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7:35 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:
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 …
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.
Matt Rosoff / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
Skype Outage Lesson: Don't Rely On Consumer Services For Business Functions
Discussion: GigaOM, ReadWriteWeb 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 …
RELATED:
Stefan Constantinescu / IntoMobile:   Android users can now bill app purchases straight to their AT&T account
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.
Josh Ong / AppleInsider:
Apple's next-gen iPad to get iPod touch-like back, wide-range speaker - rumor  —  The second-generation iPad may have a smaller bezel, a flat back panel and a wide-range speaker, a new unverified report claims.  —  Japanese Mac blog MacOtakara published the rumor Thursday, citing an “anonymous Chinese source.”
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?
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.
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
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: Fast Company and InformationWeek
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 …
Discussion: Computerworld
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
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.
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 …
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.
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
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
BBC:
Kodaks' patent spat threatens photo web sites  —  The fallout from a patent dispute between Kodak and web photo site Shutterfly could embroil many online image sites, says patent experts.  —  Kodak claimed it owns patents regarding the display of online images that is being infringed by Shutterfly.
Discussion: All Headline News and THE DRUM
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 …
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
Andrew Wallenstein / paidContent:
Rovi To Buy Sonic Solutions, Forming New Force In Digital Distribution  —  Rovi Corp. declared its intent to acquire Sonic Solutions late Wednesday in a deal worth $720 million.  The combined company could have the clout to accelerate the adoption of digital distribution in video entertainment.
 
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 More Items: 
Myspace:
Is Myspace protecting user data?
Discussion: MySpace Developer Team, Thanks:msc_page
Cecilia Kang / Post Tech:
Obama's deputy CTO leaves to launch start-ups
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: 
Adrianne Jeffries / New York Observer:
The Hottest Startups Are Full of Bros
Discussion: SAI
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
Evan Blass / Pocketnow:
Motorola's Android Tablet Dubbed “Motorola Xoom”?