IBM ponders further makeover -- GOOGLE's pride doodle -- TWITTER mum on its 'dark pool' -- SILICON VALLEY arrogance -- BITCOIN tumbles


February 7, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> BIG BLUE CHIPS: IBM eyes sale of semiconductor arm, by Ed Hammond and Richard Waters: "IBM is exploring a sale of its semiconductor business in what would be its most significant strategic move since it faced a financial crisis in the early 1990s... appointed Goldman Sachs to sound out possible buyers for the business... IBM is not wedded to the idea of selling and could also seek a partner with which to create a joint venture for its semiconductor operations... A value for the business could not be learnt... a sale of the chip division would involve an exit from one of the most technology-intensive parts of its business." Financial Times

>> DOODLE THIS: Google changes homepage to protest Russia's anti-gay law, by Ina Fried: "Groups ranging from Google to human rights organizations are turning to digital media to protest a law that vastly curtails the free speech rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people throughout Russia. In perhaps the most significant protest yet, Google changed its homepage (not just in the U.S., but also in Russia) to a rainbow-themed sports illustration that links to the portion of the Olympic Charter, known as Principle 6, that declares the right of people to participate in sport without discrimination of any kind." Re/code

>> BOMBSHELL: Here's the vast number of people who abandon Twitter that Dick Costolo refuses to talk about, by Jim Edwards: "According to Twopcharts, there are currently 938.4 million total registered user accounts.... Put another way, nearly 1 billion people have tried Twitter, but currently only a quarter of them actually log in once per month. That would mean that about 697 million people have signed up for Twitter but do not use it in any given month (i.e. 938 million - 241 million)." Business Insider

>> MOOD MUSIC: Enough is enough, Silicon Valley must end its elitism and arrogance, by Vivek Wadhwa: "The Perkins controversy is the tip of the iceberg. Kleiner Perkins is itself embroiled in a sexual-harassment scandal that it chose to litigate rather than settle. When Twitter filed for an IPO with an all-male board, the New York Times slammed it for being an old boys' club. Rather than admitting that his company may have erred, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo chose to lash out publicly against a critic -- me -- for expressing outrage in the article. A few weeks later, Twitter gave in to the growing backlash and announced a woman director. There was no apology or humility, however." WaPo Innovations

> Venture capital's stunning lack of female decision-makers Fortune

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: Apple just procured enough Sapphire Crystal furnaces to make 100-200M ~5-inch iPhone displays in Arizona, by Mark Gurman: "Apple is planning to build sapphire-crystal displays for future iPhones. This is opposed to this facility building sapphire components for future Apple Touch ID fingerprint readers and caps for camera sensors. The proof that [Apple contractor] GT Advanced is preparing to manufacture sapphire for displays comes from import/export records... GT Advanced has ordered Intego Sirius Sapphire Display Inspection Tool components... The machines will allow GT Advanced to ensure that the sapphire crystal displays meet high-quality standards. These machines are specific for display-grade components, not small pieces of sapphire that could be used for Home buttons or cameras." 9to5Mac

> No, a phablet version will not save the iPhone InfoWorld

> Apple repurchases $14B of own shares in 2 weeks Wall Street Journal

> Apple can't run from its own job listing as iWatch evidence builds TechHive

> Apple is eyeing quantum dot displays & a wearable healthapalooza VentureBeat >> MONEY SHOT: LinkedIn beats in Q4 with revenue of $447.2M, but growth concerns dampen after hours trading, by Alex Wilhelm: "... revenue of $447.2 million and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.39 . Analysts had expected the company to report non-GAAP profit of $0.38 per share on revenue of $437.84 million... it now has 277 million members" TechCrunch

> LinkedIn buys Bright, a matchmaker for job hunts InfoWorld

>> PSSST: That Secret app is becoming Silicon Valley's new blind item, by Ryan Lawler: "'I work at Evernote and we're about to get acquired... Watch this space' That could be the first big acquisition rumor to have found its way onto Secret, the new 'anonymish' sharing app launched late last week. But it won't be the last. (FWIW, Evernote CEO Phil Libin says it's not true. And Dustin Curtis claims he's the one who posted it.) ... Secret, by design, obscures the identity of the people who post there -- but only to a point. Based on your address book, the app tells you whether something was posted by a friend, or a friend of a friend, or if it simply became popular and thus is available for all to see. In that case, it can tell you the location of the person who posted it. And if posted by a 'friend,' it then becomes a guessing game as to who you might know that posted something." TechCrunch

> Silicon Valley can't stop s**t-talking itself on this new app Valleywag

> A beginner's guide to Secret, an addictive new iPhone app that lets you make anonymous confessions to your friends Yahoo Tech >> EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Tech giants hire lobby firm to fight NSA surveillance, by Megan R. Wilson: "Washington lobby firm Monument Policy Group landed a high-level coalition of tech firms that are fighting back against government surveillance policies. The cluster of eight companies - which includes Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Google - is going under the moniker 'Reform Government Surveillance.' AOL, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo are also a part of the effort. Official help was brought in to manage the group of companies, which otherwise has no central leadership." The Hill

> Twitter rejects compromise on secret government orders The Verge

> More than 4,000 groups sign up to protest the NSA PCWorld

> Big carriers go political to kill local broadband InfoWorld

>> DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Exclusive: Former HP stars Bradley, Donatelli on brink of exit - sources, by Nadia Damouni, Nicola Leske, Edwin Chan: "Two of Hewlett-Packard Co's most powerful executives, until they were sidelined by CEO Meg Whitman, are preparing to leave the company in the coming weeks... [former PC chief] Todd Bradley and [former enterprise group head] Dave Donatelli have been interviewing for potential jobs for several months... The men accepted a deal of new stock options in exchange for a quiet exit." Reuters

>> Renault's off-roader concept launches a drone out of its roof Wired

>> After tripling year-on-year, PayNearMe raises $20M to build out its payments network for cash-only Americans PandoDaily

>> OpenTable is testing a mobile payment feature in SF Eater

>> Line shows the potential for chat apps as platforms, after chalking up $338M in revenue for 2013 TNW

>> That NBC story on travelers going to Sochi getting hacked is 100% fraudulent Errata Security

>> No, Google didn't just buy $750 million worth of Lenovo shares Re/code

>> Docker challenges virtualization market with containers InfoWorld

>> Google rolls out a $1000 Chromebox for video meetings CITEworld

>> California bill proposes mandatory kill-switch on phones and tablets InfoWorld

>> 'Our secret weapon': The man who hired Satya Nadella at Microsoft tells why TechFlash

>> Apple, Google, Microsoft: Where does the money come from? ZDNet

>> This story will self-destruct in five seconds: DARPA begins work on self-destructing electronics ExtremeTech

>> Ex-Googlers announce Beep, a Pandora-enabled WiFi controller for streaming music to any speaker TNW

>> Secret video and audio recordings a legal minefield for employers CIO

>> Bitcoin officially legal in Indonesia per Bank of Indonesisa Bitlegal

>> MT GOX: Statement regarding BTC withdrawal delays Mt Gox

>> BITCOIN: $710 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Anything people do, write, or say to enhance their status shows like a mark on their foreheads, visible to others but not to them." @nntaleb

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

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