Techmeme
December 4, 2013, 5:40 PM

Top News

John Markoff / New York Times:
Andy Rubin leads Google's new manufacturing-focused robotics effort that acquired seven companies in the last six months  —  Google Puts Money on Robots, Using the Man Behind Android  —  PALO ALTO, Calif. — In an out-of-the-way Google office, two life-size humanoid robots hang suspended in a corner.
Washington Post:
NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show  —  The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials …
Rana Foroohar / TIME:
TIME Exclusive: Icahn Files Apple Shareholder Proposal  —  The richest man on Wall Street is opening a new front in his quest to persuade Apple to part with more of its massive cash stockpile.  —  Veteran investor Carl Icahn is opening a new front in his quest to persuade Apple to part with more of its massive cash stockpile.
Sam Byford / The Verge:
Next USB plug will finally be reversible  —  Work has begun on a new generation of USB that will break compatibility with existing connectors in order to improve ease of use and allow for thinner devices.  The new connector, called Type-C, is an addition to the existing USB 3.1 specification …
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
iBeacons Used To Deliver Location-Based Access To iOS Newsstand Publications  —  iBeacon, Apple's hyperlocal trigger tech in iOS 7, is an innovation that holds a lot of promise, and that will probably continue to make waves in the retail industry for a long time to come.
Nitasha Tiku / Valleywag:
Leaked: Uber's Internal Revenue and Ride Request Numbers  —  Valleywag has obtained detailed internal financial information indicating that Uber, the e-hailing app that has spawned a hundreds of half-baked pitches, is making a lot more money than its investors had anticipated.
Violet Blue / ZDNet:
Two million stolen Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, ADP passwords found on Pony Botnet server  —  Summary: Trustwave's SpiderLabs found a Pony Botnet Controller server holding over two million passwords and account credentials for ADP payroll, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and more belonging to victims around the world.
Sharif Sakr / Engadget:
Hands-on with the YotaPhone: the e-ink Android phone that nobody expected  —  There was a moment, back in 2012, when we had some quiet doubts about the YotaPhone.  The first prototype was desirable, useful, and far beyond any kind of gimmick — but it also seemed like it'd be hard to manufacture …
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Beats Music Streaming Service Launches January 2014, Fires Up Username Reservations  —  The new Beats Music streaming music service will launch January 2014, according to CEO Ian Rogers.  The service also launched a ‘name claiming’ site today that lets you snag a primo username early.
Kevin Poulsen / Wired:
This Is the MIT Surveillance Video That Undid Aaron Swartz  —  The door to the network closet pops open and a slender figure enters, a bicycle helmet hanging from one arm.  He sheds his backpack and pulls out a cardboard box containing a small hard drive, then kneels out of frame.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Amazon's New Cloud Desktop Service, Amazon WorkSpaces, Arrives On iPad  —  Amazon WorkSpaces, the company's recently announced virtual desktops service and competitor with VMware, has now arrived on the iOS platform, or more specifically, on iPad.  The new app will allow those who have access …
More: CITEworld
Omer Horvitz / Techmeme News:
Techmeme finally posts stories to its Facebook page  —  You may not know this, but Techmeme's had a Facebook page since 2007.  And it has garnered many “likes”, including Mark Zuckerberg's.  (You may have heard of him!)  Unfortunately, and perversely, Techmeme never actually posted anything to this page during all those years.
Tweets: @eldon
Jessica E. Lessin / The Information:
Former Wall Street Journal reporter launches The Information, a tech news site with a $399 annual subscription  —  Letter From the Editor  —  Technology news needs a reboot.  There are more stories and outlets than ever, but a troubling cycle is playing out:
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Intuit Buys Docstoc for a Price of Up to $50 Million to Round Out Small Business Services  —  Intuit has acquired Docstoc, the electronic document service aimed at the sale and storage of a wide variety of documents for businesses.  —  While the well-known Silicon Valley-based business software company …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
More drone envy: Former Wired editor's 3D Robotics adds $6M for commercial drones  —  The rise of the drones continues this week, as 3D Robotics is announcing today that it has raised $6 million in funding from venture capital firm Mayfield.  The money will help commercialize drones …
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
European Commission clears Microsoft's Nokia purchase  —  The European Commission has given Microsoft's planned acquisition of Nokia's mobile device business the green light.  EUapprovesmsnokia In a press release dated December 4, the Commission said it had investigated potential compeition concerns and found none.
Jordan Crook / TechCrunch:
Publishing Platform Medium Keeps Iterating With New Photo, Layout Tools And Collection Controls  —  Medium, the blog publishing platform from Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, has today released new features and a few design changes.  —  Medium has sprouted from a seedling to a full-fledged media tool …
More: PandoDaily and MediumTweets: @evanatmediumThanks:@mjburnsySee also Mediagazer
James Temple / San Francisco Chronicle:
Tech's space appetite eclipses highs of dot-com boom  —  Technology companies have leased 40 percent more San Francisco office space since the start of 2010 than during the five-year dot-com boom.  —  That's just one eye-catching statistic in a comprehensive new report analyzing …
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Misfit Wearables Raises $15.2M on Back of Shine, Even as Founder Dismisses Activity Trackers  —  Misfit Wearables, maker of the Shine wearable activity tracker, has raised $15.2 million in Series B funding.  —  The round was led by Li Ka-Shing's Horizon Ventures and included previous backers Founders Fund …
Vlad Savov / The Verge:
Inside Vertu, makers of the world's most expensive phones  —  The company that grew out of Nokia's answer to ‘what if you could build a phone without worrying about the money?’  —  Vertu started life in the late 1990s as an indulgence for Nokia's designers.

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Daniel Cooper / Engadget: