PC shipments CRATER again -- APPLE phablet coming? -- CHROMEBOOK pushes price envelope -- FOXACID secret server program -- WHITMAN lashes at WINTEL -- Selfie surgery

 

October 10, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> DEATH SPIRAL: Gartner: PC shipments slip 8.6% to 80.3m units in Q3 2013, the lowest back-to-school quarter since 2008, by Emil Protalinski: "The PC market continues to fall spectacularly, seeing the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments as well as the lowest back-to-school quarter since 2008. Worldwide PC shipments dropped to 80.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, according to Gartner, an 8.6 percent decrease from the same period last year." TNW

>>>> PC shipments crater and tablets are the bogeymen InfoWorld

>>>> Lenovo shows Android laptop in leaked user manuals InfoWorld

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: T-Mobile takes aim at rival carriers with free, unlimited international (2G) data, by Chris Velazco: "If you're a T-Mobile customer on one of their Simple Choice plans, you can now use unlimited data in 100+ countries totally free of charge. Better still, existing customers don't have to do anything -- the feature will kick in starting on October 31... This, in short, is ridiculous. In a very good way." TechCrunch

>> PANT PANT PANT: Apple readying phablet, Retina MacBook Air, by Brooke Crothers: "Apple appears to be planning a phablet, a Retina MacBook Air, and a 1.6-inch iWatch in its 2014 lineup, according to a research note from NPD DisplaySearch.... In addition to the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (some are calling it a 4.8-inch design), DisplaySearch anticipates a phablet-sized 5.7-inch iPhone with a 1,920x1,080 display (see chart at bottom), based on data from the supply chain of manufacturers in Asia." CNet

>> REPORTING A PROBLEM: Bug: Government occasionally shuts down, by Davatron5000: "I noticed a bug over the past week or so and it seems reproducible: 1) Go to U.S. Government. 2) U.S. Government is shut down. Expected results: Government should be working. I'm unable to debug or propose a fix since there's not an open, transparent stack trace. Conflicting error messages are being thrown as well. Hope you can resolve this soon. It would seem that the U.S. Government would value 100% uptime in order to be a reliable and trustworthy source for the rest of the world. Thanks! Love this project and would like to continue using it." GitHub

>> PLAYING CATCH-UP: Windows Phone 8.1 rumors emerge, by Paul Thurrott: "Universal binaries... Where Windows Phone 8 has 33 percent 'API unity' with Windows RT, Windows Phone 8.1 will hit 77 percent... Multitasking... Bigger screens... 7- to 10-inch screens... obviously infringes on Windows RT/8.x tablets, so it's not clear what the thinking is there... No more Back button... Low-cost/volume vs. High-cost/luxury." WinSupersite

>>>> Could Windows Phone Blue be Microsoft's next tablet OS? ZDNet

>> RACE TO FREE: Acer's new $249.99 Chromebook bound to spark price war, by Agam Shah: "Acer's latest 11.6-inch C720 Chromebook will sell for US$249.99, which is the lowest price yet in the newest wave of thin-and-light laptops with Google's Chrome OS... 8.5 hours of battery life... will run on an Intel Celeron processor based on the Haswell microarchitecture. A C720 competitor will be Hewlett-Packard and Google's Chromebook 11, which provides 6.5 hours of battery and is priced at $279." PCWorld

>> BIG BLUE PICTURE: IBM exploits $2 billion Softlayer acquistion, by Brian Karlovsky: "IBM launched a raft of new Cloud and analytics offerings. As part of the integration to combine Softlayer with SmartCloud to provide a global platform, IBM have announced several new social business and mobile offerings for its 100+ software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution portfolio. These will integrate Cloud capabilities with SoftLayer assets and new integrated systems for hybrid cloud computing environments." ARN

>> VANITY FAIR: The rise of selfie surgery, by John Herrman: "Facetune has filters and basic photo editing options, and it has a faux-blur tool and a set of Instagram-ready frames. But the point of Facetune -- and its competitors, like Modiface, Visagelab, iPerfect, and Perfect Photo -- isn't to remove flaws from photos, or to enhance its basic properties. It's to fix the photos' subjects. Facetune turns yellow teeth white, removes acne, reduces wrinkles, shrinks or enlarges noses, turns up halfhearted smiles. It's somewhere between classic airbrushing and plastic surgery, except it's self-administered and nearly instant." BuzzFeed

>> GUN TO HEAD: BlackBerry is said to warm to idea of a breakup, by Hugo Miller, Jeffrey McCracken: "BlackBerry is more open to a breakup of the company amid concerns that Fairfax Financial Holdings may be unable to line up funding or partners for a $4.7 billion buyout.... BlackBerry has been soliciting rival bids after agreeing last month to a tentative $4.7 billion offer from Fairfax, its largest shareholder. Under that pact, BlackBerry has until Nov. 4 to consider other proposals while Fairfax and a group of investors conduct due diligence and line up financing." Bloomberg

>>>> Canadian telco Rogers agrees to carry BlackBerry's newest flagship phone AllThingsD

>>>> Apparently a lot of that TAT (The Astonishing Tribe) talent left BlackBerry Sweden to start a new company called TOPP CrackBerry

>> BIG BRO: How private tech companies are collecting data on you and selling them to the Feds for huge profits, by Pratap Chatterjee: "Big Bro is watching you. Inside your mobile phone and hidden behind your web browser are little known software products marketed by contractors to the government that can follow you around anywhere. No longer the wide-eyed fantasies of conspiracy theorists, these technologies are routinely installed in all of our data devices by companies that sell them to Washington for a profit." AlterNet

>> SPY VS. SPY: The NSA's new risk analysis, by Bruce Schneier: "The NSA has secret servers on the Internet that hack into other computers, codename FOXACID. These servers provide an excellent demonstration of how the NSA approaches risk management, and exposes flaws in how the agency thinks about the secrecy of its own programs." Schneier on Security

>> HP's Meg Whitman views Intel and Microsoft as competitors, blames them for HP's troubles Venture Beat

>> Google to pay rewards for open-source code security fixes PCWorld

>> Akamai to partner with Cisco for world's first enterprise WAN ARN

>> Meet Lavabit's founder, an American hero hiding in plain sight InfoWorld

>> Twitter appears to be exploring personalized breaking news notifications with @Eventparrot experiment TechCrunch

>> Twitter forms social TV partnership with Comcast and NBCUniversal GigaOM

>> Best Buy trade-in offer to take any working smartphone for at least $100 toward iPhone 5s, 5c Apple Insider

>> Google expands Maps to include searchable reservations, events PCWorld

>> Cloud translation service Smartling raises $24M to help enterprises globalize their content Venture Beat

>> Introducing vLine link: Free, simple WebRTC video chat VLine blog

>> How journalists can enter the 'deep web' to stay secure Journalism.co.uk

>> Free software ties the Internet of Things together MIT Technology Review

>> Future Intel instruction set: AVX-512 Agner's CPU blog

>> These are some of the most amazing Lego projects ever built Wired

TWEET OF THE DAY: "I like to meditate while waiting for Windows to boot. No better way for the mortal mind to get in touch with the concept of eternity." @jameskobielus

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

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