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8:20 PM ET, February 6, 2009


 Top Items: 
Chris Ziegler / Engadget Mobile:
Microsoft's SkyBox site live, branded My Phone?  —  It appears that Microsoft may have its SkyBox beta sign-up site up and running in preparation for a Mobile World Congress unveiling — except that it's not called SkyBox, it's called “My Phone” (even though the domain is — go figure).
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft:
A Microsoft smartphone: No. A Microsoft phone chassis: Yes  —  Microsoft is not going to introduce a Microsoft-branded phone at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona later this month.  Not a Microsoft-branded Zune phone.  Not any kind of Microsoft-branded phone.  Period.
Miguel Helft / New York Times:
Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones  —  SAN FRANCISCO — More electronic books are coming to mobile phones.  —  In a move that could bolster the growing popularity of e-books, Google said Thursday that the 1.5 million public domain books it had scanned and made available free …
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Amazon Announcing Kindle iPhone App Monday?  (AMZN, AAPL)  —  Amazon (AMZN) will likely announce the new Kindle e-book reader Monday at a news conference in New York.  We'll cover it live; join us at 10 a.m. ET for the latest.  —  But will Amazon also announce Kindle stores for other devices?
Discussion: NEWSFACTOR, Macworld and Crave
Fast Company:
Are Google Books a Threat to the Kindle?
Discussion: Open Sources
The Official Google Blog:
Eye-tracking studies: more than meets the eye  —  Imagine that you need a refresher on how to tie a tie.  So, you decide to type [how to tie a tie] into the Google search box.  Which of these results would you choose?  —  Where did your eyes go first when you saw the results page?
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
Marten Mickos to leave Sun in reorg  —  Marten Mickos, former MySQL chief executive and current senior vice president of Sun Microsystems' database group, is transitioning out of the company in a planned reorganization.  —  I reached Mickos this morning for confirmation: he is definitely leaving.
Kim Zetter / Epicenter:
TED: MIT Students Turn Internet Into a Sixth Human Sense — Video  —  LONG BEACH, California — Students at the MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable computing system that turns any surface into an interactive display screen.  The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and internet data at will …
Microsoft On The Issues:
Steve Ballmer's Comments at Democratic Caucus Retreat  —  U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Caucus Retreat  —  Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer  —  STEVE BALLMER: Well, I want to thank Jay, I want to thank the speaker and all of you for the opportunity to be here today and chat with you.
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Job Losses: The Silicon Valley Perspective  —  Today's headlines trumpet the loss of 598,000 jobs last month — the worst in 34 years — but what does that mean for Silicon Valley, the home of technology?  In order to get a sense of what's happening with venture-backed startups …
Discussion: PE Hub Blog, Thanks:eldon
Eliot Van Buskirk / Epicenter:
ESPN to ISPs: Pay for Your Customers to Play Video  —  For some sports fans, ESPN360, the online version of ESPN's television channel, is a cornucopia of more than 3,500 sporting events each year, viewable from the convenience of a computer.  For others, it's a total bust.  The only difference: their ISP.
Darryl K. Taft / eWeek:
Trouble at  —  Resource Library:  —  Steve Cakebread, president and chief strategy officer at, has resigned, and reports say two top vice presidents have also left the company.  —  Is there trouble in the house that Benioff built?
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Apple 2.0:
Apple has NOT banned Facebook  —  How do these rumors get started?  Or, more to the point, how do they get perpetuated?  —  Late Thursday, a site called tinycomb ("Hand-Picked Tech News") reported that Facebook had been banned “for life” from every Apple (AAPL) store in the United States …
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
StumbleUpon Hits 7 Million Users, Quietly 50% Bigger Than Twitter  —  What's got a button to push, knows how to make money while changing the world and is read all over?  StumbleUpon!  The social discovery network, like Pandora for webpages and videos, just passed 7 million users according to the site.
Discussion: Pulse2, Thanks:mrinaldesai
Dean Jackson / Surfin' Safari:
CSS Animation  —  WebKit now supports explicit animations in CSS.  As a counterpart to transitions, animations provide a way to declare repeating animated effects, with keyframes, completely in CSS.  —  With a recent nightly build, you can see the above animation in action.
Chris Albrecht / GigaOM:
Why Does Everyone Heart Boxee?  —  The buzz has been building for Boxee lately.  Mainstream news outlets like The New York Times, BusinessWeek and NPR are getting hip to the little open-source media center that could quite possibly change the way you experience TV.
