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2:10 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
Duncan Riley / TechCrunch:
Ding, Dong, The Music DRM Witch Is Dead
Discussion: Business Filter and WinBeta
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?
wipo.int:
(WO/2008/003095) RECOGNIZING TEXT IN IMAGES
Discussion: Computerworld and Searchviews
Duncan Riley / TechCrunch:
Google Lodges Patent For Reading Text In Images And Video
Discussion: WebMetricsGuru
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Apple antitrust suit alleges monopoly over music, players  —  Apple has been sued once again for its iPod/iTunes tie-in, with the plaintiff alleging that the company has an illegal monopoly over the online music and video markets.  The suit was filed earlier this week by California resident Stacie Somers …
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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 and Digg
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.
RELATED:
Peter Sayer / PC World:
Wi-Fi Startup to Pick Up Where Google Left Off in SF
Discussion: TheFeed
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
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.
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
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
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.
Todd Bishop / Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog:
Pre-CES: A glimpse inside a real Microsoft home  —  Hakan Olsson, who works in Microsoft's eHome group, uses his Windows Media Center PC in conjunction with a variety of devices in his home to see what is practical.  (Scott Eklund/P-I)  —  Each year at the Consumer Electronics Show …
Discussion: CNET News.com
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 …
 
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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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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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PHP 4.4.8 Release Announcement
Edvarcl Heng / Crave: The gadget blog:
Singapore automates the dining experience
Discussion: DVICE
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Are so-called anywhere applications getting somewhere?
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
Will fans pay? Reznor opens books on 'Net music experiment
Discussion: John Carroll and Mashable!
Greg Linden / Geeking with Greg:
The coming 2008 dot-com crash
Charlie White / Gizmodo:
Fujifilm FinePix Z100fd, So Thin It's Anorexic
Discussion: Electronista
Ryan Block / Engadget:
Microsoft hooks up Xbox Live subs with free Arcade title
Discussion: Switched and TechSpot News
Kyle Bennett / enthusiast.hardocp.com:
GeForce 9800 GX2 Exclusive Pics & Specs
 Earlier Items: 
Gregg Keizer / PC World:
Firefox Hit With Spoofing Bug
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
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