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9:55 AM ET, December 24, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
David / weblog.rubyonrails.org:
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 rc3.org
RELATED:
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 …
Discussion: CrunchGear, Edible Apple and digg.com
RELATED:
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.
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.
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.
RELATED:
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 …
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.
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”.
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 …
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
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.]
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 crackberry.com 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.
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
Khowell / University of Florida News:
Engineers: Efficient organic LEDs a step toward better lights  —  GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For those who love “green” compact fluorescent bulbs but hate their cold light, here's some good news: Researchers are closer to flipping the switch on cheaper, richer LED-type room lighting.
Discussion: Maximum PC all and Engadget HD
CyberCrime & Doing Time:
More than 1 Million Ways to Infect Your Computer  —  An unknown hacker has been on a Search Engine Optimization rampage to flood search engines with more than a million ways to infect yourself with his virus.  This is the first major “Scareware” infection we've seen since writing …
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 …
Discussion: Ars Technica
New York Times:
After Slow Start, E-Books Turn Page and Find Fans  —  Could book lovers finally be willing to switch from paper to pixels?  —  For a decade, consumers mostly ignored electronic book devices, which were often hard to use and offered few popular items to read.
 
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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: bub.blicio.us 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
Rafat Ali / paidContent.org:
Earnings: Brutal Business In E-Cards Despite Holiday Volume …
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