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1:15 AM ET, December 13, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Sam Oliver / AppleInsider:
Apple tweaks App Store layout amid developer unrest  —  Faced with criticism over the way it's been grouping applications on the digital shelves of the App Store, Apple this week is making some changes to the store's layout aimed at showcasing a broader range of top offerings in each category.
RELATED:
Arn / MacRumors:
Apple Broadens App Store Acceptance, Approves ‘Pull My Finger’  —  One of the major criticisms of the App Store has been a seemingly arbitrary rejection policy on the part of Apple.  Air-o-Matic was one of the developers rejected by Apple for the reason of “limited utility” for his humor app “Pull My Finger”.
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Your New Agreement With Google, Chrome Users  —  When Google released its browser called Chrome this fall, there was an unusually loud controversy about its End User Licensing Agreement (EULA).  The company responded quickly to those complaints.  —  Now the contract with users has been changed again …
RELATED:
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
Apple: “the iPhone is a gaming console”  —  According to extremely reliable and embarrassingly handsome Engadget sources, at an iPhone event held today, John Geleynse (AKA Director of Technology Evangelism at Apple) made some statements regarding the iPhone platform that should seriously raise a few eyebrows.
myfoxdc.com:
McCain Campaign Sells Info-Loaded Blackberry to FOX 5 Reporter  —  Exclusive FOX 5 Investigation  —  ARLINGTON, Va. - Private information at bargain prices.  It was a high-tech flub at the McCain-Palin campaign headquarters in Arlington when Fox 5's Investigative Reporter Tisha Thompson bought …
Harry McCracken / Technologizer:
Pastebud: It Seemed Like a Good Idea!  —  Yesterday, I waxed enthusiastic about Pastebud, a new copy-and-paste service for the iPhone that gets around Apple's lack of support for such a feature via a clever end-run that involves transferring text back and forth between Safari and Mail via an online clipboard.
RELATED:
Dawn Kawamoto / CNET News:
Yahoo offers severance with a soft landing  —  A pink slip for corporate America's newly laid off typically means a severance package and a “see ya.”  —  But when Yahoo issued its layoff notices to 10 percent of its workforce on Wednesday, it came with a twist, according to several sources.
Discussion: TECH.BLORGE.com
Christopher MacManus / Sony Insider:
Sony's First Touchscreen Walkman Revealed  —  Sony is set to debut a new 16 and 32GB drag and drop Walkman during CES 2009, according to trusted inside sources.  This will be the most advanced music, video and photo Walkman music player ever released by Sony to date.
Todd Bishop / TechFlash:
Key data center architect leaves Microsoft, headed for Amazon  —  James Hamilton, one of the big brains behind Microsoft's data center strategy, has left the company, according to a note on his Microsoft home page.  And we just confirmed that he's headed across town to Amazon.com …
RELATED:
Techhermit / The Digital Cave:
Microsoft's Container Progenitor to leave?
Aidan Malley / AppleInsider:
EFi-X USA to sell pre-made PCs capable of running Mac OS X  —  Leveraging an internal adapter that lets many generic PCs run Mac OS X, a company called EFi-X USA now plans to offer a solution that potentially allows customers to create their own Mac systems.
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Sarah Palin, Please Come Back!  Hulu Traffic Drops in November  —  File under “interesting, but understandable”: After a flurry of election-related interest in October, traffic to red-hot Hulu fell off in November.  Blame Sarah Palin-or the lack of her.  —  ComScore says that traffic …
Jeff Atwood / Coding Horror:
Profitable Until Deemed Illegal  —  I was fascinated to discover the auction hybrid site swoopo.com (previously known as telebid.com).  It's a strange combination of eBay, woot, and slot machine.  Here's how it works:  — You purchase bids in pre-packaged blocks of at least 30.
Kevin C. Tofel / jkOnTheRun:
I'm taking my phone off “the grid”, who's with me?  —  It's about time for another crazy mobile experiment.  Last time was my 60-day “web-challenge” where I tried to use only a browser for my daily computing tasks.  It went quite well, but indicated to me that web services still have plenty of room to mature.
