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3:50 PM ET, September 20, 2009


 Top Items: 
Carolyn Y. Johnson / Boston Globe:
Project ‘Gaydar’  —  At MIT, an experiment identifies which students are gay, raising new questions about online privacy  —  It started as a simple term project for an MIT class on ethics and law on the electronic frontier.  —  Two students partnered up to take on the latest Internet fad …
Discussion: UMBC ebiquity and Slashdot
Brad Stone / New York Times:
Can Amazon Be Wal-Mart of the Web?  —  THE hum of 102 rooftop air conditioners and a chorus of beeping electric carts provide the acoustic backdrop in's 605,000-square-foot distribution facility on this city's west side.  But the center's employees can almost always hear Terry Jones.
Eric Engleman / TechFlash:
Amazon creates own house brand of consumer electronics  — has been quietly building a private label strategy for the last couple years, creating house brands around kitchen tools (Pinzon), outdoor furniture (Strathwood), bed and bath products (Pike Street) and power tools (Denali).
Discussion: TechSpot, Bits and Engadget
Vladimir Vukievi:
WebGL in Firefox Nightly Builds  —  Last night, I checked in some more work from Mark Steele (who's focusing on the Firefox WebGL implementation), and along with that, enabled WebGL in trunk nightlies.  (Finally!)  —  If you're not familiar with WebGL, it's the evolution of work …
Discussion: Download Squad and Raph's Website
Lee Mathews / Download Squad:
At long last, GIMP v2.8 to finally implement single-window interface  —  The GIMP is one of those applications that people either seem to love or hate.  While it's always been a powerful and capable alternative to big commercial apps like Photoshop, GIMP's multiple floating window interface has been hard for some users to adapt to.
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Zune HD a major sellout?  —  Let it be known: we liked the Zune HD before it was popular, before all the poseurs jumped on the bandwagon with their tight-fitting jeans and their hairstyles.  If various stores on the internet are to be believed, the Zune HD is selling out in a pretty big way.
Joshua Auerbach / GigaOM:
New Media Demands a New Kind of Media Company  —  The media like nothing more than to cover the media.  For that reason, there has been near-endless coverage of the struggles of “old media” companies trying to succeed online.  Pundits debate the possible return of “pay walls” to the web …
Michael Bettiol / Boy Genius Report:
We've got the goods on some upcoming AT&T smartphones from HTC and Garmin-ASUS  —  While many of you spent last night watching grown men pummel one another into submission, we here at BGR put in some over time so we could get to the bottom of the pricing of some upcoming AT&T smartphones.
Cade Metz / The Register:
Google Apps sics crawlers on public docs and sheets  —  Beware what you publish  —  Google will soon allow search engines to crawl and index documents, spreadsheets, and presentations published to the web via its online office suite, Google Apps.  —  On Friday, in a letter to Google Apps users …
Discussion: and
Cleve Nettles / 9 to 5 Mac:
Off Topic: Microsoft will reveal two iPhone competitors in 2010  —  It isn't really our area of expertise, but we've gotten word that Microsoft will unleash two new Smartphones, probably at CES in January 2010.  Developed under the project “Pink” moniker, these two slider phones stem …
Tony Plohetski / Austin American-Statesman:
Police ready to ‘take on’ commenters, chief says  —  People who misrepresent themselves as officials in online comments could face civil, criminal penalties, Acevedo says.  —  Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he and some of his officers have been harassed, lied about and had their identities falsely used …
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols / Computerworld:
WiMax in 2010: Too little, too late?  —  WiMax is finally making wide-area wireless broadband a reality in many cities — but another technology is fast encroaching.  —  Computerworld - By the end of 2010, users in more than 80 U.S. cities may be able to ditch their cable modems …
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 More Items: 
Nick Heath / CNET News:
Why virus writers are turning to open source
Kevin Walsh / GigaOM:
With Broadband, Quality Should Trump Penetration
Oliver J. Chiang / Forbes:
Creating A Hit IPhone Game
Paul Carr / TechCrunch:
WITTC50?:  Will there be a TechCrunch50 next year?  What Jason wants, Jason Getz
Discussion: P2P Foundation
Justin Smith / Inside Facebook:
Josh Elman Leaving Facebook, Returning to More “Hands-On” Product Role
Discussion: All Facebook, Thanks:atul
 Earlier Items: 
Greg Sandoval / CNET News:
Jammie Thomas lawyers file suit against Scribd
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Once Again, Facebook Owns ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’ On The Web
Todd Bishop / TechFlash:
Microsoft Reader, back from dead
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
The Importance Of Enthusiasm In Any Product
Discussion: Daring Fireball, Teds Take and, Thanks:atul