. It retired the “discover” tab, replacing it with more detailed trend summaries to provide context and entice you to click.

Now, Twitter is testing a new search design as …

Google

Will Twitter Deliver on its Growth Promise to Wall Street?

Twitter added just four million new users last quarter, which isn’t a lot for a company that CEO Dick Costolo says is aiming to create the “largest daily audience in the world.”

But last quarter was an anomaly. At least that’s what Twitter told Wall Street. The company lost users to “seasonality” …

Wall Street

Facebook Adds Video Calls to Messenger

Apparently Facebook’s interest in video extends beyond your News Feed.

The social network added video chat functionality to Messenger on Monday, which means you can now text, call and video chat through the standalone messaging app. The new feature looks and works a lot like Apple’s FaceTime, and …

Facebook

ESPN Is Suing Verizon Because It’s Trying to Sell Small Bundles of TV Channels

ESPN has said for over a week now that Verizon’s attempt to sell skinny bundles of TV channels violates agreements it has with the distributor, which prevents it from breaking up the bigger bundle of TV channels that EPSN sells.

It’s not just a statement anymore. ESPN filed a lawsuit in New York …

Verizon

Video Games on ESPN? It’s Time to Stop Pretending eSports Are ‘Real’ Sports.

Yesterday, ESPN 2 aired a live broadcast of a video game. A bunch of people on the Internet did not like what they saw.

If you wanna be confused as fuck you should turn on ESPN 2 #sports?— Logan Ankney (@L_Ankney5) April 27, 2015

That alone is not news. A similar thing happened last year when the …

Jamming

How Long to Cook the Prime Rib? There’s an Apple Watch App for That (And a Thousand More).

You’ve made your own unboxing video, you’ve Instagramed a photo of your Apple Watch-adorned wrist and you’ve perfected the art of conspicuously glancing at your watch in a way that alerts everyone in the vicinity to the fact that you own an Apple Watch.

Now what?

There are 1,000 or so new Apple Watch …

Apple Watch

Victorious Wants to Help YouTube Stars Make New Homes Outside of YouTube, on Your Phones

In a couple of days YouTube will host a big sales presentation at Madison Square Garden, where it will tell advertisers that it is the best place to find today’s video stars.

But here’s another company that wants those same stars on its own property: Victorious, a buzzy startup creating mobile …

YouTube

Pinterest Woos Big Brands with Its New API

Pinterest is welcoming the developer community with a new Application Programming Interface (API) program, but it’s keeping a tight lock on who has access. APIs allow coders and companies to draw information from and interact with another application.

In the case of Pinterest, the API will allow …

Tinker Bell

Behind the Scenes at “Silicon Valley”: Walt and Kara Play Walt and Kara

Welcome to the third installment of our “Silicon Valley” Re/cap, where we connect HBO’s satire to the real world. Or, at least, Silicon Valley.

I did promise you, last week, that episode three would be something special. Wasn’t I right? It was the night of the double-cameo by our fearless leaders, …

Kara Swisher

Analysts Expect Continued Strong iPhone Sales Will Drive Apple’s March Quarter Results

As Apple prepares to report its March quarter results after the market closes Monday, analysts are expecting a strong quarter thanks to sustained sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Analysts estimate that Apple will report second quarter earnings of $2.16 a share, compared with a split-adjusted $1.66 …

iPhone

Intel’s Diane Bryant Talks Data Centers and Diversity (Full Video)

Diane Bryant has worked at Intel since graduating from college in 1985. In those years, she’s done a lot and seen a lot.

As the semiconductor giant’s senior vice president and head of its data center business unit, she oversees more than $14 billion in annual revenue, mostly from selling chips for …

Diversity

Breaking Up Qualcomm Will Solve Nothing

This week, Qualcomm is preparing to launch the biggest advertising campaign in its 30-year history with the tagline: “Why wait?”

One opportunistic hedge fund has already asked Qualcomm the same. Jana Partners earlier this month urged the chipmaker behind many of the world’s smartphones, including, …

Qualcomm

Apple Earnings: All About the iPhone, Baby

Read Now

Apple's first-quarter earnings report comes out today and analysts anticipate monster numbers. Wall Street thinks iPhone sales increased by more than 30 percent in the last year.
[Daisuke Wakabayashi | The Wall Street Journal]

The Defense Department is continuing its charm offensive in …

iPhone

Can Quality Food Be Made at Tech Scale?

Some of the best shrimp I ever ate in my life came out of my own kitchen. It was tender and garlicky and juicy. It was set off by the contrasting but also complementary flavors and textures of brussels sprouts, heirloom cannellini beans and red frill mustard greens. And it went from stovetop to …

Cooking

Bigcommerce Set to Make First Acquisition as Rival Shopify Preps for IPO

Bigcommerce, a heavily-funded software maker that helps small businesses set up online stores, is close to announcing its first acquisition, according to two people familiar with the deal.

The Austin-based company is buying Zing, a startup that makes checkout software and inventory management tools …

IPOs

People Want the Apple Watch to Have Tacos. Because Tacos.

The next time someone tells you the Internet is nothing but a series of tubes filled with kittens and teenage bullies, remind them that they are forgetting something: Tacos. Because the online world that brought us Nyan Cat and It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time is now kind of weirdly obsessed with …

Tacos

Re/code on TV: Mossberg, Swisher Talk Apple Watch and a Microsoft Revival

It was a huge week in tech with Amazon, Google and Microsoft reporting earnings, all on top of the highly-anticipated release of the Apple Watch.

So Re/code‘s big guns, Co-Executive Editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, took to CNBC on Friday to weigh in on all the news from Amazon’s big AWS reveal …

Microsoft

Here’s What People Are Saying About Their New Apple Watches

Apple Watches finally started landing in mailboxes on Friday and pictures, videos, personal essays and more almost immediately began surfacing on social media.

Right out of the gate, one user noticed a familiar shape in the Apple Watch container:

Interesting shapes in the #AppleWatch box: …

Watches

Tech Execs Fly Under the Radar at Washington’s Nerd Prom

There were plenty of Silicon Valley CEOs at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner this year, even if much of Washington didn’t seem to notice.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk was there, although many clueless Washingtonians didn’t seem to realize it. He was hardly alone. A small army of tech …

White House Correspondents' Dinner

How Guided Search Is Changing Pinterest’s Business

Last week, Pinterest* celebrated the one-year anniversary of Guided Search, a feature that helped move the site beyond its “social scrapbooking” roots.

The company says that the search tool increased user queries by 30 percent. It’s become particularly popular among men, who use it to surface …

Scrapbooking

With Assist from Social Media, Bruce Jenner Interview Serves As “Ellen” Moment for Transgender Movement

It’s been a big year for transgender awareness.

Laverne Cox, star of “Orange is the New Black,” graced the cover of Time Magazine. And President Obama used the word transgender in this year’s State of the Union address, becoming the first president to do so.

But it seems likely that Bruce Jenner’s …

Bruce Jenner

With New Launches, Amazon Plans for Day When Product Sales No Longer Lead to Growth

As Amazon sees growth slip in the number of items it moves each quarter, the Seattle retail giant is increasingly looking to sell something new: services rather than products.

In the last few months, Amazon launched two initiatives that suggest the company is laying the groundwork for the day when …

Amazon