GOOGLE annoys with Gmail+ -- 70M TARGET customers hacked --, Singapore taking BITCOIN -- PCs suffer 'worst decline' ever -- SNAPCHAT apologizes (sorta)


January 10, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.

>> CES SIREN: Intel me-too 64-bit, karaoke, FB fricassee, MS CES RIP

> Intel finishes work on 64-bit Android 4.4 for x86 smartphones InfoWorld

> Makers get tools to hack wearable tech for innovation PCWorld

> Whirlpool's future home has a cooktop you Facebook from ["Probably in the next five years"] TechHive

> Auto-tune your karaoke sessions with Singtrix [Includes "'Bohemian Rhapsody' mode"] TechHive

> CES 2014: Desperately seeking like after the PC InfoWorld
> Closing Windows: Microsoft and its platforms are nowhere to be found at CES
The Verge

> Real tech at CES? The rumors are true InfoWorld
> For four-eyes only: The Google Glass future is here InfoWorld

>> NEOMONEY: The grand experiment goes live: is now accepting bitcoins, by Cade Metz: "Last Tuesday, the company struck a deal to handle bitcoin payments through a service operated by the suddenly hot San Francisco startup Coinbase, and since then, a team of Overstock engineers has worked almost every waking hour to prepare the site for what is undeniably a key moment in the digital currency's short history." Wired
> Singapore tax authorities (IRAS) recognize Bitcoin and gives guidance Coin Republic
> The bitcoin-mining arms race heats up BloombergBusinessweek
> New Bitcoin exchange in the Philippines could set the stage for wider adoption of the currency TechInAsia
> Bitcoin's fatal flaw was nearly exposed Motherboard

>> F'd: Target raises estimate of customers hit by breach: 70 Million, by Kevin Orland: "Names, home and e-mail addresses as well as phone numbers were taken, the Minneapolis-based company said today in a statement. The company had previously said about 40 million shoppers were affected.... Target is trying to maintain customers' loyalty after data from shoppers' credit and debit cards was stolen while they made purchases in stores from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15. The breach came during retailers' most important season of the year and at a time when many consumers were restraining purchases." Bloomberg

>> STRANGER DANGER: Google just made it really easy for strangers to email you, by Dante D'Orazio: "You no longer need someone's email address to send them an email. At least, that will soon be the case if you want to email another Google+ user. A new Gmail 'feature' will let you simply type in anyone's name into Gmail's 'to' field and send them an email. Google announced the new Google+ integration on its Gmail blog today, but company representatives have clarified to The Verge that -- by default -- anyone on its social network will be able to send messages to your Gmail inbox." The Verge

>> DEATH SPIRAL: Gartner: 2013 saw the 'worst decline in PC market history', by Philip Elmer-DeWitt: "The industry as a whole suffered its seventh consecutive quarter of declining shipments -- down 6.9% for the quarter and 10% for the year... U.S. sales of Apple's Mac grew 28.5% last quarter, says Gartner. IDC says they fell 5.7%." Fortune
> PC shipments in 2013 dropped precipitously -- and the future's murky InfoWorld

>> WHITE-HAT HACK: Anatomy of a Snap attack, by Rusty Foster, Benjamin Jackson: "Snapchat's databases were not burgled. SnapchatDB merely asked for the information, and Snapchat's servers gave it to them... By reverse-engineering Snapchat's Android app, [Australian security researchers Gibson Security] figured out how to talk to the company's servers... Reverse-engineering Snapchat's A.P.I. is against the company's terms of service, but Gibson Security found no effective security measures to prevent it. Their advisory also revealed a handful of security vulnerabilities, noting that, while pictures and videos are encrypted, the decryption key is the same for everyone... in one test, Gibson wrote, it was able to query 'upwards of 75,000 [phone] numbers at once, getting a reply with thousands of active Snapchat accounts.'" New Yorker
> Snapchat says sorry for the hack with a tweak to its app InfoWorld

>> CONGLOMERATE 2.0: Google X staff meet with FDA pointing to possible medical device, by Brian Womack and Anna Edney: "Google Inc. (GOOG:US) sent employees with ties to its secretive X research group to meet with U.S. regulators who oversee medical devices, raising the possibility of a new product that may involve biosensors from the unit that developed computerized glasses.... The meeting included at least four Google workers, some of whom have connections with Google X -- and have done research on sensors, including contact lenses that help wearers monitor their biological data. Google staff met with those at the Food and Drug Administration who regulate eye devices and diagnostics for heart conditions, according to the agency's public calendar." BloombergBusinessweek

>> NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED: Australian police investigating teen who found database flaw, by Jeremy Kirk: "Joshua Rogers, 16, of Melbourne, found a SQL injection flaw in a database owned by Public Transport Victoria (PTV), which runs the state's transport system. The flaw allowed access to a database containing 600,000 records, including partial credit card numbers, addresses, emails, passwords, birth dates, phone numbers... Rogers sent an email to PTV... 'I've found a very serious vulnerability in the website that discloses critical information stored on the server... I'd like to report this vulnerability, but I'm unsure as to whom to contact.' After not getting a response, he contacted... Melbourne's daily newspaper… Rogers learned he'd been reported to Victoria Police." PCWorld

>> GEEK ALERT: MIT debuts online Big Data course for tech pros, by Ann Bednarz: "The course, titled Tackling the Challenges of Big Data, runs from March 4 to April 1 and costs $495. MIT Professional Education is behind the training. The Big Data course marks the first offering in the school's new lineup of Online X professional programs, which will be delivered via the Open edX platform... Five modules will address 18 topic areas with 20 hours of video. Learning assessments, case studies, discussion forums, and a community Wiki will be part of the course experience." Network World

>> DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Co-chief Eric Eldon leaving TechCrunch, by Sam Biddle: "One half of the heavyweight duo operating Silicon Valley's industry blog of record is making his exit. After a little over two years at the helm alongside Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch co-editor Eric Eldon will soon depart the site." ValleyWag
> It's never too early to say goodbye TechCrunch
> Take it easy, E ParisLemon (MG Siegler)

>> Yahoo bought Android homescreen automator Aviate for $80M TechCrunch

>> Dell says it is open to layoffs as rumors swirl InfoWorld

>> Chromebooks have a 1% market share -- and a tough road to the enterprise Computerworld

>> rolling out big CRM upgrade following Salesforce1 launch InfoWorld

>> Facebook's secret to shipping millions of lines of code each day InfoWorld

>> FCC chief Wheeler pushes open Internet in Silicon Valley speech PCWorld

>> Behind-the-scenes, White House preoccupied by NSA surveillance controversy WaPo

>> Default settings leave external hard drives connected to Asus routers wide open InfoWorld

>> Silent technical privilege Philip Guo blog

>> 9 technologies for a supercharged 2014 InfoWorld

>> 4K is for programmers, not couch potatoes Brian Hauer (t/h Hacker News)

>> BITCOIN: $925 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "From what I've seen of the 405, the governor of California must have had it in for the mayor of LA for a very long time." @UncleDynamite

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

Pass it on. Tweet us!

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.