NSA collects 200M texts daily -- OBAMA yanks NSA leash -- GOOGLE's smart contacts -- IBM drops $1.2B in CLOUD -- NBA's Kings accept BITCOIN -- Business hacked via FRIDGE


January 17, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> HOOVERING: NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep, by James Ball: "The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.... The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages - including their contacts - is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK's Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden." The Guardian

> Obama to halt part of NSA phone program Politico

>> EYEBALLING IT: Google introduces smart contact lens project to measure glucose levels, by Ron Amadeo: "It's not April 1st. It's still 2014. This isn't a joke. Google just introduced a smart contact lens.... For now it's only a Google[x] experiment, but the idea involves a contact lens with a small wireless chip and a sensor that can measure a diabetic's glucose levels. For someone with diabetes, glucose levels require constant monitoring, usually by pricking the end of the finger and putting a drop of blood into a glucose measuring device. Google's contact lens measures glucose via the tear fluid in a person's eye. This means no more blood and no more picking fingers." Ars Technica

> Google Official Blog

> Google's new smart contact lens is old news for Microsoft TechCrunch

>> DUOPOLOY INTACT: Major setbacks for two new smartphone OSs, Tizen and Ubuntu Touch, by David Meyer: "Looks like there won't be any big new challengers for iOS and Android this year, after Japan's NTT DoCoMo shelved plans for a Tizen launch and Canonical conceded that no big manufacturers will release Ubuntu phones this year." GigaOm

>> BIG BLUE CLOUD: IBM pumps $1.2 billion into global cloud data centers, by Joab Jackson: "Dispelling any lingering doubt that IBM sees cloud computing as the way of the future, the company announced that it will invest US$1.2 billion this year in expanding its global cloud infrastructure.... The company plans to open 15 new data centers this year, more than doubling the cloud capacity it acquired when it purchased SoftLayer last year for $2 billion. It plans to combine the new data centers, the existing SoftLayer data centers, and the data centers it already ran before the SoftLayer purchase into a single operation that would provide public and private cloud services to its customers, as well as provide services for internal operations." InfoWorld

>> FIRE ME, TOO: Here's the math that shows how Henrique De Castro walks away from Yahoo with $109 million, by Jay Yarow: "Henrique De Castro is walking away from Yahoo with even more money than we initially realized. Executive compensation firm Equilar estimates he's getting $109 million now that he's been fired by Marissa Mayer.... That's a lot of money for just 15 months of work. That's more than most people get for building and selling a startup. That's more money than the highest-paid athlete in the world, Tiger Woods, made last year." Business Insider

>> TABLETS ON TOP: Apple, Samsung expected to ship 80-90 million, 60-70 million tablets in 2014, by Max Wang and Steve Shen: "Apple and Samsung Electronics will remain as the global top-two tablet vendors in 2014 with expected shipments of 80-90 million and 60-70 million units, respectively, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.... Samsung's recent launch of its 12.2-inch model is expected to propel Apple to accelerate development of large-size iPads. Market sources indicated that Apple is likely to release a 12.9-inch model by the end of the third quarter at the earliest." DigiTimes

>> MONEY SHOT ACROSS THE BOW: Sacramento Kings to accept bitcoin, by Michael J. Casey: "The Sacramento Kings basketball team will become the first major professional sports franchise to accept bitcoin in return for its products, marking a symbolically important step in the virtual currency's bid to achieve mainstream acceptance.... 'The way I saw it, bitcoin had reached a tipping point where it had crossed from being a curiosity to a becoming a legitimate form of doing commerce,' said Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé, explaining his decision to allow payments in the virtual currency. Mr. Ranadivé, who has coined the phrase 'NBA 3.0' to describe his vision for a National Basketball Association that uses technology to energize basketball's relationship with its fan base and establish a global presence, said the Kings' adoption of bitcoin 'is yet another step in that process.'" Wall Street Journal

>> MIDNIGHT HACK: For the first time, hackers have used a refrigerator to attack businesses, by Julie Bort: "Security researchers at Proofpoint have uncovered the very first wide-scale hack that involved television sets and at least one refrigerator. Yes, a fridge. This is being hailed as the first home appliance 'botnet' and the first cyberattack from the Internet of Things.... In this case, hackers broke into more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets, such as home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions, and at least one refrigerator, Proofpoint says. They then used those objects to send more than 750,000 malicious emails to enterprises and individuals worldwide." Business Insider

>> MOOD MUSIC: The onrushing wave: Previous technological innovation has always delivered more long-run employment, not less. But things can change: "The case for a highly disruptive period of economic growth is made by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, professors at MIT, in 'The Second Machine Age,' a book to be published later this month. Like the first great era of industrialisation, they argue, it should deliver enormous benefits -- but not without a period of disorienting and uncomfortable change. Their argument rests on an underappreciated aspect of the exponential growth in chip processing speed, memory capacity and other computer metrics: that the amount of progress computers will make in the next few years is always equal to the progress they have made since the very beginning. Mr Brynjolfsson and Mr McAfee reckon that the main bottleneck on innovation is the time it takes society to sort through the many combinations and permutations of new technologies and business models." The Economist

>> Losses, write-offs and pay cuts: it's just a regular day at Acer Engaget

>> Square co-founder seeding 'Next Big Thing' in financial services Wall Street Journal

>> Andreessen Horowitz invests $20M in custom apparel platform Teespring TechCrunch

>> Facebook plans suite of standalone mobile apps for 2014 The Verge

>> The rise and fall of practically everything, as told by the Google Books Ngram Viewer Time

>> WunderBar is an Internet of Things starter kit for app developers TechCrunch

>> Sony is the brand of choice for criminals The Verge

>> What's the market size for wearables? Bigger than you think, says CES expert Broadcom

>> The NFL is urging teams to use technology to improve the fan experience at games CITEWorld

>> Dataviz: 5 creative efforts pushing Net neutrality Digiday

>> The IRS isn't sure how bitcoin will be taxed Motherboard

>> BITCOIN: $902 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "If this Target Visa bill is to be believed, I purchased seven Mossimo laser-guided attack helicopters in Vladivostok last month." @UncleDynamite

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