January 9, 2013, 9:30 AM

Top News

Jessica E. Lessin / Wall Street Journal:
Apple Working On a Less-Expensive iPhone  —  Apple Inc. is working on a lower-end iPhone, according to people briefed on the matter, a big shift in strategy as its supremacy in smartphones has slipped.  —  While Apple has explored such a device for years, the plan has been progressing …
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Microsoft confirms Messenger will be retired and users migrated to Skype on March 15  —  Microsoft on Tuesday mass emailed its 100 million+ Messenger users to let them know that the service is officially being retired on March 15, 2013.  On that date, all users will be migrated to Skype …
T.C. Sottek / The Verge:
Exclusive interview: Valve's Gabe Newell on Steam Box, biometrics, and the future of gaming  —  A rare and candid talk with Valve's boss  —  We just sat down for a rare and wide-ranging interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, who opened up to The Verge with details about the company's upcoming …
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Google Withdraws Patent Claims Against Microsoft  —  Google today filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission to terminate its attempt to stop Microsoft from using video compression technology on the Xbox.  —  Microsoft wants to license two standards-essential patents for H.264 …
David Kravets / Wired:
Student Suspended for Refusing to Wear RFID Tracker Loses Lawsuit  —  A Texas high school student who claimed her student identification was the “Mark of the Beast” because it was implanted with a radio-frequency identification chip has lost her federal court bid Tuesday challenging her suspension …
Vlad Savov / The Verge:
It's official: 3D is dead  —  The tech industry's annual hot air balloon show is dead, and the world's better for it  —  There's something about 2013's Consumer Electronics Show that's different from every other iteration this decade.  You might not realize it immediately …
Twitter Engineering:
Improving Twitter search with real-time human computation  —  One of the magical things about Twitter is that it opens a window to the world in real-time.  An event happens, and seconds later, people share it across the planet.  —  Consider, for example, what happened when Flight 1549 crashed in the Hudson River:
New York Times:
Onlike Banking Attacks Were Work of Iran, U.S. Officials Say  —  SAN FRANCISCO — The attackers hit one American bank after the next.  As in so many previous attacks, dozens of online banking sites slowed, hiccupped or ground to a halt before recovering several minutes later.
Stephen Shankland / CNET:
Broadcom chip ushers in H.265 and UltraHD video  —  The H.265 video standard, aka HEVC or MPEG-5, squeezes more pixels over a network connection to support new high-resolution 4K TVs.  Broadcom's chip supports both and is due to arrive in volume next year.  —  As product names go, BCM7445 is as boring as it gets.
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
Europe's Telco Giants In Talks To Create Pan-European Network, Reports FT  —  Europe's largest mobile network operators are considering pooling their resources to create pan-European network infrastructure, the FT is reporting.  Quoting several people familiar with the situation …
Ryan Gallagher / Slate:
U.S. Spy Law Authorizes Mass Surveillance of European Citizens: Report  —  Participants work at their laptops at the annual Chaos Computer Club computer hackers' congress in Hamburg, Germany.  They probably would not be pleased with FISA.  —  Europeans, take note: The U.S. government …
Jersey retailer closes direct retail business  — is pulling out of Jersey and moving the remaining 200 staff to Cambridge  —  Online retailer is to shut down its retail business to become a marketplace-only, from March.  —  The Jersey-based firm blamed the move …

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Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet: