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9:40 PM ET, February 20, 2008


 Top Items: 
Ryan Block / Engadget:
Microsoft announces games for Zune via XNA Studio  —  Looks like games are coming for the Zune after all!  Microsoft just announced XNA Studio developers will be able to use the Zune as a multiplayer wireless mobile gaming platform.  Details are sparse at this point, but it looks like it's …
Frank Caron / Ars Technica:
XNA games coming to the Zune, Xbox Live Arcade  —  This morning at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced the next step in its Xbox Live and XNA initiative: the Zune will be entering the fray as new third pillar of XNA software support, with over 1,000 games for the device by year end.
Ryan Block / Engadget:   Games for Zune details, hands-on
Robert X. Cringely / InfoWorld:
Look before you leak  —  I bet you thought people banked in the Cayman Islands because they serve fruity cocktails with tiny parasols in them while you're waiting for your checks to clear.  Well, you're only partly right.  The other reason people keep accounts in the Caymans is to avoid paying taxes …
David F. Gallagher / Bits:
Wikileaks Site Has a Friend in Sweden
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Google & Its 99 Broadband Balloons  —  Google, according to The Wall Street Journal is thinking about teaming up with Space Data Corp., a company that sends balloons carrying small (micro) base stations about 20 miles up in the air for providing connectivity to truckers and oil companies.
Duncan Riley / TechCrunch:
Google May Buy Balloon Company  —  Google is considering working with, or buying Space Data Corp, a company that provides wireless services via Balloon, according to the Wall Street Journal.  —  Space Data Corp targets areas without existing internet access, such as rural areas and highways …
Discussion: Gizmodo and
Todd Bishop / Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog:
Bill Gates pooh-poohed Yahoo deal last year  —  In a series of interviews this week, Bill Gates has spoken positively about Microsoft's proposed Yahoo deal — telling CNet, for example, that the addition of Yahoo's engineers is why Microsoft believes the potential combination would be “powerful.”
Discussion: WebProNews and CNET
Ina Fried / CNET
Gates on Yahoo: It's the people  —  PALO ALTO, Calif.—Bill Gates is willing to pay a lot for engineering talent.  —  Asked what makes Yahoo worth more than $40 billion, Gates pointed not to the company's products, its huge base of advertisers or its market share, but rather to the company's engineers.
Ina Fried / CNET
Gates explains why Microsoft needs Yahoo
Discussion: GottaBeMobile
Ashkan Karbasfrooshan /
Why Most VC-Backed, Ad-Supported Companies Are Doomed to Fail  —  Most of the web projects out there are ad-supported, or intend to be ad-supported.  —  While a lot of companies are bootstrapped, most are financed by angel investors or venture capitalists.
Nivi / Venture Hacks:
T-Shirts for VCs  —  Hilarious new t-shirts for the “top 2/20%” (get it?) of the population from VC Wear:  —  There are more awesome t-shirts at VC Wear as well as a Powerpoint Pitch and a Buy it (the company) Now button.  —  There's truth in every t-shirt.
Discussion: Valleywag
Chris Albrecht / NewTeeVee:
The Engagement Debate: Still Unsettled  —  The one thing that's certain about advertisement engagement is that...nothing is certain.  That's the big takeaway from today's VideoEgg Engagement Debate '08, where marketing folk gathered to discuss the topic.  There were four panels …
Discussion: Beet.TV
Allen Stern / CenterNetworks:   In My Job Engagement Means.... (fill in the blank)
Brandi Stewart / Fortune Small Business:
eBay seller strike starts, listings dip  —  EBay's listings appear to be down 3% since this week's seller strike began, but separating the boycott's effects from standard daily fluctuations is a tricky task.  —  (FORTUNE Small Business) — Monday marked the start of a week-long eBay (EBAY …
Sprint expected to undercut rivals' call plans  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) is expected to offer flat-rate calling plans at up to a 40 percent discount to its rivals, hurtling the industry into a price war, analysts said on Wednesday.
N'Gai Croal / Level Up:
Exclusive: Nintendo Announces Plan to Launch Its WiiWare Download Service for Original Games on May 12th.  Demos Not Included.  —  Where did you first find out about Nintendo's WiiWare service for original downloadable games?  Yep, right here on Level Up, where North American president …
Todd Bishop / Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog:
Departing Microsoft exec has big house, warm pants  —  Here's some interesting timing: The new issue of “425,” a magazine about the Seattle region's Eastside, includes a big spread on the home of Steve Berkowitz — a senior vice president in Microsoft's unprofitable online division …
Discussion: 425 Magazine and Valleywag
Brad Linder / Download Squad:
Microsoft releases Windows XP SP3 RC2  —  Microsoft has released Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2 to the general public.  For the last few weeks the latest pre-release version of SP3 was only available to about 15,000 beta testers.  But now you can download the update from Microsoft's servers using Windows Update.
Discussion: WinBeta
Eric Bangeman / Ars Technica:
Judge dismisses malicious prosecution lawsuit against RIAA  —  Exonerated RIAA defendant Tanya Andersen ran into a bit of a roadblock yesterday in an attempt to pursue her malicious prosecution lawsuit against the RIAA and MediaSentry.  After a hearing, a federal judge dismissed Andersen's complaint …
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A new era of Windows 10 devices  —  Microsoft introduces new Surface, Lumia and Band devices, and shares the latest from HoloLens and Xbox.
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 More Items: 
Eric Eldon / VentureBeat:
Trends: Secretive New York bank Allen & Co. gets into Silicon Valley media tech
Cade Metz / The Register:
Larry Lessig for Congress?
Cisco tries to turn cities green
Discussion: eWeek
Nilay Patel / Engadget:
Keeping it real fake, part CXII: Is the DaXian X999 the ultimate fake iPhone?
Enigmax / TorrentFreak:
Norwegian Police Deal Massive Blow to MPAA Lawyer
Discussion: Digg
Link Attraction Factors: Getting Dugg and Going Viral
Discussion: The Last Podcast
Matt Buchanan / Gizmodo:
Next-Gen Microsoft PC Concept Attaches to Your Neck Like a Symbiote …
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
NewsClipper Brings All The News Video from Around the Web to One Place
 Earlier Items: 
Niro / Nir Ofir:
Olympic committe says yes to bloggers!?! No!
Robert Vamosi / CNET
The myth of the Ninja Hacker
Discussion: eWeek
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
How Much Will Yahoo's New Severance Plan Cost Microsoft?
Shel / Global Neighbourhoods:
Forrester's New Online Communities Report
Jonathan Richards / Times of London:
Hacker breaks link between iTunes and the iPod
Doug Aamoth / CrunchGear:
Wired tells us how to convert HD DVD to Blu-ray
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
EU Invests $22 Million in Next-Generation BitTorrent Client
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
HP's UMPC 2133 to cost $630 when shipping in April?