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1:00 PM ET, January 4, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Catherine Holahan / Business Week:
Sony BMG Lets the Music Play  —  The last of the major labels finally throws in the towel on DRM, and prepares to fight Apple for valuable download revenues  —  In a move that would mark the end of a digital music era, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is finalizing plans to sell songs without …
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Ken Fisher / Ars Technica:
Lone holdout in DRMed music recommends DRM circumvention  —  With three of the big four music labels abandoning DRM, that leaves Sony as the big holdout.  That's right, the same company that brought you the Sony rootkit scandal is also the last of the major labels to repent and abandon their DRMed ways.
Discussion: MacUser
Thomas Claburn / InformationWeek:
Google Patent Imagines Robots Indexing The Grocery Aisle  —  The two computer scientists behind “recognizing text in images” search technology also worked on Google Street View and Google Book Search.  —  A patent application filed by Google with the World Intellectual Property Organization …
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wipo.int:
(WO/2008/003095) RECOGNIZING TEXT IN IMAGES  —  Publication Number:  —  WO/2008/003095  —  International Application No.:  —  PCT/US2007/072578  —  Publication Date:  —  International Filing Date:  —  Int.  Class.:  —  G06F 17/30 (2006.01)  —  Applicants:
Bill Slawski / Search Engine Land:
Googlebot In Aisle Three: How Google Plans to Index the World?  —  Robots reading cereal boxes in the Supermarket?  Googlebot at the Art Museum?  Street signs and building addresses snatched from Street View images for local search, image search, and product search?
Fury.com:
Today is My Last Day at Google  —  After a life-changing four and a half years of working with the most talented group of people I have ever met, I've decided to take the plunge and do it all over again, working for a very small start-up.  Today is my last day at the Big G.
Paul Buchheit:
Should Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail block Facebook?  —  Apparently Facebook will ban you (or at least Robert Scoble) if you attempt to extract your friend's email addresses from the service.  —  Automated access is a difficult issue for any web service, so I won't argue with their decision — it's their service and they own you.
RELATED:
Scott Karp / Publishing 2.0:
The Coming War Over Data On The Web
Mary Kathleen Flynn / Behind The Money Blog:
Leah Culver, 25, writes the code that powers Pownce  —  Technorati  —  Facebook  —  Digg  —  How does a 25-year-old computer science major from the University of Minnesota wind up as a co-founder of one of Silicon Valley's most closely watched startups?
Discussion: CenterNetworks
Pudding Media:
PUDDING MEDIA CLOSES $8 MILLION SERIES A LED BY OPUS CAPITAL AND BRM CAPITAL  —  Funding to Expand Company's Global Effort to Monetize All Voice Minutes  —  Pudding Media, the voice monetization company, today announced that it has secured Series A funding of $8 million led by Opus Capital and BRM Capital.
Associated Press:
U.S. Album Sales Fell 9.5% in 2007  —  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Album sales in the United States plunged 9.5 percent last year from 2006, as the recording industry had another weak year despite a 45 percent surge in the sale of digital tracks, according to figures released Thursday.
Discussion: CrunchGear and TechCrunch
Xbox.com:
An Open Letter from Marc Whitten about Xbox LIVE this Holiday  —  Dear Xbox LIVE Members:  —  During this past holiday season you helped us break a number of Xbox LIVE records.  This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke …
RELATED:
Scott Hillis / Reuters:
“Major Nelson” emerges as face of Xbox
John Markoff / New York Times:
Intel Leaves Group Backing Education PCs  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Intel said Thursday that it had chosen to withdraw from the One Laptop Per Child educational computer organization, which it joined in July after years of public squabbling between Intel's chairman, Craig R. Barrett, and the group's founder, Nicholas P. Negroponte.
Ryan Block / Engadget:
Sling Media's Slingbox PRO HD, SlingPlayer for BlackBerry announced  —  Sling Media's starting up this year's CES blitz early (like just about everybody else this year) with the announcement of the Slingbox PRO HD box and SlingPlayer client for BlackBerry cellphones.
