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7:20 AM ET, November 20, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
The Official Google Blog:
Lively no more  —  In July we launched Lively in Google Labs because we wanted users to be able to interact with their friends and express themselves online in new ways.  Google has always been supportive of this kind of experimentation because we believe it's the best way to create groundbreaking products …
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Google Kills Lively  —  Even Google is getting into the downsizing spirit.  It just announced that it is killing Lively, its browser-baseed virtual worlds that could be embedded into other Websites.  Lively launched just last July.  The death notice on the site says it will shut down on December 31 …
Discussion: dot.life blog and HipMojo.com
Ina Fried / Beyond Binary:
Microsoft, labels try to revive subscriptions  —  With fewer consumers than hoped for signing up for all-you-can-eat music subscriptions, Microsoft and the record industry are trying to make the option more appealing.  —  As of Wednesday, those who pay for the $14.95 a month Zune Pass subscription …
RELATED:
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.
Nick Wingfield / Wall Street Journal:   Microsoft Modifies Zune Service
Sakthi Prasad / Reuters:   Microsoft modifies Zune subscription model
PR Newswire:
Microsoft Announces New Zune Pass Music Subscription Model
Discussion: Byte of the Apple and Engadget
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
BlackBerry Storm review  —  By now most of us have heard this story in one fashion or another: when Steve Jobs and Apple were in the planning stages of the iPhone, the first carrier they brought the device to was America's largest network, Verizon.  Even if you haven't heard how the tale ends …
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Google Makes Up 88 Percent Of Mozilla's Revenues, Threatens Its Non-Profit Status  —  Today, the (for-now) non-profit Mozilla Foundation released its financial statements for 2007 (embedded below).  Revenues for the organization behind the open-source Firefox browser were up 12 percent to $75 million …
RELATED:
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
Apple:
Apple TV: About Apple TV software updates  —  Products Affected  —  Apple TV  —  Refer the table below for Apple TV Software Update 2.3 features:  —  How To  —  AirTunes Streaming from Apple TV  —  Music can be streamed via AirTunes to Airport Express speakers or other Apple TVs in your house.
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Google Mobile Uses Private iPhone APIs  —  Google's just-released and much-publicized update to their Google Mobile iPhone app features some very clever interaction design for the voice search feature.  There is an on-screen button you can tap to initiate a voice search manually, but …
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
SnapTell: Instant Product Lookup From The iPhone.  You Want This.  —  If you have an iPhone, you'll probably want to check out SnapTell Explorer, a free application now available on the App Store.  The premise is simple: take a photo of the cover of any CD, DVD, book, or video game …
Discussion: jkOnTheRun and metarand
Mobispine AB:
Mobispine Delivers First Ever True MMS for iPhone  —  Mobispine AB (MOBS) the market leader in delivering mobile solutions to operators announced the availability of the world's first true Multimedia Messaging (MMS) for iPhone.  Mobispine is now offering a “white label” MMS service for iPhone to global operators.
Discussion: SlashGear and Engadget
RELATED:
Will Park / IntoMobile:
MMS coming to iPhone 3G!
Discussion: CrunchGear and CNET News
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Yahoo Brings Glue To U.S.: A Plethora of Aggregated Topical Third Party Content  —  Yahoo Glue, a new search results page design that the company has been testing in India, is rolling out to the US market this evening.  You can view it at glue.yahoo.com, although Yahoo says it is rolling out in stages, so sit tight if you don't see it.
Brooke Crothers / CNET News:
Samsung launches 256GB solid state drive  —  Samsung said it has begun mass producing 256GB solid state drives.  This size tops the largest-capacity SSDs found in laptops today.  —  Samsung currently offers 64GB and 128GB SSDs for laptops.  —  The new 256GB drives are faster too …
Discussion: Inquirer and Engadget
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Qik And Strands Each Trim 10 Percent Of Staff  —  The cutbacks continue, even at seemingly healthy startups.  Social recommendation engine Strands let exactly 10 percent, or 14 people go (7 in the U.S. and 7 in Spain), the company confirms.  Strands has raised a total of $55 million …
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
SimCity for the iPhone may ruin my life (in a good way)  —  No game captured my imagination when I was growing up like SimCity.  Certainly, a part of it was my God complex, but more it was the open-ended nature of a game with few rules that let you build a city.
Discussion: Touch Arcade
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Here Come The Crunchies (Again)  —  After a very successful debut last year, The Crunchies are returning to once again celebrate the best of entrepreneurship and new startups.  With the economy being what it is, 2009 is going to be a tough year for everyone and I see events like The Crunchies …
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.
InfoWorld:
Yahoo OneSearch coming to T-Mobile USA  —  T-Mobile USA will provide Yahoo's OneSearch search engine on its phones, a Yahoo executive said Wednesday.  —  T-Mobile is placing a OneSearch button on its phones in a deal that is to be announced soon, said Marco Boerries, executive vice president …
Kate Greene / Technology Review:
How Google's Ear Hears  —  The new voice-search application for the iPhone marks a milestone for spoken interfaces.  —  If you own an iPhone, you can now be part of one of the most ambitious speech-recognition experiments ever launched.  On Monday, Google announced that it had added voice search …
Verne Kopytoff / San Francisco Chronicle:
Kids gain valuable skills from time online  —  (11-19) 18:14 PST SAN FRANCISCO — Rather than wasting their time, children who gab on Facebook or play online games are gaining valuable social skills and learning some technology basics, according to a study to be released today.
IEBlog:
IE8: What's After Beta 2  —  The announcement of IE8 Beta 2 started an important and public phase of the product development cycle getting broad public feedback.  The team is providing detailed information and answering questions about the product in many different places.
New York Times:
Web Retailers Are Waging Seasonal Price Wars  —  SAN FRANCISCO — As deserted malls and department stores struggle to court cash-short consumers with steep discounts this holiday season, a similar and even more ferocious price war is being waged online.  —  Internet retailers …
Steve Lohr / Bits:
Hunting for a Brainy Computer  —  Want a really intelligent digital assistant?  —  Well, it certainly won't be ready for this holiday season, but that is the long-range goal of a $4.9 million grant from the government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to five universities and I.B.M. Research.
Discussion: VentureBeat
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 …
Jeff Young / Chronicle of Higher Education:
Boston College Will Stop Offering New Students E-Mail Accounts  —  Many students don't even want a college e-mail address these days because they already have well-established digital identities before they arrive on campus.  That's the conclusion that officials at Boston College came to in a recent review of their online services.
 
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 More Items: 
Zach Epstein / Boy Genius Report:
Palm Treo Pro coming to Sprint in January
Michael Rose / TUAW:
MacBook Pro users getting bitten by HDCP
Discussion: TechSpot, CNET News, Boing Boing and open
Agence France Presse:
Iran blocks access to over five million websites: report
Discussion: WebProNews
Electronista:
Seagate intros rainbow of FreeAgent Go drives
Discussion: Engadget and SlashGear
Dan Rayburn / The Business Of Online Video:
Akamai Cuts 7% Of Workforce, 110 Layoffs Across All Divisions Of The Company
Scott Ferguson / eWeek:
After the Layoffs: Collecting 52,000 Laptop and Desktop Computers
 Earlier Items: 
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Patent Squatter Sues Facebook
Discussion: VentureBeat
Dan Rayburn / The Business Of Online Video:
MLB.com's Switch To Flash Video Leaves More Questions Than Answers
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
First Guns N' Roses Album In 17 Years Debuts Tonight On MySpace Music
Discussion: Reuters and CNET News
Annie Chen / Gmail Blog:
Spice up your inbox with colors and themes
Wilson Rothman / Gizmodo:
Windows 7 Touch Control Makes Media Center Interface Awesome
Discussion: SlashGear and One Microsoft Way