BIG YoY jump in iPhone sales -- HP launches Win7 PC promo -- EBAY's digital currency marketplace -- YAHOO tops Google 6th straight month


January 21, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> DRIVING THE DAY: New documents: NSA provided 2-3 daily 'tips' to FBI for at least 3 years, by Cyrus Farivar: "According to newly-declassified court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the National Security Agency (NSA) was (and may still be) tipping off the FBI at least two to three times per day going back at least to 2006. Hours after President Barack Obama finished his speech last Friday on proposed intelligence and surveillance reforms, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) declassified a number of documents from the nation's most secretive court. The new documents are heavily-redacted orders from FISC to the FBI. These items request that the court order an entity (likely a business) to provide 'tangible things' under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The documents do not refer to who the target is, nor which company or organization they apply to. 'The Court understands that NSA expects that it will continue to provide on average approximately three telephone identifiers per day to the FBI,' reads a footnote in a 2007 court order authored by FISC Judge Frederick Scullin, Jr." Ars Technica

> Hallelujah, the NSA has been reformed! InfoWorld
> Who should we fear more with our data: the government or companies? The Guardian

> Jon Stewart skewers Obama's vague, rambling NSA speech The Verge

>> EYE ON BIG APPLE: How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter?, by Philip Elmer-DeWitt: "When the company reports its earnings a week from Monday, the iPhone result traders will be keyed in on is how many units Apple sold in the quarter before the China Mobile deal... The consensus among the 44 analysts we've heard from so far -- 27 professionals and 17 amateurs -- is unit sales of 55.3 million iPhones, up 16% from the same quarter last year." Fortune
> Apple insists on anti-cloning provision as part of any patent settlement with Samsung Foss Patents
> VLC media player for iOS gets iOS 7 redesign, Google Drive integration, Dropbox streaming, the ability to download files, and more TNW
> Apple continues hiring raid on medical sensor field as it develops eye scanning technology 9to5Mac

>> BACK TO THE FUTURE: HP brings back Windows 7 'by popular demand,' by Tom Warren: "HP really wants people to buy a Windows 7 PC instead of a Windows 8 machine. The PC maker has been emailing customers over the weekend noting that 'Windows 7 is back.' A new promotion, designed to entice people to select Windows 7 over Windows 8 with $150 of 'savings,' has launched on HP's website with a 'back by popular demand' slogan. The move is clearly designed to position Windows 7 over Microsoft's touch-centric Windows 8 operating system." The Verge
> HP bringing back Windows 7 PCs? Not so fast... 'In January 2014, HP offers a total of 5 PCs running Windows 7 and 68 running Windows 8 or 8.1. Last summer, HP offered 8 Windows 7 PCs and 61 Windows 8 models. Back by popular demand? Not exactly.' ZDNet
> Windows 9 could reach RTM as early as October Neowin

>> UPSTANDING CORPIRATE CITIZENS: Silicon Valley fights to keep its Dutch Sandwich and Double Irish loopholes, by Cyrus Farivar: "Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)...decided it was time to crack down on international tax shenanigans through meaningful reform. These legal loopholes allow major tech corporations to move money around on paper through a series of shell corporations in Ireland, Bermuda, and the Netherlands. This widespread strategy of moving money around involves two specific tactics better known as the 'Dutch Sandwich' and the 'Double Irish...'Taxes on tech firms are 'going to go up and they are squealing like stuck pigs.'.. Lots of companies engage in these strategies -- Apple, Google, Amazon, Adobe, and Microsoft to name a few. How beneficial are they? Google's overseas tax rate was 2.4 percent in 2009, the lowest of all American tech companies when measured by market capitalization. This shifting move saves the company billions of dollars annually." Ars Technica

>> SHORT, STRANGE TRIP: Verizon agrees to buy Intel's failed Internet TV project, by Aaron Souppouris: "After publicly announcing and failing to follow through with a big plan to launch a set-top box, Intel is selling the project to Verizon. The telecoms company will purchase assets of Intel Media, a division set up to develop 'over-the-top' TV services. Details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but Intel was previously rumored to be seeking $500 million." The Verge
> Why Verizon is buying Intel Media: It's all about taking on Comcast GigaOM
> Verizon confirms it's buying Intel's short-lived Pay TV venture TNW

>> NO COINYE?: eBay UK to allow sale of virtual currency from February 10, by Emily Spaven: "eBay is launching a dedicated Virtual Currency category on eBay Classifieds in the UK on 10th February. The Classified Ads category will allow for the sale of all types of digital currency, including bitcoin and litecoin, eBay representatives have confirmed." CoinDesk
> Canada says bitcoin isn't legal tender Wall Street Journal
> Korean bitcoin exchange Korbit raises $400k from angels, bitcoin opportunity fund TechCrunch
> Ross Ulbricht: Eagle Scout. Idealist. Drug trafficker? New York Times

>> WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY: Java primary cause of 91 percent of attacks: Cisco, by Sean Michael Kerner: "Cisco's 2014 Annual Security Report points the blame at Oracle's Java for being a leading cause of security woes. There are many different risks and attacks that IT professionals had to deal with in 2013, but no one technology was more abused or more culpable that Java." eWeek

>> PRIVACY THIS WEEK: "At this point" -- Nest's CEO adds slight hedge on data collection, by Arik Hesseldahl: "In an interview with Re/code last week... [Nest CEO Tony] Fadell said about the privacy concerns: 'There's perception and there's reality, and the reality of the situation is that the Nest data will stay with Nest. Our SLA will not change, our Terms of Service will not change. Nest data will be used to improve Nest data, that's all.' But in an interview with CNN's Laurie Segall at the Digital-Life-Design conference in Munich today, Fadell... added to the notion that Nest might collect data for any reason other than making its devices run better." Re/code

>> ASTROTURF: Stealth marketing: Microsoft paying YouTubers for Xbox One mentions, by Kyle Orland: "The line between traditional, paid advertising and organic editorial content on the Internet can sometimes be hazy. A recent stealth promotional campaign between Microsoft and Machinima highlights just how hazy that line has become, and how behind-the-scenes payments can drive ostensibly independent opinion-mongering on by users on services like YouTube." Ars Technica
> 'Microsoft paying YouTubers for Xbox One mentions.' Sounds bad, but there's no evidence linking Microsoft to this, just Machima @tomwarren

>> WILD TROJAN HORSES: Spammers buy Google Chrome extensions and turn them into adware, by Lucian Constantin: "At least two Chrome extensions recently sold by their original developers were updated to inject ads and affiliate links into legitimate websites opened in users' browsers. The issue first came to light last week when the developer of the 'Add to Feedly' extension, a technology blogger named Amit Agarwal, reported that after selling his extension late last year to a third-party, it got transformed into adware. The extension had over 30,000 users when it was sold. A second developer, Roman Skabichevsky, confirmed Monday that his Chrome extension called 'Tweet This Page' suffered a similar fate after he sold it at the end of November. Skabichevsky accepted an offer to sell the simple extension for $500 because he didn't have time to improve it anymore." InfoWorld

>> CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS: Target got hacked hard in 2005. Here's why they let it happen again, by Kim Zetter: "A gang of shadowy hackers tears through the systems of big-box retailers, making off with millions of credit and debit card numbers in a matter of weeks and generating headlines around the country. Target and Neiman Marcus last week? Nope. This oh-so-familiar attack occurred in 2005. That's when Albert Gonzalez and cohorts -- including two Russian accomplices -- launched a three-year digital rampage through the networks of Target, TJ Maxx, and about half a dozen other companies, absconding with data for more than 120 million credit and debit card accounts." Wired
> Officials: Two people used fake credit cards that may be linked to Target data breach PCWorld
> Two coders closely tied to Target-related malware, security firm says InfoWorld

>> Dropbox fundraising could actually be as much as $400 million: 'Dropbox's latest funding round values the company at $10 billion, with private equity giant BlackRock leading the deal with participation with existing investors.' Re/code

>> The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO Matt Cutts

>> Fon pulls in $14M as it partners with Qualcomm and Facebook GigaOM

>> Bluebox Security raises $18 million to tackle enterprise mobile threats SecurityWeek

>> Blackboard buys Austin edtech startup MyEdu for student profiles Xconomy

>> Oracle launches new Cloud adapters for ARN

>> After ten years, LogMeIn's free remote access product, LogMeIn Free, is going away LogMeIn blog

>> In China, U.S. tech firms weigh 'Snowden Effect' Reuters

>> Expedia lost 25% of their search visibility in Google possibly over unnatural links Search Engine Land

>> Surface 2 Pro owners: Where's our @#$%&! firmware update? Computerworld

>> Intel expects to reduce workforce by 5 percent this year InfoWorld

>> OpenBSD rescued from unpowered oblivion by $20K bitcoin donation Ars Technica

>> The 25 worst passwords of 2013: 'password' gets dethroned PCWorld

>> The online avengers: Are antibullying activists the saviors of the Internet -- or just a different kind of curse? New York Times

>> Some 2011 MacBook Pros experiencing gpu glitches, system crashes MacRumors

>> comScore: Yahoo beats Google as top Web property in the US for six months straight TNW

>> 4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly? The Register

>> Behind the dialect map interactive: How an intern created The New York Times' most popular piece of content in 2013 Knight Lab

>> HITTING HOME: The cult of overwork The New Yorker

>> BITCOIN: $945 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: 'Ask yourself: "Why am I spending so much time consuming other people's moments?" And then go build something.' @erickschonfeld

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

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