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4:00 AM ET, December 11, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Jerry Yang / Yodel Anecdotal:
Tough times  —  As we announced in October, we've been aggressively managing our costs to bring them in line with the challenging economic conditions.  Unfortunately, that means laying off employees — by far the toughest part of being a manager.  Here's the email I sent to Yahoos today:
RELATED:
Miguel Helft / Bits:
Yahoo Layoffs Today May Not Be Last  —  Yahoo began laying off 1,500 workers on Wednesday as part of a plan, announced in October, to slash expenses by $400 million a year.  The cost cutting, however, may have to go deeper in the coming year.  —  “There could be additional staff reductions next year …
Rafe Needleman / Webware.com:
Watching layoffs in real time, on Twitter  —  If you want to watch a community event reveal itself in real time, there's really nothing like Twitter.  As the Yahoo layoffs finally took hold this morning, newly former employees headed to Twitter to say farewell to the company; those staying reported what it was like for the rest.
Discussion: Valleywag and CNET News
Leo Dirac / Gmail Blog:
Really new in Labs this time: SMS Text Messaging for chat  —  How often do you try to chat with somebody and they don't respond because they just walked away from their computer?  Or maybe you're in the middle of chatting with them just as they need to leave.
Matt / WordPress:
WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”  —  The first thing you'll notice about 2.7 is its new interface.  From the top down, we've listened to your feedback and thought deeply about the design and the result is a WordPress that's just plain faster.  Nearly every task you do on your blog will take fewer clicks …
Greg Sandoval / CNET News:
TV has license to kill movies at iTunes, Netflix  —  Apple is an Internet retailer and Neflix is a Web video rental service, but Hollywood treats them as if they were potential competitors to TV broadcasters.  —  In the past two weeks, customers of iTunes and Netflix's streaming digital-movie service …
RELATED:
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:   Hollywood Removing Hit Movies From Apple, Netflix
Brian Lam / Gizmodo:
Rumor Smash: No Zune Phone at CES  —  Sorry dudes.  Just it first hand from Brian Seitz, Group Manager of Zune: “No Zune phone at CES.”  —  Well, at least no Zune Phone as we're hearing it.  A few days ago, some analysts stirred up the rumors of a Zune specific piece of hardware this week …
RELATED:
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft:
CES: Zune phone, no. Pink, maybe
Discussion: Electronista
Jessica E. Vascellaro / Wall Street Journal:
Google Executive Departs for LinkedIn  —  Dipchand “Deep” Nishar, a longtime Google Inc. executive who helped start its mobile business and other key products, is leaving the company to become a senior executive at LinkedIn Corp.  —  Mr. Nishar, 40, in January will become vice president …
Window Snyder / Mozilla Security Blog:
Leaving Mozilla  —  I will be leaving Mozilla at the end of the year.  I am sad to be leaving, but I am excited to go work on something I have always been passionate about.  I wish I could tell you about it now, but that will have to wait for a while.  —  You will still get Mozilla security information here.
RELATED:
Dennis Fisher / Security Bytes:   Security chief Window Snyder leaving Mozilla
Paul Carr / Guardian:
Freezing cold, no internet, boring: it's a French web 2.0 conference!  —  Want to know how Britain should spend that billion pounds it has earmarked for internet startups?  On a vodka-fuelled conference in a sauna in London.  It would sure put LeWeb into the shade.  Though almost anything would.
Discussion: VentureBeat
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Screw The Downturn.  Accel Raises A Cool Billion In New Funds  —  Twenty five year old venture capital firm Accel Partners is announcing two new funds today that add more than $1 billion to their war chest: Accel Growth Fund at $480 million and Accel London III at $525 million.
Rafat Ali / paidContent.org:
CBS Interactive To Merge CBSNews.com and CNET Newsrooms; Some Layoffs  —  CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS), under pressure to cut costs after what now seems like an even more costly acquisition of CNET, is announcing some more restructuring tomorrow, we have learned from reliable sources late tonight …
Business Technology:
Memories of Past Slumps No Help in Silicon Valley  —  Over the past four decades, technologies for retaining information have increased at a startling rate.  Yet technology suppliers seem to have trouble calling up some key information-the lessons of the past.
internetnews.com:
Google, Microsoft Back Off on Datacenter Plans  —  The two online giants rethink ambitious datacenter efforts, but for different reasons.  —  With the economy in the shape it's in, even Microsoft and Google are thinking twice before dropping $100 million on a new datacenter.
Discussion: Microsoft Pri0
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Microsoft Live Labs Tackles Web Clips With Thumbtack, Still Needs Polish  —  Microsoft's Live Labs has just released Thumbtack, a web clipping service that allows users to compile links, media, and text snippets into online storage bins for future reference.
Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
Google SearchWiki To Get Off Button, Might Get Used As Ranking Signal  —  TechCrunch has coverage of Google's Marissa Mayer talk at Le Web conference in Paris, France.  In that talk, Mayer said SearchWiki will gain an option to let users turn it off and reiterated statements that Google's previously made …
Discussion: TechCrunch
PC World:
Sony to Close Last US TV Factory  —  Sony has named its Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, plant as the second factory of a planned 5 or 6 that will be shut down as part of a global restructuring.  The factory is Sony's last remaining TV manufacturing facility in the U.S. and the closure will see 560 people lose their jobs.
Discussion: Technologizer
Stephen Fry:
Gee, One Bold Storm coming up....  So here I am.  In a hotel room in New York.  The writing desk and its view of xth Avenue are all but obscured by:-  —  7 x Mini USB cables: 2 of them are the new Micro type that Blackberry has switched to for the Storm only, the rest are standard.
Discussion: broadstuff
Don Reisinger / Webware.com:
How Twitter's competitors do what it doesn't  —  Twitter may be the leader in the micro-blogging space, but it's missing key features—features its competitors offer.  Will Twitter pick up on these omissions?  We know groups are coming to Twitter, but we're not so sure about some of these other useful features...
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Apple stabilizes new Mac notebooks  —  Apple has released stabilizing updates for its new MacBook, shown here, as well as other systems introduced in October.  —  (Credit: Apple)  —  Apple has released several new firmware updates aimed at solving problems with its latest batch of notebooks.
Alana Semuels / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Lose your Time Warner Internet connection (again)?  You could try Open DNS  —  If you live in Greater Los Angeles and are fed up with Time Warner Cable, there's probably not much you can do about it (unless you're the L.A. city attorney, in which case you can sue).
Discussion: Newsvine and Daggle
Dawn Kawamoto / CNET News:
Yahoo amends controversial severance program  —  As part of its settlement agreement stemming from a shareholder lawsuit, Yahoo announced Wednesday it revised its controversial severance policy that had the potential of making a buyout of the company more expensive to a prospective buyer.
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Arn / MacRumors:
Latest Firefox 3.1 Beta Adds Multi-Touch Support  —  On Monday, Mozilla released the latest beta version of Firefox 3.1.  This “Beta 2” version of the popular web browser adds a number of new features across all supported platforms including:  — Private Browsing Mode  — Faster JavaScript engine
Betsy Lordan / Federal Trade Commission:
Court Halts Bogus Computer Scans  —  At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has issued a temporary halt to a massive “scareware” scheme, which falsely claimed that scans had detected viruses, spyware, and illegal pornography on consumers' computers.
Brier Dudley / Brier Dudley's blog:
Sony's PlayStation Home boss says it's “leapfrogging” (Xbox Live)  —  Actually PlayStation Home Director Jack Buser wouldn't mention competitors by name — he never used the “M” word — when we talked about Thursday's public debut of Sony's new virtual world.  —  But you could tell what Buser was talking about:
Discussion: TechFlash
Nilay Patel / Engadget Mobile:
Video: Android rocking on the HTC Touch  —  If you're anything like us, you've been waiting for Android to work its way onto basically every device you own, so this video of the plucky open source OS getting busy on an HTC Touch is an encouraging glimpse of the future.
Microsoft:
New President of Online Services Group Sees Chance to Make Impact at Microsoft  —  Q&A: Qi Lu discusses what attracted him to Microsoft and how he plans to boost the company's efforts in online search and advertising.  —  On Dec. 4, Microsoft announced Qi Lu had been hired as president of the Online Services Group.
Emily / textually.org:
MOBILE PHONES JAMMED NEAR BANK ATM  —  A Tokyo area bank has begun installing devices that jam cell phone signals in order to prevent elderly citizens from becoming victims of phone fraud.  Swindlers have been targeting seniors, telling them to go to the bank and all the while stay on the line …
Discussion: Ubergizmo and Engadget Mobile
 
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 More Items: 
John Timmer / Ars Technica:
Browsing the past: National Archives' WWII records digitized
Discussion: TeleRead
Jenna Wortham / Bits:
Netflix Awards $50,000 for Progress in Contest
Discussion: PR Newswire and CrunchGear
Peter Burrows / Tech Beat:
Can Jon Rubinstein Save Palm?
Dan Goodin / The Register:
Indian court urged to ‘ban Google Earth’
Discussion: UPI and The Digital Home
Paul McDougall / InformationWeek:
Apple Secretly Bricks Non-Intel PCs, Psystar Claims
Discussion: CNET News
Charles Cooper / Coop's Corner:
Hardly a great time to talk H-1Bs. Still, it's time
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Adobe Experimenting With Semantic Autogeneration of 3D Worlds
Discussion: Rufus Deuchler
 Earlier Items: 
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
Sign of decline? Carlyle resorts to lawsuits, now goes after Sequoia
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
internetnews.com:
What Keeps Twitter Chirping Along
Darren Murph / Engadget Mobile:
T-Mobile produces official statement regarding international G1 data roaming
Michael Fitzgerald / Technology Review:
Are Social Networks Sinking?
Discussion: TechCrunch, The Social and Mashable!
Kim Tong-hyung / The Korea Times:
Goodbye WIPI, Hello iPhone
Discussion: PC World and Macsimum News
Google:
2008 Year-End Google Zeitgeist