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4:50 PM ET, March 5, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Kevin Michaluk / CrackBerry.com blogs:
Exclusive: First Real Photos of the BlackBerry 9630!  —  FINALLY!!!!!  What you're looking at above are the first real photos of the BlackBerry “Niagara” 9630.  As you can see, this CDMA full-QWERTY BlackBerry is looking sweet and very much has the appearance of the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and BlackBerry Bold morphed into one.
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
Perhaps if They Think of Their Win Mobile Devices as Broken iPhones...  What an uncomfortable moment for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the CIO Summit Wednesday.  Fielding questions at Microsoft's annual event for government and education sector IT workers, Ballmer was asked how best …
Saul Hansell / Bits:
The Nation's New Chief Information Officer Speaks  —  Reforming the entire health care system may be easier than doing everything Vivek Kundra says he wants to do when it comes to reforming the government's computer systems.  —  Mr. Kundra, the 34-year-old former chief technology officer …
Discussion: Digits and techPresident
RELATED:
Microsoft:
Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for March 2009  —  Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification issued: March 5, 2009  —  Microsoft Security Bulletins to be issued: March 10, 2009  —  This is an advance notification of security bulletins that Microsoft is intending to release on March 10, 2009.
Discussion: PC World, eWeek, Zero Day and CNET News
RELATED:
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Microsoft: No patch for Excel zero-day flaw next week
Discussion: Slashdot
Jason Calacanis / The Jason Calacanis Weblog:
Why I employed a felon  —  Yesterday, I joined one of our Mahalo employees at Federal District Court as he was sentenced to 48 months in jail for crimes related to computer security.  —  Before my employee John Schiefer was sentenced, a violent career criminal was facing 60 months for beating up a prison guard.
RELATED:
Brian Prince / eWeek:
Security Consultant Turned Hacker Gets Prison for Running Botnet
Discussion: Ars Technica
Rick Aristotle Munarriz / Motley Fool:
Game Over for GameStop?  —  GameStop (NYSE: GME) probably doesn't see Toys “R” Us as much of a competitor in video game retailing, but that is about to change.  —  Toys “R” Us is starting to buy and resell used games in a few test stores, according to Forbes.
RELATED:
Arik Hesseldahl / Business Week:
At DEMO, VCs Have Stern Advice for Startups  —  With less money available to entrepreneurs and with fewer startups being bought, VCs are pushing portfolio companies to focus on frugality  —  Watch the Video...  Venture capital investor Christine Herron has a bit of advice for technology startups …
Discussion: HipMojo.com
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Yahoo's Inquisitor Makes Search Shine On The iPhone  —  Last May, Yahoo acquired a startup called Inquisitor which offers a search plug-in for all the major browsers.  Today, Inquisitor is available as an iPhone app and it shows how certain features, such as Yahoo's Search Assist …
Discussion: Search Engine Land and IntoMobile, Thanks:aseidman
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
It's Time To Start Thinking Of Twitter As A Search Engine  —  At a dinner tonight with a friend the conversation turned to Twitter.  He just didn't get it, and he's certainly not the first person to tell me that.  Specifically, my friend didn't understand the massive valuation …
Raju Vegesna / Zoho Blogs:
Zoho Writer 2.0 launches with fresh look  —  Refreshing changes don't come often.  Today, we are launching a new major version of our word processor - Zoho Writer 2.0 - with a fresh and elegant user interface & significant improvements.  This important upgrade comes with hundreds of improvements, mostly on the user interface.
David Pogue / New York Times:
It Rings, It Shoots, It Stumbles  —  I'll never forget the time I visited a Riverwalk restaurant in San Antonio and ordered risotto: rice that's been stirred in broth until it's rich, creamy and perfect.  —  But what the waiter brought to the table wasn't risotto.  It was just rice.
Discussion: Electronic Pulp
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch UK & Europe:
Sky News realises news breaks first on Twitter, not TV - Creates a Twitter Correspondent  —  TechCrunch has been saying for a long time - at least since November last year - that Twitter is an emerging source of news.  Recent tragic events have only served to emphasise this.
Chicago Breaking News:
Sheriff sues Craigslist as ‘largest source’ of prostitution  —  Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced today that his office has sued Craigslist and has asked a federal judge to ban the Internet company from posting its “erotic services” section, which the sheriff said is a clearing house for prostitution.
Colby Ranger / The Official Google Blog:
Tipping points  —  Ideas are everywhere, but how do we know which ones actually work?  At Google, we put a lot of stock in both the wisdom of crowds — the idea that lots of people responding to a given question can collectively find the best answer — and the value of community.
Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
Google Chrome, Bundled with RealPlayer  —  If you try to install RealPlayer, a media player available at real.com, you'll notice that the setup downloads Google Chrome.  The option to install Google's browser is enabled by default and I assume that most people will not bother to disable it.
Discussion: Webware.com, Mashable! and The Toybox
Heather Hopkins / Hitwise Intelligence:
Yahoo! Mail More than One Third of Yahoo! Traffic  —  Tuesday, Yahoo!'s new CEO, Carol Bartz spoke to analysts and one comment in particular caught my attention.  According to an article on ZDNet, she said “Yahoo Mail is becoming increasingly critical to the company.
Discussion: Between the Lines
Rebecca Buckman / Forbes:
VC View From The Rockies  —  Tough sledding for most Colorado venture firms.  —  AVON, Colo.—Even in this dismal economy, venture capitalist Chris Onan can spot lots of high-quality start-ups he'd like to fund.  There's only one problem: Onan's firm, Appian Ventures, doesn't have any cash in its pockets.
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:
Offbeat Name?  Then Facebook's No Friend  —  What Caitlin wanted did not seem that hard.  She had signed up for Facebook after she married, as Caitlin Shaw.  Now, to make it easier for old friends to find her, she wanted to add her maiden name.  Her maiden name is Batman.
Paul Biba / TeleRead:
Fictionwise acquired by Barnes & Noble for $15.7 million in cash  —  Fictionwise has been acquired by Barnes & Noble, said to be the world's largest bookseller, for $15.7 million in a stock deal that TeleRead revealed earlier today.  —  I spoke with Scott Pendergrast of Fictionwise at 7:20 …
Discussion: Reuters, Thanks:davidrothman
David Evans / Online Dating Insider:
PlentyOfFish Starts Charging Premium Membership Fees … Free dating sites have had a good run the past few years.  Everyone starting a free dating site jumped, and continues to jump, on the free dating bandwagon.  Meanwhile, top paid dating sites are making hundreds of millions of dollars …
Thanks:daveevans
Aza Raskin / Mozilla Labs:
New Tab Page: Proposed design principles and prototype  —  Every time you open a new tab, you are opening it to go somewhere.  Sometimes it's to do a search.  Sometimes it's to type in a new URL.  Sometimes it's to check an address you just selected.  The only thing you are guaranteed to not want is a blank page.
Discussion: Download Squad and ReadWriteWeb, Thanks:atul
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Enthusiasts keep pushing Smule's Ocarina iPhone app to higher numbers  —  Ge Wang, the quirky Stanford assistant music professor who co-founded iPhone music app maker Smule, delivered an update yesterday on his company's growth since starting out just eight months ago.
Discussion: Obsessable
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Tacoda, Real Media Founder Dave Morgan Back With Another Ad Startup  —  Dave Morgan (SA 100 #48) is back.  —  He is, if you recall, the guy who started Tacoda, which he sold to AOL (TWX) in 2007 for $275 million, and Real Media.  His new company: Simulmedia, which is stocked with former Platform …
Discussion: VentureBeat and paidContent.org
Justin Smith / Inside Facebook:
When Will Facebook Open Up the Public Timeline?  —  Facebook announced yesterday that it is merging user profiles and fan profiles starting now and allowing users to make their updates public if they so choose at some point in the (presumably not too distant) future.  —  One major possible result of these changes?
 
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 More Items: 
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
New NYTimes iPhone App Enables Offline Reading
Discussion: Oatmeal Stout
Liz Gannes / NewTeeVee:
Big Money! Vidyo and Verivue Score Funding for Video Tech
Discussion: VatorNews and Xconomy
John Leyden / The Register:
Zero-day Adobe PDF peril goes click free
Discussion: Didier Stevens and Slashdot
Michelle Maisto / eWeek:
AMD, Intel and Nvidia Shifting Away from Integrated Graphics
Discussion: Bits
 Earlier Items: 
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Joost Continues Fight For Relevancy, Teams Up With Social Network Netlog
Business Week:
Twitter Has Potential Buyers Atwitter
Reuters:
Google letting cash “pile up”: CEO
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider