VMWARE buys into mobile -- AMAZON mulled pay-TV offering -- BOTNET strikes again -- FACEBOOK's meta-stalker -- Feds grill Google GLASS moviegoer


January 22, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> BREAKING: VMware buys AirWatch for $1.54 billion, acquires mobility strategy, by Larry Dignan: "VMware will acquire AirWatch, a mobile device management company, in a $1.17 billion cash deal that will give the virtualization software provider a play in mobility. VMware will also pay $365 million in installment payments and unvested stock options... VMware's spin is that AirWatch will give it a foothold in mobility as well as its end-user computing strategy, which revolves around desktop virtualization and delivering enterprise apps to tablets and smartphones... AirWatch, based in Atlanta, was one of the more established mobile device management (MDM) companies with more than 10,000 customers and 1,600 employees." ZDNet

>> CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS: Target-related malware was a side job for man living in Russia, by Jeremy Kirk: "In a surprising TV interview, a 23-year-old living in Russia said he helped code a software program that experts believe was eventually modified to steal tens of millions of payment card details from Target. Rinat Shabayev, who lives in Saratov, Russia, told Lifenews.ru that the program has a defensive purpose of finding software problems but could have been abused by criminals. The news outlet characterized his work on the program as a side job, quoting him as saying, 'I am trying to find work. I want to find a normal and stable job and time to start my own business.'" InfoWorld

> Information related to Target breach vanishes from Web InfoWorld

>> SHOT: Amazon considering online pay-TV service, by Amol Sharma, Shalini Ramachandran, Don Clark: "Amazon has approached big entertainment companies about licensing their television channels for a possible new online pay-TV service, in what would be a significant expansion of the company's online video efforts. The new service it has discussed with media companies would offer live TV channels, such as those available now on cable or satellite TV. Through its Prime Instant Video service, Amazon now offers various TV shows and movies on demand for subscribers to its Prime free-shipping service." Wall Street Journal

>> CHASER: Amazon denies it has plans to create an over-the-top TV service, by Todd Spangler: "Amazon denied a report that it was seeking to license TV channels to launch a broadband-delivered television service. The e-commerce colossus has approached at least three unidentified entertainment companies about licensing TV channels for an over-the-top video service, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources. But an Amazon rep said Tuesday that the company has no such plans. 'We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service,' Amazon VP of public relations Drew Herdener wrote in an email." Variety

>> BOHEMIAN BOTNET: 16 million online accounts probably compromised, German government warns, by Loek Essers: "A list of 16 million email addresses and passwords has fallen into the hands of botnet operators, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said Tuesday. It remained unclear though to what these login credentials provide access. They could be logins for mail accounts, Facebook accounts, Amazon accounts or other online services, said BSI Spokesman Tim Griese. About half of the addresses are from the German .de domain, Griese said, adding that there are also French and .com addresses on the list." PCWorld

>> GENIUS JUJITSU: Ex-Googlers' startup Shape turns hackers' code-morphing tricks against them, by Andy Greenberg: "The 58-person Mountain View, Calif. company sells a pizza-box-size appliance called a ShapeShifter that plugs into a company's network and obfuscates the code behind the customer's website. It replaces variables with random strings of characters that change every time a page is loaded, all without altering the way the site appears to human visitors. This trick, known as polymorphism, makes it vastly more difficult for cybercriminals to use automated tools to crack passwords, scrape content from thousands of sites or use malware-infected PCs to spy on victims' online banking." Forbes

> The first-ever botwall could change the economics of hacking forever Quartz

>> DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Texas Instruments to cut 1,100 jobs worldwide, by Noel Randewich: "Texas Instruments Inc plans to cut 1,100 jobs in the United States, Japan and India, or about 3 percent of its global workforce, in a corporate restructuring to save $130 million by the end of 2014. The U.S. chipmaker, which in 2012 announced it would lay off 1,700 people as it wound down its mobile processor business, said on Tuesday it wanted to reduce expenses in its embedded-processing division and in Japan." Reuters

>> OOPS, WRONG WAY: Chinese Internet traffic redirected to small Wyoming house, by Nicole Perlroth: "In one of the more bizarre twists in recent Internet memory, much of the Internet traffic in China was redirected to a small, 1,700-square-foot house in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Tuesday. A large portion of China's 500 million Internet users were unable to load websites ending in .com, .net or .org for nearly eight hours in most regions of China... That address -- which is home to some 2,000 companies on paper -- was the subject of a lengthy 2011 Reuters investigation that found that among the entities registered to the address were a shell company controlled by a jailed former Ukraine prime minister; the owner of a company charged with helping online poker operators evade an Internet gambling ban; and one entity that was banned from government contracts after selling counterfeit truck parts to the Pentagon... the disruption may have been caused by Chinese Internet censors who attempted to block traffic to [a redirection website] but mistakenly redirected traffic to the service instead." New York Times

>> A major Internet outage knocked out two-thirds of China's .com domains for an hour TNW

>> DEADPOOL: With traction but out of cash, 4chan founder kills off Canvas/Drawquest, by Josh Constine: "'There's a lot of glorification of startups and being a founder. People brush the failures under the rug, but that's the worst thing you can do. You kind of have to face it head on,' says moot aka Christopher Poole. So rather than raise more money for his remix artist community Canvas and game DrawQuest, later today he'll announce they're closing. 'No soft-landing, no aqui-hire, just 'shutting down' shutting down.' DrawQuest got some traction, but found that selling paint brushes in a drawing app is a lot harder than selling extra lives in Candy Crush. There's just not the same emotional 'I can't play if I don't pay' urgency. 'I definitely have a new appreciation for game designers.'" TechCrunch

