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2:00 AM ET, November 21, 2007


 Top Items: 
Betsy Schiffman / Epicenter:
Status Update: Facebook Is Letting Users Drop the "Is"  —  Facebook has caved into popular demand and will make the "is" in status updates optional, effective tonight, according to  —  The much despised "is" has been a mandatory component of the status update …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
The Blogosphere Needs A Vacation  —  What's the top news story on TechMeme this fine Tuesday afternoon?  —  It's a story about the sudden disappearance of the word "is" from Facebook's status message yesterday.  Then, today, it reappeared.  For a brief period of time …
Josh Catone / Read/WriteWeb:
Facebook To Drop 'Is' From Status Updates
Discussion: Download Squad and Mashable!
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
The Google Set-Top Box (Think Android For TV)  —  Deep in the Googleplex there is an engineering team thinking about how to extend Google's reach into your TV.  Its work goes way beyond the Google TV ads currently being tested by EchoStar (and targeted with help from Nielsen).
Inside CRM:
The 20 Worst Venture Capital Investments of All Time  —  Catastrophic collapses and classic crashes in the high-tech business world.  —  Some things were just never meant to be, but that doesn't mean that investors won't pile millions of dollars upon a bad idea — or even a good idea gone bad.
Dan Primack / PE HUB:
Another Look at VC-Backed Busts  —  Lots of talk today about VC-backed busts, after InsideCRM published its list of the 20 Worst Venture Capital Investments of All Time.  I tried getting comment from some actual VCs who backed companies on the InsideCRM list, but have so far been unsuccessful (I know, real shocking).
Philipp Lenssen / Google Blogoscoped:
What If Gmail Had Been Designed by Microsoft?  —  Today I want to ponder the question: what if Microsoft, not Google, had created Gmail?  What would be the differences in that web mail client for users today?  What if we apply some of the same design rules that brought us Hotmail, for instance?
Discussion: Valleywag, Zoli's Blog and ParisLemon
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Clickable Raises Another $3 Million, Officially Adds Jonathan Miller to Board  —  Advertising technology startup Clickable has raised another $3 million from its lead investors Union Square Ventures and Pequot Ventures, in a follow-on round to the $3 million it raised last July, confirms CEO David Kidder.
Tameka Kee / MediaPost Publications:
Former AOL Chair Backs New Search Tech Startup 'Clickable'
Discussion: Screenwerk and Mashable!
Caroline McCarthy / CNET takes on Facebook's 'Beacon' ads  —  Online activist group is poised to announce a campaign targeting Facebook's "Beacon" advertisements, which post information about users' activity on partner sites (movie rentals, purchases from online retailers) onto their friends' News Feeds.
heise Security:
Apple Mail in Leopard with the same old error  —  In March 2006 Apple defused a security problem in Apple Mail that made it possible to inject disguised malignant code.  In Leopard, the patch was apparently forgotten.  This means that you can inadvertently start an executable by double-clicking …
Dan Goodin / The Register:
Leopard security bug puts Mail users at risk
Discussion: heise Security and CrunchGear
David Berlind / Berlind's Testbed:
With one update (or 'tweet'), Zude now cross posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Jaiku all at once  —  Going back to my post on the Twitterization of mainstream media whereby, instead of engaging in link-blogging, I'm using the short messaging service Twitter to post shorter news items to the right side …
Jaron Lanier / New York Times:
Pay Me for My Content  —  INTERNET idealists like me have long had an easy answer for creative types — like the striking screenwriters in Hollywood — who feel threatened by the unremunerative nature of our new Eden: stop whining and figure out how to join the party!
Mark Cuban / Blog Maverick:
An Open Letter to Comcast and Every cable/Telco on P2P - updated  —  I'm not a Comcast customer.  I happen to get service from Verizon, ATT and Time Warner at various locations where I pay for internet service.  —  If I was a Comcast customer, I would tell them, as I am now telling all the services I am a customer of:
Discussion: P2P Blog and Skype Journal
Muhammad Saleem / Search Engine Land:
The Social Media Manual: Read Before You Play  —  I get so many questions from people about Digg, Propeller, Reddit, Stumbleupon and other social news sites every day, that I decided to write this little "manual" as something to read before you jump in head first into any social site …
Discussion: Digg
Joe Wilcox / Microsoft Watch:
PC Software's Great Year … Chris Swenson, NPD's director of software industry analysis, described a "perfect storm of new product releases in 2007."  NPD's sales figures account for in-store and online sales for 2007 through the end of October.  —  The revival is a remarkable turnabout from sales since the turn of the millennium.
Discussion: TechSpot News and The Tech Report
Lori Grunin / Crave: The gadget blog:
Good vibes for Nikon's 18-55mm lens  —  Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR lens.  —  (Credit: Nikon)  —  As an increasing number of competitors add sensor-shift image stabilization to their consumer dSLRs—Olympus and Pentax, to name but two—OIS diehards Nikon and Canon have to keep …
Discussion: Gizmodo
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 More Items: 
Victoria Shannon / New York Times:
IPhone Must Be Offered Without Contract Restrictions, German Court Rules
Discussion: TechSpot News
Sean Fallon / Gizmodo:
Staples Offers Seagate Data Recovery Service in all Stores [Data Recovery]
Chris Sorensen / Toronto Star:
Bell to offer unlimited wireless data
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson / Financial Times:
Anti-piracy moves 'hurt sales'
Discussion: Techdirt
Josh Lowensohn / CNET
Google Maps gets user-generated markers
Discussion: TechSpot News
Dan Goodin / The Register: attack puts users at risk (again)
Discussion: TechSpot News
Catherine Holahan / Business Week:
Web Video: Move Over, Amateurs
Michael Krigsman / IT Project Failures:
IT security failure causes UK Revenue & Customs (HMRC) chairman to resign
 Earlier Items: 
Eric Bangeman / Ars Technica:
Broken DRM scheme: $45 million; trampling fair use: priceless
Discussion: Gizmodo
Ann Bednarz / Network World:
AT&T calls teleworkers back to cubicle life
Discussion: VoIP Watch and DSLreports
Alec Saunders .LOG:
Some VoIP applications ARE failing on Facebook!
Discussion: GigaOM and Jon Arnold's Blog
diego's weblog:
Kindle!  —  So yesterday morning I ordered a Kindle …
Discussion: Mike Rowehl
P2P Blog:
Mediadefender hack costs company 825,000 USD
Google Transfers A LOT of Domains to Google Name Servers …
Mark Wilson / Gizmodo:
The Gizmodo Ultimate Black Friday Deal Guide [Black Friday Plan]
Edward Wyatt / New York Times:
Webisodes of 'Lost': Model Deal for Writers?