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5:05 PM ET, March 13, 2011


 Top Items: 
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Google to Launch Major New Social Network Called Circles, Possibly Today (Updated)  —  We believe that Google will preview a major new social service called Google Circles at South by Southwest Interactive today.  If what we've heard is correct, the service will offer photo, video and status message sharing.
Liz Gannes / NetworkEffect:
False Alarm: Google Circles Not Coming Now, And Probably Not Ever  —  When a report emerged this morning of a new social network focused on nuanced sharing called Google Circles, the company said it was not launching anything this week at SXSW.  But such a product is not even under development …
Discussion: @marshallk
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Is your iPad 2 backlight bleeding? (video)  —  Now that many of you have collected and used your second generation iPad tablets for a few hours, we're starting to see the inevitable reports of defects.  Thus far, two issues have bubbled to the surface.  The first issue …
Arn / MacRumors:
iPad 2: GPU Benchmarked with Impressive Gains  —  Anandtech has determined the iPad GPU to be the PowerVR SGX543MP2, a more advanced dual-core version of the PowerVR GPU found in the original iPad and iPhone 4. … They found that the new graphics processor offered over 3-5x the speed in simple geometry tests over the original iPad.
Jon Evans / TechCrunch:
The Walled Garden Has Won  —  Ten days ago Google discovered that apparently innocuous Android apps were in fact infested with “DroidDream” malware that included an Android rootkit, with the apparent intent of creating a smartphone botnet.  It infected more than a quarter of a million devices before Google intervened.
Discussion: Beyond Search
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
How to Activate the Best Secret Feature In Your iPad  —  How to Activate the Best Secret Feature In Your iPad Your new iPad—and old too, with iOS 4.3—has a new hidden feature that Apple doesn't want you to know about: Extra multi-touch gestures that completely changes the iPad experience …
Kellex / Droid Life:
WiFi-only Galaxy Tab Launching April 4 for $399?  —  One of our posse members was hanging out at a technology fair today and it just so happened to include a Samsung rep who was quick to hand out the flyer above which shows that the wifi-only Galaxy Tab version should be out by April 4.
Nik Rawlinson / PC Pro:
The emergency internet bunkers  —  Nik Rawlinson investigates the impregnable underground bunkers that will keep the net running during wartime  —  The Doomsday Clock shows 23:54.  If it ever reaches midnight, mankind's survival will be on the brink.  —  Since 1947, the Bulletin …
Discussion: Slashdot
Michael Oryl /
iSuppli estimates Apple iPad 2 3G component costs at $325  —  Research firm iSuppli is working on its teardown of the new Apple iPad 2 tablet computer and has provided preliminary component cost estimates to All Things Digital.  According to iSuppli, AT&T's iPad 2 3G has about US$326.60 worth of parts …
Discussion: Examiner and NewEnterprise
Tim-o-tato / Droid Life:
Staples Ad For WiFi-only XOOM Shows March 27th Release?  —  So as was mentioned previously, it was looking like Staples was going to be selling the wifi-only XOOM some time in early April, but from the flyer above it looks like it may be sooner on March 27th.
Robert McMillan / ITworld:
With hacking, music can take control of your car  —  Remote-controlled car hacking is a real possibility, researchers say - About 300 years ago, the English playwright William Congreve wrote, “music has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
Discussion: Slashdot
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Exclusive: Engadget's Top Editors Topolsky and Patel Exit From AOL's Giant Tech Site
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:
Apple now taking Red Cross donations through iTunes for Japan relief fund  —  Apple has opened up a new portal in the iTunes Store to take donations for the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund.  Users who wish to donate can donate in $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 increments.
Ingrid Lunden / mocoNews:
Mobile Giving: A List Of Shortcodes To Donate To Japan
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Zynga Enables Donations To Tsunami Relief Through In-Game Purchases
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