FACEBOOK buys Israeli mobile player -- MICROSOFT's Windows Phone update -- NETFLIX on the cable clicker? -- Senior TWITTER dev earns, um, $10M

 

October 14, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> DEAL O' THE DAY: Facebook buys mobile data optimization startup Onavo to beef up its Internet.org initiative, by Jon Russell: "Onavo revealed the deal in a blog post which confirms that its apps -- which help smartphone owners optimize their use of mobile data services -- will remain available as a standalone brand once the deal has been completed... The deal will also see Onavo's Tel-Aviv office transition to become Facebook's first office in Israel... The price of the acquisition has not been revealed, but Israeli news site Calcalist estimates it within a bracket of $150 million-$200 million." TNW

>> NOW THAT BLACKBERRY IS DEAD: Microsoft takes wraps off new Windows Phone update, developer program, by Mary Jo Foley: "Update 3 is the official name for what's been known unofficially asWindows Phone 8 GDR3. Many of the Update 3 features had previously leaked, including the update's support for 1080p HD screens up to five-to-six inches in size; support for Qualcomm's quad-core ARM processor; a new driving mode; an app-switcher option allowing users to quickly close apps; and room for six Live Tiles across (instead of four).... Update 3 also adds the ability to use custom ringtones for more things (like instant messages, email and voice mail); a new rotation-lock option to keep screens locked in either portrait or landscape mode; improved storage-management." ZDNet

>>>> Windows Phone finally jumps into phablet era, but is it too late? CNet

>> FUBAR: From the start, signs of trouble at Health Portal, by Robert Pear, Sharon LaFraniere, Ian Austen: "For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in. The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange. Even some supporters of the Affordable Care Act worry that the flaws in the system, if not quickly fixed, could threaten the fiscal health of the insurance initiative, which depends on throngs of customers to spread the risk and keep prices low." NY Times (paywalled)

>>>> Obamacare website fixes could take two weeks--or up to two months Ars Technica

>>>> How federal cronies built -- and botched -- Healthcare.gov InfoWorld

>> PRESS HERE: HTC One Max packs fingerprint scanner, 5.9-inch screen, by Michael Kan: "HTC's newest phone, the 5.9-inch HTC One Max, includes a fingerprint scanner -- although unlike the one in Apple's latest iPhone, it's located on the back of the device. The HTC One Max will go on sale globally later this month and is the company's latest attempt to revive its smartphone business. The Android handset is essentially a larger version of HTC's critically acclaimed One flagship phone, with otherwise similar specs." InfoWorld

>> TANK FULL OF GAS: Xero to Intuit: I have $150M in funding, now gimme all your customers, by Meghan Kelly: "Xero makes cloud accounting software and its main competitor is the Intuit-made Quickbooks. The company, which is based in New Zealand, has been gunning for Intuit's business, positioning itself as the younger, less legacy-software-like accounting product. The company also boasts mobile device support, updated design, and what it thinks is better customer support... Out of its $150 million round, $123 million were supplied by U.S. investors." VentureBeat

>> INSTALL DEADBOLT: D-Link router backdoor vulnerability discovered, by Stewart Wilson: "The security vulnerability will allow full access into the configuration page of the router without knowing the username and password. According to the blog post, when you set your user-agent on your browser to a certain string, the modem will skip the authentication functions and simply log you straight into the router - allowing you to configure anything at your leisure." techgeek

>> BUBBLE WATCH: Twitter pays engineer $10 million as Silicon Valley tussles for talent, by Sarah McBride: "The senior vice president of engineering raked in $10.3 million last year, just behind Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo's $11.5 million, according to Twitter's IPO documents. That is more than the paychecks of executives such as Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger, Chief Financial Officer Mike Gupta and Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani.... Welcome to Silicon Valley, where a shortage of top engineering talent amid an explosion of venture capital-backed start-ups is inflating paychecks." Reuters

