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5:45 AM ET, January 26, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Seth Weintraub / 9to5Mac:
Foxconn employee tells us that the next iPhone is ready for production, indicates likely summer launch  —  We received word from a reliable source at Foxconn in China that the iPhone 5, as it is currently being called, is now gearing for production.  The source said various sample devices …
RELATED:
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Too Soon  —  Seth Weintraub: We received word from a reliable source at Foxconn in China that the iPhone 5, as it is currently being called, is now gearing for production.  No it's not.  No teardrop-shaped devices, as rumored in the lead up to the iPhone 4S.  Samples so far have been symmetrical in thickness (also longer/wider).
New York Times:
The iEconomy: Apple's iPad and the Human Costs for Workers in China  —  A staggering manufacturing system in China has made it possible for Apple and other companies to make devices almost as quickly as they can be dreamed up, but for workers, it can be dangerous.
RELATED:
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Apple's labor practices come under fire from former executives
Discussion: New York Times
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
Tim Cook at today's Town Hall: Starting in June, Apple employees get $500 off Macs, $250 off iPads  —  Among the many topics discussed by Tim Cook at today's Town Hall session with employees, the Apple CEO revealed some new Apple employee benefits.  Giving a little more back to the people …
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
Netflix Bounces Back With a Q4 Beat, But Says Amazon Is Coming  —  First look at Netflix Q4 earnings: Earnings of $0.73 per share and revenue of $876 million.  Wall Street was expecting around $0.54 a share and $857 million.  —  But at least as important are the company's subscriber numbers and guidance …
RELATED:
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Netflix abandons video game rental plans
Discussion: paidContent, Gizmodo and GenGAME.net
Janko Roettgers / GigaOM:
Netflix streaming users now outnumber DVD subscribers 2:1
Stephen Totilo / Kotaku:
Sources: The Next Xbox Will Play Blu-Ray, May Not Play Used Games (And Will Introduce Kinect 2)  —  Microsoft will upgrade its disc technology for its next Xbox from DVDs to Blu-Ray discs, catching up to rival Sony, games industry sources tell Kotaku.  —  Sony's PlayStation 3 currently supports Blu-Ray …
RELATED:
Jonathan S. Geller / BGR:
AT&T's Q1 2012 roadmap: Nokia Lumia 900 to launch March 18th for $99.99  —  We just received a portion of AT&T's 2012 roadmap from a trusted source, and it looks like AT&T isn't playing around this year.  There are some heavy hitters lined up for the first quarter of 2012 …
RELATED:
Jenna Wortham / Bits:
Is iMessage Starting to Take a Bite Out of Standard Texting?  —  When Apple introduced iMessage, a service that lets people with its mobile devices send each other free text messages over data networks, many analysts predicted that it would take a substantial bite out of the profits …
Discussion: Daily Patricia and The Next Web
Brad Stone / Business Week:
Amazon's Hit Man  —  Larry Kirshbaum was the ultimate book industry insider—until Amazon called  —  Larry Kirshbaum, Vice-President and Publisher, Amazon Publishing  —  In November 1997, on a night of pounding rain in midtown Manhattan, Rupert Murdoch threw a party for Jane Friedman …
Discussion: Fortune and GalleyCat
Janet I. Tu / Seattle Times:
Video: Bill Gates on his last visit with Steve Jobs, favorite movies and robots  —  Yahoo has posted segments from a interview ABC News' Bill Weir conducted recently with Bill Gates.  —  In one of the segments, Gates talks about his visit with Steve Jobs at Jobs' home before he died, in which the two tech titans reminisced for hours.
Kim Masters / Hollywood Reporter:
The SOPA War: A Frantic Call, an Aborted Summit, and Dramatic New Details on How Hollywood Lost  —  THR goes inside the piracy battle with MPAA president Chris Dodd as the industry wonders what went wrong and how to fix its battered image.  —  In the desperate hours of early January …
Discussion: Electronista
Florian Mueller / FOSS Patents:
Google authorized Motorola to seek an injunction against the iPhone 4S and iCloud  —  These days, you can probably hear a pin drop if Apple and Google are in the same room.  Tensions are rising high as a direct legal clash increasingly appears to be inevitable.
Facebook:
How Journalists Are Using Facebook Subscribe  —  In September, we introduced Subscribe as a simple way for public figures to allow people to subscribe to their public updates on Facebook.  For journalists specifically, Subscribe has enabled each journalist's community of viewers and readers …
Chris Ziegler / The Verge:
Open webOS 1.0 announced: HP to complete webOS open sourcing by September, Enyo 1.0 and 2.0 code available today  —  Following up on its December announcement that it would open source the platform — a last-ditch effort to make it viable — HP has gone into detail today on exactly …
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
TheFunded Calls Ben Horowitz The Most Disruptive VC  —  TheFunded, the site where entrepreneurs can anonymously review venture capitalists, sometimes a reputation for being anti-VC (especially in its early days), but it's not above showing investors a little love.
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Fab Hits 2 Million Members, Plots International Expansion, Opens For All  —  Fab.com founder and CEO Jason Goldberg just made a significant announcement on his blog about some new and upcoming changes at the ridiculously fast-growing startup.  —  The design shopping site now boasts 2 million members …
Jolie O'Dell / VentureBeat:
Rhapsody acquires Napster's European assets for Spotify battle boost  —  Rhapsody has just announced it's buying Napster's business in Europe.  —  Rhapsody's European expansion begins today with the acquisition of Napster International, Napster's European subscription music service.
Discussion: The Verge, GigaOM and The Next Web
Mikey Campbell / AppleInsider:
Foxconn gets Brazil tax breaks, looks to start iPad production  —  The Brazilian government has approved tax reductions or exemptions pertaining to tablet production that will allow Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn to start iPad production in the country.
Discussion: Electronista, MacRumors and iClarified
Christopher Lawton / Wall Street Journal:
Inside SAP's Skunkworks as It Takes Aim at Oracle  —  POTSDAM, Germany—Hasso Plattner, who 20 years ago designed a computer program that supercharged SAP AG's growth, has been pursuing another breakthrough that could determine the software giant's fate.  —  Now SAP's chairman …
David Cohen / All Facebook:
Restaurants Will Offer Facebook Credits Incentives: Plink  —  Will meals taste better when accompanied by a side of free Facebook Credits?  Loyalty program Plink intends to find out, with the help of several national restaurant chains.  —  Plink will announce a Facebook Credits-based loyalty …
Discussion: Screenwerk, ClickZ and TechCrunch
Kevin Fitchard / GigaOM:
Exclusive: Ericsson is buying BelAir, betting on Wi-Fi  —  In a sure sign that the cellular industry is getting serious about Wi-Fi, telecom networking giant Ericsson is buying BelAir Networks, adding its high-performance outdoor hotspot technology to its portfolio, sources told GigaOM.
 
