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7:25 AM ET, February 20, 2007

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
The Doc Searls Weblog:
A ground-level view of the XM/Sirius merger in the sky  —  USA Today says Sirius and XM are going to merge.  Mel Karmazin, possibly the wisest guy in commercial radio, will be the CEO.  Gary Parsons, currrent CEO of XM, will be chairman.  —  There are a number of problems with this merger …
Discussion: USA Today
RELATED:
ABCNEWS:
XM and Sirius to Announce Merger Today  —  ABC News Has Confirmed That Satellite Radio Providers XM and Sirius Will Announce a Merger Today  —  ABC News has confirmed reports that two satellite radio providers XM and Sirius will announce a long-anticipated merger today.
Thomas Heath / Washington Post:
Satellite Radio's XM, Sirius to Merge
Discussion: Lost Remote and WebMetricsGuru
Evan Blass / Engadget:
It's official: XM and Sirius plan to tie the knot
Discussion: Bit Player and digg
Obviously:
Looking for Odeo's new home  —  In the last few months, we here at Obvious have been increasingly focused on Twitter.  As a result, our original product, Odeo, has not gotten the attention it deserves.  —  It does not cost us much to run—in fact, AdSense covers the hosting …
Nick Farrell / Inquirer:
Ballmer blames pirates for poor Vista sales  —  Will crank up the WGA  —  THE SHY and retiring, softly-spoken CEO of Microsoft, Steve "Sounds of Silence" Ballmer is blaming software pirates for Vista's poor sales.  —  Ballmer admitted to financial analysts that the predictions for Vista …
Robert Scoble / Scobleizer:
New virtual world coming from Australia  —  I just had lunch with Randal Leeb-du Toit, CEO of Yoick, and John Wolpert, executive producer of Outback Online, a 3D virtual world that Yoick is working on.  —  Who said cool stuff has to come from Silicon Valley?
Discussion: 901am and VTOR
Eric / The MyBlogLog Blog:
Weekend spamtacular — what the heck happened and how we're fixing it  —  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  This weekend sucked.  No doubt about it.  But we've beaten things back and we have a plan for making things better still.  I'm going to tell you all about that in a minute.
Joel Spolsky / Joel on Software:
Seven steps to remarkable customer service  —  As a bootstrapped software company, Fog Creek couldn't afford to hire customer service people for the first couple of years, so Michael and I did it ourselves.  The time we spent helping customers took away from improving our software …
Discussion: Global Nerdy
Phil Wolff / Skype Journal:
Is 500 million Skype downloads a lot?  —  Congratulations, Skype!  Skype users downloaded the world's leading VoIP program 500 million times today.  The current rate is 640 thousand downloads a day, according to Skype data.  Adrian Cockcroft observed Skype downloads spike to a million a day during major upgrades.
Victoria Shannon / New York Times:
Europe's Plan to Track Phone and Net Use  —  European governments are preparing legislation to require companies to keep detailed data about people's Internet and phone use that goes beyond what the countries will be required to do under a European Union directive.
Discussion: textually.org
Bob Tedeschi / New York Times:
From Clipouts to the Web, Coupons Transition Slowly  —  ONLINE coupons have always been a bargain-hunter's diversion, which may be precisely why the market has grown so slowly.  Who wants to take time out of the day to track down sites that give away 50-cent discounts, then search for eligible products that they might need?
Discussion: IT Facts
Tatum Anderson / BBC:
Mobile phone lifeline for world's poor  —  While consumers around the world demand sleek black and silver mobile phones, villagers in rural India buy brightly-coloured handsets in gold, reds and pinks.  —  Mobile phones are as much a fashion statement here as in the trendy bars of Europe.
Marshall Kirkpatrick / TechCrunch:
MSN Experimenting With Most Digg Like Service Yet  —  Last week we saw first Yahoo! and then Dell launch sites that were largely acknowledged to be Digg inspired.  Digg may not have invented the vote-on-news motif but it may have been most important in popularizing the paradigm so far.
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
Renkoo Launches Social Networking Profiles, With a Twist  —  The group event organizer Renkoo announced the launch of public profile pages on Monday, bringing the site in line with conventional social networks.  But the way they've implemented the profile pages seems to break with convention …
Discussion: Message and CenterNetworks
Steven Levy / Newsweek:
Wal-Mart's Online Movie Premiere  —  The retail behemoth is going to offer a hefty catalog of films you will be able to download.  —  Wal-Mart opened an online video store earlier this month, proudly announcing that it was the first legal movie-downloading site to offer flicks from all of six major studios.
Discussion: NewTeeVee
Enigmax / p2pfreak:
FBI Training Elite Swedish Anti-Piracy Force  —  When it comes to piracy Sweden is no stranger to controversy.  Gaining worldwide notoriety as the country that hosts The Pirate Bay BitTorrent tracker and recently being labelled as a piracy safe haven by an International Intellectual Property Alliance report …
Discussion: Techdirt and digg
 
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 More Items: 
Donald Melanson / Engadget:
Gamers make better surgeons, study says
Luke Plunkett / Kotaku:
Feature: Industry Lifestyle Drives Insomniac Dev East, Far East
Discussion: Game | Life and digg
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
QQ - China IM Service Goes Web 2.0, With Half a Billion Registered Users!
Arne Hess / the::unwired:
RUMOR: Is Palm in Takeover Troubles?
Seema Mehta / Los Angeles Times:
Homeless by choice, O.C. student learns self-reliance
Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine:
The US$4000+ Gresso 1GB MP3 player
Scott Karp / Publishing 2.0:
Digg Is The Apotheosis Of Niche Media
Discussion: media blog
Steve Rubel / Micro Persuasion:
Many Web 2.0 Sites Fail to Link to Related Content
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Kuchera / Opposable Thumbs:
Shopping for HDMI cables: who do retailers think they're kidding?
Discussion: digg
Paul Kapustka / NewTeeVee:
Eyespot Powers NBA's Video-mixing site
Chris / LiveSide:
Windows Live Shopping no more - MSN Shopping to remain
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
3X DVD introduced: HD DVD, now in lower resolution!
David Jenkins / Gamasutra:
Nielsen Puts Nintendo Ahead In Web Traffic Report
Discussion: Joystiq, GigaGamez and You NEWB
Greg Jarboe / Search Engine Watch Blog:
Google News isn't top dog in UK news search, either
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Why AOL Created 63 Million New OpenIDs
Microsoft:
Microsoft Releases SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2