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2:35 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.
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: p2pnet and Slashdot
Louis Gray:
What FriendFeed Needs to Do To Grow and Keep New Users  —  That I like FriendFeed and so does Robert Scoble and so do a few thousand other Web-addicted Silicon Valley-centric people doesn't matter very much.  That thousands more have signed up to the service and imported their data doesn't matter very much either.
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.
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?
Chris Messina / FactoryCity:
Twitter and the Password Anti-Pattern  —  I've written about the password anti-pattern before, and have, with regards to Twitter, advocated for the adoption of some form of delegated authentication solution for some while.  —  It's not as if Twitter or lead developer Alex Payne aren't aware …
Chris Dannen / Fast Company:
Google's “Product Ideas” Campaign Isn't Crowdsourcing.  It's A PR Stunt  —  Google [GOOG] has just launched a “Product Ideas” site where users can submit suggestions for innovation.  The Web is abuzz: is almighty Google resorting to crowdsourcing?  No, they're not.  They're just looking for a little good press.
Discussion: IntoMobile and Search Engine Watch
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 …
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 …
Chris Ziegler / Engadget Mobile:
Fun rumor du jour: BlackBerry Bold coming to Sprint this quarter  —  We're hearing from a source — a source who's pegged big stuff before, we'd like to add — that Sprint will be replacing its BlackBerry 8830 this quarter with a CDMA version of the Bold.  The move would certainly make sense …
Discussion: IntoMobile and Boy Genius Report
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
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...
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 More Items: 
Lucas Mearian / Computerworld:
Back to the future: Vinyl record sales double in '08, CDs down
Jose Fermoso / Gadget Lab:
Tech Pundits Put Their 2009 Predictions On the Line
Despite Weak Season, Online Spending Trends Outperform Brick …
Discussion: Tech-Ex and Voices
Jon / p2pnet:
Has the RIAA terminated MediaSentry?
 Earlier Items: 
Julian Sanchez / Ars Technica:
Reinventing conservatism, one tweet at a time
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
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
iPhone, MySpace, Facebook Race To Micropayments In 2009
John Cook / TechFlash:
EMC buys SourceLabs, operator of open source site