Techmeme
December 18, 2013, 11:10 PM

Top News

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 …
San Francisco Chronicle:
Obama won't give tech firms assurances on snooping  —  Technology company executives left a meeting with President Obama this week with no commitment to limit government snooping on Internet traffic, according to an industry official briefed on the session.  Warning of backlashMayer …
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.
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 …
Andy Greenberg / Forbes:
Google Glass Face Recognition App Coming This Month, Whether Google Likes It Or Not  —  Since Google Glass first appeared, its potential for facial recognition has been seen either as a privacy nightmare or as one of the headset's first truly intriguing uses.  Google has declared itself in the first camp.
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
No One Buys Music on the Web Anymore.  Except When They Buy a Million Beyonce Albums in Five Days.  —  Sales of music downloads, which were supposed to rescue the music business from the decline of the CD, have been flattening for a few years.  Then things got worse: This year, digital sales were down 4 percent through Thanksgiving.
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.
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.
Ken Yeung / The Next Web:
Twitter's Vine gets vanity URLs: sign-up starts Dec. 20 for verified accounts and Dec. 23 for all others  —  As a holiday treat, Twitter has announced that it will begin allowing Vine users to register for vanity URLs for their profiles.  The race begins on Friday, December 20 at 9am PST …
More: CNET
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.
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
Use of Tor helped FBI ID suspect in bomb hoax case  —  It's true that the Tor anonymity service helps people cover their tracks on the Internet.  But when it's not used carefully, it can be the very thing that tips off the people the user wants to evade, as was demonstrated in a federal investigation earlier this week.
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Yahoo Introduces New Style Of Flickr Embeds To Seed Content Outside Of The Site  —  Yahoo has introduced a new cleaner style of photo embeds today.  Just about everyone has used content from Flickr in various ways at some point, especially from its great store of Creative Commons licensed images.
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.
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.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
For Bing's Kevin White, red wine and data science are the perfect pairing  —  On paper, red wine and data mining hardly seem an appropriate pair.  One goes with meats, the other with user experiences.
Intel:
Intel Unveils 8-Core Processor Gaming Monster at PAX  —  Intel just announced its first 8 core, 16 thread gaming monster — otherwise known as the Intel® Core™ i7-5960X processor Extreme Edition desktop processor …
VMware:
Top Five Reasons Why Your Organization Should Consider Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery  —  Few organizations can afford the downtime caused by a disaster.  Those capable of weathering such events usually have the datacenters …
Zoho:
Too many bugs to handle?  Link and fix them in Zoho BugTracker  —  In an effort to keep you calm during a bug swarm, we have released Link Bugs in Zoho BugTracker.  With Link Bugs, you can associate …
Syncano:
iOS Developers: How to Get Instant Notifications on your App  —  Within minutes, you can create dynamic iOS apps on Syncano that instantly reflect changes in data by “subscribing” to changes on Syncano's Sync Server.
 

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