Techmeme
December 13, 2013, 5:40 AM

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:
Twitter Reverts Changes To Blocking Functionality After Strong Negative User Feedback  —  Update: Twitter has reverted the changes to blocking functionality that it made earlier today.  After the changes, an outpouring of negative user feedback appeared on Twitter, blogs and other services.
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
Deborah Gage / Digits:
Dell's Venture Arm Expands Investments With $300 Million Fund  —  Dell Ventures is launching a new $300 million venture fund that will broaden its investments beyond storage into several other types of startups, including cloud computing, big data, security, mobility and next-generation data center companies …
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Chromecast can now stream videos and music from Google Play's website  —  Google has been adding more and more ways to play content on a Chromecast, and today it's giving the media streamer a new trick: the ability to stream Google Play music and videos straight from the web.
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.
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.
Signe Brewster / Gigaom:
Researchers create a more accurate alternative to Wi-Fi for tracking people through walls  —  Back in June, MIT researchers revealed they had figured out how to use Wi-Fi to track moving objects through walls.  Today, the same team announced they have refined their system to be even more precise by switching to radio signals.
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 …
More: CNETTweets: @kevinbankston

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Alina Selyukh / Reuters: