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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today\'s Scuttlebot: How Glass Magnifies Desire, and Motorola Channels Pixar

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Delayed Gratification for Maker of Grand Theft Auto

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Uber and Cheezburger Offer Kittens for Rent, for a While

Need to cuddle with a kitten for 15 minutes but don't have a fluffy friend? Not to worry, Silicon Valley has an app for that - at least temporarily.

To celebrate National Cat Day on Tuesday, Uber, the car rental start-up, and Cheezburger, the purveyor of LOLcats, teamed up to offer the delivery of kittens from local animal shelters for a 15-minute cuddle session.

On its website, Uber said people in New York City, Seattle and San Francisco, would see a special tab that said “Kittens!” in the official Uber app. For $20, a black town car with a little tabby and its handlers would arrive with cuddles and sweets.

“If the furry friends are available, you and your buds will be enjoying 15 minutes of snuggles and cupcakes,” the blog post said. The company teamed up with the Seattle Humane Society in Seattle, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City and the San Francisco S.P.C.A.

Uber said the promotion was intended to help people adopt homeless cats. ”You will have a chance to adopt the Kittens!” the company said. “Please chat with the shelter representative that will be assisting with kitten wrangling!”

But not everyone seemed excited by the idea of animals for rent.

On the website Ycombinator News, some said the delivery seemed unfair. “This does feel a bit weird - short-term rental of petting animals?” wrote one user on the site. “I'm worried about mishandling, animal cruelty and the whole concept - pets form an attachment with you, doing it as a short-term rental isn't an acceptable way of building a relationship.”

Another person wrote that while its important to socialize kittens at an early age to make them comfortable around people, “I don't think it's a good idea to haul them around town in a car. Cats don't like to be taken outside their known environment at all, and they don't like to be locked inside a box, or transported in a noisy car.”

On Uber's site the commentary was mixed, with many people applauding the kittens, but others worrying that it was insensitive. “I applaud the effort to get the kittens where they're being seen so they may get a home, but travel is a huge stresser for the majority of cats,” wrote one Uber customer.

On Twitter, the sentiment was very different. People complained that they could not get a kitten delivered because there was too much demand from other customers.

“Kittens are sold out in Seattle,” wrote Jenny Smith, a software recruiter for Zillow, the real estate service. “We've been trying for hours.”

Do People Want to Build Their Own Customizable Smartphone?

Motorola's idea for the ultimate smartphone looks more like a set of Legos that make up a smartphone.

The company announced on Monday that it was moving forward with an experimental phone called Project Ara, which it says is a modular smartphone platform.

The idea is a phone that looks like a set of blocks, with each one making up a component of the phone, including battery, camera, display and sensors. These can all be unplugged and easily replaced.

“We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant, third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines,” the company said in a blog post.

There's no indication when - or even if - this experimental phone will end up in the hands of regular consumers, but the company said it will offer a kit for developers this winter.

In a video accompanying the blog post, Motorola notes that if you break the screen of your Ara phone, you could easily unclip it and clip in a replacement. Almost like losing the keys to your house and replacing the door lock rather than the entire door.

But the phone has the ability to become a completely customizable gadget.

If someone wanted a smartphone with a better camera and less battery life, they could simply add a small battery component and a high-resolution camera to their particular smartphone. If someone else didn't want a camera on their phone, but they did want more battery life, they could remove and add those components. It's as easy as unplugging one and then plugging in another.

While the idea sounds exciting, it could also become a flop. A few years ago, a company called Bug Labs unveiled a new product that would allow people to build their own devices - digital cameras, baby monitors, motion detectors - in a similar, pluggable way, but while the company has found an audience with people customizing their cars and homes, mainstream consumers haven't flocked to the product yet.

In an interview with The New York Times in 2011, Peter Semmelhack, who founded Bug Labs, said that when the company unveiled its Bug in 2008 people were incredibly excited because it offered ”a new way of conceptualizing how to use electronics.” But, he also noted that on the flip side of that excitement there was a question that appeared afterwards: “What is it?”

Motorola will very likely come across the same problem Bug Labs had to contend with. To some, the idea of being able to customize a smartphone is exciting and appealing. But to others, the process of having to make decisions over camera size, battery power and other pluggable components could be too overwhelming.

Adobe Hacking Attack Was Bigger Than Previously Thought

An online attack at Adobe compromised personal data for tens of millions more customers than was previously reported, the company acknowledged on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Adobe said that hackers had gained access to credit card information and other personal data for 2.9 million of its customers. The company said hackers had also stolen an undisclosed number of Adobe usernames and encrypted passwords. On Tuesday, that tally of stolen usernames and passwords had grown to more than 38 million records.

Adobe said that number included expired and invalid usernames and encrypted passwords, but did not give an exact count for how many were still active. Heather Edell, an Adobe spokeswoman, said the company had reset passwords for affected accounts and notified all 38 million affected users.

Previously, Adobe said hackers had also stolen source code to three of its most widely used products: Acrobat, ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder, which are run on personal computers and business servers around the world. On Tuesday, Adobe acknowledged that part of the source code for Photoshop, its widely used photo editing software, had also been taken.

While Adobe said stolen passwords were encrypted, security experts say that encryption typically delays but does not outright prevent hackers from cracking passwords and selling them on auction-like black market sites where a single password can fetch $20.

To crack passwords, hackers regularly exploit extensive online databases of common passwords and as many as 50 million so-called hash values. Others will use “rainbow tables,” which list encrypted values for nearly every alphanumeric character combination up to a certain length.

“Cyberattacks are one of the unfortunate realities of doing business today,” Adobe's chief security officer, Brad Arkin, wrote in a blog post earlier this month. “Given the profile and widespread use of many of our products, Adobe has attracted increasing attention from cyberattackers.”

In a financial filing last September, Adobe acknowledged that the company was a regular target for online theft, and that loss of proprietary information could “result in litigation and potential liability or fines for us, governmental inquiry and oversight, damage our brand and reputation or otherwise harm our business.”

Adobe said its investigation of the attack was incomplete.

Google Plus Aims to Become a Photo Storage and Editing Hub

Google Plus has not come close to rivaling Facebook for social networking. But it is trying to carve out its own niche, as the place to go for photo storage, editing and sharing.

At a news conference showcasing photographers' work on Tuesday at a San Francisco gallery, Google Plus executives barely mentioned sharing and social networking. Instead, they focused on new photo and video services.

“The cloud is not just about storing your photos,” said Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president in charge of social networking. “Google aims to revolutionize photography.”

As cellphones have helped the field of photography explode, photography and video have become one of the hottest areas of competition for Web and software companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Yahoo and many start-ups.

Google's pitch is that it can fit the needs of a variety of users, including casual cellphone photographers who want to share what they are doing, amateur photographers who want an easy way to organize family photos, and hobbyists who want high-tech editing solutions.

“No other company has dared to take on the entire spectrum of photography,” said Bradley Horowitz, a Google Plus vice president for product.

Google has some advantages, like massive amounts of computing power for storing, sorting and automatically editing photos and the money to buy photo start-ups like Nik Software, maker of Snapseed.

But it lacks a few important things. Google said on Tuesday that its social network had 300 million monthly active users posting in the stream, a fraction of Facebook's 1.2 billion. And many consumers have already invested time and effort in other services, like Apple's iPhoto and iMovie.

Still, Google is trying to compete, even if it is still early in the process, Mr. Horowitz said.

The press conference was streamed live on Google Plus, and active Google Plus users in the Bay Area were invited to attend in person. Some offerings, like automatic photo editing and album organizing, had been announced earlier at Google's I/O conference.

Many of the new features are also done automatically, replacing manual labor, and will be part of a new Google Plus photo app to appear in the next few days.

Google offers automatic back-up and free, unlimited storage for lower-resolution photos taken on Android and Apple phones. People can store higher-resolution photos as well, but in that event Google charges for storage after a certain point.

With a feature it calls Auto Awesome, it automatically turns a series of related photos or videos into animated GIFs, or short movies. Google has also created computer vision algorithms to let people search their photos using thousands of words, like manicure, bridesmaid, concert, kiss or waterfall.

Today\'s Scuttlebot: The Value of a Twitter User, and Google\'s Potential Floating Data Center

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Teenagers Prove Fickle When Choosing Social Networks

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Disruptions: Are Eager Investors Overvaluing Tech Start-Ups?

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Daily Report: Twitter Readies to Meet Growing Interest in I.P.O.\'s

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Researchers Draw Romantic Insights From Maps of Facebook Networks

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LG and Samsung Throw a Curve

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Disney Show Will Appear First on App for Tablets

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Today\'s Scuttlebot: The Botnet of Things, and Google\'s Possible Floating Glass Store

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New Vulnerability Found in Apps Using Wi-Fi

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Daily Report: Though iPhone Sales Climb, Apple\'s Profit Falls

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The Wide Open Era in 3-D Printing

SINGAPORE - For a 15-person start-up in 3-D printing - a nascent industry at best - Pirate3D has the hallmarks of a much bigger tech company. These include big funding, large expectations, unforeseen price increases, expanded distribution and serious trash talking.

Pirate3D gained a lot of notice in June when it raised a lot of money on Kickstarter. The company is making an inexpensive 3-D printer for the consumer market; early models will probably ship in December, executives say.

Although the product was initially expected to sell only online, Roger Chang, the company's co-founder, said versions would also be available in a few retail outlets, probably in two or three United States cities, early next year. Pirate3D will also show the printer at CES, the big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas this January.

“It's important that people see it,” said Mr. Chang, who is also the company's chief executive. The long-term goal, he said, is to be “the Apple of 3-D printers,” with a tightly coupled hardware and software business.

In both line and color, the latest versions of the machine do look like something from Cupertino - heavy on the “look,” no saying yet how it works.

Initially priced at $347, the printer is likely to cost as much as $700 in stores this winter, and about $500 online. Mr. Chang, who has recently been in the United States for discussions with retailers, wouldn't say which retailer would carry the product, but said the retail sales will be limited to a couple of large American cities with a big tech presence.

The higher prices for the machines are associated with delivering printed objects with a resolution as fine as 85 microns, about one three-hundredths of an inch. That is better than current printers on the market for more money.

A promotional video of Pirate3D's Buccaneer printer.

Pirate3D also hopes to profit by creating ways for independent developers to sell designs and related software for 3-D printing. The company is working on a series of templates, like a generic bottle shape, that a person can download to a touch-enabled smartphone or tablet, where the image can be stretched or compressed to suit an individual. The phone can then send that personalized design to the printer. The designs will be free, as part of a campaign to inspire a bigger business, and the company hopes to initially offer a hundred of them.

“People don't realize that we're only 50 percent a hardware company,” Mr. Chang said. “We keep coming back to the early days of PCs. It starts with a basic machine like the Altair, and eventually there is a Mac. When there are enough machines out there, developers will come out with enough things to make it a tool, not a toy.”

The Kickstarter campaign raised $1.4 million in less than a month.  The company, which had earlier picked up 589,000 Singapore dollars ($476,000) from a start-up fund backed by the Singapore government, was hoping to raise $100,000, along with its profile.

Mr. Chang thinks he now has enough money to last a year. If the machines start selling, and he can then build a software business on top of that, he probably won't need a lot more financing, unless he needs to expand production or distribution.

The business of 3-D software is promising. The largest company pursuing that business is probably Autodesk, which started releasing free consumer software in 2011. Mr. Chang said he had met with Autodesk and got the impression “they don't like us being in software â€" they want to bet on all the hardware companies, and be Microsoft here with all the software.”

Not content with one metaphor, Mr. Chang said, “If this was ‘Breaking Bad,' they'd be Heisenberg.”

Greg Eden, a spokesman for Autodesk, said his company wasn't ruling out working with anybody, but didn't see Pirate3D in a particularly favored position. “There's literally thousands of 3-D companies that have started up,” he said. “We've worked hard to make our software products work with as many flavors of 3-D printers as possible, and will continue to do so.”

Pirate3D's plan is similar to that of MakerBot, which sells 3-D printers starting at about $1,400 and running up to $2,800. MakerBot has a website, Thingverse, where people can send and download designs. MakerBots are also sold at Microsoft's retail stores.

Another 3-D printer, Cube, costs about $1,300. It is sold online and at Staples retail outlets, and comes with 25 free designs that can be printed. There are several other such printers on the market and coming soon, ranging from consumer-oriented kits costing less than $1,000 to industrial models costing tens of thousands of dollars.

In a sure sign of a budding ecosystem, there are also several websites offering news about the industry and product information. Working a 12-hour time difference from New York, Mr. Chang has become adept at Skype interviews and modern corporate communications. On the whiteboard over the company's small workroom, someone has written “release bad news on a Friday,” a common technique to make sure that bad news gets little coverage.

In Smartphone Sales, the Big Get Bigger

TOKYO - The two biggest smartphone rivals, Samsung Electronics and Apple, can each find reasons to cheer about industry sales numbers reported this week.

Samsung recorded its highest share of smartphone shipments to date in the third quarter, when it accounted for 35 percent of the total worldwide, according to Strategy Analytics, a research firm. Samsung shipped 88.4 million smartphones in the three-month period, up from 56.9 million a year earlier, the firm said.

Apple showed more modest gains, with its global shipments growing to 33.8 million from 26.9 million a year earlier. Its market share fell, to 13.4 percent from 15.6 percent last year, while several Chinese brands made advances. Huawei pushed into third place worldwide, with 12.7 million smartphones shipped, up from 7.6 million in the third quarter of 2012.

But Apple regained momentum in the last days of the quarter, when it began selling its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in a number of countries.

One of those was Japan. Apple experienced a remarkable surge in sales here, thanks in part to a new agreement with the biggest mobile phone operator, NTT Docomo, which began carrying iPhones for the first time.

A report from a different research firm, Counterpoint, showed that Apple increased its share of mobile phone sales in Japan to 34 percent in September from 14 percent in August, even though the phones were released only on Sept. 20. Apple has long been strong in Japan, but the September performance marked Apple's highest monthly share of the overall cellphone market, Counterpoint said.

“Apple mainly benefited from expanding its channels to Japan's No. 1 mobile operator, NTT Docomo, and thus instantly gaining access to a base of more than 60 million mobile subscribers,” Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint, wrote in a statement.

The report showed that the Docomo deal has put additional pressure on Japanese smartphone makers, which were already struggling to compete at home and abroad. One of those, Fujitsu, saw its share of the Japanese handset market fall to 10.6 percent in September from 19 percent in August. Another, Sharp, also showed a big decline, to 13.6 percent from 17 percent.

Samsung, with about 6 percent of cellphone sales in Japan in September, has never been a big player in Japan. But the company's strategy of offering a range of handsets across a broad spectrum of prices appeared to be paying off elsewhere.

Strategy Analytics said the growth in Samsung's shipments in the third quarter was driven by strong sales of the new Galaxy Note 3, a premium-price “phablet” ­- a cross between a phone and a tablet - as well as the Galaxy Y, a low-priced handset that is popular in India and other developing markets. This offset the effect of sluggish sales of the company's flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4.

Apple's global growth in smartphone shipments lagged the industry average in the third quarter, but Strategy Analytics said things were looking up for the American company.

“We expect Apple to rebound sharply and regain share in the upcoming fourth quarter of 2013 due to high demand for its new iPhone 5S model,” Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.

Yet another report, from International Data Corporation, showed strong gains in smartphone shipments, posting a 39 percent gain in the third quarter from a year earlier and a 9 percent increase from the second quarter.

IDC cited the popularity of the Android mobile operating system, used by most Samsung smartphones and many others, as the driving force behind the strong growth. But the broad appeal of Android has also created challenges because many phones have come to resemble each other. As a result, a handful of companies, including Huawei, LG Electronics, Lenovo and ZTE, are scrambling for third place, behind Samsung and Apple, changing rankings from quarter to quarter.

“Beyond Samsung and Apple at the top of the rankings is a tight race of vendors trying to break out from the pack,” said Ramon Llamas, a researcher at IDC.

As Microsoft Looks On, Nokia Reports a Rise in Smartphone Sales

BERLIN â€" Microsoft has yet to get its hands on Nokia's handset business, but the American technology giant got some good news Tuesday.

Nokia, the struggling Finnish telecommunications company, said it sold 8.8 million of its high-end Lumia smartphones in the third quarter of the year, a 19 percent increase from the previous quarter. Nokia also sold 55.8 million low-cost phones over the same period, a small quarterly rise.

The announcement will be music to the ears of Microsoft, whose proposed $7.2 billion takeover of Nokia's handset unit is expected to close early next year and is aimed at expanding Microsoft's hardware offerings into direct control over manufacturing cellphones.

After agreeing to buy Nokia's handset business in September, Microsoft is looking to ride a wave of new smartphones and tablets that the European firm has announced in recent weeks.

Those include the Lumia 1520, a Windows Phone that will come with a 6-inch display, and the Lumia 2520, Nokia's first-ever tablet that has similar characteristics to Microsoft's own tablet, the Surface 2.

Despite rising smartphone sales, Nokia still reported an overall operating loss from the handset business, which continues to struggle from low-cost competition from manufacturers using Google's Android operating system.

The company said that the division's operating loss stood at 86 million euros ($118 million) in the third quarter of the year, a significant improvement on the 672 million euro loss in the same period last year.

The improvement was because of the growing traction of Nokia's smartphones in Western markets, particularly in the United States, where sales jumped sixfold, to "214 million.

Increased revenue in costly smartphones, however, was offset by falling sales of Nokia's low-cost handsets. In China, for example, third-quarter revenue fell 23 percent, to "215 million, while sales in the wider Asian-Pacific region tumbled 21 percent, to "769 million, over the same period.

“Net sales decreased in all regions, except for North America,” Nokia said in a statement on Tuesday. The company's share price rose 5.8 percent in afternoon trading in Helsinki on Tuesday.

In the San Francisco Bay, a Mysterious Google Barge

There is a mysterious barge floating in San Francisco Bay with Google's fingerprints all over it. The question is what Google wants to do with it, and Google won't say.

The barge is being operated by Google, according to a person with knowledge of it who would speak only anonymously because the project is secret. But few other details are known. Google declined to comment.

The barge has generated intense interest in the city. First, there was speculation that it was a floating data center, based on shoe-leather reporting by Cnet, a past Google patent for a floating data center and theories about water as a cooling source.

Over the weekend, a report by KPIX, CBS's Bay Area affiliate, said the barge could be a floating store to sell Google Glass, the Internet-connected eye wear. According to this theory, the company reportedly wants to move the store from port to port, anchoring it near cities. A similar barge has been spotted in the harbor at Portland, Me.

What is known for sure is that Google is increasing production and sales of the consumer version of Glass, which will be broadly available next year, according to the company. On Monday, it said that the people who had been chosen to buy a test device could invite three people to sign up, too. The company also said its latest version of Glass would be compatible with prescription lenses.

Google has said it wants to sell Glass in an unusual and personalized way - and with a nice view.

The early buyers of Glass - a select group known as Explorers who paid $1,500 - have been required to pick up the device in-person at scenic locations, where Google employees devote an hour to showing customers how Glass functions and answering questions.

Some people, for instance, arrived at a swanky San Francisco hotel bar, where they were given a drink and whisked away to a penthouse suite with outdoor balconies and sweeping views of the city, which they were encouraged to photograph with Glass. In New York, customers had a similar experience on the top floor of Chelsea Market.

Google has been searching for a way to expand that type of experience when it sells the consumer version of Glass next year, Kelly Liang, the director of business development for Glass, said in an interview last summer. (Still, Google does not plan to sell Glass only in-person. It announced Monday that new customers of Glass could for the first time order it online, to be shipped to their homes.)

“The worst place to demo Glass is in a conference room,” Ms. Liang said. “Glass is all about being out there, having fun, being active.”

“It's a very important principle that we want customers' first experience with Glass to be amazing, it needs to really delight them,” she added.

Could that describe a floating store?

That remains to be seen. But as Google prepares to sell more hardware, including Glass, it has hired more retail executives, including recruiting some from rival tech companies with big retail presences, according to people with knowledge of Google's recent personnel moves. (And Warby Parker - the eye wear company that Google has turned to before for ideas - has shown the success of a traveling eyeglass store with its school bus that traverses the country.)

Already, Google has experimented with selling Glass on San Francisco Bay. When a Glass Explorer arrived at a location to pick up the device last summer, the person was transported on a four-hour shopping adventure that felt more like a James Bond movie than a retail experience.

