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4:40 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 …
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 …
RELATED:
Miguel Helft / New York Times:
YouTube Being Blocked in China, Google Says
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
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.
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:
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
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Peter Parkes / Skype Blogs:
Skype 3.0 Beta for Windows Mobile  —  For those of you reading this in an RSS reader, you can watch the video here.  You can also grab the embed code if you want to use this video in your own blog.  —  Just over a month ago, I mentioned on this blog that we were gearing up to launch Skype 3. Beta …
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.
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.
Elaine Chow / Gizmodo:
Rumored Lenovo oPhone OS Looks Too Apple-like  —  Chinese bloggers have posted photos that are rumored to depict what the Lenovo oPhone's operating system looks like.  Apparently, much like their moniker, the oPhone OS also has that slight Apple-y touch.  —  Rounded square icons against a black background?
Discussion: IntoMobile and Electricpig.co.uk
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Apple sued for promoting iPhone as eBook reader  —  A overseas communications firm is suing Apple for promoting its iPhone handset as a touchscreen digital book reader, a concept it claims to have patented over seven years ago.  —  In a 7-page complaint filed with a Virginia district court Monday …
Discussion: Crave and IntoMobile
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).
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
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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
Mark Ghuneim / MediaPost:
Twitter: How Small Interface Changes Are A Big Win For Everyone  —  At first glance, Twitter's recent interface changes seem to be relatively minor — a “Featured Users” option within “Find People,” a “Search Now” box, and a new “Trends” section.  Yet, after a more in-depth examination …
 
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 Techmeme Sponsor Posts: 
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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.
Intel:
Intel Unveils 8-Core Processor Gaming Monster at PAX  —  Intel just announced its first 8 core, 16 thread gaming monster — otherwise known as the Intel® Core™ i7-5960X processor Extreme Edition desktop processor …
VMware:
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 …
Zoho:
Sit back and Relax.  Zoho Books brings you Auto Charge.  —  There are features in a product that address small pain points for customers and then there are ones that make life a breeze.
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 More Items: 
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
BlackBerry 9630 Review: Part 1
Discussion: IntoMobile, I4U News and Engadget
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Study: In-Game Video Advertising Trumps TV Advertising In Effectiveness
Discussion: Virtual Worlds News, Thanks:mrinaldesai
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
 Earlier Items: 
Larry Seltzer / eWeek:
The First Linux Botnet
Discussion: DSLreports, DroneBL and InformationWeek
Luigi Lugmayr / I4U News:
New LG Lollipop Phones LG-SV800, KH8000, LH8000 are Cute
Discussion: Newlaunches.com
Chris Albrecht / NewTeeVee:
ZeeVee Admits Missteps, Goes Pro and Apes Boxee
Discussion: last100, Xconomy and Crave
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
BillShrink Brings Its Cost-Cutting Engine To The Gas Pump
Discussion: VentureBeat and CNET News
Chippy / UMPCPortal:
ASUS Eee Keyboard PC (Video)
Discussion: Gadget Lab, Liliputing and SlashGear
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Mathew Ingram / Gigaom:
Journalism and the internet: Is it the best of times? No — but it's not the worst of times either

Christine Haughney / New York Times:
Mental Floss finds success in video with “The List Show” using star power of John Green

New York Times:
Pakistani Protesters Briefly Take Over Headquarters of State Television

 
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