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7:45 PM ET, December 18, 2006

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Kevin Rose / Digg the Blog:
New Digg Features O' Plenty  —  Big update today.  Tons of new features to share with you - many inspired by feedback you've given us over the last few months (thanks!).  Check out this video for a quick overview, or read below for more details.  —  Interface Design, Digg Goes Widescreen
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Digg Breaks Away From All News Focus  —  Later today, Digg, which just celebrated its second birthday, will release a number of new features.  —  The primary release is the first content area of the site that isn't news-focused.  Users can now Digg their favorite podcasts (feeds and individual episodes).
Om Malik / NewTeeVee:
Digg revamps to emphasize video  —  Digg, a San Francisco-based social news site, is embracing video and podcasting, and will launch a major facelift to reflect its new expanding coverage on Monday morning.  The new interface should improve discovery of the most popular and top-ranked stories, company executives say.
Discussion: GigaOM
BBC:
iPhone surprises technology world  —  A net phone called the iPhone has been launched by Linksys just weeks before analysts were expecting Apple to release a similarly-named device.  —  The wireless iPhone allows users to make free or low-cost internet phone calls using the Skype service.
RELATED:
Gizmodo:
The iPhone is Dead: Long Live the Apple Cellphone Thingy-Ma-Bob
Discussion: Valleywag
Cingular:
The rich feature set for MySpace Mobile on Cingular includes:  —  Uploading Photos  —  Available on select Cingular handsets, MySpace Mobile allows Cingular customers to select photos stored on their mobile device and upload them to their MySpace profile.  The same terms of service for MySpace …
RELATED:
Jon Murchinson / nasa.gov:
NASA and Google to Bring Space Exploration Down to Earth  —  MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - NASA Ames Research Center and Google have signed a Space Act Agreement that formally establishes a relationship to work together on a variety of challenging technical problems ranging from large-scale data management …
Inside AdSense:
Ad and image placement: a policy clarification  —  We've recently received a number of emails from publishers asking how we feel about the placement of images near Google ad units.  There's been some confusion on this issue, and so we turned to our policy team to set the record straight.
Geraldine Fabrikant / New York Times:
On Demand and on DVD at the Same Time  —  In an attempt to bolster consumer interest in paid video on demand, Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, has introduced an experimental program to release films on demand simultaneously with their release on DVDs.
useit.com:
Usability in the Movies — Top 10 Bloopers … The way Hollywood depicts usability could fill many a blooper reel.  Here are 10 of the most egregious mistakes made by moviemakers.  —  1. The Hero Can Immediately Use Any UI  —  Break into a company — possibly in a foreign country or on an alien planet …
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson / Financial Times:
Skype team turns its attention to television  —  Now they are hoping to do the same for television.  —  "At the time we launched Skype, broadband capacity was extremely ripe for communication," Mr Friis recalls.  "Now, three years later, it's the same thing for video: you can do TV over the internet in a really good way.
RELATED:
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson / Financial Times:   Skype founders to offer web TV
Google Blogoscoped:
Google Kills Their Search API  —  What the-?!  Google on their SOAP API homepage writes:  —  As of December 5, 2006, we are no longer actively supporting the SOAP Search API.  We encourage you to use the AJAX Search API instead.  —  (Note: at this time, I am still able to use the SOAP API …
Kate Kaye / ClickZ:
Edelman and NewsGator Team to Offer Conversational Ads  —  Despite some hiccups, Edelman has been in the forefront of brand and social media convergence this year, and a new joint offering with NewsGator Technologies is no exception.  The PR firm has linked with the RSS feed platform provider …
Discussion: Monkey Bites
RELATED:
Steve Rubel / Micro Persuasion:
Edelman, Newsgator to Create Branded Communities, Conversational Advertising
Discussion: Strumpette and media landscaping
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
Suburbs against the U(ni)verse: the battle over AT&T's fiber rollout  —  Introduction  —  It wasn't supposed to happen like this.  AT&T's IPTV-based U-verse service was being tested with great fanfare in San Antonio, and the company was ready to start in on the real deployments.
Discussion: Slashdot and digg
Rick LePage / Macworld:
Remembering Bruce Fraser  —  On Saturday, Dec. 16, a long-time friend and colleague of mine, Bruce Fraser, passed away.  He succumbed after a short bout with lung cancer, a few weeks shy of his 53rd birthday.  To many of us, he was a warm, gregarious man and a loyal friend.
Discussion: John Nack on Adobe and MacUser
Associated Press:
Retailers profit from unused gift cards  —  LOS ANGELES - Shoppers across America have millions of gift cards tucked away in envelopes, drawers and wallets.  And some of the nation's largest retailers are profiting as a result.  —  "It can be fun to get them, but then I forget about them …
Steven Towns / SeekingAlpha CE Stocks:
Sony to Challenge Apple — Will PSP Video Downloads Bear Fruit?  —  The Financial Times (FT.com) reports Sony will launch a video download service for its PlayStation Portable [PSP], likely in the first quarter next year.  Business press coverage of the story suggests the service …
Eric Pfanner / New York Times:
New to Russia, Google Struggles to Find Its Footing  —  Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, was born in Moscow in 1973, and the first words out of his mouth were Russian.  Yet neither Russian nor the Russian market has come easily to Google.  —  Created in Silicon Valley by Mr. Brin …
Chris Boggs / Search Engine Watch Blog:
Google Officially Says "No" to Reciprocal Linking?  —  Barry again had the scoop on a hot story over the weekend which has spawned a discussion in the WebmasterWorld Forums.  On Friday, there was a post from Stephanie from the Dublin Google Search Quality team at the Google Blog …
 
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 More Items: 
Adam Lasnik / Official Google Webmaster Central Blog:
Deftly dealing with duplicate content
Wagner James Au / GigaGamez:
Second Life: Hype vs. Anti-Hype vs. Anti-Anti-Hype
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
The Shrinking Long Tail - Top 10 Web Domains Increasing in Reach
Mike / CrunchNotes:
Natali Leaves TechCrunch
Michael Kanellos / CNET News.com:
DVD swap site switches from credits to cash
Jeff / The Jeff Pulver Blog:
Jajah offers Free Telephony in Germany and Austria
Discussion: GigaOM and Alec Saunders .LOG
Robert Lemos / Wired News:
Goodbye TV, Hello Broadband
Discussion: PVR Wire
Lifehacker:
Download of the Day: Dopisp (Windows)
Discussion: UNEASYsilence
 Earlier Items: 
Erica Sadun / The Unofficial Apple Weblog:
iPod Death Clock
Discussion: CrunchGear and digg
Cynthia Brumfield / IP Democracy:
Would the Feds Bless TV Networks' You-Tube Rival?
Discussion: Techdirt and Seeking Alpha
Info / Podcasting News:
The Ten Worst iPod-Related Christmas Presents Ever
Anne Eisenberg / New York Times:
A Mouse on a Mission in the Document Maze
Discussion: Global Nerdy
John Battelle / John Battelle's Searchblog:
PACKAGED GOODS MEDIA V. CONVERSATIONAL MEDIA: PART TWO
Keith Schneider / New York Times:
Brands for the Chattering Masses