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It’s still summer, which means you have every excuse not to keep up with all the week’s tech news. But, if you want a roundup of the best headlines from the past few days, no worries. Re/code has you covered:
- This week, Twitter disclosed that it paid $134 million for the social data company Gnip and tweaked its metrics to hype its advertising pool and downplay the number of bot accounts, as well as began testing video ads.
- Microsoft really wants to sell super-cheap phones. Its latest Nokia handset costs just $25. The company also veered into awkward college freshman territory with an internal pitch for the upcoming Windows 9 system that reads like bad slam poetry.
- Facebook understandably wants Instagram to make money, which is why it appointed a new ad chief for the photo and video sharing site this week: Facebook Regional Director James Quarles. In other Facebook exec news, longtime employee and VP of Product Management Sam Lessin announced he’ll be leaving the company.
- The Internet of Things trend is going full steam ahead, as evidenced by Samsung’s $200 million acquisition of the smart-home controller company SmartThings.
- Apple finally got around to releasing its diversity numbers. It’s about 70 percent male and 55 percent white.
- The smartphone market is getting crowded, making it harder for companies to pull ahead. Smartphone maker HTC is adjusting by doubling down on its software business.
- You may have heard that Andreessen Horowitz invested $50 million in the viral media site BuzzFeed, placing the company’s value at around $850 million. But how did BuzzFeed get to that number?
- A Kickstarter campaign for a water balloon company raised nearly $1 million. Money isn’t real. Life isn’t real. Nothing is real.
- Between “Lucy” and “Sharknado 2,” there was a whole lot of bad science coming out of Hollywood this summer. But audiences didn’t seem to care.
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