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4:45 PM ET, December 19, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Bradley Horowitz / The Official Google Blog:
Google+: A few big improvements before the New Year  —  Today we're pleased to announce a goodie basket full of Google+ features and functionality for you to unpack and enjoy over the holidays.  Some of these were on nearly everyone's wishlist... and some we hope will be welcome surprises.
RELATED:
Nick Bilton / Bits:
Wearing Your Computer on Your Sleeve  —  Technology often has a way of fixing the problems it creates.  Here's one that needs solving.  —  The invention of the smartphone has created a world where millions of people stroll through life constantly staring into a mobile device, like Narcissus at the edge of a pond.
Shaji Mathew / Bloomberg:
Prince Alwaleed Invests $300M in Twitter  —  Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the largest individual investor in Citigroup Inc. (C), and his Kingdom Holding Co. (KINGDOM) invested $300 million to buy a “strategic stake” in microblogging service Twitter Inc.  —  “The investment was the result …
RELATED:
Dan Primack / Fortune:
Twitter doesn't really raise money from Saudi prince  —  Prince Alwaleed's deal for Twitter isn't a traditional investment. deal for Twitter isn't a traditional investment.  —  Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal today announced that he has invested $300 million in Twitter, via his Kingdom Holding investment group.
Emily Chang / @emilychangtv:
Discussion: The Verge and Deal Journal
RELATED:
AT&T:   AT&T Ends Bid To Add Network Capacity Through T-Mobile USA Purchase
Wall Street Journal:
AT&T Talks to Sell T-Mobile Assets Go Cold
Matt Brian / The Next Web:
Google gives out customised Galaxy Nexus handsets to employees for Christmas  —  It appears that Google employees are going to enjoy the latest and greatest Android smartphone that the search giant and Samsung have to offer after it emerged the company is giving its staff customised handsets as a Christmas thank you.
John Tenanes / Facebook:
Our New Menlo Park Home  —  This morning, the final wave of employees walked through the doors of the new Facebook Menlo Park campus, and my team greeted them with coffee, snacks, and maps to help them find their new desks.  For years, we've been moving from one building to the next …
Clay Johnson / Information Diet:
Dear Internet: It's No Longer OK to Not Know How Congress Works  —  This weekend I read a post titled “Dear Congress: It Is No Longer OK To Not Know How the Internet Works.”  The author, Joshua Kopstein, is right: it's not ok to not know about something before legislating or regulating it.
Discussion: @tedr
Stanford Law Review:
Don't Break the Internet  —  Mark Lemley is the William H. Neukom Professor at Stanford Law School  —  David Levine is an Assistant Professor at Elon University School of Law  —  David Post is a Professor at Beasley School of Law, Temple University  —  Two bills now pending in Congress …
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Jon Russell / The Next Web:
Facebook introduces private messages between business pages and fans  —  Facebook has begun introducing a new feature which allows business pages to receive private messages from their fans on the social network.  —  The new communications option, which has appeared for Asia-based admins only so far …
brian s hall:
Blackberry ($RIMM) is worth less than the Apple App Store.  Just the App Store.  Not iPhone.  Not iPad.  Not Mac.  Not iTunes.  —  I wrote earlier today that, at it's current price of $13.44, that $RIMM is worth a mere $7.04 billion.  —  Apple ($AAPL), by contrast, is worth $354 billion.
RELATED:
Reuters:
Could RIM's survival mean abandoning the BlackBerry?
Discussion: asymco and Mark Evans Tech
Wall Street Journal:
Apple Plots Its TV Assault  —  Apple Inc. is moving forward with its assault on television, following up on the ambitions of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs.  —  In recent weeks, Apple executives have discussed their vision for the future of TV with media executives at several large companies …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Vistaprint Buys DIY Site Builder Webs.com For $117.5 Million  —  Digital marketing company Vistaprint is acquiring Webs, a popular DIY website creation service, for $117.5 million in cash and stock ($100 million in cash and $17.5 million in stock).  —  Webs, which has raised $12 million …
Chris Ziegler / The Verge:
‘So, what phone should I buy?’ and other unanswerable questions  —  It's the question we all dread.  —  Maybe you're your family's designated tech expert, maybe you're a writer who deals almost exclusively with mobile technology, maybe you're the CEO of a national wireless carrier.
Nielsen Wire:
Friends & Frenemies: Why We Add and Remove Facebook Friends  —  To friend or to de-friend, that is the question.  New research from NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company, reveals that there are innumerable factors that help Facebook users decide to add a friend or cull someone from the fold …
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and Business Insider
Frederic Lardinois / SiliconFilter:
Skype to Offer Free Wifi in Over 50 U.S. Airports This Holiday Season  —  A few years ago, Google teamed up with a number of airports in the U.S. to provide travelers with free WiFi during the holidays.  This year, it's Skype's turn to make a similar offer.
Svea Herbst-Bayliss / Reuters:
MIT to offer labs, certificates to virtual students  —  (Reuters) - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing technology that will allow students taking courses online to use simulated labs, interact with professors and other students, and earn certificates.
Joe Schneider / Bloomberg:
Facebook Lawsuit Against Ads ‘Liked’ by Friends Can Proceed, Judge Rules  —  Facebook Inc., the world's most used social-networking service, can be sued by people who claim showing advertisements that their friends apparently like violates a California law regarding commercial endorsements.
Paul Sloan / CNET News:
Marc Andreessen: Predictions for 2012 (and beyond)  —  Marc Andreessen's view of the world boils down to software.  —  From where he stands, as the guy who co-founded Netscape Communications and now co-runs the powerful Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen-Horowitz, no industry is safe from software.
Discussion: Business Insider
Kim Zetter / Threat Level:
Forensic Examiner Found No Match of Cables on Manning's Laptop to WikiLeaks'  —  Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted from a security vehicle to a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland, on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011.  Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP  —  FT. MEADE, Maryland — A day after a government …
 
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 Techmeme Sponsor Posts: 
Microsoft:
Microsoft to modernize Special Olympics, raise system to the cloud  —  “We're so excited.  This is going to change our world.” says Special Olympics Chief Executive Officer Janet Froetscher.
Zoho:
Announcing Zoho SalesIQ - Real-time sales intelligence platform with tight Zoho CRM integration.  —  You run an apparel store.  There's a visitor who walked in after seeing your weekly ad.
SAY Media / SAY Daily:
Don't Look Now: Here Come the Disappearing Message Apps  —  Get ready for a world of expiring photos and vanishing status updates.
AdExchanger:
LinkedIn Q3: Marketing Solutions Revenue Up 45% As Bizo Integration Continues  —  LinkedIn's revenue grew 45% YoY in Q3 to $568 million.  Its Marketing Solutions division also increased 45% YoY, totaling $109 million in revenue.
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 More Items: 
Nathan Olivarez-Giles / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
IBM ‘5 in 5’ predicts no more passwords, mind-reading smartphones
Chris Dixon:
An internet of people  —  Over the past few years …
Ingrid Lunden / paidContent:
Cox Media Group Plants $6 Million In Content Farm Skyword
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Quora Expands Beyond Q&A, Launches ‘Boards’ — A Way To Personally Curate Information
Discussion: Marketing Land and VentureBeat
Kellex / Droid Life:
Verizon Support: Update to Address Galaxy Nexus Signal Strength in the Works
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Cablevision and Time Warner to Offer ‘HBO Go’
Bloomberg:
Verizon, Cablevision Settle Suit Over Internet Speed Ads
 Earlier Items: 
Mitsutoshi Miyagi / Techie Insider:
Kazakhstan Government Blocks Internet and Mobile Networks
Discussion: TechEye
Matt Brian / The Next Web:
Google's Schmidt teases possible Nexus tablet in the next 6 months
Nicole Perlroth / New York Times:
As Patient Records Are Digitized, Data Breaches Are on the Rise
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Chip executive outlook reveals bleak times ahead
Discussion: eWeek and Gartner
Inside Social Games:
What Does Life After IPO Look Like For Zynga?