“I showed up at the pickup location and we were shuffled into a boat and the zipped across the Bay to this huge airplane hanger where there were tons of Google employees handing out champagne and letting us try on different colors of Google Glass,” said the person, who would only speak anonymously.

Nick Bilton and Nick Wingfield contributed reporting.

With Close of Sale, Dell Becomes Private

After months of wrangling and tough negotiating, Dell Inc. is finally going private.

The computer company said on Tuesday that its $24.9 billion sale to its founder, Michael S. Dell, and the investment firm Silver Lake had closed. The closing comes more than a month after shareholders approved the deal and means that Dell shares will be delisted at the end of the day.

It also follows a bruising fight between Mr. Dell and the activist investor Carl C. Icahn, who bitterly argued that the takeover price was far too low. Mr. Dell and Silver Lake agreed to raise their bid slightly to $13.88 a share in cash.

Now will come the hard work of reviving a onetime pioneer of the computer industry, which has been battered by dropping sales of personal computers and the rise of mobile devices like smartphones and the iPad.

Mr. Dell has said that he believes the company already has the foundation for a new strategy: focusing on services for business customers. What comes next is extending that move in private, away from the glare of research analysts and public investors.

“Today, Dell enters an exciting new chapter as a private enterprise,” Mr. Dell said in a statement. “Our 110,000 team members worldwide are 100 percent focused on our customers and aggressively executing our long-term strategy for their benefit.”

Shares in Dell were roughly flat in midday trading at $13.86.

Egyptian Jihadists Cite Zawahiri in Video Claiming Responsibility for Cairo Attack

Video posted online Saturday by a little-known Islamist extremist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, showed a former Egyptian Army officer identified as a suicide bomber calling for violent revolution in the name of Islam against Egypt’s military-installed government.

As our colleagues David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh reported from Cairo, a little-known Islamist militant group claimed responsibility for a failed attempt to assassinate Egypt’s interior minister last month in a slickly produced video message posted online Saturday.

The 31-minute propaganda video for Ansar Beit el-Maqdis, or Supporters of Jerusalem, includes footage of the moment a car bomb detonated near the minister’s convoy and what is described as a statement recorded in advance by the suicide bomber who carried out the attack, a former officer in the Egyptian Army. Egyptian officials told The Times the former soldier, Waleed Badr, had been dismissed from the armed forces because of his Islamist sympathies.

The end of the video is edited in such away as to suggest that the group’s call for a violent uprising against the military-backed government that ousted President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July has been endorsed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the leader of Al Qaeda. The video concludes with footage of Mr. Zawahiri arguing that Egypt’s fundamental conflict is not “a struggle between political parties, but a struggle between Crusaders and Zionists on one side and Islam on the other side.”

A propaganda video posted online Saturday by Egyptian Islamists included undated footage of an interview with Ayman al-Zawahiri produced by As-Sahab, Al Qaeda's media wing. A propaganda video posted online Saturday by Egyptian Islamists included undated footage of an interview with Ayman al-Zawahiri produced by As-Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media wing.

The Zawahiri footage is undated, but it seems likely to have been drawn from a previously recorded interview produced by As-Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media wing. The footage of Qaeda’s leader used in the new video bears the Sahab logo and the camera position and backdrop closely match video of Mr. Zawahiri commenting on Egypt discovered in early 2011 by SITE Intelligence Group, a private organization founded by an Israeli-American researcher to track militant websites.

A 2011 video report from SITE Inelligence group, a private organization in Washington that monitors jihadists online, included footage of Ayman al-Zawahiri speaking about Egypt in an interview produced by As-Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media wing.

Egyptian militants citing Mr. Zawahiri as inspiration for such an attack on the security forces seems like an indication that Egypt has in some ways circled back to where it was nearly two decades ago. As Lawrence Wright explained in The New Yorker when Mr. Zawahiri became Al Qaeda’s leader, the militant “inaugurated the use of suicide bombers with his failed attack on the Egyptian Interior Minister, Hasan al-Alfi, in 1993,” and “also introduced the propaganda ploy of the martyrdom video, which would become a signature of Al Qaeda.”

