Techmeme
December 17, 2013, 1:50 PM

Top News

Facebook:
Testing a New Way to Watch Promoted Videos in News Feed  —  Since September, we've been testing a way to make videos more engaging on Facebook, and as a result we've seen views, likes, shares and comments increase more than 10 percent.  —  We're beginning to test a similar video viewing format for advertisers.
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
White House chooses former Microsoft Office VP Kurt DelBene to lead HealthCare.gov overhaul  —  White House to tap Microsoft exec to fix Obamacare site  —  The White House is tapping the private sector for its next point man to fix the troubled Obamacare website.
Amit Singhal / The Official Google Blog:
2013 in Search: Heroes, tragedies and the Harlem Shake  —  Every day, around the world, we search.  We want to find out more about our heroes, explore far-away destinations, or settle a dinner table dispute between friends.  And sometimes we just search to find out how many calories are in an avocado.
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Microsoft Director Says CEO Choice Will Not Be Made Until Early 2014  —  Microsoft director John Thompson, who leads CEO search  —  John Thompson, the Microsoft director who is leading the search for a CEO to replace outgoing leader Steve Ballmer, said today in a blog post that the board will not make its choice until early next year.
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Yahoo Acquires PeerCDN As It Builds Out Its Content Strategy  —  Content delivery network provider PeerCDN has been acquired by Yahoo, the company has informed TechCrunch, in a deal the terms of which were not disclosed.  The startup revealed its project earlier this year …
More: ZDNetTweets: @peercdnThanks:@mjburnsy
Jon Russell / The Next Web:
Samsung launches a gamepad for Android that's optimized for its Galaxy phones  —  Apple began allowing third-party gamepads on the iPhone with iOS 7, and Samsung is also upping its presence in the space after announcing its own gamepad (the not-so-creatively named 'Smartphone GamePad') for Android 4.1 phones.
Michael Steeber / 9to5Mac:
Apple airs touching holiday commercial featuring the iPhone 5s and AirPlay  —  As is tradition, Apple is airing a new holiday commercial this evening, this time highlighting the iPhone 5s, its movie making capabilities, and AirPlay with the Apple TV.  The ad is set to the tune of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Mac Pro Build-to-Order Upgrade Pricing Revealed  —  Late last week, we noted that Apple's business sales staff have been offering customers price quotes for build-to-order configurations of the new Mac Pro, providing the first glimpse at what these machines will cost beyond the $2999/$3999 base configurations shown on Apple's site.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Amazon Reportedly Buys Mobile Payments Startup Gopago, Working On An ‘Ambitious’ New Project  —  Looks like Amazon may have quietly made another acquisition, and another move to expand its role in the world of mobile: Italian newspapers are reporting that the e-commerce giant has acquired Gopago …
Dan Lyons / Inbound Hub:
Qualcomm Insider: Apple 64-Bit Chip ‘Hit Us in the Gut’  —  In public, Apple's rivals in the smartphone market have tried to downplay the technological advances Apple introduced in the iPhone 5s.  But it turns out that one breakthrough — Apple's speedy, 64-bit A7 microprocessor — has set off a panic inside its competitors.
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Chromebook 11 charger recalled after nine overheat and melt  —  Google and HP are recalling power chargers for the Chromebook 11 after receiving nine reports of them overheating and melting.  One minor burn and one minor incident of property damage resulted from the heating issues …
Larry Dignan / ZDNet:
Cisco acquires Collaborate.com, eyes mobile  —  Summary: The networking giant said the acquisition will help it better navigate mobile collaboration and cloud computing.  —  Cisco on Tuesday said it has acquired Collaborate.com, a company that develops mobile tools for document sharing, task management and team communication.
Peter Rubin / Wired:
Oculus Primed: Meet the Geniuses Who Finally Mastered Virtual Reality  —  In May 2012, a programmer named John Carmack—who, as a cofounder of id Software and the man behind games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, is widely seen as the father of 3D gaming—tweeted a picture of what looked like steampunk bifocals made out of a black shoebox.
More: StrictlyVCTweets: @cdixon
Joseph Ax / Reuters:
Oregon politician gets six years for Facebook IPO fraud  —  (Reuters) - A former candidate for governor of Oregon was sentenced to six years in prison on Monday for fraudulently convincing investors he had access to shares of Facebook Inc before its highly anticipated initial public offering in 2012.
Richard Lawler / Engadget:
Roku 3 finally snags an official YouTube app, support for additional models is on the way  —  The lack of a YouTube app has been a massive hole in the content lineup of Roku's otherwise well-rounded media streamers, but no more.  YouTube just announced that Roku 3 players in the US, Canada …
Sean Gallagher / Ars Technica:
NSA surveillance critic Bruce Schneier to leave post at BT  —  Bruce Schneier, at an Open Technology Institute presentation on Capitol Hill last Friday, said the NSA had created vulnerabilities in the Internet that criminals could exploit within the next two to three years.  —  Sean Gallagher
Chris Smith / BGR:
Video: Steam Machine beta unboxing, gameplay, teardown and specs  —  Valve on Friday shipped Steam Machine beta units to 300 lucky developers, with some of them already posting details - including image galleries and hands-on videos - about the new console in town.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
The quest for a quantum future  —  Decoding the secret language of the universe at Station Q, Microsoft's center for quantum computing research.
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:
Why Your Organization Needs a Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Plan  —  Businesses know they need to back up their data, their workloads and their applications in the event that disaster strikes.
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:
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Matthew Keys / The Desk: