Techmeme
January 17, 2013, 8:10 AM

Top News

Ellis Hamburger / The Verge:
Facebook launches free calling for all iPhone users in the US  —  In early January, Facebook began testing free calling over Wi-Fi and cellular data for all Messenger for iPhone users in Canada, and said that a US launch could be coming soon.  Apparently, the test went well — a new free calling button has appeared in the app.
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Exclusive: SurveyMonkey Raises $850 Million in Debt and Equity for Tender Offer — Including New Investment From Google's New Late-Stage Unit  —  SurveyMonkey has raised a massive $800 million in debt and additional equity funding, which it plans to distribute in a tender offer, said sources with knowledge of the situation.
More: bizjournalsTweets: @pkedrosky
Wall Street Journal:
AT&T Stalking Europe for Mergers  —  AT&T Inc. is once again starting up its deal machine.  —  The telecommunications giant is considering buying a counterpart in Europe, a bet that it can best escape constraints on growth at home by getting into a new wireless market where it can upgrade technology …
Galen Moore / Boston Business Journal:
U.S. Attorney breaks silence, defends prosecution of Aaron Swartz … U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, under fire for the prosecution of Internet entrepreneur and activist Aaron Swartz, on Wednesday issued her first statement responding to the controversy that has followed Swartz's suicide.
Royal Pingdom:
Internet 2012 in numbers  —  There is so much happening on the Internet during a year that it's impossible to capture it all in a blog post, but we're going to give it a shot anyway.  How many emails were sent during 2012?  How many domains are there?  What's the most popular web browser?
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Microsoft Office 2013: What to expect on the pricing front  —  Summary: Microsoft's Office 2013/new Office should be launching soon.  Here's what we know so far about prices and packages.  —  As expected, Microsoft is pricing its next-generation Office 2013 line-up in a way to try …
Cade Metz / Wired:
Facebook Shatters the Computer Server Into Tiny Pieces  —  MENLO PARK, California — Since you last saw Frank Frankovsky, his beard has grown to epic lengths.  And it suits him.  —  As the man at the center of Facebook's Open Compute Project, Frankovsky spent the last two years rethinking …
Alex Williams / TechCrunch:
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
YouTube Is Ready to Invest in Vevo, but the Deal Isn't Done  —  YouTube is set to make another big investment in a content partner.  This time around it's Vevo, the music video site.  —  YouTube and its owner Google have agreed to buy a minority stake in Vevo, according to people familiar with the deal, which hasn't been finalized.
Sarah Mitroff / Wired:
Does Facebook Praise Kill Self-Control?  —  One hateful Facebook comment might reduce you to tears, but a recent study found that the “likes” prompted by your status updates and photo posts might also have a negative impact, especially on your waistline and pocketbook.
Colleen Taylor / TechCrunch:
StumbleUpon Lays Off 30% Of Staff As It Restructures Company Into A Profitable State  —  StumbleUpon today laid off 30 percent of its staff, the company has confirmed to TechCrunch.  The move, which brings StumbleUpon's employee count from 110 to 75, is part of a larger restructuring plan …
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Microsoft Launches HelpBridge For iOS, Windows Phone And Android, Lets You Alert Friends And Family When Disasters Strike  —  When a disaster happens, chances are you want to get in touch with your loved ones as soon as possible, either to tell them that you're fine or to make sure they are.
Lee Mathews / Geek.com:
Demo shows how easily malicious extensions can infect Firefox  —  Firefox is widely regarded as a very secure web browser, and that's a reputation that Mozilla has worked tirelessly to build over the past eight years — blacklisting extensions, shutting down insecure plug-ins, revoking certificates …
Jeff John Roberts / GigaOM:
UK fines Playboy for underage website visitors; age verification less pressing in US  —  British regulators fined Playboy nearly $160,000 after finding the publisher didn't do enough to prevent minors from visiting its website.  In a statement issued on Wednesday, the agency Ofcom said Playboy's …
More: Ofcom
BBC:
Blockbuster enters administration  —  Blockbusters has closed some branches in the past few years  —  DVD rental firm Blockbuster has become the latest UK High Street firm to go into administration after struggling against internet competitors.  —  The chain has 528 stores and employs 4,190 staff.
Reuters:
Insight: How cleantech tarnished Kleiner and VC star John Doerr  —  (Reuters) - In the spring of last year, John Doerr received some bad news: Miasole, the solar-panel maker backed by his famed venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Michael Geist Blog:
Ontario Court Rejects U.S. Government Demand for Full Access to Megaupload Servers Seized in Canada  —  Many readers will recall that nearly one year ago, the U.S. government launched a global takedown of Megaupload.com, with arrests of the leading executives in New Zealand and the execution of search warrants in nine countries.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Microsoft and TracFone working together to bring mobile health solution to market  —  Windows Phone and TracFone services will connect data, devices and people to drive better patient engagement and health outcomes in a HIPAA-enabled environment.
Intel:
Disrupting the Data Center to Create the Digital Services Economy  —  I had the pleasure of joining Tom Krazit on stage at the Gigaom Structure'14 conference to share Intel's vision of the data center in support of the growth of the digital services economy.
VMware:
Top Five Reasons Why Your Organization Should Consider Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery  —  Few organizations can afford the downtime caused by a disaster.  Those capable of weathering such events usually have the datacenters …
Zoho:
Finding (e)Harmony between Candidates and Companies  —  For 14 years, eHarmony founder and CEO Neil Clark Warren has stood against a white backdrop on our television screens to discuss compatibility.
Syncano:
iOS Developers: How to Get Instant Notifications on your App  —  Within minutes, you can create dynamic iOS apps on Syncano that instantly reflect changes in data by “subscribing” to changes on Syncano's Sync Server.
 

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