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3:40 PM ET, March 24, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
The Official Google Blog:
Two new improvements to Google results pages  —  Today we're rolling out two new improvements to Google search.  The first offers an expanded list of useful related searches and the second is the addition of longer search result descriptions — both of which help guide users more effectively to the information they need.
RELATED:
Greg Sterling / Search Engine Land:
Google Implements ‘Orion’ Technology, Improves Search Refinements & Adds Longer Snippets  —  Google is announcing two changes to search results this morning.  The first involves the use of longer “snippets” (text extracts containing the keywords) when users input queries of three words or more.
Discussion: Digits, Thanks:atul
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Google Changes Could Decrease Downstream Traffic  —  Google says it gets smarter every day, but today the company made a big enough leap in what it shows to users that an announcement was in order.  The company blog post says that today's improvements are intended to “get you to the web page you want as quickly as possible.”
Discussion: Between the Lines and Ars Technica
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
iPhone Makes Up 50 Percent of Smartphone Web Traffic In U.S., Android Already 5 Percent  —  The iPhone now accounts for 50 percent of mobile Web traffic from smartphones in the U.S., according to an AdMob Mobile Metrics report released this morning.  Over the past six months …
Martyn Williams / Computerworld:
Michael Dell hints at smartphones, mobile Internet devices  —  CEO says it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a smartphone or similar device from the company  —  IDG News Service) Michael Dell gave the strongest hint to-date that his company is developing a mobile Internet device or smartphone at a speech in Tokyo today.
RELATED:
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
New OnLive service could turn the video game world upside down  —  Few startups have a chance to revolutionize an industry.  But if entrepreneur Steve Perlman's OnLive lives up to its goals, the company will disrupt the entire video game industry — to the delight of both game publishers and gamers.
RELATED:
Richard Jones / Last.fm:
Last.fm Radio Announcement  —  Today we're announcing an upcoming change to the way Last.fm Radio works in some parts of the world.  In the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, nothing will change.  —  In all other countries, listening to Last.fm Radio will soon require a subscription of €3.00 per month.
Wall Street Journal:
Sprint Looks Beyond Cellphones  —  As Core Business Slumps, Wireless Carrier Aims to Use Its Network for Dashboard Computers, GPS Devices  —  Unable to sign up enough new cellphone subscribers, Sprint Nextel Corp. is increasingly trying to use the excess capacity on its wireless network to power other consumer gadgets.
BBC:
Call to ‘shut down’ Street View  —  Images of 25 cities are viewable via Google Street View  —  A formal complaint about Google's Street View has been sent to the Information Commissioner (ICO).  —  Drawn up by privacy campaigners, it cites more than 200 reports from members of the public identifiable via the service.
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Twitter Tweaks Its Title Tags For Better Google Juice  —  Notice that title tag for my Twitter profile page?  —  It reads “Robin Wauters (robinwauters) on Twitter” where it used to say “Twitter / robinwauters”.  For the TechCrunch Twitter account, it used to read “Twitter / TechCrunch” …
Discussion: CNET News, Between the Lines and bub.blicio.us, Thanks:atul
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Skype, Now the Largest Long-distance Phone Company  —  TeleGeography says that cross-border telephone traffic grew 14 percent in 2007 and is estimated to have grown 12 percent in 2008, to 384 billion minutes.  Falling prices and rising popularity have flattened the revenues (see graph below the fold).
Robert Andrews / paidContent.org:
Industry Moves: Hulu Adds New Exec Larcher For International Push  —  Hulu has further signaled its overseas ambitions by hiring a dedicated international SVP to acquire TV rights.  Johannes Larcher had previously been search firm Overture's international GM, international VP for Friendster …
Lucy Hornby / Reuters:
“Unafraid” of Internet, China appears to block YouTube  —  BEIJING (Reuters) - China is not afraid of the Internet, its Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, even as access to the popular video sharing site YouTube appeared to be blocked.  —  YouTube has unavailable for users in China …
John D. Sutter / CNN:
No joke in April Fool's Day computer worm  —  (CNN) — A computer-science detective story is playing out on the Internet as security experts try to hunt down a worm called Conficker C and prevent it from damaging millions of computers on April Fool's Day.  —  The anti-worm researchers …
Hicham Alaoui / Google News Blog:
New Insights for your Search  —  Some of you may already be familiar with Google Insights for Search, which launched last August.  —  Much like Google Trends, you can use Insights for Search to analyze search volume patterns over time, as well as related queries and rising searches.
Peter Burrows / Business Week:
Palm's Secret Weapon for the Pre  —  Against the odds, Palm courted a formidable community of developers whose apps may prove vital to the fortunes of the make-or-break Pre smartphone  —  As recently as late 2008, Pandora Networks' Chief Technology Officer Tom Conrad still had big doubts about the prospects for smartphone maker Palm.
alarm:clock:
Flat World Knowledge Raises $8M For Open Source Text Books  —  Having just put the alarm:clock wife through school, we are big fans of any startup that reduces the costs of text books and Flat World Knowledge of Nyack, NY claims to do just that with its open-source textbooks model.
Seth Weintraub / 9 to 5 Mac:
Woops!  China Unicom post iPhone Page - Guess who is bringing the iPhone to China?  —  They don't get any better than this!  It looks like the biggest mobile market in the world will be served the iPhone by China Unicom - unless there is something very shady going on.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
MySpace Music Announces Executive Team (Internal Memo)  —  MySpace Music, the joint venture between MySpace and the major labels to provide free streaming music to users, is announcing its executive team this afternoon.  The president of the company, Courtney Holt, was announced late last year.
Discussion: Jobwire, Thanks:erolh
Roi Carthy / TechCrunch:
Face.com Brings Facial Recognition To Facebook Photos (We Have Invites)  —  If there is one feature on Facebook which delivers “social utility” magic even to the most average of users, it's Photos.  In fact the feature is so popular that by Facebook's own account 1 billion photos are uploaded every month …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Study: In-Game Video Advertising Trumps TV Advertising In Effectiveness  —  A study commissioned by NeoEdge Networks, a Mountain View, CA-based casual gaming advertising network, says (surprise, surprise) that video advertising within online games is more effective than TV advertising.
Discussion: Virtual Worlds News, Thanks:mrinaldesai
Josh Lowensohn / CNET News:
Skimmer brings your social streams to the desktop  —  Skimmer is a new social aggregator powered by Adobe AIR.  It supports Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, and Blogger, and lets you stay abreast of the latest content from each of those services.  Everything gets sucked up into a single stream …
Larry Seltzer / eWeek:
The First Linux Botnet  —  It never made sense that you could make a botnet out of Linux desktop users, but the people who built psyb0t knew its users don't pay attention to it.  —  They're calling it the first botnet designed for broadband equipment and routers, and that it is.
Discussion: DSLreports, DroneBL and InformationWeek
Ploth / perceptdev.com:
iPhone Keyboard - no Jailbreaking required, using 2.0 SDK  —  A number of industrious individuals have achieved what to some is the holy grail of iPhone accessories: an iPhone keyboard.  But most have done it in a very hard-to-repeat manner, and few have shared the methods they used.
Google Blogoscoped:
Google's Wonder Wheel Experiment, and More  —  Google is running an experiment in their search results, apparently shown to a portion of their users.  What happens is that on the search results, say for the query comic books, a link in the top blue bar will read “Show options...”.
Thanks:atul
Microsoft:
NASA and Microsoft to Make Universe of Data Available to the Public  —  Exciting new images of the moon and Mars from NASA's orbiting observatories will enable users of all ages to explore the universe through the Microsoft WorldWide Telescope.  —  NASA and Microsoft Corp. today announced plans …
Sue McAllister / Mercury News:
More office space, lower leases in Silicon Valley  —  An ugly economy has affected more than Silicon Valley's residential real estate market; it's pummeling the commercial real estate market as well.  —  About 8.7 million square feet of Silicon Valley office space was vacant in the fourth quarter of 2008 …
Chippy / UMPCPortal:
ASUS Eee Keyboard PC (Video)  —  It's the polar opposite of what you usually see on the portal.  A mobile PC built around a huge keyboard with a tiny screen tacked on to the side.  Obviously this is not quite your mobile productivity box (unless you want a kneck injury) but it's an interesting option for the home.
 
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 Techmeme Sponsor Posts: 
Microsoft:
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Amazon Cognito:
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SimilarWeb:
Does Ello's Sudden Rise In Popularity Herald A New Era Of Social Media?  —  The latest social network to be on the tip of everyone's tongue is the rebellious Ello which launched earlier this year and promises an ad-free experience.
Zoho:
Zoho Survey: Segment Survey Responses with Multi Collectors  —  Do you distribute one survey to different groups of people only to find that filtering results and analyzing reports is taking up your time?
Igloo:
All the coding ladies  —  Much has been said about women in technology this week as a result of Barbie once again, letting down the female population (or more appropriately, humankind as a whole) …
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 More Items: 
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Apple sued for promoting iPhone as eBook reader
Discussion: CNET News and IntoMobile
Elaine Chow / Gizmodo:
Rumored Lenovo oPhone OS Looks Too Apple-like
Discussion: IntoMobile and Electricpig.co.uk
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes / Hardware 2.0:
Seagate announces BlackArmor network storage solution
Daisy Whitney / NewTeeVee:
comScore Chairman: Down with Clicks, Up with Video
Discussion: Beet.TV
PC World:
Cisco Cutting Home Broadband Perks to Reduce Costs
Farhad Manjoo / Slate:
Stop Whining About Facebook's Redesign
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Red Hat Jumps On Rumors Oracle Might Bid
Alana Semuels / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Smartphones now have one-third of market share globally, report says
Discussion: Electronista
 Earlier Items: 
Luigi Lugmayr / I4U News:
New LG Lollipop Phones LG-SV800, KH8000, LH8000 are Cute
Discussion: Newlaunches.com
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
BillShrink Brings Its Cost-Cutting Engine To The Gas Pump
Discussion: VentureBeat and CNET News
Garett Rogers / Googling Google:
Hackers steer clear of Google Chrome, say too challenging
 

 
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Michelle Castillo / Adweek:
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Catalina Albeanu / Journalism.co.uk:
BuzzFeed media trends: homepage out, social and video in

 
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