Techmeme
December 12, 2013, 2:00 PM

Top News

Instagram Blog:
Introducing Instagram Direct  —  Today, we're excited to bring you Instagram Direct, a new way to send photo and video messages to friends.  Over the past three years, the Instagram community has grown to over 150 million people capturing and sharing moments all around the globe.
Ellis Hamburger / The Verge:
Instagram announces Instagram Direct for private photo, video, and text messaging  —  At an event in New York City today, Instagram announced a new messaging feature that lets users send text and photo messages to each other privately.  “Communication is not about photography, necessarily,” said CEO Kevin Systrom.
Jason Del Rey / AllThingsD:
Bitcoin's Biggest Bet: Andreessen Horowitz Leads $25 Million Investment in Coinbase  —  Coinbase co-founders Brian Armstrong (l) and Fred Ehrsam, sporting we-got-money grins.  —  If you're a bitcoin doubter, you might want to turn away.  The doors to venture funding in bitcoin startups are about to swing wide open.
Chris Dixon:
Coinbase  —  One of the interesting things about Bitcoin is the contrast between how it is portrayed in the press and how it is understood by technologists.  The press tends to portray Bitcoin as either a speculative bubble or a scheme for supporting criminal activity.
Josh Lowensohn / The Verge:
Fleksy wants to become your new iOS keyboard, everywhere  —  Can a software keyboard startup succeed where others failed?  —  In 2007, early iPhone users had a problem.  They wanted to take a snippet of text from one place to another, and their phones wouldn't let them do it.
Miyoung Kim / Reuters:
Apple scores legal victory over Samsung in South Korea  —  (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday lost its bid to ban sales of Apple Inc's older iPhone and iPad in South Korea, as a court dismissed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. firm had infringed three of Samsung's mobile patents.
Richard Devine / iMore:
Google Maps for iOS will now show you your flight, hotel and restaurant reservations  —  Google has bumped Google Maps for iOS up to version 2.5.0 and with it brought some neat new additions for folks in selected locations.  Maps will now pull information from your Gmail account and show you your flight …
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
IFTTT Launches iOS Location Channel With Integrations For Foursquare, Twitter, Instagram And Facebook  —  Today, IFTTT announces the addition of an iOS Location channel to its ‘Internet glue’ service.  The channel will allow users to specify an ‘area’ that will allow them to trigger actions …
Lora Kolodny / Venture Capital Dispatch:
On Road to IPO, Shopify Raises $100M to ‘Bridge Clicks and Bricks’ … Canadian startup Shopify Inc. has raised $100 million to challenge juggernauts like Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. in the arena of merchant software and services.  —  Shopify's systems help merchants sell as easily online as they do offline, or vice versa.
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Twitter's MoPub Fires Up An In-Stream Native Ad Product, Launches On Tango  —  Twitter's recent acquisition of MoPub has fired up a native advertising business that will launch with in-stream ads on the Tango messaging platform and with other partners.  The product is obviously taking some cues …
More: MoPub, Digits and CNETTweets: @kevinrooseSee also Mediagazer
Alina Selyukh / Reuters:
Wireless carriers, FCC agree on ‘unlocking’ cellphones  —  (Reuters) - U.S. wireless carriers will make it easier for consumers to “unlock” their mobile phones for use on a competitor's network, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Thursday.
Tamar Lewin / New York Times:
Study of a million users of MOOCs says they are a failure, only four percent completed courses  —  After Setbacks, Online Courses Are Rethought  —  Two years after a Stanford professor drew 160,000 students from around the globe to a free online course on artificial intelligence …
More: Hit & Run and ForbesTweets: @cheeky_geeky
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
What might a new Windows Start Menu look like?  —  If Microsoft does end up reintroducing a Start Menu to a future release of Windows, as sources are hinting, does it necessarily mean that menu will be identical to what exists now?  And if it's not, does that defeat the purpose? win7startmenu Your best friend or worst nightmare?
More: The Verge and Softpedia NewsTweets: @maryjofoley
Jennifer Van Grove / CNET:
Kik rides teen interest to 100M users  —  The company behind the mobile messaging app Kik announced Thursday that it now has more than 100 million registered users, which is more than triple the number it had just one year ago.  The app is signing on as many as 250,000 new people each day, CEO Ted Livingston told CNET.
More: TechCrunch, Gigaom and MobileSyrup.comTweets: @cnet
Jordan Crook / TechCrunch:
AmazonFresh Launches In San Francisco  —  As we previously reported, Amazon has launched its grocery-delivery service in San Francisco today.  —  The service was previously available in Seattle and Los Angeles, but has now extended to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
FansChoice.tv and Ooyala choose Microsoft to help them deliver content to anyone, on any device  —  On Monday at the 2014 NAB Show exhibition, Microsoft is showing the latest technology innovations for the broadcast media industry.
Atlassian:
5 Steps to launching a thriving Q&A Community  —  Imagine having a self-governing community of engaged employees answering each others' questions, solving problems, and sharing new ideas!
Zoho Blogs:
Zoho CRM - Discontinuing Integration with LinkedIn  —  Back in 2011, to help our customers focus more on selling and less CRMing, we started offering integration with LinkedIn along with various other important features.
Silicon Valley Bank:
Strengthening the U.S. Innovation Economy by Ending Abusive Patent Litigation  —  In Silicon Valley Bank's Innovation Economy Outlook 2014 survey, we asked executives what they see in today's patent system …
 

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Kara Swisher / AllThingsD: