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11:00 AM ET, December 13, 2006

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Matt Richtel / New York Times:
Skype's Free Phone Call Plan Will Soon Have Annual Fee  —  Skype, the Internet calling service owned by eBay, said Tuesday that as of Jan. 1 it would begin charging $30 a year for unlimited calls to landline and mobile phones within the United States and Canada.  Those calls had been free since last spring.
RELATED:
USA Today:
Skype expands calling options  —  NEW YORK — Skype, which helped make free PC-to-PC calling a global phenomenon, will announce Wednesday a $29.95-a-year service offering unlimited calls to wireless and traditional landline phones.  —  Skype's Unlimited Calling subscription moves …
Andy Abramson / VoIP Watch:
Skype 3.0 Goes Live, New Cheaper Disruptive Calling Plans Announced for USA  —  Skype users received an early holiday present, at least those in the USA and Canada, with a new year long pricing scheme that provides twelve months of unlimited calls from the USA and Canada to numbers in the USA …
Scott Martin / Red Herring:
Yahoo Dethroned By MySpace  —  Fox Interactive Media, largely thanks to MySpace, has edged into No. 1 for Internet page views.  —  Yahoo is getting good at being No. 2.  News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media has now edged the search giant out of its long-held perch at the top position for Internet page views.
RELATED:
Annys Shin / Washington Post:
FTC Moves to Unmask Word-of-Mouth Marketing  —  The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to their peers, must disclose those relationships.  —  In a staff opinion issued yesterday …
RELATED:
BBC:
Apple denies download sales fall  —  Apple has denied a report which claims US sales at its iTunes Music Store fell by 65% in the first half of 2006.  —  Research group Forrester said it was too soon to say whether its findings showed that buyers were "reaching their saturation level for digital music".
Discussion: Techdirt, Engadget and Gizmodo
RELATED:
Dina Bass / Bloomberg:
Apple ITunes Sales Slid in First Half, Forrester Says (Update4)  —  Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes music store suffered a 65 percent slump in sales during the first six months of the year, reversing almost two years of gains, according to a Forrester Research Inc. report.
Clay Shirky / Many-to-Many:
Second Life: What are the real numbers?  —  Second Life is heading towards two million users.  Except it isn't, really.  We all know how this game works, and has since the earliest days of the web:  —  Member of the Business Press: "How many users do you have?"
RELATED:
Official Google Blog:
About Transferable Stock Options  —  We work hard to attract and retain the world's best talent in a number of ways, and a part of that is offering competitive compensation packages.  We offer standard things such as competitive salary, cash incentives, restricted stock units and stock options.
RELATED:
New York Times:
Google to Offer Variation on Stock Options
Discussion: Valleywag
Nicole Simon / cruel to be kind:
Loic Lemeur: Betraying 1000 attendees for his own political ambitions?  —  Last year at Leblogs we had the problem of being promised a high profile event, like *the* major event in this regard and got took by surprise how the audience was not really even.  A lot of more geeky people …
RELATED:
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
More Journalists Join Political News Venture  —  Mike Allen, a reporter who covers the White House for Time magazine, and Roger Simon, the chief political correspondent for Bloomberg News, are joining the new multimedia political news venture being overseen by two former Washington Post journalists.
Discussion: PaidContent
Kasper Jade / AppleInsider:
Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta to drop this friday  —  Exclusive: Adobe Systems Inc. on friday will make available for download an early public beta of its next-generation graphics editor, Photoshop CS3, but will otherwise abstain from delivering pre-release copies of other Creative Suite 3.0 applications.
Discussion: Apple Gazette and digg
Mathew Ingram / mathewingram.com/work:
Craig and Wall Street — universes apart  —  It was a few days ago now, but the New York Times' DealBook blog had a great little item about Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster meeting with Wall Street types at the UBS global media conference.  Naturally, the analysts wanted to hear a bit …
Annie Sullivan / Official Google Blog:
Nifty Toolbar upgrades for Firefox  —  Ever since the latest version of the Google Toolbar for IE came out, Firefox users have been asking when they'll see the same new features in their favorite browser.  Well, we've been hard at work on a new version of the Toolbar for Firefox …
Sprint:
Sprint Powers Up Faster Mobile Broadband Network in 10 More Markets, Upgraded Coverage Reaches 60 Million People  —  Users in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore, Providence and New Jersey now have the power of significantly faster upload speeds …
Ryan Paul / Ars Technica:
A first look at Firefox 3.0  —  Mozilla has officially released the first public alpha build of Firefox 3.0.  Codenamed Gran Paradiso, Firefox 3 includes the new Gecko 1.9 rendering engine which leverages the open-source Cairo rendering framework and features heavily refactored reflow algorithms …
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Search 2.0 - What's Next?  —  Written by Emre Sokullu and edited by Richard MacManus  —  You may feel relatively satisfied with the current search offerings of Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN.  Search today is undoubtedly much better than what it was in the second half of the 1990's.
Discussion: Don Dodge on The Next … and digg
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
The Iniquities of the Selfish  —  On Monday, MacHeist1 released the software bundle at the heart of their promotion, under the guise of "The Week of the Independent Mac Developer": … First, there's something silly about calling these apps "hidden gems" in one paragraph …
 
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The Partner's guide to marketing on LinkedIn  —  What is LinkedIn® really?  —  It's a question that keeps popping up from time to time, is it a social media site for professionals?  —  Is it a platform for job seekers and recruiters to meet?
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 More Items: 
Chris Anderson / The Long Tail:
WHAT WOULD RADICAL TRANSPARENCY MEAN FOR WIRED? (PART 2)
Heather Champ / FlickrBlog:
Ho ho ho! Flickr Gifts and Upload Limit Changes
New York Times:
Family With Big Stake Seeks Part of Tribune
Google Blogoscoped:
Does Google Allow Cloaking When They Like the Site?
Discussion: digg
Chris Pirillo:
A Tablet PC Wedding
MacOSXHints.com:
Take iSight snapshots during invalid login attempts
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
YouTube.tv, anyone?  —  Will the rise of online video spark …
J Mark Lytle / Digital World Tokyo:
Legs everywhere rejoice as dog humps USB port silly
Discussion: Gizmodo
 Earlier Items: 
Zach's Journal:
google's own cornershop
newsroom.ucla.edu:
UCLA Warns of Unauthorized Access to Restricted Database
Hilary Goldstein / IGN:
Halo 3 Beta Signup Success
Discussion: Opposable Thumbs, You NEWB and digg
Janus Friis:
Venice is live (sort of)...
Discussion: Lost Remote and GigaOM
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
Viddler and GlanceTV Launch - YouTube, What Have You Started?
Joris Evers / CNET News.com:
Scammers take Web mail hostage
Brandon Live / Shell Blog:
The fate of codename "Casino"
Daniel Terdiman / CNET News.com:
Laser etching coming to a laptop near you