Digital NSA protest day -- NOKIA pimps Android ride -- HP says 'no free firmware' -- BITCOIN: growing pains or death rattle? -- MS BUS protests in Seattle


February 11, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> DRIVING THE DAY: Reddit, Mozilla, Tumblr and 5,300 more companies gear up for massive NSA protest today, by Harrison Weber: "Dubbed 'The Day We Fight Back,' the protest includes unsurprising participants such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); new faces have also joined in, including Upworthy and Thunderclap... participants will be asked to 'install banners to encourage their visitors to fight back against surveillance.'" VentureBeat

> Death by metadata: Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald reveal NSA role in assassinations overseas Democracy Now

>> VIVE LA DIFFERENCE: Nokia releasing first Android phone, by Sven Grundberg, Shira Ovide: "It isn't clear whether the Android phone strategy is a stopgap measure while Microsoft refashions its Windows Phone operating software to work on lower-priced smartphones. The Nokia phones will differ from most other Android smartphones, and won't access some Google-developed features or Android apps from the Google Play storefront... Instead, the phone will come installed with digital services created by Nokia and Microsoft, including mapping service Here and streaming music service MixRadio, as well as a Nokia application store... Google declined to comment." Wall Street Journal

> Microsoft reportedly blesses Nokia Android phone CITEworld

> Forking Android is a challenge, but Nokia can make it work GigaOM Research

> 'The DOA device will just squeak out the door before Microsoft takes over.' Ars Technica

> Microsoft and an Android play Hal Berenson

>> DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Barnes & Noble confirms staff losses at Nook, but hardware unit still exists, by Darrell Etherington: "Barnes & Noble has confirmed to TechCrunch that there were 'job eliminations across the organization,' but stressed that they have not in fact eliminated their hardware division as first reported." TechCrunch

>> CURRENCY KERFUFFLE: Bitcoin Foundation blames Mt. Gox for bitcoin's troubles, by Zach Miners: "Mt. Gox blamed problems with its currency exchange on a bug in Bitcoin's software allowing for so-called 'transaction malleability,' giving people the ability to change Bitcoin transaction details after the fact. Fraud could be the outcome and Bitcoin's value has been on a downward spiral since Mt. Gox called out the problem Monday after suspending transactions last Friday. But actually there is no bug -- transaction malleability is an underlying issue in Bitcoin's software, and Mt. Gox should have prepared its exchange for it, the Bitcoin Foundation said in response." InfoWorld

> Bitcoin value drops sharply after tech issues continue BBC

> What's going on with bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox? TechCrunch

> Did Mt.Gox really need to suspend Bitcoin withdrawals? NetworkWorld

> Mt. Gox tries to pin its own incompetence on Bitcoin bug ExtremeTech

> New Apple Mac trojan called OSX/CoinThief discovered SecureMac

>> PENNY WISE: HP to begin charging for firmware updates and service packs for servers, by Ed Bott: "HP server customers are about to get an unwelcome surprise when they need to update firmware or apply a service pack. Effective later this month, those downloads, which often fix critical bugs, will require either a current warranty or an extended support agreement... HP's move looks like a way to bolster margins in a market segment that is historically not accustomed to paying for extended service. The more likely result is that it will drive away those price-sensitive customers." ZDNet

>> SO MUCH THERE THERE: Google takes over NASA's Hangar One, a Silicon Valley icon, by Robert McMillan: "On Monday, NASA said that Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures LLC had been selected to take over the blimp hangar -- a highly visible icon on Silicon Valley's Highway 101 -- and operate the Moffett Federal Airfield that is already home to the fleet of private jets owns by Google's executives... it underscores the increasingly tight relationship between Google and the space agency research center, located just three miles from Google's headquarters. Google has already leased more than 40 acres of NASA Ames space to build a 1.2-million-square-foot R&D facility, and the company is working with NASA to test the world's first quantum computer at Ames too... In 1997, NASA discovered toxic PCBs in the hangar, and it has been mothballed and off-limits to humans ever since. As part of the lease agreement, Google will not only fix up Hangar One, but it will also rehabilitate two other Moffett Field hangars, build an on-site educational facility, and even upgrade NASA's golf course." Wired

