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1:20 PM ET, December 19, 2008


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits  —  After years of suing thousands of people for allegedly stealing music via the Internet, the recording industry is set to drop its legal assault as it searches for more effective ways to combat online music piracy.  —  The decision represents …
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
RIAA Abandoning Mass Lawsuits In Favor Of Backroom 3 Strikes Policy  —  from the it's-a-step,-but-a-very-small- one dept  —  It really was just three days ago that we suggested that if the record labels actually wanted anyone to take them seriously concerning their desire to come …
Discussion: CNET News and The Digital Home
Greg Sandoval / CNET News:   Sources: RIAA budget will shrink soon
Karl Bode / DSLreports:
RIAA Will Stop Mass Lawsuits …
Discussion: MediaMemo
Samsung Electronics will launch Google Phone in Q2  —  Samsung Electronics will release its first Google phone in the second quarter of the next year in North America.  —  The launch of Google phone by Samsung is regarded as a signal of its plan for increasing the shares in the smart phone market …
Times Online / Tech Central:
Is the internet going down?  Undersea sub-cables have just broken...  Breaking news: something's happening to the internet, right now.  We're just not quite sure what.  —  Interoute, the internet networks company, reports that three of the four internet sub-cables that run from Asia to North America have been damaged.
Discussion: The Toybox and Associated Press
Severed Cables in Mediterranean Disrupt Communication  —  A A A  —  Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — Internet and telephone communications between the Middle East and Europe were disrupted after three submarine cables between Italy and Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea were damaged.
Discussion: CloudAve
Spencer E. Ante / Business Week:
A Wrench in Silicon Valley's Wealth Machine  —  A year ago, cash rained on tech startups like Digg.  Now their valuations are slipping, and venture capital is drying up  —  A year ago there were reports that Digg had hired investment bank Allen & Co. to put the popular news aggregation Web site …
Steve Poland:
Evan - Twitter needs a better policy on Usernames  —  I have a bunch of Twitter usernames — I gobbled them up in March 2007.  I'd consider them some of the “quality” ones.  Almost like the domain game of 1995, I grabbed some of the best Twitter usernames, because I could see value in their use in the future.
Discussion: ThreatChaos and CenterNetworks
Eric M. Zeman / Phone Scoop:
Palm Shares Some Details About Product Transitions  —  Palm recently held its quarterly earnings results.  During the phone call, executives provided some information about its future generation of products.  Palm's CEO said that it will be transitioning its entire product line to its next-generation software and hardware.
Arn / MacRumors:
Evidence that Next iMacs and Mac Minis to use NVIDIA Chipsets  —  Configuration files buried within some versions of Mac OS X show evidence that the next iMac and Mac Mini will indeed be based on the NVIDIA MCP79 chipset.  Apple recently switched their MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models to the NVIDIA chipsets in October.
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
Dell Studio XPS 13 leather-wrapped laptop revealed, Adamo info leaked!  —  Thanks to a totally amazing Engadget source, we've gotten our hands on photos of the absolutely sick Dell Studio XPS 13, and some new info about the company's forthcoming Adamo.  First off, the photos in the gallery …
Jason Goldberg / socialmedian:
socialmedian Inc. Purchased by XING  —  I am thrilled to announce that socialmedian is being acquired by XING of Hamburg, Germany.  —  This is great news for socialmedian's members as XING is committed to growing and developing socialmedian both as a standalone service as well launching …
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Scribd Raises $9 Million.  Still Working on Business?  —  Over the past few years we've seen the rise of cute ideas, ones we love using on a daily basis, but are hard to turn into real, long-term businesses.  Most were hoping that a sugar daddy would buy their cuteness for bags full of money.
Discussion: Xconomy
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Scribd Raises $9 Million So You Can Continue To View PDFs Online
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
ComScore: YouTube Now 25 Percent Of All Google Searches  —  Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore.  Its monthly qSearch report, which was released on Thursday night, breaks out the number of searches conducted on YouTube.
