NSA taps Yahoo, Google data flows -- SALESFORCE offers DIY app store -- Kids flee FACEBOOK -- SCHILLER: Goldman better than Google for grads


October 31, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> DRIVING THE DAY: NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say, by Barton Gellman, Ashkan Soltani: "The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world... By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot... The NSA's principal tool to exploit the data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency's British counterpart, GCHQ... From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and the GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information among the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants." WaPo

>>>> How the NSA is infiltrating private networks WaPo

>>>> PRISM already gave the NSA access to tech giants. Here's why it wanted more. WaPo The Switch

>>>> NSA issues non-denial denial of infiltrating Google and Yahoo's networks TechDirt

>>>> What's on tap at the NSA? Google's and Yahoo's private fiber backbones InfoWorld

>>>> No US action, so states move on privacy law NY Times (paywalled)

>> GOING PRIVATE: Salesforce.com to offer private version of its AppExchange app store, by Chris Kanaracus: "Salesforce.com has long had a public AppExchange software marketplace, but now it's going to give customers the ability to create their own private AppExchanges where employees can download applications to use in their jobs. Private AppExchange is generally available as of Friday to customers running Salesforce.com's Enterprise and higher editions." InfoWorld

>>>> Salesforce.com launches private AppExchange -- because the world loves appstores Forbes

>> SPY VS. SPY: Silent Circle, Lavabit unite for 'Dark Mail' encrypted email project: "Silent Circle and Lavabit abruptly halted their encrypted email services in August, saying they could no longer guarantee email would remain private after court actions against Lavabit, reportedly an email provider for NSA leaker Edward Snowden... Dark Mail would shield both the content of an email and its 'metadata,' including 'to' and 'from' data, IP addresses and headers. The email providers hope a version will be ready by next year." InfoWorld

>>>> Announcing the Dark Mail Alliance -- founded by Silent Circle & Lavabit Silent Circle blog

>>>> Lavabit to release code as open source, as it creates Dark Mail Alliance to build even more secure email TechDirt

>> CLOUDUS INTERRUPTUS: Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud hit by worldwide interruption, by Mikael Ricknäs: "Microsoft's Windows Azure suffered from an issue on Wednesday that affected a management feature in the compute section of the public cloud, and remained unresolved Thursday morning. Microsoft first updated the Windows Azure Service Dashboard at 2:35 AM UTC... About 17 hours later the company posted a message saying that manual actions to perform so-called swap deployment operations may fail, and users should therefore delay them. Microsoft was still struggling to solve the issue on Thursday morning." InfoWorld

>> COMING ATTRACTIONS: EU researchers create prototype for a server-free future internet, by David Meyer: "Today's Internet is based on client devices such as PCs or smartphones talking to centralized servers to get their data. If an EU-funded project called Pursuit takes flight, the future could be a whole lot more distributed... The Cambridge University prototype would represent a dramatic revamp of that way of doing things. Part of a wider EU-funded project called Pursuit, the putative protocol operates more like... BitTorrent, in that users share information directly with one another, rather than through a server." GigaOM

>>>> Future Internet aims to sever links with servers Phys.org

>> STAT DU JOUR: Sony slips into loss despite pick up in smartphone sales, by John Ribeiro: "Losses widened in the quarter to ¥19.3 billion (US$196 million) from ¥15.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter was close to ¥1.8 trillion, a 10.6 percent increase over the same quarter last year. Revenue, however, decreased 9 percent in constant currency, reflecting the volatility of the Yen. Sony reported in the last quarter a modest profit of ¥3.5 billion which it attributed to improved sales of smartphones and the favorable impact of foreign exchange rates, continuing a turnaround that started in the last fiscal year, when it posted its first profit in many years... also revised downwards its revenue and net profit outlook for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, after revising its annual sales forecasts for certain product lines." PCWorld

>> PREMATURELY GRAY: Facebook beats on revenues and EPS but teen users show decline, by Jim Edwards: "It's a big beat on both revenues and EPS, and the stock popped up 15% immediately in after hours trading.... But then it gave up most of those gains when CFO David Ebersman said the company had seen a small reduction in use by teens.... But no one at Facebook has ever admitted before that it may be losing teens. Ebersman said the stats were not significant: 'We did see a decrease in daily users partly among younger teens. ... This is of questionable significance.'... The reason: Investors bet on the future, not what just happened. And if kids are losing interest in Facebook that could create headwinds in terms of future user growth." Business Insider

>>>> Facebook earnings show that desktop ads -- and Google -- may soon become irrelevant VentureBeat

>>>> Facebook may start logging your cursor movements Ars Technica >> GONE TO PLAID: Sprint taps into its spectrum for fast LTE, with room to grow, by Stephen Lawson: "...demonstrated a high-speed service it calls Sprint Spark, with current peak speeds of 50-60Mbps (bits per second) and the potential to exceed 1Gbps. It also promoted three upcoming handsets that will be able to take advantage of all three of its spectrum bands. Sprint is in catch-up mode against its bigger rivals, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, and is looking to use its huge spectrum holdings as an advantage. The company is deploying LTE in its 800MHz and 1.9GHz bands as well as the 2.5GHz spectrum it acquired with Clearwire, on which the Sprint Spark service runs." PCWorld

>>>> New cable broadband spec says 10 Gbps speeds possible Now if we could just come up with a better name than 'DOCSIS 3.1' Cable Tech Talk

>> MAN BITES DOG: Robert Shiller: Young people with a moral purpose should work for Goldman Sachs, not Google, by Alison Griswold: "In a debate titled 'Goldman Vs. Google: A career on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?' at The Economist's Buttonwood Gathering, the esteemed economist argued that young graduates with a 'moral purpose' and interest in the financial world should work for Goldman Sachs instead of Google.... 'When you study finance, you are studying how to make things happen, on a big scale, on a lasting scale,' Shiller said. 'That has to matter more than getting into Google and programming some little gimmick.' The way Shiller sees it, finance underscores every worthwhile pursuit. 'Every human activity that matters has to be financed,' he explained. 'You cannot do good things for the world all by yourself.'" Business Insider

>> CRASH: Google DNS departs Brazil ahead of new law, by Doug Madory: "Brazil is pressing ahead with a new law to require Internet companies like Google to store data about Brazilian users inside Brazil, where it will be subject to local privacy laws. The proposed legislation could be signed into law as early as the end of this week... By moving DNS resolution out of Brazil and back to the United States, Google DNS now operates outside of Brazilian jurisdiction. It still works just fine for Latin American users, just much more slowly... if Google leaves Brazil as they did in China, they could opt to make their local infrastructure investments in another country... with privacy laws more to their liking." Renesys

>> END OF LIFE CYCLE: The case against Gmail, by Ed Bott: "Google's flagship service has been showing signs that it's past its prime. In particular, Gmail's losing the ability to play nicely with third-party clients... Despite Google's lofty rhetoric about open standards, the Gmail protocols are undocumented and not available for licensing... in December 2012 Google dropped [Microsoft's] Exchange ActiveSync support for its nonpaying customers--including anyone with a free Gmail account and with a free (grandfathered) Google Apps account... Google wants you to interact with Gmail in a browser window--preferably Chrome--or in one of its iOS or Android apps." ZDNet

>>>> How I switched from Gmail to Outlook.com (and how you can too) ZDNet

>>>> Outlook.com calendar maintenance enters its second week PCWorld

>> GOING VIRAL: Waiting for the next great technology critic, by Pat Buchanan: "For well over a decade, the two most influential voices about consumer technology have been a sixty-six-year-old man who lives just outside of Washington, D.C. and a fifty-year-old man who resides in Westport, Connecticut. The former, Walt Mossberg, defined what it means to be a mainstream gadget reviewer when he started a weekly column, Personal Technology, for the Wall Street Journal, in 1991. The latter, David Pogue, began his column for the New York Times, State of the Art, in 2000. Every week, like a modern-day Prometheus handing down secret knowledge about arcane tools, they have dutifully informed millions of readers about the latest gadgets or services, and whether or not they are worth purchasing. Both of them will be gone soon: it was announced last month that Mossberg would leave the Journal at the end of the year, and Pogue revealed last week that he would be leaving the Times shortly." The New Yorker

>> MICROSOFT MISCHIEF: Microsoft Bing tests 'Hero' ads in Windows 8.1 search results, jousting with Google, by Todd Bishop: "Hero Ads... blend elements of display and search advertising. They are being tested by advertisers including Land Rover, Jaguar, Home Depot, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Radio Shack. During the pilot, the ads will be shown to a subset of people searching for the specific names of the companies or brands on Windows 8.1." GeekWire

>>>> Here come Windows 8.1's 'Hero' ads -- brought to you by stealthy snooping InfoWorld

>> IBM gives up fight to build CIA's $600m secret cloud, hands deal to Amazon The Register

>> Scott McNealy tells Hong Kong to go open, free and global Computerworld HK

>> Google's Glass accessory store is coming online (Wow. Stuff's expensive!) Marketing Land

>> What's it like to design the future of Microsoft? Ask this guy. TechNet

>> SAP confirms 20 customers live on HANA cloud, hundreds in the pipeline Computerworld UK

>> Steam rises to 65 million active users, eclipsing Xbox Live The Verge

>> 10 common tasks for MongoDB InfoWorld

>> Fantastical 2: The calendar Apple should have built… again 9to5Mac

>> Mobile saturation means innovation will slow InfoWorld

>> World's first Bitcoin ATM sees 81 exchanges, $10,000 in transactions during first day GeekWire

>> California woman gets the first ticket for driving with Google Glass Glass Almanac

>> SORRY, WE HAD TO RUN IT: Lenovo taps Ashton Kutcher in long-life battery challenge to Apple Bloomberg

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "This is the only time the city of Boston has ever punished a Cardinal." @rilaws

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

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