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5:40 PM ET, January 12, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Alexandre Roche / Facebook Blog:
Listen to Music With Your Friends  —  Music is one of the most powerful and fun ways to connect.  Whether it's at a concert with a bunch of people or on a long car ride with your best buddy, we love listening to music with our friends.  But what if you could listen to music with your friends …
RELATED:
Jacob Schulman / The Verge:
Facebook introduces ‘listen with friends’ feature for Spotify users, other services coming soon
Discussion: VentureBeat and LAUNCH
Ashlee Vance / Business Week:
Steve Ballmer Reboots  —  Cooler tech, more energy, higher profit—the Microsoft CEO is out to prove Steve Jobs wrong and make Redmond relevant again  —  They had his dining room waiting.  Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive and one of the richest men in the world …
RELATED:
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:   Microsoft's Ballmer: If I had it to do all over again...
Benjamin Edelman / Ben Edelman:
Google Tying Google Plus and Many More  —  Disclosure: I serve as a consultant to various companies that compete with Google.  But I write on my own — not at the suggestion or request of any client, without approval or payment from any client.  —  This week Google announced Google Search Plus Your World …
RELATED:
Verdi / epic.org:
EPIC Urges Trade Commission to Investigate Google Search  —  In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, EPIC has called for an investigation of recent changes by Google to Google Search, the dominant search algorithm on the Internet.  EPIC cited Google's decision to include personal data …
Discussion: The Next Web and Pulse2
Dan Lyons / The Daily Beast:
Google Attempts to Take Down Facebook With ‘Search Plus Your World’ Feature
Christian Robertson / Android Developers Blog:
Introducing the Android Design site  —  Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) is our biggest redesign yet — both for users and developers.  We've enhanced the UI framework with new interactions and styles that will let you create Android apps that are simpler and more beautiful than ever before.
Dave Stewart / Gmail Blog:
Improvements to the Gmail offline Chrome app  —  When we first announced Gmail offline last August, we told you that it was only the beginning of our HTML5-powered offline journey.  Since then, we've been listening to your feedback and today, we want to let you know about some of the key updates we've made to the Chrome Web Store app.
Jason Kilar / Hulu Blog:
2011, 2012 and beyond.  —  We just closed the books on a big 2011 for Hulu.  As a team, we recently reflected on our 2011 investments in innovation and thought it would be an appropriate time to share some of those thoughts via this post.  —  First, some results:
RELATED:
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:   Hulu's 2011 Revenue Grew 60 Percent To $420M, Will Invest $500M In New Content This Year
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
If SOPA's Main Target Is The Pirate Bay, It's Worth Pointing Out That ThePirateBay.org Is Immune From SOPA  —  In looking over Eric Goldman's excellent “linkwrap” of a bunch of recent SOPA/PIPA stories, it pointed me to a News.com article from last month, about how SOPA was really about going after one single site: The Pirate Bay.
Discussion: ExtremeTech and WatchingTV Online
RELATED:
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Gambling giant IGT buying DoubleDown for $500M, moving into Facebook games  —  International Game Technology, a maker of real-world casino games and gambling systems, has agreed to pay $500 million to acquire Seattle-based DoubleDown Interactive, a maker of casino-style Facebook games that don't allow users to gamble real money.
Discussion: AllThingsD, The Seattle Times and Xconomy, Thanks:johnhcook
Stephen Rosenman / Seeking Alpha:
Apple's Foreign Cash Hoard  —  Apple (AAPL) is piling up boatloads of cash: just not here.  —  Those boatloads are increasing becoming docked in Apple's foreign subsidiaries and cannot be repatriated without incurring additional hefty U.S. taxes.  A whopping $54 billion of Apple's $82 billion cash …
Discussion: MacNN, Pulse2, Techie Buzz, TUAW and PhoneArena
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
LG signs Android, Chrome OS patent deal with Microsoft  —  Summary: LG Electronics is the latest Android vendor to license Microsoft patents in order to head off potential legal issues.  —  It's been a couple of months since Microsoft has touted any new Android/Chrome OS vendors agreeing to license its patents.
RELATED:
Gregory Lyons / iCrossing:
Facebook to Hit a Billion Users in the Summer  —  Last summer we took a look at Facebook usage around the world, and with Facebook recently announcing that they're currently at over 800 million active users we thought it would be interesting to extrapolate their current grown rate and estimate …
Jack Purcher / Patently Apple:
Apple is paving the Way for a new 3D GUI for iOS Devices  —  On January 12, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an exciting new 3D GUI for iOS mobile devices.  The new UI will work with proximity sensor arrays and will respond to hovering gestures.
David Barboza / New York Times:
Foxconn Resolves Pay Dispute With Workers  —  SHANGHAI — Foxconn Technology, the largest contract electronics manufacturer in the world, said Thursday that it had resolved a pay dispute with scores of workers at one of its factories in central China, following a large protest that involved threats …
Bill Rigby / Reuters:
ARM chief not impressed with Intel phone chips  —  (Reuters) - The head of British chip designer Arm Holdings plc has shrugged off the latest attempt by Intel Corp to muscle its way into the expanding market for low-power processors used in smartphones and tablets, which ARM dominates.
Jennifer Van Grove / VentureBeat:
Foursquare's mobile recommendation engine, Explore, hits the web  —  Chances are that the insights gathered from one-and-a-half billion check-ins and 15 million tips are better than your own eyes and ears at sleuthing out the best places to eat, drink and see nearby or afar.
Rachel King / Between the Lines Blog:
Amazon enables sending documents from the PC to Kindle  —  Summary: Amazon's new “Send to Kindle” option makes it possible to transfer files from Windows applications to the Kindle.  —  Amazon just added a huge new piece of functionality to the Kindle, making it more useful for all sorts of personal and business purposes.
Walter S. Mossberg / AllThingsD:
Working In Word, Excel, PowerPoint On an iPad  —  Although Apple's popular iPad tablet has been able to replace laptops for many tasks, it isn't a big hit with folks who'd like to use it to create or edit long Microsoft Office documents.  While Microsoft has released a number of apps for the iPad …
Discussion: everythingiCafe
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Target Confirms Plans to Bring Dedicated Apple Shops to 25 Stores  —  Reuters reports that Target has confirmed its plans to launch “store-within-a-store” concepts for Apple products in 25 of its stores around the United States.  The announcement comes alongside a broader effort called …
Om Malik / GigaOM:
VMWare co-founder joins Google's board  —  Diane Greene has joined the board of directors of Google, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced today.  Greene was the CEO of VMware but was replaced by current CEO Paul Maritz a few years ago.  Greene, who was the co-founder of VMWare …
Discussion: Google, 9to5Google and The Next Web
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Amazon Kindle Owners Are “Borrowing” Nearly 300,000 Electronic Books A Month  —  Amazon is releasing new data on its Kindle Lending Library, which the e-commerce site says now has over 75,000 books.  The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own …
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
MPAA attacks Ars for “challenging efforts to curb content theft”  —  The Motion Picture Association of America doesn't like us.  According to the MPAA blog on Tuesday, “Arts Technica” is a “tech blog with a long history of challenging efforts to curb content theft.”
Discussion: Fortune and MPAA Blog
Scott Kveton / Urban Airship:
Update on our plan to integrate location and context services into our push messaging platform  —  We announced the acquisition of SimpleGeo at the end of October 2011.  Since then we've been evaluating how to proceed in a way that benefits all parties involved: SimpleGeo and Urban Airship customers plus both companies.
Discussion: Spatially Adjusted
 