> Foxconn working with Google on robotics Wall Street Journal/Digits

> TechBrief guesses: Hangar One as a ginormous robotics testing facility? (t/h JML) >> SPY VS SPY: Sophisticated spy tool 'The Mask' rages undetected for 7 years, by Kim Zetter: "Researchers have uncovered a sophisticated cyber spying operation that has been alive since at least 2007 and uses techniques and code that surpass any nation-state spyware previously spotted in the wild. The attack, dubbed 'The Mask' by the researchers at Kaspersky Lab in Russia who discovered it, targeted government agencies and diplomatic offices and embassies, before it was dismantled last month. It also targeted companies in the oil, gas and energy industries as well as research organizations and activists. Kaspersky uncovered at least 380 victims in more than two dozen countries, with the majority of the targets in Morocco and Brazil." Wired

> Cyberespionage operation 'The Mask' compromised organizations in 30-plus countries InfoWorld

>> TOPSY-TURVY WORLD: Tech investor to entrepreneurs: A Harvard degree is a liability, by William Alden: "'It's really unfair to you guys, but I think you're discriminated against now,' Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder of the venture capital fund Social+Capital Partnership, said at a conference organized by the business school's venture capital and private equity club.... Referring to his colleagues in the venture capital industry, he added, 'I would bet a large amount of money that the overwhelming majority of us would not look favorably on a company started by one of you.' Mr. Palihapitiya, the closing keynote speaker, who was visiting Boston from Palo Alto, Calif., is not alone in expressing skepticism about the value of a business degree in the technology-heavy world of start-ups. In their quest to invest in 'disruptive' technologies, many venture capitalists tend to look askance at entrepreneurs whose résumés are stacked with traditional markers of success." New York Times/DealBook

>> MUSIC TO THE EARS: Fortune 130: "The iTunes Store generated a total of $2.4 billion in net sales during the first quarter of 2014 versus $2.1 billion during the first quarter of 2013... On a yearly basis iTunes/Software/Services is nearly half of Google's core business and growing slightly faster. The iTunes 'empire' of content and services would be ranked as number 130 in the Fortune 500 ranking of companies (slightly below Alcoa and above Eli Lilly)." Asymco

> Apple loses bid to shake monitor but doesn't walk away empty-handed Wall Street Journal/Law Blog

>> MORE TRAFFIC THAN GOD: The website where people watch people play video games gets more traffic than Facebook, by Yannick LeJacq: "If I were to ask you to guess what websites take up the most broadband traffic during peak hours, you'd probably rattle off the usual suspects: Netflix, YouTube, Google, Facebook. And -- Twitch? The videogame livestreaming site? That's what I thought. Last month, the startup revealed some impressive statistics that put it ahead of other popular video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu in terms of monthly unique visitors, among other metrics." Motherboard

> Twitch reaches 1M monthly broadcasters as its parent company adopts the Twitch name VentureBeat

>> Oracle's 12c database to receive SAP certification faster than usual InfoWorld

>> Sprint rethinks acquiring T-Mobile after public antitrust opposition Wall Street Journal

>> Hadoop made easier, courtesy of Red Hat and Hortonworks InfoWorld

>> Microsoft begins sharing Windows Phone 8.1 with developers The Verge

>> Virgin Atlantic using Google Glass, Sony smartwatches for London passenger check-in The Verge

>> and Getty aim to change women's portrayal in stock photos New York Times

>> New Apple TV hardware references already appearing in iOS 7 builds 9to5Mac

>> OneDrive to offer bonus free storage for friends referral and camera roll backup

>> Backlash slaps Microsoft's 'help-a-friend-dump-XP' plea Computerworld

>> Gates muses on NSA, bitcoin, his new role at Microsoft InfoWorld

>> Intel aims to cut graphics power draw with research chip PCWorld

>> Microsoft Power BI puts Web and internal data on the map InfoWorld

>> Flickr turns 10: The rise, fall and revival of a photo-sharing community Time

>> Activists block Microsoft shuttles in Seattle, in anti-gentrification protest GeekWire

>> And the winners are… Check out the victors from the Crunchies 2014 VentureBeat

>> HAD TO RUN IT: Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen says app 'gone forever' because it was 'an addictive product' [Gotta admit, he's a masterful publicist.] Forbes

>> BITCOIN: $574 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "how to use twitter 1. tell a robot a joke 2. wait 3. the robot will tell you if some people laughed or not 4. you are alone in your bedroom" @ra

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

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