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1:30 PM ET, January 4, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Catherine Holahan / Business Week:
Sony BMG Lets the Music Play  —  The last major label will throw in the towel on digital rights management and prepare 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:
Discussion: Computerworld and Searchviews
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?
Duncan Riley / TechCrunch:
Google Lodges Patent For Reading Text In Images And Video  —  A patent application lodged by Google in July 2007 but recently made public seeks to patent a method where by robots (computers) can read and understand text in images and video.  —  The extension of the application would be that images …
Discussion: WebMetricsGuru
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.
RELATED:
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
Google's User Experience Expert, Kevin Fox, Joins New Start-up Company
Discussion: TechCrunch and WebProNews
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.
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Scott Karp / Publishing 2.0:
The Coming War Over Data On The Web
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
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
Ryan Block / Engadget:
Microsoft hooks up Xbox Live subs with free Arcade title  —  Looks like Microsoft is going to do the right thing: as anticipated, Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten states in a letter to customers that, as recompense for nearly two weeks of outages, the group is offering up a full, free Xbox Live Arcade title free of charge.
Discussion: Switched and TechSpot News
RELATED:
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.
Ben Edelman:
Sears Exposes Customer Purchase History in Violation of Its Privacy Policy  —  Want to know what a given customer has purchased from Sears?  It's surprisingly easy to find out.  Here's the procedure:  —  1) Go to the Sears “Manage My Home” site, www.managemyhome.com .  Create an account and sign in.
Discussion: Techdirt
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
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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
Charlie White / Gizmodo:
Fujifilm FinePix Z100fd, So Thin It's Anorexic  —  Fujifilm has slimmed down its FinePix camera even more—now it's just 19.8 mm thick—but the redesigned FinePix Z100fd still manages to cram 8 megapixels of imaging goodness into its slim form factor.  It's available in four color combinations …
Discussion: Electronista
 
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Gartner research vice president Mike Gotta to present at Smartsheet ENGAGE  —  Gotta will discuss why collaborative work management is increasingly essential for business at Smartsheet's annual customer conference Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Seattle.
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Zoho:
Renascence of our design lore: the story of Zoho Finance Suite's new logos  —  Design decisions are hard, and they're even harder when a lot is at stake.  When it came to designing the new logos of Zoho Finance products …
Ingram Micro:
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Intel:
The field of opportunity for AI is immense—does your CPU have AI Inside?  —  Here are three questions every technology buyer should be asking of their AI tech supplier.
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 More Items: 
Greg Linden / Geeking with Greg:
The coming 2008 dot-com crash
Arik Hesseldahl / Business Week:
A Little ‘Intel’ on Apple's Next Move
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
On the record with Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat's new CEO: “I must have a mission”
Discussion: Jeremy's Blog
Kyle Bennett / enthusiast.hardocp.com:
GeForce 9800 GX2 Exclusive Pics & Specs
Peter Kaplan / Reuters:
Suspense grows over XM-Sirius antitrust review
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
Joseph Weisenthal / paidContent.org:
Monster Acquires Affinity Labs, Developer Of Vertical Career Sites, For $61 Million
 Earlier Items: 
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
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