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5:55 PM ET, February 17, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
Android G2 Hands On: Close to Perfection  —  HTC and Google are getting closer to perfection with the new Android G2, the HTC Magic.  Nice finish, great form factor.  Check out our video, including the obligatory comparison with Apple's iPhone, and hands-on impressions:
RELATED:
Vodafone:
Vodafone and HTC unveil Android-powered HTC Magic  — Vodafone extends world-class range of Internet phones with latest Android™-powered smartphone from HTC  — HTC Magic smartphone exclusive to Vodafone customers initially in UK, Spain, Germany and France (SFR) and non-exclusively in Italy.
Jason Palmer / BBC:
Second ‘Google phone’ is unveiled  —  Science and technology reporter, BBC News, Barcelona  —  A second phone based on Google's operating system Android has been unveiled by Vodafone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  —  The touchscreen HTC Magic will feature a 3.2 Megapixel camera …
Enigmax / TorrentFreak:
50% of Charges Against Pirate Bay Dropped  —  What has been shown in court today is that the prosecutor cannot prove that the .torrent files he is using as evidence actually used The Pirate Bay's tracker.  Many of the screenshots being used clearly state there is no connection to the tracker.
RELATED:
PC World:
Pirate Bay May Sail Away, Scot Free
Discussion: Digits and the Econsultancy blog
Yahoo!:
Introducing Yahoo!(R) Mobile - Your Starting Point to the Internet  —  Improving Consumers' Ability to Use Their Phones to Discover, Stay Connected and Stay Informed  —  Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced the upcoming launch of its new Yahoo! Mobile service - a highly-personalized mobile starting point to the Internet.
RELATED:
Zach Spear / AppleInsider:
Apple absent from universal phone charger push  —  Although AT&T and several other iPhone partners joined an industry initiative to standardize mobile phone chargers over the next few years, Apple has yet to follow suit and may remain committed to its proprietary dock-connector interface .
RELATED:
Jon Swartz / USA Today:
New tech start-ups can rise from the economy's ashes  —  SAN FRANCISCO — It's boom — and bust — for Silicon Valley companies these days.  Literally.  —  Facing their worst economic climate since the dot-com bust in the early 2000s, high-tech companies are treating 2009 with dread …
Discussion: Mercury News
LG:
LG Brings Its Stylish New 3G LG-X120 Netbook to Barcelona  —  Barcelona, Spain, February, 16, 2009 - LG Electronics, a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications, today announced the launch of its smart and stylish new netbook, the LG-X120.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:
SEC Charges Research in Motion and Four Senior Executives With Stock Option Backdating  —  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  —  2009-27  —  Washington, D.C., Feb. 17, 2009 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Limited (RIM) and four of its senior executives for stock option backdating.
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
MySpace's Google Gravy Train Set to Stop Next Year  —  Midway through next year, Google's $900 million, 3.5-year search advertising deal with News Corp. and MySpace expires.  What are the odds that Rupert Murdoch's social network gets anything close to that with a new contract?  —  Very, very low.
Discussion: Local Mobile Search
Guy Griml / Haaretz:
Microsoft in talks to acquire local startup 3DV Systems  —  The first Israeli exit of 2009 is hitting the road.  Software giant Microsoft is negotiating to acquire the Israeli startup 3DV Systems for about $35 million, despite the alarming condition of the global economy and grim forecasts of more pain to come.
Sam Diaz / Between the Lines:
Analyst: Declines in Mac, iPod sales isn't so bad  —  When is negative growth a positive thing?  In this economy, any growth that stays in-line with Wall Street expectations can be viewed as a good thing - though it's still too early to call.  And that's how one analyst is looking at Apple's current quarter.
Kevin Poulsen / Threat Level:
Anonymous Caller?  New Service Says, Not Any More  —  A new service set for launch Tuesday allows cellphone users to unmask the Caller ID on blocked incoming calls, obtaining the phone number, and in some cases the name and address, of the no-longer-anonymous caller.
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
SynthaSite Gets A $20 Million Boost For Simple Website Creation Software  —  There have been simple, browser-based website creation tools available on the market ever since the WWW turned mainstream, but there's clearly still a significant demand for this type of services, especially with the way the web is evolving.
Discussion: David Rusenko and VentureBeat
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Google: The Case Against A Second Half Recovery  —  Time to take profits in Google (GOOG), advises ThinkEquity analyst William Morrison.  —  Morrison this morning cut his rating on the stock to “Source of Funds,” from Accumulate, and reduced his price target to $300 from $350.
Discussion: WebProNews and Network World
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Tech Layoffs Surge to 300,000  —  Layoffs in the tech sector are accelerating.  It took exactly three weeks for tech layoffs to surge to 300,000, according to our Layoff Tracker.  Since late January, when the tracker hit 200,000 layoffs, another 100,000 job eliminations have been announced or completed.
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
With a King's Ransom in Cash, Why Is There Still No Buying Spree in the Tech Space Yet?  —  Even in the midst of the economic meltdown, consider these mega-billion-dollar cash hordes of big tech companies:  —  Microsoft (MSFT): $20.7 billion  —  Cisco (CSCO): $29.5 billion  —  Apple (AAPL): $25.6 billion
Discussion: The Enterprise System … and The Open Road, Thanks:atul
John Markoff / New York Times:
The Cellphone, Navigating Our Lives  —  The cellphone is the world's most ubiquitous computer.  The four billion cellphones in use around the globe carry personal information, provide access to the Web and are being used more and more to navigate the real world.
Discussion: Local Mobile Search
Xeni Jardin / Boing Boing Gadgets:
South Park iPhone App a No-Show in Apps Store; Cartman Blames Kyle's Mom.  —  Remember back in October when I blogged about a new iPhone app from the South Park guys?  Not sure what the whole story is on this one, but our friends at South Park tell us the app has long been completed — so, well, where is it?
Martin Peers / Wall Street Journal:
Future Shock for Internet Ads?  —  What does the Internet display-ad market have in common with Zimbabwe?  —  Both are printing nearly-limitless amounts of their main currency, vastly diminishing its value and undermining their future.  The currency, for Web sites, is their ad inventory.
Adrian Covert / Gizmodo:
Linksys Routers Now Have Built-In Internet Security  —  Linksys is teaming up with Trend Micro to put the Home Network Defender internet security software into the their routers, helping to block out unsafe sites before they reach any computer on your network.
Discussion: Ars Technica and Yankee Group Blog
Jake Soriano / TrendLabs:
Another Exploit Targets IE7 Bug  —  Cybercriminals are actively exploiting a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer 7, which arises from the browser's improper handling of errors when attempting to access deleted objects.  This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary codes on a vulnerable machine.
Discussion: PC World and eWeek
Brian Caulfield / Forbes:
How HP Mastered The Pain Game  —  CEO Mark Hurd's skill at making tough choices could comfort investors Wednesday.  —  BURLINGAME, Calif. - Wednesday would be a really bad day for Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Mark Hurd to break his winning streak.  Central bankers around the globe are sweatily trying to revive faltering banks.
internetnews.com:
What Caused the Tech Sales Crash?  —  It wasn't consumers that slammed on the brakes, they just tapped them a little.  —  Earnings season for the past month has been more painful than a root canal with no Novocain.  On earnings calls, one hardware supplier after another recounted sales …
Aaron Wall / Learn. Rank. Dominate.:
Mahalo Caught Spamming Google With PageRank Funneling Link Scheme  —  Jason “SEO is dead” Calacanas, founder of Mahalo, used “SEO is dead” as a publicity stunt to help launch his made for AdSense scraper website.  In the past we have noted how he was caught ranking pages without any original content …
Thanks:atul
InfoWorld:
Spammers break Live Hotmail's CAPTCHA yet again  —  The battle by Microsoft to secure its Live Hotmail system from spammers appears to have failed yet again with the news that the latest version of its CAPTCHA authentication system has been broken.  —  According to a detailed analysis …
Discussion: Ars Technica
Thord Daniel Hedengren / The Blog Herald:
The New b5media Revealed  —  The times are changing and so are the blog networks, something that appeared to be a solid business model a couple of years back, but now deemed a rough one if you want to succeed.  One company above others are being mentioned whenever blog networks are branded as a failed idea, and that's b5media.
Thanks:tdhse
Prince McLean / AppleInsider:
iPhone dominates Mobile World Congress 2009 without Apple  —  While reports have suggested that Apple may attend next year's CES to “sit amongst its competition” in consumer electronics, the company has elected not to attend the GSMA Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona this week.
Liam Vaughan / Wall Street Journal:
Tech-Boom Flashback for Bankers  —  While much of the investment-banking community looks on the current crisis with a mixture of horror and bemusement, technology bankers have been here before.  —  When the dot-com bubble burst at the beginning of the decade, hundreds of technology companies folded and the flow of deals dried up.
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft:
Sign of the times: Microsoft holds ‘custom support’ pricing constant  —  Citing the “challenging economic conditions currently confronting enterprise customers,” Microsoft is planning to hold pricing constant on its “custom support” agreements through the end of 2009.
Discussion: eWeek, Ars Technica and The Register
 
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Customer Spotlight: How One Company Went from No CRM to Zoho CRM Power Users  —  “We had evolved our CRM from spreadsheets, to Goldmine CRM and finally to ACT CRM, but we knew we needed to move to a native cloud-based CRM”
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 More Items: 
Brian Krebs / Security Fix:
Verizon to Implement Spam Blocking Measures
Discussion: CircleID and Slashdot
Andrew Vanacore / Associated Press:
Recession could lengthen the twilight of dial-up
Discussion: DSLreports
Austin Modine / The Register:
MySQL daddy juices Finnish security firm
Rich Miller / Data Center Knowledge:
Facebook, MySpace Lead in Social Uptime
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Ustream Launches Watershed, A Pay-As-You-Go Live Streaming Service For Enterprises
Discussion: NewTeeVee and ReadWriteWeb
John Biggs / CrunchGear:
Bill Gates wants to help the third world with cellphone banking
Discussion: IntoMobile
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
Get Satisfaction gets new CEO and funding, amid growth
Discussion: Demand Satisfaction!
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Moore Blog:
Expanding Our Brand
Verne Kopytoff / San Francisco Chronicle:
Google-backed film is Oscar contender
Discussion: WebProNews
Pat Pilcher / New Zealand Herald:
Guilty by accusation copyright protestors paint it black
Discussion: The Register
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes / Hardware 2.0:
Worst. Windows 7. Piece. EVER!
Discussion: p2pnet
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Jason Straziuso / Associated Press:
Father of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste says family is focusing on appeal of verdict

Mark Sweney / Guardian:
Facebook and fewer stories behind rise in web traffic, says Telegraph chief

BBC:
Russia enacts ‘draconian’ law for bloggers and online media

 
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