Fed may auction seized BITCOINS -- 'PRISM on steroids' for Sochi Olympics -- TWITTER hiding financial data -- MONGODB takes NYC with $1.2B valuation

 

October 7, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> MAKE THEM STOP: Business as usual for tech, but government crisis casts shadows, by Marc Ferranti: "If Congress later this month fails to raise the debt limit to fully fund government spending, a full-scale global economic crisis, with repercussions for tech, could follow...Tech sector leaders appear to be spooked. 'It is unthinkable that the United States could default on its financial commitments, and it would be the height of irresponsibility for any public official to consider such a course,' reads a statement issued by AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. 'In fact, even the discussion of default poses great risk to our economy and to our country.'" InfoWorld

>>>> Government shutdown can't shake earthquake updates CNet
>>>> Surveillance panel shut down Politico

>> PIRATE BOOTY IN LIMBO: FBI's plan for the millions worth of Bitcoins seized from Silk Road, by Kashmir Hill: "The approximately 26,000 Bitcoins seized are just the ones that were held in Silk Road accounts. In other words, it's Silk Road users' Bitcoin. The FBI has not been able to get to Ulbricht's personal Bitcoin yet. 'That's like another $80 million worth,'[the FBI spokesperson] said, explaining that it was held separately and is encrypted. If that is indeed what he's holding, that's close to 600,000 Bitcoin all together or about 5% of all Bitcoin currently in existence... 'We will probably just liquidate them.'" Forbes
>>>> TechBrief Facts of Life:
Yes, the Feds may end up auctioning 5% of all Bitcoins -- if they can find them -- and thus legitimize Bitcoin.
>>>> After Silk Road seizure, FBI Bitcoin wallet identified and pranked ZDNet
>>>> Public Note:
"Many items sold through Silk Road were perfectly legal. There is no way to know whether these funds were to be used for illicit purchases. Users should be allowed to withdraw their funds." Bitcoin Blockchain

>> MONGO MONEY SHOT: MongoDB now king of NYC startups with $1.2 B valuation, by Sarah Frier: "MongoDB Inc., capitalizing on the popularity of its online database software, raised $150 million in a venture-funding round that would make it the most valuable Internet startup in New York... The round values the company at $1.2 billion... MongoDB has been quietly building a global database business -- with its sales and headcount more than doubling each year... making inroads with its lower-cost software, aiming to threaten the dominance of Oracle's relational databases, he said." Bloomberg

>> PRISMINSKI: Russia to monitor 'all communications' at Winter Olympics in Sochi, by Shaun Walker: "Investigation uncovers FSB [Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation] surveillance system -- branded 'Prism on steroids' -- to listen to all athletes and visitors ... Athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February will face some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games." The Guardian

>> CHECK THE NEST: Twitter is hiding two years of financial data Quartz, by Zachary M. Seward: "In filing paperwork for an initial public offering, Twitter offered a glimpse at its financials going back to 2010, when the startup was just starting to earn real money. But for two prior years, Twitter exercised its right to remain silent.... The lack of disclosure is perfectly legal, thanks to a new law that eases regulations on certain companies going public. Nevertheless, it raises an obvious question: What happened to Twitter in 2008 and 2009?" Quartz
>>>> Maybe there aren't enough real people on Twitter to make it valuabale Forbes
>>>> Twitter's $47.5M data business proves lucrative Wall Street Journal (paywalled)
>>>> Carrot flop: Twitter CEO Costolo finds lack of woman on board is no joking matter AllThingsD
>>>> As Twitter opens up, employees do, too DealBook

>> TWIT TV: Nielsen measuring audience of TV-related tweets during programs, by Dawn Chmielewski: "The new Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will take into account not only the people commenting on an episode, but also those exposed to the tweets... Nielsen considers the moment a TV-related tweet crosses a user's screen as an 'impression' -- regardless of whether the comment provokes any reaction, Casey said. It uses this new methodology to determine the size of the Twitter audience for a show... several network executives expressed reservations... with some saying there is no evidence that the users 'exposed' to a tweet actually read it." LA Times

>> SV GROUPTHINK: Fortune asks 'Why does America hate Silicon Valley?' by Tom Foremski: "[Tech companies and techno-elite] don't see much and they fantasize about doing great things on a grand scale but achieve nothing locally. Hypocrisy runs rampant." Silicon Valley Watcher

>> VINTAGE GOOGLE: Moutain View ditching free Google WiFi in city buildings, by Daniel DeBolt: "Perhaps another sign that Google's free WiFi system in Mountain View is on its last legs, city officials are getting ready to switch off Google's system inside city buildings and replace it with a WiFi system costing $130,000 over the next five years. The system that was a gift to the city from Google in 2006, providing free internet access from hundreds of light-pole mounted nodes and in city buildings. Now, even inside the city's library and inside City Hall, users say the WiFi network hasn't been fully functional for months.... The company has said increased demands for bandwidth from increased use of sites like Netflix and Hulu have overwhelmed the original infrastructure." Mountain View Voice

>> BLACK-EMAIL: Mugged by a mug shot online, by David Segal: "There are more than 80 mug-shot sites. They Hoover up most of their images from sheriffs' Web sites, where rules and policies about whose mug shot is posted and for how long can vary, from state to state and from county to county... The ostensible point of these sites is to give the public a quick way to glean the unsavory history of a neighbor, a potential date or anyone else. That sounds civic-minded, until you consider one way most of these sites make money: by charging a fee to remove the image. That fee can be anywhere from $30 to $400, or even higher. Pay up, in other words, and the picture is deleted, at least from the site that was paid." NY Times (paywalled)
>>>> Google works to demote mug shot sites in search results CNet

>> SLOW BOIL: Google is building Chrome OS straight into Windows 8, by Tom Warren: "Over the past few weeks, Google has been updating its developer version of the Chrome browser to run what's essentially Chrome OS within Windows 8's 'Metro' mode... In the latest dev channel release, the UI and functionality is identical to Chrome OS." The Verge
>>>> Newest Chrome beta integrates web apps as near-native on Android GigaOM

>> USE IT OR LOSE IT: Microsoft is quietly recycling Outlook email accounts, by Andreas Udo de Haes: "The Microsoft Services Agreement mentions that users are required to log in to their Microsoft accounts 'periodically, at a minimum of every 270 days, to keep the Microsoft branded services portion of the services active.' Otherwise 'we may cancel your access' and 'your data may be permanently deleted from our servers.' Microsoft does not mention the possibility that email account names will be recycled." PC World

>> COOL DATA: Inside the Arctic Circle, where your Facebook data lives, by Ashlee Vance: "Every year, computing giants including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Cisco Systems sell north of $100 billion in hardware... So you can understand the concern these companies must feel as they watch Facebook publish more efficient equipment designs that directly threaten their business. For free... Facebook designs its own systems and outsources the manufacturing work. In April 2011, the social networking company began publishing its hardware blueprints as part of its so-called Open Compute Project, which lets other companies piggyback on the work of its engineers. The project now sits at the heart of the data center industry's biggest shift in more than a decade." BloombergBusinessweek

>> NSA has little success cracking Tor InfoWorld

>> 'Tor stinks' NSA presentation The Guardian

>> Norwegian bank moves into NATO bunker Data Center Dynamics

>> Accenture buys procurement systems specialist Procurian for $375M Computerworld UK

>> Internet of Things market will be worth almost $9 trillion Computerworld UK

>> Track a hack: Find out who's hitting your servers InfoWorld

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Skype is the new Blackberry. The window for Microsoft to get on top of it is leaking away." @BenedictEvans

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

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