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4:55 AM ET, April 10, 2009


 Top Items: 
Devin Coldewey / CrunchGear:
TechCrunch Tablet makes an early debut  —  Leaks are always hardest when they hit at home.  Now we know how Apple feels.  The party responsible for the leak has been penalized severely (whipped with wet spaghetti), so believe us when we say this kind of thing won't ever happen again.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
About Those New CrunchPad Pictures  —  A little background for those of you who haven't heard of the CrunchPad: This is the post that kicked off the project.  I wanted something I couldn't buy, and found people who said it could be built for a lot less than I imagined.
Sam Diaz / Between the Lines:
AT&T offers $100K reward in fiber optic vandalism; notes second incident  —  updated below:  —  No matter all of the advancements in wireless and mobile technology, at the end of the day, we're all still connected to a big wire somewhere.  Early this morning, we discovered that one of those big wires …
Marguerite Reardon / CNET News:
AT&T uses Twitter during service outage  —  Want to find out why you suddenly don't have Internet access or cell phone service?  You might want to check out the social-networking site Twitter.  —  It seems that Twitter was one of the main ways that phone company AT&T has been communicating …
Discussion: eWeek, Thanks:mrinaldesai
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
How to Block the DiggBar  —  Last week Digg released something they call the DiggBar, which serves as both a new interface for Digg and doubles as a URL shortening service.  The way it works is that you just add “” at the beginning of any URL, and Digg creates a short URL in the form of
Discussion: Leah Culver, Thanks:atul
Joseph Tartakoff /
Microsoft Breaks Up Its Live Labs Group  —  Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is downsizing its high-profile Live Labs group, which was created three years ago to speed up innovation in the company's online business, has learned.  —  The group, whose mission has been to hatch new ideas …
Paul Boutin / Industry Standard:
Microsoft cuts Live Labs staff by half, refocuses on search
Discussion: Beyond Search
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
New Laptop Hunters ad proves Macs are just for children  —  Microsoft's latest installment in its popular series of ripped-from-the-headlines, “real America” style 'puter-buying adventures follows a mom and son duo — Lisa and Jackson.  We learn during the commercial that the two need a computer which is …
Ina Fried / CNET News:
Time for an audit of Microsoft's ‘Apple Tax’  —  Microsoft puts forth a ‘tax return’ showing the cost difference between a Windows PC or Mac purchase.  However, CNET News' Ina Fried suggests auditors take a close look at the itemized deductions.  —  Microsoft is back touting the “Apple Tax” …
Kaspersky Lab Weblog:
The neverending story  —  Last night the Kido (aka Conficker/ Downadup) botnet kicked into action - what everyone's been on the lookout for since 1st April.  —  The computers infected with Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Kido (aka Conficker.c) contacted each other over P2P, telling infected machines to download new malicious files.
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Time Warner's Unlimited Bandwidth Plan: $150 a Month  —  Time Warner Cable has modestly softened its proposal to impose bandwidth limits on all of its broadband data customers.  Landel Hobbs, the company's chief operating officer, has just published a post with the new price tiers for a test of the plan it will conduct in four cities.
Chris Matyszczyk / CNET News:
Is Shaq trying to seduce Mark Cuban via Twitter?  —  Shaquille O'Neal and Mark Cuban are deeply confirmed Twitterers.  —  They have different styles but their fingers seem rarely to leave their keyboards.  Perhaps one can even blame sore Twitter-finger for Shaq's poor free-throw percentage.
Adam Frucci / Gizmodo:
Survey: 100% of Teens Want an iPod; 0% of Teens Want Any Other Player  —  News doesn't get much worse than this for the Zunes and Sansas of the world: a whopping 0% of surveyed teens planned on buying their devices, with 100% wanting an iPod in the coming year.
Discussion: CNET News and The Apple Core
Tim Conneally / BetaNews:
You're a Mac, you're a PC...Now it's our turn, says Linux  —  The Linux Foundation has announced its own ads that extol the virtues of open source.  —  The Mac vs. PC viral video and advertising war continues to rage, but now Linux has gotten involved.  The nonprofit Linux Foundation began …
Ryan Paul / Ars Technica:
Linux Foundation CEO: Linux is “fastest growing platform”
Discussion: ithinkdifferrent
Tricia Duryee / mocoNews:
Research In Motion Quietly Hires A Key iPhone Designer  —  BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion has scooped up Don Lindsay, who according to one report played a big role in the iPhone user interface.  In his new role, he will be charged with “creating” the VP of user experience, according to his updated LinkedIn profile.
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Who Will Be Twitter's Bestest Search Friend?  Google and Microsoft Engage in Yet Another Pick-Me Face-Off.  —  [UPDATED: With added information about range of product discussions.]  —  In this digital era's version of “Spy Vs. Spy,” Microsoft and Google find themselves in yet another sharp-elbowed battle …
Gmail Blog:
New in Labs: Inserting images  —  Well, it's about time.  You no longer have to use workarounds to put images into your messages or attach images when you really want to inline them.  Just turn on “Inserting images” from the Labs tab under Settings, and you'll see a new toolbar icon like this:
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
Yelp lets businesses set the record straight with owner comments  —  Yelp is trying to make business owners a little less cranky about getting dissed on the popular review site by allowing them to respond publicly to reviews they believe are inaccurate.  —  The site, which is best known …
Discussion: CNET News, New York Times and Bits
Pete Waterman: ‘I was exploited by Google’  —  Pete Waterman, the force behind dozens of multi-million selling chart hits, claims he is being “exploited” by internet giant Google.  —  The 62-year-old said the Rick Astley classic Never Gonna Give You Up, which he co-wrote and which was the subject …
Paul Boutin / Industry Standard:
True/Slant fascinates journalists, bores readers  —  Wall Street Journal gadget guru Walt Mossberg surprised me this morning by devoting his hugely influential Personal Technology column not to a smartphone, a desktop app, or an online tax service, but to a news and commentary site called True/Slant.
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider, Thanks:ilamont
Matt McGee / Search Engine Land:
Yahoo Loses Toolbar Deals; Search Share To Drop?  —  The Wall Street Journal reports that the loss of two agreements with computer makers could cost Yahoo as much as 15% of its search traffic in the next 12-18 months.  —  Early this year, HP made Live Search the default search toolbar on its computers.
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
iPhone To Get Qualcomm's ‘FLO TV’ Mobile TV  —  One reason that Qualcomm's FLO TV mobile television division has had a slow start: It's only available on select phones that have a special chip inside them.  That's currently about 9 phones of roughly 100-plus in the U.S. market …
Daniel Burka / Digg the Blog:
Digg Search: Now With 99.987% Less Suck  —  An apology is due - until today, Digg's search has been pretty terrible.  I'm really excited to announce that our search no longer sucks.  In fact, I think it's awfully good but you should try it out and judge for yourself.
Discussion: Beyond Search, ReadWriteWeb and TechCrunch, Thanks:atul
Unibody concept migrating into iPods?  —  Apple may be exploring the concept of a unibody iPod, a freshly-exposed patent application implies.  Apple began incorporating unibody designs into its products in October of last year, with the introduction of new MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
Discussion: Gizmodo and 9 to 5 Mac
Josh Lowensohn / CNET News:
Domain Pigeon now finds open Twitter names  —  Domain Pigeon, the domain finding service that lets you search and browse unclaimed domains, now does the same thing for Twitter usernames.  It shows you which names are unclaimed, and puts some of the most recent or popular additions on the front page …
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 More Items: 
Douglas MacMillan / Tech Beat:
Does Facebook's Business Plan Include Premium Memberships?
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
BBC Gets Ready for BitTorrent Distribution
Cecilia Kang / Washington Post:
FCC Developing Plan To Deliver Broadband
Discussion: VentureBeat and Reuters
‘Entrepreneur’ means little in France
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
Twitter has real business partners — and fake ones
Discussion: Twitter Blog
Aidan Malley / AppleInsider:
Apple to disable .Mac website tools in July
Discussion: Apple, TUAW, MacRumors and MacMegasite
 Earlier Items: 
PC World:
Visa Makes NFC Payment Commercially Available
Discussion: Phone Scoop
US outlines secretive international piracy deal
Discussion: Brave New World
Jason Kottke /
Extreme borrowing in the blogosphere
Miguel Helft / Bits:
YouTube in Music Video Deal With Universal
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Nortel Won't Be Coming Back from Bankruptcy
Discussion: /blog and IntoMobile