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1:10 PM ET, December 4, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
Apple to sell a $99 4GB iPhone at Walmart?  —  We just got a tip that in addition to the iPhone 3G actually making its way to Walmart, as we exclusively told you, there will be a 4GB model priced at $99 with a 2-year agreement.  We're not putting our stamp of approval behind this one just yet …
RELATED:
Arn / MacRumors:
Wal-Mart to Sell $99 4GB iPhone?
Discussion: Switched
AT&T:
AT&T Announces Job Reductions  —  AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a planned reduction of approximately 12,000 jobs, or about 4 percent of the company's total workforce, citing economic pressures, a changing business mix and a more streamlined organizational structure.
RELATED:
Simon Sage / IntoMobile:
World's Second Android Phone Now on Presale … Kogan's Agora and Agora Pro hinted at last month is now ready to roll, costing AU$299 and AU$399, and shipping on January 29th.  The Agora Pro's specs are as follows:  — Operating System: Android™  — Google Mobile Functions …
RELATED:
Avner / boxee blog:
boxee  —  when we planned the Dec 4th release we had minor changes in mind, mainly bug-fixes.... but we were undisciplined and immature.. and it turned from a minor release into a big one..  —  we could not ignore the number of people asking for Netflix on boxee.. so we called, emailed …
RELATED:
Josh Lowensohn / Crave: The gadget blog:
Boxee gets support for Netflix streaming  —  Boxee is releasing on Thursday a new version of its media center software that adds support for Netflix Watch Instantly streaming movies.  —  Unlike streaming solutions from Roku and Microsoft's Xbox 360, Boxee's effort includes the option …
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
Boxee adds Netflix support, but not for the Apple TV...yet
William M. Bulkeley / Wall Street Journal:
IBM Offers ‘Microsoft-Free’ Desktop  —  Applications for Thin Clients Would Operate From Back-Office Server  —  International Business Machines Corp. is hoping to convince corporate customers that they no longer need Microsoft Corp.  —  IBM says it has created a “Microsoft-free” …
RELATED:
Paula Rooney / Open Source:
IBM launches first Linux-OpenOffice desktop with virtualization features
Discussion: The Register
Eric Lai / LinuxWorld.com:
New virtual Linux desktop bundle comes ‘Microsoft-free’
Discussion: AppScout and Computerworld
Rick Turoczy / ReadWriteWeb:
Times Extra: The New York Times Opens Web Front Page to Outside Content  —  New York TimesAt a time when the online world is continually seen as a more trusted source of news, mainstream media outlets find themselves forced into the position of becoming more and more open to keep their readers coming back.
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
The New York Times Clutters Up Its Homepage With Links From Elsewhere (In Beta)  —  It used to be that when a newspaper put out an “Extra” edition, it was filled with stories written by its reporters who had toiled away the night to cover some breaking news or collection of stories.
Jeremy Kirk / LinuxWorld.com:
Firefox users targeted by rare piece of malware  —  Researchers at BitDefender have discovered a new type of malicious software that collects passwords for banking sites but targets only Firefox users.  —  The malware, which BitDefender dubbed “Trojan.PWS.ChromeInject.A” sits in Firefox's add-ons folder …
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and Zero Day
RELATED:
BitDefender:
BitDefender detects novel approach to stealing web passwords
Discussion: Icrontic
Opera Community:
Peregrine takes flight... Opera 10.0 Alpha 1 is here!  —  It seems like yesterday we released Opera 9.6 and now you can all get your hands on Opera 10.0.  Rather than ramble on, here's a quick list of what's new:  — Presto 2.2 Engine  — Performance boost  — 100/100 and pixel-perfect on the Acid3 test
RELATED:
Brad Linder / Download Squad:
Opera 10 Alpha 1 web browser passes the Acid3 test
Discussion: TechCrunch
Hamilton Nolan / Gawker:
The Dreaded Viacom Layoffs: 850 People  —  The long-feared Viacom pre-post holiday layoffs are here, and they're not pretty.  We heard earlier that as many as 300 layoffs might be coming at MTV today, but the total, Viacom-wide numbers are even worse: 850 people are being cut, about 7% of the company's global staff.
RELATED:
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Viacom Lays Off 850, Takes $450 Million Charge
Ben Lorica / O'Reilly Radar:
Facebook Growth Regions and Gender Split  —  Since we began tracking Facebook demographics in late May, weekly growth has held steady, usually in the low single-digits on a percentage basis.  More importantly, it's fair to say that the company has successfully expanded overseas.
Discussion: WebProNews
RELATED:
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
Facebook finally hits the mainstream
Discussion: Going Social Now
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Former Yahoo Tech Star Qi Lu Likely to Be Named Microsoft's Digital Head by Next Week  —  Former Yahoo tech star Qi Lu (pictured here) is poised to take on the big job of being Microsoft's top digital executive, according to several sources inside and outside the company.
Discussion: paidContent.org and Beyond Binary
Gartner:
Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Reached Its Lowest Growth Rate With 11.5 Per Cent Increase in Third Quarter of 2008  —  Apple Overtakes Microsoft As No. 3 Smartphone OS Vendor  —  In the third quarter of 2008, the global smartphone market reached its weakest year-on-year growth since Gartner, Inc. began tracking the industry.
Business Technology:
Turns Out Sony E-Book Readers Sell After All  —  This tech blog has always been skeptical of digital e-book readers.  Maybe because we think the feeling of a stiff hardback or welted paperback book is timeless.  Or maybe it was because major e-book vendors such as Sony and Amazon.com never released …
Discussion: last100
RELATED:
Robert Andrews / paidContent.org:
Sony, Kindle E-Reader Sales Grow Before Christmas; But Still No ‘iPod Moment’
Discussion: TeleRead and CNN
Ina Fried / Beyond Binary:
Online auctions remain piracy problem for Microsoft  —  Attention, software buyers: there's no such thing as Microsoft Office “Blue Edition.”  —  That's the latest ruse making the rounds on online auctions.  It feigns to be some sort of technician version of Microsoft's software that happens …
 
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 Techmeme Sponsor Posts: 
Microsoft:
Team ENTy of Romania crowned 2016 Imagine Cup World Champion  —  Team ENTy's project is an app for monitoring balance and posture.  Imagine Cup aims to give young developers the opportunity to acquire new and critical technical …
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Worldpay:
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Zoho:
Zoho Data Centers in Europe  —  We are pleased to announce the opening of two data centers in Europe — one in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and another in Dublin, Ireland.  With our new data centers …
Brookings Institution:
Why Pokemon Go's technology is no fad  —  Pokemon Go has ignited the digital world.  Every news organization has reported on why Pokemon Go, the smartphone app based on the Japanese cartoon game from the 1990s, is extraordinarily popular.
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 More Items: 
Dave Zatz / Zatz Not Funny!:
Blockbuster OnDemand Not Ready For Prime Time
The Register:
Apple more closed than Microsoft
Discussion: The Open Road
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Apple: Piper's Munster Cuts Ests, Target On Macro Issues
Discussion: AppleInsider and Edible Apple
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
Google Adds Search Box To YouTube Videos & Adds HD Embed
Nicholas Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
Buy This Recession Winner: Amazon.com (AMZN)
Discussion: Tech Trader Daily
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Secret Builders goes live with educational game world for kids
Discussion: Virtual Worlds News
Luke Plunkett / Kotaku:
Grand Theft Auto IV On PC Is A Little Broken
Discussion: TechSpot, Blue's News and bit-tech.net
PC World:
Yahoo Technology Will Offer Abstracts of Search Results (PC World)
Discussion: WebProNews
 Earlier Items: 
Royal Pingdom:
Google Apps SLA loophole allows for major downtime without consequences
Bobbie Johnson / Guardian:
Startups seek more dignified exit than a belly flop into the dead pool
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Amazon Launches Public Data Sets To Ease Research
Discussion: Between the Lines