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2:45 PM ET, August 21, 2007

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Nick Gonzalez / TechCrunch:
gBox: Give The Gift Of DRM-Free Music  —  gBox is a new take on selling digital content.  Instead of emphasizing sales directly to consumers, gBox is encourages you to create wish lists and buy gifts for your friends and family.  To kick-start the service, they've sealed a pretty big deal …
Discussion: BBC and hubbub
RELATED:
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
World's largest music retailer ditches DRM, not censorship  —  Like a frog slowly turning into a princess, Wal-Mart's music download store has grown far more attractive now that it offers 256kbps unrestricted MP3 tracks from both EMI and Universal.  It won't win over fans who like the other features …
PR Newswire:
Wal-Mart Launches MP3 Music Download Tracks  —  "As we consistently strive to help our customers shop smart at Wal-Mart, our new 'DRM-free' MP3 digital tracks give them the ease and flexibility to play music on virtually any device at a great value," said Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart's senior director and divisional manager for digital media.
Reuters:
Wal-Mart selling DRM-free digital music  —  Wal-Mart Stores said on Tuesday that it was now selling digital music downloads on its Web site without the customary copy-protection technology that limits where consumers can play the songs.  —  Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer …
Discussion: GigaOM, InfoWorld, Engadget and Mashable!
USA Today:
More songs to buy, download and share
Discussion: paidContent.org and TechSpot News
Staci D. Kramer / paidContent.org:   Wal-Mart Starts DRM-Free Downloads; Universal, EMI MP3s For 94 Cents
PR Newswire:
MTV Networks, RealNetworks and Verizon Wireless Join Forces To Offer A New Integrated Digital Music Experience  —  NEW YORK, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — RealNetworks, Inc. , MTV Networks, a division of VIACOM International , and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications …
RELATED:
Jeremy Kirk / InfoWorld:
MTV, RealNetworks said to merge digital music stores  —  San Francisco (IDGNS) - MTV Networks and RealNetworks will merge their online digital music stores in the latest attempt to reduce Apple's hold on the music download market, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday morning.
Discussion: Engadget, Ars Technica and ZDNet
Wall Street Journal:
MTV, RealNetworks to Form Online Music Venture
Jess Lee / Google LatLong:
YouTube-style Embeddable Maps  —  Today we're excited to announce a new feature on Google Maps that allows you to add maps to your blog or website just by copying and pasting a snippet of HTML.  And once you embed the map, it has all the same functionality of the Google Maps you know and love; it's clickable, draggable, and zoomable.
RELATED:
Google:
Google announces a simple new way to embed Google Maps  —  Starting today, Google Maps users can add a map to their website or blog just by copying & pasting a snippet of HTML.  This new functionality enables Google Maps users to share and disseminate geographic information in the same way that YouTube users share videos.
Discussion: Google Blogoscoped
Official Google Blog:
An update on Google Video feedback  —  When your friends and well-intentioned acquaintances tell you that you've made a mistake, it's good to listen.  So we'd like to say thank you to everyone who wrote to let us know that we had made a mistake in the case of Google Video's Download to Own/Rent Refund Policy vs. Common Sense.
RELATED:
Ken Fisher / Ars Technica:
Google Video Store gets stay of execution, full refunds coming  —  As we reported last week, Google Video is closing its commercial video sales wing, the Google Video Store.  The controversial decision will see Google eventually shuttering its video Digital Rights Management service …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Zoho Goes Offline (in a good way)  —  Online office suite Zoho will launch offline functionality for Zoho Writer this morning, and other applications in their suite will follow shortly.  —  The offline functionality was built on Google Gears, an open source project launched by Google in May 2007.
RELATED:
Raju Vegesna / Zoho Blogs:
Offline Support & Comments in Zoho Writer
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Zoho Writer Adds Offline Support
Tinic Uro / kaourantin.net:
What just happened to video on the web?  —  That's a question you should ask with the announcement we made tonight.  I think a lot will change.  This is probably one of my longest and information packed posts ever, but I think it is important we put down all cards on the table.
RELATED:
Adobe:
Adobe Extends Web Video Leadership with H.264 Support
Discussion: paidContent.org
Villu Arak / Heartbeat:
The Microsoft connection clarified  —  Yesterday, we posted an explanation of what happened to Skype on August 16.  Some reactions to the explanation, however, have reminded us of one of the basic tenets of communication: It's not what you say.  It's what they hear.
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
Video site Metacafe gets $30M more  —  Investors have poured $30 million more into video site Metacafe, the popular online video site.  —  This is a significant amount of money for a company that already raised $15 million.  But the support may be necessary if Metacafe is to stay among the front-runners.
RELATED:
Business Wire:
Metacafe Raises $30 Million in Series C Financing
Yahoo! Search Blog:
Be Dynamic, Be Confident — Yahoo! Search Supports You  —  Please excuse the dramatic start to this post.  Between the anticipation of rolling this out and my incessant Harry Potter reading, I couldn't resist.  —  Once upon a time, on the World Wide Web, all URLs were fixed strings — static in form.
Peter Rojas / Engadget:
Dear Palm: It's time for an intervention  —  Man, what a crazy year, right?  We know things haven't really been going your way lately, but we want you to know that we haven't given up on you, even though it might seem like the only smartphone anyone wants to talk about these days is the iPhone.
Nokia:
The new Nokia 6555 features a smooth-back fold design and original analog timepiece  —  Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced a new 3G mobile phone that pairs original design and quality workmanship with outstanding features.  The Nokia 6555 meets the desire for aesthetic appeal …
 
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 More Items: 
Andy McCue / CNET News.com:
Survey: U.K.'s tech-savvy young lack basic literacy skills
Rebecca Buckman / Wall Street Journal:
Investors to Web Start-Ups: Where's the Advertising?
John Timmer / Ars Technica:
Blizzard negotiating with researchers for virtual epidemic study
Allen Stern / CenterNetworks:
Skype's Back; Now With More Ads
lexmark.com:
New Lexmark wireless AIOs pack productivity punch, make freedom more affordable
Larry Larsen / Channel 10:
First Look: Microsoft Tafiti
Tim Green / Mobile Entertainment:
Yahoo! buys Actionality
Business Wire:
Samsung's Tiny 1.8'' Hard Disk Drives are Giants in the Exploding Mobile Market
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Williams / The Register:
Virgin Media boss in shock exit
Discussion: paidContent.org and Epicenter
Maria Aspan / New York Times:
The Web Way to Magazine Ad Sales
Robert Mullins / InfoWorld:
Tech's own datacenters are their green showrooms
Discussion: eWEEK.com
Caroline McCarthy / Webware.com:
BEBO'S NEW INSTANT MESSAGING IS MICROSOFT-FLAVORED
Eric Bangeman / Ars Technica:
Foundation on which RIAA builds cases in danger of being undermined
Discussion: CrunchGear, Copyfight and hypebot
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Two Studios to Support HD DVD Over Rival
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Toshiba's 320GB 2.5-inch hard drive: a world's best for laptops