August 13, 2014, 11:00 AM

Top News

James Bamford / Wired:
Edward Snowden is extensively interviewed in Moscow by NSA whistleblower James Bamford  —  Edward Snowden: The Untold Story  —  I am staying at the Hotel Metropol, a whimsical sand-colored monument to pre-revolutionary art nouveau.  Built during the time of Czar Nicholas II …
Kim Zetter / Wired:
NSA developing “MonsterMind” system to autonomously block and retaliate against cyberattacks  —  Meet MonsterMind, the NSA Bot That Could Wage Cyberwar Autonomously  —  Edward Snowden has made us painfully aware of the government's sweeping surveillance programs over the last year.
More: EngadgetThanks:@emilydreyfuss
Andy Greenberg / Wired:
Snowden: I Left the NSA Clues, But They Couldn't Find Them  —  If the NSA still doesn't know the full extent of the greatest leak of secrets in its history, it's not because of Edward Snowden's attempts to cover his tracks.  On the contrary, the NSA's most prolific whistleblower now claims …
Daniel Cooper / Engadget:
Amazon introduces its $10 mobile card reader, Local Register, and undercuts Square and PayPal transaction fees  —  Amazon undercuts Square and PayPal with its own mobile card reader  —  Square's grand plan to democratize credit card payments has inspired a clutch of imitators, the latest of which is Amazon.
Victor H. / PhoneArena:
Samsung launches Galaxy Alpha, 4.7 inch, metal frame, octa-core, $689 off-contract, arrives September  —  Samsung Galaxy Alpha is now official: metal-made and the thinnest Galaxy yet  —  After months of endless leaks, rumors and speculations, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha has finally gone official.
Chris Ziegler / The Verge:
Samsung may unveil VR headset at September 3 event; image shows similarities to Google's Cardboard  —  This is Samsung's VR headset  —  Samsung will be showing its rumored virtual reality headset at its upcoming product event in early September, The Verge has learned, where the company widely expected to announce the Galaxy Note 4.
Kaylene Hong / The Next Web:
WeChat climbs to 438 million monthly active users, closing in on WhatsApp's 500 million  —  Tencent published its earnings today for the second quarter of 2014, revealing a new milestone for its WeChat messaging app: it has risen to 438 million monthly active users, up from 396 million the previous quarter.
Ina Fried / Re/code:
HTC builds separate business unit to make software for more than just HTC phones, launching Zoe video app for Android this week  —  HTC Builds Software Business Amid Tough Phone Market  —  Despite building some of the sexiest smartphones this side of Apple, HTC's hardware and financial challenges have been well documented.
Jim Cowie / Renesys:
Internet Touches Half Million Routes: Outages Possible Next Week  —  There was minor consternation in Internet engineering circles today, as the number of IPv4 networks worldwide briefly touched another magic “power of 2″ size limit.  As it turns out, 512K (524,288 to be exact …
Roy Goldenberg / Globes Online:
Taxi hailing app co GetTaxi raises $150m  —  The company will expand services to European cities beyond its existing operations in London, Moscow and St. Petersburg.  —  Taxi hailing app company GetTaxi has raised $150 million in a huge financing round.  The company has yet to name …
Sebastian Anthony / ExtremeTech:
Reversible USB Type-C connector finalized: Devices, cables, and adapters coming soon  —  The USB Promoter Group has announced that the greatest invention in the known universe — the reversible Type-C USB connector — is finally ready for mass production.  The USB Implementers Forum …
Sapna Maheshwari / BuzzFeed:
Hukkster's closure could have been prevented with a deal between Winklevoss and debtholders  —  Exclusive: A Standoff Between The Winklevoss Twins And Debtholders Killed Hukkster  —  Hukkster, the discount-tracking app backed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, was dying but managed to find a savior in Marc Lore's
More: Valleywag
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google Opens Classroom, Its Learning Management Tool, To All Teachers  —  Back in May, Google announced the limited preview of Classroom, a tool that aims to make it easier for teachers to stay in touch with their students and to give them assignments and feedback.
Scott Wasson / The Tech Report:
Errata prompts Intel to disable TSX in Haswell, early Broadwell CPUs  —  The TSX instructions built into Intel's Haswell CPU cores haven't become widely used by everyday software just yet, but they promise to make certain types of multithreaded applications run much faster than they can today.
Tanaya Macheel / CoinDesk:
P2P Bitcoin Lending Platform Bitbond Receives €200,000 Seed Funding  —  Peer-to-peer bitcoin lending company Bitbond has secured €200,000 in seed money during a round led by early-stage investment firm Point Nine Capital.  —  The funding is meant to help Bitbond broaden its user base and accelerate loan origination.
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
Apple Stores to start offering iPhones via carrier financing on Aug. 20th  —  A significant number of Apple Stores in the United States will likely begin offering iPhone sales via the latest carrier financing programs later this month, according to several sources.
Jon Russell / The Next Web:
Messaging company Line's new photo app is dedicated to taking the perfect selfie  —  Japanese messaging giant Line is pushing hard to associate itself with the selfie.  It introduced a selfie-stickers app (!), has polled Europeans on their “selfie addiction,” and now is taking things further …
Nick Summers / The Next Web:
Sony has sold 10 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide  —  Sony is on a roll.  During its press conference at Gamescom 2014, the company announced it has now sold 10 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide.  —  To be clear, this is the number of consoles that have been bought by consumers …

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Ben Thompson / stratechery:
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Ina Fried / Re/code: