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6:30 PM ET, November 19, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Annie Chen / Gmail Blog:
Spice up your inbox with colors and themes  —  Gmail fans have been building unofficial extensions to spice up their inboxes for a while, but up til now themes haven't been an integral part of Gmail.  We wanted to go beyond simple color customization, so out of the 30 odd themes we're launching today …
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Gmail Themes.  That's Totally Ninja.  —  Apparently a lucky few Gmail users had a “Themes” tab pop up under settings.  No longer do you have to suffer through the boring-if-functional standard Gmail interface for the 16 hours a day that you keep the page loaded.  Try “Ninja” instead.
Discussion: Download Squad and VentureBeat
Rafat Ali / paidContent.org:
Ziff Davis To Close PCMag Print; Focus on Online; Still Looking For Options For Gaming Division  —  Ziff Davis, the tech/gaming media company that recently exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is now taking the brave but inevitable step of closing down the print version of PCMag to focus its energy …
RELATED:
Ina Fried / Beyond Binary:
Ballmer: ‘We are done’ with Yahoo acquisition idea  —  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer threw his daily bucket of cold water on the notion that the software maker will return with a new bid for all of Yahoo.  —  “We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo,” Ballmer said …
RELATED:
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Yahoo Search Suffers Another Blow, as Key Engineer Departs for Microsoft  —  Yahoo-which has stuck to its guns by staying in the search business, even though many think it is a losing game and should be sold off to Microsoft-has lost a key engineer in that arena to, uh-oh, Microsoft.
RELATED:
Signal vs. Noise:
Why the Drudge Report is one of the best designed sites on the web  —  A couple weeks ago on Twitter I said: “I still maintain the Drudge Report is one of the best designed sites on the web.  Has been for years.”  A few people agreed, but most didn't.  Some thought it was a joke.  I wasn't kidding.
Greg Sandoval / CNET News:
Sources: Apple, music labels talk DRM-free songs  —  A year after iTunes began offering music without copy protection software from EMI, Apple is in discussions with the other three top recording companies about acquiring DRM-free songs, according to two music industry sources.
Arik Hesseldahl / Business Week:
Hewlett-Packard Out-Touches Apple  —  Apple watchers assumed Jobs & Co. would be the first to offer a multitouch laptop, but Hewlett-Packard has beaten them to the punch  —  From the first time Steve Jobs demonstrated “the pinch”—the two-finger gesture used to zoom in and out of photos …
RELATED:
Don Reisinger / The Digital Home:
Why doesn't anyone care about HP?
Discussion: Boy Genius Report and Crave
Zach Epstein / Boy Genius Report:
Confirmed: iPhone 3G coming to Wal-Mart on December 28th, select Sam's Club stores as well  —  Shortly after we posted about the iPhone coming to Wal-Mart this morning, it seemed like all of our ninjas came out of the woodwork to bombard us with info.  Rather than post an update, we want to lay out what is now confirmed info.
Ina Fried / Beyond Binary:
Microsoft hiring could be slow through 2010  —  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told shareholders Wednesday he expects the company's move to slow its hiring will continue beyond the middle of next year.  —  Headcount, he said, will experience “much, much slower growth for the remainder of this financial year and I suspect into next year.”
RELATED:
John Letzing / MarketWatch:   Ballmer: Microsoft not interested in buying Yahoo
Jeremy Crane / Compete Blog:
Behold the Power of google.com  —  What would you give for one day of Google eyeballs?  What would it be worth to you to have one single ad running on Google's oh so sparse and much hailed homepage?  My guess, that for better or worse, many an online marketing department would be more than happy …
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
Will Park / IntoMobile:
MMS coming to iPhone 3G!  —  Now, before you get all worked up in an MMS-frenzy, you should know that MMS is coming to iPhone 3G's on Telia's network.  MacWorld has confirmed that the Scandinavian wireless carrier has the distinction of offering the iPhone 3G exclusively in Apple rival Nokia's home-turf …
Discussion: CNET News and Mashable!
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch UK:
Updated: BNP member list mashed with Google maps creates a sea of red dots, but dangerously inaccurate  —  BREAKING NOW:  —  Creator of the Map, Ben Charlton, removes it from his site.  Here's his post explaining why: … [More coverage on this story here and here.]  —  [Updated: Please see further updates below]
Dave Zatz / Zatz Not Funny!:
The New Xbox Experience Is Here  —  The New Xbox Experience (NXE) has finally arrived.  And I imagine many will be rushing home from work to check it out tonight.  Some thoughts, after living with it a few weeks...  The most obvious changes you'll see are to the interface.
Discussion: DSLreports and Gizmodo
Monica Chen / DigiTimes:
Intel to launch 65W desktop CPUs for all-in-one PCs  —  Intel is planning to launch three 65W low-power desktop CPUs targeting small form factor (SFF) PCs and all-in-one PCs in the middle of January next year, according to sources at PC vendors.  —  Intel will launch the Core 2 Quad Q8200s …
Mitchell / Mitchell's Blog:
Sustainability in Uncertain Times  —  Today we are posting our audited financial statements and tax form for 2007.  As in past years, I'll use this event as an opportunity to review both our financial status and our overall effectiveness in moving the mission forward.  —  Financial
Jim Goldman / Tech Check with Jim Goldman:
Xbox Vs. PlayStation With Netflix Caught In The Middle  —  It's a big day for Netflix with the service going live on Microsoft's Xbox 360 platform.  But there's one big thing lacking and you can thank the heated rivalry between Sony and Microsoft for it and I'm getting an earful from some of you.
Chris Albrecht / NewTeeVee:
No One Expects... Monty Python on YouTube!  —  Break out the comfy chair — famed British comedy troupe Monty Python now has a channel on YouTube.  And in a very Python-esque manner, they've kicked the whole thing off with an introductory video that calls out YouTube users for ripping them off over the past three years.
Zach Epstein / Boy Genius Report:
Nokia E71 coming to AT&T as E71x; live and in the flesh  —  There it is people, looking sexy as ever - we can only hope that the “X” doesn't stand for “Xtra crippled”.  It looks like we're now pretty close to seeing AT&T formally announce the E71, rebranded as the E71x, as a welcome addition to its smartphone line.
Discussion: Unwired View, Engadget and Electronista
InfoWorld:
Zend adds Flash links to PHP  —  Concentrating on rich Internet applications, Zend Technologies is backing Adobe's Action Message Format (AMF) in Zend Framework 1.7.  —  Version 1.7 is the latest release of the company's framework for building PHP Web applications; it is being announced …
Discussion: The Register
Elinor Mills / CNET News:
Texas University launches security tech incubator  —  The University of Texas at San Antonio launched a new incubator that will help commercialize security technologies.  —  The Institute for Cyber Security's (ICS) new incubator will provide start-ups access to seed capital, business advise …
Discussion: eWeek
Serkan Toto / CrunchGear:
Konica Minolta develops a USB stick-sized projector  —  Not the real thing.  —  Konica Minolta (or its subsidiary Konica Minolta Opto, to be more exact) has developed what sounds like it's one of the smallest projectors around today.  Measuring just 20×40x7mm, the projector is reportedly …
Wilson Rothman / Gizmodo:
Windows 7 Touch Control Makes Media Center Interface Awesome  —  Windows 7 Touch Control Makes Media Center More Awesome  —  Visiting Microsoft's Media Center posse in Redmond, I just caught a glimpse of the Windows 7 Media Center interface with integrated touch control (no third-party software) on an HP TouchSmart.
Discussion: GeekTonic
CBC News:
CRTC to rule on Bell's throttling on Thursday  —  Internet watchers are on the edge of their seats as the CRTC is set to make a landmark ruling Thursday on Bell Canada Inc.'s throttling of speeds.  —  The regulator will hand down its decision at 9 a.m. after twice delaying the ruling.
Discussion: DSLreports and p2pnet
 
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 More Items: 
Dave Zatz / Zatz Not Funny!:
Slacker Internet Radio Extends to the Television
Discussion: Crave
InfoWorld:
ISO publishes Office Open XML specification
Discussion: ISO
Tom Steinert-Threlkeld / Between the Lines:
Business “Much More Predictable” In Past Two Months, NetSuite Says
Electronista:
Unpaid time while Vista boots results in lawsuits
Chris Albrecht / NewTeeVee:
Sonic Solutions to Buy CinemaNow
Discussion: paidContent.org
Reuters:
Experts: Cyber-crime as Destructive as Credit Crisis
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Music Industry Squanders $69 Billion Worth Of Free Promotions In 2007
Discussion: TechCrunch
GamesIndustry.biz:
LittleBigPlanet “would be a clear number one” any other time of year
Heather Hopkins / Hitwise Intelligence:
1 in 10 Brand Searches Led Away from the Brand Website
Discussion: Computerworld and WebProNews
Agence France Presse:
iPhone sex: Google application baffled by British accents
Arn / MacRumors:
Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) Due in 1st Quarter of 2009?