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1:05 PM ET, April 15, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
AOL Buys Sphere's Blog Content Engine  —  Tomorrow AOL will announce the acquisition of San Francisco-based Sphere, a blog content engine that launched in 2006.  The price is not being disclosed, but sources are suggesting it's in the $25 million range, or possibly a little more.  More details from Om Malik
RELATED:
Tony Conrad / Sphere Blog:
Our New Address @ AOL.COM  —  Unlike the rumor that Sphere has reserved the Wrigley Field bleachers for Game 7 of the 2008 World Series, the conjecture about Sphere being acquired by a larger platform is officially true.  AOL has acquired sphere.  More information is here, here and here again for the curious detail seeker.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Google's Don't Be Evil Not “Ordained Motto” Says Marissa Mayer  —  Google's “Don't Be Evil” motto, first uttered by Googler Paul Buchheit (now founder of FriendFeed) in 2001, has long been the pillar of their self-imposed code of conduct.  It was amended somewhat in 2006 when CEO Eric Schmidt …
Duncan Riley / TechCrunch:
Twitter Testing Advertising In Twitter Streams  —  Twitter was down tonight, nothing really unusual for the San Francisco based startup (to be fair though downtime has improved since they dumped Joyent), but what was different is some reports of users spotting ads in their Twitter stream during the service difficulties.
RELATED:
Caroline McCarthy / The Social:
Elusive ‘Twitter ads’ spotted in the wild
Discussion: The Last Podcast
Jeremy Wagstaff / loose wire blog:
Facebook is Dead.  I'm Not Being Facetious  —  Either there's a glitch in Facebook, or else it's dead.  Well, not dead, exactly, but I noticed that, at nearly 10 pm, none of my friends have done anything today to merit appearing on the News Feed of stuff (see above).
RELATED:
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Facebook News Feed Reports on You Behind Your Back
Discussion: All Facebook
Russell Beattie / Russell Beattie's Weblog:
The end of Mowser  —  It's been a year since I launched Mowser at April 2007's Mobile Monday, so it's time for a progress report.  Sadly, the news isn't good.  —  Mowser is at the end of its life in its current form.  We haven't been able to raise funding, and as a site …
RELATED:
Emil Protalinski / One Microsoft Way:
Windows XP SP3 now set for April 29 debut  —  Officially, Microsoft has been saying “the first half of 2008” whenever the company is asked to put a date for the release of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3.  However, various sources have been expecting the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) …
Discussion: Computerworld
RELATED:
Christopher Vendemio / Neowin.net:
Windows XP SP3 Release Dates
Danny Mendez / Download Squad:
Parenting 2.0: Mom pranks son's MySpace as punishment  —  A sassy 13 year-old Virginian laid the smack-down on a vacuum instead of doing his chores and then was caught looking at porn by his tech savvy mother, who stumbled upon some very suspicious looking cookies (not pictured above) stored on the computer's browser.
RELATED:
Adam Frucci / Gizmodo:
Kid Breaks Vacuum to Play Xbox Instead of Doing Chores; Mom Sells …
Discussion: Destructoid and Kotaku
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Roundtable:
Google Local Business Center Allows Free Form Categories Now  —  You can now enter any category that you feel is best for your company in the category section of your Google Local Business Center listing.  In the past, you had to select a specific category that was in Google's database.
Discussion: Screenwerk and Natural Search Blog
RELATED:
Dennis R. Mortensen / VisualRevenue:
IndexTools (Yahoo!) Web Analytics goes FREE!  —  Hi there, a bit of news for you who follow the Yahoo! IndexTools integration steps.  But first, THANK YOU very much for all the positive feedback I received in blog comments, separate blog posts, emails, phone calls etc.  I truly appreciate that.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes / Hardware 2.0:
Psystar: Apple's terms violate U.S. monopoly laws  —  Psystar, a Miami-based OEM which is now offering OS X on generic PC hardware, claims that Apple's restrictive licensing terms violates U.S. monopoly laws.  Whoa, bold claim there.  Better have some deep pockets if the company wants to take the fight to court.
Greg Sandoval / CNET News.com:
Amazon's MP3s not affecting iTunes  —  Amazon.com's MP3 service is growing but not at the expense of Apple's iTunes, according to a report issued Tuesday by market researcher NPD Group.  —  About 10 percent of the people who shopped at AmazonMP3 in February were previous Apple shoppers, NPD said.
Mark Evans:
Who's Louis Gray?  —  At a time when blogging is evolving and the high-tech landscape is being dominated by blog publishers such as TechCrunch, GigaOm and Mashable as well as blogs operated by mainstream media, it is good to see that it's still possible for one-man/woman shop to capture …
Audioholics Home Theater Reviews and News:
Blue Jeans Cable Strikes Back - Response to Monster Cable  —  Not long ago we reported that Monster Cable had issued a cease and desist letter to Blue Jeans Cable about their Tartan cables.  Little did the lawyer drones over at Monster know that Kurt Denke, the president of Blue Jeans was, in a former life, a lawyer by trade.
Discussion: WebProBlog
Mobile Today:
O2 and Carphone to cut £100 from price of the iPhone  —  The iPhone is set to be cut to £169 as part of a limited offer, O2 confirmed today.  —  The £100 reduction, which will apply to the 8GB device on all O2 iPhone tariffs, will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) and will run until 1 June.
Discussion: MacRumors, Pat Phelan, iLounge and Engadget
Omri / fring:
fring for your iPhone - it's a fringing world first!  —  OK.  So if you're one of the first lucky *#@$%&s to get your hands on an iPhone, you just got even luckier.  We've just made a special pre-release R&D version of fring for your iPhone - a mobile VoIP app publicly available for the iPhone?...yep that's a world-first!
 
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Windows Weekly Covers Everything Microsoft  —  Hear what's happening with Windows, Office, Enterprise, Azure, Xbox, plus reviews with hosts Leo Laporte, Mary Jo Foley, and Paul Thurrott on TWiT.tv's Windows Weekly podcast.
Google Fi:
Google Fi - a phone plan, by Google  —  We felt that most phone plans just weren't made with you in mind.  So that's why we built Google Fi with features that real people actually want.  Click to learn more.
Zoho:
The Partner's guide to marketing on LinkedIn  —  What is LinkedIn® really?  —  It's a question that keeps popping up from time to time, is it a social media site for professionals?  —  Is it a platform for job seekers and recruiters to meet?
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The Future of Gaming is About More Than Just Processors  —  When it comes to making the PC the best place to play, you have to give developers the tools they need, provide real world performance and anticipate what's next.
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 More Items: 
Verizon:
Verizon Wireless Introduces Nationwide Messaging Plans
Caroline McCarthy / The Social:
MySpace expands to Korea, with India on the way soon
Discussion: Startup Dunia
Marcus Yam / DailyTech:
PS3 Firmware 2.30 Arrives With DTS-HD MA, New PlayStation Store
Discussion: I4U News and TechSpot
Adam Ostrow / Mashable!:
Twitter Spam Spirals Out of Control
Discussion: SheGeeks
Laurie J. Flynn / New York Times:
Top Hard-Drive Maker Files Suit Against Rival
New York Times:
Delta to Join Northwest to Form World's Largest Airline
Discussion: Valleywag and paidContent.org
Fred / A VC:
Ten Questions About Entrepreneurs
Discussion: SmoothSpan Blog
Bill Ray / The Register:
Patent holders take 4G pledge of allegiance
Discussion: Nokia and Digital Trends
 Earlier Items: 
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
Apture drags online news experience into the 21st century
Discussion: Portfolio.com and GigaOM
Rafe Needleman / Webware.com:
Syncplicity launches sync tool with backup, sharing, Google Docs integration
Brad Feld / Feld Thoughts:
Your Analytics Data Is Very Wrong
Ryan Singel / Threat Level:
Look Ma, I'm on CIA.gov
Nokia:
Tap into experiences with the Nokia 6212 classic
John Markoff / New York Times:
Tesla Motors Files Suit Against Competitor Over Design Ideas
John Cook / Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Farecast sold in $75 million deal
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
Greg Sandoval / CNET News.com:
Rocker Peter Gabriel offers Filter to cut through online clutter