BITCOIN flaw flagged -- Top Windows analyst curses MICROSOFT -- SNOWDEN jacked NSA with basic crawler -- AWS mystery bandwidth THROTTLE


February 10, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> FLY IN THE COIN MINT: Bug in bitcoin protocol: "The MtGox team has been working hard to address an issue with the way that bitcoin withdrawals are processed. By 'bitcoin withdrawal' we are referring to transactions from a MtGox bitcoin wallet to an external bitcoin address. Bitcoin transactions to any MtGox bitcoin address, and currency withdrawals (Yen, Euro, etc) are not affected by this issue. The problem we have identified is not limited to MtGox, and affects all transactions where Bitcoins are being sent to a third party. We believe that the changes required for addressing this issue will be positive over the long term for the whole community. As a result we took the necessary action of suspending bitcoin withdrawals until this technical issue has been resolved... A bug in the bitcoin software makes it possible for someone to use the Bitcoin network to alter transaction details to make it seem like a sending of bitcoins to a bitcoin wallet did not occur when in fact it did occur." Mt.Gox blog

> The coin prince: inside Bitcoin's first big money-laundering scandal The Verge

> Florida targets high-dollar bitcoin exchangers Krebs on Security

> Russia bans bitcoins Fox News

> eBay takes its first steps toward virtual currency Mashable

> A string of thefts hit Bitcoin's most reputable wallet service The Verge

> Reddit thread on Mt.Gox decision Reddit >> BITING THE HAND: What the heck is happening to Windows?, by Paul Thurrott: "When critics described Windows 8.1 as a step backwards, I disagreed... With Update 1, however, I'm beginning to question the validity of this new direction, and am now wondering whether Microsoft has simply fallen into an all-too-familiar trap of trying to please everyone, and creating a product that is ultimately not ideal for anyone... while Sinofsky had the maniacal power and force of will of a Steve Jobs, he lacked Jobs' best gift: An innate understanding of good design. Windows 8 is not well-designed. It's a mess. But Windows 8 is a bigger problem than that. Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word." WinSupersite

> TechBrief says: Welcome aboard, Paul [Introducing Windows Red: A serious plan to fix Windows 8 InfoWorld]

> Perspective: Microsoft asks for volunteers to join its kill-XP army Computerworld

> More Windows 8.1 Update 1 features revealed, including jumplists for Modern apps Neowin

>> CLUTCH: Snowden used low-cost tool to best NSA, by David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt: " Intelligence officials investigating how Edward J. Snowden gained access to a huge trove of the country's most highly classified documents say they have determined that he used inexpensive and widely available software to 'scrape' the National Security Agency's networks, and kept at it even after he was briefly challenged by agency officials. Using 'web crawler' software designed to search, index and back up a website, Mr. Snowden 'scraped data out of our systems' while he went about his day job, according to a senior intelligence official. 'We do not believe this was an individual sitting at a machine and downloading this much material in sequence,' the official said. The process, he added, was 'quite automated.'" New York Times

> Rep. Peter King: Security reforms at the NSA will prevent future Snowdens TechCrunch

> DOD complains about 'speculative' risk of bulk collection emptywheel

> NSA collects 20% or less of US call data Wall Street Journal

> US seeks information on industry ability to hold bulk phone data InfoWorld

> Report: NSA phone data guides drone strikes which kill innocents Gizmodo

> First Look Media to launch next week with Snowden-themed online magazine The Guardian
> TechBrief asks: How does the NSA know it caught all of Snowden's spiders?

>> F'D: Facing criticism after remarks, AOL chief reverses 401(k) changes, by Leslie Kaufman: "Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, did an about-face on Saturday, reversing an unpopular change in the media company's employee benefits program and apologizing for publicly singling out two families' health care issues as a cause of those changes." New York Times
> That 'distressed baby' who Tim Armstrong blamed for benefit cuts? She's my daughter. Slate

>> HEAD EMERGES FROM SAND: Change your passwords: Comcast hushes, minimizes serious hack, by Violet Blue: "On February 6, NullCrew FTS hacked into at least 34 of Comcast's servers and published a list of the company's mail servers and a link to the root file with the vulnerability it used to penetrate the system on Pastebin. Comcast, the largest internet service provider in the United States, ignored news of the serious breach in press and media for over 24 hours -- only when the Pastebin page was removed did the company issue a statement, and even then, it only spoke to a sympathetic B2B outlet. During that 24 hours, Comcast stayed silent, and the veritable 'keys to the kingdom' sat out in the open internet, ripe for the taking by any malicious entity with a little know-how around mail servers and selling or exploiting customer data." ZDNet

>> STONE COLD REBOOT: Analysis: Satya Nadella must kill Windows Phone and fork Android, by Charles Arthur: "To add to all the advice being ladled out to Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new chief, here's another piece: stop bothering with Windows Phone. It's a waste of money which will never pay off. Instead, focus the efforts of Microsoft and soon-to-be subsidiary Nokia on forking Android - because that way you can exploit the huge number of Chinese handset makers who want to burst out of China and sell to the rest of the world." The Guardian
> Neither Microsoft, Nokia, nor anyone else should fork Android. It's unforkable Ars Technica
> Suggestions that Microsoft should ditch Windows Phone for Android are insane WinBeta

>> MONEY SHOT: Quora and the search for truth, by Quentin Hardy: "Quora is a question-and-answer website... Begun in June 2010, it claims to have information on over 450,000 topics, almost all posted by its registered users... Next year, Quora hopes to start a money-making business; Marc Bodnick, the company's head of business and community, said Quora was likely to put ads with its answers. 'The real value is in the 90 percent of questions that aren't about what will happen next week.'" New York Times/Bits

>> HAAC (HARDWARE-AS-A-CURRENCY): Apple's iPhone, the new international currency, by Vernon Silver: "I've been paying my bills with iPhones. Not with apps or on bank sites -- I've been using the Apple (AAPL) hardware as currency... I live in Rome, where domestic work comes cheap and technology is expensive. An unlocked, gold, 32-gigabyte iPhone 5s that costs about $815 with tax in the U.S. goes for €839 (about $1,130) in Italy, roughly a month's wages... for more than a month after the 5s came out last year, people from countries where it wasn't yet available lined up every day." Bloomberg Businessweek

>> THROTTLED: There's something rotten in the state of online video streaming, and the data is starting to emerge, Stacey Higginbotham: If you've been having trouble with your Netflix streams lately, or maybe like David Rafael, director of engineering for a network security company in Texas, you're struggling with what appears to be throttled bandwidth on Amazon Web Services, you're not alone... appears to be an extreme drop on broadband throughput for select U.S. internet service providers during prime time. It's an issue that is complicated and shrouded in secrecy, but as consumer complaints show, it's becoming increasingly important to the way video is delivered over the internet. GigaOM

>> Yahoo to partner with Yelp on local search Wall Street Journal

>> McGraw-Hill buys Engrade for ~$50M as it moves away from textbooks, towards a future of SaaS TechCrunch

>> Foxconn investing $1B in Indonesia to build factories PCWorld

>> Carl Icahn 2.0: an icon of '80s greed is back to shake up Silicon Valley The Verge

>> Smaller, shorter-term deals shake up IT outsourcing industry CIO

>> Cloud data centers: Power savings or power drain? Network Computing

>> Apple's Mac OSX imitated in latest North Korea system BBC

>> Apple currently plans to release iOS 7.1 in March 9to5Mac

>> Reporter for iPhone tracks your whole life, one quiz at a time The Verge

>> Cryptolocker scrambles US law firm's entire cache of legal files TechWorld

>> Linkedin is killing Intro, its useful, controversial iPhone service -- yes, just three months after launch Time

>> Where PCI compliance fails: Security testing, network monitoring InfoWorld

>> Judge rebukes Apple for invoking nationalist bias but denies Samsung a retrial InfoWorld

>> Hands-on with Mozilla's long-delayed Metro Firefox app: Good thing it's a beta PCWorld

>> At height of popularity, creator pulls Flappy Bird from App Stores Ars Technica

>> Unverified: Flappy Bird pulled by Apple after copyright complaint from Nintendo? 9to5Mac

>> BITCOIN: $700 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "It's interesting how the slowdown in Twitter's user growth coincides with a crackdown on 3rd-party apps. It's almost like they're related." @nzben

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

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