Did you spend time – gasp – offline this weekend? If so, you may have missed some really interesting stuff on The Next Web. A good thing, then, that we’re here to round up some picks from the past two days.

In the news

SMS security was a hot topic over the weekend. After it emerged on Friday that a discrepancy in the way the iOS messaging platform interprets key SMS data may allow scammers and malicious third parties to gain sensitive information from iPhone users, Apple went on the defensive. The company said that the blame lay not with the iPhone but with the SMS protocol, and that its iMessage service is much more secure.

Meanwhile, malware called Trojan!SMSZombie was identified in Chinese Android app stores, with 500,000 devices said to be infected. It exploits China Mobile’s SMS payment gateway to carry out transactions and access data.

The fallout from Friday’s messy situation at cloud gaming firm OnLive continued over the weekend, with the company revealing that its assets have been acquired by a new company which will continue to operate the service under the same name, although many staff are not being re-hired by the new firm, and investors such as HTC will lose their money.

The $1 billion Facebook/Instagram deal is one of the most talked-about tech stories of the year. However, having got his calculator out and run the figures, our own Alex Wilhelm notes that (as the deal is not yet complete and includes Facebook stock as well as cash), it’s worth more like $738 million now. Ouch.

In the UK, Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings said that his company would be “aggressive” in bidding for the rights to show the latest movies. This pits Netflix against pay-TV incumbent, Sky. However, Hastings admitted that it may take “two or three years” to get to a position where it could obtain first-window rights to showing new movies.

Congratulations to startup Modebo, who won the Startup World pitching competition in Mexico City.

6 good reads

  1. Why China’s Xiaomi is inspiring loyalty that rivals Apple ‘fanboys’ and Google ‘fandroids’
  2. Has the ship already sailed for controlling Windows 8 with Kinect tech?
  3. Drought in FarmVille: Zynga’s destructive downturn
  4. In India, a time of flux approaches
  5. Hashtag hijacks: When Twitter bites back
  6. Emerging iPhone app markets: Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey

And don’t miss…

Image credit: Andres Krey