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12:00 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.
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.
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:
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
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.
RELATED:
Dean Takahashi / Tech Talk with Dean Takahashi:
Intel pulls out of One Laptop Per Child group
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
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
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: TechCrunch and CrunchGear
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
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.
Ryan Kim / San Francisco Chronicle:
Mountain View's Meraki proposes free Wi-Fi network for S.F.  —  San Francisco's plan to provide citywide wireless Internet access, which foundered last summer when EarthLink pulled out, is being revived by a Mountain View company that wants to turn the city into a test site for its vision of a low-cost, community-powered system.
Chris Williams / The Register:
Apple targeted in DRM monopoly suit (again)  —  ‘I want WMA on my iPod’, squeals Hogmanay bellyacher  —  Steve Jobs has received a New Year nastygram from a woman who is upset that iPods won't play Microsoft DRM-crippled songs as well as Apple DRM-crippled songs.
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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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:
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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: 
netapp.com:
NetApp to Acquire Onaro
Discussion: Xconomy, VC Cafe and TechCrunch
Brittany Bohnet / Google LatLong:
Got caucus results? We do.
Gregg Keizer / PC World:
Firefox Hit With Spoofing Bug
Discussion: The Register
Joseph Weisenthal / paidContent.org:
Monster Acquires Affinity Labs, Developer Of Vertical Career Sites, For $61 Million
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
Cliff Edwards / Business Week:
Netflix's Breakout Move
Discussion: Channel 9 and Webware.com
 Earlier Items: 
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
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’
Dean Takahashi / Tech Talk with Dean Takahashi:
CES gadgets: Sling Media unveils new Slingbox PRO-HD for moving …