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8:55 AM ET, October 21, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Harry McCracken / Technologizer:
Lala's Spectacular New Music Service  —  For a couple of months now, I've been using a music service that's been in a quiet (but open) beta period.  It's been kind of amazing.  That service is the all-new version of Lala, and it's officially throwing its doors open to the public today.
RELATED:
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Lala May Have Just Built The Next Revolution In Digital Music  —  Call me a skeptic.  When Lala came to our offices last week trying to convince me that music was heading to the cloud, and that they were going to help lead the transition, I wasn't convinced at first.
Peter Burrows / Tech Beat:
Lala Plays a New Song.  —  Tomorrow, Lala Media Inc. will announce an interesting new approach to selling digital music.  It's based on a new type of license it secured with the four major labels and 170,000 indie labels, that lets consumers pay a dime to own a song that they can listen …
John Markoff / New York Times:
Beware the Digital Zombies  —  REDMOND, Wash. — In a windowless room on Microsoft's campus here, T. J. Campana, a cybercrime investigator, connects an unprotected computer running an early version of Windows XP to the Internet.  In about 30 seconds the computer is “owned.”
Discussion: UMBC ebiquity
Yahoo! Tech:
Palm Treo Pro: A sweet Windows smartphone  —  San Francisco - The BlackBerry, iPhone, and T-Mobile G1 may be the kings of smartphone cool, but if you ask me, they all share one big shortcoming: They don't run Windows Mobile.  —  I know that statement puts me in a distinct minority.
Discussion: InfoWorld and Gizmodo
RELATED:
wmpoweruser.com:
Two new HP devices revealed
Discussion: SlashPhone and Engadget
Paul Boutin / Wired News:
Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004  —  Thinking about launching your own blog?  Here's some friendly advice: Don't.  And if you've already got one, pull the plug.  —  Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago.  The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis …
Discussion: Digital Inspiration
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Brightstorm Raises $6 Million For Online Video Tutorials  —  If high-school education is failing in the U.S., maybe Web video can help.  Founded last April, Brightstorm is a Web video site that brings bright, talented teachers together with students who need some extra help.
Discussion: paidContent.org and Mashable!
RELATED:
Chris Morrison / VentureBeat:   Brightstorm launches into the booming online education market
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Scott Rafer: The Facebook Platform is Dead  —  When speaking at the Facebook developer conference today in Berlin, Scott Rafer declared that Facebook platform dead.  He posted statistics including one that I posted that suggests Facebook widgets are dead.  Lookery's own statistics …
Matt Buchanan / Gizmodo:
Google CEO Wants to Be President Obama's Tech Chief  —  Did you know?  Besides sitting on Apple's board of directors, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been an informal adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign.  In fact, he lurves Obama so much that's he not just going to endorse him …
RELATED:
PBS:
Ctrl-Alt-Del: Did Apple reboot an important product announcement?  —  Apple last week introduced a pair of very nice notebook computers that, not at all surprisingly, looked like riffs on the MacBook Air.  The company in a separate announcement released 600 high-definition television episodes through the iTunes Store.
Richard MacManus / ReadWriteWeb:
Twine Launches 1.0 Version - Eyes Facebook, Google Reader, Delicious, Digg, ...  When Twine announced itself to the world exactly one year ago, it claimed to be “the first mainstream Semantic Web application”.  However despite raising millions of dollars in its quest to bring the Semantic Web …
Peter Bright / Ars Technica:
Your privacy is an illusion: UK attacks civil liberties  —  Last year one of the more troubling provisions of the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) finally came into effect.  This piece of legislation made it a criminal offense to refuse to decrypt almost any encrypted data residing within …
RELATED:
Cyrus Farivar / Salon:
U.K. proposes massive database to monitor cell and Net communications
Discussion: Times of London and UPI
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
BeenVerified hopes to make background checks easier and cheaper  —  BeenVerified is looking to shake up the background-checking industry with cheap and fast solutions that small businesses can afford.  —  The New York-based company is launching a service today that can perform …
Discussion: CenterNetworks
Steve Rubel / Micro Persuasion:
RSS Adoption at 11% and it May Be Peaking, Forrester Says  —  Forrester Research today published a new report on the state of RSS.  In short, while there are bright spots, it does not paint the picture of a technology that's going mainstream anytime soon.  —  On a positive note …
Sylvie Barak / Inquirer:
Sony recalls game after music offends Muslims  —  Allah is not a DJ  —  SONY IS POSTPONING the release of its long-awaited game LittleBigPlanet, due to concerns that a background song might be offensive to Muslim sensibilities.  —  Little Big Planet, originally scheduled for release on October 24th …
Discussion: p2pnet, Japan Probe and CrunchGear
Chris Morris / Forbes:
Microsoft Xbox: Not Ready For Primetime  —  There's a new member of the “Not Ready for Primetime Players”: The Xbox 360.  —  Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) has delayed the launch of “Xbox Live Primetime,” its programmed series of interactive games with real-world prizes, until the spring.
Sydney Morning Herald:
Spam flood goes on despite bust  —  Last week's bust of the largest spam operation in the world, which was run by a Queensland resident, has had no measurable impact on global spam volumes.  —  The spam gang, known by authorities and security experts as HerbalKing, was responsible for one-third of all spam …
Discussion: Techdirt and Slashdot
Ken Schachter / Red Herring:
Where Congress Puts Its Own Money  —  Congressional lawmakers are best known as spenders, allocating trillions of dollars for both guns and butter, but they also are investors with an affinity for technology blue chips.  —  Three of the four most popular investments of the members of the House …
Discussion: Techdirt
Rob Bushway / GottaBeMobile:
Dell and N-Trig: I've Had It  —  In many ways, the Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC has become one of my favorite Tablet PCs.  It is very thin, light, has ample room on the wrist pad for typing, has a scroll wheel, and is generally pleasant to use in portrait mode.  It goes to sleep and resumes very quickly.
Discussion: Incremental Blogger and Engadget
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Imeem For Android Takes The Jukebox In The Sky And Puts It In Your Pocket  —  What good is an endless jukebox in the sky if you can only listen to it while you are sitting in front of your computer?  Imeem answers that with what is certainly the best Android app I've seen (or heard) so far.
Discussion: Obsessable and Mashable!
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Please Fix The iPhone: A To-Do List For Steve Jobs  —  iPhone addicts love their iPhones, but nothing is perfect.  Customer feedback for Apple just went public on Please Fix the iPhone.  The site let's iPhone owners, or anyone else, list and vote on the features that most need fixing on the iPhone.
Betsy Schiffman / Epicenter:
RIM Could Rot With the Economy  —  Research In Motion, maker of the indispensable BlackBerry devices, may see sales stall in this brave, new, sucky economy.  —  That's the conclusion of Tavis McCourt, an analyst with Morgan Keegan.  He expects sales growth will slip from 40 percent in 2008 to between 25 and 30 percent in 2009.
Discussion: Business Week
Amy Thomson / Bloomberg:
Google Being More Careful Amid Slump, Schmidt Says  —  Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — Google Inc., owner of the world's most popular Internet search site, will make fewer acquisitions and slow hiring amid the global economic turmoil, Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said.
Discussion: eWeek and Docu-Drama
Owen Thomas / Valleywag:
Wikia lays off 30 percent of staff  —  Bid goodnight to Jimmy Wales's dream of cashing out on Wikipedia, the world's largest collection of infrequently asked questions.  The vehicle for his scheme, a derivative for-profit startup called Wikia, is imploding.
Lou Cabron / 10 Zen Monkeys:
The Great Google Rebellion  —  Thursday Google unveiled a new design for its iGoogle homepage service.  Unfortunately (according to one geek), it's “a big unwanted piece of crap.”  —  In an email interview today, Google defended the changes.  But Google won't let users switch their home pages …
 
