Techmeme
January 23, 2014, 12:25 PM

Top News

Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Independent review board says NSA phone data program is illegal and should end  —  An independent executive branch board has concluded that the National Security Agency's long-running program to collect billions of Americans' phone records is illegal and should end.
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Watchdog Report Says N.S.A. Program Is Illegal and Should End  —  WASHINGTON — An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency's program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only “minimal” benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down.
Adario Strange / Mashable:
Apple Promises to Fix iOS 7 ‘White Screen of Death’  —  Since Apple released iOS 7, its completely revamped operating system for the iPhone, reviews have been mixed but mostly positive.  However, a glitch that has quietly plagued iPhone users — the “white/black screen of death,” …
Kara Swisher / Re/code:
AOL Buys Personalization Startup Gravity for $90 Million in Cash  —  In a bid to add another publishing and advertising tool to its offerings, AOL has acquired personalization startup Gravity for about $90 million in cash.  —  As part of the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter …
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
iPhone 5s Owners Gobbling “Unprecedented” Levels Of Data, Study Finds  —  Users of flagship smartphones such as Apple's iPhone 5s and Samsung's Galaxy S4 are continuing to suck down more data than their tablet-wielding counterparts, according to a large-scale survey of mobile data consumption …
Wall Street Journal:
Apple plans iPhone models with 4½, 5 inch screens, smaller one further along in development  —  Apple iPhones to Come Out With Bigger Screens  —  Facing competition from rivals offering smartphones with bigger screens, Apple Inc. plans larger displays on a pair of iPhones due for release this year …
More: MacRumors
Bloomberg:
Lenovo to Buy IBM Server Unit For $2.3 Billion Amid PC Slump  —  Lenovo Group Ltd., the world's largest maker of personal computers, will buy International Business Machines Corp.'s server business for $2.3 billion.  —  The deal price includes about $2 billion of cash and the rest in Lenovo stock …
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
Nokia Says Lumia & Other Phone Sales Declined In Q4 As It Prepares To Sell Division To Microsoft  —  In what is likely to be Nokia's last quarterly earnings before it hands off its mobile phone making business to Microsoft, the Finnish mobile maker has reported lower sales of Lumia devices in its Q4.
Larry Dignan / ZDNet:
eBay CEO Donahoe gives Icahn e-commerce tutorial over PayPal plan  —  Summary: eBay CEO John Donahoe: Why in an era of big data and e-commerce innovation would you separate eBay, PayPal and their network effects?  —  eBay CEO John Donahoe elaborated on why PayPal should remain part …
John Biggs / TechCrunch:
Google Glass User Detained By Feds Talks About Ordeal  —  While some businesses are banning the high-tech wearable device Google Glass, a theatre owner in Columbus, Ohio, saw enough of a threat to call the Department of Homeland Security.  The manager called in unnamed Homeland Security agents …
Chris Kohler / Wired:
Instead of porting its games to other mobile platforms, Nintendo should run its own platform  —  Everything You're Thinking About Nintendo Is Totally Wrong  —  The entire internet has weighed in with what it believes is the answer to Nintendo's financial woes: Go mobile, immediately.
More: BGRTweets: @mattbraga and @magicody
Florian Mueller / FOSS Patents:
Huawei settles with Rockstar Consortium, will pay for Android's infringement of ex-Nortel patents  —  The Google-led group of Android device makers sued on Halloween 2013 over former Nortel patents fails to present a united front to the Rockstar Consortium, a patent holding firm jointly owned by Apple …
More: Engadget and CNET
Roberto Baldwin / Wired:
Tivo Lays Off Most of Its Design Team as It Transitions to the Cloud  —  Update: Tivo says it will continue to use third-party designers for hardware going forward.  The article has been updated to reflect this fact.  —  Tivo has been bullish lately about releasing new software products beyond its core DVR boxes.
Steven Hickson / Steves Computer Vision Blog:
Hacking Snapchat's people verification in less than 100 lines  —  I woke up this morning and saw this article detailing Snapchat's new people verification system.  You may have seen it but if not I will summarize it for you.  They basically have you choose each image with the Snapchat ghost to prove you are a person.
Jack Clark / The Register:
Amazon's lack of public involvement in open source may cause talent attrition, say insiders  —  Amazon's ‘schizophrenic’ open source selfishness scares off potential talent, say insiders  —  Moles blame Bezos for paltry code sharing  —  Exclusive Amazon is one of the most technically …
Tweets: @mappingbabelThanks:@mappingbabel
John Cook / GeekWire:
Early stakeholders in Scout Analytics claim venture capitalists engaged in ‘self dealing, corporate waste’ prior to $32M acquisition  —  Not everyone is happy about today's $32 million acquisition of Scout Analytics by ServiceSource.  A group of series A preferred stockholders filed suit …
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Judge: IP-Address Does Not Prove Copyright Infringement  —  Mass-BitTorrent lawsuits have been dragging on for years in the US, involving hundreds of thousands of alleged downloaders.  —  The copyright holders who start these cases generally provide nothing more than an IP address as evidence.
Catherine Shu / TechCrunch:
App Revenue In Asia Grew A Massive 162% In 2013, Driven By Google Play  —  Over the past two years, Asia has emerged as the world's top marketplace for apps-and it's still growing.  Revenue in Asia rose by a massive 162% in 2013, “annihilating” growth in all other continents, according to a new report by Distimo.
Cyrus Farivar / Ars Technica:
Protesters show up at the doorstep of Google self-driving car engineer  —  Protests against tech giants and their impact on the San Francisco Bay Area economy just got personal.  —  According to an anonymous submission on local news site Indybay, an unknown group of protesters targeted …
Janko Roettgers / Gigaom:
Lively raises $2 million as live concert space heats up  —  Seattle-based digital music startup Lively has raised close to $2 million in new funding, according to an SEC filing.  Lively offers artists an easy way to record their concerts, and then sell them to concert-goers and other fans immediately after the show.
More: hypebot and GeekWire
Dennis Schaal / Skift:
Groupon Adds 20,000 Properties To Its Hotel Feature  —  Groupon added 20,000 hotels, up from the several hundred hotel flash sales that it previously ran.  / PlaceIt by Breezi  —  Groupon wants to be much more than a flash sales site when it comes to hotels.
More: TechCrunchTweets: @rafat

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Queensland Government partners with Microsoft to bring Office 365 to 149,000 government employees  —  Queensland, the second-largest state in Australia, will partner with Microsoft to bring Office 365 …
Atlassian:
Every team needs kick-ass code reviews  —  Code reviews help spread knowledge and coding best practices throughout a team.  In this article we'll take a look at why code reviews are important, and how to optimize the practice.
Zoho Blogs:
2 Ways Live Chat Can Enhance Your Customer Service  —  Landing a new customer is 5x more expensive than keeping an existing customer.  How do we keep our customers happy?  By providing outstanding support.
Silicon Valley Bank:
Strengthening the U.S. Innovation Economy by Ending Abusive Patent Litigation  —  In Silicon Valley Bank's Innovation Economy Outlook 2014 survey, we asked executives what they see in today's patent system …
 

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Douglas MacMillan / Wall Street Journal: