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12:00 PM ET, May 19, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Robert Scoble / Scobleizer:
Why Microsoft will buy Facebook and keep it closed  —  It no longer is about Data Portability or Social Graph Portability, if you will.  —  I'm hearing these rumors too that John Furrier (my ex-boss) is reporting.  That Microsoft will buy Yahoo's search and then buy Facebook for $15 to $20 billion.
RELATED:
John Furrier / Furrier.org:
Silicon Valley Rumor: Microsoft to Buy Yahoo Search and Then Facebook  —  My sources say that the Yahoo and Microsoft teams are bunkered down in a Palo Alto hotel hammering out the final stages of a transaction that will have Microsoft picking up the Yahoo search business.  Word is that this deal will be done this week.
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Memo to Carl: MicroHooGooCahnFace  —  Will Microsoft really fork over more than $15 billion to buy Facebook?  —  Or will it come back to the fractured table with Yahoo to buy parts of it or perhaps partner with it?  —  And Yahoo, oh woefully punch-drunk Yahoo-must it make a deal with Microsoft …
Discussion: GigaOM and Tech Tracks
Alexander van Elsas / Alexander van Elsas's Weblog …:
Microsoft and Facebook will never succeed in locking down part of the web
Discussion: mathewingram.com/work
Staci D. Kramer / paidContent.org:
AOL-Bebo: $850M Deal Closes; AOL Combines Bebo, AIM, ICQ Into People Networks Headed By Shields  —  It's official—AOL (NYSE: TWX) now owns Bebo, closing the $850 million acquisition roughly two months after making it public.  The social media network will not stand on its own; instead …
RELATED:
Business Wire:
AOL Completes Acquisition Of Global Social Media Network Bebo  —  Company Announces New AOL People Networks Business Unit, Led by Joanna Shields  —  AOL Focused on Growth in Three Key Areas - Publishing, People Networks and Advertising  —  NEW YORK—(BUSINESS WIRE)—AOL announced …
Discussion: GigaOM, Mashable! and Financial Times
Margaret Kane / CNET News.com:   AOL closes Bebo deal
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:   AOL Bebo-tizes its social properties; Forms People Networks unit
Rajas Moonka / Official Google Blog:
Opening our content network to third parties  —  Today, we're announcing that Google is accepting third-party advertising tags on the Google content network in North America.  This will empower advertisers to work with approved third parties to serve and track display ads, including rich media ads …
RELATED:
Stephen Shankland / CNET News.com:   Google opens ad network to outsiders
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:   Google Enables Third Party Tracking For Content Network
InfoWorld:
Facebook CEO wants to talk with Google on Friend Connect  —  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to sit down with Google and work out the privacy issues that caused Facebook to block Google's Friend Connect last week, he said Monday.  —  “We want to talk to Google about this and see if there's …
RELATED:
Steve O'Hear / The Social Web:
After Google calls Facebook's bluff, Zuckerberg says “let's see if there's a way to make it work” [data portability]  —  When Google announced its ‘Friend Connect’ product to deliver social networking features to the ‘long tail’ of the Web, the option “to see, invite, and interact with …
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Apple Wants More Mobile Music From Labels  —  As part of Apple's efforts to improve on the shortcomings of its popular iPhone, the company has approached some of the major music labels to try to expand the variety of ringtones and other musical features available on the device, several label executives said last week.
RELATED:
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:   Mobile music to play a key role in the 3G iPhone?
Philipp Lenssen / Google Blogoscoped:
Will Gmail Get Themes?  —  A source is telling me that Gmail will get themes - custom layouts to personalize Google's web mail client.  According to the source, the launch of this may happen within the next months.  There will be 12 themes to pick from, according to this information …
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes / Hardware 2.0:
Why I called Mozilla's change to the Firefox install process “sneaky”  —  Seems like some of you objected to my use of the term “sneaky” to describe the change made to the install routine of Firefox 3.0 RC1, while others thought I was being too easy on Mozilla.  —  Two emails from the Hardware 2.0 mailbag:
Matthew Miller / The Mobile Gadgeteer:
Mobile software Monday: Opera Mobile 9.5  —  One of the primary functions I perform on my mobile devices is web browsing, but until now there have always been limitations with these browsers.  The iPhone had the best current browser for strictly browsing, but didn't allow you to do much else …
Mary Jane Irwin / Forbes:
Wii Gets Fitness  —  Like a late-night infomercial, Wii Fit sells itself as an all-in-one home fitness solution that will get the whole family exercising on a regular basis, no matter how lazy.  With a menu of yoga, aerobics, strength training and balance games, it's hard to argue with the concept.
Matthew Lasar / Ars Technica:
Best Buy: FCC has no power to fine us over analog TVs  —  The nation's biggest electronics retailer has told the Federal Communications Commission that the agency lacks the authority to punish Best Buy for screwing up its digital transition TV selling rules.
 
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Smartsheet's CEO: Our Software Market Is Still in Its Early Stages  —  During a talk with TheStreet, Mark Mader argues his firm's work execution platform still has a lot of headroom to displace manual business processes.
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3 ways to bring in high-quality leads  —  This is a guest post by JotForm.  —  Gathering high-quality leads to convert into paying customers isn't the easiest thing to do.  From spambots to poorly created lead …
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 More Items: 
AMD:
AMD GAME! Enables Console-like Simplicity for Mainstream PCs
John Ribeiro / IDG News Service:
Google Defends Helping Police Nab Defamer
Charles Babcock / InformationWeek:
PayPal Founder Peter Thiel Says Think Contrarily, Act Warily
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
YouTube Adds Search Suggestions, Demographic Stats, Google Contacts Import & More
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Apple 2.0:
Report: Apple's market share of PCs over $1,000 hits 66%
Google LatLong:
Climate change in our world
Alex Mindlin / New York Times:
IPhone's Hold on Users Not Exclusive
Brad Linder / Download Squad:
Galeon: It's like Firefox for Spartans
Discussion: The Register and Open Source
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
After Forays With ABC and HBO, a Video Blogger Returns to Video Blogging
Discussion: Social Media
Alexis Madrigal / Wired News:
Peter Thiel Makes Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies
Discussion: Digg
Gavin Clarke / The Register:
Can Microsoft ‘do’ open source by 2015?
Scott Moritz / Techland:
Dell deepens executive bench
Discussion: eWeek and CNET News.com
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
The Real News of Wetpaint's $25 Million Funding: Fidelity Kicked In
Caroline McCarthy / Webware.com:
Joost: New hires, lots of video, still no Web-based version
Eric A. Taub / New York Times:
Guessing the Online Customer's Next Want