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9:35 AM ET, December 13, 2006

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Matt Richtel / New York Times:
Skype's Free Phone Call Plan Will Soon Have Annual Fee  —  Skype, the Internet calling service owned by eBay, said Tuesday that as of Jan. 1 it would begin charging $30 a year for unlimited calls to landline and mobile phones within the United States and Canada.  Those calls had been free since last spring.
RELATED:
Andy Abramson / VoIP Watch:
Skype 3.0 Goes Live, New Cheaper Disruptive Calling Plans Announced for USA  —  Skype users received an early holiday present, at least those in the USA and Canada, with a new year long pricing scheme that provides twelve months of unlimited calls from the USA and Canada to numbers in the USA …
Discussion: Roam4free
Annys Shin / Washington Post:
FTC Moves to Unmask Word-of-Mouth Marketing  —  The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to their peers, must disclose those relationships.  —  In a staff opinion issued yesterday …
RELATED:
Mike / Techdirt:
Just Because You Get Others To Do Your Deceptive Advertising For You …
Discussion: ChasNote
Brian / Copyblogger:
Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Now Required By Law?
Discussion: ProBlogger Blog Tips
Tony / Deep Jive Interests:
New FTC Position May Force Changes For PayPerPost and Affiliate Marketers
Discussion: Dan Blank and engtech
Clay Shirky / Many-to-Many:
Second Life: What are the real numbers?  —  Second Life is heading towards two million users.  Except it isn't, really.  We all know how this game works, and has since the earliest days of the web:  —  Member of the Business Press: "How many users do you have?"
RELATED:
Valleywag:
SECOND LIFE: A story too good to check  —  CLAY SHIRKY — Second Life, the much-hyped virtual world backed by Benchmark Capital, is heading towards two million users.  Except it isn't, really.  We all know how this game works, and has since the earliest days of the web:
Karl / Techdirt:   People Slowly Notice Second Life Hype And Actual Users Aren't To Scale
RELATED:
David Weinberger / Joho the Blog:
[leweb] Sarkozy - Conservative candidate lectures us
Dina Bass / Bloomberg:
Apple ITunes Sales Slid in First Half, Forrester Says (Update4)  —  Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes music store suffered a 65 percent slump in sales during the first six months of the year, reversing almost two years of gains, according to a Forrester Research Inc. report.
RELATED:
Rex Crum / MarketWatch:
Apple bulls begin to look beyond the iPod
Discussion: Infinite Loop, Macsimum News and digg
Scott Martin / Red Herring:
iTunes Revenue Not Rockin'
Discussion: Techdirt and Kevin Maney
Scott Martin / Red Herring:
Yahoo Dethroned By MySpace  —  Fox Interactive Media, largely thanks to MySpace, has edged into No. 1 for Internet page views.  —  Yahoo is getting good at being No. 2.  News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media has now edged the search giant out of its long-held perch at the top position for Internet page views.
Discussion: Technically Speaking
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
It's Official(ish): MySpace Is Biggest Site on Internet  —  The November Comscore numbers show the inevitable: Fox Interactive (mostly MySpace) now has more page views than the combined Yahoo sites, taking the no. 1 spot for the first time.  This was less to do with MySpace growth …
Kasper Jade / AppleInsider:
Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta to drop this friday  —  Exclusive: Adobe Systems Inc. on friday will make available for download an early public beta of its next-generation graphics editor, Photoshop CS3, but will otherwise abstain from delivering pre-release copies of other Creative Suite 3.0 applications.
Discussion: Apple Gazette and digg
Official Google Blog:
About Transferable Stock Options  —  We work hard to attract and retain the world's best talent in a number of ways, and a part of that is offering competitive compensation packages.  We offer standard things such as competitive salary, cash incentives, restricted stock units and stock options.
Chris Pirillo:
A Tablet PC Wedding  —  A few weeks ago, Ponzi suggested that we could read our marriage vows from our respective laptops during the ceremony.  I was amazed that she would suggest such a thing, but it just goes to show you that she really understands me (and respects my unhealthy fascination with technology).
Discussion: jkOnTheRun and GottaBeMobile.com
Annie Sullivan / Official Google Blog:
Nifty Toolbar upgrades for Firefox  —  Ever since the latest version of the Google Toolbar for IE came out, Firefox users have been asking when they'll see the same new features in their favorite browser.  Well, we've been hard at work on a new version of the Toolbar for Firefox …
Sprint:
Sprint Powers Up Faster Mobile Broadband Network in 10 More Markets, Upgraded Coverage Reaches 60 Million People  —  Users in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore, Providence and New Jersey now have the power of significantly faster upload speeds …
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
The Iniquities of the Selfish  —  On Monday, MacHeist1 released the software bundle at the heart of their promotion, under the guise of "The Week of the Independent Mac Developer": … First, there's something silly about calling these apps "hidden gems" in one paragraph …
newsroom.ucla.edu:
UCLA Warns of Unauthorized Access to Restricted Database  —  UCLA is alerting approximately 800,000 people that their names and certain personal information are contained in a restricted database that was illegally and fraudulently accessed by a sophisticated computer hacker.
 
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All the coding ladies  —  Much has been said about women in technology this week as a result of Barbie once again, letting down the female population (or more appropriately, humankind as a whole) …
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 More Items: 
Johnporcaro / Gamerscore Blog:
Mexico's Xbox Team Goes for World's Record
Liz Gannes / GigaOM:
MingleNow and Its Many, Many Competitors
Discussion: Under the Radar and pc4media
techeblog.com:
(Video) Self-Parking LEGO Car
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
YouTube.tv, anyone?  —  Will the rise of online video spark …
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Search 2.0 - What's Next?
Discussion: digg
J Mark Lytle / Digital World Tokyo:
Legs everywhere rejoice as dog humps USB port silly
Discussion: Gizmodo
Zach's Journal:
google's own cornershop
Hilary Goldstein / IGN:
Halo 3 Beta Signup Success
Discussion: Opposable Thumbs, You NEWB and digg
 Earlier Items: 
Janus Friis:
Venice is live (sort of)...
Discussion: Lost Remote and GigaOM
Jason Calacanis / The Jason Calacanis Weblog:
Out the social news scammers (and take a C note off the table)
Joris Evers / CNET News.com:
Scammers take Web mail hostage
Arik Hesseldahl / Byte of the Apple:
Who Says Macs Aren't Used In Businesses?
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
Founders Fund hires Sean Parker as partner, to launch second fund
Adam Pash / Lifehacker:
Hack Attack: How to run Windows and Mac apps side-by-side with Parallels
Discussion: eHomeUpgrade and digg
Daniel Terdiman / CNET News.com:
Laser etching coming to a laptop near you
Toby Sterling / ABCNEWS:
Dutch Pull Plug on Analog Television
Discussion: Techdirt, Engadget HD and digg
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Brent Lang / Variety:
Sony Pictures could lose $75M on “The Interview”, which cost $44M to make, $30M to promote

Jason Abbruzzese / Mashable:
‘Serial’ conclusion leaves podcasters cautiously optimistic about the future

Jennifer Zaino / Semanticweb.com:
The Financial Times Builds Up Its Semantic Publishing Infrastructure

 
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