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10:55 AM 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.
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  —  If you dig beneath the surface of the brouhaha over Robert Scoble getting his Facebook account suspended for testing a new Plaxo Facebook app that mines user email addresses in violation of Facebook's terms of service, you'll find evidence …
Robert Scoble / Scobleizer:
Facebook lets me back in...  I just received this email.
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 …
RELATED:
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:
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.
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.
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Om Malik / GigaOM:
A Heart-to-Heart with GigaOM Readers  —  Happy New Year.  As you may have noticed, my byline hasn't been up on the site for a few days.  That's because the holidays weren't exactly my most jolly.  —  I had a heart attack on Dec. 28.  I was able to walk into the hospital for treatment …
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
Scott Hillis / Reuters:
“Major Nelson” emerges as face of Xbox  —  REDMOND, Washington (Reuters) - Dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and sporting unkempt graying hair, Larry Hryb looks like just another guy in Microsoft's corporate headquarters.  —  But Xbox 360 players know Hryb by his alter ego, “Major Nelson,” …
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Alex Veiga / Associated Press:
U.S. Album Sales Down, Digital Sales Up  —  LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. album sales plunged 9.5 percent last year from 2006, continuing a downward trend for the recording industry, despite a 45 percent surge in the sale of digital tracks, according to figures released Thursday.
Discussion: CrunchGear and TechCrunch
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
Greg Sandoval / CNET News.com:
RIAA shreds Washington Post story in debate  —  An executive with the music industry's lobbying group engaged in a verbal sparring match on Thursday with the Washington Post columnist who alleges that the organization is trying to outlaw the practice of copying CDs to a computer.
RELATED:
Tony Smith / The Register:
Sony confirms Skype coming to PSP  —  There's no doubt now that Skype is coming to the Sony PlayStation Portable - Sony's own website, updated to preview next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, admits as much.  —  “Call friends, talk trash to fellow gamers or catch …
 
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
PCs Take a Stylish Turn
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
John Leyden / The Register:
Spam King Ralsky indicted over stock spam scam
UC Berkeley:
SETI@home looking for more volunteers
Nilay Patel / Engadget:
Eight Goodyear-branded GPS units to be released at CES
Discussion: Gizmodo
Truveo Video Search:
Truveo Press Center
Rebecca Smithers / Guardian:
Bebo named as best social networking site in survey
Discussion: TechCrunch UK and p2pnet
 Earlier Items: 
Maija Palmer / Financial Times:
Autonomy strikes subprime gold
Discussion: TechCrunch UK and paidContent
John Cook / John Cook's Venture Blog:
InfoSpace cutting staff, top execs leaving
Business Wire:
gOS 2.0 “Rocket,” the Second Major Release of the Friendly Linux OS …
Peter Galli / eWEEK.com:
Microsoft Takes Heat for Office 2003 SP3 File Format Blocking
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
Parent of Dating Sites Looks for a Match
Discussion: paidContent.org
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
Mac's market share growth is ‘nothing short of spectacular’
Dean Takahashi / Tech Talk with Dean Takahashi:
CES gadgets: Sling Media unveils new Slingbox PRO-HD for moving …
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
iSteamy Converts iPhone in Handheld Porn Powerhouse (Extremely NSFW)
Discussion: Insanely Great Mac