Techmeme
December 12, 2013, 12:25 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.
More: VentureBeat and MashableTweets: @mathewi
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 …
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.
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Gmail for desktop now automatically shows images in your messages, coming to Android and iOS 'in early 2014′  —  Google today announced a change to how Gmail handles images.  In short, the email service will show images in your messages automatically on the desktop starting today.
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.
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: Forbes, Hit & Run and ValleywagTweets: @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: Softpedia News and Yahoo! NewsTweets: @maryjofoley
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.
Aoife White / Bloomberg:
Samsung Said to Near EU Antitrust Settlement on Patents  —  Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)'s offer to settle a European Union antitrust investigation over key patents requires only minor changes to win approval from regulators, according to two people familiar with the case.
More: SlashGearTweets: @fosspatents
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Microsoft Brings Together 25 Partners For The Cloud OS Network To Drive More Windows Azure Use  —  Microsoft has been adding firepower to its Windows Azure cloud platform to compete against the likes of Google, Amazon and Dropbox and Box to attract enterprise users to create, host and distribute data around the world.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Twitter's Latest Partnership, With Truecaller In India, Links Phone Number Look-Ups With Tweeting  —  Twitter has been inking deals with third parties outside of the U.S. to drive more international usage, both in emerging and mature markets.  Today comes news of yet another deal that it hopes …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
LifeLock Acquires Mobile Wallet Platform Lemon For $42.6 Million, Launches LifeLock Wallet  —  Lemon, a digital wallet platform which allows users to store their ID, payment, loyalty cards and more on their smartphone, has been acquired by identity theft protection service LifeLock …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Delivering a complete cloud for every business, industry and geography  —  Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group discusses Microsoft's approach to delivering the industry's complete cloud.
Amazon Web Services:
Amazon Mobile Analytics- 100M Free Events per Month!  —  Designed to deliver usage reports within 60 min of receiving data from an app.  Built to scale - collect and process billions of events per day from millions of users.
Rackspace:
Another Patent Troll Slain.  You Are Now Free To Rotate Your Smartphone.  —  Rotatable Technologies is now an ex-patent troll.  I say “ex-troll” because its patent, US Pat.  No. 6,326,978, has been declared unpatentable …
Zoho:
Announcing the New and Improved Zoho Docs for Android  —  From charting out flight plans to building a whole new website, everything is now available at your fingertips.  Businesses, small or big …
 

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Jordan Crook / TechCrunch: