Ford: MICROSOFT isn't stealing Mulally -- JPMORGAN muffs encryption -- BofA: BITCOIN 'major' -- RASH of billion-dollar startups -- PALANTIR valued at $9B


December 6, 2013 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> REDMOND CONCLAVE: Ford's Mulally not leaving company, Board Director Edsel Ford II says, by Mark Clothier, Keith Naughton: "Mulally, considered one of the leading candidates to take the CEO job at Microsoft when Steve Ballmer steps down, said in a Bloomberg Television interview that he preferred to talk about the sporty new Mustang, rather than the software company or his commitment to stay at Ford through next year. 'There is no change to the plan,' he said. [Ford Director] Edsel Ford II earlier said that Mulally 'is staying through the end of 2014 and that's all I know.' ... Ford's directors haven't pressed Mulally, 68, to make a public statement to clarify that he plans to stay with the automaker because he's made his intentions clear to the company's board, Edsel Ford said." [Blogosphere echo chamber count: 200] Bloomberg

>>>> Microsoft sheds $12B in market cap on news that Ford's Alan Mulally won't be its next CEO TechCrunch

>>>> Nomura: We still believe Alan Mulally will be Microsoft's next CEO Business Insider

>>>> Why Microsoft needs three--or more--operating systems Ars Technica

>>>> How Apple could save Windows 8 InfoWorld

>>>> Microsoft ends Windows 7 retail sales Computerworld

>> DOG ATE HOMEWORK: JPMorgan warns 465,000 card users on data loss after cyber attack, by David Henry, Jim Finkle: "The cards were issued for corporations to pay employees and for government agencies to issue tax refunds, unemployment compensation and other benefits... web servers used by its site had been breached in the middle of September. It then fixed the issue and reported it to law enforcement. The bank typically keeps the personal information of its customers encrypted, or scrambled, as a security precaution. However, during the course of the breach, personal data belonging to those customers had temporarily appeared in plain text in files the computers use to log activity. The bank believes 'a small amount' of data was taken, but not critical personal information such as social security numbers, birth dates and email addresses." Reuters

>>>> TECHBRIEF FACT OF LIFE: If the data was adequately encrypted, how did it appear in plaintext in log files?

>> CLICK FRAUD: ZeroAccess botnet down, but not out, by Brian Krebs: "Authorities in Europe joined Microsoft Corp. this week in disrupting 'ZeroAccess,' a vast botnet that has enslaved more than two million PCs with malicious software in an elaborate and lucrative scheme to defraud online advertisers... action comes partly from Europol's European Cybercrime Center (EC3), as well as law enforcement cybercrime units from Germany, Latvia, Switzerland and the Netherlands... In recent years, however, the miscreants behind ZeroAccess rearchitected the botnet so that infected systems were forced to perpetrate a moneymaking scheme known as 'click fraud' -- the practice of fraudulently generating clicks on ads without any intention of fruitfully interacting with the advertiser's site." Krebs on Security

>>>> Microsoft, the FBI, Europol and industry partners disrupt the notorious ZeroAccess botnet Microsoft News Center

>> NEOMONEY: Bitcoin gets valued: Bank of America puts a price target on the virtual tender, by Samantha Sharf: "Bank of America became the first major finical institution to initiate analyst coverage of Bitcoin. FX and Rate Strategist David Woo declared a maximum fair value of $1,300 and a maximum market capitalization of $15 billion." Forbes

>>>> Bitcoin: A first assessment Bank of America (PDF)

>>>> Bank of America says Bitcoin could become a 'major means of payment' The Verge

>>>> China Bitcoin exchange head 'surprised' at speed of regulations PCWorld

>>>> Bitcoin's roller-coaster ride gets wilder as Wall Street, China climb on Ars Technica

>>>> In the murky world of Bitcoin, fraud is quicker than the law NYT DealBook

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: Fixing the Nexus 5: with a new version of Android, Google tackles the camera, by David Pierce: "Dave Burke, Google's Director of Engineering for Android, is walking through all the changes Google has made to the Nexus 5's camera in the five weeks since the phone hit the market. The fruits of the Android team's efforts is Android 4.4.1, the update rolling out over the next few days that is designed to fix the buggy, inconsistent camera on what is otherwise one of the best Android phones on the market." [It isn't clear if 4.4.1 will improve other Android phone cameras.] The Verge

