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1:45 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: 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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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
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
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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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
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
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
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
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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
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 …
Kyle Bennett / enthusiast.hardocp.com:
GeForce 9800 GX2 Exclusive Pics & Specs  —  NVIDIA's yet-to-be released 9800 GX2 in the “flesh."  We reveal some of the specs and what should be expected.  —  NVIDIA's yet-to-be released GeForce 9800 GX2 in the “flesh."  We reveal some of the specs and what should be expected.
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:
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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: 
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
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
Peter Kaplan / Reuters:
Suspense grows over XM-Sirius antitrust review
Gregg Keizer / PC World:
Firefox Hit With Spoofing Bug
 Earlier Items: 
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