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Re/wind: What the Heck Is Happening in Boston, Sony Hack Goes From Bad to Worse, and More

Also, Instagram now has more monthly active users than Twitter.

James Temple for Re/code

Hello there!

You’re on the home stretch to Christmas. You can make it. And if you’ve missed any news along the way, no problem, Re/code has you covered:

  1. Once upon a time, Boston was the so-called “innovation capital” of the country. Adorned with top-tier research universities and a keen interest in pushing scientific boundaries, the city may now get less attention than what’s happening on the West Coast, but that doesn’t mean that big things aren’t happening there. Re/code’s James Temple traveled east for a nine-part special series, covering projects as diverse as resurrecting extinct species and building robots for normal people. Check out the whole project here.
  2. Man, Sony can’t catch a break. The recent security breaches could cost the company up to $100 million, there was yet another data dump, an audit revealed that the company was aware of holes in its security before the hack, and Sony has spent a ton of energy this week trying to stop illegal downloads of leaked Sony Pictures movies. Oh, and leaked documents reveal that Sony executives were secretly fretting over what might happen with fictionally depicting the assassination of North Korea’s leader on-screen. Well, maybe now they know!
  3. Instagram is officially larger than Twitter, with 300 million MAUs (monthly active users). What does that look like, exactly? Well, here’s a chart!
  4. You can now buy stuff from Apple’s online store with PayPal, and if you’re confused about the Great Smartphone Wars between Apple and Google, here’s a clarifying essay from Re/code co-executive editor Walt Mossberg.
  5. Facebook, online media’s best frenemy, is making a big push to become a hub for breaking news that can rival Twitter, by expanding the Facebook trending tool. The company also gave online publishers a bunch of fancy new tools so they’ll post on Facebook more.
  6. After settling with Lyft for $500,000, the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles are filing suit against Uber over a number of different issues, ranging from airport taxi fees to fraudulent background checks.
  7. Vaughan Rowsell, CEO of the retail-technology company Vend, penned a guest column for us on the evolution of the cash register, “from abacus to iPad.”
  8. The cloud storage company Box updated its IPO filing, lowering the valuation of its common share price to $13.05 a share. The company was valued at $2.4 billion in July, and the IPO is unlikely to happen until early 2015.
  9. On Tuesday, T-Mobile announced a new unlimited data plan for families, the company’s latest move to undercut rival carriers AT&T and Verizon. We talked with T-Mobile CEO John Legere about Verizon’s slipping earnings, and the latest price cuts.
  10. “Game of Thrones” fans and “Sopranos” nostalgists will have to wait until April for HBO’s Web-only HBO Go service to launch.

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