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5:40 PM ET, February 20, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Robert X. Cringely / InfoWorld:
Look before you leak  —  I bet you thought people banked in the Cayman Islands because they serve fruity cocktails with tiny parasols in them while you're waiting for your checks to clear.  Well, you're only partly right.  The other reason people keep accounts in the Caymans is to avoid paying taxes …
RELATED:
David F. Gallagher / Bits:
Wikileaks Site Has a Friend in Sweden
Reuters:
Sharper Image files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Retailer Sharper Image Corp has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing declining sales, three straight years of losses and litigation involving its Ionic Breeze air purifiers.
RELATED:
Adam Frucci / Gizmodo:
Sharper Image Files for Bankruptcy; You'll Need to Go Elsewhere to Try Out a Massage Recliner  —  When I was a kid and would get dragged to the mall by my parents, I would always gravitate to stores like Sharper Image.  These gadget-stuffed stores probably never actually got a sale out of me …
Discussion: Electronista and Valleywag
Brad Linder / Download Squad:
Microsoft releases Windows XP SP3 RC2  —  Microsoft has released Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2 to the general public.  For the last few weeks the latest pre-release version of SP3 was only available to about 15,000 beta testers.  But now you can download the update from Microsoft's servers using Windows Update.
Discussion: WinBeta
RELATED:
Brandi Stewart / Fortune Small Business:
eBay seller strike starts, listings dip  —  EBay's listings appear to be down 3% since this week's seller strike began, but separating the boycott's effects from standard daily fluctuations is a tricky task.  —  (FORTUNE Small Business) — Monday marked the start of a week-long eBay (EBAY …
Ina Fried / CNET News.com:
Gates on Yahoo: It's the people  —  PALO ALTO, Calif.—Bill Gates is willing to pay a lot for engineering talent.  —  Asked what makes Yahoo worth more than $40 billion, Gates pointed not to the company's products, its huge base of advertisers or its market share, but rather to the company's engineers.
RELATED:
Greg Sterling / Search Engine Land:
Gates On Yahoo Acquisition: It's The Engineers We Want
Discussion: CNET News.com
Reuters:
Sprint expected to undercut rivals' call plans  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) is expected to offer flat-rate calling plans at up to a 40 percent discount to its rivals, hurtling the industry into a price war, analysts said on Wednesday.
RELATED:
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Price War!  Telcos Swoon As Analysts Chop Ests on Verizon, AT&T …
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
EU Invests $22 Million in Next-Generation BitTorrent Client  —  A few weeks ago we reported that the EU Greens launched a pro-filesharing campaign named “I Wouldn't Steal”.  In a continued effort to support the development of P2P technology, the European Union has now invested $22 million …
RELATED:
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
EU, broadcasters give thumbs-up to P2P startup
Discussion: paidContent
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
HP's UMPC 2133 to cost $630 when shipping in April?  —  A report by the Commercial Times says that HP will launch its 8.9-inch UMPC in April for “more than” NT$20,000 or about $630 bucks.  Sure sounds like the UMPC 2133 we showed you yesterday, eh?  That's about right when you compare it to the $300, entry-level 7-inch Eee PC.
RELATED:
Chippy / UMPCPortal:
HP UMPC to feature VIA Inside. Not Intel.
Discussion: jkOnTheRun, Engadget and GottaBeMobile
Ryan Block / Engadget:
Microsoft announces games for Zune via XNA Studio  —  Looks like games are coming for the Zune after all!  Microsoft just announed XNA Studio developers will be able to use the Zune as a multiplayer wireless mobile gaming platform.  Details are sparse at this point, but it looks like it's …
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Google & Its 99 Broadband Balloons  —  Google, according to The Wall Street Journal is thinking about teaming up with Space Data Corp., a company that sends balloons carrying small (micro) base stations about 20 miles up in the air for providing connectivity to truckers and oil companies.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
GenieTown Launches To Tackle Local Services  —  Palo Alto-based Genie Town launches this morning.  They're trying to crack the local services nut - a huge market, but one that a lot of the big guys are eyeing, too.  —  The company says they are addressing the long tail of local services.
Ashkan Karbasfrooshan / HipMojo.com:
Why Most VC-Backed, Ad-Supported Companies Are Doomed to Fail  —  Most of the web projects out there are ad-supported, or intend to be ad-supported.  —  While a lot of companies are bootstrapped, most are financed by angel investors or venture capitalists.
Discussion: Tech Confidential
Jason / Signal vs. Noise:
The New Backpack's First 24 Hours  —  Yesterday's big Backpack update was a huge success.  It was the best day in Backpack's history — even better than the last big update in July '07 and add anywhere in Oct '07.  —  We usually don't share numbers, but we thought we'd break tradition …
Brooke Crothers / CNET News.com:
Dell launches Inspiron notebooks with ‘Penryn’ chip  —  As expected, Dell is now offering Inspiron notebook PCs with the Intel Core 2 Duo “Penryn” chip as an optional configuration.  This is the first time that Dell has included the 45-nanometer processor as an option in the consumer-oriented Inspiron line.
Chris Williams / The Register:
BBC mulls dropping Flash as iPlayer meets iPhone  —  iDontbelieveit!  —  The BBC is considering ditching Adobe's Flash system for its iPlayer streams to improve the video quality of the on-demand service, it said on Tuesday.  —  The news came alongside an announcement that iPlayer …
Discussion: Adobe, last100 and All News Feeds
Doug Aamoth / CrunchGear:
Wired tells us how to convert HD DVD to Blu-ray  —  Holy crap, this almost seems like more trouble than it's worth but if you're looking to convert your “old” HD DVDs to Blu-ray, Wired's How-To Wiki has got you covered.  You'll need a fast Windows machine, an HD DVD drive, a Blu-ray burner …
 
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Ending Tradition, NBC Dismisses Fall Debuts
Business Wire:
Analog Devices Announces Financial Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2008
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
How Much Will Yahoo's New Severance Plan Cost Microsoft?
Discussion: TechCrunch
Frank Caron / Ars Technica:
XNA games coming to the Zune, Xbox Live Arcade
N'Gai Croal / Level Up:
Exclusive: Nintendo Announces Plan to Launch Its WiiWare Download …
Ecamm Network:
MegaPhone v1.5 Released
Chris Williams / The Register:
Shamed ‘alternative medicine’ quack silences web critic
Discussion: Techdirt
Shel / Global Neighbourhoods:
Forrester's New Online Communities Report
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Comcast's Technical Expert: Mary Bono?
Jonathan Richards / Times of London:
Hacker breaks link between iTunes and the iPod
Joshua Karp / The Boy Genius Report:
Blackberry email goes down...again
Mercury News:
From Mercury News staff and wire services
Matt Martin / GamesIndustry.biz:
GDC: Molyneux despairs at “tragic” state of PCgaming
Anne Broache / CNET News.com:
Lessig: I'm considering a run for Congress
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
That Didn't Take Long At All: $89 Million Australian Internet …
Luke Plunkett / Kotaku:
Wii Fit To Launch In US On May 19