Windows 8.1 debuts -- NSA chief leaves -- IBM leads legacy tech down, down -- FB ads on iOS crush Android -- YAHOO worth meh without Alibaba


October 17, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> DRIVING THE DAY: Windows 8.1 available now. Free update for Windows 8 users, through the Windows Store, started at 4:00 a.m. PDT today and goes until servers run out/melt down.

>>>> Windows 8.1 review: New version, same mess InfoWorld

>>>> Surface Pro 2 256GB, 512GB models won't ship until Dec. 15 Ubergizmo >> CRYSTAL BALL: What comes next after Windows 8.1?, by Mary Jo Foley: "Microsoft has two ARM-based Windows operating systems: The Windows Phone OS and the Windows RT OS. The thinking is these will be one by Spring 2015. Because it tends to be easier to take a 'smaller' OS and add to it than to take a larger one and remove features from it, it's likely that the Windows Phone OS is the one on top of which the new operating systems group will build." ZDNet

>>>> Beyond Windows 8.1 InfoWorld

>> DEPARTURE LOUNGE: U.S. eavesdropping agency chief, top deputy expected to depart soon, by Warren Strobel, Mark Hosenball: "The director of the U.S. National Security Agency and his deputy are expected to depart in the coming months.... Army General Keith Alexander's eight-year tenure was rocked this year by revelations contained in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency's widespread scooping up of telephone, email and social-media data. Alexander has formalized plans to leave by next March or April, while his civilian deputy, John 'Chris' Inglis, is due to retire by year's end." Reuters

>>>> NSA top two officials' retiring isn't news, but is an opportunity to reshape the agency. "Both retirements were planned long ago, and appear to be exactly on schedule, rather than as any reaction to things happening in the news." TechDirt

>>>> Edward Snowden has more secrets to share, father says after Russia visit Reuters

>>>> Hard numbers, chilling facts: What the government does with your data InfoWorld

>> BILLION-DOLLAR WHIFF: IBM revenues hurt by poor hardware performance in China, its 'nexus of erosion', by Christina Farr: "IBM has missed its revenue estimates for seven straight quarters, which has caused concern among investors and analysts that its business is deteriorating. The company said its software revenue came in at $5.8 billion, shy of the $6 billion level analysts were expecting. Revenue dropped 4 percent to $23.7 billion below average analysts expectations of $24.74 billion.... Performance in China was particularly poor; it's down 5 percent this quarter, with most of the decline attributed to hardware." VentureBeat

>> DIRTY LITTLE SECRET: Facebook ad profit a staggering 1,790% more on iPhone than Android, by John Koetsier: "A study of more than 200 billion ads on Facebook says that mobile ads on iPhone generate 1,790 percent more return on investment than ads on Android. Even worse, advertising on Android actually costs more than it returns.... Brutally put, iPhone owners simply tend to both make more money and spend more money than Android owners." Venture Beat

>> CHANGE VELOCITY: New iPads face very different competition, by Tim Bradshaw: "When Apple unveils its latest iPads in San Francisco next week, it will launch them into a very different tablet market to last year. Apple remains the dominant force in tablets with 32 per cent of the market by unit shipments in the second quarter, according to market trackers IDC. But that is a far cry from the 60 per cent hold it had over its competitors a year earlier." The Financial Times (paywalled)

>> iGOTCHA: Apple's claim of unbreakable iMessage encryption 'basically lies,' researchers say, by Jeremy Kirk: "Researchers at the Hack in the Box conference in Kuala Lumpur showed it would be possible for someone inside Apple, of their own volition or because they were forced to by a government, to intercept messages. The company's claim that iMessage is protected by unbreakable encryption is 'just basically lies,' said Cyril Cattiaux, who has developed iOS jailbreak software and works for Quarkslab, a penetration testing and reverse engineering company in Paris." PCWorld

>> MONEY SHOT: Twitter's huge payday for early investors, by Dan Primack: "For early investors, Twitter is not a home run. It's a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the World Series." Fortune

>> FOURTH ESTATE: Why Pierre Omidyar decided to join forces with Glenn Greenwald for a new venture in news, by Jay Rosen: "[eBay founder] Pierre Omidyar was one of the people approached by the Washington Post Company about buying the Post. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, wound up with the prize. But as a result of exploring that transaction, Omidyar started thinking seriously about investing in a news property. He began to ask himself what could be done with the same investment if he decided to build something from the ground up... Omidyar believes that if independent, ferocious, investigative journalism isn't brought to the attention of general audiences it can never have the effect that actually creates a check on power.... 'I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy.'" Press Think

>> POTEMKIN COMPANY: How much is Yahoo worth without Alibaba? Not much, by Joshua Brustein: "At the high end, Yahoo's stake in Alibaba would be worth $30 billion -- which would imply that the rest of Yahoo's enterprise is worth as little as $4 billion, or 12% of its current value." Bloomberg Businessweek

>> GEEK ALERT: Tilera chips add muscle to x86 servers and free up computing capacity, by Agam Shah: "New Tilera co-processors tuned for Hadoop, video and networking applications can free up the primary CPUs of x86 servers to run other applications. The company's Tile-IQ series of chips will have up to 72 low-power CPU cores, which will bring extra computing muscle to speed up servers." InfoWorld

>> RICKROLL: Google pokes the Microsoft bear, pledges to support Chrome on XP into 2015, by Gregg Keizer: "Google today stuck a finger in Microsoft's eye, telling users of Windows XP that its Chrome browser will support their aged operating system a year longer than will Microsoft's Internet Explorer... referring to the impending retirement deadline for Windows XP, the fact that millions of PCs still run the 12-year-old OS even with that deadline less than six months away, and the likelihood that tens of millions -- perhaps hundreds of millions -- of machines will continue to do so after the do-not-use date." Computerworld

>> The government shutdown has revealed Silicon Valley's dysfunction fetish New York Magazine

>> Ubuntu 13.10 review: The Linux OS of the future remains a year away Ars Technica

>> Here's why the iPhone 5S accelerometer is so screwed up Gizmodo

>> Ebook subscription startup Oyster expands to iPad and opens to all; some stats from Scribd GigaOM

>> Search engine giant Yandex in Russia launches Cocaine, a cloud service to compete with Google App Engine TechCrunch

>> 500 Startups is raising $100M for its third early-stage investment fund TechCrunch

>> MapBox heads into battle against Google Maps with a $10M war chest from Foundry Group VentureBeat

>> Usermind raises $7.6M from Andreessen Horowitz to build software for enterprise business operations GeekWire

>> Facebook lets teenagers share posts publicly TechAdvisor

>> Stay put, young man Washington Monthly (t/h Hacker News)

>> Why Microsoft Word must die Charles Stross

>> Introducing TogetherJS, a real-time collaboration tool for existing websites Mozilla Hacks

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "David Pogue, before dropping Titanic metaphor on Win8.1, sounds like teacher critiquing mediocre student work: 'maturing, now useful."' @EdwardTufte

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