VIBER purchase = landline DOA -- BITCOIN falls below $300 -- VFW, Silk Road 2.0 HACKED -- WINDOWS 8 tragedy -- PANDO's inconvenient truth


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

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

>> DRIVING THE DAY: Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten to buy voice-call app maker Viber for $900M, by Mayumi Neegishi: "Japan's biggest online retailer, Rakuten, said it is paying $900 million for a Cyprus-based maker of messaging and calling applications... Viber Media software lets users make Internet-based calls and chats on smartphones and computers... Viber will bring 300 million of its users to Rakuten's global network of 200 million... the company was willing to foot Viber's nearly billion-dollar price tag--around $3 per user--because of the huge potential for growth in revenue and customers, especially in emerging markets where Rakuten has struggled to gain customers so far. Viber has users in 193 countries, including Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, and Myanmar." Wall Street Journal

> Exclusive interview: Rakuten's Mikitani calls $900M he paid for Viber a 'no-brainer' Re/code

> TechBrief: One would be tempted to agree >> SOMETHING ROTTEN IN STATE OF COMCAST-TWC DEAL: We need real competition, not a cable-Internet monopoly, by John Cassidy: "This sorry situation isn't an accident. It's the predictable outcome of Congress bowing to the monopolists, or quasi-monopolists, and allowing them to squelch potential competitors. 'Americans pay so much because they don't have a choice,' Susan Crawford, a former adviser to President Obama on science and innovation, and the author of a recent book, 'Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age,' told the BBC. 'We deregulated high-speed internet access ten years ago and since then we've seen enormous consolidation and monopolies... Left to their own devices, companies that supply internet access will charge high prices, because they face neither competition nor oversight.'" The New Yorker

> Sleeper issue peers around the corner of Comcast-Time Warner deal Re/code

> Comcast: No promise that prices 'will go down or even increase less rapidly' Ars Technica >> DUCK, ROLL, AND COVER: New zero-day bug in IE 10 exploited in active malware attack, MS warn, by Dan Goodin: "The zero-day exploit was served on vfw[.]org, the official website for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, according to a blog post published Thursday afternoon by security firm FireEye. The people behind the attack compromised the VFW website and then embedded an iframe tag that silently loaded a page on another site that hosted the exploit... The attackers, who appear to be the same ones behind at least two other recent zero-day attacks, were able to exploit the underlying 'use after free' bug in a way that modified memory at a specified address." Ars Technica

> Attack on US veterans website may have been aimed at military members PCWorld

>> BONNIE AND CLYDE 2.0: Silk Road 2.0 hack blamed on bitcoin bug, all funds stolen, by Andy Greenberg: "On Thursday, one of the recently-reincarnated drug-selling black market site's administrators posted a long announcement to the Silk Road 2.0 forums admitting that the site had been hacked by one of its sellers, and its reserve of Bitcoins belonging to both the users and the site itself stolen. The admin, who goes by the name 'Defcon,' blamed the same 'transaction malleability' bug in the Bitcoin protocol that led to several of the cryptocurrency's exchanges halting withdrawals in the previous week." Forbes

> Bitbeat: The five men at the middle of the storm Wall Street Journal/MoneyBeat

> Pump or dump? Bitcoin's moment of truth draws nigh InfoWorld

> Mt. Gox Bitcoin price sinks to $300, past its post-China low CoinDesk

>> WEARABLES ENFANT TERRIBLE: Jawbone is now the startup Apple should fear most, by Marcus Wohlsen: "In one respect, Jawbone's devices are a lot like Apple's. The company admires minimalism. The Jambox has just three big buttons, and the Up only has one. But Apple's minimalism is cold -- all brushed metal and glass -- while Jawbone's is warm, squishy, and textured. The human quality of Jawbone's design will work to its advantage as we move from gadgets with screens to more direct, tactile interactions. If you're going to wear a gadget on your body, it's nice if it feels more like part of your body, and less like a robotic add-on. 'Good design accelerates the adoption of new ideas,' Yves Béhar, the famed industrial designer and Jawbone's chief creative officer, told Kara Swisher in a recent Vanity Fair profile. As a master of design, Jawbone may beat Apple to those new ideas. And that's what makes the startup such a threat." Wired

