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10:45 AM ET, November 15, 2010


 Top Items: 
Microsoft Launches New Casual Games Hub  —  The company today rolled out the Microsoft Game Hub, which helps fans of casual games like Bejeweled play and interact socially across MSN Games, Bing Games and Windows Live Messenger.  —  Solitaire doesn't have to be so solitary anymore.
Discussion: VentureBeat and Winrumors
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Not So Casual: Microsoft To Revitalize MSN Games, Live Messenger And Bing Games  —  Microsoft this morning announced several new efforts to gain some ground in the booming social/casual gaming market.  The company will be debuting an all-new version of MSN Games (see preview here) …
Liz Gannes / NetworkEffect:
Path: The Social App That's Not Viral (By Design)  —  Silicon Valley is in the midst of a mini photo-sharing app boomlet.  We have Instagram (which started adding 100,000 users per week as soon as it launched last month), Picplz (which beat out Instagram to get a Series A round with their shared investor …
Dave Morin / Path:
Introducing The Personal Network  —  Today we are proud to launch The Personal Network.  Practically all of us carry a camera phone, and our photos tell the stories of our lives.  Starting today, we hope that Path is the place you will always feel comfortable being yourself and sharing …
Brian Womack / Bloomberg:
Facebook Passes EBay in Value, Becoming No. 3 U.S. Web Company  —  Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc.'s estimated worth is now bigger than EBay Inc.'s valuation, making it the third- largest U.S. Internet business and underscoring the growing allure of social media for investors.
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb, SAI and Go Rumors
Sameer Samat / The Official Google Blog:
Improvements to Product Search for this holiday season  —  Every year retailers start the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier—and still I procrastinate until late December before getting started.  This year I've already made my list and I'm ready to go.
Devin Coldewey / CrunchGear:
More Kinect Craziness: Mind-Blowing 3D Video Effect  —  The Kinect may be divisive as a gaming peripheral, but I think we can all agree that a $150 off-the-shelf depth-aware camera system is a good thing.  And just in the week since the device launched, people have already come up with some crazy applications for it.
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Raid The MiniBar: Meebo Gets Into The Site Check-In Game.  But Don't Call It A Game.  —  With the rise of Foursquare, the “check-in” has become fairly commonplace.  With the launch of Places, Facebook will only make it more so.  It shouldn't be surprising that we're seeing dozens …
Claire Cain Miller / New York Times:
Pulse, Popular App, Moves to Attract More Users  —  PALO ALTO, Calif. — Publishers' offices at print newspapers and magazines are tension-filled places these days, as executives watch readers and advertisers flock to the Web and cellphone screens.  —  Contrast that to the atmosphere …
Frédéric Filloux / Monday Note:
Ebooks Winners & Losers  —  Let's come back to the ebook with more questions.  There is no doubt: the digital book will find its place under the sun; its prospects look much better than those of the online press.  In the first place, there isn't an ingrained, now decade-old, habit of reading news for free on the internet.
Jon Evans / TechCrunch:
Dear Foursquare, Gowalla: Please Let's Stop Pretending This Is Fun  —  It's a bad month to be Foursquare or Gowalla.  Ten days ago, 900-pound gorilla Facebook announced Facebook Deals for Facebook Places (i,e., location-based coupons) and check-ins for third-party apps.
Leena Rao / TechCrunchIT:
EMC Buys Enterprise Data Storage Company Isilon For $2.25 Billion In Cash  —  Enterprise software giant EMC has just acquired Isilon Systems for $2.25 billion in cash or appoximately $33.85 per share.  The deal was rumored to be in the works but now it's official.
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines Blog:
Amazon Web Services takes GPU servers to the cloud  —  Amazon Web Services on Monday launched graphical processing unit instances for its high performance computing workloads.  —  In a statement and blog post, Amazon said graphical processing unit (GPU) servers have become popular enough to bring to AWS.
Kevin J. O'Brien / New York Times:
Smartphone Sales Taking Toll on G.P.S. Devices  —  BERLIN — The auto navigation device, a fixture of dashboards around the world for the past seven years, may soon begin to disappear, industry experts say, as satellite-tracking technology is absorbed into smartphones and automobiles.
Peter Pae / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
The future of writing on tablets: A Q&A with Information Architects  —  They say they are organizing the Web so you don't have to.  To them, every serif means something.  —  Founded by Oliver Reichenstein in 2005, Information Architects is a design strategy group focused on how information …
Discussion: MacStories
Federico Viticci / MacStories:
“Exciting Announcement from iTunes” Coming Tomorrow, What Is It?  —  Oh, look what we have here.  Apple just updated its homepage on to include this banner, which states an “exciting announcement” from iTunes is coming tomorrow at 7 AM PST.  —  updating...
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Fortune:
Mark Papermaster should be happier at Cisco than he was at Apple  —  In many ways, the networking giant is a better fit for the 26-year IBM veteran  —  Papermaster.  Photo: Apple Inc.  —  Last week wasn't a total disaster for Cisco (CSCO) — which got a $29 billion market cap haircut Tuesday …
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Did Tumblr Just Reverse Take Down 4Chan?  —  Today was supposed to be the day that 4Chan took down Tumblr.  Instead, it looks like 4Chan itself is down.  Could Tumblr be behind it?  —  As you can see, 4Chan is down for everyone, not just me.  And it has been that way for at least the past 15 minutes.
Adrian Chen / Gawker:
4chan vs. Tumblr: Whoever Wins, We All Lose
Ed Bott / Ed Bott's Microsoft Report Blog:
Microsoft vs. McAfee: How free antivirus outperformed paid  —  How effective is free antivirus software?  I had a chance to see a real, in-the-wild example just this month, and the results were, to put it mildly, unexpected.  The bottom line?  Microsoft's free antivirus solution found …
Discussion: Hardware 2.0 Blog, Thanks:edbott
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Financial Times:
Apple to bring iPhone ads to Europe
Discussion: AppleInsider, PhoneArena and mocoNews
Robert Scoble / Scobleizer:
The technology inside the Google self-driving cars
Wei Luo / Google LatLong:
New panoramic photos in Google Earth
Discussion: PC Magazine
Vlad Savov / Engadget:
Windows Phone 7 beats iPhone 4 and Android ... in a grilling contest (video)
Krishna Sankar / My missives:
Google - A Study In Scalability And A Little Systems Horse Sense
Ron Lieber / New York Times:
Zagat Survey Aims to Regain Its Online Balance
Discussion: Beet.TV
 Earlier Items: 
Jean-Louis Gassée / Monday Note:
The iPadification of OS X - Part II
Discussion: 9 to 5 Mac
Nick Bilton / Bits:
One on One: Tim Wu, Author of ‘The Master Switch’
Discussion: TechEye and Slate
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
The Phone Call Is Dead
Information Arbitrage:
The challenge of being Google

From Mediagazer:

Kevin Roderick / LA Observed:
Among LA Times buyouts, two assistant managing editors and six bureau chiefs leaving

Nicole Winfield / Associated Press:
Vatican Court rejects journalist's bid to drop charges in case over leaked documents

Wall Street Journal:
Justice Department Probing Comcast's Role in ‘Spot’ Cable Ad Sales Market

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