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12:35 PM ET, November 14, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
John Markoff / New York Times:
Google Is Taking Questions (Spoken, via iPhone)  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Pushing ahead in the decades-long effort to get computers to understand human speech, Google researchers have added sophisticated voice recognition technology to the company's search software for the Apple iPhone.
Business Wire:
Sun Microsystems Aligns Business with Global Economic Climate and Amplifies Growth Opportunities Across Open Source Platforms  —  SANTA CLARA, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAVA - News) today announced a series of changes designed to align its cost model …
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Margaret Kane / CNET News:
Sun restructures, lays off up to 6,000  —  Sun Microsystems has announced a restructuring that will involve layoffs of 15 percent to 18 percent of its global workforce.  —  The company also announced a reorganization of its software operations and the departure of Rich Green, executive vice president of software.
Ashlee Vance / New York Times:
Crisis Spreads to Tech Sector as Sun Plans to Cut Work Force  —  Joining a rapidly growing list of technology companies reeling from the financial turmoil, Sun Microsystems, which sells server computers, has started a broad restructuring that could see up to 6,000 employees lose their jobs.
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Chris Kanaracus / PC World:   Sun Reorganizes, Cuts up to 18 Percent of Workforce
Timothy Prickett Morgan / The Register:
Sun slashes up to 6,000 jobs
Discussion: OStatic blogs
Trevin Chow:
Introducing the Microsoft Store US  —  We previously launched Microso ft Store internationally in the UK, Germany and Korea.  I'm now happy to announce that we have officially launched Microsoft Store for the U.S!  —  With this launch, our customers in the U.S. are able to buy …
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Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Microsoft launches online store: Is there deeper meaning here?  —  Microsoft has launched something long overdue: An online store.  Yes Virginia, you can download Windows.  —  The launch is a bit quiet.  Trevin Chow, a senior program manager at Microsoft, announced the “first-party” store on his blog.
Discussion: DailyTech, Engadget and Gizmodo
Brandon LeBlanc / The Windows Blog:
Introducing the Microsoft Store
Dawn Kawamoto / CNET News:
Microsoft launches second retail site
Discussion: PC World, The Mac Observer and I4U News
Royal Pingdom:
The world's most super-designed data center - fit for a James Bond villain  —  This underground data center has greenhouses, waterfalls, German submarine engines, simulated daylight and can withstand a hit from a hydrogen bomb.  It looks like the secret HQ of a James Bond villain.  —  And it is real.
Discussion: Data Center Knowledge and Gizmodo
BBC:
European debut for ‘$100 laptop’  —  Europeans will soon be able to buy their own XO laptop.  —  The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation is planning to sell the devices via online store Amazon's European outlets from 17 November.  —  The machines will be sold under the Give One …
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Jack Schofield / Guardian:
$100 OLPC to reach Europe, at £268
Discussion: TheNextWeb.com and p2pnet
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
GirlInYourShirt: $75 Buys Your Startup Marketing For A Day  —  I imagine more than a few startups will take Jenaé up on her offer to wear your startup shirt and talk about your company for a day.  It's $75, and she posts videos on her site, YouTube, Seesmic and Viddler, posts pictures on Flickr and tweets about it all as well.
Discussion: AppScout and The Drama 2.0 Show
Matt Peckham / PC World:
Xbox 360, Wii Sales Climb in October, Fable 2 Leads  —  The games industry grew another 18 points year-over-year in the opening beats of the critical fourth quarter, according to NPD.  Nothing's recession-proof, but the games industry seems to be weathering Wall Street's slings and arrows with a durable Kevlar-grade coating.
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Vivek Wadhwa / Business Week:
Engineering: Suddenly Sexy for College Grads  —  As the financial crisis deepens, science and math grads who once flocked to investment banking are now considering jobs in engineering  —  Early in his college career, Tyler Bosmeny assumed that after graduating, he would do what hundreds …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Is the VC Model Broken?  Far From it  —  Update: Adeo Ressi, the serial entrepreneur behind the venture-capital rating site TheFunded, has been getting a lot of attention for a presentation he gave at Harvard Business School in which he argued that the VC industry is “broken.”
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Businesses warming up to the iPhone  —  Businesses are gradually getting used to the idea of using iPhones in the enterprise, but Apple has a long way to go.  —  (Credit: Apple)  — Home - News - Apple  —  Apple  —  November 14, 2008 4:00 AM PST  —  Businesses warming up to the iPhone
Discussion: wmpoweruser.com
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Universal Music Group: We're Still Selling Tunes, Amazingly  —  Universal Music Group, the world's biggest music company, insists the music business isn't dying.  Yesterday, it released numbers to help bolster its case.  —  UMG saw sales drop 6.2 percent in the last quarter, parent company Vivendi disclosed yesterday.
Nicholas Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
Google Finally Starts Firing Slackers?  —  “It used to be nearly impossible to get fired for general underperformance” at Google, a reader tells us.  But times have changed.  Read >  —  What The Heck Happened To The Site?  —  Henry Blodget |  Nov. 13, 5:16 PM |  12
Discussion: Beyond Search
Martin Peers / Wall Street Journal:
Google's Consumers Are Checking Out  —  Google's business model is revealing its Achilles' heel.  —  The Internet giant's big perceived advantage over traditional media has long been its consumer-driven business model.  Whereas traditional media has more of a marketer-driven approach …
Discussion: Valleywag
Kate Greene / Technology Review:
The Coming Wireless Revolution  —  Gadgets that operate over television frequencies promise to transform the wireless landscape.  —  If you believe some radio researchers and engineers, within the next couple of years, high-bandwidth, far-reaching wireless Internet signals will soon blanket the nation.
Discussion: The Pondering Primate
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
The Very Curious Microsoft-Facebook User Data Relationship  —  Facebook's ties to Microsoft go back to 2006 when they first signed an advertising deal.  A year later they took a $240 million investment, and the advertising relationship was extended this year.
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Entrepreneurs Ask VCs for Cash Back  —  This week's $250 million funding for vacation home rental listing company HomeAway Inc. was the largest web-related venture capital investment since the bubble days at the turn of the millennium.  But it also contained a provision that signals how the lack …
Lester Haines / The Register:
Hubble snaps planet orbiting distant star  —  First visible-light image of gravitationally-bound world  —  The Hubble space telescope has captured the first visible-light image of an exoplanet orbiting a star - a body no greater than three Jupiter masses, gravitationally-bound to Fomalhaut in the constellation Piscis Australis.
Discussion: Gearlog and NASA
 
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 More Items: 
Business Technology:
How Old Is Your Work Computer?
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Marguerite Reardon / CNET News:
Smartphones drive demand for Web browsing
Discussion: TechSpot
Alex Castle / Maximum PC all:
Why is Google Running Ads for Known Malware Sites?
Discussion: DailyTech, Slashdot and digg.com
Joel Hruska / Ars Technica:
AMD Fusion now pushed back to 2011
Discussion: Hardware 2.0
Kim Dixon / Reuters:
Lawmaker Plans Bill on Web Neutrality
Discussion: Search Engine Watch and Inquirer
Electronista:
Alienware intros $1K Area-51 750i
Discussion: SlashGear and Gizmodo
David Kaplan / paidContent.org:
Invest Like It's 1998: Microsoft Stock Hits 10-Year Low …
Discussion: Associated Press
 Earlier Items: 
Eric Engleman / TechFlash:
Q&A: Ian Freed of Amazon Kindle on ebooks, blogs, and Jeff Bezos
Discussion: TeleRead
Paul Boutin / Valleywag:
Federated Media slashes rates to $5 CPM
Discussion: The Blog Herald
Joey Sanders / BlackBerryNews.com:
BlackBerry Curve 8900 Simulator Available For Download
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Cell phone boarding passes coming to an airline near you