GOOGLE buys your home, Droid moves in -- iOS catches up to Windows installs -- MESSAGING app use triples -- 1 in 10K apps successful


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

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>> HOME $WEET HOME: Google buying Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, by Dan Primack: "Google has agreed to acquire Nest Labs, the trendy maker of smart home appliances like thermostats and smoke detectors, for $3.2 billion in cash. The deal comes just weeks after reports that Nest was raising around $150 million in new venture capital funding to be led by Yuri Milner's DST Global, which apparently never happened (and possibly was never going to). Nest was founded in 2010 by Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive known for his design work on the original iPod." [Tech echo chamber count: 150+] Fortune

> Why Google paid $3.2B for a thermostat company Computerworld

> Nest's Tony Fadell on why he sold to Google: "Best of both worlds" Re/code

> Leaving the Nest: What's Microsoft doing in home automation? ZDNet

> Who gets rich from Google buying Nest? Kleiner returns 20x on $20M, Shasta nets ~$200M TechCrunch

> When Google closes the Nest deal, privacy issues for the Internet of things will hit the big time GigaOM

> Lowe's backs recommendation site for home projects New York Times Bits >> ADULT SUPERVISION: Apple loses bid to block antitrust monitorship, by Nate Raymond: "Apple lost a bid on Monday to block an antitrust monitor appointed after a judge's finding that the company conspired to fix e-book prices. At a hearing, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan denied Apple's request to stay an order requiring an external compliance monitor pending the company's appeal... The judge also said there was 'nothing improper' about a declaration filed by a lawyer chosen to serve as monitor, Michael Bromwich, that became the basis of Apple seeking his disqualification." Reuters

> Feds accuse Apple of 'character assassination' over antitrust monitor GigaOM

>> UNDER SIEGE: When Apple reached parity with Windows, by Horace Dediu: "In 2013 there were 18.8 times more Windows PCs sold than Macs. This is a reduction in the Windows advantage from about 19.8x in 2012... the bigger story is how Apple's mobile platform has nearly reached the sales volume of Windows. In 2013 there were only 1.18 more Windows PCs than Apple devices sold. Odds are that in 2014 they will be at parity... The decision making process for buying computers, which began with large companies IT departments making decisions with multi-year horizons, has changed to billions of individuals making decisions with no horizons. Companies have become the laggards and individuals the early adopters of technology." Asymco

>> MOBILE EATS WORLD: Mobile use grows 115% in 2013, propelled by messaging apps, by Simon Khalaf: "Overall app use in 2013 posted 115% year-over-year growth... Every single app category has shown growth over the last twelve months.... Utilities and Productivity apps posted 150% growth in use year-over-year, as smartphones and tablets became personal computers and productivity apps, such as Evernote and Quip, gained sophistication and adoption. Even Gaming, which was feared to reach saturation levels in 2013, posted 66% year-over-year growth in use... the segment that showed the most dramatic growth in 2013 was Messaging (Social and Photo sharing included). The growth in that segment should not come as a surprise to many, given the attention that messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, KakaoTalk, LINE, Facebook Messenger and SnapChat have received in the press. What is surprising, however, is that the rate of growth (tripling usage year-over-year) dramatically outpaced other popular categories." Flurry blog

>> STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: Microsoft, GoDaddy partner on Office 365 plans for small businesses, by Mary Jo Foley: "GoDaddy will be offering its small-business customers a choice of three Office 365 plans that will be connected to their domain names... Email Essentials, starting at $3.99 per user per month for 5 GB of email storage and 2 GB SkyDrive Pro storage; Business Essentials, starting at $8.99 per user per month for 50 GB of email storage, 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage; Productivity Plus, starting at $12.49 per user per month for 50 GB of email storage, 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro; Office Mobile Apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone; and the latest versions of Microsoft's Office desktop apps for up to five PCs and/or Macs (per user)." ZDNet

>> THE NEW TECH PRESS: CNN consolidates tech coverage, by Matthew Lynch: "CNN and will merge their respective tech desks into one team headed by New York-based editor David Goldman... The move comes amid an inflection point for tech coverage. The Wall Street Journal recently unveiled its amped up tech channel, WSJD, meant to replace the loss of Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg's AllThingsD, which the pair morphed into the NBCUniversal-backed Re/code at the start of the year. Yahoo's new tech efforts, fronted by former New York Times staffer David Pogue, are beginning to take shape. And the field hosts a share of younger players, such as The Verge and Mashable, which took on its first outside investors last week." Capital New York

>> LOTTERY TICKET: Think your brilliant app idea will earn some big bucks? HAH. You fool, by Brid-Aine Parnell: "Fewer than one in ten thousand mobile apps are actually going to make any money for their developers in the next couple of years, beancounters at Gartner have warned. Both Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store have over a million apps and games available to download, forcing people to look at recommendations, social networks, ads or their friends to find new apps, rather than trawling through the thousands and thousands available. Because of this, Gartner is predicting that less than 1 in 10,000 consumer apps will be a financial success." The Register

>> OVERLOOKED: We are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell, by Corey Doctorow: "Try as I might, I can't shake the feeling that 2014 is the year we lose the Web. The W3C push for DRM in all browsers is going to ensure that all interfaces built in HTML5 (which will be pretty much everything) will be opaque to users, and it will be illegal to report on security flaws in them (because reporting a security flaw in DRM exposes you to risk of prosecution for making a circumvention device), so they will be riddled with holes that creeps, RATters, spooks, authoritarians and crooks will be able to use to take over your computer and fuck you in every possible way." Mostlysignssomeportents

>> Singapore will introduce programming lessons in public schools to boost the economy Tech In Asia

>> Digital ad company Turn raises $80M, stays vague on possible IPO plans TechCrunch

>> Wandoujia, one of China's biggest app stores, lands $120M round Re/code

>> Is the PaaS market as we know it dying? NetworkWorld

>> How Microsoft should roll out the new CEO Computerworld

>> Windows 9 due in April 2015, but coding hasn't started yet InfoWorld

>> I spent two hours talking with the NSA's bigwigs. Here's what has them mad Wired

>> Twitter redesigns website to look more like mobile Vatornews

>> Out in the open: an NSA-proof Twitter, built with code from Bitcoin and Bittorrent Wired

>> Target hackers have more data than they can sell InfoWorld

>> Japan to tax sales of content downloaded from abroad PCWorld

>> Google's patent rank shoots up as company stakes out wearable tech GigaOM

>> Snapchat apologizes after users get hit with spam Vatornews

>> Nokia's Android phone isn't what you think: It's a likely upgrade for Asha GigaOM

>> No Wyoming students took the AP Computer Science exam last year Slate

>> Why 'Her' will dominate UI design even more than 'Minority Report' Wired

>> BITCOIN: $905 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "I feel really good about installing a listening device in my home owned by the company that already stores all my electronic communications." @gabrielsnyder

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

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