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2:15 PM 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:
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 …
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 …
About Skype:
Skype Announces New Skype Unlimited Calling Plan  —  Offers 12 Months of Unlimited Skype Calls to Any Phone Within the US and Canada for a Flat Annual Rate  —  Skype, the global Internet communications company, is now offering U.S. and Canadian consumers the new Skype Unlimited Calling plan …
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:
Anick Jesdanun / Associated Press:
ComScore: MySpace tops Yahoo in November  —  NEW YORK — The online hangout MySpace got even more popular in November, beating Yahoo (YHOO) in Web traffic for the first time, a research company said Tuesday.  —  News Corp.'s MySpace recorded 38.7 billion U.S. page views last month …
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Greg Sterling / Screenwerk:
Is MySpace Now the the Biggest?  —  There's no offical comScore release …
Discussion: TechCrunch and ClickZ News Blog
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".
RELATED:
CIO.com:
IBM, Yahoo Launch Free Enterprise Search Tool  —  IBM and Yahoo have developed a free, entry-level, enterprise search application that at least one analyst believes will seriously disrupt the low-end segment of this market where Google has been selling many of its Mini search devices.
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
Chris Ziegler / Engadget:
Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network launches Friday?
Discussion: GigaOM and broadbandreports.com
Ewan / The All New Ewan's Musings:
LeWeb3 Fallout.  As A Speaker, I'm Not Happy  —  I was a speaker at LeWeb3, from which I have just returned.  As the conference opened, I was on a panel with three others, for a 30 minute session, where I would talk about Combat Cards (the collectible card game for Second Life) …
Elinor Mills / CNET News.com:
Google unveils unorthodox stock option auction  —  Google plans to start an unorthodox stock options program in April that will allow employees to sell their vested options in an online auction, the search giant announced late Tuesday.  —  Traditionally, employees have two ways to deal with stock options …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Google to Offer Variation on Stock Options
Discussion: Valleywag
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 …
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 …
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
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?"
Sam Sethi / TechCrunch UK & Ireland:
Putting my money where my mouth is!  —  Last year another senior executive at Six Apart didn't appreciate the feedback from one of the Brits attending and this year it seems the same it true again.  A case of Loic having a case of the Trotts?  So this (hopefully) is my last post on the subject of Le Web3.
Chris Anderson / The Long Tail:
WHAT WOULD RADICAL TRANSPARENCY MEAN FOR WIRED?  (PART 2)  —  In the previous post, I described how the media landscape is changing, starting with reader expectations.  In this post I'll describe what that might imply for a media organization like ours.  If the key word is "participation", how could we encourage that to the fullest?
 
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 More Items: 
Tarmanydyn / You NEWB:
Top 10 Gamer Cakes
Discussion: Kotaku and digg
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
Yahoo Answers Birthday: One Year Old
Stefanie Olsen / CNET News.com:
Microsoft unveils public robotics software
Yahoo!:
Yahoo! Search Marketing Platform Opens Online Sign-up for New Customers
Heather Champ / FlickrBlog:
Ho ho ho! Flickr Gifts and Upload Limit Changes
Google Blogoscoped:
Does Google Allow Cloaking When They Like the Site?
Discussion: digg
Chris Pirillo:
A Tablet PC Wedding
techeblog.com:
(Video) Self-Parking LEGO Car
 Earlier Items: 
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
The Iniquities of the Selfish  —  On Monday, MacHeist1 released …
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
YouTube.tv, anyone?  —  Will the rise of online video spark …
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Search 2.0 - What's Next?
J Mark Lytle / Digital World Tokyo:
Legs everywhere rejoice as dog humps USB port silly
Kasper Jade / AppleInsider:
Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta to drop this friday
Discussion: Apple Gazette and digg
Zach's Journal:
google's own cornershop
newsroom.ucla.edu:
UCLA Warns of Unauthorized Access to Restricted Database
Forbes:
Mac Envy  —  Are Apple computers better than Windows PCs?