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Halo: The Master Chief Collection' goes gold: Available for pre-download later Friday  —  Dan Ayoub, studio head of Halo External Development at 343 Industries, shares his thoughts about the major milestone.
Amazon Web Services:
Amazon Mobile Analytics- 100M Free Events per Month!  —  Designed to deliver usage reports within 60 min of receiving data from an app.  Built to scale - collect and process billions of events per day from millions of users.
Rackspace:
Another Patent Troll Slain.  You Are Now Free To Rotate Your Smartphone.  —  Rotatable Technologies is now an ex-patent troll.  I say “ex-troll” because its patent, US Pat.  No. 6,326,978, has been declared unpatentable …
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 More Items: 
Ina Fried / AllThingsD:
Microsoft Beefing Up CeBit Presence Even as It Pulls Back on CES
Macworld:
Forecasting next week's Apple education event
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Bigger than Google+, MySpace isn't dead yet
Discussion: hypebot and The Next Web
ICANN:
New gTLDs Update: Applications Accepted Today; New Guidebook Posted; Financial Assistance for Qualifying Applicants
Jamie Keene / The Verge:
Boxee's Live TV joins the Facebook Open Graph party
 Earlier Items: 
Alex Wilhelm / The Next Web:
Microsoft: Windows Phone will not battle Android on specs, will instead fight for ‘quality’
Discussion: WMPoweruser and The Verge
Janko Roettgers / GigaOM:
First numbers: How successful are Spotify's apps?
Discussion: AllThingsD
Julie Bort / Business Insider:
Amazon Web Services Now Available Without That Messy ‘Web’ Part
Discussion: Computerworld
Cade Metz / Wired Enterprise:
Google's Data Center Engineer Shares Secrets of ‘Warehouse’ Computing
Seth Weintraub / 9to5Mac:
The MacBook Air Samsung SSD is about to get twice as fast
Discussion: I4U News and SlashGear
Kevin May / Tnooz:
Hotel giants come together to launch Room Key search site
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Eric Johnson / Re/code:
Tech and media figures debate the ethics of Guardian's reporting of info obtained from a partnership meeting with Whisper

Robert G. Kaiser / Brookings Institute:
A 50 year Washington Post veteran reflects on the newspaper industry and its unclear future

Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
Why Did The Washington Post Name The White House Volunteer Accused In Prostitution Scandal?

 
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