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3:15 PM ET, December 31, 2008


 Top Items: 
John Herrman / Gizmodo:
30GB Zunes Failing Everywhere, All At Once  —  Right, so this is a weird one: we're getting tons of reports—tons—about failing Zune 30s.  Apparently, the players began freezing at about midnight last night, becoming totally unresponsive and practically useless.  Updated 12:00PM
David Chartier / Ars Technica:
30GB Zune apocalypse arrives as devices enter digital coma (Updated 2x)  —  Around midnight Pacific time last night, 30GB Zunes began restarting and locking up at their boot screens.  Reports have swamped official forums and fan sites, and Microsoft has yet to officially comment on the reason for this pre-New-Year's Zune apocalypse.
Paul Davidson / Official Zune Insider Blog and Podcast:
30 gb zune issue update  —  We were made aware of a widespread issue facing owners of Zune 30 devices this morning.  We have a technical team working hard to isolate the issue right now and will update everyone as much as possible.  Thanks for your patience while we get to the bottom of this.
Discussion: The Microsoft Blog
9 to 5 Mac:
Macworld 2009 Announcemnt: iWork '09 goes Cloud  —  We just got a truckload of Macworld information dumped on us from our best source.  As we piece it together we'll trickle it out.  The first big piece of information is that iWork is going into the Cloud.  Not just storage, either.
Om Malik / NewTeeVee:
Viacom to Take Jon Stewart, MTV & SpongeBob Off The Air on Time Warner Cable Networks  —  What would happen to New York if The Daily Show went off the air?  Where would hipsters get their daily Moment of Zen?  No Spongebob Squarepants either - which means the Upper East side mommies would actually have to talk to their kids.
Nicholas Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
Michael Dell Cans Execs He Handpicked To Save The Company (DELL)  —  After Dell founder Michael Dell came back as CEO in 2007, he hired former Solectron chief Michael Cannon as president of global operations and former Oracle exec Mark Jarvis as chief marketing officer.
Steven Sande / TUAW:
Rumor Watch: New Mac mini go for launch  —  When it comes to the Mac mini, there are people out there who know everything there is to know... and now, those savvy sources are telling TUAW that they are confident a new Mac mini is set to be announced at Macworld Expo 2009 next week.
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
Marissa Mayer's 2009 Resolution: Leave Google  —  What will Google be like without Marissa Mayer, the glamour nerd whose goofy laugh so neatly captures the search engine's adolescent awkwardness?  We'll know soon.  We hear the company's 19th employee is planning her goodbye.
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Google's Top Ten Products (More Or Less)  —  Can you name Google's top ten products?  If you look at how Quantcast ranks Google's subdomains, you can get a sense of which Google products are the most popular, since they each have their own subdomain.  Google's main search engine tops the list …
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Jon Swartz / USA Today:
Bad news for workers is good news for LinkedIn  —  MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Where everyone else sees economic gloom and doom, Reid Hoffman sees opportunity.  —  As the freshly minted CEO of LinkedIn (and its founder), he is shepherding a moneymaking tech company in battered Silicon Valley.
Jason Chen / Gizmodo:
Google Street View Captures Prototype Porsches  —  First Google Street View captures a person peeing on the street, and now they drive right by a bunch of Porsche prototypes in Colorado.  —  We're not sure how old these photos are, but they're supposedly of updated “Boxters, Caymans and even a 911”.
Discussion: Garage419, Gearlog and
Joey deVilla / Global Nerdy:
The Air Force's Rules of Engagement for Blogging  —  You've probably seen many articles on companies and organizations saying that they take social media seriously.  Here's one such organization that you might not expect: the United States Air Force.  Take a look at the Air Force Blog Assessment chart, reproduced below:
Discussion: MediaMemo and Web Strategy
Tiernan Ray / Tech Trader Daily:
Apple: Friedman, Billings Sees iPhone Nano in Q2  —  While rumors of forthcoming Apple (AAPL) products for at Macworld next week have been relatively muted this month, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey analyst Craig Berger put out a note this morning stating that his “incremental checks into the Apple supply chain” …
Discussion: MacRumors, AppleInsider and TechCrunch
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Turns Out You Can't Sue If The Girl You Met Via It Is Underage  —  Another day, another case where someone tried to blame a website for the actions of its users.  In this case, a guy used the website SexSearch (seriously) to find someone to have sex with (ah, the internet...).
David Cancel:
Announcing Ghostery  —  Ghostery is a FireFox Add-on that analyzes the page you're on and shows you if it contains any web bugs.  —  Ghostery originally started out as GreaseMonkey script I created last year called Invisible Web.  Turning it into a Firefox extension made it a bit …
Martin Drashkov:
Priced Android Applications Coming Within Weeks  —  I received an email from the Android Market earlier today containing some very pleasant and eagerly-awaited information.  First, the Android Market will be expanding to many more countries in the coming weeks, with Germany, Austria …
Discussion: PC World, WebProNews and VentureBeat
Private firm may track all email and calls  —  The private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet use under a key option contained in a consultation paper to be published next month by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary.
Discussion: TechCrunch UK, The Register and open
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Hulu: Turns Out We Didn't Miss Sarah Palin So Much, After All  —  File under “interesting and a bit surprising”: Earlier this month I cited comScore data that showed that traffic to red-hot Hulu had fallen off from October to November.  That made sense, because the site had shown a huge spike due …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Pioneer of cyberspace honoured  —  A professor who invented a forerunner of the world wide web has been made a dame in the New Year Honours.  —  Wendy Hall created the “open hypermedia system” Microcosm with colleagues after joining the University of Southampton computer science group in 1984.
Richard Owen / Times of London:
Fury as Mafia godfathers idolised on Facebook  —  To the fury and dismay of relatives of Mafia victims, pages posted on the social networking site Facebook idolising notorious Cosa Nostra Godfathers have generated thousands of supporters in Italy.  —  The fan sites offer tributes not only to Salvatore …
Jason Chen / Gizmodo:
Sony Vaio Pocket Netbook's Keyboard Looks Full Size, Has a Track Stick  —  This keyboard teaser shot for the Vaio Pocket, Sony's upcoming mystery netbook, shows two things.  It has a full size keyboard (like the Vaio TZ) and a track stick for mousing.  —  As a reminder, the P has a 1600x768 resolution on an 8-inch screen.
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Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
A Few Popular Presents Rise Above Recession
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Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Wikipedia's new plea for donations stirs skepticism