At another point in the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis video, Mr. Zawahiri is quoted criticizing the Brotherhood for failing to emphasize “the sovereignty of Shariah,” oppose Israel and reject Egypt’s “Americanized military power.”

A screenshot from video posted online by Egyptian Islamists showing Waleed Badr, a former Egyptian Army officer identified as a suicide bomber. A screenshot from video posted online by Egyptian Islamists showing Waleed Badr, a former Egyptian Army officer identified as a suicide bomber.

In the martyrdom portion of the new video, the man identified as the suicide bomber in the attack, Waleed Badr, was shown reading a statement criticizing the Brotherhood for its adherence to what he called “this farce called the democratic Islam” and urging the group “to keep away from methods created by the West, which wanted to impose them on us to spoil our religion, but to no avail.” His political exhortations were surrounded by footage of the Egyptian security forces beating protesters in Tahrir Square at an earlier stage of the revolution and dispersing Islamist protesters with deadly force this summer.

Mr. Badr was also recorded wearing a military uniform and speaking earnestly into the camera while sitting in the driver’s seat of the car he would later blow up near the interior minister’s convoy. He condemned the Egyptian military for its use of force against Islamists and called the Muslim Brotherhood naïve for opting mainly for nonviolent protests. “Why do you shy away from armed confrontation?” Mr. Badr asked. “From a logical point of view, iron must be fought with iron and fire by fire.”

The video includes a slow-motion footage of the moment that the car exploded on a crowded Cairo street, sending debris into the air and pedestrians running for cover.

Video posted online by a militant group in Egypt included footage of an explosion that targeted the interior minister's convoy last month. Video posted online by a militant group in Egypt included footage of an explosion that targeted the interior minister’s convoy last month.

Although the Egyptian interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, survived the attempt on his life in September, at least one police officer was killed and dozens of people, both police and civilians, were injured.

According to The Long War Journal, an analysis of the video message by SITE also identified statements from Osama bin Laden and Abu Muhammad al ‘Adnani al Shami, a spokesman for the Qaeda-inspired militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Syrians Flee What Some Called the ‘City of Death’

Activists in Moadhamiya recorded images of the new exodus from the suburb on Tuesday.

New video images show hundreds of civilians, balancing belongings on their heads, carrying children and assisting people using canes or wheelchairs, streaming out of the Damascus suburb of Moadhamiya, which had been blockaded for months by the government.

With its food and aid shortages, the situation in the besieged suburb, one of several areas hit in the August chemical attacks that killed hundreds, is perhaps the most dire of many similar crises across the country, as my colleague Anne Barnard reported this month. The exodus on Tuesday was made possible under a cease-fire brokered between rebels there and a delegation including a Roman Catholic nun and Syria’s minister of social affairs.

Video with Tuesday’s date, Oct. 29, was posted by activists, showing citizens’ exodus from Moadhamiya.

Moadhamiya, about seven miles south of central Damascus, was sealed off nine months ago by the government’s army, which residents and aid workers say has blockaded supplies of food and medicine. The government holds the rebel fighters responsible, saying they are holding the civilians hostage. Several thousand civilians left this month during two brief cease-fires; a third was called off when government shelling erupted, Ms. Barnard has reported.

As my colleague Liam Stack has previously reported on Watching Syria’s War, the situation was so bad in Moadhamiya that some residents called it the “City of Death.” Civilians fled through orchards to escape the shelling during a previous attempt to leave.

The footage of the latest departure by civilians on Tuesday showed people struggling with belongings and assisting others as they evacuated.

Another activist channel recorded video of civilians leaving Moadhamiya on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the BBC’s Lyse Doucet, on her Twitter account @bbclysedoucet and the BBC’s website, reported descriptions and quotes from the migration of civilians she interviewed near the entrance to the suburb. She said in a broadcast that “thousands of civilians” were being allowed out, some so weak that they were transported on stretchers and in wheelchairs.

“They have been absolutely desperate,” she reported. “If you could see the faces that I am seeing now going past me: toddlers carrying bags, dragging bags along in the dirt as big as them, clutching bottles of water and bits of bread.”

Despite Tuesday’s evacuations, thousands of people still remain in the town, trapped with little food, water or medicine, Reuters reported.

Follow Christine Hauser on Twitter @christineNYT.