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The CEO of $2.8 billion Slack says it has one big advantage over Facebook or LinkedIn

Slack is a red-hot startup that makes a popular business messaging app. In less than 2 years, it's been able to get 2 million daily active users, and is now worth $2.8 billion.

When you grow that fast, you're going to see competition, and Slack has been no exception. From the big guys like Facebook and LinkedIn to the smaller Atlassian, Slack has seen rising competition from everywhere.

But Slack's CEO Stewart Butterfield seems unfazed by all the potential threats he's seeing. He's confident that Slack has one big advantage over any of the popular messaging apps: its laser focus on work communication.

"You know when you tap [the Slack icon], it’s all the people you work with and it’s only the people you work with," Butterfield said


This man built Google Ads and Maps — and now he’s tackling cancer (GOOG)

Jeff Huber spent over a decade  helping Google launch some of its biggest projects – from its ad platform to Google Maps.

This week, he left the company to take on a more personal challenge: developing test for cancer at the earliest possible stage.

Huber was just named CEO of a startup called Grail, which was created last month by gene-sequencing giant Illumina and a group of Silicon Valley investors including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Grail also now has the backing of Google Ventures, it said when announcing Huber's appointment on Wednesday.


Sexism is rampant among programmers on GitHub, researchers find

A new research report shows just how ridiculously tough it can be to be a woman programmer, especially in the very male dominated world of open source software.

Open source software is supposed to be the kumbaya concept of software coding – an inclusive way to develop a software project where anyone can use the software and contribute their ideas, features, and fixes to it.

But it's also a very male-dominated part of the programming world.

Some research indicates that of the people actively involved in the open source world, only around 10% of them are women. Or, to be more accurate, only about 10% of programmers involved in open source adopt user names and/or include information about themselves online that lets everyone know they are women.


Microsoft's big plan to dominate Android and win mobile is coming together (MSFT)

Microsoft has signed up more than 70 smartphone manufacturers to preinstall its services onto phones, up from 20 in May last year.

In a blog post announcing the milestone, Nick Parker, the man in charge of relationships with smartphone makers, wrote that Microsoft had been "working hard to win over the hearts and minds of our partners and customers," culminating in 74 original equipment manufacturers signing up.

The partners, which include Acer, LG, Samsung, and Sony, will ship Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on devices starting soon.

Essentially, Microsoft will have its most important products on millions of new phones.


Google's European boss got grilled by MPs on tax and couldn't even name his salary (GOOG)

Google's European boss Matt Brittin testified to MPs on Monday about the Californian giant's tax affairs.

Accompanied by Google's global head of tax Tom Hutchinson, Brittin was at times questioned aggressively by the Public Accounts Committee, following public outcry about Google's £130 million tax bill — which critics argue amounts to a 3% tax rate.

Topics ranged from Google's global structure to simplification of tax law, and even Brittin's salary.

Here are some of the key points: Brittin couldn't name his salary Brittin got savaged early on over his own paycheck, when he was asked — and failed to provide — his salary. "I don’t have the figure but I’ll happily provide it," the exec said. "Don't you feel a bit embarrassed by this," MP Meg Hiller asked, "that you don't even know what you're paid?" We got more data about the deal Of the £130 million Google paid in tax to HMRC, £1...

Vevo wants to become the next MTV — and its new Apple TV app is a step in that direction

Vevo wants to become the next MTV, and has released a new app for Apple TV that pushes, incrementally, in that direction. The company also released a new Android app as well.

Many people know Vevo as the company that provides all the official videos to YouTube (yes, that little icon at the bottom). But since 2013, when it launched its first app, Vevo has tried to be more than that.

CEO Erik Huggers gave a glimpse of Vevo's vision in a press announcement for Thursday’s app releases. “We continue to invest in what we believe is the premium platform for music videos and related original content,” he said. This platform he’s talking about sounds a lot like MTV before it went all-in on reality TV.

What's changed

The life and awesomeness of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (AMZN)

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is one of the most powerful figures in tech with a net worth of roughly $57 billion.

Today, his "Everything Store" sells over $100 billion worth of goods per year.

Unfamiliar with Bezos' story?

Jeff Bezos' mom, Jackie, was a teenager when she had him in January 1964. She had recently married Cuban immigrant Mike Bezos, who adopted Jeff. Jeff didn't learn that Mike wasn't his real father until he was 10 but says he was more fazed about learning he needed to get glasses than he was about the news.

Source

When Bezos was four, his mother told his biological father, who was a circus perform...

These are the 10 'love songs' people listen to the most on Spotify

In preparation for Valentine's day, Spotify has released a list of the most-streamed love songs on its service.

Spotify also released a new feature called Love Notes, a way to send a kind of valentine to your loved one through Spotify. The tool sends someone a romantic playlist depending on your preferences. 

The songs that appear most on "love" playlists on Spotify feature a strange mix from heartbreak ballads to heartfelt crooning — and even "No Diggity" by Blackstreet? 

Here is the list of the top 10:

   “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber    “All of Me” – John Legend    “Photograph” – Ed Sheeran    “Sorry” – Justin Bieber    “Could You Be Loved” – Bob Marley and the Wailers    “...

These are the best songs to hook up to, according to Spotify

Just in time for Valentine's day, Spotify has released a list of the best songs to make love to. These are not the best "love songs," mind you, but the best ones for the bedroom in particular. 

To find the top tracks, Spotify's data scientists looked through the "sex" playlists on its service to see which songs popped up most frequently. The list was dominated by hip-hop.

Here are the top 10:

“Don’t” – Bryson Tiller “Marvins Room” – Drake “The Morning” – The Weeknd “Or Nah” (featuring the Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and DJ Mustard) – Ty Dolla $ign “Lotus Flower Bomb” (featuring Miguel) – Wale “L$D” – A$AP Rocky “Crew Love”– Drake “Sorry” – Rick Ross “Swimming Pools” (Drank) – Kendrick Lamar “Love Yourz” – J. Cole

Here's the presentation Google gives employees on how to spot unconscious bias at work

Over the past couple years, more tech giants have recognized the dramatic lack of diversity in their workforces as a problem.

Google (largely white and male from top to bottom) is trying to establish itself as a leader in this space.

A key initiative is having its roughly 60,000 employees across the world undergo unconscious bias training. Unconscious bias refers to the stereotypes, both negative and positive, that exist in our subconscious and affect our behavior.

First implemented in 2013, the training lasts 60 to 90 minutes and is run by a coordinator who has undergone at least 12 hours of training.