Techmeme
December 18, 2013, 3:25 PM

Top News

Washington Post:
NSA shouldn't keep phone database, review board recommends  —  The White House will release later Wednesday the report of a surveillance review board that has recommended modifying the National Security Agency counterterrorism program that collects virtually all Americans' phone records.
Walter S. Mossberg / Wall Street Journal:
Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews  —  Walt Mossberg on the products that changed the digital industry  —  Remember the Apple Newton?  How about Netscape?  Even if these products did not last until the present, they left their mark in the evolution of personal technology.
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
Apple's New Mac Pro Goes On Sale Thursday Online And In Retail Starting At $2,999  —  Apple has just announced that its new Mac Pro computer, featuring that signature ‘Darth Vader’ design, will be available for sale starting tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 19 beginning at $2,999.
Jon Fingas / Engadget:
Microsoft releases standalone Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps for Windows Phone 8  —  Microsoft appears to be taking a page from Google's approach to core software updates; it just launched standalone Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps for Windows Phone 8 users.  The music app is largely …
Alex Hern / Guardian:
Bitcoin plummets as China's largest exchange blocks new deposits  —  The digital cryptocurrency has lost almost 50% of its value overnight after BTC China said it could no longer accept deposits in the Chinese currency following a crackdown on third-party payment firms
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
oDesk and Elance Merge to Create One Big Freelancer Company (But Still With Two Brands)  —  Elance and oDesk said today that they would merge.  The companies have a lot in common — they both connect freelancers and gigs online — and they say they have a combined 10 million workers in 180 countries, with $750 million in 2013 billings.
Clare Jim / Reuters:
China Mobile chairman says still in talks with Apple on iPhone deal  —  (Reuters) - China Mobile Ltd said it's still in talks with Apple Inc to sell iPhones amid mounting industry speculation that the pair are about to announce a deal to net the technology giant hundreds of millions of potential new customers.
Kevin C. Tofel / Gigaom:
In prep for an early 2014 launch, devs can access Pebble's smartwatch app store  —  With nearly 200,000 Pebble smartwatches on wrists, it's about time for a dedicated app store.  The “Pebble appstore” — that's the branded name — is planned for early 2014, and on Wednesday, Pebble opened up early access for developers to prepare.
Thad Starner / Wired:
Wearables Pioneer: How Wearing Tech on Our Bodies Actually Helps It Get Out of Our Way  —  One of the rallying cries for Google Glass is to make technology that's there when you need it, gone when you don't.  It is intended to help people get on with their lives, without focusing on the technology.
More: Gigaom
Lucy Battersby / Sydney Morning Herald:
Apple forced to adopt new refund policy under Australian consumer law  —  Apple has been lying to consumers about its obligation to replace or repair faulty computers, iPhones, iPads and iPods, but has now promised to retrain staff and reassess claims stretching back two years following action by the competition watchdog.
Jonathan Stempel / Reuters:
Facebook, Zuckerberg, banks must face IPO lawsuit: judge  —  (Reuters) - A federal judge said Facebook Inc, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and dozens of banks must face a lawsuit accusing the social media company of misleading investors about its financial health before its $16 billion initial public offering last year.
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Big Money for Mobile Crowdsourced Transit App Moovit, With Sequoia Leading $28M Round  —  The notion that public transportation is a large and growing global opportunity for a tech company might seem a bit of a strange one.  But, as Moovit co-founder and CEO Nir Erez sees it …
The Switch:
Research shows how MacBook Webcams can spy on their users without warning  —  The woman was shocked when she received two nude photos of herself by e-mail.  The photos had been taken over a period of several months — without her knowledge — by the built-in camera on her laptop.
Eric Johnson / AllThingsD:
Distimo Stat Show 2013 Was a Huge Year for Android Gaming  —  For years, Apple has been the presumptive leader in mobile gaming, and it's still in pole position.  But if global trends in 2013 were any indication, its nearest rival, Google Play, is putting the heat on.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
5 mind-bending facts about quantum computing  —  In GIF form, five of the most mind-bending things scientists have learned about life on an atomic and sub-atomic level.
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:
Your Grandfather's Backup Tools Weren't Built for Today's Virtual Environments.  —  When the health of your business rides on the availability of your virtual machines and the applications they run …
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:
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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