WINDOWS 8.1 update kills PCs -- Surf's up for Mavericks OSX, new iPads -- The 'Android-first' myth -- NSA: 'Hola, el Presidente!' -- AMAZON launches geek TV series


October 21, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> BRICKED: Microsoft yanks Windows 8.1 update for Surface RT after 'Blue Screen of Death' reports, by Gregg Keizer: "Microsoft on Friday yanked the Windows RT 8.1 update from its Windows Store after some Surface RT owners reported their tablets had been crippled.... According to online reports, some users had wrapped up the Windows RT update only to see the notorious 'Blue Screen of Death' (BSOD) display and an error message stating, 'Your PC needs to be repaired. The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information.' By corrupting the boot configuration data, the update effectively 'bricked' the device, rendering it inoperable." Computerworld

>>>> Problems remain after Microsoft yanks Windows RT 8.1 update InfoWorld

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: What to expect from Apple's Fall iPad event (spoiler: new iPads!), by John Paczkowski: "So what can we expect to see Apple unveil at Yerba Buena Center come Tuesday?... the event will focus on the fifth-generation iPad and the second-generation iPad mini... the announcement of a street date for OS X Mavericks... and for the new cylindrical Mac Pro, as well... we're likely to see a slate of new MacBook Pros upgraded with Intel's latest Haswell processors." AllThingsD

>>>> GarageBand for iOS 7 to become free with in-app purchases as Apple reveals full set of new iLife and iWork icons, by Eric Slivka: MacRumors

>>>> Apple inventory snapshot suggests new MacBook Pros imminent, non-Retina iPad mini may live on Apple Insider

>>>> Apple recalls MacBook Air flash storage sold between June 2012 and June 2013 Cult of Mac

>> BIGGER NOT BETTER: Why Android-first is a myth, by Steve Cheney: "In mobile, particularly in consumer markets, there has been an ongoing debate about when or if Android will become the first platform that sophisticated startups develop for. Often times, this argument is wrongly centered around vanity metrics for Android such as worldwide shipments or installed base of each platform. The reality is that platform constraints at the engineering and financing levels tell a much different story. 'Android-first' faces structural and financial barriers which are unlikely to be overcome. iOS will remain the primary platform that startups develop for regardless of how much more quickly Android grows share." Blog

>>>> Google's iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary Ars Technica

>>>> Why Google controlling and standardizing Android is great news for end-users Android Headlines

>>>> The frieght train that is Android (March 2011) Above the Crowd

>> STILL NO. 1!: Microsoft Office squashes Google Apps, open source alternatives, by Preston Gralla: "Forrester's Office 2013 And Productivity Suite Alternatives surveyed 155 Forrester clients that use Microsoft Office, to see whether alternatives such as Google Docs and open source suites are making headway. The answer is clearly no. Google Docs is only being used in 13% of companies. And only 5% support open source alternatives to Office. That number has been declining -- in 2011 13% supported open source alternatives.... Office 2010 is the overwhelming favorite version of Office, with 85% of companies using it. At the moment, only 22% of companies use Office 2013, although 36% plan to move to it. Many companies support multiple versions of Office." Computerworld

>> WE'RE NO. 2!: Oracle passes IBM to become world's No. 2 software company, by Douglas A. McIntyre: "Oracle CEO Larry Ellison will use just about any excuse he can to brag about the company he founded. He discovered a new path, as Oracle used International Business Machines earnings release to claim that the century-old corporation had fallen to the number three spot in global software sales. If so, that would mean Oracle now holds the number two spot behind Microsoft. The change in positions says a great deal about the power of Oracle's enterprise customer base and the erosion of some of IBM's core businesses." 24/7 Wall St.

>> REBOOT: 'Tech surge' planned to fix Obamacare exchanges, by Louise Radnofsky: "The Department of Health and Human Services said Sunday it was bringing in outside help to resolve some of the technical woes that have beset the federally run insurance exchanges, which the agency acknowledged 'has not lived up to the expectations of the American people.... We are committed to doing better... our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve'" [Um ... don't you bring 'the best and brightest' at the beginning of the job?] Wall Street Journal (paywalled)

