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3:25 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
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).
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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 …
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
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
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
Victoria Shannon / New York Times:
IPhone Must Be Offered Without Contract Restrictions, German Court Rules  —  Last month, French law forced Apple to promise that consumers could buy a version of its iPhone in this country without having to be locked into a long-term contract with Orange, the only mobile phone operator offering the new device.
Discussion: TechSpot News
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!
James Sherwood / The Register:
Sony Ericsson 'invents' drag-and-drop for handhelds  —  Sony Ericsson has applied for a patent that, if granted, would give it ownership of a data-transfer method for portable devices which allows users to send files from one device to another with the flick of a finger.
Discussion: Ubergizmo
Eric Bangeman / Ars Technica:
Broken DRM scheme: $45 million; trampling fair use: priceless  —  Macrovision, the DRM firm perhaps best known recently for creating security holes in Windows with its SafeDisc DRM, has purchased the intellectual property surrounding the BD+ DRM scheme used by Blu-ray to thwart attempts at copying.
Discussion: Gizmodo
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 More Items: 
Sean Fallon / Gizmodo:
Staples Offers Seagate Data Recovery Service in all Stores [Data Recovery]
Kristen Nicole / Mashable!:
Political Love (Or Not) on Digg and Yahoo
Chris Sorensen / Toronto Star:
Bell to offer unlimited wireless data
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson / Financial Times:
Anti-piracy moves 'hurt sales'
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
Joe Wilcox / Microsoft Watch:
PC Software's Great Year
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Krigsman / IT Project Failures:
IT security failure causes UK Revenue & Customs (HMRC) chairman to resign
Ann Bednarz / Network World:
AT&T calls teleworkers back to cubicle life
Discussion: VoIP Watch and DSLreports
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: 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 …
Edward Wyatt / New York Times:
Webisodes of 'Lost': Model Deal for Writers?