Techmeme
December 5, 2013, 3:15 PM

Top News

David Pierce / The Verge:
Fixing the Nexus 5: with a new version of Android, Google tackles the camera  —  Android 4.4.1 is coming to help you take better pictures  —  Only a few years ago, Dave Burke remembers, cellphone users were just happy to have a camera at all.  But expectations have changed.
Brad Smith / The Official Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft to expand encryption, increase software transparency to protect customer data  —  Protecting customer data from government snooping  —  The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.
Bloomberg:
Ford's Mulally Not Leaving Company, Board Director Says  —  Ford Motor Co. (F) Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, considered one of the leading candidates to take the top job at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), is not leaving the automaker until the end of next year, said Edsel Ford II, a company director.
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Google now lets you download a copy of your Gmail and Google Calendar data  —  Google today rolled out a long-requested feature: being able to download a copy of your Gmail and Google Calendar data.  The new feature means you can now back up your emails and calendars, or just export …
Reed Albergotti / Digits:
Big Data, Big Bucks: Palantir Valued at $9 Billion  —  Palantir Technologies, the “big data” miner that the counts the CIA and the FBI among its clients, is poised to announce a new round of funding that will value the company at roughly $9 billion, according a person familiar with the matter.
More: Forbes
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Twitter Names Marjorie Scardino, Ex-CEO Of Pearson, As The First Female Member Of Its Board  —  Twitter has announced the appointment of its first female board member, Marjorie Scardino, the former CEO of media company Pearson.  The appointment is effective immediately.
Shara Tibken / CNET:
Instagram invites press to ‘share a moment’ at NYC event  —  CNET today received a mysterious invite — sent via FedEx, not e-mail — from Instagram for an event it's hosting next week.  —  The package, wrapped with brown paper and a white ribbon, contained a wooden block …
Aly Song / Reuters:
China Mobile still talking to Apple on iPhones  —  (Reuters) - China Mobile Ltd, the country's largest mobile operator, said it is still negotiating with Apple Inc to offer iPhones on its network, commenting on a media report saying that a long-awaited agreement had been reached.
Wall Street Journal:
Bloomberg:
China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions  —  China's central bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions, moving to regulate the virtual currency after an 89-fold jump in its value sparked a surge of investor interest in the country.
Jason Del Rey / AllThingsD:
Online Retail Giant's Grocery Delivery Service AmazonFresh May Launch in San Francisco Next Week  —  Another online grocery delivery service seems set to launch in San Francisco, and it's a big one: AmazonFresh.  —  All signs are pointing to Amazon publicly launching the same- and next …
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
AT&T launches ‘Mobile Share Value Plans’ with notable monthly savings for BYOD customers, 18-month Next option  —  AT&T has launched a new initiative called Mobile Share Value Plans that is designed to save customers money on their monthly AT&T mobile phone service bills.
Nick Summers / The Next Web:
Twitter opens up ‘tailored audiences’ so brands can target their Promoted Tweets using browser cookies  —  After “experimenting” with the feature in July, Twitter is launching a new advertising tool for brands and advertising partners called tailored audiences, which means firms can guarantee …
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
Credit card fraud comes of age with advances in point-of-sale botnets  —  Inside the command and control channel of a point-of-sale botnet powered by StarDust.  —  IntelCrawler  —  Underscoring the growing sophistication of Internet crime, researchers have documented one of the first known botnets …
Joe Mullin / Ars Technica:
Google's copyright win against Oracle is in danger on appeal  —  A federal judge ruled that API packages are like bookshelves in a library.  Will that view hold?  —  The most dramatic outcome of the Oracle v. Google trial in spring 2012 wasn't anything the jury said; it was US District …
Dara Kerr / CNET:
Apple desktops overtake Dell on shoppers' holiday wish lists  —  Apple has long been the most-desired brand for tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, and streaming media devices on US shoppers' holiday lists.  And, for the first time, the company also got ranked as the top brand for desktops this year …
Om Malik / Gigaom:
Mobile-first word-processing app, Quip launches on Android  —  Quip, the mobile-first collaboration-oriented word-processing app that launched on iOS devices about four months ago is finally launching for Android on Thursday. … The company, co-founded by former Facebook chief technology officer Bret Taylor …
Caitlin Dewey / WorldViews:
Of the 7,776 languages in use in the offline world, fewer than five percent exist online  —  How the Internet is killing the world's languages  —  Less than five percent of current world languages are in use online, according to a recent study by prominent linguist András Kornai …
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Homejoy Raises $38M to Bring $20/Hour Home Cleaning to the Masses  —  Today's technology industry is obsessed with applying convenience and efficiency to life's daily drags and annoyances.  So what else can be booked on a website to arrive at your door a day later?

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:
Intel Unveils 8-Core Processor Gaming Monster at PAX  —  Intel just announced its first 8 core, 16 thread gaming monster — otherwise known as the Intel® Core™ i7-5960X processor Extreme Edition desktop processor …
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:
Sit back and Relax.  Zoho Books brings you Auto Charge.  —  There are features in a product that address small pain points for customers and then there are ones that make life a breeze.
Syncano:
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Anna Yukhananov / Reuters: