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3:50 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 …
RELATED:
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: Podcasting News and MacUser
Greg Linden / Geeking with Greg:
The coming 2008 dot-com crash  —  Early January is the time we see many predictions for 2008.  I have not played this game since 2006, but I want to chime in this year.  —  I am only going to make one prediction, but one with broad impact.  We will see a dot-com crash in 2008.
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  —  Kevin Fox, Google's user experience designer, responsible for helping design Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Reader 2.0 has announced he is leaving Google to join a “very small start-up.”
Discussion: TechCrunch and WebProNews
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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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?
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: Zero Day and Techdirt
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 …
RELATED:
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
Monster buys community site, Affinity Labs, for significant $61M
Discussion: TechCrunch and Affinity Labs
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, TechCrunch, Coolfer and Digg
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
Will fans pay?  Reznor opens books on 'Net music experiment  —  Radiohead isn't talking numbers, but Trent Reznor is.  After producing Saul Williams' The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust and offering it to fans online, Reznor yesterday laid out the numbers from his experiment.
Katie Fehrenbacher / GigaOM:
Meraki Raises $20M Series B  —  Meraki Networks, the startup that makes mesh networking gear and is building an ad-hoc San Francisco Wi-Fi network, says it has raised $20 million in a Series B round.  While San Francisco's official Wi-Fi network is MIA, Meraki has been building …
Discussion: Salon, CNET News.com and InfoWorld
RELATED:
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
Peter Kafka / Silicon Alley Insider:
NY Google Vet Hirsch Leaving For Startups  —  David Hirsch, an eight-year Google sales vet who helped open the company's New York office, is leaving the company at the end of January.  The 36-year-old is looking, he tells us, to invest in and advise Web startups, with a focus on “helping incubate and accelerate the early stage game.”
Discussion: WebProNews
Tim O'Reilly / O'Reilly Radar:
Human vs. Machine: The Great Challenge of Our Time  —  In an email conversation with Bill Janeway about our upcoming Money:Tech Conference, he said something really profound: … I've written quite a bit about “bionic software,” the idea that one of the distinguishing characteristics of Web 2 …
Discussion: Paul Kedrosky's …
 
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Smartsheet:
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.
TWiT.tv:
Tech Podcasts from Every Angle  —  TWiT.tv covers the latest in news, privacy, hacking, security, plus reviews of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and wearables.  If it has a chip, Leo Laporte and friends have a podcast on it.
Google Fi:
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Zoho:
Why does your employees happiness quotient matter?  —  It is Monday morning.  Everything is a blur and everyone is in a hurry.  Most people are heading to work, still not fully recovered from the weekend, and it's written all over their faces.
Ingram Micro:
Apply for the World's Largest Startup Competition  —  B2B ISVs are encouraged to apply for the Comet Competition ahead of the September 30 deadline, with top prize of $1M made possible by Ingram Micro.
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: 
ChannelWeb Breaking News:
Microsoft Removes Licensing Restrictions From Windows Server 2008
Discussion: TechSpot News and WinBeta
Mathew / mathewingram.com/work:
The RIAA: Possibly right, still weasels
Discussion: p2pnet and CNET News.com
Mark Wilson / Gizmodo:
CompactFlash Meets SATA Speeds
Discussion: Engadget
Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins / Mashable!:
Forget Kenya, Let's Talk Scoble-gate!
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
BiTMICRO introduces 832GB SSD for CES 2008
Discussion: DailyTech
I, Cringely . The Pulpit | PBS:
Always Certain, Sometimes Correct
Ashkan Karbasfrooshan / HipMojo.com:
Web Starting to Surpass TV Advertising in Europe: Sweden First, then UK, then...
Discussion: WebProNews
PHP:
PHP 4.4.8 Release Announcement
 Earlier Items: 
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Apple antitrust suit alleges monopoly over music, players
Todd Bishop / Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog:
Pre-CES: A glimpse inside a real Microsoft home
Discussion: CNET News.com
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Are so-called anywhere applications getting somewhere?
Charlie White / Gizmodo:
Fujifilm FinePix Z100fd, So Thin It's Anorexic
Discussion: Engadget and Electronista
Kyle Bennett / enthusiast.hardocp.com:
GeForce 9800 GX2 Exclusive Pics & Specs
Quentin / Rogue Amoeba:
Live Disc  —  Every time we exhibit at Macworld Expo …
Discussion: MacUser and The Apple Blog
Mary Kathleen Flynn / Behind The Money Blog:
Leah Culver, 25, writes the code that powers Pownce
Discussion: CenterNetworks