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9:45 AM ET, May 17, 2009


 Top Items: 
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
Facebook raises $150 million more to cash out employees  —  Facebook has almost finished raising $150 million in capital, in an extraordinary move by the company to buy out shares of hundreds of regular employees.  —  Hundreds of the Palo Alto, Calif.'s employees have now toiled at the company …
Wolfram|Alpha and Screen Scraping  —  Perhaps the oddest thing about Wolfram|Alpha is that the text that appears in query results is not text at all, but is in fact made up of dynamically generated GIFs:  —  The Wolfram|Alpha FAQ claims: … Of course, a sentiment like that would make any web designer jump off a bridge.
Discussion: bytes|genes, SitePoint and PC World
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Wolfram/Alpha launches: Can it break out of niche-ville?
Discussion: Beyond Search and Technologizer
Live, from Champaign!  —  Wolfram|Alpha just went live …
Meg / meish dot org:
Game Web 2.Over?  —  This collage of web 2.0 logos should be pretty familiar to many people by now.  It's been knocking about for a few years, ever since the whole Web 2.0 Koolaid (what's the British equivalent?  Ribena?) started flowing.  —  During that time, I've seen it printed …
Steven A. Ballmer / New York Times:
Meetings, Version 2.0, at Microsoft  —  This interview of Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.  —  Q. Are there areas you want to improve as a leader?  —  A. I race too much.  My brain races too much, so even if I've listened …
Discussion: Memex 1.1, Thanks:atul
Jeff Jarvis / BuzzMachine:
First, stop the lawyers  —  There's some dangerously wrong-headed lobbying from media lawyers in today's Washington Post arguing for new laws to protect old media from new technology.  Bruce Sanford and Bruce Brown of Baker Hostetler argue that Congress should:
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
New Danger Mouse CD Released As A Blank CD-R Due To Legal Fight With EMI  —  If you follow copyright issues, you're no doubt aware of Danger Mouse.  He's the DJ who got quite a lot of attention a few years back for creating one of the very first mainstream mashups — mixing the Beatle's …
New York Times:
Geffen Is Seen as Still Eager for Times Stake  —  Despite falling short in two recent attempts to become a major player in The New York Times Company, David Geffen continues to be seriously interested in buying a sizable piece of the company or taking it over completely …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Not A Typo: Six Apart Opens Up Suite Of Products For Rival WordPress  —  Anil Dash, chief evangelist for blogging software platform Six Apart, announced today that blogging platform has launched a a plugin that provides WordPress users with access to a suite of Six Apart's add-on features for blogs.
Discussion: Network Solutions and ReadWriteWeb, Thanks:atul
Randall Stross / New York Times:
Just Browsing?  A Web Store May Follow You Out the Door  —  IF you try on a sweater in a department store dressing room, but choose not to buy it, a persistent sales clerk won't pursue you into the street yelling, “Hey, are you sure?”  Nor will you receive a call at your home the next …
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Why Online Video Ads Still Don't Work  —  From the funny-and-true! department: A biting clip from the dudes at College Humor satirizing the lousy ad options and mind-numbing ad jargon that dominate the online video business.  —  And a good reminder that even though Google's (GOOG) …
Kevin Kelleher / GigaOM:
Tech IPOs Are Back — But Only for Those That Don't Need Cash  —  While the recession had many predicting the IPO market would be largely non-existent in 2009, several new tech stocks listed on public markets during April and now in May.  The companies squeaking out of the IPO queue, however, are mature, profitable and cash-rich.
Nicholas Kolakowski / eWeek:
Google Outage Shows the Cloud May Not Be Enterprise-Ready  —  Table of Contents:  —  Google and other cloud-based services have been experiencing outages of several hours' duration throughout 2009.  While that may be fine for members of the general public, who can live with e-mail occasionally …
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Researchers reach human parity in conversational speech recognition  —  Speech recognition system makes the same or fewer errors than professional transcriptionists.
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Basecamp's “Work Can Wait” Pledge - Why We're Not Recommending It.  —  Basecamp is running a campaign asking people to pledge that they will limit their work to 40 hours a week and ask others in their organization to do the same.
The Case For Startups to Put CX at Their Core  —  Read why eero decided to prioritize and integrate its Customer Experience team - even before its launch
Uber is rewriting the mobile app playbook, yet again!  —  Uber's actions, which seem straight out of the Elon Musk ‘first-principles thinking’ playbook, will have wide repercussions across the entire mobile ecosystem.
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 More Items: 
Janko Roettgers / NewTeeVee:
Vuze Looks For Money In Porn
Discussion: TorrentFreak
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
Is Sequoia China in Trouble?
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
This Is Getting Ridiculous: Cat Amasses Half A Million Twitter Followers In 3 Months
John Borthwick / Silicon Alley Insider:
The Rise Of Social Distribution Networks
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Warner /
PR Lies Destroy Your Understanding of How Business Really Works.
Discussion: CenterNetworks
Elizabeth Woyke / Forbes:
Google's Gaffes  —  Two of the Internet giant's open competitions …
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Facebook Prepares To Launch Live Video Chat Product