UK govt strikes OPTIC NERVE -- Knives out over EBAY -- NETFLIX-COMCAST: strange bedfellows -- HACK attack every 1.5 sec -- MINECRAFT movie


February 28, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> PEEPING TOMMIES: Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by UK spy agency GCHQ, by Spencer Ackerman, James Ball: "Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal. GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not. In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery - including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications - from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally... there are no restrictions under UK law to prevent Americans' images being accessed by British analysts without an individual warrant… OpticNerve was still active in 2012." The Guardian

> Tech industry slams NSA webcam spying The Hill

> Peek-a-boo: GCHQ has been checking you out through your webcam TechDirt

> Feds refuse to release public comments on NSA reform -- citing privacy Wired

>> BRICKED: Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo, by Eleanor Warnock, Takashi Mochizuki: "Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox said it was filing for bankruptcy protection and that 750,000 of its customers' bitcoins and 100,000 of its own had been lost. At market prices charted by the CoinDesk bitcoin index, that would represent a loss of $473 million. The company's lawyer also said at a news conference at the Tokyo District Court that Mt. Gox had outstanding debt of about $63.6 M with assets worth $37.6 M." Wall Street Journal

> Yellen on Bitcoin: Fed doesn't have authority to regulate it in any way Wall Street Journal

> Just before bitcoin catastrophe, Mt. Gox dreamed of riches Ars Technica

> Charlie Shrem speaks out about Mt. Gox, his arrest and the Bitcoin bromance CoinDesk

> The final goxing The Two-Bit Idiot >> OLD SCHOOL V. NEW SCHOOL: Carl Icahn goes after the eBay board in a new open letter with 6 "facts," by Steven Perlberg: "eBay was planning to IPO Skype. [Board member] Andreessen and his investor group preempted the IPO, purchasing 70% of Skype for less than what eBay paid for it... Mr. Andreessen's group profited by about $4 billion in only a year and a half... Mr. Andreessen has funded, sits on boards of, and advises no less than five competitors, four of which directly compete with PayPal... eBay has previously stated that [Board member] Mr. Cook's company, Intuit (of which he is the founder, a board member, the chairman of the executive committee and an employee), and PayPal are not competitors... Both companies have identical product offerings." Business Insider

> Statement by Pierre Omidyar, eBay Inc. Chairman of the Board: "Instead of having an honest discussion about a reasonable question, Mr. Icahn has chosen to attack the integrity of two highly respected and qualified board members, Scott Cook and Marc Andreessen. He also has attacked the integrity of our CEO John Donahoe. Mr. Icahn's attacks are false and misleading." eBay blog

> Andreessen offers defense in wake of Icahn's eBay criticism Wall Street Journal >> ECHO CHAMBER: Amazon talks to music labels about a streaming service, by Peter Kafka: "Amazon gives away movies and TV shows to people who join its Amazon Prime subscription service. When will it start giving away music, too? Maybe this year." Re/code

> The case for Microsoft buying Pandora InfoWorld

>> RICK ROLL: Europe invites Apple, Google to discuss "in-app" purchases, by Luke Baker: "The main concern is that games are often labeled as 'free to download' but are not 'free to play', with purchases automatically debited from a registered credit card. More than half of online games in the EU are advertised as 'free', the Commission says, despite many carrying hidden costs." Reuters

>> MOOD MUSIC: Everything is awesome! by Joshua M. Brown: "You know what the twentysomethings in Manhattan are into these days? Drunk Brunch. True story. They go out on Saturday night to pre-game for the next morning, wake up half-drunk then start banging vodka drinks at 10 am while a DJ blasts oonce-oonce music and brioche french toast comes flying out of the restaurant's kitchen.... My friend Helene Meisler noted that 'users' are to 2014 what 'eyeballs' were to 1999. History doesn't repeat and it doesn't necessarily rhyme. It Retweets. It's hilarious what we're valuing 'users' at these days, as if there's some permanence to the fact that someone downloaded and app and uploaded a few d*ck pics. I'm trying to convince my dentist to call his patients 'users' and then sell his practice to Sequoia or Union Square Ventures..... This weekend I'm going to Colorado to get gay-married at a legal marijuana store. Seriously weed is legal in America. Took decades but it feels like an overnight phenomenon. No wonder everyone's giddy." The Reformed Broker

>> COMING ATTRACTION: The Oscars will be streaming, but big restrictions apply, by Jared Newman: "ABC will live stream the Academy Awards for the first time on March 2, but plenty of viewers will be left out of the festivities. Although anyone with rabbit-ear antennas can watch the Oscars on television for free, ABC is tying the live stream to its Watch ABC service, which requires a pay TV subscription from a supported provider. AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, Google Fiber, and Midcontinent Communications all support Watch ABC, but Time Warner Cable customers are out of luck. And even if your provider supports Watch ABC, the stream will only be available in eight major cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno." TechHive

>> BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Netflix and Net Neutrality, by Ben Thompson: "For anyone remotely connected to technology, the idea that net neutrality is an unabashed good seems incontrovertible, and one of the most popular examples of why it matters is Netflix. Consumers get a video competitor to their cable provider over said cable provider's pipes; surely the end of net neutrality would mean the end of Netflix!... And yet, just last week, Netflix -- without much protest - ... paid Comcast to stop the degradation of Netflix's services, and are expected to reach a deal with Verizon and other ISPs soon... the stock was up 3.4 percent, hitting an all-time high of $447. This may be the opposite of what most tech observers expected, but Wall Street is not stupid: this is a great deal for Netflix, a company who has every incentive to not support true, end-to-end Net neutrality." stratechery

> Here's how the Comcast & Netflix deal is structured, with data & numbers Streaming Media

>> 19 years ago today, the Netscape Navigator 1.0 web browser was released Picture

>> Tor is building an anonymous instant messenger The Daily Dot

>> Hackers attack enterprise every 1.5 seconds: FireEye ARN

>> Machine learning floats all boats on big data's ocean InfoWorld

>> Anglo American rolls out Box to 10,000 employees worldwide TechWorld

>> Microsoft to add a standalone Windows Enterprise version to its business line-up ZDNet

>> Now serving 4m downloads daily, the Windows Store has grown 135% since October TechCrunch

>> What you need to know about Exchange 2013 SP1 InfoWorld

>> Obama's trauma team: How an unlikely group of high-tech wizards revived Obama's troubled website Time

>> California court rules in favor of using cellphone maps while driving TechCrunch

>> Google donates $6.8 million to fund free transit rides for San Francisco youth The Verge

>> Google redesigns Hangouts for iOS, adds video messages and animated stickers TechCrunch

>> Meet Oppia, Google's new open source project that allows anyone to create an interactive learning experience TechCrunch

>> Open Source Initiative, Free Software Foundation unite against software patents InfoWorld

>> OS X security patches have been issued -- patch NOW Computerworld Hong Kong

>> Apple's security flaws: Are you paranoid enough yet? InfoWorld

>> Mojang in talks with Warner Bros. to make a Minecraft movie TechCrunch

>> BITCOIN: $563 Coinbase

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Optical network bandwidth technology has advanced so much/cost is so much lower. This is a just a monopoly power/profit grab by the ISPs." @firstadopter

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

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