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 More Items: 
Sean Hollister / The Verge:
Nvidia and AMD blame hard drive shortages for poor GPU sales
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
BeachMint Raises Another Big Round: $35 Million For Celebrity-Backed Shopping Experiences
Jennifer Baker / Computerworld:
'Net users to get new rights under EU data protection proposals
Discussion: ITworld.com, WebProNews and PC World
Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
Feds say senior Google execs knew about illicit pharma ads
Jon Mitchell / ReadWriteWeb:
Google Docs Can Now Be Exported Through Takeout
Nick Bilton / Bits:
At Davos, Discussions of a Global Data Deluge
Discussion: Guardian and All Facebook
 Earlier Items: 
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Biz Stone, 500 Startups And Others Put $1M In CRM For Web Businesses Intercom
Discussion: VentureBeat
Evelyn M. Rusli / DealBook:
Andreessen Is Said to Seek $1.5 Billion in Fund-Raising
Discussion: CNET, VentureBeat, GeekWire and Betabeat
Mark Spoonauer / LAPTOP Magazine:
Samsung: We'll Douse Kindle Fire With More Features, Pen, TV Integration
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Ian Griggs / PRWeek:
IPSO appoints Matt Tee, former permanent secretary for government comms, as chief executive

Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
NYT response to plagiarism claim acknowledges improper use of language, details from Wikipedia

Bill Glauber / JSOnline:
Journal Communications of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps announce merger, spinning off newspapers

 
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