Techmeme
January 17, 2013, 10:00 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.
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 …
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: Fortune, ValueWalk and bizjournalsTweets: @pkedrosky
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 …
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.
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 …
Patrick Temple-West / Reuters:
Amazon fighting $234 million tax deficiency in Tax Court : filing  —  (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc. is challenging a $234 million U.S. tax bill, contesting Internal Revenue Service tax calculations for cash transfers between the parent company and its European subsidiaries, according to a court filing.
More: ZDNet and The Register
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 …
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 …
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.
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
Eva Dou / Wall Street Journal:
Asustek in Talks to Offer Windows 8 Phones  —  TAIPEI—Taiwanese PC maker Asustek Computer Inc. is in talks with Microsoft Corp. on a licensing deal to offer Windows 8 mobile phones, an executive said, making it the latest Asian computer maker eyeing the new operating system.

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Zoho:
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Igloo:
All the coding ladies  —  Much has been said about women in technology this week as a result of Barbie once again, letting down the female population (or more appropriately, humankind as a whole) …
 

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Jordan Golson / MacRumors: