FCC chair: UNLOCK all phones! -- GOOGLE Books upheld as fair use -- COIN, the all-in-one credit card -- SNAPCHAT rumored to snub Google's $4 billion


November 15, 2013 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> ESCAPE VELOCITY: New FCC chairman tells wireless carriers to unlock cell phones, by Jon Brodkin: "[New FCC Chairman Tom] Wheeler formalized his view today in a letter to Steve Largent, CEO of the trade group that represents cellular carriers. Wheeler wrote, 'It is now time for the industry to act voluntarily or for the FCC to regulate. Let's set a goal of including the full unlocking rights policy in the CTIA Consumer Code before the December holiday season.'" Ars Technica

>>>> FCC boss demands carriers speed things up on cell unlocking, by Karl Bode: "In late January, unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list. It technically remains legal for you to jailbreak your phone, but you can't unlock it without carrier permission." DSLReports

>>>> AT&T introduces mysterious update to thwart unlocked-iPhone resellers InfoWorld >> JUST FAIR ENOUGH USE: Judge dismisses Authors Guild case against Google Books, by Grant Gross: "Judge Denny Chin... dismissed the author advocacy group's 8-year-old copyright lawsuit against Google on Thursday. Google's Books project is protected by U.S. fair use doctrine, Chin ruled. The benefits of the Google Books project 'are many,' Chin wrote in his ruling. 'Google Books provides a new and efficient way for readers and researchers to find books. It makes tens of millions of books searchable by words and phrases... [it's] an essential research tool, as it helps librarians identify and find research sources, it makes the process of interlibrary lending more efficient, and it facilitates finding and checking citations.'" [Blogosphere echo count: 120.] PCWorld

>>>> Google wins book-scanning case: Judge finds 'fair use,' cites many benefits (includes full transcript of ruling) GigaOM

>>>> Round one to Google: Judge Chin finds mass book digitization a fair use. Guild plans appeal. The Authors Guild >> SOLID STATE: Amazon's new I2 instance aims for consistent high performance, by Joab Jackson: "'If you improve consistency of performance, then it is easy for you to build your application,' [Amazon CTO Werner] Vogels said... Thursday at the AWS re:Invent 2013 user conference in Las Vegas... Vogels launched into the discussion of consistency and performance as a way of explaining a new type of Amazon EC2 computing instance, called I2, that will offer guaranteed I/O performance... Amazon guarantees the speed at which data is written to data stores, as well as the speed at which it is read from these data sources to the customer's application... Amazon built I2 using SSDs rather than spinning hard drives. SSDs offer a lot more consistent I/O than do hard drives." PCWorld

>>>> Amazon offers PostgreSQL from the cloud InfoWorld

>>>> Amazon hints at details on its CIA Franken-cloud Network World

>> GO BIG: Amazon wades into big data streams with Kinesis, by Jason Levitt: "Jumping on the 'real-time' bandwagon, Amazon today announced Kinesis, a new stream processing service that aims to help make sense of high-volume data sources such as Twitter's "firehose," weblog data, financial data, and any other large data streams." ArsTechnica

>> MICROSOFT MISCHIEF: New Microsoft license agreement could drive up costs, by Thor Olavsrud: "Microsoft's new Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) licensing program, which replaces the ECI and EAP programs, could increase enterprise customers' costs by as much as 40 percent." CIO

>> BUBBLE WATCH: Rumor: Snapchat also turned down billions upon billions from Google, by Natasha Tiku: "It looks like gossip is traveling at Hyperloop speed over Snapchat's hubris in turning down $3 billion in cash from Facebook. Om Malik just tweeted the latest: After Facebook, 'Google offered $4B but @evanspiegel said no! Nice way to drive up valuation.' Valleywag heard the same.... When it's just paper billions, it's fun to shout big numbers and listen to them echo around the bubble, gathering strength as they roll.... According to our source familiar with the deal, Tencent was the first to offer Snapchat a termsheet at valuation between $3 billion and $4 billion." ValleyWag

>> STAT DU JOUR: Salesforce.com customers making broader investments, survey says, by Chris Kanaracus: "According to a new report from consulting firm Bluewolf in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management, 90 percent of the 450 respondents said their Salesforce.com investment is 'more valuable to their company today than it was a year ago,' Sixty-nine percent said they plan to spend more money on Salesforce.com-related products moving forward, with 27 percent saying that budget would remain flat and only 4 percent planning to slow down spending on Salesforce.com." PCWorld

>>>> Zoho lures Salesforce customers with new enterprise CRM features InfoWorld

>> APPLE BITE: Unofficial web tool tracks Retina iPad Mini availability for US Apple stores: "With Apple's iPad mini with Retina display seeing severe supply constraints at launch, a Web-based tracking tool offering in-store pickup availability has popped up in a most peculiar place: a website dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles." Apple Insider

>>>> Apple store point of sale systems go down again today, outage continues TechCrunch

>>>> Apple releases iOS 7.0.4 & iOS 6.1.5 with FaceTime bug fix 9to5Mac

>>>> iBooks for iOS update ditches the wooden shelves, iTunes U updated too TUAW 

>> NEO CREDIT CARD: Video: Forget smartphones and NFC, 'Coin' is the future of payments, by Zach Epstein: "Coin has developed a like-named device that is precisely the same size as a credit card. It even looks like a credit card. But this is a card like no other -- one Coin device can replace every single credit card, debit card, gift card and membership card you carry... actually a tiny computer that stores the data from all of your cards internally. It also features a magnetic strip like a normal credit card, except this particular strip can be edited on the fly. The user simply cycles through his or her various credit and debit cards by tapping a button on the Coin, selects the appropriate card, and then hands it over to the retailer to be swiped... The company is launching a crowd-funding campaign in an effort to raise $50,000 and fund the first run of devices." BGR

>>>> Coin reaches its pre-order goal in 40 minutes TechCrunch

>>>> Inside Coin's techie vision for the all-in-one credit card CNet >> REPORT NO EVIL: Google slams U.S. government in latest transparency report, by Brad Chacos: "Google's taking the government to task in a blistering blog post penned to introduce the company's latest transparency report... U.S. government requested user information from Google a whopping 10,918 times over the first six months of 2013, which is more than the next nine nosiest countries combined... the number of U.S. information requests has nearly tripled since the latter half of 2009 and account for just shy of half of all global government requests. (Worldwide, the number has 'only' doubled in the same time frame.)" PCWorld

>>>> Government requests for user information double over three years (with redacted graph) Google Official Blog

>>>> CIA's financial spying bags data on Americans Wall Street Journal (paywalled)

>> QUANTUM LEAP: Quantum world record smashed, by University of Oxford: "A normally fragile quantum state has been shown to survive at room temperature for a world record 39 minutes, overcoming a key barrier towards building ultrafast quantum computers." iTech Post

>> BREAKING AND BASHING: Businesses offer best practices for escaping CryptoLocker hell, by Ellen Messmer: "Data back-up and restoration regarded as the only way to really make sure you get files back" NetworkWorld

>> ASUS plans new smartphone and Chromebook launches for early 2014 Engadget

>> Microsoft's new Cybercrime Center combines tactics against hacking groups Reuters

>> 'We still don't encrypt server-to-server data' admits Microsoft to EU Committee Wired UK

>> Parsing Microsoft's massive 42% gain in 2013 TechCrunch

>> White spaces anyone? Google opens its spectrum database to developers GigaOM

>> Windows 8 and Windows Phone developers get access to Facebook Login PCWorld

>> Samsung said to plan Galaxy smartphone using three-sided display Bloomberg

>> Google and KKR invest $400M in six solar plants, five in S. California, one in Arizona San Jose Mercury News

>> Apple is still afraid of Bitcoin: Coinbase Bitcoin wallet app gets aces from iOS AppStore BitcoinBlogger

>> Wolfram announces 'most important' project: A programming language that models the world The Verge

>> Blogger threatened with 10-year prison sentence for posting public official's phone number WaPo

>> RocksDB: A persistent key-value store for fast storage environments RocksDB

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Isn't convergence an on/off sort of thing? Either you're converged, or you aren't. (This tweet brought to you by the word hyperconverged.)" @scott_lowe

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

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