Techmeme
December 29, 2013, 3:50 PM

Top News

Spiegel Online:
NSA Tailored Access Operations unit specializes in “getting the ungettable”, intercepts hardware shipments to plant malware  —  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.
Spiegel Online:
NSA has 50-page catalog of exploits and backdoors in devices from Cisco, Huawei, Dell, Juniper, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung, and more  —  Catalog Reveals NSA Has Back Doors for Numerous Devices  —  After years of speculation that electronics can be accessed by intelligence agencies through …
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.
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Chromebook Sales vs. Web Traffic Share  —  Gregg Keizer, reporting for Computerworld: … If these reports are right, we should soon see a corresponding surge in web traffic share for ChromeOS.  But I'm having trouble finding a web traffic source that even counts Chrome OS as an entity.
Tweets: @manxstef and @naofumi
Nitasha Tiku / Valleywag:
John Markoff / New York Times:
Qualcomm says its first commercial neuromorphic (brainlike) processor is coming in 2014  —  Brainlike Computers, Learning From Experience  —  PALO ALTO, Calif. — Computers have entered the age when they are able to learn from their own mistakes, a development that is about to turn the digital world on its head.
More: Forbes
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: Mashable and SlashGear
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.
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.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Changing the world, 1 billion sensors at a time  —  What would you do if you had a billion sensors?  Design students around the world tackled that question at Design Expo.  Take a look at some of the fascinating projects …
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:
Why Your Organization Needs a Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Plan  —  Businesses know they need to back up their data, their workloads and their applications in the event that disaster strikes.
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:
2014: Pure, EMC, HP, and Violin all Up Their Games  —  The past few months have seen bold announcements from EMC, HP, Violin, and of course Pure Storage, the net result of which is that the market has changed and moved forward appreciably.
 

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