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8:40 PM ET, February 23, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Ina Fried / Beyond Binary:
Microsoft backtracks on severance issue  —  This story was updated at 3:45 p.m. PST with an official statement from Microsoft.  —  Amid a wave of criticism, Microsoft is backtracking on a decision to require laid off workers to pay back money that the software maker said was in excess of its planned severance, CNET News has learned.
RELATED:
Joseph Tartakoff / The Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft will let laid-off workers keep extra severance  —  Microsoft Corp. will let laid-off employees who were overpaid severance keep the extra money, the company's senior vice president of human resources said Monday.  —  The company received heavy criticism over the weekend after it wrote …
Discussion: eWeek and Neowin.net
Sam Oliver / AppleInsider:
Snow Leopard screenshots show interface tweaks  —  A gallery of screenshots from the latest build of Apple's upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system showcases a handful of minor design tweaks that have been reported around the web in recent weeks.
Discussion: Softpedia News
RELATED:
Alex Brooks / World of Apple:
A Look at Build 10A261 of Snow Leopard [Images + Video]  —  The latest build (10a261) of Mac OS X “10.6″ Snow Leopard was released towards the start of February, much like many of the previous builds it contained very little user interface changes compared to Mac OS X “10.5″ Leopard.
Discussion: Crave, MacBlogz and TUAW
Connie Loizos / PE Hub Blog:
Who's Advising Tom Friedman?  I Have a Guess  —  A lot of people have been expressing their surprise and disappointment in the recent writings of Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist who has, inarguably, become one of the nation's most influential journalists over the past decade.
RELATED:
Joe Weisenthal / Silicon Alley Insider:
Another Reason Friedman's Wrong: Most Startups Bomb
Thanks:jwyarow
Nick Farrell / www.itexaminer.com:
Apple to allow Verizon connections  —  When Jobs is away the cats will play  —  Apple is certain to allow Verizon to join its elite band of Iphone providers, bringing to an end the exclusive and somewhat stupid exclusivity deal in its biggest market.  —  Deep throats in Apple claim …
RELATED:
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
Apple to Verizon: Can you hear me now? Maybe.
Discussion: IntoMobile
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
AT&T rivals seen driving down cost of iPhone service  —  Tough macroeconomic conditions are causing wireless carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile to become more aggressive with pricing of their monthly service plans, a move which could ultimately help drive down the cost of owning an iPhone.
Discussion: TG Daily and Macsimum News
RELATED:
Microsoft:
Microsoft Advertising Announces Formation of Publisher Leadership Council  —  Consortium of leading Web publishers will consult on next-generation advertising platform, Microsoft PubCenter.  —  Microsoft Corp. today announced the creation of the Publisher Leadership Council …
RELATED:
Joe Mandese / MediaPost:   Microsoft Wants To Be Less Hard: Unveils Initiatives To Reduce …
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Apple 2.0:
Apple's growing cash hoard  —  Two days before Apple's (AAPL) annual meeting — the first in more than a decade that Steve Jobs won't attend — Financial Alchemist's Turley Muller offers beleaguered shareholders a statistic that should provide some comfort:  —  Apple's cash holdings have grown …
RELATED:
Richard Jones / Last.fm:
“Techcrunch are full of s**t”  —  On Friday night a technology blog called Techcrunch posted a vicious and completely false rumour about us: that Last.fm handed data to the RIAA so they could track who's been listening to the “leaked” U2 album.  —  I denied it vehemently on the Techcrunch article …
Staci D. Kramer / paidContent.org:
It's Official: Chernin's Tenure As News Corp. COO Will Expire When His Contract Does On June 30  —  After hours of tom-tom beating, it's official—News Corp President and COO Peter Chernin will leave on June 30, when his current contract expires.  As expected, Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch …
RELATED:
Douglas A. McIntyre / 247 Wall Street:
The Twenty Five Most Valuable Blogs  —  It is extremely difficult to put accurate financial values on blogs.  Almost all of them are private companies.  Some do raise VC money and those sums can be used as guidelines if and when they are disclosed.  Like many content businesses, the only worthwhile value is what an acquirer will pay.
Discussion: MediaMemo and Silicon Alley Insider, Thanks:atul
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Yahoo News Head Khemlani Departs for Hearst as VP Digital Media  —  [UPDATED: With Hearst press release confirming the move at the bottom.]  —  Neeraj Khemlani (pictured here), Yahoo's general manager and executive editor of news, is set to leave his job-right in the midst of a major restructuring …
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Surprise: America is No. 1 in Broadband  —  There is a constant refrain that the United States is falling behind in broadband, as if the speed of Internet service in Seoul represents a new Sputnik that is a challenge to national security.  —  It's certainly true that in some countries …
Robin Abcarian / Los Angeles Times:
Hit ‘send,’ then hit the door  —  ‘SO LONG, SUCKERS!’  Jason Shugars, who left Google for the website Imeem, said, “I didn't want to send out a stale ‘good working with you, please reach me here’ e-mail.”  —  Farewell e-mails become an art form in this age of pink slips.
Thanks:atul
APC:
Sol's stolen phone wiped remotely … Where are the leaked screenshots of the supposedly top secret Windows Mobile 6.5?  After last week's pick-pocketing theft of a handset given to Telstra head honcho Sol Trujillo we'd be expecting someone, somewhere to be leaking details of the latest mobile OS from Redmond.
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
AT&T pulls Quickfire handsets from shelves, floor  —  We got a couple tips this morning that AT&T has issued a notice to all store managers to stop selling AT&T Quickfires, and they've even been asked to pull the demo handsets from the floor.  We heard the reason that AT&T is bailing on the phone is due to “quality issues”.
Discussion: Mobilewhack.com and Phone Arena
Tim O'Reilly / Forbes:
Why Kindle Should Be An Open Book  —  Unless Amazon embraces open standards, the Kindle's lead will become a very short story.  —  SEBASTOPOL, Calif. — The Amazon Kindle has sparked huge media interest in e-books and has seemingly jump-started the market.
Wall Street Journal:
Information Wants to Be Expensive  —  Newspapers need to act like they're worth something.  —  With newspapers in cities across the country on the brink, an old idea is being resurrected in the hope of saving them: They should charge for access to their journalism on the Internet.
Kelly K. Spors / Wall Street Journal:
So, You Want to Be an Entrepreneur  —  First, answer these questions to see if you have what it takes  —  Thinking about starting a business?  Make sure you're cut out for it first.  —  In this bleak economy, lots of people are contemplating striking out on their own …
Thanks:atul
John Herrman / Gizmodo:
iTunes Concept Shows How iPhone App Management Should Have Worked From the Start  —  Add, delete, rate, and move—these are your app options on the iPhone.  This interface concept, though, puts full app management within iTunes, and makes us wonder why it wasn't there in the first place.
Kevin Marks / TechCrunchIT:
Social Web Q&A with Google's Kevin Marks  —  This guest post is written by Kevin Marks, Developer Advocate for OpenSocial at Google.  Over the last 20 years he has alternated between giant companies and founding startups - BBC, The UK MultiMedia Corporation, Apple QuickTime, Technorati and now Google.
Greg Kumparak / MobileCrunch:
HTC uses Twitter to confirm Touch Pro2 coming to North America  —  Last time HTC used Twitter to confirm something, it was to let everyone know that the HTC Touch HD wouldn't be coming stateside.  This time, they bring good news!  —  We were already pretty sure that the Touch Pro2 was headed …
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Pirate Bay Prosecution Hires Hypocrite Pirate Author for PR  —  Movie industry lawyer Monique Wadsted thought she'd learned from the Pirate Bay's support gathering mechanism via social networking sites, and decided she had what it takes to pull off a similar stunt.
Nielsen Wire:
TV, Internet And Mobile Usage In U.S. Continues To Rise  —  Viewing of video on television, Internet and mobile devices — the Three Screens — continues to increase and has hit record levels.  Nielsen's fourth quarter A2/M2 Three Screen Report reports that the average American watches …
Nicholas Kolakowski / eWeek:
Lenovo ThinkPad Laptop Toughens Up Against Panasonic, Dell  —  Lenovo is looking to bring its ThinkPad laptops into the semirugged and rugged competition against laptop offerings from the likes of Panasonic and Dell.  Lenovo announces that eight of its ThinkPad notebooks now offer the same type …
Discussion: Engadget, Gearlog, Pulse2 and Electronista
Sara Silver / Wall Street Journal:
Motorola to Sell Email Unit  —  Closely Held Visto Buys Service That Competes With RIM  —  Motorola Inc. has found a buyer for Good Technology Inc., the mobile email provider it bought for about $500 million just two years ago to help it compete against BlackBerry and other messaging devices.
Discussion: Gear Diary
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Music Industry Orders BitTorrent Blackout  —  Last month, Eircom announced that at the behest of the music industry it will disconnect customers who are allegedly sharing copyrighted material.  Initially the ISP planned to stand up for its customers in court.
 
