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6:20 AM ET, December 23, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Peter Parkes / Skype The Big Blog:
Skype downtime today  —  Earlier today, we noticed that the number of people online on Skype was falling, which wasn't typical or expected, so we began to investigate.  Skype isn't a network like a conventional phone or IM network - instead, it relies on millions of individual connections between computers …
RELATED:
Ina Fried / Mobilized:
Skype Details Problems, Says May Take Hours to Fix  —  Skype users were sent scrambling for one of the few remaining pay phones on Wednesday as the Internet telephone service experienced a widespread outage.  —  A page deep in the company's support site confirms the issue, but appears to significantly understate the problem.
Dan York / Disruptive Telephony:
Understanding Today's Skype Outage: Explaining Supernodes  —  For the first time in 3 years, Skype was down today - and as I write this is still in the process of slowly coming back online.  A ton of articles were written today, mostly all pointing back to Skype's blog post or status update …
Matt Rosoff / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
Skype Outage Lesson: Don't Rely On Consumer Services For Business Functions
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb, GigaOM and SelectStart
Sam Gustin / Epicenter:
Google Buys Giant New York Building for $1.9 Billion  —  Google is down with New York City.  —  So down, in fact, that the web search titan just dropped $1.9 billion to acquire one of the largest and most historic buildings in all of the Big Apple.  At nearly 3 million square feet …
RELATED:
Dirk Dougherty / Android Developers Blog:
More Payment Options in Android Market  —  A key to a great purchasing experience is providing users with simple and fast payment methods.  The Android Market team has been working hard to deliver more forms of payment to further reduce purchase friction.  Today, I am pleased to announce …
Matt Buchanan / Gizmodo:
Oh Look, Here's Samsung's 4G LTE Android Phone for Verizon  —  Looks like Verizon'll have plenty of Android phones running around on 4G LTE soon enough.  Here's a first look at Samsung's, running Froyo and TouchWiz (but according to our tipster, not Bing!).  Aaaand a front-facing camera, Verizon's first.
Zi Wang / Google Mobile Blog:
Android In Spaaaace!  —  Here at Google, we're all about exploration.  It's no surprise that some of our favorite products are built to let you explore the world in ways never before possible.  Google Maps lets you find your way all around the world.  Google Earth lets you explore the planet in detail, complete with trees and oceans.
Hiroko Tabuchi / Bits:
Clues About the Next PlayStation Portable  —  TOKYO —Sony's gaming chief, Kazuo Hirai, expected by some analysts to be Sony's next president, gave hints on Wednesday to burning questions that have fascinated the blogosphere for months: Is there a new Sony handheld gaming device in the works to succeed its PlayStation Portable?
Arik Hesseldahl / NewEnterprise:
Gawkergate Collateral Damage Now Includes the New York Times  —  It's now been at least 10 days since the Gawker group of Web sites was hacked by a group calling itself Gnosis in one of the side threads to the WikiLeaks controversy.  —  Within two days, sites like LinkedIn …
Discussion: InformationWeek
Greg Kumparak / MobileCrunch:
SkyFire for iPad Launching Tonight For $4.99 [Update: It's Live!]  —  It's been a busy couple of weeks for the folks over at SkyFire.  They launched their Flash Video-friendly browser for the iPhone back in early November, only to pull it down almost immediately to ease the onslaught of users hammering their video transcoding server.
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
How Wikileaks killed Spain's anti-P2P law  —  Spain last night killed a controversial anti-P2P bill that would have made it easier to shut down websites that link to infringing content.  The move was a blow to the ruling Socialist government, but it may be of even bigger concern to the US …
Discussion: SAI and TorrentFreak
Pew Internet:
Politics goes mobile  —  More than a quarter of American adults - 26% - used their cell phones to learn about or participate in the 2010 mid-term election campaign.  —  In a post-election nationwide survey of adults, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 82% of adults have cell phones.
Bruce Sterling / Webstock:
The Blast Shack  —  We asked Bruce Sterling (who spoke at Webstock '09) for his take on Wikileaks.  —  The Wikileaks Cablegate scandal is the most exciting and interesting hacker scandal ever.  I rather commonly write about such things, and I'm surrounded by online acquaintances …
Discussion: Infocult and The Atlantic Online
Louis Gray:
Ex-Googlers Launch Beluga for Mobile Group Chat  —  Simple social apps, from photo sharing to intimate networks, to group texting services are gaining in momentum with the success of TextPlus, GroupMe, Path, Instagram and others.  A new entrant to the scene is a company called Beluga …
Discussion: IntoMobile
OAS:
Joint Statement On Wikileaks  —  In light of ongoing developments related to the release of diplomatic cables by the organization Wikileaks, and the publication of information contained in those cables by mainstream news organizations, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom …
Zachary M. Seward / Digits:
Everything the Internet Knows About Me (Because I Asked It To)  —  Editor's Note: Zach is outreach editor for The Wall Street Journal, where he helps manage the newspaper's relationship with companies like Twitter and Foursquare.  Below, he explains one way that he makes use of those and other services.
Discussion: SAI
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Kinect-Like Gesture System for iPad to Be Demoed at CES  —  Mobile Magazine reports that Norwegian company Elliptic Labs is set to offer demonstrations of its new “touchless gesture” user interface for the iPad at CES 2011 early next month.  The interface, which utilizes ultrasound to generate …
Matt Brian / The Next Web:
RSS app Reeder blasts MobileRSS for stealing its design  —  They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - that's great when someone decides to buy a new hat that they first saw worn by you, it's not so great when its a app you have designed and your competition has lifted nearly every feature …
Sam Diaz / Between the Lines Blog:
Oh, the irony.  European Commission, an ACTA proponent, fined for copyright infringement  —  It's kind of ironic that the European Commission, a proponent of the international trade agreement to enforce intellectual property rights, is being slapped with a fine of 12 million euros for infringing on the copyrights of a software company.
Discussion: Techdirt
Adrianne Jeffries / New York Observer:
The Hottest Startups Are Full of Bros  —  The absence of women in tech is not really news, but since it remains a Situation, it's worth hammering away at.  —  This morning we wrote about the lack of women at the top positions at Twitter, Facebook, Zynga and Groupon, arguably the biggest four companies on the social Web.
Discussion: SAI
Cecilia Kang / Post Tech:
Obama's deputy CTO leaves to launch start-ups  —  Andrew McLaughlin, the nation's deputy chief technology officer, said Wednesday he is resigning his post to launch two start-ups aimed at technology development in communities in the United States and abroad.
Sarah Nahm / Google Chrome Blog:
60 million tabs towards good causes  —  In 2010, the Chrome community has joined us in moments of fun, invention, exploration, and now, giving.  Last week, we invited Chrome's users worldwide to “donate” their opened tabs in Chrome to drive a charitable gift of one million dollars.
Graham Bowley / New York Times:
Computers That Trade on the News  —  The number-crunchers on Wall Street are starting to crunch something else: the news.  —  Math-loving traders are using powerful computers to speed-read news reports, editorials, company Web sites, blog posts and even Twitter messages …
 
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 More Items: 
Myspace:
Is Myspace protecting user data?
Discussion: MySpace Developer Team, Thanks:msc_page
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
WikiLeaks iPhone App Made $5,840 Before Pulled By Apple …
Spencer E. Ante / Wall Street Journal:
Fortifying Phones From Attackers
Thanks:yangtime
Jon Evans / New Scientist:
Banknotes go electric to outwit counterfeiters
Discussion: Fast Company
 Earlier Items: 
W.J. Hennigan / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Hedge fund to track Twitter to gauge stock market, report says
Discussion: Bloomberg and SAI
Lance Whitney / CNET News:
Over half of late-20s crowd own cell phones only
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables' exposure by WikiLeaks
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Jason Abbruzzese / Mashable:
‘Serial’ conclusion leaves podcasters cautiously optimistic about the future

Brent Lang / Variety:
Sony Pictures could lose $75M on “The Interview”, which cost $44M to make, $30M to promote

Todd Spangler / Variety:
Danny Zappin's Zealot Networks Buys Majority Stake in YouTube Licensing Firm AudioMicro

 
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