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9:05 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  —  Why did lawyers for a bank in the Cayman Islands ask a judge in essence to turn off the domain name of the Wikileaks site?  Perhaps because they could not get the site shut down by more traditional means.  —  Companies that believe they have some reason …
Frank Caron / Ars Technica:
XNA games coming to the Zune, Xbox Live Arcade  —  This morning at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced the next step in its Xbox Live and XNA initiative: the Zune will be entering the fray as new third pillar of XNA software support, with over 1,000 games for the device by year end.
RELATED:
N'Gai Croal / Level Up:
Exclusive: Nintendo Announces Plan to Launch Its WiiWare Download Service for Original Games on May 12th.  Demos Not Included.  —  Where did you first find out about Nintendo's WiiWare service for original downloadable games?  Yep, right here on Level Up, where North American president …
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
Nintendo's WiiWare platform to let independent developers get their game on
Discussion: Associated Press and Kotaku
Todd Bishop / Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog:
Bill Gates pooh-poohed Yahoo deal last year  —  In a series of interviews this week, Bill Gates has spoken positively about Microsoft's proposed Yahoo deal — telling CNet News.com, for example, that the addition of Yahoo's engineers is why Microsoft believes the potential combination would be “powerful.”
Discussion: WebProNews and CNET News.com
RELATED:
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.
Ina Fried / CNET News.com:
Gates explains why Microsoft needs Yahoo
Discussion: GottaBeMobile
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.
Nivi / Venture Hacks:
T-Shirts for VCs  —  Hilarious new t-shirts for the “top 2/20%” (get it?) of the population from VC Wear:  —  There are more awesome t-shirts at VC Wear as well as a Powerpoint Pitch and a Buy it (the company) Now button.  —  There's truth in every t-shirt.
Discussion: Valleywag
Ryan Block / Engadget:
Microsoft announces games for Zune via XNA Studio  —  Looks like games are coming for the Zune after all!  Microsoft just announced 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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
How Much Will Yahoo's New Severance Plan Cost Microsoft?  —  Yahoo's new severance/retention plan is the envy of every employee on earth (details here).  So how much will it cost an acquirer?  At least $1 billion and possibly as much as $3 billion.  —  The most expensive aspects …
Shel / Global Neighbourhoods:
Forrester's New Online Communities Report  —  I was interviewed for the new Forrester Report on Online Communities that was released yesterday.  Actually, as I recall, Jeremiah asked folks on Twitter for a definition of online communities and he liked mine.  He was the report's primary author.
 
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 More Items: 
John Guilfoil / Blast Magazine:
Cobra creates first Bluetooth CB radio
Discussion: Gizmodo, Engadget and CrunchGear
Todd Bishop / Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog:
Departing Microsoft exec has big house, warm pants
Discussion: 425 Magazine and Valleywag
Nilay Patel / Engadget:
Keeping it real fake, part CXII: Is the DaXian X999 the ultimate fake iPhone?
Darren Rowse / ProBlogger Blog Tips:
Conversations with an Underground Text Link Seller
Enigmax / TorrentFreak:
Norwegian Police Deal Massive Blow to MPAA Lawyer
Discussion: Digg
ReadWriteWeb:
Link Attraction Factors: Getting Dugg and Going Viral
Discussion: The Last Podcast
Matt Buchanan / Gizmodo:
Next-Gen Microsoft PC Concept Attaches to Your Neck Like a Symbiote …
Nancy Gohring / InfoWorld:
Update: BlackBerry network down again on Wednesday
Discussion: CNET News.com
 Earlier Items: 
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
NewsClipper Brings All The News Video from Around the Web to One Place
Niro / Nir Ofir:
Olympic committe says yes to bloggers!?! No!
Robert Vamosi / CNET News.com:
The myth of the Ninja Hacker
Discussion: eWeek
Adam Frucci / Gizmodo:
Sharper Image Files for Bankruptcy; You'll Need to Go Elsewhere …
Jonathan Richards / Times of London:
Hacker breaks link between iTunes and the iPod
Doug Aamoth / CrunchGear:
Wired tells us how to convert HD DVD to Blu-ray
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
EU Invests $22 Million in Next-Generation BitTorrent Client
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
HP's UMPC 2133 to cost $630 when shipping in April?