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5:30 PM ET, January 21, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion At $50 Billion Valuation  —  Facebook has officially announced that it has just raised $1.5 billion in funding at a $50 billion valuation, according to a release issued today (we've embedded the release below).  —  As stated in the release, the investment was broken into two parts.
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
The Clock Is Set For A Facebook IPO By April, 2012  —  Today, Facebook announced that it raised a total of $1.5 billion in its latest round, giving the company a valuation of $50 billion.  But it also disclosed something else: when it will likely go public.
Discussion: SelectStart
Ken Auletta / New Yorker:
Why Is Eric Schmidt Stepping Down at Google?  —  Was Eric Schmidt pushed or did he jump?  Both.  According to close advisors, the Google C.E.O. was upset a year ago when co-founder Larry Page sided with his founding partner, Sergey Brin, to withdraw censored searches from China.
RELATED:
Charles Arthur / Guardian:
Google shuffle: why Schmidt had to be pushed from the top  —  After slipups with search, Street View and Android, it's clear that Google needs tighter control at the top - and Eric Schmidt is not the man for the job  —  Eric Schmidt's departure after nearly 10 years as chief executive of Google …
Harry McCracken / Techland:   The Eric Schmidt Era: Google 2001 vs. Google 2011
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
TechCrunch Interview With Eric Schmidt, Larry Page And Sergey Brin
Matt Cutts / The Official Google Blog:
Google search and search engine spam  —  January brought a spate of stories about Google's search quality.  Reading through some of these recent articles, you might ask whether our search quality has gotten worse.  The short answer is that according to the evaluation metrics that we've refined …
RELATED:
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Google ready for action against content farms  —  Google is ready to fire a shot across the bow of the so-called content farms, willing to acknowledge recent criticism of the quality of its search results but still not quite ready to detail specific remedies.
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:
iPad 2 will have the same cameras as the iPod touch  —  Oh, hello.  We've done some digging in the latest SDK and it looks like Apple's much rumored second-generation iPad will not feature some fancy 5 megapixel camera, but will instead shoot your flicks and take your pics with something close to a 1 megapixels.
Brian X. Chen / Gadget Lab:
Open Source Hack Unlocks Apple TV's Potential  —  Your Apple TV just got a lot less boring with the help of nifty new tools that override its restrictions and add powerful capabilities.  —  Launched Friday morning, the hack for Apple TV 2 expands the set-top box's multimedia playback …
Discussion: Ars Technica
RELATED:
Theuni / XBMC:
You asked for it: XBMC for AppleTV2, iPad, iPhone4.  —  The XBMC team is proud to present our first ARM-based release, and it's a big one.  Scott Davilla, with the help of Edgar (gimli) Hucek and Zeljko (amet) Ametovic and several other developers and testers, is finally ready to pull the curtain off of his fun little secret.
Ian Hickson / The WHATWG Blog:
HTML is the new HTML5  —  In 2009 we announced that the HTML5 specification at the WHATWG was progressing to Last Call.  The plan at the time was to finish the specification this year and publish a snapshot of “HTML5” in 2012.  However, shortly after that we realised that the demand …
Ed Burnette / Ed Burnette's Dev Connection Blog:
Oops: No copied Java code or weapons of mass destruction found in Android  —  Sometimes the sheer wrongness of what is posted on the web leaves us speechless.  Especially when it's picked up and repeated as gospel by otherwise reputable sites like Engadget.
Discussion: Engadget
RELATED:
Florian Mueller / FOSS Patents:
New evidence supports Oracle's case against Google
Chris Ziegler / Engadget:
AT&T offering free MicroCells to top 7.5 percent of customers ‘likely to experience poor in-building coverage’  —  We've known that AT&T has been test-marketing free 3G MicroCells to subscribers with particularly awful reception in certain parts of the country since the product launched last year …
Greg Sterling / Search Engine Land:
Confirmed: Google Readies “Google Offers” Groupon Clone  —  Google is about to launch a Groupon clone according to Mashable.  Called “Google Offers,” the blog showed some promotional collateral that presents a very Groupon-like daily deal offering: [Google Offers Image] As everyone reading this knows …
RELATED:
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Why Google Still Needs to Buy a Groupon Clone
Discussion: TechCrunch and Deal Journal
Justin Scott / Mozilla Add-ons Blog:
Blocking the Skype Toolbar in Firefox  —  The Skype Toolbar for Firefox is an extension that detects phone numbers in web pages, and re-renders them as a clickable button that can be used to dial the number using the Skype desktop application.  This extension is bundled with the Skype application …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Google Replaces ‘Reader’ Link With ‘Photos’ In Gmail, Users In A Tizzy  —  More proof that RSS is on its way out, and the apocalypse is nigh: Google has seemingly replaced the top link to its RSS reader product, Google Reader, with a link to ‘Photos’ (Picasa) at the top of the Gmail web interface.
Sam Gustin / Epicenter:
Tweets Hit Techmeme, Bloggers in a Tizzy  —  For years, Techmeme has been considered the tech news website of record.  A quick glance at the site, which aggregates tech news headlines from across the web, will tell you the topics that people are discussing, and who is discussing them, at any moment in time.
Discussion: broadstuff and SEO and Tech Daily
Horace Dediu / asymco:
65% of Apple's sales came from iOS powered devices  —  The iPhone and iPad generated $15 billion of revenue last quarter.  In addition, iPod touch generated about $2.3 billion, implying that iOS based devices were responsible for sales of $17.3 billion.  —  To put that in perspective I drew …
Kyle VanHemert / Gizmodo:
Apple's Making It Impossible To Open Up Your iPhone By Secretly Swapping Its Screws  —  Apple's products are notoriously difficult to open and repair—surprise, they want you to buy new stuff!—but this is especially ridiculous.  During repairs, they're replacing the iPhone 4's Philips screws …
Zach Epstein / BGR:
AT&T may implement speed and data tiers for 4G LTE service  —  BGR has learned that AT&T may have plans to offer tiered data services when it launches its Long Term Evolution network later this year.  The carrier apparently plans to trial two separate types of tiers alongside its LTE service: speed tiers and data tiers.
Jeanette Borzo / Wall Street Journal:
Can Employers Fire Over Facebook Gaffes?  —  Facebook gaffes that can cause trouble in the workplace aren't unique to drunken college students any more.  As more companies—and their workers—tap into the world of blogs, Twitter and Facebook, employers are tripping over legal potholes in social media.
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft moves its Chatter-like OfficeTalk toward commercialization  —  OfficeTalk — Microsoft's enterprise-focused microblogging technology — may soon find a home among the company's product teams and become a shipping product and/or service.  —  OfficeTalk, one of the projects launched …
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Developers Share Mac App Store Sales Figures  —  When Apple's new desktop-focused Mac App Store launched, it was expected to be a hit.  One day later, Apple confirmed that the store was taking off, with over 1 million downloads on its first day.  But how many of those were free apps?
Discussion: MarketingVOX
 
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Microsoft Garage: Exploring and creating cross-platform consumer apps  —  Take a look at what's happening now in The Garage, Microsoft's haven for über geeks who are constantly thinking and tinkering.
Amazon Web Services:
Amazon Mobile Analytics- 100M Free Events per Month!  —  Designed to deliver usage reports within 60 min of receiving data from an app.  Built to scale - collect and process billions of events per day from millions of users.
Rackspace:
Another Patent Troll Slain.  You Are Now Free To Rotate Your Smartphone.  —  Rotatable Technologies is now an ex-patent troll.  I say “ex-troll” because its patent, US Pat.  No. 6,326,978, has been declared unpatentable …
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Meet Zoho Subscriptions: One stop shop to run your subscriptions business.  —  Since the early part of the decade, we have witnessed a drastic shift in the way businesses function.
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 More Items: 
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Creator Of Million Dollar Homepage Makes Do Nothing For 2 Minutes
Romin Irani / ProgrammableWeb:
Wolfram Alpha API Now Free and Open to All
Discussion: Download Squad
Nick Bilton / Bits:
Will Apple Put the iPhone on Other Carriers?
Discussion: asymco
Eric Eldon / Inside Social Games:
Zynga Buys Area/Code, Developer of Ubisoft's CSI: Crime City Game on Facebook
Nob Seki / Six Apart News & Events:
Six Apart Japan to be acquired by Infocom and assume responsibility …
Discussion: Say Media
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
PeopleRank: Quora Is Developing An Algorithm To Determine And Rank User Quality
Discussion: Quora
Doug Palmer / Reuters:
Analysis: Hu addresses U.S. stress over China high-tech drive
 Earlier Items: 
Rob Jackson / Android Phone Fans:
Motorola Apologizes For PR Gaffe, Promises Better Bootloader Policy
Adrian Chen / Gawker:
What a Stolen Credit Card Costs on the Digital Black Market
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:
Confirmed: iPad 3G launching soon in China
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Andrew Beaujon / Poynter.:
Reporter quits Sun-Times, cites ‘chilling effect in the newsroom’

Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
More than 300 New York Times staffers express interest in buyouts

Billy Penn:
Jim Brady and colleagues launch mobile-focused Philadelphia news site Billy Penn

 
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