Techmeme
December 13, 2013, 5:00 PM

Top News

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.
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Wall Street Journal:
Sprint Preparing a Bid for T-Mobile US  —  An Offer Would Test U.S. Regulators's Willingness to Have Just 3 Major Carriers  —  Sprint Corp. is working toward a possible bid for rival T-Mobile US Inc., people familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for a giant telecom merger …
Bloomberg:
Google considering moving away from Intel with its own, ARM-based server chips  —  Google Said to Mull Designing Chips in Threat to Intel  —  Google Inc. (GOOG) is considering designing its own server processors using technology from ARM Holdings Plc (ARM), a move that could threaten Intel Corp. …
Siobhan Gorman / Wall Street Journal:
Presidential Task Force Recommends Overhaul of Surveillance Tactics of NSA  —  Draft Proposals Would Change Spy Agency's Leadership to Civilian, Limit How It Gathers and Holds Information  —  WASHINGTON—A presidential task force has drafted recommendations that constitute a sweeping overhaul …
Spencer Ackerman / Guardian:
NSA review to leave spying programs largely unchanged, reports say  —  A participant in a White House-sponsored review of surveillance activities described as “shameful” an apparent decision to leave most of the National Security Agency's controversial bulk spying intact.
Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Google Removes Vital Privacy Feature From Android, Claiming Its Release Was Accidental  —  Yesterday, we published a blog post lauding an extremely important app privacy feature that was added in Android 4.3.  That feature allows users to install apps while preventing the app …
Horace Dediu / asymco.com:
How many Americans will be using an iPhone when the US smartphone market saturates?  —  As previously noted, the US smartphone market has followed an almost perfectly logistic growth.  The measured data (via comScore, in green below) follows a predictive logistic function (thin blue whose formula is discussed here).
More: App Advice and Gigaom
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Leaked Facebook Video Ad Pitch Deck Reveals Plans To Steal TV And YouTube Dollars  —  “Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube - leave the impression of the user experience up to them” Facebook tells its adtech partners in a leaked, confidential deck that teaches them to sell Facebook's video ads.
Alistair Barr / USA Today:
Amazon said to launch Pantry to take on Costco, Sam's  —  Pantry is set to launch in 2014 and will let Amazon Prime members buy consumer packages goods that will be shipping in a set sized box with a maximum weight limit, sources say.  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon.com is working …
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Qualcomm Will Elevate COO Steve Mollenkopf To CEO Role In March, So Hands Off, Microsoft  —  Qualcomm will replace current CEO Paul Jacobs with current COO Steve Mollenkopf starting on March 4, immediately following the company's annual shareholder meeting.  This announcement comes only seven …
Jack Clark / The Register:
Facebook's monster PHP engine ready to muscle into ARM server chips  —  It's not just Google mulling a shift to Intel's arch rival  —  Facebook has taken further steps in its quest to move to running production workloads on ARM-powered servers.  —  The smoking gun for this dramatic shift …
More: Joseph ScottThanks:@mappingbabel
Alex Colon / Gigaom:
Holiday deal: Get $50 off the Nexus 7 at Office Depot  —  This holiday season, it seems that if you try you really hard, you don't have to pay full retail price for almost anything.  This week has brought us good deals on tablets from Amazon and Apple, and now you can get quite a nice price on this year's Nexus 7 as well.
Bloomberg:
Verizon close to buying Intel's Internet-based pay-TV startup OnCue, may announce the deal next week  —  Verizon Said Near Agreement to Buy Intel's Start-Up TV Service  —  Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) is near an agreement to purchase Intel Corp. (INTC)'s Internet-based pay-TV start-up, according to people familiar with the deal.
Alex Wilhelm / TechCrunch:
Celebrities behind startups are good for initial press, but not necessarily for future success  —  Startups, Celebrities, And The Deadpool  —  Entrepreneurs who have had successful exits find it easier to raise capital for their next ventures.  They come with the sort of record the money people want …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
From Marine Corps general to Microsoft VP  —  Microsoft's new VP for military affairs aims to expand the company's already broad slate of support programs for veterans.
HP:
To Handle the Big Data Deluge, HP Plots a Giant Leap Forward  —  In 1965, Gordon E. Moore published the now-famous prediction that computer processors would double in power every two years.
VMware:
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Zoho:
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