Techmeme
December 29, 2013, 9:20 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 …
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.
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.
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:
Wall Street Journal:
Google to partner with Audi for Android-based dashboards, will compete with iOS in the Car  —  Google, Apple Forge Auto Ties  —  Consumer Electronics Show to Spotlight In-Car Digital Race … Technology giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are about to expand their battle for digital supremacy to a new front: the automobile.
More: 9to5Google and SlashGearTweets: @chris_covello
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook's Cutesy Annual Report To Partners Reveals First Country-By-Country Mobile Stats  —  TechCrunch has obtained never before published metrics showing Facebook's international growth.  Facebook sent some partners a playfully illustrated eMagazine called The Annual …
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: @andrewyng and @stephenmarche
New York Times:
New Law All but Bars Russian GPS Sites in U.S.  —  WASHINGTON — Tucked into the mammoth defense budget bill that President Obama signed into law on Thursday is a measure that virtually bars Russia from building about a half-dozen monitor stations on American soil that critics fear Moscow could use to spy on the United States or worse.
More: Engadget and The VergeTweets: @kgosztola
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
Paul Krugman:
It's still unclear if Bitcoin can be a reasonably stable store of value  —  Bitcoin Is Evil  —  It's always important, and always hard, to distinguish positive economics — how things work — from normative economics — how things should be.  Indeed, on many of the macro issues I've written …

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:
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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John Gruber / Daring Fireball: