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1:10 PM ET, March 21, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Sony hates you, offers $50 “Fresh Start” option to build your laptop crapware-free  —  Sony has quite the history of crippling excellent, beautiful hardware with horrible, useless software.  The company's UX UMPC bluescreened on us the first time we turned it on, and crashed the first time we tried …
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Dan Ackerman / Crave: The gadget blog:
Sony charges fifty bucks for a crapware-free system  —  Holy crap(ware), Batman!  If you've ever gotten a new laptop or desktop, only to turn it on and had time to make a sandwich while it slowly boots up, you know that PC makers can shovel a lot of bloated software onto their systems.
Farhad Manjoo / Salon:
The Wall Street Journal's Web site is already (secretly) free  —  Late in January, Rupert Murdoch put an end to speculation that he would set free the Wall Street Journal's subscription-only Web site.  —  While he planned to “expand” the site's free offerings, “the really special things …
Stefanie Olsen / CNET News.com:
Q&A: Battelle talks blog roll-ups, Google, and Federated Media's future  —  John Battelle knows tech booms and busts.  He's been at the forefront of them for nearly two decades.  —  In 1993, he co-founded Wired, a print magazine that set a standard in technology coverage and spawned popular sites …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
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Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:   Federated Media's Battelle Slams Rival, Hints At Investing In Publishers
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
Facebook Toast?  Hot Today, Dead Tomorrow—Like AOL?  —  For now, Facebook continues to take over the world.  Its global traffic is about to blow past MySpace's, its image (and Mark Zuckerberg's) has recovered from the Beacon fiasco, and it has raised a big enough cash pile that it should be able to power through any downturn.
Discussion: Search Engine Land and Economist
Caroline McCarthy / CNET News.com:
Gibson turns volume up to 11 with new ‘Guitar Hero’ lawsuit  —  Legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson Guitar has sued six major retailers—Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, Gamestop, and Toys-R-Us—for selling Activision's Guitar Hero video game series, MarketWatch reported Friday.
Discussion: Gearlog, Engadget, Geek Gestalt and Kotaku
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Gibson Guitar sues retailers over ‘Guitar Hero’ game
Discussion: CrunchGear
Mark Hendrickson / TechCrunch:
LinkedIn, Now For Companies  —  LinkedIn, the boring social network that won't find you a date but may land you a job, is expanding beyond people profiles.  —  On Friday morning they will launch company profile pages that partly serve as fact sheets for about 160,000 companies and partly serve …
RELATED:
Caroline McCarthy / The Social:
LinkedIn's business directory goes live
Discussion: The Social Times and Coop's Corner
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Apple pushing Safari downloads on Windows users  —  In an apparent bid to rapidly gain share of the online browser market dominated by rival Microsoft, Apple is leveraging its vast iTunes install base to recommend that Windows users also download and install the latest version of its Safari web browser.
RELATED:
Mike Schramm / The Unofficial Apple Weblog:
Is Apple pushing Safari 3.1 on Windows users?
Discussion: Apple Gazette and CyberNet
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Do you have to be in every conversation?  —  Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb has a good post about how the conversation is leaving blogs and going to Twitter, FriendFeed and other services.  More importantly, she touches on a big question: How do you keep up?  —  Perez then dutifully notes …
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Breaking: FCC Confirms that Big Winner in Spectrum Auction is Verizon.  So Why Is Google Smiling?  —  The big winner of the FCC's $19.6 billion auction of wireless spectrum that ended yesterday is Verizon.  That was pretty much everyone's guess.  —  At a press conference today …
RELATED:
Michael Liedtke / Associated Press:   Losing wireless battle may be Google win
Sarah Lai Stirland / Threat Level:
Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig Bets ‘Wikipedia’ Approach Will Transform Congress  —  Stanford law professor Larry Lessig plans to use collaborative software to change Congress.  —  Courtesy Larry Lessig  —  A prominent Stanford law professor on Thursday launched an ambitious project …
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Little old lady suing Sony, Samsung, Nokia and everyone else for infringing on her laser patents  —  Oh sure, she looks friendly enough.  But don't let her matronly, argyle looks fool you.  Retired Columbia University Professor, Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, is looking to extract some cold …
Discussion: Reuters, eWeek, Inquirer and Electronista
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
CBS Sports Facing March Madness Backlash on Facebook.  “This App Blows.”  —  Don't mess with March Madness.  CBS Sports is learning that lesson the hard way on Facebook, where a major backlash is happening over its NCAA basketball bracket application.  Yes, this is the same application …
Discussion: Lonely CEO Media
Charles Cooper / Coop's Corner:
Twitter's political coming of age?  —  First YouTube, now Twitter.  —  In 2006, George Allen destroyed his political future after his infamous “Macaca” crack on the campaign trail made the rounds on YouTube.  —  Now it turns out that John McCain's campaign has suspended …
Nivi / Venture Hacks:
Getting Recommended … On April 1st, we started publishing the best damn term sheet hacks we could find.  Why?  Because a lot of entrepreneurs ask the same question: … We're trying to make everything we've learned—from other entrepreneurs, investors, and lawyers—readily available.
Doug Aamoth / CrunchGear:
Firefox 3: So easy a caveman could do it  —  Firefox 3 won't be out of beta until the end of June but Mozilla told Reuters yesterday that anyone can go ahead and download the most recent version and run it without worrying too much.  It's now stable enough for everyone, not just developers.
Discussion: Download Squad, Gizmodo and Mashable!
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Report: 95% of Internet video stuck looking longingly at TV  —  Video content online may be growing in popularity, but the vast majority isn't getting anywhere near a TV screen.  New survey results from Macrovision (commissioned by Harris Interactive) say that only a small number of adults …
Discussion: WebProNews
 
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 More Items: 
Richard Defendorf / CNET News.com:
FCC inching ever closer to decision on XM-Sirius
Discussion: Electronista
Giveaway of the Day:
Capture and find anything!
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Up close with Dell's Latitude E4300 and E4200 ultra-portables with DisplayPort
Discussion: DailyTech and The Tech Report
ze's page:
colorwar 2008  —  ok, i promise not to let this blog devolve …
Dianne See Morrison / paidContent.org:
Dish Network To Offer Mobile TV Service?
Discussion: Gizmodo
Steve O'Hear / last100:
Don't turn off the life support just yet: Joost coming to the browser
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Chart Me Up: Web 2.0 Venture Deals
Associated Press:
AT&T to pay FCC $1.3B down payment
 Earlier Items: 
Dave Winer / Scripting News:
What's wrong with Wikipedia
Business Wire:
SplashCast Closes Over-Subscribed Series A Funding and Appoints …
Eric Bangeman / Ars Technica:
DirecTV DVR clampdown: a sober reminder of DRM suckitude
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Publisher Posts Mac Books on The Pirate Bay
Discussion: MacUser, CrunchGear and Digg
Paul Boutin / New York Times:
So You Want to Be a Blogging Star?
Discussion: Valleywag
Steven Clift / MediaShift Idea Lab:
Is Citizen Media Skipping Small Town America?
Discussion: MediaVidea
Glenn Derene / Popular Mechanics:
The 10 Video Formats HD DVD Will Meet in Heaven: Buzzword
Discussion: Digg
Ionut Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
Google's Broken Bookmarking Systems
Discussion: louisgray.com