Techmeme
December 18, 2013, 4:50 PM

Top News

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.
New York Times:
Obama Panel Recommends New Limits on N.S.A. Spying  —  WASHINGTON — A panel of presidential advisers who reviewed the National Security Agency's surveillance practices urged President Obama on Wednesday to end the government's systematic collection of logs of all Americans' phone calls …
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.
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.
Barb Darrow / Gigaom:
It's official: China is the wild, wild west of cloud computing  —  Within hours of Amazon's announcement of a new Beijing region for Amazon Web Services, IBM jumped into the mix, announcing a new relationship with 21Vianet to offer high-end SmartCloud Enterprise + cloud services from a new 21Vianet-hosted facility in Beijing.
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.
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
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.
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 …
Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:
Sources: Target Investigating Data Breach  —  Nationwide retail giant Target is investigating a data breach potentially involving millions of customer credit and debit card records, multiple reliable sources tell KrebsOnSecurity.  The sources said the breach appears to have begun …
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.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
The art of humble disruption  —  Dave Campbell might seem like an unlikely poster child for tech disruption.  But his big, bold ideas have been quietly moving Microsoft for two decades - and he's far from done.
Intel:
Intel Injects Laughter into Mobile Messaging  —  Intel is creating a fun spin on communication with the launch of Pocket Avatars, a new over-the-top (OTT) mobile messaging app developed by Intel Labs technologists.
VMware:
How vCloud Hybrid Service is Different: 10 Cloud Capabilities on vCloud Hybrid Service that Don't Exist on AWS  —  With vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS), we're firmly focused on solving enterprise customer cloud problems …
Zoho:
The Secret of Effective Project Management  —  Let me get straight to the point.  The Secret of Effective Project Management is finding the right balance between managing too little and managing too much.
Syncano:
3 Ways to Build More Apps in Less Time  —  “How fast can you build it?”  You've probably heard this question a thousand times.  A few years ago, building apps quickly wasn't an option.
 

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Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:

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Sean Hollister / The Verge: