Techmeme
March 16, 2012, 12:15 PM

Top News

Jenna Wortham / Bits:
James Bamford / Wired:
The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)  —  The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze.  Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah's Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west.
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
The Retina iPad Apps To Test Tonight And Tomorrow  —  The new iPad nears.  Apparently Walmart will be selling them in just a few short hours, well before Apple itself does tomorrow morning.  Meanwhile, the first direct-to-consumer shipments should be hitting anytime now.
Julia Angwin / Wall Street Journal:
Google in New Privacy Probes  —  Regulators in the U.S. and European Union are investigating Google Inc. for bypassing the privacy settings of millions of users of Apple Inc.'s Safari Web browser, according to people familiar with the investigations.  Google stopped the practice last month …
Brooke Crothers / CNET:
Evidence of Apple chip design change in iPad teardown  —  Apple needs some serious silicon to drive that gorgeous, pixel-dense display.  —  (Credit: Apple)  —  Apple has changed the design of the main chip in the new iPad with tweaks to accommodate a higher-performing chip, according to teardown analysis.
Tim Rowe / AllThingsD:
The New Law That Will Turn the Start-Up World Upside Down: Crowdfunding  —  Remember that special moment when we all realized that the Web was going to remake yard sales and auctions, but we didn't know yet who was going to win?  (And then eBay left the rest in the dust?)
Matt Brian / The Next Web:
Confirmed: Sprint pulls the plug on LightSquared 4G contract, repays $65 million  —  Reports suggested it was imminent but today Sprint has officially confirmed that it has pulled the plug on its LTE 4G contract with LightSquared, which will return $65 million in repayments to the struggling wireless company.
Sean Hollister / The Verge:
The new iPad is a beautiful reminder of how stupid data plans are  —  Apple's new iPad is magnificent.  The screen is superb, the processor is fast, and despite its newfound LTE cellular connectivity, the battery life lasts.  And yet, I'd never, ever recommend you buy an LTE tablet …
Quentin Hardy / Bits:
Better Economic Forecasts, From the Cloud  —  GT Nexus used shipment data to track countries' import-export balance in 2008, left, and 2011.  The diagonal line represents balanced trade.  —  Someday soon, the Federal Reserve may be dead, at least for economic information.
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:
Intel Capital Invests $21 Million In Swedish Eye-Tracking Tech Company Tobii  —  Intel is betting big on the future of human interfaces with a $21 million (143 million kronor) investment in Tobii, a Swedish company that has been working for years on eye-tracking laptops and other devices.
Paul Thurrott's / SuperSite for Windows:
Microsoft Office 15 Preview  —  Forget the rumors.  Here's what it's really like to use the Office 15 Technical Preview, which Microsoft recently made available only to a select group of customers under non-disclosure agreement.  I was able to get my hands on a copy, and while it's …
Darrell Etherington / BetaKit:
YouMail Lets Users Permanently Block Calls on Android  —  YouMail, an Irvine CA-based startup founded in 2007 that focuses on delivering value-add services to smartphone users, is debuting a new feature today in its Android applications.  It's one that users will likely flock to …
David Marcus / The PayPal Blog:

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Chris O'Brien / SiliconBeat: