Techmeme
February 26, 2014, 11:50 PM

Top News

Matt Warman / Telegraph:
Google never offered to acquire WhatsApp, says SVP Sundar Pichai  —  Google did not bid for WhatsApp  —  Claims that Facebook outbid Google in its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp are untrue, a top executive has said.  —  Google did not bid for WhatsApp, the company revealed yesterday.
Harry McCracken / TIME:
Project Ara: Inside Google's Bold Gambit to Make Smartphones Modular  —  The two-year quest to create the ultimate customizable phone, inside and out.  —  On January 29, Google announced that it had agreed to sell Motorola, its phone-manufacturing business, to Chinese electronics giant Lenovo.
Jason Green / Mercury News:
Mountain View: City Council inks deal with Google for new Wi-Fi network  —  Google is set to replace its frustrating to use Wi-Fi network in Mountain View with one that is smaller but more capable.  —  On Tuesday night, the Mountain View City Council enthusiastically approved a new five-year agreement …
Liam Spradlin / Android Police:
This Is An Early Prototype Of The Google Watch Made By Motorola Last Year [Update: One More Image]  —  A few days ago, we published a story about Google's possibly upcoming smartwatch.  Current rumors suggest that the watch may be ready in time for Google I/O, and that it might be made by LG.
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks  —  Twice now that Apple's bypassed Snow Leopard when it patched newer editions  —  Apple on Tuesday made it clear that it will no longer patch OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, when it again declined to offer …
More: Apple and InfoWorld
Andy Greenberg / Forbes:
Senator Calls For Bitcoin Ban In Letter To Financial Regulators  —  Since Senator Charles Schumer first called on law enforcement nearly three years ago to shut down the Silk Road and cited the black market's use of Bitcoin for anonymous transactions, the cryptocurrency community has been waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Emily Flitter / Reuters:
Wall Street Journal:
White House Weighs Four Options for Revamping NSA Phone Surveillance  —  Proposals Range From Running Program Through Phone Companies to Ditching It Altogether  —  WASHINGTON—Administration lawyers have presented the White House with four options for restructuring the National Security …
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
Hands-on with Samsung's Tizen OS: An impressively capable Android clone  —  The Tizen home screen.  —  BARCELONA, SPAIN—Samsung has such a large presence at Mobile World Congress that it doesn't just have one giant booth; there are also several smaller ones scattered around the show halls.
Tweets: @danieleran
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Boeing's secret ‘Black’ spy phone will detect tampering, self-destruct if cracked open  —  Nearly two years after word leaked about Boeing's plans to build a secure Android phone, the aerospace giant and defense contractor has quietly filed documents with the FCC for what it's calling the “Black” phone.
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Integration complete: New Skype users can now sign up with a Microsoft account  —  In addition to including Microsoft account support in its Windows Phone app, Skype today also started letting new users signing up on Skype.com to register with a Microsoft account (in addition to a Facebook account).
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
A Closer Look At Blackphone, The Android Smartphone That Simplifies Privacy  —  One of the more interesting devices here at Mobile World Congress is Blackphone: a pro-privacy handset being developed by Spanish startup Geeksphone, in partnership with U.S. security company Silent Circle using a …
Thanks:@riptari
Tatiana Siegel / Hollywood Reporter:
David Fincher in Early Talks to Direct Steve Jobs Film for Sony (Exclusive)  —  Based on Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography, the film would reteam Fincher with “Social Network” writer Aaron Sorkin and producer Scott Rudin.  —  David Fincher already has tackled one Silicon Valley billionaire in Mark Zuckerberg.
Derrick Harris / Gigaom:
IBM is challenging developers to insert Watson into mobile apps  —  At the Mobile World Congress event today, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty laid down the gauntlet for mobile developers.  Over the next three months, IBM will host its Watson Mobile Developer Challenge to find the best ideas for mobile apps …
Jason Del Rey / Re/code:
eBay Leads Giant $133.7 Million Investment in Indian Shopping Site Snapdeal  —  EBay is leading a $133.7 million investment in online shopping website Snapdeal that could result in a buyout of what is viewed as the eBay of India.  —  EBay contributed a large majority of the total investment …
Sharif Sakr / Engadget:
Wacom lets people share handwritten notes across devices and platforms  —  Wacom has been pushing into the world of mobile for a while, and its efforts have just culminated in a pretty bold move: A single, cross-platform standard for sharing handwritten notes and sketches between users …
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
“Google Now Launcher” hits Play Store, brings Google homescreen to GPE & Nexus devices  —  When KitKat launched, Google made the odd decision to make one of the headline features, a brand-new launcher, exclusive to the Nexus 5.  The new launcher was actually a merging of the standard home screen with the Google Search app.
CoinDesk:
Exclusive: State of Bitcoin 2014 Report Analyses Emerging Trends  —  Today CoinDesk is pleased to release its first ever ‘State of Bitcoin’ report.  —  This report is not intended to be another guide to answer the question ‘what is bitcoin?’, which we cover in detail elsewhere on our site.
Tweets: @coindesk
Jeff John Roberts / Gigaom:
Google must remove all “Innocence of Muslims” videos from YouTube, appeals court rules  —  A California appeals court on Wednesday ordered Google to take down all copies of a controversial anti-Islamic movie, granting an injunction to an actress in the film who had filed a copyright claim after being subjected to global death threats.
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Following developer requests, Google delays blocking extensions not in the Chrome Web Store until May 1  —  Google today announced it won't be blocking local Chrome for Windows extensions until May 1.  The timing change is being made after some developers requested more time to get their extensions in the Chrome Web Store.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
16-year-old uses Windows 8 to reconnect after being sidelined by a rare disorder  —  Ehlers-Danlos syndrome affects Alejandra Tristan's wrist, finger and other joints, making it difficult for her to do schoolwork and connect through social media.
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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