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2:00 PM ET, January 3, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Google's Jaw-Dropping Sponsored Post Campaign For Chrome  —  Google, the company that has been fighting against paid links and “thin” content, seems to be behind a campaign that's generating both on behalf of its Chrome browser.  File this under “what were they thinking.”  —  “This Post Sponsored By Google”
RELATED:
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
Google Ad Buyer Unruly Media Defends Google Chrome Ads  —  Google is paying bloggers to run posts promoting its Google Chrome browser.  —  Is that a big deal?  Depends on who you ask.  —  Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, who sussed this out yesterday, has two big problems with the notion.
Discussion: @fredericl and Daring Fireball
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Google caught up in Chrome sponsored post controversy, blames it on marketing partner Unruly Media  —  Google's gotten some attention for its new marketing direction lately, but a series of sponsored blog posts and video placements for Chrome has some accusing the company of violating its own guidelines on paid advertising links.
Discussion: Search Engine Land, WebProNews and eWeek, Thanks:lylesback2
Financial Post:
RIM leaning toward new chairman: sources  —  Under intense pressure from a group of shareholders, Research in Motion Ltd. is preparing to unveil a corporate shakeup at the beleaguered BlackBerry maker that could see co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie relinquish their titles as co-chairmen of the board, according to sources.
Roger Capriotti / The Windows Blog:
The US Says Goodbye to IE6  —  Time to pop open the champagne because, based on the latest data from Net Applications, IE6 usage in the US has now officially dropped below 1%!  —  IE6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we've been as eager as anyone to see it go away.
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
This Month's Apple Event To Focus On Publishing And iBooks  —  Apple will be holding a product event later this month in New York, Kara Swisher is reporting, and we've confirmed independently with a source.  —  According to the source the event will not involve any hardware at all and instead …
RELATED:
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
January Apple event to focus on two ‘large projects’ relating to education, iTunes
Discussion: MacRumors and iDownloadBlog.com
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Not the iPad 3 or New TV — But Apple Planning Media-Related Event in the Big(ger) Apple This Month
Evan Blass / pocketnow.com:
More Nokia Lumia 900 “Ace” Details Revealed  —  We've gotten some more information on the upcoming Nokia Ace for AT&T — whose codename for the device is Eloko — including confirmation that it is indeed the Lumia 900 which will be sold globally as Nokia's flagship Windows Phone.
Jon Mitchell / ReadWriteWeb:
The Verified Twitter Account for Rupert Murdoch's Wife Was Fake  —  Rupert Murdoch joined Twitter last week.  So did his wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch.  “Joining my husband @rupertmurdoch in our new digital adventure on Twitter,” reads her bio.  Cute, right?  Rupert was verified, Wendi was verified …
Jordan Kahn / 9to5Google:
Larry Page named ‘CEO of the year’ by Investors Business Daily  —  Following Google Cofounder Larry Page taking over as CEO of the company in April, Investor's Business Daily named Page its “CEO of the Year.”  While noting that Google has increased revenues over the last two quarters …
RELATED:
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Larry Page, CEO of the year? You kidding me?!
Discussion: @ed
Electronista:
RIM cuts all PlayBooks to $300, gets ad hoc Android Market  —  BlackBerry PlayBook drops to 300 on company store  —  RIM has started running a new sale for the BlackBerry PlayBook on its own store.  Every version of the tablet costs the same $300, making the 64GB version the best option until stock runs out.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Fortune:
If Android is so hot, why has Java ME overtaken it?  —  Ranked by Internet market share — rather than unit sales — Google is now No. 3  —  Data: NetApplications.  Chart: PED  —  From the perspective of NetApplications, which has been measuring browser usage data since 2004 …
Bill Slawski / SEO by the Sea:
IBM Assigns 217 More Patent Filings to Google including Wireless Phones and Javascript Widgets  —  Looks like Google and IBM are working together again to build up Google's patent portfolio, from an update at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent assignment database.
Discussion: eWeek and Electronista
Darren Murph / Engadget:
Ask Ziggy: the Windows Phone 7 counter to Apple's Siri (video)  —  Ask Ziggy has actually been on the Windows Store for right around a fortnight, but there's an updated version hitting soon that brings an astounding amount of Siri-ness to Microsoft's own Windows Phone 7 platform.
Harrison Weber / The Next Web:
Google+ just had its biggest traffic month of all time, up 55% from November.  —  According to Experian Hitwise, Google+'s total monthly US visits have grown 55% since November. 49 million visits were recorded in December 2011 — the biggest month to date.  —  But regardless of the actual numbers …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Report: 522 Exits Of Venture-Backed US Companies Netted $53.2 Billion In 2011  —  According to a Dow Jones VentureSource report released this morning, fewer US-based venture-backed companies exited in 2011 than the year before, but the deals netted more capital as the median price for M&A and buyouts …
Staci D. Kramer / paidContent:
Ziff Davis Acquires IT Networking Site Toolbox.com  —  Vivek Shah continues to methodically build up his version of Ziff Davis as a tech vertical.  No details on the price but Ziff Davis has acquired Scottsdale-based Toolbox.com and the IT pro networking site's 2.3 million registered members from the Corporate Executive Board.
Discussion: TechCrunch and Business Wire
Zach Honig / Engadget:
Nintendo sold four million 3DS consoles, 4.5 million Wiis in US last year  —  We've been (somewhat) taken with Nintendo's dual-screen handheld's 3D screen, AR features and overall unique experience, but it appears that the 3DS has been a real boon to gamers, with more than four million U.S. consumers picking …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Netflix To Debut Original Series “Lilyhammer” Next Month  —  Netflix is launching a new original series next month called Lilyhammer, which will kick off the company's foray into original programming for 2012.  The series will star The Sopranos actor and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt in a …
Discussion: Betabeat, PR Newswire, Gizmodo and Forbes
Telegraph:
Facebook IPO: the £64bn question of 2012  —  If it ever happens, Facebook will be the frenzied float of 2012, with a possible valuation of $100bn (£64.4bn).  —  An IPO will make founder Mark Zuckerberg one of the world's richest men and many of Facebook's 3,000 employees exceedingly wealthy.
 
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 More Items: 
Jack Purcher / Patently Apple:
Apple Wins Patents for 3D Camera Direction in Motion, MagSafe Connectors and Two Industrial Designs
Tony Smith / The Register:
The Commodore 64 is 30  —  Commodore took the wraps off …
Discussion: GadgeTell
Haaretz:
Saudi Hackers claim to post personal information of 400 thousand Israelis
Matt Hamblen / Network World:
Mobile campaigns to be hot in 2012 presidential race
 Earlier Items: 
Kristian Davis Bailey / The Stanford Daily:
University explains NYC withdrawal
Wall Street Journal:
PC Firms Bet on Ultrabooks
Discussion: Digits
Barb Darrow / GigaOM:
Twine project blows by funding goals thanks to Kickstarter
Discussion: SlashGear and @cdixon
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch Europe:
SoundCloud raises $50 million round led by Kleiner Perkins
Matthew Panzarino / The Next Web:
A new record high of 1.2 billion apps were downloaded in last week of 2011
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Mac Pro Build-to-Order Ship Dates Slip as Future Remains Uncertain
Discussion: SlashGear
Gabe Rivera / Techmeme News:
Techmeme's biggest stories of 2011, literally, as measured by height