MICROSOFT fights back against gov't snooping -- CHINA says yes to APPLE, no to BITCOIN -- NET NEUTRALITY takes another hit -- AMAZON previews virtual Office for iPad

 

December 5, 2013 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Microsoft to encrypt services, notify customers of gov't data requests, by John Ribeiro: "Microsoft moved to reassure business and government customers worldwide that it is committed to informing them of legal orders related to their data, and will fight in court any 'gag order' that prevents it from sharing such information with customers. The company also plans to encrypt customers' information moving between its data centers, with plans to complete the project by the end of 2014... best-in-class cryptography, including Perfect Forward Secrecy and 2048-bit key lengths." InfoWorld

>>>> Protecting customer data from government snooping The Official Microsoft Blog

>>>> Internet firms step up efforts to stop spying New York Times (paywalled)

>>>> Berners-Lee calls for ‘ordinary people' to protect web Financial Times (paywalled)

>>>> Should Windows consumer and enterprise flavors remain in sync? ZDNet

>>>> Get ready for the Office, SharePoint, and Exchange 2013 SP1 service packs InfoWorld

>>>> Microsoft closes at $38.94, its highest point in 13.38 years TechCrunch >> MONEY SHOT: Icahn files Apple shareholder proposal, by Rana Foroohar: "He filed a shareholder proposal with Apple on Nov. 26, three days before the deadline for measures to be voted on at the company's next annual shareholders meeting. His measure calls for a share buyback and is in the form of a precatory proposal, which means that even if a majority of Apple shareholders approved, it would not be binding on the company's management." Time

>>>> Icahn is now calling for a buyback of 'at least' $50b in stock in current fiscal year. Seems like his ask just came down by a lot. CNBC @davidfaber

>> RICKROLL: FCC chair: ISPs should be able to charge Netflix for Internet fast lane, by Jon Brodkin: "Wheeler's stance is surprising given that it appears to contradict the FCC's Open Internet Order, passed under his predecessor in 2010. That order, which sets out the country's network neutrality rules, says that fixed broadband providers may not 'unreasonably discriminate' against any type of traffic. The order specifically calls out pay-for-play arrangements as being potential violations." Ars Technica

>>>> TECHBRIEF FACTS OF LIFE: We're seeing the term 'Net neutrality' redefined on the fly.

>> REACHING FLOW: Apple, China Mobile sign deal to offer iPhone, by Lorraine Luk, Daisuke Wakabayashi: "China Mobile has signed a long-awaited deal with Apple to offer iPhones on its network... The rollout of iPhones on the world's largest mobile carrier by users, with over 700 million subscribers, is expected to start later this month, around the time of a Dec. 18 China Mobile conference in Guangzhou... China Mobile is one of the world's last major carriers that doesn't offer the iPhone." Wall Street Journal (paywalled)

>>>> China passes Japan to become world's 2nd largest IT market Computerworld

>>>> Apple desktops overtake Dell on shoppers' holiday wish lists CNet >> ALL YOUR BASE: Leaked: Uber's internal revenue and ride request numbers, by Nitasha Tiku: "Valleywag has obtained detailed internal financial information indicating that Uber, the e-hailing app that has spawned a hundreds of half-baked pitches, is making a lot more money than its investors had anticipated... it looks as though the company is on track to make around $210 million in 2013, based on our very, very rough calculation... When Uber raised a stupefying $258 million from Google Ventures and TPG Investments back in August, Kara Swisher reported that Uber was on track to make $125 million in revenue in 2013." Valleywag

>>>> Leaked Uber numbers, which we've confirmed, point to over $1B gross, $213M revenue TechCrunch

>> NEOMONEY: China bans financial companies from Bitcoin transactions, by Steven Yang, Simon Lee: "China's central bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions, moving to regulate the virtual currency after an 89-fold jump in its value sparked a surge of investor interest in the country. Bitcoin plunged more than 20 percent to below $1,000 on the BitStamp Internet exchange after the People's Bank of China said it isn't a currency with 'real meaning' and doesn't have the same legal status. The public is free to participate in Internet transactions provided they take on the risk themselves, it said." [Spoiler: It's back above $1,050.] Bloomberg

>>>> Why banks are declaring war on Bitcoin Mark Maunder

>>>> Death threats fly as $100 million of Bitcoins disappear from Sheep Marketplace TechWorld

>> BIG BROTHER DATA: NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show, by Barton Gellman, Ashkan Soltani: "... gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world... enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals -- and map their relationships -- in ways that would have been previously unimaginable. The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices... New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool. The NSA does not target Americans' location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones 'incidentally.'" WaPo

>> DaaS: Amazon's desktop-as-a-service quietly comes to the iPad, by Nancy Gohring: "Why wait for Microsoft to roll out Office for iPad when you can get the full version of Office on your iPad via Amazon? Amazon today quietly began offering an iPad app for WorkSpaces, its new service that offers a hosted, virtualized Windows desktop environment. Amazon unveiled the service recently at its Re:Invent conference but didn't immediately offer the iPad app. WorkSpaces is only available as a preview service for now, which means you can register your interest and Amazon will decide whether to invite you to use it." CITEworld

>> OPEN CHECKBOOK: Lenovo looking at acquisitions to expand enterprise unit, by Agam Shah: "Once heavily reliant on the Chinese market, Lenovo is now looking to make acquisitions as it tries to expand its growing enterprise business to other countries... Lenovo is the world's top PC vendor, but is not yet a significant player in the server market... The company established its Enterprise Product Group a year ago and now wants to build server, software, networking, storage and software portfolios through acquisitions and partnerships." InfoWorld

>> HP deals a 'blow' to the UK IT sector and cuts 1,100 jobs Computerworld UK

>> Obama says he's not allowed iPhone for 'security reasons' Reuters

>> Twitter is about to officially launch retargeted ads TechCrunch

>> Digital spy tech could face same regulation as weapons in international treaty The Verge

>> Joyent polishes Node.js with commercial support package PCWorld

>> Node.js boosts load balancing, adds to API ahead of 1.0 release InfoWorld

>> Pinterest's engineering lead Jon Jenkins leaves to launch his own startup TechCrunch

>> Ruby on Rails security updates patch XSS, DoS vulnerabilities PCWorld

>> Gates, Zuckerberg chip in to fund broadband in schools -- $9M pledged WaPo

>> Jessica Lessin launches The Information

>> Functional programming books review Alex Ott

>> Bitcoin this hour: $1,087 Mt.Gox

>> HAD TO RUN IT: Amsterdam has a deal for alcoholics: Work paid in beer New York Times (paywalled)

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "The Uberfication of everything is turning San Francisco into an assisted living community for the young." @StartupLJackson

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

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