> Today my startup failed Chris hates writing

>> PUT DOWN ... THE FACE CAMERA: MPAA & ICE confirm they interrogated a guy for wearing Google Glass during a movie, by Mike Masnick: "...this certainly fit with the MPAA's insane 'guidelines' to theaters and their 'zero tolerance' policies towards anyone possibly recording anything. However, the involvement of [Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement/ICE unit] is particularly insane... it seemed incredible that ICE would take direction from the MPAA on something as small as a guy in a movie theater, rushing to the theater to help with the interrogation of someone there." [TechBrief passed on this story yesterday because it sounded implausible. Derp.] TechDirt

>> FEDS TASTE OWN COOKING: DHS alerts contractors to bank data theft, by Brian Krebs: "A security breach at a Web portal for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has exposed private documents and some financial information belonging to at least 114 organizations that bid on a contract at the agency last year... According to DHS, the documents were downloaded from a department Web portal by unauthorized persons outside of the agency, although it hasn't yet determined the cause or source of that access." Krebs on Security

>> UNSAFE ROOM: Russian spy nodes caught snooping on Facebook users, by Kevin Poulsen: "Somewhere in Russia an eavesdropper is operating a network of wiretapped nodes at the edge of the Tor anonymity network. And he's particularly interested in what you're doing on Facebook. That's the conclusion of two researchers who used custom software to test Tor exit nodes for sneaky behavior, in a four-month study published yesterday. Philipp Winter and Stefan Lindskog of Karlstad University in Sweden identified 25 nodes that tampered with web traffic, stripped out encryption, or censored sites. Some of the faulty nodes likely resulted from configuration mistakes or ISP issues. But 19 of the nodes were caught using the same bogus crypto certificate to perform man-in-the-middle attacks on users, decrypting and re-encrypting traffic on the fly." Wired

>> NEOCURRENCY: Why bitcoin matters, by Marc Andreessen: "One can hardly accuse Bitcoin of being an uncovered topic, yet the gulf between what the press and many regular people believe Bitcoin is, and what a growing critical mass of technologists believe Bitcoin is, remains enormous... Far from a mere libertarian fairy tale or a simple Silicon Valley exercise in hype, Bitcoin offers a sweeping vista of opportunity to reimagine how the financial system can and should work in the Internet era, and a catalyst to reshape that system in ways that are more powerful for individuals and businesses alike." New York Times

> On the matter of why bitcoin matters The Magazine on Medium

> Bitcoin and question marks MG Siegler/ParisLemon

> Bitcoin payments now accepted at two Las Vegas casinos but for hotel check-in only Pocket-lint

> University of Cumbria to accept bitcoin as payment for some courses Chronicle of Higher Education

> Re: Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper Satoshi Nakamoto

>> BOAT ANCHOR: IBM's shares slip after its Q4 revenue falls on weak hardware performance, by Alex Wilhelm: "The company's hardware business had a terrifically terrible fourth quarter. As MarketWatch notes, 'IBM's systems and technology segment, also known as hardware, saw sales fall 26%, as pre-tax earnings fell by $768 million to $200 million.' Yes the hardware market is rough for incumbent players, but IBM's decline in the category rivals the beleaguered PC OEM market. Revenue from hardware totaled $4.3 billion. IBM's services group's revenue fell 3.6 percent to $9.9 billion. The company did have a ray of sunshine to report, with software revenues up 2.8 percent to $8.1 billion." TechCrunch

> The incredible, shrinking public IBM ParisLemon

> IBM CEO Ginni Rometty: No bonus for me Fortune

>> Docker raises $15m for its open-source platform that helps developers build apps in the cloud TechCrunch

>> AMD's quarterly profit shows it's the real winner of the game console wars Ars Technica

>> Google launches new video quality report to evaluate ISP network performance Financial Post

>> Game maker Kabam doubles revenue in 2013 to $360M, 'seriously considering' IPO GamesIndustry Intnl

>> GitHub president becomes CEO, CEO becomes president in executive role swap TechCrunch

>> Super-analyst blogger Ben Evans joins Andreessen Horowitz Benedict Evans

>> Yahoo's next problem: Tumblr's traffic isn't growing Forbes

>> Buying a hard drive? Stats say get Hitachi, avoid Seagate InfoWorld

>> Leaked screenshots might offer glance at Apple's iOS in the Car GigaOM

>> Where can you still find a PC running Windows 7? ZDNet

>> Details of newer Windows 8.1 Update 1 build; full ISO may (still) leak soon Neowin

>> What do we want? Windows 9 -- sorry, Windows 8 InfoWorld

>> Chrome spammers duped users, developers -- and Google too InfoWorld

>> U.S. court finds Samsung to infringe one Apple patent, declares one Samsung patent invalid Foss Patents

>> MIT develops heads-up display technology for windows, eyeglasses Computerworld

>> BITCOIN: $951 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: 'Jessica Livingston announces conference for women founders, and Inc's headline is "Paul Graham Announces Conference for Women Founders."' @paulg

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