Techmeme
December 12, 2013, 11:00 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.
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
Gmail blows up e-mail marketing by caching all images on Google servers  —  Ever wonder why most e-mail clients hide images by default?  The reason for the “display images” button is because images in an e-mail must be loaded from a third-party server.  For promotional e-mails and spam …
Michael Sippey / Twitter Blog:
Reverting the changes to block functionality  —  Earlier today, we made a change to the way the “block” function of Twitter works.  We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users - we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Oculus VR raises $75M from web browser inventor Marc Andreessen's VC firm to launch virtual reality goggles  —  Virtual reality goggle maker has raised a massive round of $75 million from Netscape founder Marc Andreessen's Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm to create a consumer version of its product.
More: Engadget and The Verge
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.
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.
Leo Kelion / BBC:
Bots now ‘account for 61% of web traffic’  —  The study suggests humans only account for 38.5% of internet traffic  —  If you are visiting this page the chances are that you are not a human, at least according to research.  —  A study by Incapsula suggests 61.5% of all website traffic is now generated by bots.
More: VentureBeat, TechCrunch, CNET and Nextgov
Tweets: @gollmann and @wadhwa
Gerry Smith / The Huffington Post:
How Stolen Smartphones End Up In The Hands Of Colombian Cartels  —  This article is part of a Huffington Post series exploring the global underground trade in stolen smartphones.  Previous stories in the series can be found here.  —  BOGOTA, Colombia — In the capital of a country notorious …
More: GuardianTweets: @georgegascon and @kimbhasinThanks:@dino_grandoni
Aaron Taube / Business Insider:
Google Will Now Only Charge For Ads That People Can Actually See  —  Google took a major step toward pleasing its advertisers Thursday by announcing it will now sell display ads based on viewability, a metric that will allow marketers to pay only for ad slots users are likely to see.
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.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
5 mind-bending facts about quantum computing  —  In GIF form, five of the most mind-bending things scientists have learned about life on an atomic and sub-atomic level.
Freshdesk:
How to not sound like a robot in your email notifications?  —  Your notifications don't have to be just notifications.  They can be another opportunity to charm your customers and to keep them hooked.  Learn how.
VMware:
The Best Thing for Your Data Center since vSphere  —  It's come to our attention that some folks are less than certain about the differences between vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management.  Let's clear things up:
Zoho:
The customer service lessons we must all learn from that Comcast call  —  By now, you've probably heard the call that hijacked the Internet last week.  If not, let me warn you.  It is painful - incredibly painful.
Pure Storage:
2014: Pure, EMC, HP, and Violin all Up Their Games  —  The past few months have seen bold announcements from EMC, HP, Violin, and of course Pure Storage, the net result of which is that the market has changed and moved forward appreciably.
 

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