Archive for February, 2014
The National Security Agency has reportedly been surveilling senior German officials after it was ordered by President Obama to cease spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel. The report comes from German paper Bild am Sonntag, which claims its informant is a “high-ranking NSA employee in Germany,” as described by UK Reuters, which translated the original report.
Among the 320 target individuals are Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière. “We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the chancellor’s communication directly,” one NSA employee is reported to have said.
An interior ministry spokesman declined to comment on the allegations. The US incurred significant international disapproval after previous leaks about surveilling the German Chancellor, which President Obama never officially disavowed.
Part of the issue with this current leak is that it’s difficult to verify. The original NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden…
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Facebook may be killing off its email address feature, but their uselessness will live on in iOS contact books around the world. You see, right before iOS 6 and its Facebook contact sync feature came out, Facebook forcibly hid the real email addresses everyone shared with their friends. It only left the @facebook.com addresses it assigned everyone visible, so that’s what got synced by iOS 6.
At the time in June 2012 I called this “poppycock” and implored Facebook to undo the visibility change it made without permission. Allowing users to choose to share their @facebook.com address that routed to their Facebook Messages Inbox would have been fine. If Facebook wanted to compete to be your email address, though, it should have done it on a level playing field.
But to banish email addresses provided by its competitors like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft with hardly any notice was dishonest. One source…
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To prove its point, Cyvera it’s launching TRAPS XP2, to secure hundreds of millions of Windows XP machines still in use. The product launches this week. Microsoft’s set the end-of-life for the 13-year-old operating system as of April 8.As of January, Netmarketshare estimated Windows XP still held nearly 30 percent client OS market share — running on an estimated 500 million machines.
Probably of most concern…
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WASHINGTON — Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government — and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed.The Ukrainian campaign began in the run-up to high-stakes Ukrainian parliamentary elections last year, and sought to convince skeptical American conservatives that the pro-Russian Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovych, deserved American support. During that period, articles echoing Ukrainian government talking points appeared on leading conservative online outlets, including RedState, Breitbart, and Pajamas Media.
One path that Apple could take if it ever decides to enter into the game console market is to take advantage of its position in iOS, and add gaming support to the Apple TV. The experience would likely be similar to what is currently available today when playing iOS games over AirPlay through the Apple TV.
An alternate path for Apple would be to go after the console gaming market from a more OS X driven perspective. With Sony’s new PlayStation 4 costing $399, and Microsoft’s new Xbox One costing $499, the entry level Mac Mini starting at $599 is not all that far out of line. What may make this OS X path more likely to happen than the iOS path is that all of the necessary pieces to turn a Mac into a game console are already available. You just have to know where to…
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With Facebook’s massive $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp earlier today, any possible marriage between Facebook and Snapchat appears to be dead.
After spending $20 billion on a photo sharing company (Instagram) and messaging company (WhatsApp), can Facebook really justify spending billions more to acquire an ephemeral photo messaging company?
CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted Snapchat very badly; from blatantly cloning the app in December 2012 to making multiple acquisition offers, Zuckerberg saw an obvious fit between the ephemeral app and his social network giant.
WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum, will join Facebook’s Board of Directors as part of today’s acquisition deal. WhatsApp’s other co-founder, Brian Acton, spoke very harshly about Snapchat to Wired earlier today:
“It’s not 100 per cent clear to me what’s working about Snapchat,” he says. “Great, teenagers can use it to get laid all day long. I don’t care. I’m 42, essentially married with a…
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Facebook just announced it’s buying WhatsApp, a global messaging platform with 450 million MAUs, for approximately $19 billion. It’s one of the biggest tech acquisitions since HP bought Compaq for $25 billion in 2001.
It means that WhatsApp, which raised a comparatively measly $8 million since its 2011 launch, is now worth nearly $20 billion.
Since $19 billion is a ridiculously large amount of money to wrap our heads around, we decided to compare that to other ridiculously valuable things, companies and people.
$19 billion is…
- 4x the market cap of BlackBerry
- Approximately one-third the market cap of Ford
- 2.8x the market cap of GroupOn
- Effectively equal to the market cap of The Gap
- Slightly more than Sony’s…
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