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January 17, 2013, 9:15 AM

Top News

Ellis Hamburger / The Verge:
Facebook launches free calling for all iPhone users in the US  —  In early January, Facebook began testing free calling over Wi-Fi and cellular data for all Messenger for iPhone users in Canada, and said that a US launch could be coming soon.  Apparently, the test went well — a new free calling button has appeared in the app.
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Exclusive: SurveyMonkey Raises $850 Million in Debt and Equity for Tender Offer — Including New Investment From Google's New Late-Stage Unit  —  SurveyMonkey has raised a massive $800 million in debt and additional equity funding, which it plans to distribute in a tender offer, said sources with knowledge of the situation.
More: Fortune and bizjournalsTweets: @pkedrosky
Galen Moore / Boston Business Journal:
U.S. Attorney breaks silence, defends prosecution of Aaron Swartz … U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, under fire for the prosecution of Internet entrepreneur and activist Aaron Swartz, on Wednesday issued her first statement responding to the controversy that has followed Swartz's suicide.
Royal Pingdom:
Internet 2012 in numbers  —  There is so much happening on the Internet during a year that it's impossible to capture it all in a blog post, but we're going to give it a shot anyway.  How many emails were sent during 2012?  How many domains are there?  What's the most popular web browser?
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Microsoft Office 2013: What to expect on the pricing front  —  Summary: Microsoft's Office 2013/new Office should be launching soon.  Here's what we know so far about prices and packages.  —  As expected, Microsoft is pricing its next-generation Office 2013 line-up in a way to try …
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
YouTube Is Ready to Invest in Vevo, but the Deal Isn't Done  —  YouTube is set to make another big investment in a content partner.  This time around it's Vevo, the music video site.  —  YouTube and its owner Google have agreed to buy a minority stake in Vevo, according to people familiar with the deal, which hasn't been finalized.
Lee Mathews / Geek.com:
Demo shows how easily malicious extensions can infect Firefox  —  Firefox is widely regarded as a very secure web browser, and that's a reputation that Mozilla has worked tirelessly to build over the past eight years — blacklisting extensions, shutting down insecure plug-ins, revoking certificates …
Colleen Taylor / TechCrunch:
StumbleUpon Lays Off 30% Of Staff As It Restructures Company Into A Profitable State  —  StumbleUpon today laid off 30 percent of its staff, the company has confirmed to TechCrunch.  The move, which brings StumbleUpon's employee count from 110 to 75, is part of a larger restructuring plan …
Sarah Mitroff / Wired:
Does Facebook Praise Kill Self-Control?  —  One hateful Facebook comment might reduce you to tears, but a recent study found that the “likes” prompted by your status updates and photo posts might also have a negative impact, especially on your waistline and pocketbook.
Cade Metz / Wired:
Facebook Shatters the Computer Server Into Tiny Pieces  —  MENLO PARK, California — Since you last saw Frank Frankovsky, his beard has grown to epic lengths.  And it suits him.  —  As the man at the center of Facebook's Open Compute Project, Frankovsky spent the last two years rethinking …
Reuters:
Insight: How cleantech tarnished Kleiner and VC star John Doerr  —  (Reuters) - In the spring of last year, John Doerr received some bad news: Miasole, the solar-panel maker backed by his famed venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was on the verge of bankruptcy.
More: Forbes and GigaOM
Eva Dou / Wall Street Journal:
Asustek in Talks to Offer Windows 8 Phones  —  TAIPEI—Taiwanese PC maker Asustek Computer Inc. is in talks with Microsoft Corp. on a licensing deal to offer Windows 8 mobile phones, an executive said, making it the latest Asian computer maker eyeing the new operating system.
Jeff John Roberts / GigaOM:
UK fines Playboy for underage website visitors; age verification less pressing in US  —  British regulators fined Playboy nearly $160,000 after finding the publisher didn't do enough to prevent minors from visiting its website.  In a statement issued on Wednesday, the agency Ofcom said Playboy's …
More: Ofcom
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Microsoft Launches HelpBridge For iOS, Windows Phone And Android, Lets You Alert Friends And Family When Disasters Strike  —  When a disaster happens, chances are you want to get in touch with your loved ones as soon as possible, either to tell them that you're fine or to make sure they are.
BBC:
Blockbuster enters administration  —  Blockbusters has closed some branches in the past few years  —  DVD rental firm Blockbuster has become the latest UK High Street firm to go into administration after struggling against internet competitors.  —  The chain has 528 stores and employs 4,190 staff.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
NFL sportscaster Daniel Jeremiah: A new breed of data-powered pundit  —  TV sports pundits tend to focus on their correct predictions while sweeping blunders under the rug, but when asked about his best call in a recent draft …
Amazon Cognito:
Sync your app data seamlessly with Amazon Cognito  —  Amazon Cognito helps you sync your app data across a user's devices even when they are offline.  Get started with 10GB of free storage.
SimilarWeb:
Panda 4.1 Deeper Analysis - Positive & Negative Impact  —  Last week we took a look at some of Panda 4.1′s biggest winning and losing websites in terms of change in actual traffic referred by Google.
Zoho:
Boost your holiday sales with these 5 email marketing tips  —  For many businesses, the holiday shopping period is critical for generating revenue and garnering brand awareness.  With the annual sales spike quickly …
Igloo:
We're kind of a big deal  —  Every year, Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, releases a report about workplace social software.  If you're a company building such software, it's a huge honor to be included in that list.
 

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Jordan Golson / MacRumors: