Techmeme
December 20, 2013, 1:20 PM

Top News

New York Times:
N.S.A. Dragnet Included Allies, Aid Groups and Business Elite  —  Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies …
Fred Vogelstein / The Atlantic Online:
The Day Google Had to ‘Start Over’ on Android  —  Google was building a secret mobile product to fend off chief rival Microsoft.  Then Apple announced the iPhone, and everything changed.  —  In 2005, on Google's sprawling, college-like campus, the most secret and ambitious of many …
Beth Kowitt / Fortune:
Warby Parker raises $60 million  —  Exclusive: The fashionable eyeglasses purveyor more than doubles its total investment.  —  FORTUNE — Warby Parker has raised $60 million in its latest round of venture capital funding, led by its biggest investor, Tiger Global Management.
Steve Dent / Engadget:
BlackBerry teams up with Foxconn for budget smartphones as sales continue to plunge  —  Blackberry's new interim chief John Chen has got a rude awakening to his new job: it sold only 1.9 million smartphones in Q1 compared to 3.7 million last quarter and lost $4.4 billion.
Miguel Helft / Fortune:
Square's Dorsey returns 10% of his shares  —  Exclusive: The founder and CEO makes an uncommon move to expand the company's pool of shares for compensation and acquisitions.  —  FORTUNE — Jack Dorsey, the founder and CEO of Square, has voluntarily given 10% of his shares in the company back to Square.
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
Apple seeds first OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 beta, brings FaceTime Audio to Macs  —  Just days after the first public release of OS X 10.9.1, Apple has seeded the first beta of OS X 10.9.2 to developers.  The update is available in the Mac App Store for registered developers …
Gregory Ferenstein / TechCrunch:
Tim Draper Wants To Split California Into Pieces And Turn Silicon Valley Into Its Own State  —  TechCrunch has learned about noted technology investor Tim Draper's plan to split California into six separate states, including a Northern California slice appropriately named “Silicon Valley.”
Michael Dalder / Reuters:
Clock ticking for Google after EU rejects latest antitrust offer  —  (Reuters) - Google has been told it is running out of time to improve its offer to settle a European Union investigation into anti-competitive behavior or face formal charges that could lead to a hefty fine.
Zack Whittaker / ZDNet:
Oracle snaps up marketing software maker Responsys for $1.5B  —  Summary: The business-to-consumer marketing software company will be bought for a 38 percent premium of its stock price as of Thursday.  —  Zack Whittaker  —  Software giant Oracle said Friday it will buy Responsys …
Lauren Hockenson / Gigaom:
In honor of Winamp, Spotify releases Spotiamp  —  After Friday, longstanding music player Winamp will fade from existence, as AOL discontinues support, shuts down the website and erases any possibility of downloading the software.  In honor of Winamp's departure, Spotify has released Spotiamp …
John Biggs / TechCrunch:
Alleged Top Moderators Of Silk Road 2 Forums Arrested In Ireland, U.S. In International Sweep  —  At least two moderators of the Silk Road 2 user forums have been arrested by authorities in the U.S. and Ireland.  A source claiming to have inside knowledge of the arrests said that Libertas …
Catherine Shu / TechCrunch:
Rocket Internet Partners With African Telecom Operator MTN To Invest $410M in Middle East Startups  —  MTN Group and Rocket Internet announced that they have formed a new joint venture to invest in startups in the Middle East, with a focus on e-commerce.  The two companies will each hold …
Walter Frick / HBR:
The Danger of Turning Cynical About Silicon Valley  —  Silicon Valley is losing its luster, at least among elite opinion-makers.  An increasing number of critiques have been mounted in publications as diverse as The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, and Wired (to name only a few) …
Tweets: @alexia and @stevesiThanks:@wfrick
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:
Appsfire's First Ad Unit ‘Ura Maki’ Is iAd Done Right  —  Last week, app discovery startup Appsfire surprised everyone by removing its apps from the App Store to focus entirely on native advertising on mobile.  The first iOS ad unit is here — Ura Maki is an ad format with an emphasis on app discovery and user experience.
Zack Whittaker / ZDNet:
Verizon plans to issue transparency report, despite silence on NSA co-operation  —  Summary: The phone and cellular giant, which has been forced under a court order, leaked by Edward Snowden, to hand all business records to the NSA, plans to dish out more details on government data requests.
More: SlashGear
Libby Jacobson / Verizon Public Policy:
Michael Davidson / Xconomy:
Techstars CEO David Cohen to Raise $150M Fund  —  Techstars co-founder and CEO David Cohen has begun the process of raising a $150 million fund, according to an SEC filing made earlier today.  —  While Cohen is best known as the head of Boulder, CO-based Techstars, he's also an active investor …
Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Motorola releases Android 4.4 update for Moto G ahead of schedule  —  The inexpensive, yet surprisingly good, Motorola Moto G has only been on the market for a couple of weeks, but it's already getting its first major software update.  Motorola announced today that Android 4.4.2 KitKat …
Mikey Campbell / AppleInsider:
Apple hints at future Maps app in ‘layered map’ patent filing  —  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application that takes the company's existing mapping apps and extends them to new levels of interactivity with data-rich layered viewing modes.  —  Source: USPTO
Jon Fingas / Engadget:
Shazam for iPhone can now listen for songs and shows in the background  —  Ever rush to identify a song with Shazam with your phone, only to be frustrated as the tune ends before you've even reached into your pocket?  That won't be a concern with the latest update to Shazam's iPhone app.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
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Intel:
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