> Rizvi Traverse to lead $250M investment in Jawbone at $3.3B valuation Re/code

> How Jawbone's $250M infusion could shake up the fit-tech wearables space TechHive

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: Tizen tallies 15 more backers, including two major carriers, by Matt Swider: "Tizen is making inroads as an up-and-coming platform right before we expect to see it on new phones... Existing partners include project leads Samsung and Intel, device manufacturers Huawei, LG and Panasonic, and carriers Orange, Vodafone and SK Telecom.... Sprint and SoftBank Mobile have pledged their support to the open-source operating system, as have Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE and South Korean mobile game maker Gamevil." TechRadar.Phones

> Meet AOSP, the other Android, while you still can InfoWorld

>> DEMOTIVATIONAL POSTER: After 15 months, Windows 8 has sold 100 million fewer copies than Windows 7 did, by Emil Protalinski: "What's next? Microsoft is going to continue pushing updates for Windows 8 in the coming months (Windows 8.1 is already out and Windows 8.1 Update 1 is on its way), up until it's ready to release Windows 9. The company is expected to talk about both at its Build conference between April 2 and 4 in San Francisco." TNW

> If UK health service can get XP extended, why can't we? InfoWorld

> Microsoft marketing chief: We'll prioritize Windows on small devices CITEworld

> Windows 8.x reaches 200 million licenses sold Number includes preinstalls and upgrades, but not volume licenses. Ars Technica

> Microsoft signs Android patent deal with Voxx Electronics ZDNet

> Is Microsoft rethinking its decision to build Office for iPad? InfoWorld

>> SPY VS SPY: Hackers siphon thousands of customer usernames and passwords, by Lianna Brinded: "Tesco has been hit by a third round of IT failure in under two months after it revealed that cyber attackers siphoned thousands of customer usernames and passwords and posted them online. One of Britain's largest supermarkets said that it has deactivated the 2000 affected customers' accounts in a bid to protect their data from being shared further." International Business Times

> The list Pastebin

> The Tesco hack - here's how it (probably) happened Troy Hunt

>> HINDSIGHT: Many big name companies working on head-mounted gear, by Martyn Williams: "The Taiwanese company that makes the display used in Google's Glass head-mounted display says it's working with multiple big-name electronics companies on head-mounted gadget products. Himax executives wouldn't divulge the identities of the companies they are working with, but said they are big and sales should increase this year." InfoWorld

>> PROS OF QUIDS AND QUOS: Pando spikes a post critical of a company it shares investors with, by Sam Biddle: "The crookedest little bloghouse in Silicon Valley just hit a new low, it appears: A negative story about Birchbox, a beauty-product site with which Pando shares investors, was deleted shortly after being published. Unfortunately for Pando and the backers it loves so dearly, this is the internet, and nothing ever disappears." Valleywag

>> Facebook opens up LGBTQ-friendly gender identity and pronoun options TechCrunch

>> Storage provider Tintri raises $75M, plans $1B-plus IPO next year Silicon Valley Business Journal

>> Aerohive Networks files for $75M IPO TechCrunch

>> DocuSign shoots for valuation above $1B Wall Street Journal/Digits

>> Yahoo acquires technical recruiting startup Distill TechCrunch

>> Google CFO says they're working on 10 Gbps connectivity DSLReports

>> Apple files patent for automated disposable email addresses to help handle spam TechCrunch

>> iPad apps make you tip 50% more WSJ MarketWatch

>> Xbox One versus Xbox 360: How Microsoft nimbly pivoted to execute a successful launch VentureBeat

>> Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures cutting five percent of workforce Re/code

>> Please. Don't patch like an idiot. (t/h Hacker News) William Durand

>> The Hoover Dam of solar is now live in the desert of California. Here's why it's so important GigaOM

>> HAD TO RUN IT: Smart getaway drivers would yell at Officer Glasshole: 'SafeSearch off, Horse porn' The Register

>> BITCOIN: $362 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Dear recruiter on LinkedIn, I'm not currently interested in a job change from Founder/CEO to "Software Manager 2". xoxo, - Andy" @pre_me

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 © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform