Techmeme
December 29, 2013, 1:15 PM

Top News

Spiegel Online:
NSA Tailored Access Operations unit specializes in “getting the ungettable”, installing malware on diverted hardware shipments, capturing Windows crash data  —  The NSA Uses Powerful Toolbox in Effort to Spy on Global Networks  —  The NSA's TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency's top secret weapon.
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Chromebooks' success punches Microsoft in the gut  —  Amazon, NPD Group trumpet sales of the bare-bones laptops in 2013 to consumers and businesses  —  Chromebooks had a very good year, according to retailer Amazon.com and industry analysts.  —  And that's bad news for Microsoft.
Jim Finkle / Reuters:
Exclusive: Hacker took over BBC server, tried to ‘sell’ access on Christmas Day  —  (Reuters) - A hacker secretly took over a computer server at the BBC, Britain's public broadcaster, and then launched a Christmas Day campaign to convince other cyber criminals to pay him for access to the system.
More: SlashGear
Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD / Flurry Blog:
Kindles saw 24x bump in activations on Christmas vs. other Dec. days, Apple saw 2.3x bump  —  Amazon Delivers A Great Christmas For Its Kindle  —  In less than a decade, connected devices have become an integral part of Christmas.  They are commonly wished for and given as gifts …
Dan Seifert / The Verge:
How would in-flight calling actually work?  —  The technology's already here — someone just has to flip the switch  —  Making phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air has been a hot-button topic of late, spurred on by recent comments made by Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
2013: The Year in Apple and Technology at Large  —  Christopher Mims, writing for Quartz, “2013 Was a Lost Year for Tech”: … What a sad pile of piss-on-everything cynicism.  —  Was 2013 a seminal or particularly extraordinary year for technology?  No, I'd say not.
Stanley White / Reuters:
Sony to give up on sale of its battery unit: media  —  (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp has decided not to sell its lithium-ion battery unit, media reported on Sunday, in a gamble that it can turn the business around with a weak yen and growing demand for smart phone batteries.
Gerry Shih / Reuters:
Reddit anticipates profitability through expansion of Reddit Gifts  —  Reddit reaches for profits through a geek-culture bazaar  —  (Reuters) - Social news hub Reddit snagged an interview with Barack Obama last year.  The big get for 2013 was reaching 90 million unique visitors a month …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
5 mind-bending facts about quantum computing  —  In GIF form, five of the most mind-bending things scientists have learned about life on an atomic and sub-atomic level.
Freshdesk:
How to not sound like a robot in your email notifications?  —  Your notifications don't have to be just notifications.  They can be another opportunity to charm your customers and to keep them hooked.  Learn how.
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:
The customer service lessons we must all learn from that Comcast call  —  By now, you've probably heard the call that hijacked the Internet last week.  If not, let me warn you.  It is painful - incredibly painful.
Pure Storage:
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Nitasha Tiku / Valleywag: