T-MOBILE talks speed, bargains, trash -- EU, Canada snub US companies over NSA -- Digital MOVIE sales surge -- Snapchat for SUITS


January 9, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> CES SIREN: Privacy, spectrum, 4K lethargy, smart and healthy

> Time to examine rules on data collection and privacy, US commerce secretary says InfoWorld

> Twitter CEO says he has no idea how many users opt out of ads TechCrunch

> More unlicensed spectrum could be on the horizon, FCC chairman says InfoWorld

> Prices of 4K desktop monitors plummet below $800 PC World

> Dell wasn't joking about that 28-inch sub-$1000 4k monitor; it's only $699 [It tops out at a sluggish 30Hz 3840 x 2160 and 60Hz for 1920 x 1080] Forbes

> First look: iOS-connected smart watches, health trackers, home automation from Archos ["Archos isn't stopping at the wrist"] AppleInsider

> Watch every major CES event in five minutes or less The Verge

> WowWee's MiP revisited: the dance of the robot fairies Engadget >> THANK YOU, NSA: Online privacy could spark US-EU trade rift, by Sam Schechner: "France on Wednesday fined Google €150,000 ($204,000) for privacy violations, following a similar €900,000 fine in Spain last month. Italy is considering a controversial measure to force data-rich online-ad companies to pay more tax locally. France and Germany have pushed to create a 'European cloud,' which could keep personal information in Europe. The measures are the latest flare-ups in a long-simmering disagreement between Brussels and Washington over digital privacy and online profits, exacerbated by outrage over allegations of U.S. spying via American companies. In Europe, some politicians see personal data as a new natural resource from which European companies should profit. Others see privacy laws as a bulwark against tyranny." Wall Street Journal

> NSA scandal spooking IT pros in UK, Canada "A third of the Canadian managers and slightly less than one quarter of the U.K. managers indicated they are taking steps to ensure their company data is not stored in the U.S. due to concerns about NSA cyber-spying." Network World

> Google data chief says 'flawed' EU privacy law is dead Bloomberg

>> BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Reddit AMA (ask me anything): How a weird Internet thing became a mainstream delight, by Alexis Madrigal: "AMAs generate some of the most compelling stories on the web, or in any medium. There's a whole cottage content industry that merely repackages the answers from AMAs. Something about the site -- the venue, the community, something -- licenses people to say and do things that they otherwise wouldn't." The Atlantic

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: T-Mobile US offers to pay early termination fees for switchers as it claims fastest LTE network, by Josh Ong: "T-Mobile says it will pay up to $350 in fees per line for up to five lines and pay up to $300 extra for trade-ins of subsidized devices. The offer isn't a promotion, as T-Mobile plans to make this a permanent. T-Mobile also touted its 4G LTE network as the fastest in the country with a reach of 209 million people in 273 metro areas. The claim is based on millions of points of crowdsourced real-time data from Speedtest.net. In the month of December, T-Mobile's Speedtest average was 17.8 Mbps, compared to 14.7 Mbps from AT&T, 14.3 Mbps from Verizon and 7.9 Mbps from Sprint." TNW

> T-Mobile CEO: 'This industry blows,' biggest carriers offer 'horsesh**' Ars Technica

>> RICKROLL: The curious case of Yahoo's app reviews, by John Herrman, Charlie Warzel: "Summly founder Nick D'Aloisio, in an interview with Yahoo's David Pogue, touted his [Yahoo News Digest] app's positive reviews. But who's writing them? ... A large share of this app's positive reviews are written by people who almost exclusively write reviews of Yahoo products, or people who have never written another review. At least one appears to be listed publicly as a Yahoo employee." BuzzFeed

> Yahoo combines Reddit's 'tl;dr' & a little bit of Circa for its new 'News Digest' app VentureBeat

>> WE KNOW WHAT YOU MEME: The evolution of memes on Facebook, by Lada Adamic, Thomas Lento, Eytan Adar, Pauline Ng: "We've observed a number of remarkable parallels between how information evolves in a social network and how genes evolve. Drawing these parallels simply hasn't been possible before for lack of large-scale data containing the evolution histories of many memes. Here we examined near-complete traces of hundreds of memes, collectively comprising over 460 million individual instances. Although the study is limited to just the Facebook context, and just on format of meme (textual status updates), we believe it provides useful insight into the behavior of ideas transmitted via social ties in general." Facebook blog

> Facebook knows all your posting tricks -- and how well they work BuzzFeed

>> MONEY SHOT: Sales of digital movies surge, by Ben Fritz: "After years of trying to convince consumers to buy movies online, Hollywood found a solution in 2013: Make it the only option. Digital movie purchases surged 47% last year to $1.19 billion... Digital growth just barely made up for ongoing declines in sales and rentals of physical discs. The total U.S. home-entertainment market remains well below its peak of more than $22 billion 2004, a drop that has squeezed the profits of every studio and led to widespread cost cutting. Still, strides in digital-movie sales are encouraging to studios. And a primary reason for the accelerating growth in online sales is the widespread adoption of a new release window marketed as 'Digital HD.' For one to four weeks before a movie becomes available on DVD or to rent online, studios make new movies available to purchase from digital stores like Apple's iTunes Store and Amazon in high definition." Wall Street Journal

>> HAIL WATSON: IBM carves out $1 billion new unit for 'Jeopardy' champ Watson, by Alex Barinka: "More than $1 billion will be invested in the IBM Watson Group, including $100 million in venture funding for businesses that develop applications based on the technology. Based in New York with a staff of 2,000, the new unit will be separate from IBM's hardware, software and services divisions, said Stephen Gold, vice president of Watson Solutions.... 'It's the first time that IBM is bringing together all of the disparate functions that support a business,' Gold said said in an interview. 'It's a kind of doubling down.'" Bloomberg

>> DERP: DoS attacks that took down big game sites abused Web's time-sync protocol, by Dan Goodin: "Miscreants who earlier this week took down servers for League of Legends, EA.com, and other online game services used a never-before-seen technique that vastly amplified the amount of junk traffic directed at denial-of-service targets. Rather than directly flooding the targeted services with torrents of data, an attack group calling itself DERP Trolling sent much smaller-sized data requests to time-synchronization servers running the Network Time Protocol (NTP). By manipulating the requests to make them appear as if they originated from one of the gaming sites, the attackers were able to vastly amplify the firepower at their disposal. A spoofed request containing eight bytes will typically result in a 468-byte response to victim, an increase of more than 58 fold." Ars Technica

>> KNOWLEDGE BOMB: Of bits and big Apple bucks, by Horace Dediu: "The media industry deplored the shift of 'digital pennies for analog dollars' as the packaging of their product changed. The angst and trauma suffered by the media industry when dealing with what could be seen as a trivial change in the encoding of content are the stuff of lore and legend. Moving to apps could be even more troubling. Mainly because there is already a distribution channel in place. And it's owned by a set of companies whose motives and business models are completely different. The app economy shows that there are big opportunities in 'digital pennies' and that the figures are beginning to match even the 'analog dollars'. In fact, I suspect eventually digital pennies will dwarf analog dollars. The trouble is that these pennies will not be earned at the same control points. Bits are already big bucks. They're just not the bits we are used to." Asymco

>> Confide, a Snapchat for the corner office BloombergBusinessweek

>> Riverbed may go private in a $3 billion deal InfoWorld

>> Zephyr Health lands $15M from Kleiner to help life sciences navigate big data, bring therapies to market faster TechCrunch

>> Kickstarter's 2013 saw 3M crowdfunders pledge $480M, 19.9K successfully funded projects TechCrunch

>> Alibaba takes on Tencent with mobile game hosting platform Bloomberg

>> Apple, Samsung CEOs agree to mediation in U.S. patent fight Reuters

>> Windows and Android on one PC? Here's how AMD and Intel plan to do it ZDNet

>> Nvidia takes customer site offline after SAP bug found PC World

>> How two cities brought fiber to the home when the carriers couldn't InfoWorld

>> Samsung plans Galaxy S5 by April as eye scanner studied Bloomberg

>> Bitcoin woos Washington to ensure lawmakers don't kill it Bloomberg

>> The MTA plans to turn New Yorkers' smartphones into subway passes Skift

>> Bitcoin isn't money -- it's the Internet of money The Umlaut

>> BITCOIN: $929 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Ironic that Archos, the company that made the earliest (and ugliest) MP3 players before iPod, is now selling iPhone peripherals." @counternotions

FEED ME, SEYMOUR: Comments? Questions? Tips? Shoot mail to Trent or Woody. Follow @gegax or @woodyleonhard.

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