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2:00 PM ET, November 28, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Seth Weintraub / 9to5Mac:
Apple's Black Friday Retail Store Sales were “off the charts”  —  We obviously had to white out numbers above - From Apple's Retail inventory system.  —  A source inside Apple Retail has shared with us the numbers for Apple's Black Friday sales event.  Black Friday is always huge shopping …
RELATED:
Amazon.com:
Best Black Friday Ever for Kindle Family: Kindle Sales Increase 4X Over Last Year  —  Holiday shoppers made Kindle Fire the bestselling product across all of Amazon.com on Black Friday  —  Kindle Fire now the bestselling product across Amazon for 8 weeks running - ever since its introduction on September 28
Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times:
Cyber Monday retail sales may hit record
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Black Friday E-Commerce Spending Up 26 Percent To A Record $816M; Amazon Most Visited Retailer
Ben Gomes / The Official Google Blog:
The evolution of search in six minutes  —  This summer we posted a video that takes a peek under the hood of search, sharing the methodology behind search ranking and evaluation.  Through this methodology, we make roughly 500 improvements to search in a typical year.
Evelyn M. Rusli / DealBook:
Zynga's Tough Culture Risks a Talent Drain  —  Zynga's chief executive, Mark Pincus, got an earful from employees last month.  —  In dozens of e-mails to a companywide list, frustrated workers complained about the long hours and stressful deadline periods.
RELATED:
Clare Jim / Reuters:
HTC says to tough out downturn, new models coming  —  (Reuters) - HTC Corp promised competitive new models early next year and said it would stick to its strategy in the face of its biggest challenge since rising to prominence in the smartphone market.  —  HTC has become the worst performer …
RELATED:
Electronista:
Best Buy cancels BlackBerry PlayBook orders, pulls listings  —  Best Buy sheds PlayBook as others follow  —  Best Buy raised questions on Thanksgiving weekend after it suddenly started cancelling Blackberry PlayBook orders.  Shoppers have frequently reported orders being dropped …
Jason Lewis / Telegraph:
Facebook faces a crackdown on selling users' secrets to advertisers  —  Facebook is facing a crackdown on how it exploits vast amounts of its users' most personal information to create bespoke advertising.  —  Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg must address privacy concerns or face fines under a new EC Directive
Katya Kazakina / Bloomberg:
Apple Founding Contract Signed by Jobs Could Fetch $150,000 at Sotheby's  —  On April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs got together with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to draft a three- page contract that established Apple Computer Co.  —  Next month, the contract, with the three founding partners' signatures, hits the auction block in New York.
Christina Cacioppo / Union Square Ventures:
What comes next  —  Now is a great time to be an internet entrepreneur.  While much of the global economy sputters, tech companies post growth numbers other industries haven't seen in years.  Their success hasn't gone unnoticed, and the pace of tech-company creation has quickened.
Discussion: A VC
Matt Rosoff / Business Insider:
Why The PayPal “Mafia” Was So Great: Yammer CEO David Sacks Explains  —  David Sacks is one of the earliest members of the so-called PayPal “mafia,” a group of PayPal employees who went on to unusual positions of influence and power in Silicon Valley.  —  But his first startup after leaving PayPal …
Ingrid Lunden / mocoNews:
Crunch Time For Apple's Rivals: iPhone Sales In UK Grew Again In October  —  Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) acolytes will probably be saying “told you so” when they hear of this: sales of the iPhone, which had been in decline in the last several months, turned around and grew in the month of October …
Greg Kumparak / TechCrunch:
Wikipedia Programmer: We Do The Funny Portrait Placement Thing Because It Works  —  You know, I'm becoming something of a fan of Brandon Harris (the latest face of Wikipedia's fundraising efforts, which you should absolutely donate to.)  —  First, he's a programmer on Wikipedia …
Discussion: Softpedia News and Gawker
Rip Empson / TechCrunch:
Russian Search Giant Yandex Acquires Mobile Software Developer SPB For $38 Million  —  Last week, Yandex, one of biggest search and advertising companies in Russia, announced that it would be teaming up with Microsoft, Nokia, HTC and Samsung to become the default search engine on both new and upcoming Windows Phones in Russia.
Business Week:
In Some Virtual Worlds, the Thrill Is Gone  —  Zynga and other social game developers search for the next FarmVille-scale hit  —  Just a few weeks after Mafia Wars 2 went live on Facebook, Din Shlomi got tired of playing the game.  A self-described hard-core gamer from northern Israel …
Discussion: VG247
RELATED:
Eric Eldon / TechCrunch:
Zynga Builds Its CastleVille Walls, As Its Facebook Traffic Flattens And Falls
Thanks:eldon
 
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 More Items: 
Tom Warren / WinRumors:
Microsoft's future Kinect 2 device will reportedly lip read and measure emotions
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
It's Still A Feature Phone World: Global Smartphone Penetration At 27%
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
NY Times & LA Times Both Come Out Against SOPA & PIPA
Brad McCarty / The Next Web:
Twitter acquires mobile data security gurus Whisper Systems
Matt Brian / The Next Web:
Apple now offering free shipping on all U.S online orders until December 22
Discussion: Gizmodo, GottaBeMobile and MacRumors
Emily Glazer / Wall Street Journal:
Serfing the Web: Sites Let People Farm Out Their Chores
 Earlier Items: 
Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
Google seeks EU approval for Motorola Mobility deal
L. Gordon Crovitz / Wall Street Journal:
Horror Show: Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley
Daniel Eran Dilger / AppleInsider:
Best Buy airs TV ads promoting itself as a source for Apple products
Nate Bolt / TechCrunch:
Why Instagram Is So Popular: Quality, Audience, & Constraints
Discussion: Howard Lindzon
Frédéric Filloux / Monday Note:
A Facebook Smartphone - Why?  —  At the end of last week's Monday Note …