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6:40 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
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 …
RELATED:
Josh Catone / ReadWriteWeb:   eBay Seller Boycott: UGC Means User Power
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:
Nick White / Windows Vista Team Blog:
Update on Windows Vista SP1 Prerequisite KB937287
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 …
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 …
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: VC Ratings and One By One Media
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.
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
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 …
RELATED:
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.
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.
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 …
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
NewsClipper Brings All The News Video from Around the Web to One Place  —  Why isn't there a Google News for video?  That is what Onar Vikingstad, a 27-year-old Norwegian Web developer with a day job at Apple, asked himself before he created NewsClipper.  The site is a side project …
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 …
Niro / Nir Ofir:
Olympic committe says yes to bloggers!?!  No!  —  The IOC Blogging Guidelines just fell into my mailbox.  It was clear to me the the Olympic committee must adjust it's rules to the emerging world of social media, blogging, photo sharing and video sharing and to use it as an advantage.
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
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 …
 
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 More Items: 
ReadWriteWeb:
Link Attraction Factors: Getting Dugg and Going Viral
Matt Buchanan / Gizmodo:
Next-Gen Microsoft PC Concept Attaches to Your Neck Like a Symbiote …
Nancy Gohring / InfoWorld:
BlackBerry network down again on Wednesday
Discussion: CNET News.com
Nivi / Venture Hacks:
T-Shirts for VCs  —  Hilarious new t-shirts for the “top 2/20%” …
Discussion: Valleywag
Robert Vamosi / CNET News.com:
The myth of the Ninja Hacker
Discussion: eWeek
New York Times:
Ending Tradition, NBC Dismisses Fall Debuts
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
 Earlier Items: 
Ecamm Network:
MegaPhone v1.5 Released
Chris Williams / The Register:
Shamed ‘alternative medicine’ quack silences web critic
Discussion: Techdirt
Jonathan Richards / Times of London:
Hacker breaks link between iTunes and the iPod
Joshua Karp / The Boy Genius Report:
Blackberry email goes down...again
Doug Aamoth / CrunchGear:
Wired tells us how to convert HD DVD to Blu-ray
Brooke Crothers / CNET News.com:
Dell launches Inspiron notebooks with ‘Penryn’ chip
Matt Martin / GamesIndustry.biz:
GDC: Molyneux despairs at “tragic” state of PCgaming
Chris Williams / The Register:
BBC mulls dropping Flash as iPlayer meets iPhone
Discussion: Adobe, last100 and All News Feeds
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Chris Thompson / Defector:
Vice leadership failed to act as responsible stewards of a good product, and instead paid themselves lavish salaries and burned through hundreds of millions

Sara Fischer / Axios:
NPR affiliate WAMU is shutting down local news site Dcist and laying off 15 employees to focus on audio and plans to add 10 new positions

Janko Roettgers / Lowpass:
A look at possible effects of Walmart's Vizio purchase: a negative impact on Roku, for whom Walmart is a big retail partner, and Vizio's data unit shutting down

 
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