>> STAT DU JOUR: SAP reports strong revenue growth from HANA and cloud, by John Ribeiro: "SAP reported strong revenue growth in its HANA in-memory database and cloud businesses, but also saw revenue from software decline in the third quarter. The company said Monday that its revenue in the quarter was up 2 percent year-on-year to €4 billion (US$5.4 billion), according to IFRS (international financial reporting standards). Profit soared 23 percent to €762 million. Software revenue, however, fell 5 percent from the same quarter last year to €975 million, even as cloud subscriptions and support grew by a whopping 203 percent to €191 million. Support revenue grew by 4 percent to a little over €2 billion, while overall software and software-related service revenue grew 5 percent year-on-year to about €3.4 billion." PCWorld

>> MONEY SHOT: How has VC funding changed since 1995?, by Rani Molla: "While there's been huge growth in VC funding over the past two decades, it's not nearly what it was during the VC bubble in 2000." GigaOM
>>>> US tech companies raised $8.1B in 806 VC deals in Q3 -- Capital raised, M&A activity, and IPOs all up from previous quarter TechCrunch

>> LINUX RULES: Open Virtualization Alliance joins the Linux Foundation "The Open Virtualization Alliance has joined the Linux Foundation as a collaborative project to deepen its ties with the Linux community.... The Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) has more than 250 member companies, including IBM, Red Hat, Intel and NetApp. It aims to raise awareness and drive adoption of the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, a full open source virtualization platform for Linux on x86 hardware that allows users to run multiple virtual machines unmodified on Linux or Windows images. KVM can be 60 to 90 percent cheaper than other virtualization platforms, while offering the same core functionality." InfoWorld

>> LINUX RULES II: NFTables due to replace IPTables in Linux 3.13, by Michael Larabel: "NFTables is a new firewall subsystem/packet filtering engine for the Linux kernel that is poised to replace iptables... offering a simpler kernel API, reduced code duplication, improved error reporting, and providing more efficient support of filtering rules." phoronix

>> DISAPPEARING INTO THE CROWDSOURCING: Is Wikipedia for sale?, by Martin Robbins: "In recent months... insiders have encountered... a concerted attack on the very fabric of Wikipedia by PR companies that have subverted the online encyclopedia's editing hierarchy to alter articles on a massive scale -- perhaps tens of thousands of them. Wikipedia is the world's most popular source of cultural, historical, and scientific knowledge -- if their fears are correct, its all-important credibility could be on the line. The king of these Wikipedia reputation managers is a company called Wiki-PR, that specializes in editing Wikipedia on behalf of their paying clients. The promise on their Twitter profile couldn't be clearer: 'We write it. We manage it. You never worry about Wikipedia again.'" Motherboard

>> CHANGING CHANNELS: Netflix poised to pass HBO in paid U.S. subscribers, by Cliff Edwards: "Already the world's largest subscription-video service, [Netflix] probably reached 30 million paying U.S. customers as of Sept. 30, according to Needham & Co. HBO, Time Warner Inc. (TWX)'s premium cable-TV network, has about 28.7 million, according to researcher SNL Kagan.... [CEO Reed] Hastings has hooked viewers with the Emmy-winning original series "House of Cards" and a library of films and TV shows. To fuel more growth, Netflix is looking to bring its Web-based service to cable-TV systems. Cable providers are starting to see the $8-a-month subscription as an asset, and some are working to integrate Netflix with traditional programming." Bloomberg

>> GEEK BAIT: Amazon bets on 'Betas' to turn Web viewers into shoppers, by Danielle Kucera: "Amazon's new comedy show 'Betas' depicts a motley band of twenty-something Silicon Valley entrepreneurs coding around the clock to develop a social-media site to rival Facebook.... Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive officer, is using 'Betas' to do some disrupting of his own.... Amazon, which is spending an estimated $10 million to $50 million on 'Betas' and other shows like it, joins Netflix and Hulu in delivering original programming directly to viewers that serve as an alternative to cable and network television." Bloomberg

>> Experian sold consumer data to ID theft service Krebs on Security

>> So the iPhone 5S is (allegedly) killing the 5C. Why is this bad news? Stratechery

>> Fake traffic is causing a crisis for advertisers Adweek

>> Google paves over hole left by Chrome plug-in ban CNet

>> BitTorrent search site IsoHunt will shut down, pay MPAA $110 million Ars Technica

>> NSA accessed Mexican president's email Spiegel

>> Microsoft Surface 2 Review and Microsoft Surface Pro 2 review Anand Lal Shimpi, AnandTech

TWEET O' THE DAY: "WSJ reports that most IT workers dont have degrees in computer science, tech, engneerng, or math. I have none of those. Just use your brain." @jameskobielus

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

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