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9:45 PM ET, January 12, 2012


 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 …
Jacob Schulman / The Verge:
Facebook introduces ‘listen with friends’ feature for Spotify users, other services coming soon
Discussion: VentureBeat and LAUNCH
Steven Levy:
Is Too Much Plus is a Minus for Google?  —  On Tuesday, Google announced something called Search, plus Your World (SPYW).  It marked a startling transformation of the company's flagship product, Google Search, into an amplifier of social content.  Google's critics—as well as some folks generally …
Benjamin Edelman / Ben Edelman:
Google Tying Google Plus and Many More
Dan Lyons / The Daily Beast:
Google Attempts to Take Down Facebook With ‘Search Plus Your World’ Feature
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 …
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft's Ballmer: If I had it to do all over again...  Summary: Steve Ballmer's last three years as CEO is the subject of Businessweek's cover story this week.  Here's what I found interesting in the story.  —  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is no more Mr. Monkeyboy.
Discussion: Gizmodo
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
As SOPA/PIPA Becomes Toxic, Frantic Congress Test Runs Dropping DNS Blocking Provisions  —  Well, well, well.  It looks like some in DC are starting to get the message that there is real concern with SOPA/PIPA.  The latest is that the fact that SOPA/PIPA support is becoming “toxic” is starting to make the press.
Discussion: Techdirt
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries / Digits:
Author of Controversial Piracy Bill Now Says ‘More Study’ Needed  —  The senator who introduced hotly debated legislation intended to shut down pirate websites said Thursday he is backing away from one of the most controversial parts of the bill, amid criticism from Web companies, human rights groups and Internet engineers.
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
If SOPA's Main Target Is The Pirate Bay, It's Worth Pointing Out That Is Immune From SOPA
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.
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:
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Hulu's 2011 Revenue Grew 60 Percent To $420M, Will Invest $500M In Content This Year
Discussion: ClickZ
Cliff Edwards / Business Week:
Beats Electronics Is Breaking Up with Monster  —  The popular headphone line parts ways with its manufacturing partner  —  In a Las Vegas hotel a few days before the start of the Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 10, Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine takes out an iPad …
Discussion: The Verge, Engadget and iPodNN
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.
Tricia Duryee / AllThingsD:
Zynga Hires Top Digital Executive Away From Electronic Arts  —  Zynga has hired away Barry Cottle, the EVP of Electronic Arts' interactive division, marking the third such high-profile steal it's made from the rival videogame maker over the past year.  —  Last year, Zynga hired Electronic …
Stephen Totilo / Kotaku:
This is What EA's Up To (On the Day Zynga Hired One of Their Top Guys)
Discussion: Business Insider
Adam Penenberg / Fast Company:
Amazon's Plagiarism Problem  —  Amazon's erotica section isn't just rife with tales of lust, incest, violence, and straight-up kink.  It's also a hotbed of masked merchants profiting from copyright infringement.  And even with anti-piracy legislation looming, Amazon doesn't appear too eager …
Discussion: TechFlash, @nytimesbits and
Ex-Apple boss Sculley sets record straight on Jobs  —  Former Apple boss John Sculley said he enjoyed a great working relationship with Steve Jobs during ‘the good times’  —  Apple's former chief executive John Sculley is perhaps best known as the man who first mentored and then clashed with Steve Jobs …
Discussion: The Next Web, Thanks:zackwhittaker
George Avalos / Mercury News:
Apple leases Sunnyvale complex as it expands into that city  —  Apple (AAPL) has agreed to lease a big research and office complex in Sunnyvale and is seeking even more space in the city, marking a major expansion outside of the tech titan's home town of Cupertino.
Discussion: MacRumors and 9to5Mac
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.
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.
Douglas MacMillan / Bloomberg:
Google Readies Next Version of TV Software for 2012 Release  —  Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) — Google Inc. plans to release an updated version of software for its namesake television service by year-end, adding content and making it easier for users to find shows.  —  Google TV will undergo annual …
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.
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 …
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.
John Cook / GeekWire:
Venture capital investing hits 10-year peak, sparking bubble talk  —  Despite hiccups in the IPO and M&A markets, venture capitalists were still mighty busy in 2011.  Investors in privately-held companies sunk $30.6 billion in 3,051 companies last year, the largest dollar and deal total in the past 10 years …
Discussion: CB Insights, Betabeat, GigaOM and Xconomy
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 More Items: 
Christina Bonnington / Gadget Lab:
Why Windows Phones Are the Most Exciting Handsets at CES
Discussion: PC World and FierceWireless
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
The Pirate Bay Will Stop Serving Torrents
Ina Fried / AllThingsD:
Microsoft Beefing Up CeBit Presence Even as It Pulls Back on CES
Forecasting next week's Apple education event
Scott Kveton / Urban Airship:
Update on our plan to integrate location and context services into our push messaging platform
 Earlier Items: 
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
MPAA attacks Ars for “challenging efforts to curb content theft”
Discussion: Fortune
Walter S. Mossberg / AllThingsD:
Working In Word, Excel, PowerPoint On an iPad
Discussion: everythingiCafe
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
LG signs Android, Chrome OS patent deal with Microsoft

From Mediagazer:

Peter Sterne / Politico:
As Gawker traffic stalls, writers told to work faster

Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
By end of 2015, McClatchy expected to scale back national coverage and close its five foreign bureaus in Beijing, Mexico City, Istanbul, Berlin, and Irbil, Iraq

Committee to Protect Journalists:
Somalia, Iraq, and Syria top CPJ's list of places where journalists are killed with impunity

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