Santa newspaper

It’s the holiday season! But news never rests.

We’ve got Apple bracing for the holiday download rush, two companies shutting down, and big data machines that may one day think like brain. And if you’re expecting an iPhone in your stocking, you should read our story on open-source Instagram alternatives for your to download on one of the the biggest download days of the year — Christmas!

Instagram freaked users out this week when it changed its terms of service this week. How did you not already know that?

Need more distractions from your (very sweet, we’re sure) family? Check out the Editor’s Pick page.

Now, let’s get on to the stories you need to read:

Open-source alternatives to Instagram

open-source Instagram alternatives

After Instagram, the photo sharing app recently purchased by Facebook, made some concerning changes to its terms of service, VentureBeat reporter Jolie O’Dell checked out some alternatives. Open-source alternatives. Thankfully, Instagram wound up rolling back some of its privacy changes, but these app are still worth checking out.

U.S. visa system helps stifle early stage startup Taploid

taploid demo small

Here’s the sad tale of how one startup went down. Taploid, a DEMO company that hoped to be the tabloid of the social world, is shut down after running out of money, hitting walls with U.S. immigration, and failing to get acquired. In the aftermath, the founders have some advice for entrepreneurs.

Apple kills a Kickstarter project: Portable power project POP refunding $139,170 to backers


Edison Junior, the technology and design lab behind the POP portable power station, is returning the full $139,170 in funding it received from Kickstarter backers to develop the device. Unfortunately, Apple has refused to give the project permission to license the Lightning charger in a device that includes multiple charging options. Check out Apple’s reaction here.

Palm founders are back with Grok, a neuroscience-inspired big data engine


Imagine a world where every machine — from the smart meter to the cell phone — is designed to mimic the human brain by getting smarter over time. A new “big-data” product called Grok promises to make those brainy machines a reality. It’s the first product from Numenta, which Palm cofounders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky started in 2005.

Apple freezes the App Store in advance of the holiday app-downloading bonanza

app download day

Console video games see their peak sales from Black Friday through Christmas. But for mobile game and app buyers, the big season for app downloads begins tomorrow. Apple told developers today that its traditional holiday shutdown starts tomorrow, with a big impact on who comes out =on top for the holidays.

Top Santa image, Man with camera image, Apps image via Shutterstock; Taploid image via Meghan Kelly; Numenta image via Numenta; POP project image via POP