>> FATAL EXCEPTION ERROR: EFF quits Global Network Initiative over NSA surveillance revelations, by Lucian Constantin: "The reported participation of technology companies in the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance programs has prompted digital rights watchdog the Electronic Frontier Foundation to resign from the Global Network Initiative, a multistakeholder group whose members include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook and whose stated mission is to advance privacy and freedom of expression online." PCWorld

>> EXISTENTIAL DILEMMA: Microsoft mission impossible, by Jean-Louise Gassee: "You're Microsoft's new CEO. How do you like staring at the abyss between two mutually exclusive ways of making money? The old business model, Windows and Office licensing, is going away. The Devices and Services future puts you in direct competition against the likes of Google and Apple as well as former licensing vassals such as HP and Dell. Can you take the company to the other side, or will you fall to the bottom of the business model transition canyon?" Monday Note

>> MAIN STREAMING: Netflix said to be in discussions for US cable partnerships, by Cliff Edwards, Alex Sherman: "Netflix is in talks to add its application to the set-top boxes of U.S. cable-television operators, letting customers search for Web-based movies and television shows alongside traditional programs... had discussions with providers including Comcast and Time Warner Cable… Negotiations are furthest along with regional providers and smaller cable operators that use TiVo set-top boxes." Bloomberg

>> MOOD MUSIC: Because it needs to be said, by Justine: "This is not the first blog post I wanted to write. Disclaimer: this will not be written well as I'm hastily trying to write it out as quickly as I can get it over with. I will not re-read this to myself for errors, I will not bother with grammar. I just need to get it out.... Trigger warnings for: sexual assault/molestations.... Here is a little background on me. I'm a 25 year old, female, graphic designer, print trained with a background in self taught css/html." SaltineJustine

>> RICKROLL: NY Comic Con takes over attendees' Twitter accounts to praise itself, by Graeme McMillan: "If you were watching the Twitter stream for the hashtag belonging to ReedPop's New York Comic Con yesterday -- #NYCC -- then you might have assumed that the show was so successful even cynical journalists and veterans had been bowled over by it. 'So much pop culture to digest! Can't. handle. the. awesome,' raved some tweets.... The only problem was the tweets weren't actually written by the owners of the accounts on which they appeared. So, who was behind these phantom social media raves? None other than NYCC organizer ReedPop, of course." Wired

>> HACKTIVISM 101: Kdms team hackers hijack Rapid7 website using faxed DNS change request, by John Dunn: "A pro-Palestinian hacktivist group managed to briefly hijack the Metasploit website of security firm Rapid7 on Friday after faxing a DNS change request to its registrar, the firm's chief research officer HD Moore has admitted... After ruefully admitting the attack had been 'creative', Moore said that it had occurred after a simple bogus fax request to its registrar, Register.com. 'Hacking like its 1964,' Moore added, gamely." Techworld

>> Oil traders misread tweet, make oil prices shoot up TechDirt

>> Government shutdown slows news of fusion breakthrough Ars Technica

>> Apple debuting in 2014: 12-inch Retina MacBook, sharper iPad, cheaper iMac 9to5Mac

>> Four key enterprise features in iOS 7 that aren't ready to go out of the box CITEworld

>> Grilled cheese meets Bitcoin: Why this food truck is embracing digital currency GeekWire

>> 'Core Internet institutions' (ICANN, IETF, WWWC) snub U.S. government InfoWorld

>> Best Buy does what Microsoft won't: Takes Surface tablets in trade Offers maximum of $350 for a 128GB Surface Pro; gives back gift card; deal valid through Oct. 21 Computerworld

>> Gorgeous typography puzzles will teach kids the dangers of Comic Sans Gizmodo

>> Python is the most liked, and PHP the most disliked, language in HackerNews poll Ycombinator

>> Open Speech Initiative to bring first class free and open source speech processing software Peter Grasch

>> Dynamic JVM language Groovy breaks into top 20 list of programming languages InfoWorld

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Good morning! Up early for my flight to San Francisco. My @Uber X to IAD was driven by a @whitehouse chef on furlough. Interesting ride." @digiphile

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

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