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2:45 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 …
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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
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.
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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?
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:
Paul Glazowski / Profy.Com:
Intel, OLPC Sever Ties After Six Months Of Collaboration
Bryan Gardiner / Epicenter:
Intel Breaks Up with OLPC
Discussion: OSDir.com, The Chronicle and Valleywag
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
RELATED:
David Kaplan / paidContent.org:
Growth Slows For U.S. Digital Music Sales, As UK Purchases Nearly Double
Discussion: Ars Technica
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.
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
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
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 …
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
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.
Discussion: John Carroll and Mashable!
 
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 More Items: 
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
BiTMICRO introduces 832GB SSD for CES 2008
Discussion: DailyTech
Tim O'Reilly / O'Reilly Radar:
Human vs. Machine: The Great Challenge of Our Time
Business Wire:
The NCC, Official Goodyear Licensee, to Unveil Eight GPS Models at CES 2008
Discussion: Gizmodo and Engadget
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
Edvarcl Heng / Crave: The gadget blog:
Singapore automates the dining experience
Discussion: DVICE
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Apple antitrust suit alleges monopoly over music, players
 Earlier Items: 
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
Ryan Kim / San Francisco Chronicle:
Mountain View's Meraki proposes free Wi-Fi network for S.F.
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