Discussion: Engadget Mobile and VoIP Blog
RELATED:
Kyle Bennett / enthusiast.hardocp.com:
GeForce 9800 GX2 Exclusive Pics & Specs  —  NVIDIA's yet-to-be released 9800 GX2 in the “flesh."  We reveal some of the specs and what should be expected.  —  NVIDIA's yet-to-be released GeForce 9800 GX2 in the “flesh."  We reveal some of the specs and what should be expected.
Quentin / Rogue Amoeba:
Live Disc  —  Every time we exhibit at Macworld Expo, we hand out CDs with trial copies of all our software on them.  And every time, we face the same problem, of how best to create these discs such that the software on them is up to date with the latest we have.
Discussion: MacUser and The Apple Blog
Joseph Weisenthal / paidContent.org:
Monster Acquires Affinity Labs, Developer Of Vertical Career Sites, For $61 Million  —  Online jobs firm Monster Worldwide has acquired SF-based Affinity Labs, a developer of community sites centered around various vocations, for $61 million in cash.  Examples of its portfolio include Policelink.com …
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
On the record with Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat's new CEO: “I must have a mission”  —  I wasn't very nice to Jim Whitehurst I heard the news that he had been named the new CEO of Red Hat to replace Matthew Szulik.  My reasoning?  Matthew Szulik had done so much for Red Hat and besides …
Discussion: Jeremy's Blog
Arik Hesseldahl / Business Week:
A Little ‘Intel’ on Apple's Next Move  —  Wondering what Steve Jobs will announce in his Macworld keynote on Jan. 15?  The newest chips from Apple's sole supplier offer some intriguing hints  —  With Macworld Expo just days away, the pre-"Stevenote" buzz is building fast.
Discussion: localmobilesearch.net
 
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Zoho:
7 Email marketing best practices for the holiday season  —  While holidays spell fun and frolic for some, for others they mean more work.  When it comes to email marketers, the holidays are a time to buckle up for increased marketing activity.
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What does the future of cloud computing hold  —  and what does this mean for businesses?  We looked at the data, talked to luminaries, and listened to customers across the world.  Here's what they said.
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Here's why gamers should go with a processor that has high IPC and can hit the highest frequencies  —  Adding core count for core count's sake does not create a better gaming experience
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 More Items: 
Peter Kaplan / Reuters:
Suspense grows over XM-Sirius antitrust review
netapp.com:
NetApp to Acquire Onaro
Discussion: Xconomy, VC Cafe and TechCrunch
Ryan Kim / San Francisco Chronicle:
Mountain View's Meraki proposes free Wi-Fi network for S.F.
Gregg Keizer / PC World:
Firefox Hit With Spoofing Bug
Chris Williams / The Register:
Apple targeted in DRM monopoly suit (again)
Sarah Lai Stirland / Threat Level:
Obama Has More Online Traffic in Iowa and New Hampshire Than Clinton
Wall Street Journal:
PCs Take a Stylish Turn
Greg Sandoval / CNET News.com:
RIAA shreds Washington Post story in debate
 Earlier Items: 
Cliff Edwards / Business Week:
Netflix's Breakout Move
Discussion: Channel 9 and Webware.com
Ionut Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
The Rise and Rise of YouTube
Rebecca Smithers / Guardian:
Bebo named as best social networking site in survey
Discussion: TechCrunch UK and p2pnet
Maija Palmer / Financial Times:
Autonomy strikes subprime gold
Discussion: TechCrunch UK and paidContent
Tony Smith / The Register:
Sony confirms Skype coming to PSP
John Cook / John Cook's Venture Blog:
InfoSpace cutting staff, top execs leaving
Peter Galli / eWEEK.com:
Microsoft Takes Heat for Office 2003 SP3 File Format Blocking
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
Mac's market share growth is ‘nothing short of spectacular’