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2:00 AM ET, February 28, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Brad Stone / Bits:
Amazon Backs Off Text-to-Speech Feature in Kindle  —  Amazon announced today it will let publishers decide whether they want the new Kindle e-book device to read their books aloud.  —  The text-to-speech feature allows Kindle owners to have books read to them in a male or female computerized voice.
RELATED:
Amazon.com:
Statement from Amazon.com Regarding Kindle 2's Experimental Text-to-Speech Feature  —  Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given.  Furthermore, we ourselves are a major participant …
Staci D. Kramer / paidContent.org:
Amazon Backs Down On Kindle 2 Text-To-Speech; Will Let Publishers Decide
Michael V. Copeland / Fortune:
Hearst to launch a wireless e-reader  —  The publisher plans to introduce a large-format device this year based on electronic-ink technology.  —  NEW YORK (Fortune) — Against a backdrop of plummeting ad revenue for newspapers and magazines, and rising costs for paper and delivery …
RELATED:
Shira Ovide / Digits:   Hearst to Begin Charging for Digital News
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Why Are Book Publishers Making The Same Mistake The Record Labels Made With Apple?  —  from the we've-seen-this-movie-before,-and-it- doesn't-end-well dept  —  Back in 2005, we noted that Apple's dominance over the online music space, which upset the record labels tremendously …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
The New York Times Expected To Launch Local Blog Network On Monday (Confirmed)  —  If this post on a local blog about Brooklyn has it right, the NY Times will be debuting a neighborhood blog project next week on Monday.  Here's the gist: … Still according to the blog …
RELATED:
David Kaplan / paidContent.org:
NYT Gets Hyperlocal; Community Sites Planned For NY, NJ Neighborhoods
Discussion: Recovering Journalist
Kit Eaton / Fast Company:
Amazon Kindle 3 Rumors Surface: Bigger, Better (Of Course)  —  The ink has barely dried on the new production Amazon Kindle 2 e-readers and now there's a hot rumor surfacing about the Kindle 3.  Among the speculation is one interesting suggestion: The Kindle version 3 may actually arrive on the shelves before Christmas.
RELATED:
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
CEO's $500,000 Salary Burns Startup Into Fire Sale  —  8020 Media hoped to revolutionize the magazine business.  Instead, it has circled down the drain, ending up in the hands of shadowy investors after a new CEO with a Condé Nast résumé looted the startup.
Discussion: Bits
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
Here's Hoping Google Does Kill the Newspapers  —  The news that Google is placing ads on Google News has sent a renewed wave of handwringing through the newspaper industry.  How dare those Googlers make online news a profitable business!  —  Of course, Google is planning to keep most of that profit.
RELATED:
Zachary Rodgers / ClickZ:
Ads in Google News Search May Tempt Media Lawsuits
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
The Big List Of Search Engines & Their Employees On Twitters  —  Yesterday, Google joined Twitter with a company account.  We twittered a few search engine-related addresses as part of our post about that, but we wanted to do one that was a little more organized.  So welcome to our big search engine Twitter list!
Discussion: Guardian, Thanks:atul
Rik Ferguson / TrendLabs:
A Second Rogue Facebook Application in Just a Week?  —  In a second attack, extremely reminiscent of the one that took place this weekend, Facebook users have once again been victimized by cybercriminals.  Reports started surfacing this afternoon of yet another rogue Facebook application posting notifications …
Erica Sadun / Ars Technica:
Apple issues App Store-wide Emoji take-down order  —  Apple has issued an App Store-wide take-down of all Emoji-enabling iPhone applications.  There may be a few reasons for this decision, ranging from the gray area of how developers are switching on Emoji support to possible licensing issues.
Discussion: The iPhone Blog and TUAW
Gavin Clarke / The Register:
Microsoft cloud to get ‘full’ SQL Server soon?  —  Azure details materializing  —  Next month, after a long silence, Microsoft will finally reveal what relational features from SQL Server have gone into its Azure cloud.  Or so it seems.  —  Microsoft's SQL Data Services (SDS) …
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
BlackBerry 9630 is the Niagara, Verizon World Edition?  —  So... we've just got word from a really trusted source, dropping bombs all around on the BlackBerry “Niagara”.  First off, the model number we're told is the BlackBerry 9630, not 8930 or 9030, or anything like that.
Bobbie Johnson / Guardian:
Microsoft's window on the future  —  For nearly 18 years, Rick Rashid has been the man with a unique window into Microsoft's future.  —  As the company's senior vice president of research, he is responsible for an important part of the software corporation's mammoth research and development operation.
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Massive Layoffs Hit The RIAA: Maybe Focus On Building Business Rather Than Suing Customers Next Time?  —  Details have been spilling out over the last few days that the RIAA has been making pretty massive cuts to staff.  We already knew that EMI was cutting back on its support of the RIAA/IFPI …
Seth Rosenblatt / Download.com editors:
iVerse brings comic books to iPhone, Android  —  There's no question that comic books and magazines will eventually have a portable platform suited to them, just as the iPod took nearly four years to reach a saturation level as the de facto portable music player.
Discussion: CrunchGear and PMP Today
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro / Wall Street Journal:
Confessions of a Facebook Social Climber  —  You too can become important.  To start, all you need is one celebrity friend.  —  I recently became friends with Charlie Sheen — but not exactly.  It's a little complicated.  You see, I've spent the past three months moving up the Facebook social ladder …
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Calacanis, Lindzon To Box For Charity  —  It's on: Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis and Stocktwits/Wallstrip co-founder (and SAI investor) Howard Lindzon, who periodically spar on Twitter, will duke it out in real life.  —  The two will box for charity 100 days from tomorrow, which is... sometime in June.
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Seattle PC builder beats Microsoft with free Windows 7 upgrade offer  —  Launches free Vista-to-Windows 7 upgrade program to tempt hesitant buyers  —  Computerworld) A Seattle-area PC seller will offer free Windows 7 upgrades to customers who buy new Vista-powered machines starting next week …
Discussion: TechFlash
ASUSTeK Computer:
ASUS Raises the Bar for Mobile Web Surfing and Multimedia Enjoyment with P835 WVGA PDA Phone  —  ASUS, a leading producer of innovative handhelds, today launched the P835, a PDA phone that delivers an Internet browsing and multimedia viewing experience without equal.
Mike Celizic / MSNBC:
‘Face of Facebook’ defends his site's policies  —  CEO of red-hot social network says that users control their own information  —  The face of Facebook, the burgeoning social networking site, was supposedly in damage-control mode, but you wouldn't have known it from looking at the site's 24-year-old founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Discussion: VentureBeat and All Facebook
Bill Gurley / abovethecrowd.com:
Perfect Online Video Advertising Model: Choose Your Advertiser  —  Many companies and visionaries have pontificated about the future of video ads and different techniques for monetizing online videos.  A big part of this is driven by the fact that while YouTube is a huge user success, its a less proven monetization success.
Thanks:atul
Epicenter:
Epicenter Q&A: Google's Vint Cerf on Recession, Recovery and Innovation in Hard Times  —  On assignment for Wired.com, Sam Gustin is exploring the economic meltdown's impact on Silicon Valley, and the prospects of innovating our way out of the current financial debacle.
Ben Worthen / Digits:
Egypt: Land of Pyramids, the Sphinx...and Outsourcing?  —  India's tech boom has inspired other developing nations to promote themselves as outsourcing destinations.  The latest to try to cash in: Egypt.  —  Egypt seems like an unlikely place for Western companies to send tech work and open call centers …
Mike Cassidy / Mercury News:
Finding our own little worlds has never been easier  —  What an author won't do for a book.  —  In 2004, San Jose State University associate professor Andy Wood decided to embark upon an experiment: He would fly from San Jose to New York, rent a car and drive back the 3,000 miles …
 
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5 mind-bending facts about quantum computing  —  In GIF form, five of the most mind-bending things scientists have learned about life on an atomic and sub-atomic level.
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VMware:
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Zoho:
The customer service lessons we must all learn from that Comcast call  —  By now, you've probably heard the call that hijacked the Internet last week.  If not, let me warn you.  It is painful - incredibly painful.
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 More Items: 
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Mufin Incorporates Powerful Recommendation Engine Into New Native Music Player
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Intel, Taiwan Semi Plan Strategic Announcement
Schneier on Security:
Privacy in the Age of Persistence
Discussion: BBC
Camille Ricketts / VentureBeat:
VCs challenge Obama plan to up carried interest tax
Thanks:atul
Brandon LeBlanc / The Windows Blog:
Microsoft App-V Support for the Windows 7 Beta
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Canadian Court Apparently Decides That Private Facebook Profiles …
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
Will the Future of the Web Be More Like the Present?
Economist:
Out on its own  —  Autonomy, Britain's largest software firm, is prospering amid the gloom
Jason Chen / Gizmodo:
Apple Officially Brings Back MobileMe's Push, Improves Features
Discussion: CNET News, TUAW and 9 to 5 Mac
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Gary Vay•ner•chuk Expands His Web Video Empire With Obsessed TV
Discussion: paidContent.org, NewTeeVee and bub.blicio.us, Thanks:atul
Sachi Izumi / Reuters:
DoCoMo halts BlackBerry Bold sales due to overheating
Jens Roland / TorrentFreak:
How To Kill The Music Industry
Discussion: Techdirt and CrunchGear
 

 
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Andrew Rosenthal / New York Times:
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The ravages of BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson

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Maine newspaper connects the present to the past in 29 parts

 
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