AMAZON wants to be your desktop -- Secret US-led IP pact excludes China -- IBM opens Watson to devs -- China snubs CISCO over NSA


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

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.

>> ALL YOUR BASE: Amazon WorkSpaces delivers Windows desktops on demand, by Serdar Yegulalp: "Amazon Web Services is determined to make buying a desktop machine a thing of the past. Yesterday at AWS re:Invent, Amazon announced a virtual desktop service called Amazon WorkSpaces that promises to provide Windows 7 desktops on demand to almost any client device. Amazon also claims it can deliver those desktops at a better per-user price than pretty much anyone else on the market, with the lowest-tier desktops available for $35 per user per month. For a 1,000-user setup, Amazon claimed around 59 percent cost savings over delivering the same desktops on-premises. The desktops are provided to clients by way of a client app, available for most major platforms: Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Windows."InfoWorld

>>>> Amazon steps into desktop virtualization with WorkSpaces, an assault on VMware Venture Beat

>>>> Amazon says CloudTrail will track all those API calls for risk-averse enterprises GigaOM >> EPHEMERAL BALLS: Snapchat spurned $3B acquisition offer from Facebook, by Evelyn Rusli, Douglas MacMillan: "Snapchat specializes in ephemeral mobile messages, including text or photographs, that disappear after a few seconds. The service has not generated any revenue, but is especially popular among teenagers and young adults, who use the app to send messages to friends... Chinese e-commerce giant Tencent Holdings had offered to lead an investment that would value two-year-old Snapchat at $4 billion... Evan Spiegel, Snapchat's 23-year-old co-founder and CEO, will not likely consider an acquisition or an investment at least until early next year." [Blogosphere echo count: 150] Wall Street Journal (paywalled)

>>>> For SnapChat, the line between brilliance and stupidity comes down to the fickleness of teens Pando Daily

>>>> Why Facebook would pay $3B for Snapchat (and why it shouldn't) Wired >> NEW WORLD ORDER: Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP): "... the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world's GDP... The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China." WikiLeaks

>>>> US patent moves are 'profoundly bad' in leaked TPP treaty The Verge

>>>> TPP leak confirms the worst: US negotiators still trying to trade away Internet freedoms Electronic Frontier Foundation

>> EN FUEGO: HP and Google halt Chromebook 11 sales following complaints of chargers overheating, by Tom Warren: "The HP Chromebook 11 has been pulled from Best Buy store shelves, and sales halted on Amazon and HP and Google's online stores, following customer complaints of chargers overheating... complaints from some Chromebook 11 owners that the chargers included with the notebooks were overheating. HP also advised current Chromebook 11 owners not to continue using their chargers, instead asking them to rely on third-party chargers." The Verge

>> BY JOVE!: IBM to offer Watson supercomputer as cloud development platform, by Chris Kanaracus: "IBM is preparing to give third parties access to its Watson supercomputer with the aim of spurring the growth of applications that take advantage of the system's artificial intelligence capabilities. Watson... drew worldwide attention in 2011 after it soundly defeated human opponents on the Jeopardy! game show. IBM has been applying Watson's machine learning -- or 'cognitive computing' -- technology to domains such as health care, but now the company is ready to share Watson with the broader world." InfoWorld

>> SPIRAL WATCH: Cisco stock tumbles over company's sales projections, by Steve Johnson: "Cisco shares took a nose dive after its earnings report missed Wall Street's projections -- which the computer networking giant partly attributed to the government shutdown and fallout over the NSA's spying revelations -- and it warned of a big slump in its sales next quarter.... Asked if disclosures about the NSA snooping on Internet companies' data might have impacted sales at Cisco, whose equipment routs much of that information across the Web, Chambers answered that "it is an impact in China." But he said he didn't think that had greatly affected Cisco's business." [Google Finance says CSCO down double-digits in pre-market trading.] San Jose Mercury News

>> STAT DU JOUR: Samsung smartphone sales surge, while Apple gets a small boost from iPhone 5s, by Michael Kan: "Samsung Electronics widened its lead over Apple in worldwide smartphone sales during the third quarter, while China's Lenovo also gained ground thanks to growth in its home market... Samsung maintained its lead as the biggest vendor, with its smartphone sales surging to 80.3 million units, up 47 percent year on year... Apple with sales of 30 million units, up 23 percent. That gave Samsung a market share of 32.1 percent, and Apple 12.1 percent... Lenovo... smartphone sales surged 85 percent year over year to 12.9 million units. Nearly all the company's handsets are sold in China, now the world's largest market for smartphones... Microsoft's Windows Phone OS saw the biggest growth, with sales of the devices growing by 123 percent. The operating system's market share, however, remains small at only 3.6 percent. " PCWorld

>> DEAL O' THE DAY: Redfin is now a $500M company, by Dan Primack: "Online real estate company Redfin has raised $50 million in what it believes will be its last round of VC funding before going public... the deal was done at around a $500 million valuation... Redfin sometimes gets compared to Zillow and Trulia but really is more of a tech-enabled brokerage than it is a lead generation service. The company enables users to list their properties via a combination of the company's online platform and Redfin-employed brokers, rather than third-party brokers who are essentially licensing the brand of large real estate companies." Fortune/CNN

>> PROGRAMMING IN THE CLOUD: Microsoft reinvents Visual Studio as an Azure cloud service, by Serdar Yegulalp: "Redmond's latest additions to its arsenal of cloud-based resources are aimed squarely at developers, and while a new version of Visual Studio (2013) is part of that mix, there's an entirely new offering: Visual Studio Online. Formerly branded as Team Foundation Service, Visual Studio Online is a Windows Azure-hosted development environment designed to work as an online complement to Visual Studio's desktop tools... this is meant to be a cloud-based development tool, not just a hosted repository. Microsoft is offering a hosted build service, where projects can be built in the cloud and the results delivered back to the desktop in Visual Studio, and 60 minutes of build time free each month, with more available depending on your subscription level." InfoWorld

>> DEPARTURE LOUNGE OVERCROWDING: Fab to lay off at least another 50 employees, by Jason Del Rey: "The e-commerce startup, which recently received massive funding, is getting ready to announce another round of layoffs in the U.S., and is also considering making more cuts to its already decimated European staff... the third round of staff cuts in recent months, which have already eliminated at least 250 employees -- more than a third of Fab's staff." AllThingsD
>>>> Leaked memo: Fab's struggling CEO names new top execs ValleyWag

>> WIRED WASHINGTON: NSA transparency hurts Americans' privacy, feds say with straight face, by David Kravets: "Adding limited public accountability to the NSA's vast electronic spying programs would actually harm the privacy of Americans, Obama administration officials told a Senate hearing today. A subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning debated legislation that would force the government to release statistics on how many Americans have had their data scooped into various spy programs exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The legislation, proposed by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota), requires annual disclosure of the number of Americans whose information was collected, even if they were not the direct targets of the surveillance." Wired
>>>> Google warns of 'splinter net' fallout from U.S. spying Reuters
>>>> US intelligence wants to radically advance facial recognition software Network World
>>>> Our government has weaponized the internet. Here's how they did it Wired

>> ESCAPE VELOCITY: Go Launcher developer raises $20M from Kingsoft, Qihoo360 ahead of IPO, by Kim-Mai Cutler: "Go Launcher, an Android app maker out of Beijing that has been around for nearly a decade and has 42 million monthly active users across a portfolio of apps, just picked up $20 million in funding from Chinese antivirus software giant Qihoo360 and Kingosft. Technically, it's Go Launcher's parent company Sungy Mobile that picked up funding ahead of an IPO. The company filed go to public about two weeks ago, and plans to sell 7 million American depositary shares at between $9.50 and $11." TechCrunch

>> REDMOND RUMOR MANIA: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner will take over CEO role WPCentral

>> NEOMONEY: Value of a bitcoin doubles, breaks $400 over last two weeks [TechBrief blinks: In past 24 hours, Bitcoin peaked at $447.] SFGate

>> DATAVIZ: New York City is trying to be more open with you. What's it saying? Motherboard

>> IoT: Quirky raises $79M, including $30M from GE, to make connected-home gadgets AllThingsD

>> Google chief Eric Schmidt joins board of The Economist The Drum

>> What companies need to know about Apple's new app licensing scheme CITEworld

>> The next big thing in JavaScript evolution: js2js is a revolutionary open-source compiler from JavaScript to JavaScript js2js

>> Microsoft: No, we're not ditching on-premise Exchange Computerworld

>> Apple's $10.5B on robots to lasers shores up supply chain Bloomberg

>> Dropbox lowers the wall between personal and business accounts InfoWorld

>> Firefox OS smartphones aren't coming to the US anytime soon SlashGear

>> Facebook's Open Academy lets university students work on open source projects for academic credit TNW

>> Retailers to slash prices of Apple, Microsoft tablets on Black Friday Computerworld

>> Who's who guide to Microsoft's 'Game of Thrones' InfoWorld

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "So if $CSCO said emerging country growth is imploding and hasn't improved/likely to stay real bad and $IBM has HUGE exposure to this...Hmmmmm" @firstadopter

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

Pass it on. Tweet us!

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform