Techmeme
December 4, 2013, 5:20 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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: Medium and PandoDailyTweets: @evanatmediumThanks:@mjburnsy
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 …
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 …
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.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Teachers use Bing home page lesson plans to encourage critical thinking skills  —  Find out how free lesson plans based on images like this Siberian tiger from Bing's home page encourage students to explore subjects in creative and thought-provoking ways.
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:
Zoho on Zoho: How we use Zoho apps to run the show at Zoholics  —  Our goal for each Zoholics user event is to make it perfect for attendees - our customers who travel from all over the world to learn and make the most of Zoho apps for their business.
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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Daniel Cooper / Engadget: