Techmeme
December 17, 2013, 6:30 PM

Top News

Guardian:
Tech firms push back against White House efforts to divert NSA meeting  —  Dominic Rushe in New York and Paul Lewis in Washington  —  The top leaders from the world's biggest technology companies pressed their case for reform of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance operations …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Derrick Harris / Gigaom:
Amazon's streaming data service, Kinesis, is now available  —  Kinesis, the streaming data service that Amazon Web Services announced in November, is now publicly available.  The service is comparable in theory to popular open source technologies such as Apache Storm, only Kinesis brings …
Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times:
Uber upholds capitalism, (possibly) learns downside of price gouging  —  Travis Kalanick, chief executive of Uber Technologies: Let the people walk!  (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg / December 16, 2013)  —  The ride-sharing firm Uber takes great pride in hewing rigorously to libertarian, let-the-market-decide business principles.
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 …
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.
Kevin C. Tofel / Gigaom:
Samsung taps ex-Apple retail designer for possible Galaxy stores  —  Samsung may have something new in store for its battle with Apple: A new take on the retail store itself.  Former Apple Store designer Tim Gudgel is a new Samsung employee according to The Information (subscription required) …
Mike Isaac / AllThingsD:
Continuing Its Public Content Push, Facebook Acquires SportStream  —  Twitter may still be synonymous with real-time, in-the-moment discussion.  But that's hardly stopping Facebook from moving in on the territory.  —  Natch, Facebook announced on Tuesday it had acquired SportStream …
More: Facebook
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”.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Project aims to help parents protect - and connect with - their kids  —  One hackathon team from Microsoft's //oneweek focuses on family safety and aims to give parents an easy way to understand their children's lives online.
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:
Customer Spotlight: How One Company Went from No CRM to Zoho CRM Power Users  —  “We had evolved our CRM from spreadsheets, to Goldmine CRM and finally to ACT CRM, but we knew we needed to move to a native cloud-based CRM”
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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Chris Davies / SlashGear:
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:

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