BREAKING: BALLMER OUT -- NASDAQ down, out -- GOOGLE's $258 million UBER tab -- NGINX's first commercial server -- AMAZON tests wireless network -- D.C. overtakes Valley for highest income

 

August 23, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> BREAKING: Microsoft CEO Ballmer to retire in the next 12 months, by Mary Jo Foley: "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced his intentions to retire within the next 12 months. Ballmer made his intentions know on August 23, 2013. A search committe headed by Microsoft board member John Thompson is working on finding a successor. Developing story. More to come." ZDNet

>> #EPICFAIL: Connectivity issue caused trading problems, Nasdaq says, by Jaikumar Vijayan: "Nasdaq blamed the unprecedented trading halt Thursday on a 'connectivity issue' between an exchange participant and its core Securities Industry Processor (SIP) system, used to consolidate and disseminate quote and trade information on Nasdaq listed securities. The connectivity problems degraded the ability of the SIP to disseminate consolidated quotes and trades" InfoWorld

>>>> NASDAQ outage resembles hacker attacks USA Today

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>> MONEY SHOT: Google Ventures puts $258M into Uber, its largest deal ever, by Alex Wilhelm, Alexia Tsotsis: "The black-car on-demand service has raised $103.4 million from TPG, Benchmark... Google Ventures is the largest investor in the round, pumping $257.79 million into the car service. The round values Uber at around $3.4 billion pre-money and $3.76 billion post." TechCrunch

>> WIRED WARS: Amazon is said to have tested a wireless network, by Olga Kharif & Danielle Kucera: "... The wireless network, which was tested in Cupertino, California, used spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar Inc. (GSAT), said the people who asked not to be identified because the test was private.... The trial underlines how Amazon, the world's largest e-commerce company, is moving beyond being a Web destination and hardware maker and digging deeper into the underlying technology for how people connect to the Internet. That would let Amazon create a more comprehensive user experience, encompassing how consumers get online, what device they use to connect to the Web and what they do on the Internet." Bloomberg

>> CRIME & PUNISHMENT: FBI agent: We've dismantled the leaders of anonymous, by Gerry Smith: The hacker collective Anonymous has not produced as many high-profile cyber attacks as it once did, a drop-off that can be directly attributed to the arrests of the group's core members, an FBI official told The Huffington Post this week....Starting in late 2010, Anonymous captured worldwide attention through a series of attacks against U.S. companies and government agencies, stealing data and defacing or crashing websites. HuPo

>> MICROSOFT MUTINY: World's biggest PC maker disses Microsoft, adds real Start menu and app store to Windows 8, by Preston Gralla: "Users want a real Start menu on Windows 8, and Lenovo, the world's biggest PC maker, is happy to oblige. It just announced that Lenovo PCs will come with the Pokki app, which includes a real Start button and menu, not the useless Start button that will ship with Windows 8.1. Even worse for Microsoft: It lets users bypass the Windows Store to download apps and games." Acer ships Win8 machines with Pokki, too. Computerworld

>> BEHIND THE CURTAIN: How BlackBerry handled past wealth, by Floyd Norris: "BlackBerry's corporate filings show that over the years it distributed $3.5 billion to shareholders... But loyal shareholders did not receive any of that money... The money was spent on share buybacks, and most of those buybacks came in 2008 and 2009, when the company was flying high. BlackBerry's financial strategy was not particularly unusual, although it does stand out in the way it abused the rules on executive stock options… those options gave the company's executives good reasons to avoid dividends and concentrate on share buybacks. The result was a classic 'sell low and buy high' strategy, one that did wonders for the executives. " NY Times

>> COMMAND LINE: NGINX rolls out its first commercial Web server, by Brian Proffitt: "It's been a little over two years since Nginx (say 'Engine-X') project lead Igor Sysoev decided to make a commercial go of the popular Web server project, and now the results are here: the first commercial version of Nginx is available today. Like the Apache Web server, Nginx is an open source project. Nginx, however, is optimized to handle large-scale, high-traffic websites. Think Netflix, AirBnB, Instagram and Facebook -- Nginx users all -- and you've got a pretty good idea of scale at which the server operates." ReadWrite

>>>> Nginx takes the slippery road away from open source InfoWorld

>> CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS: Microsoft bribery probe enters Russia, Pakistan, by Charlie Osborne: "Microsoft has confirmed that the company is working with U.S. authorities to investigate allegations of bribery and corruption by employees and partners in Russia and Pakistan. The confirmation comes after The Wall Street Journal reported that an ongoing probe was focusing on potential illegal activity in China, Italy and Bulgaria -- before expanding to include Pakistan and Russia. Microsoft employees and business partners allegedly engaged in illegal activity including the bribery of foreign officials for contracts." ZDNet

>> DRAWING BOARD: Printed graphene transistors promise a flexible electronic future, by Katherine Bourzac: "Flexible electronic circuits would make possible radical new kinds of devices, like water-resistant tablet computers that can be rolled or folded. A group of academic and industry researchers has now demonstrated one of the most important components for this fully flexible future: graphene radio-frequency electronics that are speedy enough to produce, receive, and process telecommunication signals." MIT Technology Review

>> ... FOR DUMMIES: Makerbot's desktop scanner for 3D printers will cost you $1,400, by Lucas Mearian: "What makes Makerbot's 3D Digitizer different from other consumer 3D printing technologies is that it does not require any experience with 3D modeling software. A user places an object on a turntable, presses a button and a camera and two lasers scan the contours of the object, creating a digital file that can then be used to print an original object on a MakerBot 3D printer, as well as other third-party printers... The Digitizer 3D Scanner can scan physical objects that are up to 8 inches in diameter, 8 inches tall and weigh up to 6.6 lbs." Computerworld

>> WASHINGTON WIRE: Unlocking your cellphone is still illegal, and the FCC still doesn't like it, by Adi Robertson: "Making cellphone unlocking legal may not be the hot-button issue it was earlier this year, after over 100,000 people signed a White House petition and prompted a response from President Obama. But the FCC wants phone companies, Congress, and phone users alike to remember that the issue is still far from resolved. In a statement today, interim chairwoman Mignon Clyburn says the FCC is working to hammer out an unlocking agreement with carriers while several pieces of legislation plod through Congress." The Verge

>> IP REBOOT: Why China and India could disrupt the U.S. patent system, by Matt Asay: "Red Hat's CEO thinks that the U.S. patent regime's dominance may diminish as developing economies grow... As Brazil, Russia, India, and China--the BRIC economies--boom, they will begin to exercise a profound influence over IP, even in established markets like the US or Western Europe. It's just not clear if they'll change it for worse or for better." ReadWrite

>> FINE TUNING: Pandora kills its mobile listening cap ahead of iTunes Radio: "Popular online music streaming service Pandora just killed its 40-hour-per-month listening limit for mobile users with free accounts. Earlier this year, the company cited rising licensing costs as the reason for the cap. It now credits the 'rapid progress of mobile advertising' for the reversal, effective September 1, 2013. More the point, though, may be the fact that the launch of Apple's iTunes Radio is looming next month." ReadWrite

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: Google exploring location-dependent security settings for smartphone unlock, by Derrell Etherington: "Google has a patent application... that would make the standard system of unlocking a device much more intelligent, using a smartphone's built-in sensor to change your security settings on a sliding basis depending on where the phone finds itself. This would allow a user to make it easier to unlock a phone while in the comfort of their own home, while making it more difficult when the device is in a public place. In the end it's a convenience feature, more than a security one." TechCrunch

>> Washington, DC, overtakes Silicon Valley: Highest per capita income. The Economist

>> League of Legends hacked: Update your passwords.

>> Where people are connected to the Internet: CNN

>> Happy Anniversary WWW: Jacques Mattheij

>> TWEET O THE DAY: "Planning dinner in September. Tim believes in buyback and is doing one. What will be discussed is magnitude." @Carl_C_Icahn

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