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12:15 AM ET, March 31, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Emil Protalinski / Ars Technica:
Microsoft to kill Encarta later this year  —  Microsoft has announced that it is discontinuing its Encarta line of products.  The software products will be gone by June 2009 and the website will go down October 31, 2009.  —  When I first saw this, I had to do a double take.
RELATED:
Joseph Tartakoff / paidContent.org:
Victim Of Wikipedia: Microsoft To Shut Down Encarta
Discussion: Bits, Andrew Lih and Mashable!
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Is a Shorter Web Address Worth Big Money? bit.ly Raises $2 Million  —  Here's another Web 2.0 riddle that seems particularly hard to solve post-Lehman: What's the value of a service that takes a long Web address and makes it shorter?  —  One answer: Several million dollars.
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
If bit.ly Is Worth $8 Million, TinyURL Is Worth At Least $46 Million  —  In a world where everything is being jammed into 140 characters or less, shorter is better.  That goes double (or is it half?) for lengthy URLs.  So-called URL shortening services are increasingly becoming indispensable to anyone who uses Twitter.
David Chartier / Ars Technica:
Interview: Gmail's product manager on Labs, beta, the future  —  Gmail is turning five soon, and it was given an experimental feature playground called Gmail Labs nearly a year ago.  For the anniversary, Ars Technica spoke with Gmail Product Manager Todd Jackson about the evolution of communication …
Thanks:atul
RELATED:
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Gmail Labs spreads beyond U.S.
Discussion: Gmail Blog
Matt Cutts / Gadgets, Google, and SEO:
Hacking Google: Retro Links Revives Old Google Feature  —  Google sometimes turns off features.  One such feature that I remember fondly is that at the bottom of Google's search results, we offered nine other search engine suggestions.  The idea was if you didn't find what you were searching for on Google …
Spencer Ante / Creative Capital:
It's Official: Twitter Hires Ex-Google Designer Douglas Bowman  —  Turns out the Web rumors were true for once.  In a meeting last Friday afternoon in Twitter's San Francisco office, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told me that the company had hired ex-Google Visual Design Lead Douglas Bowman to be the company's new creative director.
Jessica E. Vascellaro / Wall Street Journal:
Google Prepares Venture Fund  —  Google Inc. is expected to Tuesday announce more details about its highly anticipated venture-capital fund, including its plan to commit roughly $100 million to the endeavor in its first year, said people familiar with the matter.
Discussion: CNET News and paidContent.org
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Review: Skype for iPhone.  Verdict: Awesome.  —  UPDATED: In a few short hours, you will be able to download the native Skype iPhone client and install it on your iPhones and iPod Touch devices.  And when you do, you'll be able to replicate almost all of Skype's functions.
Discussion: TheAppleBlog, VentureBeat and Pulse2, Thanks:mrinaldesai
RELATED:
Darren Murph / Engadget:
Netflix raising rates for Blu-ray subscribers by around 20 percent  —  Ruh roh.  In a move that will undoubtedly cause an incredibly raucous stir, only to fade away as movie renters realize that Netflix is still the best deal going, America's most adored by-mail rental service is hiking the price of Blu-ray rentals once again.
RELATED:
Kontra / counternotions:
What will the next iPhone be called?  —  Naming any Apple product — much less the iPhone, the most iconic of them all — is no easy task.  —  Remember all the mindless chatter when Apple risked legal entanglement with Cisco for the right to use the name “iPhone”?  Gizmodo:
Discussion: ParisLemon, Thanks:atul
RELATED:
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:   RBC says iPhone 3G ‘Pro’ won't boost iPhone momentum
Department of Homeland Security:
DHS Releases Conficker/Downadup Computer Worm Detection Tool  —  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the release of a DHS-developed detection tool that can be used by the federal government, commercial vendors, state and local governments, and critical infrastructure owners …
RELATED:
Agence France Presse:
Homeland security releases Conficker tool
Discussion: Macworld, CNET News and Slate
Ina Fried / CNET News:
Microsoft, TomTom settle patent dispute  —  Microsoft and TomTom have reached a settlement in their respective patent suits, the companies said Monday.  —  As part of the deal, as TomTom will pay Microsoft for coverage related to mapping patents and file-management patents that Microsoft claimed …
RELATED:
Ben Parr / Mashable!:
MySpace and Microsoft Team Up: What Does it Mean for Facebook and Google?  —  The world's second largest social network, MySpace, has found a new partner that may make the relationship between MySpace and Google a little more rocky: Microsoft.  —  Specifically, MySpace and Microsoft announced today …
RELATED:
Biz / Twitter Blog:
Replies Are Now Mentions  —  We're updating the Replies feature and referring to it instead as Mentions.  In your Twitter sidebar you'll now see your own @username tab.  When you click that tab, you'll see a list of all tweets referencing your account with the @username convention anywhere in the tweet …
Discussion: Mashable!, Thanks:mrinaldesai
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Tinker Gives Twitter Its Long Awaited Events Firehose  —  Over a year ago Fred Wilson wrote about the need for a Twitter events firehose - a place where users could input a handful of keywords collectively referred to as an ‘event’, which could be used to monitor current news as it happens in near real-time.
Phone Arena:
Verizon's MiFi 2200 is your own personal Hotspot  —  We've received information that Verizon is preparing to launch a device known as the MiFi 2200.  Based on the info and pictures, it appears that the device is a personal Hotspot with built-in rechargeable battery.
IAB:
Internet Advertising Revenues Surpass $23 Billion in '08, Reaching Record High  —  Q4 '08 Revenues Total $6.1 Billion; Growth Continues Despite Difficult Economy  —  Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. remain strong, topping $23 billion, according to the 2008 Internet Advertising Revenue Report …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
TheFunded Not Shutting Down  —  We're always happy to give a wide berth to people pulling April Fools pranks, but even so it's pushing it to do it on March 27.  If you go that early, you need to be side-splittingly funny or earn our disdain until we've forgotten all about it.
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
Microsoft Acquires Yahoo ... VP of Ops  —  Add another name to the list of Yahoo employees defecting to Microsoft.  Dayne Sampson, Yahoo's VP of operations for search and advertising, has fled the company for its former suitor, Microsoft confirmed to Digital Daily.
Discussion: CNET News and TechFlash
Randy Nelson / Joystiq:
Sony has ‘no plans for a PS3 price drop,’ calls rumors ‘false’  —  All those rumors of a PS3 price drop, like as soon as tomorrow?  There's absolutely nothing to them according to Sony, who has contacted us with an official comment on the matter.  —  “As we have stated previously …
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Microsoft drops plan to charge for WinMo updates  —  Microsoft has backed off plans to charge Windows Mobile developers $99 for submitting even minor updates to their applications.  —  Last week, Microsoft said that unless developers submitted updates to their applications within 7 days of their release …
Harry McCracken / Technologizer:
Macworld Expo Moves, Accepts Its Nickname  —  Here's the first hint of how IDG's Macworld Expo will change in the wake of Apple's decision to pull out of the show: It's moving from early January to February 9th-13th (which includes a Saturday-the show has been weekday only).
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Intel launches Nehalem server chips to improve data center efficiency  —  Intel introduced its Xeon 5500 Series family of server chips today — chips it hopes will be the standard for data centers of the future.  —  The chips (formerly code-named Nehalem) are the server variant …
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
Twitter quakes as San Francisco shakes  —  Earthquake news and Twitter have long gone hand in hand because of Twitter's instant mass-communication ability.  Today, an earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area (where Twitter's headquarters is located, along with many of its original users), and Twitter traffic went nuts.
Discussion: earthquake.usgs.gov
Staci D. Kramer / paidContent.org:
Disney, YouTube Announce Clips Deal For ESPN, Disney/ABC  —  It's official—Disney Media Networks and YouTube have announced the revenue-sharing short-form deal we first reported last night.  The deal with the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) video portal covers the launch of multiple ad-supported U.S …
Dan Sabbagh / Times of London:
Authors fight free books site Scribd for ‘pirating’ their work  —  Bestselling novels are reproduced without publishers' permission  —  Publishers and agents representing the authors J. K. Rowling and Ken Follett were battling last night to get free copies of their novels removed …
Discussion: TechCrunch and HipMojo.com
 
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 More Items: 
Yinka Adegoke / Reuters:
Cable operators, networks brace for an online world
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Trolling for Patents to Fight Patent Trolls
Discussion: ZDNet Government, Thanks:atul
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
March of the Diggs: Trent Reznor to be on Digg Dialogg
Thanks:nickgon
Mark Bockenstedt / Microblink:
Status.net: Hosted Laconica Installations
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and Control Yourself
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Can Stickers Drive Mobile Payments?
Discussion: PR Newswire and mocoNews
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
Sun Sacks 1,500 … Looks like Sun is “aligning its business …
 Earlier Items: 
John Herrman / Gizmodo:
Opera Mobile 9.7 to Support Flash, Google Gears, Server-Side Compression
Discussion: DailyTech
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Apple: Hitch Seen In Potential China Unicom Deal
John Cook / TechFlash:
Ignition sets up offices in Seattle
Discussion: Xconomy
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Yahoo Net service comes to Samsung TVs
Discussion: last100
Omar El Akkad / Globe and Mail:
Meet the Canadians who busted GhostNet
Discussion: CircleID
Olga Kharif / Business Week:
Serious Threats to Sirius Radio
Joe Wilcox / Microsoft Watch:
Lauren Is Right: Macs Cost More Than PCs