Techmeme
January 5, 2015, 10:40 PM

Top News

Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
Apple to start selling SIM-free iPhone 6 & 6 Plus in the U.S. tomorrow  —  Apple will start selling fully unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in the United States beginning tomorrow, January 6th, according to several sources.  The unlocked iPhones will be available …
Bloomberg:
Sources: Verizon approached AOL about possible acquisition or joint venture to strengthen mobile-video offerings  —  Verizon Said to Approach AOL About Possible Takeover or Venture  —  Verizon Communications Inc. has approached AOL Inc. (AOL) about a potential acquisition or joint venture …
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Dish announces Sling TV: stream channels like ESPN, CNN, and TNT over the internet for $20 per month without a cable subscription  —  You Can Finally Get ESPN on the Web, for $20 a Month  —  Lots of people say they want to ditch cable TV for the Web, but can't because they want to watch sports …
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
Gogo issues fake HTTPS certificates to block in-flight YouTube streaming, says no user info collected  —  Gogo issues fake HTTPS certificate to users visiting YouTube  —  Gogo has been caught issuing a fake digital certificate for YouTube, a practice that in theory could allow …
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook Acquires Wit.ai To Help Its Developers With Speech Recognition And Voice Interfaces  —  Facebook today acquired Wit.ai, a Y Combinator startup founded 18 months ago to create an API for building voice-activated interfaces.  Wit.ai already has 6,000 developers on its platform who have built hundreds of apps.
Zack Whittaker / ZDNet:
Bitstamp confirms exchange hacked, has lost less than 19K bitcoins worth about $5M  —  Bitstamp exchange hacked, $5M worth of bitcoin stolen  —  The European bitcoin exchange suspends its service after it was hacked, ZDNet can confirm.  Less than 19,000 bitcoins were stolen from an operational wallet.
Austin Carr / Fast Company:
Amazon executes sweeping reorganization of hardware group Lab126 following Fire Phone flop  —  Following Fire Phone Flop, Big Changes At Amazon's Lab126  —  In recent months, a string of departures and managerial changes has hit Amazon's Lab126, the company's Silicon Valley-based R&D group …
Ross Miller / The Verge:
Sony announces new high-res Walkman NW-ZX2 with 128GB onboard storage running Android 4.2, coming spring for for $1.2K  —  This is the new Sony Walkman  —  All signs pointed to a new Sony Walkman (literally) at CES 2015, and the signs didn't lie.  The new Walkman ZX2 is real …
Scott Stein / CNET:
Lenovo enters the smart fitness band game with e-ink, water-resistant Vibe Band VB10  —  LAS VEGAS — Fitness band meets smartwatch: yeah, it's a well-trodden formula.  Lenovo, however, hasn't made a splash into wearables before.  The Vibe Band VB10, debuted at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas …
Mitchel Broussard / MacRumors:
TapSense announces platform for contextual ads on Apple Watch as developers scramble to deliver ads through Watch SDK  —  TapSense Announces Platform to Bring Contextual Ads to Apple Watch  —  Amidst the new and upcoming product launches at this year's Consumer Electronics Show …
Caleb Pershan / SFist:
Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's Resolution Book Club Sells Out First Title On Amazon  —  Mark Zuckerberg is not like us.  For example, when it comes to New Year's resolutions, the Facebook CEO actually achieves things.  And in the five short days of 2015 so far, he's already become Oprah Winfrey.
Gordon Mah Ung / PC World:
HP takes on Chromeboxes with $180, Windows-based Stream Mini PC  —  HP takes on Chromeboxes with $180, Windows-based Stream Mini PC  —  Late last year, HP kicked off the Windows war against Google's Chromebooks with its $200 Streambook 11, and now the company is back again to tackle Chromeboxes with its Stream Mini PC.
More: HP, Engadget, ZDNet, eWeek and Ars TechnicaThanks:@bradchacos
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Google Asked to Remove 345 Million “Pirate” Links in 2014  —  In the hope of steering prospective customers away from pirate sites, copyright holders are overloading Google with DMCA takedown notices.  —  These requests have increased dramatically over the years.
Janko Roettgers / Gigaom:
Samsung is adding Slingbox-like features to its new smart TVs  —  Janko Roettgers  —  Credit: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com  —  Credit: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com  —  This is interesting: Samsung is adding what amounts to a kind of Slingbox to all of its new smart TVs …
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
Intel Turns Off Russian Forums, Blogs & Comments In Response To Russian Blogging Law  —  Back in April of last year, we were among the first to report on a very dangerous new law in Russia targeting bloggers, requiring any blogger or social media user with more than 3,000 “visitors” a day to register their real name with the government.
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Google Cast for audio lets you stream music from apps like Pandora and Rdio to compatible speakers, coming this spring  —  Google Cast will offer direct streaming from apps to Sony, LG, and Denon audio products this spring  —  What will be hot in consumer electronics and computing in 2015?
Lynn La / CNET:
LG G Flex 2: curved smartphone with 5.5-inch screen and Snapdragon 810 coming to Korea this month, AT&T and Sprint later this year  —  LG G Flex 2: Second-gen curved smartphone features 5.5-inch screen, Snapdragon 810 and ‘self-healing’ capabilities (hands-on)
Marco Arment / Marco.org:
Apple's marketing priorities are driving the pace of software releases at the expense of quality  —  Apple has lost the functional high ground  —  Apple's hardware today is amazing — it has never been better.  But the software quality has fallen so much in the last few years that I'm deeply concerned for its future.

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