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7:50 PM ET, November 20, 2007

Techmeme

 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 allfacebook.com.  —  The much despised "is" has been a mandatory component of the status update …
RELATED:
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Facebook Removing "Is" From Status Updates?  —  Well it looks like it has finally happened.  The dreaded "is" present in status updates that people have complained about for the past few months is now finally being removed.  Well, it appears that it will become optional.  According to Facebook's platform status feed:
Discussion: Salon, WebProNews, Valleywag and ParisLemon
Josh Catone / Read/WriteWeb:
Facebook To Drop 'Is' From Status Updates
Discussion: Download Squad
Beltzner / Mozilla Developer News:
Firefox 3 Beta 1 now available for download  —  Please note: We do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download the Firefox 3 Beta 1 milestone release.  It is intended for testing purposes only.  —  Firefox 3 Beta 1 is now available for download.
RELATED:
Stephen Shankland / CNET News.com:
Mozilla's Firefox 3 beta: Improved but imperfect  —  A few months later than had been planned, Mozilla released on Monday night the first beta version of an overhauled Firefox, the widely used open-source Web browser.  —  Firefox 3 beta 1 includes a number of significant features that Mozilla …
Duncan Riley / TechCrunch:
Firefox 3 Beta 1: The Memory Use Says It All
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 and ParisLemon
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.
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).
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!
RELATED:
Nick / Rough Type:   Against free  —  "Pay me for my content," says Jaron Lanier …
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.
RELATED:
Tameka Kee / MediaPost Publications:
Former AOL Chair Backs New Search Tech Startup 'Clickable'
Discussion: Screenwerk and Mashable!
Michael Krigsman / IT Project Failures:
IT security failure causes UK Revenue & Customs (HMRC) chairman to resign  —  Two weeks ago, I raised serious questions about IT governance in the UK at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).  At that time, the agency lost a CD containing private information belonging to 15,000 people in the UK.
Discussion: The Register and AccMan Pro
RELATED:
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 …
Discussion: eWEEK.com
RELATED:
Dan Goodin / The Register:
Leopard security bug puts Mail users at risk
Discussion: CrunchGear and heise Security
Caroline McCarthy / CNET News.com:
MoveOn.org takes on Facebook's 'Beacon' ads  —  Online activist group MoveOn.org 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.
P2P Blog:
Mediadefender hack costs company 825,000 USD  —  Those 6000 Mediadefender emails that leaked onto the web in September cost the anti-piracy outlet dearly: A recent SEC filing of Mediadefender parent ArtistDirect reveals that the company lost at least 825,000 dollars due to the hack …
Discussion: Slyck, TorrentFreak, p2pnet and Mashable!
ResourceShelf:
Google Transfers A LOT of Domains to Google Name Servers; Is A Google Tax Prep Service in the Works and What Might GoogleSecret Be All About?  —  All of these domains were transferred to Google name servers in the past week or so.  They are also all registered to Google Inc. You'll see lots …
Discussion: WebProNews, InsideGoogle and ParisLemon
Edward Wyatt / New York Times:
Webisodes of 'Lost': Model Deal for Writers?  —  On the picket lines, striking television and film writers adamantly claim that studios are refusing to pay for the use of writers' scripts on the Internet.  —  But ABC Studios is doing just that.  Over the next three months fans of the hit show …
 
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 More 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: DSLreports and VoIP Watch
Lori Grunin / Crave: The gadget blog:
Good vibes for Nikon's 18-55mm lens
Discussion: Gizmodo
Alec Saunders .LOG:
Some VoIP applications ARE failing on Facebook!
Discussion: Jon Arnold's Blog
diego's weblog:
Kindle!  —  So yesterday morning I ordered a Kindle …
Discussion: Mike Rowehl
Ina Fried / ZDNet:
Targeted e-mail attacks spoof DOJ, business group
Roy Mark / eWEEK.com:
Report Cites China's Cyber-Warfare Plans
Loren Baker / Search Engine Journal:
20 Essential Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog To
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Wilson / Gizmodo:
The Gizmodo Ultimate Black Friday Deal Guide [Black Friday Plan]
Tim O'Reilly / O'Reilly Radar:
Microsoft, Google and Yahoo Acquisitions Compared
Discussion: Read/WriteWeb and Ted's Take
Damian Koh / Crave: The gadget blog:
A phone that knows when it's upside-down
Verizon:
Verizon Continues to Dramatically Raise Broadband Upload Speeds …
Jonathan Mulholland:
What Google has planned for Jaiku?
Susan Stellin / New York Times:
On the Job, Everywhere  —  One challenge of the work-anywhere lifestyle …
Discussion: jkOnTheRun and Hightouch
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Hollywood has worst summer since 1997 as US summer ticket sales decline 15% from 2013

Nate Hoffelder / The Digital Reader:
Some Japanese publishers call Amazon's linking book promotion to commission fees “blackmail”

Alexis Sobel Fitts / Columbia Journalism Review:
Michael Brown shooting and the crimes journalists choose as newsworthy

 
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