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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Video and Images of Anti-Morsi Protests

Video shot by Simon Hanna for Ahram Online, an English-language offshoot of a state-owned Cairo newspaper, showed protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Sunday.

As our colleagues David Kirkpatrick, Kareem Fahim and Ben Hubbard report from Cairo, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians packed the streets of cities across the country on Sunday to demand the resignation of President Mohamed Morsi, exactly one year after his inauguration as the country’s first democratically elected leader. The Islamist president’s supporters held a rival rally in Nasr City, a neighborhood in the capital.

Video reports posted on YouTube by Ahram Online, an Eglish-language offshoot of a state-owned Cairo newspaper, showed protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo chanting “Leave!” as members of Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood rallied in support of what they called his legitimacy as an elected president.

Video of President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters shot by Mayada Wadnomiry for Ahram Online on Sunday in Cairo.

Participants in the rallies, as well as Egyptian journalists and foreign correspondents who witnessed the protests, uploaded images, video and text accounts of the massive crowds throughout the day and into the night. Once again, views of tens of thousands of protesters streaming into a packed Tahrir Square and swarming around the palace, known locally as the Itihadiya, were emblematic of the popular dissent.

More people arrive at palace as sun sets, as big a crowd here as I’ve seen. Lots of families. http://t.co/r5FvM9S6js

â€" Kareem Fahim (@kfahim) 30 Jun 13

Bloggers who helped to document the initial phase of the revolution online reported on Sunday that sentiment against the Islamist president and the Muslim Brotherhood was now so strong it had swept up even formerly apolitical family members and the upscale part of the capital around the palace.

The protests took place amidst an atmosphere of deep mistrust and tension between Mr. Morsi’s supporters and opponents â€" last week even the nation’s top Islamic cleric warned of “civil war” between the two sides. Early in the day, protesters shared images of anti-Morsi activists protecting the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party./p>

While the rival rallies remained peaceful throughout most of the day, tensions rose as night fell and local media began reporting clashes in cities outside of Cairo, including! attacks ! on Brotherhood offices. In the days leading up to Sunday’s protests both sides said they feared violence, but would also not shrink from defending themselves in the face of any attack, amid uncertainty about the loyalties of the nation’s police force.

A BBC correspondent, Jeremy Bowen, and Sherine Tadros of Al Jazeera, posted images on Twitter of Morsi supporters wearing martial arts gear and brandishing crude weapons.

Sharif Abdel Koddous, a freelance journalist based in Cairo, captured a similar scene in video showing Brotherhood supporters in improvised armor, brandishing sticks.

Video posted online by Sharif Abdel Koddous, a freelance journalist based in Cairo, shows Morsi supporters clad in martial arts gear and brandishing clubs marching in formation.

The Brotherhood’s preparations were not just for show. Video posted online by Al-Shorouk, an independent ! Egyptian ! newspaper, appeared to show violent clashes at a the Muslim Brotherhood office in the rural province of Gharbiya, in the Nile Delta.

Video posted online by an independent Egyptian newspaper appeared to show men standing on the roof of a Muslim Brotherhood building in a rural province firing shotguns into a crowd of stone-throwing protesters.

In the clip, several men standing on the roof of the local Brotherhood headquarters could be seen firing guns at stone-throwing protesters. As shots rang out, men on the ground could be heard saying, over and over again, “What a dark day! What a dark day!”

Several correspondents, including our colleague David Kirkpatrick, remarked late Sunday that the police had seemed to withdrawfrom the streets and let events unfold.

Sunday’s protests were not the first sign of official anxiety about the police force and it’s true loyalties.

Egypt’s police force spent decades rounding up and torturing the very Islamist groups who now run the country, and despite widespread anger over police brutality â€" one of the original sparks of the Egyptian revolution â€" Mr. Morsi has not undertaken security sector reform. This past winter, thousands of police staged a nation-wide strike, forcing the military onto the streets in cities along the Suez Canal.

Another video clip from Al-Shorouk appeared to show members of different police force branches participating in anti-Morsi protests. It was not clear where the imags were filmed, and at least one of the men shown in the video, who smiled and cheered for protesters while waving a small Egyptian flag, claimed that he was not against the government. “I’m not against the regime,” he said. “I came because everyone is free,” to express their opinions, he said.

Video posted online by Al-Shorouk, an independent Egyptian newspaper, showed members of the security forces participating in protests against President Morsi.

According to Priyanka Motaparthy, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, and Sherief Gaber, an activist blogger, police off! icers eve! n took part in the demonstrations in Alexandria.

As night fell on Sunday, an attack on the Muslim Brotherhood’s national headquarters in Cairo hinted at the depths of Mr. Morsi’s alienation when one of his official spokesmen accused Egypt’s polie force of participating in attempts to set it ablaze.

Writing on Twitter, the spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad, accused the police force of participating in the attack in the office, located in the upscale Muqattam neighborhood, alongside “thugs.”

A te! levision ! station linked to the Brotherhood, Misr 25, reported that “hundreds” of assailants were involved in the assault, although video shared by Mr. Haddad that claimed to show the attack depicted a far smaller number of people throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the building.

Video shared on Twitter by a spokesman for Mr. Morsi showed protesters attacking the national heaquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood with Molotov cocktails and stones.

A second video Mr. Haddad drew attention to, which appeared to be taken earlier in the day, shows young men outside the Brotherhood office breaking stones and hurling them at the building.

A second video shared on Twitter by a spokesman for Mr. Morsi shows young people throwing stones at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Kristen Chick, Cairo correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, reported from the scene of the attack on the Brotherhood headquarters that no police were visible early in the evening.

Our colleague Kareem Fahim reported on Twitter later that the security forces did eventually appear at the Brotherhood headquarters, but departed half an hour later without intervening.

Disruptions: Social Media Images Form a New Language Online

Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, had an epiphany about the simplicity of communication through images while wearing Google Glass, the company’s controversial, high-tech glasses.

Mr. Brin said he was eating a meal while wearing Glass when he received a text message asking what he was doing. He snapped a picture with his glasses and replied with the photo of his surroundings.

“It was fascinating to see that I could just reply to a text message with a photo,” Mr. Brin said in an interview. He didn’t need to type or say anything; the image was enough.

Photos, once slices of a moment in the past â€" sunsets, cappuccinos, the family vacation â€" are fast becoming an entirely new type of dialogue. The cutting-edge crowd is learning that communicating with a simple image, be it a picture of what’s for dinner or a street sign that slyly indicates to a friend, “Hey, I’m waiting for you,” is easier than bothering with words, even in a world of hyper-abbreviated tweets and texts./p>

“This is a watershed time where we are moving away from photography as a way of recording and storing a past moment,” said Robin Kelsey, a professor of photography at Harvard University, and we are “turning photography into a communication medium.”

Not surprisingly, the largest social networking companies are spending billions of dollars to be the place where consumers latch onto these visual nods. They know the stakes. While it might seem that Yahoo’s Flickr, Facebook, which also owns Instagram, and Twitter are fighting to become the ultimate online photo album or video vault, these companies are really fighting to provide the service for the newest way to communicate. Miss that shift, and they risk irrelevancy.

Mr. Brin isn’t alone with his brisk visual responses. Snapchat is a mobile application that allows a person to take and send a picture or video, then control how long â€" up to 10 seconds â€" it’s visible to the person who receives it. After the photo is viewe! d, it disappears forever, like a casual exchange on the street.

“You have images now that have no possible afterlife,” said Mr. Kelsey. “They are simply communicative.”

From the Paleolithic drawings of the Lascaux Cave in France to the fleeting pictures of Snapchat, managed in an office near the beach in Venice, Calif., in 20,000 years or so we continue to express ourselves through images.

But the art of ancient hunters never had the opportunity to go viral. Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s co-founder, who built the service two years ago while at Stanford University, recently said that Snapchat users sent 200 million images a day, up from 50 million images a day in December.

Snapchat isn’t alone with its rapid rise in image-sharing. Instagram said last week that people shared 45 million photos a day on the site; 16 billion in total since it began less than three years ago. On Facebook, people share 300 million images each day, or 100 billion photos a year.

WhatsApp, anothermessaging platform that allows people to share photos, videos, text or audio notes, processes more than 27 billion messages a day on the service. Vine, Twitter’s six-second video-sharing app, has signed up more than 13 million people since it began in January. And the new Instagram video service, introduced just two weeks ago, seems to be playing catch-up with its competitors by allowing people to share 15-second clips.

What’s more, there are no language barriers with images. As the world grows smaller, thanks to technology, people from all over the globe can chat with images that translate into a universal tongue. Do you speak only Mandarin? No problem, you can now communicate with someone who speaks only English. Take a picture and reply. Germans and Spaniards? Sna! p! Send. ! Done.

According to Instagram, more than 50 percent of people who use the service are outside North America, and global use of social sites continues to rise each year, with more than 63 percent of people online logging into a social media Web site at least once a month.

And it’s a shift that appears to be coming at the expense of the last big thing. Images sent between cellphones are on the rise as text messages continue to fall, according to CTIA, the trade association for the wireless industry. An industry report released this year said 2.19 trillion text messages were sent and received in 2012, about 5 percent less than a year earlier. In comparison, MMS, or multimedia messages that include photos and videos, grew by 41 percent to 74.5 billion in 2012.

Investors are noticing. Last week, Snapchat said it had raisd $60 million in financing, which brings its total financing to $73 million and values the company at $860 million. Twitter bought Vine, before it even was introduced, for an undisclosed sum. And don’t forget that Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram last year.

So isn’t this all bad for society? Another hatchet toward the English language where children won’t even bother to communicate in LOL-speak anymore?

“We’re tiptoeing into a potentially very deep and interesting new way of communicating,” said Mitchell Stephens, author of “The Rise of the Image, the Fall of ! the Word,! ” and a journalism professor at New York University. “And as with anything, when you tiptoe in, you start in the shallow waters.”

E-mail: bilton@nytimes.com

A Conversation With Assad (No, Not That One)

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Snowden\'s Special Travel Document Is Real but Not Valid, Official in Ecuador Says

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Video of Mandela\'s Daughter Calling Reporters ‘Vultures\'

A South African Broadcasting Corporation interview with Makaziwe Mandela broadcast on Thursday amid rumors of her father's failing health.

As my colleague Declan Walsh reports, Nelson Mandela's oldest daughter compared the press pack waiting outside the hospital in Pretoria where he remains in critical condition to “vultures” in an interview with South African state television broadcast on Thursday.

Speaking to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Makaziwe Mandela said that her father “doesn't look good, I'm not going to lie,” but added that the family remained hopeful that the former president might recover.

Asked about the news media presence outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, Ms. Mandela then said:

I don't want to say this, but I'm going to say it: there's sort of a racist element with many of the foreign media where they just cross boundaries. You have no idea what's happening at the hospital. You know in the middle of Park Street, they are standing right there in the aisle - you can't even enter the hospital or you can't even go out of the hospital, because they are making themselves such a nuisance. It's like, truly, vultures, waiting when a lion has devoured the buffalo, waiting there to, you know, for the last carcasses. That's the image that we have as a family. And we don't mind the interest, but I just think it has gone overboard.

She added: “When Margaret Thatcher was sick in hospita l, I didn't see this kind of media frenzy with Margaret Thatcher, where people cross boundaries. Even if they are engaged to say, ‘This is how you behave,' it doesn't matter. Is it because we are an African country that people just feel they can't respect any laws of this country, they can violate everything in the book? I just think it's in bad taste. It's crass.”

American Declared Blogger Non Grata in Britain for Anti-Islam Crusade

Pamela Geller, the American blogger whose inflammatory campaign to “Stop the Islamization of America” has led her to buy advertising space denigrating Islam and organize protests against mosque-building, was informed this week that she is no longer allowed to travel to Britain.

In a letter from the British government she quickly posted on her blog, Atlas Shrugged, Ms. Geller was notified that she has been added to a list of “extremists” barred from travel to the country, on the grounds that her presence could “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the U.K.” Although the travel ba n cannot be appealed, the designation “is reviewed every 3 to 5 years.” Ms. Geller's colleague Robert Spencer received a nearly identical letter from the British Home Office noting that his blog, Jihad Watch, was “a site widely criticized for being Islamophobic,” and two organizations he founded with Ms. Geller “have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups.”

The American activists had been invited to take part in a march through London on Saturday, passing a mosque and ending in Woolwich, where a British soldier was hacked to death last month by two converts to Islam. The planned march was organized by the virulently anti-Islam English Defense League, which rallied in Woolwich after the killing, and sent a contingent of activists to New York in 2010 for a protest in Lower Manhattan led by Ms. Geller and Mr. Spencer on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The two bloggers helped spearhead the campaign that year to block the construction of an Islamic community center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center.

In a joint message posted on both of their blogs under the headline “Britain Capitulates to Jihad,” Ms. Geller and Mr. Spencer complained that they were branded dangerous extremists while a Saudi preacher “who has advocated Jew-hatred, wife-beating, and jihad violence, entered the U.K. recently with no difficulty. In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.”

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a leader of the E.D.L. with Irish roots who uses the more English-sounding pseudonym Tommy Robinson, responded to the news by posting a message on Twitter claiming that Win ston Churchill was “a outspoken critic of Islam.”

The American bloggers also used the social network to alternately boast of and complain about their bans. Mr. Spencer was even drawn into a long dialogue with the British activists who had agitated for him to be added to the list of banned extremists, after he sent them a sarcastic note of congratulations. The activists replied in kind, and also mocked the s mall scale of the rallies staged by the E.D.L.

It is unclear if the English nationalist march will be allowed to proceed on Saturday. Mr. Yaxley-Lennon posted and then removed from Twitter a photograph of a letter he received on Wednesday from London's Metropolitan Police, informing him that he could be arrested if he enters the area around the mosque that he planned to march past.

A letter from London's Metropolitan Police to the English Defense League leader who goes by the name Tommy Robinson. A letter from London's Metropolitan Police to the English Defense League leader who goes by the name Tommy Robinson.

As the British site Political Scrapbook reported, the E.D.L. leader has apparently tried to keep his march through London from being banned by portraying it as a walk to raise money for a young British girl with cancer.

Earlier this week, an E.D.L. group was caught posting a fake endorsement from the British physicist Stephen Hawking. In a fabricated video posted on an E.D.L. Facebook page, a speaker using what sounded like Mr. Hawking's computerized voice said: “Why is the British government to emigrate and have chil dren in such large numbers? These Muslims threaten the British way of life.”

While the group is seen as marginal in Britain, it has been hailed by American conservatives recently. As Ms. Geller noted on her YouTube channel, Mr. Yaxley-Lennon was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly on Fox News in the wake of the Woolwich attack. Under the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, the anti-Islam activists described the E.D.L.'s struggle as a “fight for Christianity, fight for our children's future, fight for our culture, and fight for our country's identity, which is completely under attack.”

In a subsequent appearance this month on the radio program of another Fox News host, Bria n Kilmeade told the E.D.L. leader, “Tommy, we got your back and we'll definitely keep in touch and I really think it's great what you're doing.”

Audio of Brian Kilmeade's radio interview of the English Defense League leader who uses the name Tommy Robinson.

Rick Perry Sounds Off on Texas Lawmaker and Filibuster

Excerpts from a speech that Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican of Texas, delivered on Thursday at the National Right to Life Conference, criticizing the Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis.

Two days after State Senator Wendy Davis of Texas vaulted into the political spotlight for helping defeat a bill restricting abortion rights by staging an 11-hour-long filibuster, Gov. Rick Perry said it was unfortunate she had not learned that “every life matters,” given that she was the child of a single mother who went on to earn a Harvard law degree.

In a speech to nearly 1,000 delegates at the National Right to Life Conference near Dallas, Mr. Perry struck hard at Ms. Davis, 50, asking the crowd, “Who are we to say that the children born in the worst of circumstances can't grow to live successful lives?”

Then he cited Ms. Davis, as an example, saying she was the daughter of a “single mother.”

He added: “She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”

Ms. Davis released a statement that said Mr. Perry's statement was “without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds.”

“They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view,” she said. “Our governor should r eflect our Texas values. Sadly, Governor Perry fails that test.”

Ms. Davis, whose filibuster helped block the legislation and now has supporters urging her to challenge Mr. Perry in the next election for governor, posted on Twitter.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Mr. Perry added to his remarks about Ms. Davis in an interview with reporters.

“I'm proud that she's been able to take advantage of her intellect and her hard work, but she didn't come from particularly good circumstances,” the governor said. “What if her mom had said, ‘I just can't do this. I don't want to do this.' At that particular point in time I think it becomes very personal for us.”

Mr. Perry has called a special legislative session for July 1 to consider several bills, including legislation that would limit abortions after 20 weeks and would also impose new regulations on abortion clinics. Republican lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to overcome the filibuster by Ms. Davis on Tuesday night and vote on the bill before the session came to a close at midnight, amid loud jeers from large crowds in the gallery and hundreds of thousands of people watching online.

Opponents of the bill, which would give Texas some of the toughest rules on abortion in the nation, say that the new requirements would lead to the closure of most abortion clinics in the state.

But Mr. Perry said in his speech that a majority of Texas lawmakers “agree that any patient should have the expectation that facilities being used for a procedure are up to standard, and that, when there's an emergency situation, they can receive the care they need.”

On Monday, when the bill comes up for the vote, opponents are getting ready to fight it. On Twitter, Planned Parenthood promised a battle.

Snowden\'s Father Hints Son Could Return to Stand Trial if Conditions Are Met

Edward J. Snowden's father told NBC News that his son, the former National Security Agency contractor who is holed up in a Moscow airport without valid travel documents, might agree to return to the United States to stand trial on espionage charges if certain conditions are met.

According to Michael Isikoff, the NBC reporter who interviewed him, Lonnie Snowden has written to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to say he is reasonably confident his son would come home “if the Justice Department promises not to detain him before trial, not to subject him to a gag order and lets him choose where his trial will take place.”

In a portion of Mr. Isikoff's interview broadcast on Friday morning, Lonnie Snowden, who says he has not spoken with his son since April, said that he was “concerned about those who surround him,” specifically advisers from Wikileaks, the antisecrecy organization. “I think Wikileaks, if you've looked at past history, their focus isn't necessarily the Constitution of the United States,” Mr. Snowden said. “It's simply to release as much information as possible.”

Lonnie Snowden also insisted that his son, who leaked classified information about the scope of the United States' surveillance efforts to The Guardian and The Washington Post, was not a traitor. “At this point, I don't feel that he has committed treason,” he told Mr. Isikoff. “He has, in fact, broken U.S. law in the sense that he has released classified information, and if folks want to classify him as a traitor - he has betrayed his government; I don't believe that he has betrayed the people of the United States.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that there was dissent inside Ecuador's government over the role played in the Snowden affair by the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for the past year.

According to leaked Ecuadorean diplomatic correspondence obtained by Univision, and reviewed by The Journal, Fidel Narvaez, the consul at Ecuador's London embassy, who has said that he is close to Mr. Assange, issued a temporary travel document intended to help Mr. Snowden travel from Hong Kong to Ecuador via Moscow after his United States passport was revoked.

Officials in Ecuador said on Thursday that the document was invalid, because it was issued without clearance from senior officials by a diplomat who had exceeded his authority. Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, stressed on Thursday that the “Safepass” provided to Mr. Snowden does not permit him to enter any country. “What is the validity of a safe conduct pass issued by a consul in London for someone to leave from Hong Kong to Moscow?” Mr. Correa said. “None.”

One of the leaked e-mails obtained by Univision appears to be an apology from Mr. Assange to the foreign minister of Ecuador for “unwittingly causing Ecuador discomfort in the Snowden matter.”

In another e-mail, a senior diplomat expressed concern that “from outside,” Mr. Assange “appears to be ‘running the show.' ”

Video of Deadly Clashes in Alexandria, Egypt

Video posted online shows violent clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi, as well as the police.

As my colleagues Kareem Fahim and David Kirkpatrick report, violent street battles gripped Egypt on Friday as supporters and opponents of the country's Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, held competing protests that devolved into fierce clashes in several cities. The violence was particularly fierce in the port city of Alexandria, where three people, including one American citizen, were killed and the local headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Mr. Morsi is a leader, was set abla ze.

There was little confirmed information about the identity of those killed on Friday or of their attackers. Security officials said the American was stabbed to death while taking photographs of clashes near the Brotherhood headquarters in the Sidi Gaber neighborhood. In an update posted to Twitter, the United States Embassy in Cairo, the capital, said it was “seeking to confirm” the identity of the American victim.

As Egyptians took to the streets and protests spread across the country, footage of chaotic scenes flooded social media, including a number of videos that showed parts of the deadly clashes in Alexandria.

A video posted to YouTube and Facebook by AlexTV, a media organization based in Alexandria, showed fighting between rival groups of young men in the Sidi Gaber train station, one of the city's two main railroad stations and an important transportation link between Alexandria and Cairo. (It is in the same neighborhood as the burnt Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, outside of which the American citizen was killed, according to officials.) The video shows young men setting off fireworks, shooting firearms and pelting one another with stones inside the enclosed station, while police in riot gear and armored vehicles appear to watch impassively.

Video posted online claims to show the police firing birdshot at protesters from the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria.

El Badil, a left-leaning Egyptian newspaper, posted another video from the Sidi Gaber train station that claimed to show the police firing birdshot at protesters from the Muslim Brotherhood. In the video, men in police uniforms walk along train tracks, joined by a small group of men in civilian dress, and fire several types of firearms at protesters. It is not clear if the protesters shown in the video are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and, if so, why the police would be firing on supporters of the president.

Video posted online claims to show protesters attacking the Alexandria headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood. At least one protester appears to be carrying a gun.

AlexTV posted a second video from Alexandria on Friday that claims to show young men attacking the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters. At least one of the men is carrying a small firearm. Several gunshots can be heard, and it appears that a rival group not seen on camera - either the police or supporters of Mr. Morsi - is trying to defend the headquarters. Several men appear to discourage the man with the gun from approaching the front line of the clashes, but he does so anyway and fires one shot before retreating. It is not clear what kind of weapon he fired, nor is it clear that this video shows an attack on the Brotherhood headquarters and not a battle elsewhere in the city.

At least seven people have been killed in a string of clashes in the Nile Delta and Alexandria in the last three days. The country is bracing for a day of protests planned for Sunday by opponents of Mr. Morsi, who have called for him to resign. A leader of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Morsi is Egypt's first democratically elected pre sident, but opponents accuse him of governing autocratically and presiding over a period of economic deterioration, political deadlock and worsening sectarianism.

Today\'s Scuttlebot: Final Tweets, and Unfinished Web Security

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Daily Report: Trying to Fix a Big Flaw in Cellphone Technology

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Fad-Loving Japanese Could Derail Sony\'s Smartphone Ambitions

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Silicon Valley Luminaries Bet on Clinkle, a Payments Start-Up

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Apple Urges Trade Agency to Stop Product Ban

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Today\'s Scuttlebot: Fighting Spying With Typography, and Teenagers Reading Print

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A Software Feud Ends, at Least for Today

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Daily Report: Dispute Over Tech Companies\' Motives in Immigration Debate

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BlackBerry Posts Loss, Despite New Phone

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T-Mobile to Pay $308 Million for More Spectrum

T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest American carrier, has agreed to pay $308 million to pick up a swath of spectrum, the radio waves that carry phone calls and data. The spectrum would enable the carrier to expand its new fourth-generation wireless network in 29 cities for 32 million people, the company said Friday.

The company made a deal to buy the spectrum from U.S. Cellular, a smaller carrier. The acquisition helps T-Mobile play catch-up to its rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T. T-Mobile only recently started turning on its fourth-generation network, called LTE, in a small number of cities as it has been making extensive changes to its smartphone payment plans, which did away with traditional two-year contracts. By contrast, AT&T has deploy ed 4G LTE in over 290 markets, and Verizon Wireless has LTE in about 500 markets.

“In today's marketplace, spectrum is gold,” John Legere, president and chief executive of T-Mobile, said in a statement. “This deal expands our network and capacity, allowing for a broader roll-out of 4G LTE and an even faster and more reliable 4G experience for our customers - in addition to spurring competition in the wireless marketplace.”

In the American wireless market, Verizon and AT&T have long been the dominant players, accounting for about two-thirds of wireless subscribers here. T-Mobile had expected to even out the playing field with a proposed merger with AT&T in 2011 - a deal that was ultimately blocked by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department after they concluded that the partnership would reduce competition and eliminate jobs.

T-Mobile's proposed acquisition of spectrum from U.S. Cellular awaits regulatory approval from the F.C.C. and Justice Department. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, T-Mobile said.

Sharing a Potluck of Links, Not Food

More and more, we are looking to consume less and less - at least when it comes to online content.

Over the last year, new start-ups and existing social networks have been offering solutions to help cull the endless stream of online content and present the results to us on neat little Web sites and apps. While these companies - Digg, Twitter, Reddit - often succeed in slicing away the fat, the conversation that takes place around content is still difficult to understand. Sometimes you feel as if you're trying to hear someone talk to you underwater.

A new Web site called Potluck, by the New York-based start-up Branch, began this week, with the hope of simplifying both link-sharing and the chatter around those URLs.

Potluck, the Web site, works much like a real potluck, where a number of people bring dishes t o a dinner party and everyone gets to sample them all. But instead of salads and casseroles, people share links with their friends, or friends of friends, and they can discuss why they like or dislike the offering.

Josh Miller, co-founder of Branch and Potluck, said one of the biggest challenges online was still meeting people you didn't know but trusted enough to talk to.

“Today's teens use social networks and only talk to people they know, which seems so silly,” he said. ”If you start a Potluck room, and a conversation about a link, everyone in there may not know each other. But like a dinner party, they trust each other because you said they were invited.”

Mr. Miller said he believed that the next big trend of the Web would be creating sites where you could “interact with cool people that you don't know, or don't know that well.”

Cemre Gungor, a designer and co-founder of Potluck, said in a blog post that the concept for the new site came after trying to invent the equivalent of “a house party on the Internet.”

“Potluck's feed was inspired by what it's like to walk through a party, looking for conversations to hop into,” Mr. Gungor wrote.

Mr. Miller's other site, Branch, entices people to start a longer, more in-depth conversation about a specific topic and invite others to join the discussion. Unlike on most social networks, where anyone can join in and add their verbose opinions, only people involved in the conversation can invite others.

Secret Court Declassifies Yahoo\'s Role in Disclosure Fight

In the secret court that authorizes national security surveillance requests, everything is considered confidential - even the existence of communications between companies and the court. But this week, the court drew back the curtain slightly, declassifying the fact that Yahoo was the company that fought the court in a momentous case in 2008.

In an article on June 13, The New York Times identified Yahoo as the petitioner in the secret court case, which paved the way for the government to force Internet companies to hand over information about foreigners to the National Security Agency‘s Prism program, authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The court used a heavily redacted version of the decision by the FISA court of review, published in 2008 without Yahoo's name, to warn other companies that they need not even try to test the legality of FISA requests.

The day after The Times ran the story, Yahoo's lawyers filed a motion for the secret court to publish records related to the case, including Yahoo's name.

They argued that the release was “now in the public interest” as a result of the current debate about surveillance and material that the government had recently declassified. This week, the government agreed.

The FISA court also agreed to make public a redacted version of the original decision that prompted Yahoo to appeal at the court of review.

Yahoo fought a part of FISA known as the Protect America Act, elements of which were folded into a 2008 amendment to FISA. Yahoo argued, unsuccessfully, that broad, warrantless Internet surveillance violated the Constitution. Yahoo appealed at the secret court of review, and that court also ruled against Yahoo, writing in its decision that “efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts.”

After Fighting Mobile Trend, Intel Now Embraces It

Intel, which became a global behemoth by making the chips that drive most of the world's desktop computers and laptops, missed the mobile revolution. In tablets and smartphones, the company is a bit player.

That's hardly news to anyone who follows technology. But it was still a bit of shock to hear the company's new chief executive, Brian Krzanich, acknowledge that the company actively fought what everyone else could see was an inevitable shift toward smaller, more portable computing devices.

“We stopped and we held off and we tried to keep everything” frozen at personal computers, he said Friday during a meeting with a small group of reporters in San Francisco. Mr. Krzanich was certainly in a position to know, since he has spent his entire career at Intel and was the company's ch ief operating officer from 2002 until he was given the top job in May.

The PCs-forever attitude was so pervasive that the people working on the company's mobile-chip line, the Atom, were essentially second-class citizens, without access to Intel's latest production technologies and the resources lavished on the Core line of PC chips and the Xeon line of server chips.

Now Intel is not just trying to catch up in mobile but also trying to leapfrog the competition. As Mr. Krzanich put it, Intel's strategy is: “Embrace this and embrace it fast and actually move quicker and try and go ahead of this.”

Transforming Intel into a mobile leader won't be easy. The company will continue to get the vast bulk of its revenue, which topped $53 billion last year, from PCs and servers. The mobile arena is dominated by other giant companies like Qualcomm and Samsung, which are constantly improving their own chips to make them do more while using less battery power.

But Mr. Krzanich and his No. 2, Renée James, who also ascended to her post in May, said that the Atom chip had now been elevated to the same level of importance as the other lines among the company's priorities.

One advantage that Intel has, according to Ms. James, is the cross-platform and backward compatibility of its designs. Its x86 standard, which dates back decades in one form or another, allows businesses in particular to use the same software across generations of machines and different kinds of devices.

“We believe compatibility is a value proposition that no one else on the planet can offer,” she said.

Leveraging that notion, Intel is angling to persuade big PC makers like Lenovo, which already uses Intel chips in its computers, to use Atom chips as they move more aggressively into the mobile phone market.

Wearable computers, two-in-one tablet and laptop combinations, and the next generation of smartphone designs could also offer opportunities.

“Whatever is the leading technology today probably won't be tomorrow. So it gives us the chance to insert ourselves,” Mr. Krzanich said.

One area in which Intel is trying to insert itself - Internet-based television service - is still rough going. Intel's plan to offer streaming television shows through its own media box has run into opposition from established cable TV players.

“From a technical standpoint, we've built a game-changing device,” Mr. Krzanich said.

But the company is still evaluating the business model. Unlike Apple or Comcast or Time Warner, it has little experience in negotiating contracts for entertainment content. “We're being cautious,” he said.

Like many in Silicon Valley, Mr. Krzanich believes that wearable computers will be the next big wave of computing. He said that in addition to chips for such devices, Intel is also working on a service that could connect all kinds of wearables.

Lately, Mr. Krzanich has been playing around with Google Glass, the Int ernet-connected eyeglasses being tested by the search giant. But he isn't sure that glasses are the best form factor for computing.

“I love the Google Glass,” he said. “But there are times when I just want the earpiece talking to me.”

Intelligent earbuds? Now that's the kind of innovation that would distinguish Intel from the rest of the pack.