Techmeme
August 20, 2012, 8:10 PM

Top News

Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Fortune:
Samsung's deleted Apple e-mail problem goes poof  —  Judge neutralizes a potentially damaging jury instruction  —  FORTUNE — The text at right is what Judge Judy Koh was prepared to tell the jury about the Samsung's policy of automatically deleting e-mails that might have been relevant to its patent battle with Apple (AAPL).
Wall Street Journal:
Groupon Investors Give Up  —  Backers Retreat From Young Internet Firms That Haven't Lived Up to Hopes  —  Some of the early backers of Groupon Inc., including Silicon Valley veteran Marc Andreessen, are heading for the exits, joining investors who have lost faith in companies that had been expected to drive a new Internet boom.
Rocky Agrawal / VentureBeat:
Groupon is threatening small merchants with lawsuits  —  This is a guest post, written by analyst and frequent VentureBeat contributor Rocky Agrawal.  —  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  —  I've noticed an uptick in recent months of the emails I'm getting from small businesses claiming …
Jack Marshall / Digiday:
How Eduardo Saverin Sold Facebook Ads in 2004  —  The knock on Facebook is often that it doesn't have its ad strategy figured out.  That might be, but the company courted advertisers pretty much from the get-go.  —  As captured in “The Social Network,” Facebook's then-CFO Eduardo Saverin …
Steven M. Davidoff / DealBook:
How Instagram Could Have Cut a Better Deal  —  In hindsight, perhaps Instagram should have cut a different deal with Facebook.  —  In April, Facebook agreed to acquire Instagram, the hot social media photo-sharing site, in a deal valued at the time at about $1 billion.
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Apple Becomes Most Valuable Publicly-Traded Stock Ever  —  Milestones for Apple's stock are falling rapidly in recent days, with another strong performance today pushing Apple past Microsoft for the title of most valuable publicly-trade stock ever, a distinction Microsoft has held since December 1999.
Ryan Mac / Forbes:
Early Facebook Investor and Board Member Peter Thiel Sells Nearly All Of His Company Shares  —  Billionaire Peter Thiel sold nearly all of his remaining Facebook shares last week according to a financial document filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Susan Decker / Bloomberg:
Samsung Sought To Beat IPhone With Galaxy Nexus, Apple Says  —  Apple Inc. (AAPL) said its largest smartphone competitor, Samsung Electronics Co., set out to steal market share by selling a Galaxy Nexus phone that copies its features, including one that makes the iPhone's Siri virtual personal assistant so compelling.
More: AppleInsider, CNET and Droid LifeTweets: @mikeisaac
Stephen Shankland / CNET:
Ethernet's future: How fast is fast enough?  —  Your PC may not need a faster network, but overall data usage on the Web is doubling every year.  The big question: Can the venerable Ethernet standard handle a terabit per second?  —  Slow network speeds got you down?
iFixit:
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Teardown  —  Join us as we dissect Samsung's newest tablet and attempt to find anything noteworthy inside.  EditStep 1 — Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Teardown We've got our hands on a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.  Before we tear it open to reveal its secrets …
Declan McCullagh / CNET:
Google: Maybe it's time to ditch software patents completely  —  Google's public policy director says at an Aspen conference that “these patent wars are not helpful to consumers.”  —  ASPEN, Colo. — Google suggested today that it might be time for the U.S. to ditch software patents.
Ed Bott / ZDNet:
Microsoft radically overhauls license agreements for Windows 8  —  Summary: For Windows 8, Microsoft has completely rewritten its license agreements, replacing legalese with plain language and for the first time allowing retail customers to legally install cheaper OEM versions.  Here's what's new.
More: PC World and TechSpotThanks:@edbott
Dan Primack / Fortune:
Exclusive: Returns for brand-name VC funds  —  Beyond the dotcom-era benchmarks.  —  FORTUNE — It's no secret that venture capitalists were hit hard by last decade's dotcom bust, considering that median returns for 1998-2001 vintage funds are all underwater.
More: GeekWireTweets: @arrington
Liat Clark / Wired:
eBay Bans Sales of Spells, Curses, Advice and Other ‘Intangibles’  —  Haunted gypsy rings, a portal to the realm of the immortals and creepy '40s dolls that promise to “come alive” will soon have to find a new home, along with nearly 100,000 other products, after eBay announced it would be banning …

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