CEO quits foundering ACER -- VALLEY underestimated NSA -- DC court killing Net Neutrality -- APPLE building super-glass plant in AZ -- Bezos-Stone SMACKDOWN


November 5, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>>> BREAKING: Acer CEO resigns amid financial losses and struggling PC sales, by Tom Warren:  "Acer chairman and CEO JT Wang is announcing his resignation from the PC maker today following further disappointing financial results. Wang, an outspoken critic of Microsoft's Surface tablet, will step down as Acer CEO on January 1st, but will retain his chairman position until the second quarter of 2014 to assist with existing commitments. Acer president Jim Wong will take over as CEO in January in a clear effort to address the struggles the company is facing." The Verge

>> BIG BLUE TROLL: IBM claims Twitter infringes on at least 3 of its patents, by Ingrid Lunden: "As Twitter embarks on its initial public offering roadshow, the company has issued another update to its S-1 today with a curveball. IBM has recently issued a letter to Twitter alleging that it infringes on "at least three U.S. patents" held by IBM, 'inviting us to negotiate a business resolution of the allegations.' The disclosure comes at the same time that Twitter has also raised its IPO estimate to $23-25 per share, up from the previous $17-20 -- a sign of Twitter's confidence that despite details like the IBM note, it's expecting a strong turnout when it lists. The S-1 filing appears to indicate that although IBM is seeking a settlement over the alleged infringement, it looks like Twitter is ready to defend itself." TechCrunch

>>>> IBM, Twitter plan talks on patent dispute WSJ (pay-walled)

>> KEYS LEFT IN THE LOCK: How an epic blunder by Adobe could strengthen hand of password crackers, by Dan Goodin: "Adobe engineers used reversible encryption to scramble the [130 million] passwords contained in a 9.3-gigabyte file that's now available online. Surprisingly, they flouted almost universally recognized best practices that call for stored passwords to be protected by bcrypt or another one-way cryptographic hashing algorithm... They were scrambled using standard symmetric encryption. If crackers are able to figure out the key or keys that encrypt the data, they will have instant access to every single plaintext user password in the list." Ars Technica

>>>> Comments Hacker News

>> REVERSE-ENGINEERING: How we know the NSA had access to internal Google and Yahoo cloud data, by Barton Gellman, Ashkan Soltani, Andrea Peterson: "We showed some of the NSA's briefing slides to private sector experts with detailed knowledge of the internal corporate networks of each company. In separate conversations, they agreed that the slides included samples of data structures and formats that never travel unencrypted on the public Internet... NSA developed Google-specific 'protocol handlers' so that it could parse the company's proprietary formats and pull out the information it wanted to keep... Another NSA document, similarly, describes NSA's use of a 'demultiplexer' tool to take apart data packages sent across Yahoo's internal networks in that company's proprietary 'NArchive' format." WaPo The Switch

>>>> What Yahoo and Google did not think the NSA could see WaPo

>>>> NSA chief likely to lose cyber war powers The Hill

>>>> Anti-spying activists take telco complaint to the OECD GigaOM

>>>> Brazil admits to spying on US diplomats after blasting NSA surveillance The Verge >> GOOD APPLE: Apple to build new manufacturing facility in Arizona with solar-power, will create 2000+ jobs, by Mark Gurman: "Apple is planning to build a new manufacturing facility in the city of Mesa, Arizona. The facility will create 700 jobs for manufacturing, and an additional 1,300 jobs for the construction and management of the new facility... constructing a new solar power grid in the city to power the manufacturing operations." 9to5Mac

>>>> Apple to open another US factory: Sapphire plant in Mesa: "Another possible use: sapphire displays. Sapphire is harder than Gorilla Glass, and thus more scratch resistant." Daring Fireball

>> NET DOOMSDAY: We're about to lose Net Neutrality -- and the Internet as we know it, by Marvin Ammori: "Once upon a time, companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others declared a war on the Internet's foundational principle: that its networks should be 'neutral' and users don't need anyone's permission to invent, create, communicate, broadcast, or share online... that freedom won't survive much longer if a federal court -- the second most powerful court in the nation behind the Supreme Court, the DC Circuit -- is set to strike down the nation's net neutrality law, a rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 2010... Despite eight years of public and political activism by multitudes fighting for freedom on the internet, a court decision may soon take it away." Wired

>>>> What Verizon's Net Neutrality challenge is really about Forbes

>> STAT DU JOUR: Twitter news consumers: Young, mobile and educated, by Amy Mitchell and Emily Guskin: About 8% of U.S. adults "get news through Twitter, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Compared with the 30% of Americans who get news on Facebook, Twitter news consumers stand out as younger, more mobile and more educated." Pew Research

>> INTO THE WILD: Google launches Helpouts, paid video chats with experts to address whatever is bothering you right now, by Alex Wilhelm: "A 'Helpout' is a Hangout-like video chat, but instead of speaking with a friend, you are connected to a purported expert in whatever it is that you need help with... Imagine a video chat session that you are paying for, that lasts for as little as a minute or two... Would you pay $2 per minute to quickly speak with a cooking guru about your under-construction dinner?" TechCrunch

>>>> Google introduces Helpouts, a new way to get help over video: "Helpouts charges providers a flat 20 percent transaction fee on all paid, non-health Helpouts, which Google says will meet credit card fees, the cost of offering the money-back guarantee, advertising and promotion, and the cost of running the Helpouts platform." PCWorld

>>>> Google's Helpouts could be the company's secret weapon to take on healthcare GigaOM

>> BEST OF BREED: Microsoft unveils industry templates, special pricing for Dynamics CRM, by Chris Kanaracus: "Microsoft is hoping to differentiate its Dynamics CRM software from the likes of with a new set of 18 industry templates that fit the application to verticals including sports management, health care, and more specialized areas such as prison inmate data. Microsoft also announced a pricing offer aimed at bundling Dynamics CRM with Office 365. Under the deal, both new and existing Office 365 customers can get up to 40 percent discounts off the list price of Dynamics CRM licenses. The offer is available though March 2014 in 42 markets." InfoWorld

>> MOOD MUSIC: To live and die in public: That's Twitter, by Om Malik: "My affair with Twitter, the idea, began over seven years ago.... It was at a party, a few blocks from where I live and work -- San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. I was hanging outside, sucking on a stogie, and chatting with Twitter's forgotten co-creator, Noah Glass. I learned about Twitter (or Twttr as it was known then), played around with it on my Nokia E71 phone, went home, blogged about it and went to sleep. And just like that, the service that over 230 million people now use every month was announced to the public. And if anything, that original post is a lesson in humility; a reminder that no one knows what the future holds." GigaOm

>> F'D AGAIN:'s enrollment system crashes, by Grant Gross: "The enrollment and insurance application system at the troubled website was down for about 90 minutes Monday.... The team was still investigating the exact cause of the outage as of 4 p.m. ET.... Website users should expect more service interruptions in the coming days as the team works to fix the site's continuing problems." InfoWorld

>> MONEY TROUBLE: 'Selfish miner' attack could devastate Bitcoin, researchers say, by Jeremy Kirk: "Bitcoin is vulnerable to an attack that could have devastating effects on the virtual currency, but it can be fixed with a software update, according to researchers from Cornell University.... The attack involves 'miners,' or people running computers that verify Bitcoin transactions, said Ittay Eyal, a post doctoral fellow at Cornell University's Department of Computer Science, who co-authored the study with Emin Gun Sire, a Cornell professor." PCWorld

>> SHOT: Jeff Bezos' wife trashes the new book on Amazon, gives it 1 star, says the author got lots of facts wrong [Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider] Business Insider

>> CHASER: Responding to MacKenzie Bezos's one-star slapdown Bloomberg

>> Windows Azure users can use hard drives to import and export data PCWorld

>> Microsoft's bug bounty program expands: Snitches welcome? ZDNet

>> The truth about Samsung Knox for Android security InfoWorld

>> Dropbox snatches up Sold, the service that simplifies selling online, to help it build a new mystery commerce product TechCrunch

>> Why the attack on Buffer was a serious wake-up call for the Web Programmable Web

>> Be sure to factor in the cost of cloud failure InfoWorld

>> The death and rebirth of @ProfJeffJarvis, the best parody account on Twitter Forbes

>> Get $200 at Target with any iPad trade-in, even a first gen model [Pro tip: Use Target's online store lookup with promo code NOVIPAD200] Lifehacker

>> HAD TO RUN IT: You have a friend request from Justin Bieber: Singer [sic] invests $1.1M in social network for teens Time

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "I'm working with the FAA to let me operate an airplane with my smartphone. But I don't want to drone on about it..." @boredelonmusk

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

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