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3:05 PM ET, February 19, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Kathleen Richards / East Bay Express:
Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0  —  Local business owners say Yelp offers to hide negative customer reviews of their businesses on its web site ... for a price.  —  Send a letter  —  The phone calls came almost daily.  It started to get creepy.  —  “Hi, this is Mike from Yelp,” the voice would say.
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Jeremy / Yelp Official Blog:
Kathleen Richards - East Bay Express
Fred / A VC:
Why Hulu Should Embrace Boxee  —  For those that don't know, Union Square Ventures is an investor in Boxee and I am on the board.  For the past several weeks I have watched Boxee's management try their hardest to convince Hulu that Boxee is a big step forward for Hulu and Hulu's content partners.
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Sprint: Customer defections continue; Can Palm's Pre reverse the slide?  —  Sprint Nextel showed some signs of improvement in its fourth quarter, but is still losing customers at a rapid clip.  Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the company has “high expectations” that the Palm Pre handset can attract customers to the wireless provider.
RELATED:
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Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog:
Your Ads, Richer  —  Yahoo! adds video, images and custom links to search ads  —  Ever since we launched pay-per-click advertising, the ads have looked more or less the same: A headline, a line of ad copy, a link.  They haven't changed because, frankly, the combination works pretty well.
Arn / MacRumors:
Apple Discontinues 20" Cinema Display, Product Refreshes Coming?  —  Apple has removed the 20" Cinema Display from the online Apple Store and has notified resellers that the product has been “end of life'd” and can no longer be ordered.  —  While it may be possible that Apple has simply chosen …
Enigmax / TorrentFreak:
Day 4 - Pirate Bay Defense Calls Foul Over Evidence  —  Prosecutor Håkan Roswall began the day by again referencing the case in Finland against the administrators of Finreactor.  Fredrik's lawyer Jonas Nilsson requested a copy of the case notes for the defense.
Discussion: Digits, p2pnet, Threat Level and PC World
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Arn / MacRumors:
Turn-By-Turn iPhone GPS App Already Available in iTunes  —  It seems despite all the anticipation about Turn-by-Turn GPS routing for the iPhone, an App already exists in the App Store that delivers this basic functionality.  —  XRoad Co.'s G-Map U.S. West and G-Map U.S. East apps were released …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
DocStoc Does Its Part To Rid The Web Of Download Links  —  Document sharing site DocStoc has launched DocShots, a free service that allows publishers to convert any document on a website into a hoverable link that provides an instant online document preview.
Prince McLean / AppleInsider:
Apple buying up available flash RAM supplies for next iPhone  —  A report issued on the flash RAM market indicates that Apple is inhaling supplies of memory components in preparation for the next generation iPhone, causing part shortages and raising the spot price for memory.
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
Upcoming Verizon news: BlackBerry Niagara, Hub updates, Netbooks, Apex  —  One of our trusty ninjas just hit us up with a couple details on some of Verizon's upcoming products and product offerings.  First off.. Netbooks.  We've been told that Verizon Wireless will 100% start selling Netbooks in stores around May of this year.
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Stantum's mind-blowing multitouch interface on video!  —  We just got a look at some amazing touchscreen interaction, running on a humble resistive touchscreen with some OMAP hardware backing it up.  Stantum's technology is a software-based refinement to resistive touchscreens that allows …
Discussion: GottaBeMobile.com and jkkmobile
Michael Learmonth / AdAge:
MTV Pioneer Launches $99 Music Videos on the Web  —  Verizon is sponsoring latest channel from web studio Next New Networks  —  Back in 1981, Fred Seibert helped create MTV.  Now he'd like to recreate it on the web with a new network devoted to music videos made in a day for $99 or less.
Randall C. Kennedy / Enterprise Desktop:
Windows 7: Cutting corners in the rush to market?  —  Is Microsoft ignoring beta tester feedback in its quest to ship Windows 7 come hell or high water in 2009?  —  Is Microsoft moving too fast with Windows 7?  That's the complaint coming from some members of the technical beta program.
Discussion: InfoWorld, TechSpot and Zoli's Blog
Jeremy Mullman / AdAge:
Anheuser-Busch Pulls the Plug on Bud.TV  —  Legal Difficulties, Trouble Producing Content Led to Video Site's Demise  —  CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — Bud.TV, one of the boldest, most groundbreaking and least successful online video plays by a major marketer, has officially died.
Discussion: VatorNews, NewTeeVee and ClickZ
Philipp Lenssen / Google Blogoscoped:
Gmail With Custom Colors  —  You can now make Gmail as ugly or pretty as you want - by choosing your own colors.  Go to Gmail -> Settings -> Themes, and click “Choose your own colors”.  This opens a window where you can configure a template with instant preview.  Hit Save & Close, and Gmail will appear in your custom colors.
Discussion: VentureBeat and Download Squad
Dan Goodin / The Register:
Hacker pokes new hole in secure sockets layer  —  Moxie Marlinspike's man-in-the-middle  —  Free whitepaper - Best practices in SOX compliance  —  Website encryption has sustained another body blow, this time by an independent hacker who demonstrated a tool that can steal sensitive information …
RELATED:
Andy Greenberg / Forbes:
Breaking Your Browser's ‘Padlock’
Etgar Lefkovits / Jerusalem Post:
‘Kosher’ GPS device gets official launch  —  It lists thousands of kosher restaurants and includes the Book of Psalms, the three daily prayer services, the Traveler's Prayer, a Hebrew calendar, and two versions of Grace After Meals.  —  Welcome to the “kosher” GPS device.
Discussion: Gizmodo, GPS Obsessed and CrunchGear
InfoWorld:
Dell calls for Psion ‘netbook’ trademark to be removed  —  Dell has enlisted the help of the US courts in a bid to remove Psion's trademark of the term ‘Netbook’.  —  Netbook is the term used to describe low cost and low spec small laptops that are ideal for surfing the web on-the-go.
Discussion: Engadget, Electronista and jkOnTheRun
NokiaPressServices / Nokia Press Bulletin Board:
Nokia completes EUR 500 million R&D loan agreement with EIB  —  Nokia has completed a EUR 500 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB).  The five-year loan will be used to part-finance software research and development (R&D) projects Nokia is undertaking during 2009-2011 …
Discussion: GigaOM and OStatic blogs
Loïc Le Meur / Loic Le Meur Blog:
Meetic acquires the European Business of Match.com and Makes History  —  It is a first ever in the european internet industry.  It is not an american internet major player acquiring a european business but the other way round, as Meetic and Match.com just announced.
Chris Soghoian / CNET News:
Recovery.gov blocked search engine tracking  —  Update: As of 8 a.m. PST, within three hours of this story first going live, it appears that President Obama's Web team has (silently) pulled the robots.txt file from the Recovery.gov Web site.  The site is now open to Web crawlers of all kinds.
Om Malik / GigaOM:
INQ's Social Phone Rocks MWC  —  INQ's Facebook-oriented and web-centric budget phone that I love so much, INQ Social Mobile, has won some major kudos at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  It was voted best mobile phone/device, beating out its much bigger and more established competitors such as Nokia and Samsung.
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Coghead Grinds To A Halt, Heads To The Deadpool  —  Coghead, a visual web-based application editor that allowed users to develop enterprise applications using an intuitive GUI, is closing its doors.  The company attributes its closing to the dire economic situation, and says that users …
Discussion: InfoWorld and Portals and KM
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
YouNoodle scores the buzz on 25,000 startups  —  YouNoodle, the company that made a splash last year by claiming to predict the future value of startups, is continuing its efforts to turn startup evaluation into a science.  Now it's adding a YouNoodle Score that tracks news stories to determine a startup's …
 
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Teachers use Bing home page lesson plans to encourage critical thinking skills  —  Find out how free lesson plans based on images like this Siberian tiger from Bing's home page encourage students to explore subjects in creative and thought-provoking ways.
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Disrupting the Data Center to Create the Digital Services Economy  —  I had the pleasure of joining Tom Krazit on stage at the Gigaom Structure'14 conference to share Intel's vision of the data center in support of the growth of the digital services economy.
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Top Five Reasons Why Your Organization Should Consider Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery  —  Few organizations can afford the downtime caused by a disaster.  Those capable of weathering such events usually have the datacenters …
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 More Items: 
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Palm confirms games are in development for Pre, drops a few other tidbits
iFixit:
MacBook Pro 17" Unibody First Look
Discussion: Macworld, TUAW and O'Grady's PowerPage
Stephen J. Dubner / Freakonomics:
What Would Micropayments Do for Journalism? A Freakonomics Quorum
Discussion: mathewingram.com/work
Saul Hansell / Bits:
I.B.M. Delivers Rural Broadband Over Power Lines
Discussion: Yahoo! Finance and DSLreports
 Earlier Items: 
Rory Cellan-Jones / dot.life blog:
Has MySpace lost its cool?
Discussion: Mobile Industry Review, Thanks:dreamsketcher
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
The Little Engine That Could? …
Anne Loucks / OLDaily:
The Agreeable Cat
 

 
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Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Hollywood has worst summer since 1997 as US summer ticket sales decline 15% from 2013

Nate Hoffelder / The Digital Reader:
Some Japanese publishers call Amazon's linking book promotion to commission fees “blackmail”

Alexis Sobel Fitts / Columbia Journalism Review:
Michael Brown shooting and the crimes journalists choose as newsworthy

 
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