Discussion: NewTeeVee
Declan McCullagh / CNET News:
Obama names Doerr, Phillips to economic board  —  Two Silicon Valley leaders have been appointed by President Obama to a 16-person committee that's charged with offering economic advice during what has become an unusually sharp and deep recession.  —  John Doerr, the billionaire venture capitalist …
Discussion: eWeek, Jobwire and VentureBeat
Venture Capital Dispatch:
Vinod Khosla Moves Beyond Personal Wealth  —  It just might be official: Vinod Khosla isn't heading back to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers after all.  —  When Khosla started up his own venture capital firm in 2004 to invest his personal wealth in information technology and clean technology companies …
Jeremy Laird /
The Dark Side of Overdrive  —  Faster is always better.  Thanks to that simple philosophy, LCD pixel response times have been driven down to puny proportions in recent years.  —  Today, even the slowest panels are rated at 16ms or better and deliver adequate response for all but the most fanatical PC gamers.
Discussion: Engadget, Thanks:sifter
Reed Hastings / New York Times:
Please Raise My Taxes  —  I'M the chief executive of a publicly traded company and, like my peers, I'm very highly paid.  The difference between salaries like mine and those of average Americans creates a lot of tension, and I'd like to offer a suggestion.  President Obama should celebrate our success …
Discussion: Coop's Corner and SiliconBeat, Thanks:atul
Mark Hachman / Gearlog:
Report: Pioneer Exiting TV Business, Spinning Off DVD  —  Tags:  —  HDTV, Pioneer  —  A report in the Nikkei Japanese business journal Friday claims that “Pioneer Corp. will pull the plug on its loss-ridden television business and shift its DVD player operations to a new venture with Sharp Corp …
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
The Pirate Bay Plans to Sue IFPI  —  The decision to block The Pirate Bay has once again ignited a debate on Internet filtering, the responsibilities of Internet providers and the legal status of BitTorrent sites.  The IFPI - the RIAA's global partner - has chalked up a small victory this week, but the fight is far from over.
Pictures: Samsung M7600 - With Bang & Olufsen Powered Audio  —  As promised, Here are some pictures of the Samsung M7600 that haven't yet been announced.  —  Samsung M7600 Specifications: GSP, HDSPA, 3mpix camera, 2,8″ amoled screen, Bang olufsen amp, Divx, Full touch screen.
Discussion: Unwired View and Engadget
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
News Corp: We Spent $2.8 Billion Too Much on Dow Jones  —  A little more detail, via a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, on the $8.4 billion write-down announced by News Corp. yesterday: $2.8 billion of that charge is getting assigned to the company's $5.7 billion purchase of Dow Jones …
Benjamin J. Romano / Microsoft Pri0:
Microsoft digital ad shop Razorfish lays off 70 in Seattle, Portland, SF and LA  —  Razorfish, the digital advertising agency that Microsoft gained when it acquired aQuantive in 2007, is going through another round of layoffs.  A spokeswoman confirmed that the company laid off about 70 people …
Discussion: AdAge
Greg Sandoval / CNET News:
Why Microsoft, labels cling to music subscriptions  —  LOS ANGELES—For anybody wondering why Microsoft and the top music labels continue to promote subscription music services, the answer was revealed Thursday.  —  David Ring, executive vice president of business development …
Discussion: Technologizer and
David Chartier / Ars Technica:
Facebook's “next steps in openness” raises questions  —  Facebook's wildly popular “Facebook Connect” service may be the polar opposite of OpenID's stumbling approach to providing online identity management with single sign-on convenience.  The former is criticized for being a “walled garden …
Discussion: eWeek
Olga Kharif / Business Week:
Why Pay When Dating's Free Sites Beckon?  —  Free dating sites such as PlentyofFish and OkCupid are gaining traffic at the expense of paid sites.  Some credit goes to the recession  —  Debbie Slowey used to look for love on paid online dating site
Matthew Moore / Telegraph:
Police create wanted poster on Nintendo Wii  —  Japanese police have used a Nintendo Wii to generate a wanted poster of a hit-and-run suspect.  —  Rather than commissioning an artist or employing photofit software, officers put together a caricature of the man they want to trace using …
Discussion: Switched and Obsessable
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Hollywood Takes Another Crack At Getting Permission To Break Your DVR  —  The movie studios and the MPAA have been pushing hard over the last year to get the FCC to let them use “selectable output control” to basically block DVRs from recording certain broadcasts of movies.
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 More Items: 
Mark Hachman / PC Magazine:
Intel Cuts Notebook SSD Prices By a Third
Discussion: SlashGear and Engadget
Sramana Mitra / Forbes:
Open Source Means Business
Chris Duckett /
Is it Windows 7 or KDE 4? …
Discussion: Gizmodo, Download Squad and CrunchGear
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Backup And Share Your iPhone Contacts For Free With IDrive Lite
James Sherwood / The Register:
HP UK pulls Linux from all new netbooks
 Earlier Items: 
Roy Mark / eWeek: Settles FTC Charges
Discussion: The Register and PC World
Acer shipping 10.1-inch Aspire one netbooks
Discussion: Maximum PC all, TG Daily and I4U News, Thanks:dreamsketcher
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
New York Times Nuts Not To Charge Subscription Fee (NYT)
Discussion: Industry Standard
Paul Schwartzman / Washington Post:
Apple Store Design Hits a Glass Wall Again