Techmeme
January 2, 2014, 5:35 PM

Top News

Walt Mossberg / Re/code:
It's Not a Church, It's Just an Apple Store  —  Attention fanboys and fangirls: Your favorite tech hardware, software and services are not religious objects.  And the companies that make them aren't cults or faiths.  They are capitalist enterprises, out to make a profit, grab market share, and, if they can, make products you will buy.
Kara Swisher / Re/code:
Nest Raising Huge New Round From DST, Valuing Smart Home Startup at Upwards of $2 Billion  —  Nest Labs, the innovative smart home startup, is close to completing a deal to raise upwards of $150 million in a new round of financing that values it at more than $2 billion, according to sources close to the situation.
New York Times:
NYT editorial board calls for clemency or a plea bargain for Snowden  —  Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower  —  Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agency's reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe …
Brian Fung / The Switch:
Mandiant, which rooted out Chinese hackers for the NYT, is being snapped up for nearly $1 billion  —  The past year saw the dramatic rise of information security firms in the face of sustained foreign spying against U.S. corporations.  One of those firms, Mandiant, became a household name …
More: ZDNet and PE Hub BlogTweets: @b_fungSee also Mediagazer
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Samsung's Galaxy Camera 2 starts to refine the Android point-and-shoot  —  Samsung is unveiling the Galaxy Camera 2 today, its second take on the idea of a truly smart point-and-shoot.  Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Camera 2 runs Android, has wireless connectivity, and is operated primarily …
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Moto G coming to Verizon Wireless on January 9th for $99.99 off-contract  —  Verizon Wireless prepaid customers will be able to order the Moto G starting January 9th for $99.99.  Motorola's budget handset will be available first online and will appear at the carrier's retail stores “in the coming weeks.”
The Canadian Press:
Singer Alicia Keys to leave BlackBerry after year-long collaboration  —  WATERLOO, Ont.  — BlackBerry is parting ways with singer Alicia Keys, after a year-long collaboration with the smartphone maker.  —  The Waterloo, Ont.-based company says Keys will be leaving her role as its global creative director on Jan. 30.
Jeff John Roberts / Gigaom:
ACLU appeals ruling that NSA phone database is lawful  —  The federal government's ability to keep a massive database on Americans' phone records is set to get further scrutiny as the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday asked an appeals court to review a recent decision that found the database to be lawful.
More: CNET, PC World and ACLU
Ron / WinBeta:
Replacement and new Surface Pro 2 devices being sent out with upgraded specs, includes newer CPU  —  Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 has been the center of attention since the December 2013 firmware update release.  Numerous Surface Pro 2 owners were facing issues installing the update, poor battery life, and various other issues.
Re/code:
Happy Re/new Year!  —  We are thrilled to announce that we are forming our own new and independent media company, Revere Digital, with a pair of respected investors and partners — the NBCUniversal News Group and Terry Semel's Windsor Media.  Revere will be operating news sites and apps, as well as a series of conferences.
Julia Boorstin / CNBC:

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:
The Best Thing for Your Data Center since vSphere  —  It's come to our attention that some folks are less than certain about the differences between vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management.  Let's clear things up:
Zoho:
Get Instant HR Alerts and Live Feeds with Zoho People.  —  Jack, an executive, applies for a travel approval through his company's HR portal.  His manager misses the request amongst other important emails.
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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