GOOGLE, the NSA's Trojan Horse -- TWITTER: Take that, Snapchat -- NOKIA releasing Droidphone (what?) -- SPOTIFY gets the Led out -- HARLEM scores Wi-Fi blanket


December 11, 2013 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> SPY VS. SPY: NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking, by Ashkan Soltani, Andrea Peterson, Barton Gellman: "NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ... have found particular use for a part of a Google-specific tracking mechanism known as the 'PREF' cookie. These cookies typically don't contain personal information, such as someone's name or e-mail address, but they do contain numeric codes that enable Web sites to uniquely identify a person's browser. In addition to tracking Web visits, this cookie allows NSA to single out an individual's communications among the sea of Internet data in order to send out software that can hack that person's computer. The slides say the cookies are used to 'enable remote exploitation,' although the specific attacks used by the NSA against targets are not addressed in these documents." WaPo

>>>> New documents show how the NSA infers relationships based on mobile location data WaPo

>> SMART READ: Why Twitter just joined the backchannel wars, by John Herrman: "In a major update, Twitter has placed Direct Messages at the center of its mobile app, with large images and an icon in the main navigation bar. In the process, it has created a true backchannel where there was barely one before.... For years, Twitter pretended it didn't have a Direct Messaging service. DMs are barely mentioned in the sign-up process; the feature was buried in Twitter apps, then buried again, until using it felt like unlocking a special feature." BuzzFeed

>> HEY HEY MAMA: Spotify said to secure exclusive deal with Led Zeppelin, by Ben Sisario: "Now, as Spotify is about to face new competition, with subscription services from YouTube and Beats Music set to arrive early next year, the company has landed another blue-chip exclusive content deal. Spotify will announce at a news conference in Manhattan on Wednesday morning that Led Zeppelin -- which has so far refused to license its music for streaming -- will join its catalog, according to people briefed on the deal who were not authorized to speak publicly about it." New York Times

>> AWKWARD: This is Nokia's Android phone, by Tom Warren: "Nokia has been building its own Android phone... Codenamed Normandy... the handset is designed as the next step in low-end phones from the Finnish smartphone maker. We understand that Nokia has been testing 'Normandy' with a special 'forked' variant of Android that's not aligned with Google's own version... Nokia has been developing the Android-powered phone despite Microsoft's plans to acquire the company's handset business. It's now unclear whether Nokia will release the handset before the Microsoft deal is finalized, or whether Microsoft will continue with the plans for the device." The Verge

>>>> Microsoft considers free versions of Windows Phone and Windows RT to battle Android The Verge

>> LOST THE FARM: Epic fail: The rise and fall of Demand Media, by Andrew Wallenstein, Todd Spangler: "The future of the so-called 'content farm' looks bleak as its search-centric biz crumbles... Not long after the company went public in January 2011, its market capitalization soared to more than $2 billion, sending the then-5-year-old firm's value briefly past that of the New York Times Co... Changes in Google's search algorithms have twice hammered the young company in recent years." Variety

>>>> Does Facebook think virality mills are the new content farms? "Sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy -- and a growing number of imitators -- have all but perfected the science of producing stories that Facebook users can't resist sharing with their friends and 'liking.'" Forbes

>> SHIATSU GINKGO YOGA THERAPY: Glassdoor: Twitter dethrones Facebook as the best tech company to work for, ending three-year streak, by Emil Protalinski: "Career website Glassdoor today released its sixth annual Employees' Choice Awards, a list of the 50 best places to work for in the coming year. Twitter was elected the number one tech company to work for in 2014, displacing Facebook, which held the crown for three years straight (2011, 2012, and 2013). In fact, Facebook didn't even manage to get second place." TNW

>> GEEK ALERT: NimbleTV brings TV everywhere to New York, without permission from the TV industrial complex, by Peter Kafka: "Want to watch the TV you've already paid for, anywhere you want to watch it, whenever you want to watch it? You can't. But NimbleTV says it can change that. And the startup, which wants to attach itself to the TV Industrial Complex by delivering pay TV over the Web, says it is now open for business in the New York City area, following a year-long trial." AllThingsD

>>>> NimbleTV launches streaming cable but legal questions await Mashable

>> BACKDOOR MEN: 'We cannot trust' Intel and Via's chip-based crypto, FreeBSD developers say, by Dan Goodin: "Developers of the FreeBSD operating system will no longer allow users to trust processors manufactured by Intel and Via Technologies as the sole source of random numbers needed to generate cryptographic keys that can't easily be cracked by government spies and other adversaries. The change, which will be effective in the upcoming FreeBSD version 10.0, comes three months after secret documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor Edward Snowden said the US spy agency was able to decode vast swaths of the Internet's encrypted traffic. Among other ways, The New York Times, Pro Publica, and The Guardian reported in September, the NSA and its British counterpart defeat encryption technologies by working with chipmakers to insert backdoors, or cryptographic weaknesses, in their products." Ars Technica

>>>> Want to be spy-proof? 3 keys to rock-solid encryption InfoWorld

>> ACROSS 110th STREET: Harlem will soon be home to the largest Wi-Fi network in the US, by Kwame Opam: "In his final weeks as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg today announced that Harlem will soon be the home of the largest public Wi-Fi network in the US. The network will extend a whopping 95 blocks, and will provide free wireless internet to the neighborhood's 80,000 residents -- and the crop of businesspeople the mayor hopes to attract." The Verge

>> STAT DU JOUR: 31% of Yahoo's revenue comes from Microsoft paying it to use Bing, by Brad Reed: "Bing may not be making any money for Microsoft but it seems to be doing wonders for Yahoo. Bloomberg reports that Microsoft's payouts to Yahoo in exchange for using Bing as its search engine accounted for 31% of its revenue last quarter, a surprisingly high number given that Yahoo before would only say that the Bing payouts accounted for more than 10% of its revenue." BGR

>> iBeacon pioneers Estimote raise $3.1M seed round TechCrunch

>> JAMF scores $30 million to keep helping Apple invade the enterprise CITEworld

>> Stealth networking startup VIPtela raises $33M from Sequoia AllThingsD

>> Oracle becomes sponsor of OpenStack Foundation InfoWorld

>> Vuzix develops Google Glass-like smart glasses -- but with superior optics and standard eyeframes VentureBeat

>> Meet Apache Twill, the newest member of club Hadoop InfoWorld

>> SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro? Cut through the confusion InfoWorld

>> Norway to digitize all Norwegian books, allowing domestic IP addresses to read all of them, irrespective of copyright status TechDirt

>> Google's first data centers in Asia go online to help serve the growing Internet population TNW

>> The Pirate Bay moves to .ac after domain name seizure [So that's where they went -- Ascension Island.] TorrentFreak

>> New York asks cellphone carriers to explain why they rejected antitheft switch New York Times

>> Dell to add Chromebook 11, looks beyond Windows and Android PCWorld

>> Facebook referrals skyrocket: up 170% in past year, 47% over last month Shareaholic

>> National Security and local police Brennan Center

>> Identity-theft vulnerability fixed in Microsoft Office 365, says security firm Network World

>> 6 things you should know about Node.js InfoWorld

>> Microsoft retracts Windows 7 PC end-of-sales deadline Computerworld

>> Google is building password-free locking and unlocking into Chrome OS; use a phone, ring, watch, or badge instead TNW

>> JPMorgan patents Bitcoin-like payment system Fortune/CNN Money

>> Bitcoin this hour: $901 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "It's not enough for Google to not be evil. Build massive infrastructure for surveillance and censorship, and evil will find you." @xor

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