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4:30 PM ET, March 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Sony hates you, offers $50 “Fresh Start” option to build your laptop crapware-free  —  Sony has quite the history of crippling excellent, beautiful hardware with horrible, useless software.  The company's UX UMPC bluescreened on us the first time we turned it on, and crashed the first time we tried …
Peter Sayer / IDG News Service:
Sony Removes Bloatware—for a Fee  —  For only $50, Sony will uninstall some of the trial software it loads onto new Vaio laptops.  —  Sony is offering to remove some of the trial software it crams onto the hard disks of new laptops — for a fee.  —  Buyers of the configure-to-order versions …
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
Facebook Toast?  Hot Today, Dead Tomorrow—Like AOL?  —  For now, Facebook continues to take over the world.  Its global traffic is about to blow past MySpace's, its image (and Mark Zuckerberg's) has recovered from the Beacon fiasco, and it has raised a big enough cash pile that it should be able to power through any downturn.
Farhad Manjoo / Salon:
The Wall Street Journal's Web site is already (secretly) free  —  Late in January, Rupert Murdoch put an end to speculation that he would set free the Wall Street Journal's subscription-only Web site.  —  While he planned to “expand” the site's free offerings, “the really special things …
Stefanie Olsen / CNET
Q&A: Battelle talks blog roll-ups, Google, and Federated Media's future  —  John Battelle knows tech booms and busts.  He's been at the forefront of them for nearly two decades.  —  In 1993, he co-founded Wired, a print magazine that set a standard in technology coverage and spawned popular sites …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:   Federated Media's Battelle Slams Rival, Hints At Investing In Publishers
Tom Krazit / One More Thing:
Think before you install  —  Look, people, it's 2008: You're responsible for what you install on your PC.  —  The outrage is spewing forth over Apple's move to include Safari 3.1 as part of its Software Update program.  The new twist is that Windows users who never had installed Safari …
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
CBS Sports Facing March Madness Backlash on Facebook.  “This App Blows.”  —  Don't mess with March Madness.  CBS Sports is learning that lesson the hard way on Facebook, where a major backlash is happening over its NCAA basketball bracket application.  Yes, this is the same application …
Mark Hendrickson / TechCrunch:
LinkedIn, Now For Companies  —  LinkedIn, the boring social network that won't find you a date but may land you a job, is expanding beyond people profiles.  —  On Friday morning they will launch company profile pages that partly serve as fact sheets for about 160,000 companies and partly serve …
Caroline McCarthy / CNET
Gibson turns volume up to 11 with new ‘Guitar Hero’ lawsuit  —  Legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson Guitar has sued six major retailers—Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target,, Gamestop, and Toys-R-Us—for selling Activision's Guitar Hero video game series, MarketWatch reported Friday.
Doug Aamoth / CrunchGear:
Firefox 3: So easy a caveman could do it  —  Firefox 3 won't be out of beta until the end of June but Mozilla told Reuters yesterday that anyone can go ahead and download the most recent version and run it without worrying too much.  It's now stable enough for everyone, not just developers.
Jim Finkle / Reuters:
Firefox 3 Ready for Prime Time
Discussion: Geek News Central
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Report: 95% of Internet video stuck looking longingly at TV  —  Video content online may be growing in popularity, but the vast majority isn't getting anywhere near a TV screen.  New survey results from Macrovision (commissioned by Harris Interactive) say that only a small number of adults …
Discussion: WebProNews and Mashable!
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Little old lady suing Sony, Samsung, Nokia and everyone else for infringing on her laser patents  —  Oh sure, she looks friendly enough.  But don't let her matronly, argyle looks fool you.  Retired Columbia University Professor, Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, is looking to extract some cold …
Discussion: Crave, Reuters, Electronista, eWeek and Inquirer
Nivi / Venture Hacks:
Getting Recommended … On April 1st, we started publishing the best damn term sheet hacks we could find.  Why?  Because a lot of entrepreneurs ask the same question: … We're trying to make everything we've learned—from other entrepreneurs, investors, and lawyers—readily available.
Austin Modine / The Register:
Bain and Huawei bail on 3Com buyout  —  $10,000 Panda Challenge - are you really protected?  —  Claiming an inability to stifle US government concerns over a 3Com acquisition, Bain Capital Partners and Huawei Technologies are now taking their ball and going home.
Discussion: E-Commerce Times
Sarah Lai Stirland / Threat Level:
Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig Bets ‘Wikipedia’ Approach Will Transform Congress  —  Stanford law professor Larry Lessig plans to use collaborative software to change Congress.  —  Courtesy Larry Lessig  —  A prominent Stanford law professor on Thursday launched an ambitious project …
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 More Items: 
Zach Epstein / The Boy Genius Report:
T-Mobile BlackBerry 8120 & 8820 Roll Out Details and Schedule
Discussion: CrunchGear, Gizmodo and Ubergizmo
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Swotti - A Semantic Opinions Aggregator
Fred / A VC:
Working On Vacation  —  The title of this post sounds like an oxymoron.
Discussion: Valleywag
Jacqui Cheng / Infinite Loop:
Buy a refurb iPod nano, get $15 on the iTunes Store
Associated Press:
Wikipedia Questions Paths to More Money
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Richard Defendorf / CNET
FCC inching ever closer to decision on XM-Sirius
Discussion: Motley Fool and Electronista
Giveaway of the Day:
Capture and find anything!
Charles Cooper / Coop's Corner:
Twitter's political coming of age?
 Earlier Items: 
Dianne See Morrison /
Dish Network To Offer Mobile TV Service?
Discussion: Reuters and Gizmodo
Steve O'Hear / last100:
Don't turn off the life support just yet: Joost coming to the browser
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Do you have to be in every conversation?
Associated Press:
AT&T to pay FCC $1.3B down payment
Dave Winer / Scripting News:
What's wrong with Wikipedia
Eric Bangeman / Ars Technica:
DirecTV DVR clampdown: a sober reminder of DRM suckitude
Paul Boutin / New York Times:
So You Want to Be a Blogging Star?
Discussion: The Social Times and Valleywag
Glenn Derene / Popular Mechanics:
The 10 Video Formats HD DVD Will Meet in Heaven: Buzzword
Discussion: Digg