Techmeme
December 18, 2013, 3:50 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.
Justin Sink / The Hill:
NSA review panel to make 46 reform recommendations today, Obama to weigh in after holidays  —  White House to release NSA reform report  —  The White House on Wednesday will release an independent report outlining 46 recommendations to reform the nation's top-secret surveillance programs, press secretary Jay Carney said.
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.
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.
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
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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 …

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Microsoft:
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Intel:
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