>> THANKS, NSA: Big data company Palantir is raising $58M at a hefty $9B valuation, by Kim-Mai Cutler: "Palantir, the big data company that secured clients like the NSA, the FBI and the CIA early on, is topping up its recent September funding round with a 50 percent bump in valuation... We're hearing that the company's revenues are set to top half a billion this year, and will do at least $1 billion in contracts next year. Founded back in 2004, the company was the brainchild of Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, who believed that the payments company's anti-fraud technologies could be used to fight terrorism." TechCrunch

>> JUST SHY OF PUBLIC: Employee stock sales boom, as Square considers one at $5B, by Jessica Lessin, Eric Newcomer: "For years, the Valley's conventional wisdom has held that allowing employees to sell some stock before an initial public offering would reduce their drive and hurt retention. Sales began happening anyway, but behind employers' backs on the secondary markets. But there has been a behind-the-scenes explosion of secondary offerings being encouraged by the top ranks at these companies. Leaders at Square have been talking to investors about funding a tender offer for employee shares that would value the company at around $5 billion... dozens of private technology companies, including SpaceX, Evernote, SurveyMonkey and WordPress creator Auttomatic have been helping employees sell their stock as well, sometimes regularly." The Information (paywalled)

>> STAT DU JOUR: comScore: Apple takes 40.6% share as top US smartphone maker, Samsung hits 25.4%; Android stops losing share, by Emil Protalinski: "In the US, Apple's dominance as the top smartphone OEM appears to have peaked at just above the 40 percent mark. In the last three months, Samsung gained share faster than its main competitor, and finally crossed the 25 percent mark. Rounding out the top five are Motorola, HTC, and LG. In the platform space, Google is still first courtesy of Android, and Apple is second with iOS. Furthermore, the former managed to gain more share than the latter in months. Rounding out the top five are BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Symbian." TNW

>>>> Google's $500 million Moto X marketing splurge looks like a dud BGR

>> WASHINGTON WIRE: House of Representatives passes widely supported bill to fight patent trolls, by Adi Robertson: "The Innovation Act is aimed at keeping the effective structure of the patent system in place but reducing the incentives to send frivolous complaints, cutting down on the alleged billions of dollars of damage done by them, but not everyone agreed it would have the right effect. Groups like the National Small Business Association argue that it places an unfairly high burden on patent holders, making it too difficult for small businesses or individual inventors -- rather than large companies -- to protect their patents." The Verge

>>>> Patent troll bill clears House with huge majority InfoWorld

>> 23andMe ceases health-focused gene testing, still offers raw genetic data and ancestry reports TechCrunch

>> Apple, China Mobile reportedly close to a deal TechCrunch

>> Snapchat is raising $54.5M on a valuation of up to $2B, this regulatory filing says Business Insider

>> Box secures $100M funding at $2B valuation Wall Street Journal (paywalled)

>> Homejoy raises $38M to bring $20/hour home cleaning to the masses AllThingsD

>> Spotify to introduce free mobile music service Wall Street Journal (paywalled)

>> Five things Jessica Lessin needs to keep in mind about paywalls as she launches The Information GigaOM

>> Twitter's new board member, Marjorie Scardino, isn't the only one who rarely tweets Quartz

>> Fleksy predictive keyboard for Android exits beta, multilingual support and iOS integration in the pipeline Engadget

>> Twitter to be available on mobile phones without Internet Reuters

>> Verizon quietly unleashes its LTE monster, tripling 4G capacity in major cities GigaOM

>> OpenStack under fire: The critics aren't all wrong InfoWorld

>> PayPal DDoS attackers plead guilty, some may walk free PCWorld

>> High Chief Information Security Officer employment rates means shortage for security industry CSO

>> David Cameron offers UK Exceptional Talent visa route to tech leaders, as Tech City gets 300Mbps 4G TNW

>> MongoDB -- not evil, just misunderstood Sid_ t/h HackerNews

>> HAD TO RUN IT: Ryan Seacrest wanted a keyboard for his iPhone, so he invested $1 million in one [Guess he won't get any more CES keynote gigs with Microsoft] AllThingsD

>> Bitcoin this hour: $1,073 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: '"Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.' -- Nelson Mandela" @nickbilton

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