Ed Bott / Ed Bott's Windows Expertise:
Windows 7 Beta download coming?  —  Neowin's Tom Warren is reporting that Microsoft's Windows 7 homepage has been updated with a download link for the beta release.  Here's what it looks like:  —  Currently, the link goes nowhere.  —  I'm still highly doubtful that the public …
Kevin Michaluk / blogs:
OS4.7.0.83 Leaked for the BlackBerry Storm 9530!  —  w00t!  Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Festivus or anything and everything else this Holiday Season, for you BlackBerry Storm 9530 owners the sweetest gift just arrived... a new update to the 9530 Storm's OS!
Dawn Kawamoto / CNET News:
EA boosts layoffs to 10 percent of workforce  —  Updated 8:02 a.m. PST with more information about EA's decision to increase the size of its layoffs and with Friday's share price performance.  —  Game publishing giant Electronic Arts announced Friday that it is expanding the scope …
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Android's New Version To Support Upload to YouTube?  —  Google's mobile phone OS “Android,” will soon be updated with several new features as a part of a major roadmap update.  One of those features will include support for a video recording mode that will also let users share the content.
Discussion: TmoNews, Electronista and AndroidGuys
HTC Touch HD service manual leaked - claims US 3G support  —  The HTC Touch HD service manual has just become available for download, and while I have not yet read the full 96 pages, page 5 already revealed quite a bomb.  —  We had a huge flutter a few months ago when HTC claimed the Touch HD was incapable of US 3G.
Alan Stafford / PC World:
New eBook Reader Undercuts Kindle, Sony Reader Prices  —  Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader costs $359—but you can't get one until at least February.  Sony's PRS-700BC costs $399—also pretty darn costly.  But Foxit Software will soon begin shipping an eBook reader that costs only slightly more than half what Sony's reader does.
Chris Albrecht / NewTeeVee:
Rainbow Kills Domestic Voom HD  —  Rainbow Media Holdings is shuttering U.S. operations of its Voom HD service and its package of 15 networks, Multichannel News reports.  Rainbow blames the closure on DISH Networks no longer carrying the service and the anticipated lengthy legal battle over that discontinuation.
Discussion: atmaspheric
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Online Jihadists Plan for ‘Invading Facebook’  —  Online jihadists have already used YouTube, blogs and other social media to spread their propaganda.  Now, a group of internet Islamic extremists is putting together a plan for “invading Facebook.”  —  “We can use Facebook to fight the media …
Discussion: All Facebook
Neil McAllister / Fatal Exception:
Native Client: Google's craziest idea yet  —  Is Google's plan to run native x86 code inside browser windows just a disaster waiting to happen?  —  The browser's role is ever increasing.  It already has become far more than a mere tool for accessing information.
Discussion: Beyond Search
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 More Items: 
Sewell Chan / New York Times:
City Room: ‘Amazon Tax’ and ‘iTunes Tax’
Open source success due to Microsoft, claims report
Discussion: The Open Road
Slash Lane / AppleInsider:
Apple exploring portable multi-touch skins for 3D surfaces
Discussion: The iPhone Blog
Ian Ransom / Reuters:
Man wins case vs “human flesh search engine”
Jennifer / Linux Foundation Press Releases:
Linux Foundation Appoints Ted Ts'o to Position of Chief Technology Officer
Chris Albrecht / NewTeeVee:
PixelFish Picks Up Eyespot
Darren Murph / Engadget:
RIM calls the Storm “Verizon's best-selling device” — whatever that means
Polaroid files for Chapter 11
 Earlier Items: 
Frederic Lardinois / ReadWriteWeb:
Scientific Journal to Authors: Publish in Wikipedia or Perish
Discussion: UMBC ebiquity
Times of India:
Yahoo Inc announces strategic investment in INMAC
Discussion: CNET News and TechCrunch
Ashley M. Heher / Associated Press:
Web deals create procrastinators' paradise
Matt Peckham / PC World:
Guns N' Roses Frontman Axl Rose Growls About Guitar Hero
Discussion: Reuters
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
NPR Now Lets You Roll Your Own Podcast Feed