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10:55 AM ET, December 24, 2008


 Top Items: 
David /
Merb gets merged into Rails 3!  —  It's christmas, baby, and do we have a present for you.  We're ending the bickering between Merb and Rails with a this bombshell: Merb is being merged into Rails 3!  —  We all realized that working together for a common good would be much more productive …
Discussion: Loud Thinking and
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
iPhone fart app pulls in nearly $10,000 a day  —  Apple's App Store is currently experiencing a plague of fart applications.  Last week, I detailed one day in which at least 14 new fart apps were accepted into the store.  And now, just in a quick search, it looks like there are about 50 apps …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Adult FriendFinder Files To Go Public  —  Florida-based FriendFinder Networks (formerly Penthouse Media Group), a group of sites that includes Penthouse and Adult FriendFinder, has filed a registration statement with the SEC to go public.  —  Little known Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital is representing them in the deal.
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
FriendFinder isn't likely to find any pals on Wall Street; Needs IPO to pay debt  —  FriendFinder Networks, the company formerly known as Penthouse Media Group, is filing to go public to pay off almost a half a billion in debt in an equity market that stinks.  Simply put, FriendFinder is launching an IPO Hail Mary to stay alive.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Facebook Folds In Face Of Massive Litigation, Bans Project Playlist  —  Just in is a statement from Facebook that they will ban the fast growing (but non-label-sanctioned) music service Project Playlist.  Last Friday MySpace banned Project Playlist and removed all traces of the service from its site.
Ashlee Vance / Bits:
Dell's MacBook Air Rival Confirmed by . . . Dell  —  CLARIFICATION 5:55 p.m. - The story below references a Dell ad placed in UptownLife magazine.  The online version of that ad, which has since been removed, appeared to include both an image from Dell and text.
David / TmoNews:
Blackberry 8900 release date...  We've previewed this highly anticipated follow up to the uber popular blackberry curve.  We've been gifted with a hands on video from our friends at who gave us a great walkthrough.  Now, we have a HOPEFUL release date...February 18th.
Serkan Toto / CrunchGear:
Sony Japan follows Sony New Zealand with mysterious new Vaio mobile ad  —  Following Sony New Zealand, Sony Japan today updated its dedicated Vaio website with a mysterious announcement.  If you click here [JP], you can see a woman getting out a small UMPC-like object out of her hand bag.
Sean Fallon / Gizmodo:
9 Year Old Girl Becomes the Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional  —  Today's crushing blow to our self confidence comes to us from India, where a 9 year old girl has become the youngest person to ever pass a Microsoft Certified Professional examination.
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
New York Times: November Was So Terrible, Even Our Internet Ads Were Down  —  Earlier this month, executives at the New York Times (NYT) warned investors that they had a miserable November.  They weren't kidding.  —  The grim details are here, but I'll save you some time:
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Telecom Giant Vodafone Gets Into Location Based Social Networking With Pocket Life  —  Pocket Life, a geo-aware social network backed by mobile network giant Vodafone, has launched to the public.  The service allows users to update their friends on their current locations automatically …
Ajay Kamalakaran / Reuters:
RIM accuses Motorola of blocking job offers: report  —  (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd sued Motorola Inc over claims the mobile-phone maker is improperly blocking it from offering jobs to laid-off Motorola workers, Bloomberg said.  —  RIM, in a complaint filed in state court …
Timothy Lee / Techdirt:
The Death Of Online Advertising Is Greatly Exaggerated  —  Over at his personal blog, occasional Techdirt contributor Tom Lee weighs in on an interesting discussion going on around the blogosphere about who, if anyone, is to blame for the precipitous decline of the newspaper business.
James Kendrick / jkOnTheRun:
Netbook enthusiast web sites getting C & D using term “netbook”  —  This is very preliminary but we are hearing that some netbook enthusiast sites are getting “cease & desist” letters from a firm in the UK ordering the sites to stop using the term “netbook”.
Keith Rabois / VentureBeat:
The plight of branded apps and the future of social marketing  —  [Editor's note: So it turns out branded apps are a bust — even if you're Nike or Coca-Cola.  Below, Keith Rabois, vice president of strategy and business development at app maker Slide, explains why and gives big-name advertisers some much-needed advice.]
Ilinca Nita / Unwired View:
Nokia 6208 Classic has a touchscreen and an alphanumeric keypad  —  While Nokia N97 is the Finns' first smartphone to feature a touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard, the unannounced Nokia 6208 Classic is (almost) the first to have a touchscreen and a regular, alphanumeric keypad.
Monica Chen / DigiTimes:
Intel insists Atom only for Intel chipsets, does not want to share Nvidia's Ion  —  Nvidia's recent move to try to extend Intel's Atom ecosystem to its recently announced Ion platform appears to have been knocked back by Intel, according to a response primarily directed at PC manufacturers as seen by Digitimes.
Discussion: Mobility Site and TG Daily
Chris DannenTue / Fast Company:
What Ever Happened To Garmin's NuviFone? [video]  —  It looked like it could be the ultimate iPhone-killer, but delay after delay has kept it from market.  Some reports say it will be ready soon, while others suggest it's been abandoned all together.  Will we ever see Garmin's [GRMN] nuvifone?
Discussion: GigaOM and Ars Technica
Lawrence Lessig / Newsweek:
Reboot the FCC  —  We'll stifle the Skypes and YouTubes of the future if we don't demolish the regulators that oversee our digital pipelines.  —  Economic growth requires innovation.  Trouble is, Washington is practically designed to resist it.  Built into the DNA of the most important agencies created …
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 More Items: 
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Psystar: No conspiracy against Apple
Discussion: Macworld and Macsimum News
Sam Baltrusis / Contentinople:
Quantcast Bulks Up, ComScore Speaks Up
Todd Bishop / TechFlash:
Will Microsoft throw in the towels?
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Tweet A Last-Minute Gift To Charity
Discussion: and Beth's Blog
Joel Hruska / Ars Technica:
US computers still the source of most malware
Discussion: TechSpot and Maximum PC all
 Earlier Items: 
Julia Angwin / Wall Street Journal:
Looking for a Few Good Answers Online
Matt / Burning Questions:
Our 210th variation on the theme, “Thank you for using FeedBurner.”
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and rizzn's socnets
Byron Acohido / USA Today:
Pressure mounts for Microsoft to deliver with Windows 7
Adam Lashinsky / Fortune:
Google still wants something for nothing
Discussion: Open Gardens, Beyond Search and The 463

From Mediagazer:

Shalini Ramachandran / Wall Street Journal:
While networks benefit from TV show exposure on Hulu and other streaming services, producers worry widespread availability may hurt syndication value

Jordan Chariton / The Wrap:
Tribune Publishing Disputes Rupert Murdoch's Claim It's Selling Company and LA Times

Andrew Wallenstein / Variety:
Former Hulu Boss Andy Forssell Resurfaces as Fullscreen COO

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