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1:50 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 …
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  —  NEW YORK — The online hangout MySpace got even more popular in November, beating Yahoo (YHOO) in Web traffic for the first time, a research company said Tuesday.  —  News Corp.'s MySpace recorded 38.7 billion U.S. page views last month …
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Greg Sterling / Screenwerk:
Is MySpace Now the the Biggest?  —  There's no offical comScore release …
Discussion: TechCrunch and ClickZ News Blog
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".
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:
New York Times:
Google to Offer Variation on Stock Options
Discussion: Valleywag
CIO.com:
IBM, Yahoo Launch Free Enterprise Search Tool  —  IBM and Yahoo have developed a free, entry-level, enterprise search application that at least one analyst believes will seriously disrupt the low-end segment of this market where Google has been selling many of its Mini search devices.
RELATED:
Nick / Rough Type:
Fighting free with free  —  IBM and Yahoo are pulling a Google on Google.
Discussion: Smalltalk Tidbits …
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 three others, for a 30 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 …
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
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 …
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 …
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.
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
 
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 More Items: 
Tarmanydyn / You NEWB:
Top 10 Gamer Cakes
Discussion: Kotaku and digg
Sam Sethi / TechCrunch UK & Ireland:
Putting my money where my mouth is!
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
Yahoo Answers Birthday: One Year Old
Stefanie Olsen / CNET News.com:
Microsoft unveils public robotics software
Yahoo!:
Yahoo! Search Marketing Platform Opens Online Sign-up for New Customers
Chris Anderson / The Long Tail:
WHAT WOULD RADICAL TRANSPARENCY MEAN FOR WIRED? (PART 2)
Heather Champ / FlickrBlog:
Ho ho ho! Flickr Gifts and Upload Limit Changes
Google Blogoscoped:
Does Google Allow Cloaking When They Like the Site?
Discussion: digg
 Earlier Items: 
Mathew Ingram / mathewingram.com/work:
Craig and Wall Street — universes apart
Chris Pirillo:
A Tablet PC Wedding
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
The Iniquities of the Selfish  —  On Monday, MacHeist1 released …
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
YouTube.tv, anyone?  —  Will the rise of online video spark …
Darren Murph / Engadget:
Lumus-Optical unveils microdisplay-packin' designer glasses
Discussion: OhGizmo! and Slashdot
Kasper Jade / AppleInsider:
Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta to drop this friday
Discussion: Apple Gazette and digg
newsroom.ucla.edu:
UCLA Warns of Unauthorized Access to Restricted Database
Janus Friis:
Venice is live (sort of)...
Discussion: Lost Remote and GigaOM
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Emily Bell / Reuters Institute:
After ceding power to Silicon Valley, journalists must build own tools, explore issues of regulation, and report deeply to retain influence

Issie Lapowsky / Wired:
Aereo May Be Dead, But Internet TV Will Live On

Kristen Hare / Poynter:
Andrew Beaujon heading for Washingtonian

 
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