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3:00 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 …
RELATED:
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 …
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.
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 and Blogcosm
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:   Federated Media's Battelle Slams Rival, Hints At Investing In Publishers
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.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Gibson Guitar sues retailers over ‘Guitar Hero’ game
Discussion: CrunchGear
PR Newswire:
AT&T Statement on the FCC's Announced Results Of Auction 73  —  AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) completed successful bids for prime B Block spectrum in the FCC auction.  Combined with the Aloha Partners transaction, which closed earlier this year, AT&T has supplemented its holding of high-quality spectrum …
RELATED:
Michael Liedtke / Associated Press:   Losing wireless battle may be Google win
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:
Danis Dayanov / The LinkedIn Blog:
The Engineering component |  LinkedIn Company Profiles  —  Over the course of the last years there were several important features that we've brought to you.  The past few months in particular has seen the rapid deployment of features such as these: Profile photos, Redesigned Homepage …
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 …
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Apple pushes Windows Safari via iTunes updater  —  Makes good on Jobs' promise to use iTunes to distribute Apple browser  —  Computerworld) As Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs promised last summer, Apple has begun leveraging its dominance in the music download business by pushing the Windows version …
RELATED:
Mike Schramm / The Unofficial Apple Weblog:
Is Apple pushing Safari 3.1 on Windows users?
Discussion: Apple Gazette and CyberNet
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: Crave, Reuters, Electronista, eWeek and Inquirer
RELATED:
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 and Mashable!
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 …
Discussion: bub.blicio.us
RELATED:
Jacqui Cheng / Infinite Loop:
Buy a refurb iPod nano, get $15 on the iTunes Store  —  Do you like free music from iTunes?  Do you also like the new (fat) iPod nano?  Well if you were planning on buying a refurb one soon, Apple will give you a free $15 iTunes gift card.  Our friends at TUAW brought our attention to this promotion that goes from now until June 30.
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 …
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.
 
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 More Items: 
Fred / A VC:
Working On Vacation  —  The title of this post sounds like an oxymoron.
Discussion: Valleywag
Associated Press:
Wikipedia Questions Paths to More Money
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Pulver Launches An Online TV Guide In The Form of a Cube (PrimeTimeRewindTV)
Discussion: MarketingVOX and Spark Minute
Richard Defendorf / CNET News.com:
FCC inching ever closer to decision on XM-Sirius
Discussion: Motley Fool and 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
Charles Cooper / Coop's Corner:
Twitter's political coming of age?
Discussion: techPresident and The Politico
Dianne See Morrison / paidContent.org:
Dish Network To Offer Mobile TV Service?
Discussion: Gizmodo
 Earlier Items: 
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
Dave Winer / Scripting News:
What's wrong with Wikipedia
Phil McKenna / New Scientist:
Climbing robot throws its weight around
Discussion: Switched, Engadget and Digg
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