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 More Items: 
Dizzle / World of Apple:
Outcome of Mediation Proceedings in Apple v. Psystar
Discussion: Ars Technica and Softpedia News
Gregg Keizer / PC World:
Analyst: Apple Could Score with $599 Netbook
internetnews.com:
Tech Stocks Lead Market to New Lows
Deborah Gage / The Technology Chronicles:
How to protect your privacy online
Camille Ricketts / VentureBeat:
Obama's deficit plan hikes tax on carried interest for VCs, hedge funds
Thanks:atul
Dieter Bohn / PreCentral.net:
Celebrities Handle the Pre (Update: with help from Palm)
Discussion: Engadget
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Could Wikipedia's Future Be as a Development Platform?
Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
Publisher speculates about Amazon/Google e-book “duopoly”
Discussion: VatorNews and CrunchGear
 Earlier Items: 
Elizabeth Montalbano / Computerworld:
Red Hat debuts virtualization software
Discussion: The Register
Mike Shields / Adweek:
Facebook Grapples With Revenue and Data
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
The Yahoo Management Structure: Who Is In and Who Is Out?
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Andrew Beaujon / Poynter.:
Reporter quits Sun-Times, cites ‘chilling effect in the newsroom’

Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
More than 300 New York Times staffers express interest in buyouts

Billy Penn:
Jim Brady and colleagues launch mobile-focused Philadelphia news site Billy Penn

 
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