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8:35 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
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Apple sued for promoting iPhone as eBook reader  —  An 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 …
Christopher Cox / Facebook Blog:
Responding to Your Feedback  —  Since we launched Facebook's home page design, we've received thousands of e-mails, Wall posts and comments from you along with direct feedback from all of our friends and family.  If you've already given us feedback, thank you.
Discussion: Between the Lines
RELATED:
Jessica E. Vascellaro / Digits:
Facebook Preparing To Tweak Site Design
Discussion: Inside Facebook, Thanks:atul
Lucy Hornby / Reuters:
“Unafraid” China apparently fears 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 was apparently blocked.  —  YouTube, owned by search giant Google Inc, has been unavailable …
RELATED:
Miguel Helft / New York Times:
YouTube Being Blocked in China, Google Says
Discussion: PolicyBeta
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.
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
Boxee adds Pandora and makes its browser more Firefox-like for Hulu  —  Boxee, the streaming content startup, continues to push updates out at a brisk pace.  Tonight, at its meetup in New York City, it's announcing a few new features, one of which should once again help bring back Hulu support.
Chris Foresman / Ars Technica:
Engineers show off “no jailbreak” iPhone keyboard hack  —  A couple of creative engineers at Perceptive Development have developed a method to connect an infrared keyboard to an iPhone and input text using 2.0 SDK-safe code.  But don't get your hopes up quite yet, as it's for from the product most people are hoping for.
Discussion: Macworld and perceptdev.com
RELATED:
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 …
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.
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, bub.blicio.us and Between the Lines, Thanks:atul
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Google CEO Eric Schmidt's Friends and Family Fly for Free, Frequently  —  Google's new 2008 proxy statement looks a lot like Google's proxy statements from previous years: The company's top executives received nice bonuses, though slightly smaller than last year's.
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Royal Pingdom:
The most reliable (and unreliable) blogging services  —  Millions of people who blog don't want to deal with hosting their blog themselves, so they use a blogging service instead.  There are many things that factor into the choice of blogging service, but one of them should always be site reliability.
Slash Lane / AppleInsider:
Apple announces Cross Border ordering to 20 countries  —  Apple on Tuesday quietly introduced its new Cross Border campaign, which allows US-based customers to make purchases for recipients located in Mexico, 15 countries across Europe, and 4 countries in Southeast Asia.
Discussion: Ars Technica and Macsimum News
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
BlackBerry 9630 Review: Part 1  —  We've been playing with it non-stop all weekend.  We've tastelessly shown it off with a dash of hood on video.  But the review is now finally ready.  We decided to split this into two parts, one now and one right before launch.
WMPoweruser.com:
Is this Windows Mobile 7?  —  A kind tipster send us this screen shots of what purports to be Windows Mobile 7.  The latest inside rumours put the OS as being available to OEM's by the end of 2009 and out on devices by Spring 2010.  —  From what I have heard so far, it sounds worth the wait.
Discussion: WMExperts
Alex Wilhelm / The Mind of Alex:
Chrome's Growth Is Far Too Slow  —  I am a dedicated Chrome user.  I actually even subscribe to the alpha channel, giving me the flakiest and most advanced version to be had.  I love it.  Chrome is light, fast, and very well designed.  But as a daily user, I lose sight of the fact, that most people do not use Chrome.
Thanks:alex
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 …
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Twitter Gets A Conference  —  The latest sign Twitter is either taking off or overhyped: Telecom (and media) industry vet Jeff Pulver is organizing a two-day Twitter-related conference, scheduled for mid-June in New York.  The “140 Characters Conference” will “explore the effects of twitter on: Celebrity, The Media and Advertising.”
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Movie Studios May Be About To Learn That Netflix Has The Leverage  —  from the over-and-over-and-over-again dept  —  You know how movies studios keep making the same movie over and over and over again with just slight changes?  It seems that the entertainment industry simply has a problem recognizing …
Discussion: Venture Chronicles
Glenn Derene / Popular Mechanics:
How Vulnerable is U.S. Infrastructure to a Major Cyber Attack?  —  Could hackers take down key parts of our infrastructure?  Experts say yes.  They could use the very computer systems that keep America's infrastructure running to bring down key utilities and industries, from railroads to natural gas pipelines.
Discussion: CircleID
Jason Chen / Gizmodo:
Apple Falls to Third Place in Reliability Report, Loses to Asus and Lenovo/IBM  —  Apple, the previous champ in RESCUECOM's consumer reliability 2008 report, just got demolished by Asus in an almost 3 to 1 score for Q1 2009.  It even loses to Lenovo.  —  Asus scored a 972, compared with Lenovo's 348 and Apple's 324.
Stuart Miles / Pocket-lint.com:
Samsung Papyrus: touchscreen ebook debuts … Samsung is too launch a touchscreen ebook reader to take on the Amazon Kindle Pocket-lint has learnt.  —  The new model called Papyrus will launch in Korea in June with the aim to eventually launch in the UK and US a spokesperson for Samsung told Pocket-lint.
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 …
Discussion: Domain Name News
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 …
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 …
Stuart Miles / Pocket-lint.com:
PHOTOS: Samsung N310 laptop … Just a day after it's official launch, Pocket-lint has already managed to grab a hands-on with the new netbook from Samsung, The N310.  —  Coming in four colours, the N310 has a rubberised feel to it and comes complete with an embossed logo on the back of the display.
Discussion: Liliputing
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Gizmo5 Founder: Skype-for-SIP Is Vaporware  —  Michael Robertson, founder of Gizmo5, which recently released a service that enables free calls to Skype called OpenSky, calls the new Skype-for SIP service vaporware. … Hard to dismiss Michael's argument, though one has to point out that Skype for SIP does impact his business.
Discussion: VoIP & Gadgets Blog and Michael's Minute, Thanks:omfut
 
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 More Items: 
Scott Moritz / TheStreet.com:
Apple's Netbook Foray Will Flop
Jenna Wortham / Bits:
Do TV Buyers Dream of Electric Sheep?
Discussion: PSFK and Laughing Squid, Thanks:mrinaldesai
AppleInsider:
Apple switches on iTunes Genius for videos
Discussion: Ars Technica and MacRumors
Ilinca Nita / Unwired View:
Acer F1 may come in September powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon CPU
Lee Mathews / Download Squad:
Tiny, Super-fast Linux distro Moblin V2 alpha 2 released
Discussion: Moblin Blogs, Liliputing and jkOnTheRun
Michael Field / The Age:
Telstra offshoot hires teen hacker ‘Akill’
Discussion: Jobwire, Zero Day and Bleeding Edge
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
MySpace Music Announces Executive Team (Internal Memo)
Discussion: paidContent.org, Thanks:erolh
 Earlier Items: 
Google Blogoscoped:
Google's Wonder Wheel Experiment, and More
Thanks:atul
Sue McAllister / Mercury News:
More office space, lower leases in Silicon Valley
Peter Burrows / Business Week:
Palm's Secret Weapon for the Pre
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Barry Diller / Wall Street Journal:
Broadcasters Don't Own the Airwaves

Joe Pompeo / Capital New York:
Michael Wolff's column for the Guardian discontinued

William E. Buzenberg / The Center for Public …:
The Center for Public Integrity's response to ABC News

 
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