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11:50 AM ET, December 5, 2008


 Top Items: 
Juan Carlos Perez / PC World:
Facebook, Google Launch Data Portability Programs to All  —  Google and Facebook separately announced the general availability of their respective data portability programs on Thursday.  —  Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect are generally designed to extend social-networking capabilities broadly across the Web.
Dave Winer / Scripting News:
Soon it will be time to start over, again  —  Here's how the tech industry cycle goes.  —  A new generation of young techies comes along, takes a look at the current stack, finds it too daunting (rightly so) and decides to start over from scratch.  They find that they can make things happen …
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
RealDepressing: The Entire RealNetworks Layoff Memo  —  Earlier this afternoon, Peter Kafka reported in Media Memo that RealNetworks (RNWK) was “next up in today's layoff parade.”  Here's the official internal memo from RealNetworks founder, chairman and CEO, Rob Glaser:
Stephen Lawson / Macworld:
AT&T hopes for single smart phone OS  —  AT&T hopes to standardize on a single operating system for AT&T-branded smart phones as part of a “dramatic consolidation” of its mobile platforms over the next few years, a company executive said Thursday.  —  The mobile operator believes smart phones …
Chris Coletta / Silicon Valley San Jose …:
Google opts out of grant for North Carolina data center  —  Google Inc. has opted not to take a $4.7 million state grant to build a data center in the town of Lenoir, N.C. - a sign the company may be slowing down its expansion in the state.  —  Google on Thursday formally withdrew its application …
Rich Miller / Data Center Knowledge:   Google Slows N.C. Build, Foregoing State Grant
Stephen Myers / Cygnet Engineering:
Iphone as a Universe Controller: Part 1  —  Why have a universal remote control when you can have a universe controller?  I was fortunate enough to get to beta test some of ioBridge's forthcoming hardware.  Their hardware lets you connect just about anything to the internet.
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Yahoo CEO Countdown, 26 Days to Go: As Chernin Declines, Will a Dark Horse Emerge?  —  With Yahoo board Chairman Roy Bostock reportedly assuring investors and others that the company will have a CEO in place by the end of the year, it seems prudent for BoomTown to initiate an official Yahoo CEO Countdown.
Paul Graham:
Could VC be a Casualty of the Recesssion?  —  (I originally wrote this at the request of a company producing a report about entrepreneurship.  Unfortunately after reading it they decided it was too controversial to include.)  —  VC funding will probably dry up somewhat during the present recession, like it usually does in bad times.
Scott Cleland / The Precursor Blog:
Google uses 21 times more bandwidth than it pays for — per first-ever research study  —  The 27 page research study can be accessed at this link:  —  Contact: Scott Cleland 703-217-2407  —  First-Ever Study of U.S. Consumer Internet Usage and Cost Finds  —  Google Uses 21 Times More Bandwidth than it Pays For
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Did YouTube Just Turn On HD For Real?  —  After teasing us for a year with the option to watch “higher quality” videos that weren't quite high-def, it appears that YouTube is making the switch to HD, at least for some videos that have been uploaded in that quality.
Discussion: SlashGear
Acer branded smartphones to hit the market in 1Q09, company clarifies  —  Yen Ting Chen, Taipei; Meiling Chen, DIGITIMES [Friday 5 December 2008]  —  Despite a bleak economic outlook, Acer remains optimistic about its growth opportunities for 2009.  The company expects its notebook shipments …
Discussion: SlashGear
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Amazon's Team of Rivals  —  Not so long ago, much of my life this time of year was spent following the toy wars.  From 1999 to 2001,, eToys and Toys ‘R’ Us battled for dominance in the online toy market.  (Ultimately, Toys ‘R’ Us joined forces with Amazon, and eToys failed and changed hands several times.)
Google Webmaster Central Blog:
One place for changing your site's settings  —  One of the many useful features of Webmaster Tools is the ability to adjust settings for your site, such as crawl rate or geographic target.  We've been steadily adding settings over time and have now gotten to the point where they merit their own page.
Karl Bode / DSLreports:
100Mbps FiOS Will Arrive Next Year - Largely aimed at winning the marketing wars...  We've known that Verizon has been testing 100Mbps FiOS for much of this year in select employee homes.  We also know that Verizon has admitted that 100Mbps service is more about marketing bragging rights than anything else.
Discussion: Electronista
Jeff Ventura / GracefulFlavor:
From Apple to RIM, With Love
Discussion: MSNBC and Edible Apple
Devin Coldewey / CrunchGear:
New Samsung webcam sensor does 720p and more  —  Seeing that PC users on desktop and laptop are embracing both HD video and built-in webcams, Samsung has decided to put the two together in the obvious form of a HD webcam.  Until now, webcams have been pretty much limited to VGA (640×480) …
Dan Gallagher / MarketWatch:
Kotick changes the game at Activision Blizzard  —  Video game executive parlays ‘Guitar Hero’ blockbuster into lucrative merger  —  SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Oversized egos and celebrity hype may permeate the executive suites of the entertainment industry, but Bobby Kotick doesn't follow that script.
Yinka Adegoke / Reuters:
IAC sees cascade of M&A opportunities  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - IAC/InteractiveCorp (IACI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Barry Diller is sitting on a pile of cash but he isn't going to give in to investor demands that he buy back stock to rescue the company's ailing share price.
Joseph L. Flatley / Engadget:
OpeniMac offers cut-rate, aesthetically challenged Apple clones direct from Argentina  —  After seeing how well Psystar did with its Open Computer, we think we'll just build our own Hackintosh rather than jump into this OpeniMac we've recently been hepped to.  But who knows?
Discussion: CrunchGear, 9 to 5 Mac and
Jenna Bilotta / Google Reader:
Square is the new round.  —  On the Reader team, we know that the old adage “change is good” isn't always true.  Sometimes, change is just change.  In this case, we hope that these decisions both improve your Reader experience today, and pave the way for additional improvements down the line.
Miguel Helft / New York Times:
Microsoft Names Ex-Yahoo Executive as Internet Unit Chief  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft named Qi Lu, a former Yahoo executive, to run its struggling Internet unit on Thursday.  —  Mr. Lu will fill an important position that had been vacant since the departure in July of Kevin Johnson …
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 More Items: 
Arielle Reinstein / Gmail Blog:
Get your Gmail stickers
Discussion: geeksugar and Maximum PC all
Blaise Alleyne / Techdirt:
Ontario Government Considers Facebook Consultation
Doug McLean / TidBITS:
Grey Lines Mar MacBook Air Displays
Discussion: 9 to 5 Mac and Slashdot
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Nokia N97 hands-on part II: the reckoning
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
What Exactly Is Adult Content?  Google Forces Ning Onto A Slippery Slope.
Discussion: Ning Blog
David Sarno / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
‘Koobface’ virus spreading fast on Facebook
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Salmon / Guardian:
Click to download: Bono red-faced over charity website
More big names downsizing, pulling out of Macworld Expo
Discussion: MacRumors and Apple Gazette
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
Does Amazon's iPhone app go too far?
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Mozilla to pull antiphishing feature from Firefox 2.0 at Google's request

From Mediagazer:

Jeremy Borden / Columbia Journalism Review:
How a little-known, Uber-driving freelancer brought the lawsuit that forced Chicago to release a police shooting video

Alex Weprin / Politico:
CNN pivots HLN back toward news

Mark Sweney / Guardian:
BBC Trust confirms BBC3 TV channel will be switched off and moved online by end of February 2016

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