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12:40 PM ET, August 12, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Gmail Blog:
We feel your pain, and we're sorry  —  Many of you had trouble accessing Gmail for a couple of hours this afternoon, and we're really sorry.  The issue was caused by a temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly.  Everything should be back to normal by the time you read this.
RELATED:
Royal Pingdom:
Social network popularity around the world  —  With the help of Google data, we have looked at 12 of the top social networks to answer a simple, but highly interesting question:  —  Where are they the most popular?  —  The social networks we included in this survey were MySpace, Facebook …
RELATED:
Caroline McCarthy / Webware.com:   Measuring social networks' popularity by region
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
Lenovo intros the monstrous ThinkPad W700, and we get our hands all over it (updated with Wacom video demo)  —  Like your laptops to be over-achievers?  Like, the really annoyingly stacked variety of over-achiever?  Enter Lenovo's newest outrage — the ThinkPad W700.
RELATED:
Xavier / notebooks.com:
ThinkPad W700: Lenovo Intros Biggest ThinkPad Yet (videos)
Discussion: GottaBeMobile
Shawn / TmoNews:
Android may be here sooner then we think  —  We're hearing rumor after rumor that Android has been delayed, and pushed back to 2009.  Well TmoNews is jumping into the pool or rumors, calling BS on those other rumors, and putting in our vote of confidence on a presale of the Android phone on September 16th, 2008.
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent  —  Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
RELATED:
David Kaplan / paidContent.org:
Google, Others Discuss Their Ad Targeting Secrets; Push For …
Discussion: Digital Destiny
Brent Csutoras:
TWITTER LIMITS FOLLOWING TO 2,000  —  Twitter has always been looking for better ways to combat spammers and it appears they have recently added a new measure to combat one aspect of gaming.  —  User can now only add up to 2,000 followers before being limited and receiving this error message.
RELATED:
Caroline McCarthy / Webware.com:
Twitter tries ‘following’ limits to curb spam  —  Did you know that you can only follow 2,000 people on Twitter—unless there are at least 2,000 people who have opted to follow you?  —  This was one of the measures that the microblogging service formally announced Thursday as part of a new system to cut down on spam.
Dave Winer / Scripting News:
Twitter limiting followers to 2000
Hank Williams / Why does everything suck?:
UI Guru Jakob Nielsen's Site Is Unreadable  —  Ok, this is only half a dig.  Jakob is one of the most respected writers and thinkers about user interface on the web.  He is clearly bright, and he writes intelligent and useful things.  In fact I quote Jakob and reference his work all of the time.
Discussion: TomsTechBlog.com
RELATED:
Alertbox:   10 Best Application UIs of 2008
Stephanie Condon / The Iconoclast:
States may tax iTunes, other digital downloads  —  If you enjoy buying music from iTunes, movies from Amazon.com's Unbox, or computer software from anywhere, be warned: the halcyon days of tax-free digital purchases may be over.  —  With retail e-commerce sales now estimated to exceed $130 billion a year …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
The Much Anticipated DataCase Launches: Turn the iPhone Into A Wireless Drive  —  The much anticipated DataCase application for the iPhone launched this morning.  —  The app, which costs $6.99, turn your iPhone into an easy-to-use wireless storage device that can be access by any other device on your wireless network.
Discussion: CrunchGear and TUAW
Justin Berka / Infinite Loop:
Phishing e-mail appears in MobileMe disguise  —  A few weeks ago, a number of MobileMe users in the UK were affected by a billing glitch that led to Apple placing a £121 hold on their accounts, which isn't something you want when you've just signed up for a free trial.
RELATED:
Macworld:
Phishing scam targets MobileMe users
Brad Stone / Bits:
Shutterfly Finally Gives Photos Wings  —  Shutterfly, one of the first photo sharing sites on the Internet, has survived the dot-com bust and competition from the likes of Kodak and Hewlett-Packard.  —  But the recent wave of popular Web 2.0 photo sites like Flickr, Slide, Photobucket and RockYou …
Discussion: CenterNetworks
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
3G iPhone Connection Problems Chip-Related?  —  Om has complained about his frustration with the 3G iPhone, which has poor reception and forces him to spend more time on the 2.5G EDGE network than he thought, but the issue may be with Infineon's 3G chip, according to Richard Windsor, an analyst with Nomura Securities.
Chris Albrecht / NewTeeVee:
Vongo is Gone-go  —  This certainly isn't shocking: Starz Entertainment has shut down online movie service Vongo.  A visit to the site shows the following message:  —  The writing was on the wall for the service when the company announced Starz Play, a white-label movie download service for Verizon, in May.
VMware Communities:
The bug:  —  Starting this morning, we could not power on nor VMotion any of our Virtual Machines.  The VI Client threw the error “A general system error occurred: Internal Error”.  —  Further digging lead us to messages like this one in /var/log/vmware/hostd.log, and the log file …
Steve Weis / Google Online Security Blog:
Keyczar: Safe and Simple Cryptography  —  Cryptography is notoriously hard to get right and if improperly used, can create serious security holes.  Common mistakes include using the wrong cipher modes or obsolete algorithms, composing primitives in an unsafe manner, hard-coding keys in source code …
 
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 More Items: 
investor.napster.com:
Napster Reports $30.3 Million in First Quarter Sales and Positive …
IAB:
Use of “Ad Networks” Surges Six-Fold as Media Companies Step …
Ryan Block / Engadget:
HTC Touch Pro hands-on
Tim Bradshaw / Financial Times:
TV holds its ground against web video
Andrew Wallenstein / Reuters:
Microsoft's Zune player seeking Hollywood stardom
InfoWorld:
Court delays British hacker's extradition to U.S.
Discussion: CNET News.com and The Register
Ionut Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
Photo Albums in Google Docs
Discussion: webmonkey
TG Daily:
AMD split rumors accelerating
Discussion: Engadget
 Earlier Items: 
Heather Dougherty / Hitwise Intelligence:
Google's share of US searches hits 70%
Sam Oliver / AppleInsider:
Verizon now touting own ‘Visual Voice Mail’ service
Matthew Lasar / Ars Technica:
Congressional Dems back porn-free wireless broadband network
Discussion: Portfolio.com and The Register
Maggie Shiels / BBC:
‘Pump and Dump’ conmen targeted
Discussion: Techdirt and Virtual Economics
Jemima Kiss / PDA:
Is Amazon's Kindle the iPod of the book world?
Discussion: The Register, Epicenter and Reuters
Cornelia Dean / New York Times:
Handle With Care  —  Last year, a private company proposed …
Allen Stern / CenterNetworks:
AOL Integrates buy.at and Goowy to Create Affiliate Widgets
Discussion: Webware.com
Brad Stone / New York Times:
Global Trail of an Online Crime Ring