Discussion: Gear Diary
Blog of helios:
Character-Assasinations-Ain't- Us  —  It never was my intention to attack anyone personally....  My sights were set on correcting some obvious misconceptions.  It was a focused attack on ignorance but with some unsolicited commentary on a particular group.  —  Whether by proxy or focused intent …
Discussion: Slashdot, Boing Boing and Open Sources
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Google Testing Enhanced Listings, “Pagelinks” & Auto-Spelling Correction  —  Google is testing a number of changes to its search results, including a way for select publishers to enhance their page descriptions, a way for searchers to jump to sub-sections of a web page and automatically correcting misspelled queries, to some degree.
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Tech Layoffs Surge Past 100,000  —  After a lull around Thanksgiving, December has seen some of the biggest layoffs in the tech industry yet since the economy entered its tailspin in the fall.  Our Layoff Tracker is now past 100,000 lost jobs (109,629, as of this writing) …
Mark Drapeau / Mashable!:
Do Brands Belong on Twitter?  —  Dr. Mark Drapeau is a biological scientist, government consultant, and regular contributor to Mashable.com and other venues.  —  Behind every Twitter account is a person.  But some of these people ‘hide’ behind organizational brands, obscuring their persona …
Doug Coleman / Jobwire:
Lessig Leaves Stanford, Rejoins Harvard Law  —  According to Harvard University, one of the “most brilliant and important legal scholars of our time” Lawrence Lessig has been appointed to the faculty of Harvard Law School.  He'll serve as the faculty director of Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.
Caroline McCarthy / The Social:
Uh-oh: Gossip site buys up moguls' dot-com names  —  In what's probably one part prank and one part ironic statement, New York society-pages site Cityfile announced Friday that over the past few months it has been quietly snapping up domain names corresponding to the people it covers.
Discussion: Cityfile
Jessica Guynn / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
V is for this user's vendetta against Facebook  —  Everyone knows you on Facebook.  The problem is, Facebook doesn't know you.  —  At least that was V Addeman's problem when he tried to sign up for the social networking site.  —  Recently laid off as a category analyst for convenience stores …
Discussion: broadstuff
Lynne D. Johnson / Fast Company:
Most Popular Android Applications For November 2008  —  The Android Market is still in its infancy, having just opened October 22.  So it's no surprise that the most popular applications are classics, led by Namco's Pac-Man with more than 250,000 downloads.
Discussion: Big in Japan
Associated Press:
Co. buys back Bush library domain name for $35K  —  DALLAS - George W. Bush's presidential library domain name has been retrieved after a Web developing company accidentally let it expire — and it apparently came at a high price.  —  Raleigh, N.C.-based Illuminati Karate paid less than $10 for the http …
Discussion: AppScout and digg.com
Eric Engleman / TechFlash:
Yapta raises $2.7 million to develop new airfare tracking features  —  Yapta, a Seattle startup that helps people track airfare prices to find bargains, has scored $2.7 million in new funding.  —  CEO Tom Romary declined to provide details or name investors, saying the round hasn't closed yet.
 
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 More Items: 
Eric Krangel / Silicon Alley Insider:
Sony's PS3 A Sinking Ship: Sales Plummet (SNE)
Kim Dixon / Reuters:
Lawmakers urge FCC to delay contentious actions
Christopher Null / PC World:
Does Gaming at Work Improve Productivity?
Discussion: Kotaku and fiercecio.comwatch
internetnews.com:
SaaS, Green Tech in Top 2009 IT Growth Areas
Eric Eldon / VentureBeat:
A week in, Facebook Connect trying to complete the connection
Discussion: The Social and Facebook Developers
Jeff / Venture Chronicles:
Advertising in Applications  —  Few things elicit the visceral reaction …
Discussion: Nick Bradbury
 Earlier Items: 
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Apple iPod Touch, New MacBook Selling Like Crazy (AAPL)
Pthurrott / SuperSite Blog:
How to fix Windows Mobile
Gerald Magpily / Dealscape:
Could the stars be aligning for a Google-N.Y. Times merger?
Discussion: Tech Trader Daily