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8:15 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 …
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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.
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 …
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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.
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 Content This Year
Discussion: ClickZ
Stephen Totilo / Kotaku:
This is What EA's Up To (On the Day Zynga Hired One of Their Top Guys)  —  The FarmVille people at Zynga just hired Barry Cottle—former executive vice president of EA Interactive—to be their executive vice president of business and corporate development...
Discussion: Business Insider
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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.
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.
RELATED:
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
As SOPA/PIPA Becomes Toxic, Frantic Congress Test Runs Dropping DNS Blocking Provisions
Discussion: Techdirt, Techdirt and Forbes
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 msnbc.com
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 and Engadget
RELATED:
Ina Fried / AllThingsD:   Microsoft Beefing Up CeBit Presence Even as It Pulls Back on CES
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.
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
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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 and TUAW
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.
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 …
 
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 More Items: 
Macworld:
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
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Bigger than Google+, MySpace isn't dead yet
Discussion: hypebot and The Next Web
 Earlier Items: 
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
Discussion: Betabeat, WebProNews and Boxee Blog
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
MPAA attacks Ars for “challenging efforts to curb content theft”
Discussion: Fortune
Janko Roettgers / GigaOM:
First numbers: How successful are Spotify's apps?
Discussion: AllThingsD and hypebot
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
Cade Metz / Wired Enterprise:
Google's Data Center Engineer Shares Secrets of ‘Warehouse’ Computing