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12:25 PM 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: Business 2.0 Beta Blogs and GigaOM
USA Today:
Skype expands calling options  —  NEW YORK — Skype, which helped make free PC-to-PC calling a global phenomenon, will announce Wednesday a $29.95-a-year service offering unlimited calls to wireless and traditional landline phones.  —  Skype's Unlimited Calling subscription moves …
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.
RELATED:
Anick Jesdanun / Associated Press:
ComScore: MySpace tops Yahoo in November
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Greg Sterling / Screenwerk:
Is MySpace Now the the Biggest?  —  There's no offical comScore release …
Discussion: ClickZ News Blog
Staci D. Kramer / PaidContent:
When Numbers Mean Anything And Nothing: iTunes Sales; FIM-YHOO
BBC:
Apple denies download sales fall  —  Apple has denied a report which claims US sales at its iTunes Music Store fell by 65% in the first half of 2006.  —  Research group Forrester said it was too soon to say whether its findings showed that buyers were "reaching their saturation level for digital music".
Discussion: Techdirt, Gizmodo and Macsimum News
RELATED:
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.
Elinor Mills / CNET News.com:
Google unveils unorthodox stock option auction  —  Google plans to start an unorthodox stock options program in April that will allow employees to sell their vested options in an online auction, the search giant announced late Tuesday.  —  Traditionally, employees have two ways to deal with stock options …
RELATED:
Ewan / The All New Ewan's Musings:
LeWeb3 Fallout.  As A Speaker, I'm Not Happy  —  I was a speaker at LeWeb3, from which I have just returned.  As the conference opened, I was on a panel with four others, for a 40 minute session, where I would talk about Combat Cards (the collectible card game for Second Life) …
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 …
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 …
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
More Journalists Join Political News Venture  —  Mike Allen, a reporter who covers the White House for Time magazine, and Roger Simon, the chief political correspondent for Bloomberg News, are joining the new multimedia political news venture being overseen by two former Washington Post journalists.
Discussion: PaidContent
Mathew Ingram / mathewingram.com/work:
Craig and Wall Street — universes apart  —  It was a few days ago now, but the New York Times' DealBook blog had a great little item about Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster meeting with Wall Street types at the UBS global media conference.  Naturally, the analysts wanted to hear a bit …
Ryan Paul / Ars Technica:
A first look at Firefox 3.0  —  Mozilla has officially released the first public alpha build of Firefox 3.0.  Codenamed Gran Paradiso, Firefox 3 includes the new Gecko 1.9 rendering engine which leverages the open-source Cairo rendering framework and features heavily refactored reflow algorithms …
J Mark Lytle / Digital World Tokyo:
Legs everywhere rejoice as dog humps USB port silly  —  The outrage — how could they?  One of those USB ports in the video is clearly exposed for the world and his wife to ogle.  Filth.  —  Fume over here for the Animal Farm muck in living color.  —  Shock and horror aside …
Discussion: Gizmodo and Rex Hammock's weblog
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
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 …
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Search 2.0 - What's Next?  —  Written by Emre Sokullu and edited by Richard MacManus  —  You may feel relatively satisfied with the current search offerings of Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN.  Search today is undoubtedly much better than what it was in the second half of the 1990's.
Discussion: Don Dodge on The Next … and digg
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
YouTube.tv, anyone?  —  Will the rise of online video spark a new interest in ".tv" domains?  Ex-MySpace chairman Richard Rosenblatt thinks so.  You'll remember that Rosenblatt's current venture is Demand Media, a company that's adding social features to domain names, among other things.
Discussion: Reel Pop and Technically Speaking
 
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 More Items: 
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
Yahoo Answers Birthday: One Year Old
Discussion: Heather Hopkins
Stefanie Olsen / CNET News.com:
Microsoft unveils public robotics software
Yahoo!:
Yahoo! Search Marketing Platform Opens Online Sign-up for New Customers
Discussion: PaidContent
Chris Anderson / The Long Tail:
WHAT WOULD RADICAL TRANSPARENCY MEAN FOR WIRED? (PART 2)
New York Times:
Family With Big Stake Seeks Part of Tribune
Google Blogoscoped:
Does Google Allow Cloaking When They Like the Site?
Discussion: digg
Allen Salkin / New York Times:
Web Site Hunts Pedophiles, and TV Goes Along
Discussion: Kevin Maney
Chris Pirillo:
A Tablet PC Wedding
 Earlier Items: 
Zach's Journal:
google's own cornershop
newsroom.ucla.edu:
UCLA Warns of Unauthorized Access to Restricted Database
Hilary Goldstein / IGN:
Halo 3 Beta Signup Success
Discussion: Opposable Thumbs, You NEWB and digg
Forbes:
Mac Envy  —  Are Apple computers better than Windows PCs?
Janus Friis:
Venice is live (sort of)...
Discussion: Lost Remote and GigaOM
Clay Shirky / Many-to-Many:
Second Life: What are the real numbers?
Jason Calacanis / The Jason Calacanis Weblog:
Out the social news scammers (and take a C note off the table)
Arik Hesseldahl / Byte of the Apple:
Who Says Macs Aren't Used In Businesses?
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Cecilia Kang / Washington Post:
Justices test Aereo on copyright issue but raise concern about harming cloud services

Yuras Karmanau / Associated Press:
Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine confirm they're holding Vice's Simon Ostrovsky captive

Robin Givhan / New York Magazine:
The Golden Era of ‘Fashion Blogging’ Is Over

 
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