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12:10 AM ET, January 13, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
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 …
RELATED:
Dave Winer / Scripting News:
Could Bing seriously challenge Google?  —  King Kaufman who is a sports writer says he reads Scripting News to learn about football.  That's one of the highest compliments someone can pay me, cause I often think in terms of football analogies when it comes to tech.
Discussion: Gizmodo
Benjamin Edelman / Ben Edelman:
Google Tying Google Plus and Many More
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...  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
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 …
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
RELATED:
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries / Digits:
Author of Controversial Piracy Bill Now Says ‘More Study’ Needed
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
If SOPA's Main Target Is The Pirate Bay, It's Worth Pointing Out That ThePirateBay.org Is Immune From SOPA
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:
Christina Bonnington / Gadget Lab:
Why Windows Phones Are the Most Exciting Handsets at CES  —  LAS VEGAS — There's a curious thing happening in the smartphone space at this year's CES.  Two Windows Phone devices — the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900 — are the most hyped, talked-about phones at the show.  Yeah, that's right: Windows Phones.
Zachary Lutz / Engadget:
iPhone 4S launch in China draws large crowds, unnecessary violence and SWAT teams (video)  —  No Apple product launch is complete without long lines, frustration and utter exhaustion.  Unfortunately, the arrival of the iPhone 4S has escalated this reality to a new level in China.
RELATED:
John Paczkowski / AllThingsD:
iPhone 4S Sales Cancelled at Beijing and Shanghai Apple Stores
Discussion: Bloomberg, MacRumors and TUAW
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.
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: Gizmodo, The Verge, Engadget, CNET and iPodNN
BBC:
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: CNET and The Next Web, Thanks:zackwhittaker
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.
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
The Pirate Bay Will Stop Serving Torrents  —  After half a decade of loyal service, The Pirate Bay shut down its tracker in November 2009.  —  The Pirate Bay argued that BitTorrent trackers have been made redundant by technologies such as DHT and PEX.  In addition, The Pirate Bay team …
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 …
RELATED:
Stephen Totilo / Kotaku:
This is What EA's Up To (On the Day Zynga Hired One of Their Top Guys)
Discussion: Uncrunched and 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: @nytimesbits, TechFlash and msnbc.com
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, 9to5Mac and iClarified
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.
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, GigaOM, Betabeat and Xconomy
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 …
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.
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: 
Jennifer Van Grove / VentureBeat:
Email off the clock constitutes overtime — in Brazil
Tricia Duryee / AllThingsD:
eBay Is the Most Recent Bay Area Transplant to Seek Access to Seattle's Talent Pool
Discussion: TechFlash
Dara Kerr / CNET:
Michelle Obama joins Twitter as 2012 election nears
Macworld:
Forecasting next week's Apple education event
Discussion: eWeek
 Earlier Items: 
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Amazon Kindle Owners Are “Borrowing” Nearly 300,000 Electronic Books A Month
Walter S. Mossberg / AllThingsD:
Working In Word, Excel, PowerPoint On an iPad
Discussion: everythingiCafe
Gregory Lyons / iCrossing:
Facebook to Hit a Billion Users in the Summer
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Justin Ellis / Nieman Lab:
New friends: The Washington Post and The Texas Tribune enter into a new reporting partnership

Alex Kantrowitz / AdAge:
Inside the Business of the Serial Podcast

Andrew Jacobs / New York Times:
Visa renewals obscure a mounting hostility toward Western media outlets operating in China

 
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