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1:45 PM ET, August 21, 2007

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
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: InfoWorld and paidContent.org
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.
USA Today:
More songs to buy, download and share
Discussion: paidContent.org and TechSpot News
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.
RELATED:
Peter Sayer / InfoWorld:
Skype offers more details of 'perfect storm' outage
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
InfoWorld:   Skype offers more details of 'perfect storm' outage (InfoWorld)
RELATED:
Adobe:
Adobe Extends Web Video Leadership with H.264 Support  —  For immediate release  —  HDTV Quality Web Video Reaches the Masses with Industry Standard Video Codec in Flash Player  —  Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the latest update for Adobe® Flash® Player 9 software …
Richard MacManus / Read/WriteWeb:
Adobe Launches "Moviestar" Version of Flash Player - HD Television Quality for Web Video  —  Adobe today announced the latest version of its near ubiquitous Web video software, Adobe Flash Player 9.  It's codenamed Moviestar, because it includes H.264 standard video support …
Bindu Reddy / 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
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
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:
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Two Studios to Support HD DVD Over Rival  —  Hollywood's squabble over which of two technologies will replace standard DVDs reignited Monday with two studios throwing their weight behind one format and several rivals ramping up support for the other.  —  Paramount, part of Viacom …
RELATED:
Business Wire:
Metacafe Raises $30 Million in Series C Financing  —  Highland Capital Partners and DAG Ventures Invest in Popular Video Entertainment Site  —  PALO ALTO, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Metacafe, whose more than 25 million unique viewers each month make it one of the world's largest video sites …
RELATED:
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
Video site Metacafe gets $30M more
Wall Street Journal:
MTV, RealNetworks to Form Online Music Venture  —  In a bid to create a stronger competitor to Apple Inc.'s marketing-dominating iTunes Store, Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks is set to announce Tuesday that it is merging its online digital music offerings into a joint venture with RealNetworks Inc. …
RELATED:
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
Fred Wilson: What MTV Should Do With Rhapsody
Discussion: Digital Media Wire and BetaNews
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: GigaOM, Ars Technica, BBC and hubbub
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 …
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.
 
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 More Items: 
Clive Thompson / Wired News:
Halo 3: How Microsoft Labs Invented a New Science of Play
Business Wire:
Samsung's Tiny 1.8'' Hard Disk Drives are Giants in the Exploding Mobile Market
Agence France Presse:
Online gamers rehearse real-world epidemics
Discussion: Techdirt
Chris Williams / The Register:
Virgin Media boss in shock exit
Discussion: paidContent.org and Epicenter
Mark Tsui / Google LatLong:
Real time Traffic in Google Earth
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
 Earlier Items: 
Craig / GrandCentral Blog:
Number Changes  —  We've been working over the last several days …
Discussion: Compiler and VoIP Watch
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: hypebot
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Toshiba's 320GB 2.5-inch hard drive: a world's best for laptops
Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed:
Announcing O'Reilly's Money:Tech Conference
Discussion: Insider Chatter and BoomTown
Nick Gonzalez / TechCrunch:
Helium Marketplace: Make Money Writing Online
adCenter Blog:
Announcing the U.S. release of Microsoft Content Ads Beta