Techmeme
December 18, 2013, 10:00 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 …
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.
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.
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.
Aaron Souppouris / The Verge:
Spotify brings a clean new look to the desktop  —  Spotify has started pushing out an update for its desktop client with a new aesthetic.  We've tested out the refreshed app, and the starkest difference from the current version is a new darker theme; it's very dark, almost black in places …
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols / ZDNet:
Google joins Open Invention Network patent commons as a full member  —  Summary: Google joins IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony as a full member of the Open Invention Network open-source and Linux patent protection organization.  —  The Open Invention Network (OIN) …
Edgar Alvarez / Engadget:
Viber continues to expand as it rolls out Windows 8 app  —  Fresh off of the announcement that it's now allowing users to make calls to any mobile or landline number, Viber today is reaching yet another platform by way of a Windows 8 application.  Aside from providing access to the VoIP calling services …
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 …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
From Marine Corps general to Microsoft VP  —  Microsoft's new VP for military affairs aims to expand the company's already broad slate of support programs for veterans.
HP:
To Handle the Big Data Deluge, HP Plots a Giant Leap Forward  —  In 1965, Gordon E. Moore published the now-famous prediction that computer processors would double in power every two years.
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:
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”
Syncano:
Signs You Invest in a Backend as a Service  —  When you're trying to build applications quickly and efficiently, your team needs to focus on things like growth, innovation, and rapid development.
 

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More News

Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:

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