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Rackspace:
Another Patent Troll Slain.  You Are Now Free To Rotate Your Smartphone.  —  Rotatable Technologies is now an ex-patent troll.  I say “ex-troll” because its patent, US Pat.  No. 6,326,978, has been declared unpatentable …
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 More Items: 
Joanna Stern / LAPTOP Magazine:
ASUS CEO Reveals Eee PC Sales Numbers, Plans for Touch Eee PCs …
Discussion: jkOnTheRun, Gizmodo, SlashGear and Engadget
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
AT&T Samsung Epix i907 unboxing
Claire Cain Miller / New York Times:
Popularity or Income? Two Sites Fight It Out
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Bloglines Returns to Challenge Google Reader - Thank Goodness
Discussion: TechCrunch
Rafat Ali / paidContent.org:
Veoh Lays Off 15—Not 40 Percent As Rumored; Russia Office Closed
Discussion: NewTeeVee, Valleywag and CNET News
 Earlier Items: 
Jordan Golson / Industry Standard:
Harvard Prof: Google earns “$32-$50 million” annually from typosquatting websites
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Andrew Beaujon / Poynter.:
Reporter quits Sun-Times, cites ‘chilling effect in the newsroom’

Billy Penn:
Jim Brady and colleagues launch mobile-focused Philadelphia news site Billy Penn

Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
More than 300 New York Times staffers express interest in buyouts

 
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