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11:40 AM ET, January 3, 2012


 Top Items: 
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 …
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Not the iPad 3 or New TV — But Apple Planning Media-Related Event in the Big(ger) Apple This Month  —  According to sources close to the situation, Apple is planning an important — but not large-scale — event to be held in New York at the end of this month that will focus on a media-related announcement.
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”
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
Google's Ad Company (Which Isn't Google) Explains What's Up With Those 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.
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch Europe:
SoundCloud raises $50 million round led by Kleiner Perkins  —  SoundCloud has raised a new fundraising round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  The amount was not released but TechCrunch understands it to be $50 million.  This would give the company a $200 million pre-money valuation.
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 More Items: 
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Report: 522 Exits Of Venture-Backed US Companies Netted $53.2 Billion In 2011
Tony Smith / The Register:
The Commodore 64 is 30  —  Commodore took the wraps off …
Discussion: GadgeTell, TechCrunch, CNET and Boing Boing
Facebook IPO: the £64bn question of 2012
Discussion: ITProPortal
Dante D'Orazio / The Verge:
New ClockworkMod app offers free tethering to Android phones, sans root
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
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