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1:25 PM ET, October 18, 2006


 Top Items: 
Microsoft CEO sees $7.5B for R&D in 2007  —  Steve Ballmer says No. 1 software maker, under pressure to stay competitive, will boost next year's research and development budget by $1.3 billion.  —  MADRID (Reuters) — Microsoft Corp will spend around $7.5 billion on research and development …
Steve Poland / TechCrunch:
Microsoft and Yahoo Prepare to Battle Google  —  Google's momentum was echoed publicly by both Microsoft and Yahoo today.  Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, stated that Google is making it difficult for them to recruit top talent.  Also, in a move to likely earmark more dollars towards acquisitions …
Discussion: and Mathew Ingram
Adam Sherwin / Times of London:
Amateur 'video bloggers' under threat from EU broadcast rules  —  THE Government is seeking to prevent an EU directive that could extend broadcasting regulations to the internet, hitting popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube.  —  The European Commission proposal would require websites …
SeekingAlpha Internet Stocks:
Yahoo! Q3 2006 Earnings Call Transcript  —  Executives  —  Terry S. Semel - Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer  —  Susan L. Decker - Chief Financial Officer; Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration  —  Daniel L. Rosensweig - Chief Operating Officer  —  Analysts
Robert Tait / Guardian:
Iran bans fast internet to cut west's influence  —  Iran's Islamic government has opened a new front in its drive to stifle domestic political dissent and combat the influence of western culture - by banning high-speed internet links.  —  In a blow to the country's estimated 5 million internet users …
Joshua Chaffin / Financial Times:
Universal sues video-sharing websites  —  Universal Music, the world's largest record company, has launched the established media industry's first legal action against user-generated internet sites in the wake of its distribution deal last week with YouTube, the most popular video-sharing website.
Sprint Nextel Teams With QUALCOMM and Lucent Technologies to Extend Industry-Leading Push-To-Talk Services with QUALCOMM'S QChat Solution  — Technology to Enable High Performance Push-to-Talk (Walkie-Talkie) Calls On AND Between All Sprint Networks, Beginning in 2008
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
PayPerPost tests your ethics, & Edelman's fake blog for Wal-Mart  —  PayPerPost is a Florida start-up that lets bloggers get paid for writing about products and other companies.  —  It has just got $3 million in funding from Silicon Valley venture firm Draper Fisher Jurveston and others.
Cyrus Farivar / Engadget:
Xbox HD DVD drive to connect to PCs via USB  —  While we've got our eye on that new Xbox HD DVD drive that's about to drop next month, one thing we didn't know is that it'll be able to connect to your regular ol' PC via USB — so that basically means you can get a sweet external HD DVD drive for $200.
Discussion: CrunchGear and
Kiyoshi Takenaka / Reuters:
Sony to recall own batteries  —  TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp. (6758.T) said on Tuesday it may change its full-year earnings forecast because of costly recalls of its batteries and a price cut for its PlayStation 3 video game console.  —  Sony also said it would recall 90,000 …
Discussion: Gizmodo and TechSpot
Dave Johnson:
Flex Ajax Dashboard  —  We have just made a quick Flex/Ajax dashboard to show how Flex and Ajax can work together to make a very compelling user-interface for something like a corporate information dashboard.  You can check it out the demo here and an article about the demo here.
Discussion: The Universal Desktop and JD on EP
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Google: Security Mishaps and User Trust  —  Google is pushing full steam ahead with their office strategy, and their hope is to convince a lot of individuals and businesses to trust Google enough to store their documents on Google's servers instead of their own computers, or servers under their control.
Alec / Alec Saunders .LOG:
T@lkster: A New Voice 2.0 Company  —  The preferred attack point for cellular VoIP plays today seems to be disintermediating mobile long distance from the handset.  For the last few weeks I've been playing with and alpha release of T@lkster, a new Voice 2.0 offering which does exactly that.
Discussion: VoIP Watch and Realtime Community
Darren Murph / Engadget:
Toy Quest intros Rip Roar Video Free PMP / PVR for kids  —  Joining the seemingly endless amount of toys that adults wish they had as children is a kid-friendly portable media player / PVR designed to keep 10-year olds satisfied while their teenage peers sport iPods.
Discussion: I4U News and CrunchGear
Think Secret:
Briefly: Apple to back HD-DVD and Blu-Ray?  —  Apple joined the Blu-ray Disc Association in March 2005 but has kept largely mum on its support and adoption of the next-generation disc technology.  At the time, Apple's decision to put its weight behind Blu-ray was seen as a coup for Blu-ray …
Aaron Rutkoff / Wall Street Journal:
Back to the Drawing Board  —  Using Mouse-Made Sketches,  —  Retrievr Searches Flickr Photos  —  Text-powered search is so fundamental to life online that alternatives seem like far-flung fantasy.  —  Programmer Christian Langreiter, a 27-year-old Austrian, was hired by a European software company to make one alternative real.
Curtis / You NEWB:
Blue Dragon bundles sell out in Japan  —  True this is only the case from apparently this one store, but Microsoft is probably loving to hear about this.  This Japanese blog is reporting that Japanese retailer Edigi sold out of all of the Blue Dragon Xbox 360 bundles they had, within five minutes.
Discussion: Xbox 360 Fanboy and Aeropause
Jane Wardell / Associated Press:
Music Companies Sue 8,000 More in Anti-Sharing Fight  —  The international record industry filed thousands more lawsuits around the world Tuesday against people it accuses of illegally sharing digital music.  —  The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry filed 8,000 cases in 17 countries …
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 More Items: 
Daniel Terdiman / CNET
Congress to look into taxing virtual worlds
Mike / Techdirt:
Removing Features Is Not An Upgrade
Discussion: InsideMicrosoft and Engadget
New York Times:
Battleground for Consoles Moves Online
Josh Greenbaum / Enterprise Anti-matter:
The Battle of the Ecosystems: SAP vs. IBM vs. Microsoft.  And Then There's Oracle
Discussion: Open Sources
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Firefox 2.0 Review  —  Written by Alex Iskold and edited by Richard MacManus.
Discussion: SitePoint Blogs and digg
Tom Yager / InfoWorld:
Apple's Xserve Xeon: Built to fall apart
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Goodbye LG Chocolate, hello Shine!
Discussion: Gizmodo and CrunchGear
Tom Simonite / NewScientistTech:
'DNA computer' is unbeatable at tic-tac-toe
 Earlier Items: 
RawmeatCowboy / Go Nintendo:
Back of Wii retail box
Robert McMillan / InfoWorld:
Spamhaus appeals possible shutdown ruling
Discussion: Techdirt
Software Assurance Add-on Delivers Dynamic Desktop
Reena Jana / Business Week:
What's On GameTap?  —  Forget the Hollywood blockbuster approach to video games.
Jonathan Schwartz / Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog:
Introducing Project Blackbox
Spacegirl / Google Blogoscoped:
Weird Post on Official Blogger Blog
Ina Fried / CNET
Windows virus worms onto some Apple iPods
Terra Soft to Provide Linux for the Sony PLAYSTATION®3.