Techmeme
December 29, 2013, 6:20 PM

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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 …
Fred Wilson / A VC:
A core issue: young women are not embracing tech in key development years as often as men  —  Girls Who Code  —  I feel badly for Paul Graham because he's being made out to be something I am sure he is not.  But the brouhaha that he unleashed about women founders, women coders …
Nitasha Tiku / Valleywag:
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 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: VentureBeat and ForbesTweets: @stephenmarche
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 …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Teachers use Bing home page lesson plans to encourage critical thinking skills  —  Find out how free lesson plans based on images like this Siberian tiger from Bing's home page encourage students to explore subjects in creative and thought-provoking ways.
Intel:
Disrupting the Data Center to Create the Digital Services Economy  —  I had the pleasure of joining Tom Krazit on stage at the Gigaom Structure'14 conference to share Intel's vision of the data center in support of the growth of the digital services economy.
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:
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Syncano:
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