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1:05 PM ET, January 3, 2009


 Top Items: 
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Spotify, An Alternative to Music Piracy  —  Spotify is a music service that gives users access to a huge library of music, through a lightweight application that looks like a mashup of the best parts of iTunes and  Music is streamed, partly supported by P2P technology, but it plays instantly, like we've never seen before.
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
The Alternative to the iPhone Pro  —  Knowing that it is very hard that Apple would ever release an iPhone Pro with physical keyboard, Mat Brady from planetmat has sent me another image of a potential accessory.  It looks great.  —  Mat says that he created the accessory answering readers' feedback on sliding keyboards.
Harry McCracken / Technologizer:
The Secret Origins of Clippy: Microsoft's Bizarre Animated Character Patents  —  Of all the peculiar ideas that Microsoft has pursued over its almost 34 years in business, I can't think of many that are more inexplicable than its long-standing interest in using animated characters to provide help …
Discussion: Slashdot
Matthaus Krzykowski / VentureBeat:
An FAQ about those Android netbooks  —  Since our post yesterday about Google's Android platform running on netbooks, we've been asked a lot of questions.  Here are the most frequent questions, along with our answers.  —  Do you think Android could run on laptops or PCs?
Chippy / UMPCPortal:
New Sony UMPC info includes specs and a sub $1000 price.  —  Our podcast partner, Sascha, from (which has just relaunched as reports that he's secured some new info on the Sony UMPC. … The Sony Vaio P will run on an Atom Z250 (1.33 as we've tested on the WiBrain i1 …
Eric Engleman / TechFlash:
Will economy dent Amazon's hiring spree?  —  Will prove immune to the layoffs gripping the rest of the tech industry?  A lot of the speculation at the moment is focused on the Seattle area's other tech giant, Microsoft, which is rumored to be planning layoffs this month …
Andy Merrett / The Blog Herald:
JournalSpace blogging platform dies: why you must keep your own backups  —  It may not have been the largest free blogging platform available, but for anyone who used JournalSpace for their blog the events of the last week were catastrophically significant.  —  Three days ago, JournalSpace lost all of its data.
Chris Walters / Consumerist:
Fisher-Price Kiddie Camera Comes With Fun And A Computer Virus  —  Jeff says his kid's new toy, a working camera from Fisher-Price, tried to give his computer a virus when he plugged it in! … Well you wouldn't take the leaded paint or the melamine, Jeff.  China has to export something...
Jose Fermoso / Gadget Lab:
Tech Pundits Put Their 2009 Predictions On the Line  —  The beginning of any year seems to be the best time to make any predictions.  —  At first glance, it seems like there's no harm in putting out a little list among the glut of year-ends and year-to-come lists.
Iljitsch van Beijnum / Ars Technica:
The year in IPv4 addresses: almost 200 million served  —  One of the first things I do every year on the first of January is have a look at what happened with the IP address stockpile during the previous year.  We started 2008 with 1,122.85 million unused addresses left and we ended it with 925.58 million.
Discussion: Slashdot and
Julian Sanchez / Ars Technica:
Reinventing conservatism, one tweet at a time  —  Since the humbling results of the November election came in, the conservative movement has been scrambling to assess what happened—and to figure out how to prevent it from happening again.  Much of this effort, in light of the Obama campaign's …
Lucas Mearian / Computerworld:
Back to the future: Vinyl record sales double in '08, CDs down  —  What's old is new again when it comes to audio storage  —  Computerworld) Audiophiles have long argued that vinyl records offer better sound quality than CDs or MP3s, but their stoic loyalty in the face of change was seen …
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 More Items: 
Despite Weak Season, Online Spending Trends Outperform Brick …
Discussion: Tech-Ex and Voices
Jon / p2pnet:
Has the RIAA terminated MediaSentry?
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
The Facebook Breastfeeding Debate Continues
Discussion: Bits
Marshall Krantz /
An Open Secret  —  Open-source software is quietly gaining ground …
Discussion: The Open Road
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
iPhone, MySpace, Facebook Race To Micropayments In 2009
John Cook / TechFlash:
EMC buys SourceLabs, operator of open source site
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Ballmer's CES Keynote Promises To Be A Snoozer (Non-Announcements Revealed!)