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3:55 AM ET, December 16, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Brian X. Chen / Gadget Lab:
Rumor: New Mac Mini Coming to Macworld 2009  —  Apple will launch an upgrade to its low-end desktop, the Mac Mini, at January's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, according to an Apple corporate employee who contacted Wired.com.  —  The source, who wished to remain anonymous (to keep his job) …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Apple Loses Shine as Mac Sales Slow  —  PC Maker Eschews Discounts Even as Rivals Slash Prices and Consumers Pull Back; Worries for 2009  —  Even Apple Inc. is beginning to suffer in this year's dismal holiday season, and worries are mounting the recession will weigh on its business next year.
Aidan Malley / AppleInsider:
Mac mini makeover considered likely for Macworld
Discussion: 9 to 5 Mac
9 to 5 Mac:
10.5.6 here...snappieness™ ensues  —  10.5.6 is out, go grab it from Software update (377mb here!) or via the standalone installer.  —  Here are the details or check below.  It looks like there are many performance improvements in this one!  Yes, we are feeling the snappieness™, are you?
RELATED:
Apple:
About the Mac OS X 10.5.6 Update  —  The Mac OS X 10.5.6 Update is recommended for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard versions 10.5, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, 10.5.3, 10.5.4, and 10.5.5.  It includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.  —  Installation recommendations
Edward Kirk / iPhone Alley:
Warning: Mac Update 10.5.6 Breaks DFU Mode For iPhone, iPod Touch
Discussion: 9 to 5 Mac and TUAW
Erica Sadun / Infinite Loop:
Breaking: 10.5.6 update disables direct iPhone Pwnage jailbreak
Discussion: InformationWeek, Gizmodo and OhGizmo!
Yahoo! Developer Network Blog:
Yahoo! Mail rolls out a smarter inbox  —  You may have seen today's news announcing the next generation of Yahoo! Mail — rolling out a “smarter inbox"experience to users.  One way to make an inbox smarter: make applications that can work within it, opening up Yahoo! Mail to content and services built outside the Yahoo! network.
RELATED:
Ryan / Yahoo! Mail Blog:
Take a tour of Yahoo! Mail's new smarter inbox  —  As you may have heard, we've been working on a new smarter inbox to help make your life easier.  We're happy to announce that today, some of you will begin to experience the smarter inbox, and we wanted to give everyone a chance to see what it looks like and what it can do.
Times of London:
Revealed: Amazon staff punished for being ill  —  Amazon, Britain's most popular website for Christmas shopping, is making its staff work seven days a week and threatening them with the sack if they take time off sick.  —  The company charges among the lowest prices for products ranging …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Twitter Humiliates MySpace  —  Google Friend Connect launched with Twitter this morning, a big win for Google in the fight for control over user logins on third party sites.  Recent speculation was that Twitter would be partnering with Facebook to integrate Connect first.
RELATED:
Mussie Shore / The Official Google Blog:
@Twitter: Welcome to Google Friend Connect
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
SlideShare Sends PowerPoint To The Cloud With New Plugin  —  SlideShare, a startup that we've likened to a YouTube equivalent for PowerPoint presentations, has released a new plugin for Microsoft Office 2007 that allows users to edit and publish presentations directly to their SlideShare accounts.
Associated Press:
Hasbro dropping suit against makers of Facebook game Scrabulous  —  NEW YORK — Hasbro is dropping its lawsuit against the makers of a popular online version of board game Scrabble.  —  According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Hasbro dropped the lawsuit Friday.
Discussion: Reuters, paidContent.org and CNET News
RELATED:
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
Hasbro Finally Drops Scrabulous Suit
Discussion: L.A. Times Tech Blog
Deborah Gage / San Francisco Chronicle:
Google off list of 20 most trusted companies  —  (12-14) 16:40 PST SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, Verizon and FedEx for the first time have made an annual ranking of the top 20 most trusted companies in the United States.  —  Google, however, dropped off the list …
Janna Anderson Lee Rainie / Pew Internet:
The Future of the Internet III  —  A survey of internet leaders, activists and analysts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, artificial and virtual reality become more embedded in everyday life, and the architecture of the internet itself improves.
John Cook / TechFlash:
BlueKai gets $10.5 million to help advertisers target shoppers  —  In these tough economic times, not many startups are raising funds, especially at higher valuations than previous venture capital rounds.  But Bellevue-based BlueKai, a 13-person startup led by online advertising executive Omar Tawakol …
Owen Thomas / Valleywag:
Facebook's new value: $1.3 billion?  —  With more than 120 million users, Mark Zuckerberg's social network continues to grow, kudzu-like.  And yet it is worth far less today than the $15 billion it commanded a year ago.  Why is that?  —  One could talk about Facebook's fast-growing headcount …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Gaia Online Cuts 13% Of Staff Despite Claims Of Record Earnings  —  Gaia Online, a social network/virtual world hybrid that includes one of the web's most popular forums, has laid off 36 employees, or around 13% of its staff.  Of those laid off, 16 were full time and 20 were contractors.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Apple 2.0:
The myth of the 99-cent killer app  —  Stung by criticism from frustrated developers, Apple (AAPL) redesigned its increasingly crowded iPhone App Store last Friday to showcase the most popular paid applications in each category — Books, Business, Games, etc. (See here.)
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
SEC Gives Social Investing Site kaChing Green Light To Take On Mutual Funds  —  Every social investing site wants to turn the insights of its trading members into financial products that people can actually link to their brokerage accounts.  Finding the few brilliant stock pickers in the crowd …
Discussion: CNET News and The Drama 2.0 Show
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
Anyone Buying Up Huge Blocks Of Yahoo?  (YHOO)  —  A reader sends the following query:  —  Any idea who might be buying large YHOO blocks at the close every day as well as 8.3 million shares today at 5:01 PM NY time?  Seems like whoever it is, they should have enough of a position to be having to file a 13D shortly?
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
The Extraordinary Happenings At BitTorrent  —  “I have never seen anything like this” said a corporate law partner at a large silicon valley law firm.  He was referring to the undoing of a $17 million venture round at BitTorrent and subsequent recapitalization that we reported yesterday.
Anil Dash / Movable Type:
The Web is in Motion via Movable Type Pro  —  Today, we're launching a new application for Movable Type Pro, called Motion.  If you're just looking for the headline to put on your blog, you can think of it this way:  — Microblogging like Pownce or Tumblr or Twitter plus
Discussion: TechCrunch and The Blog Herald
 
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 More Items: 
Clive Thompson / Wired News:
Why We Need More Torture in Videogames
Discussion: GoNintendo
Zach Epstein / Boy Genius Report:
VUDU introduces internet application platform and on-demand TV
Discussion: NewTeeVee, Crave and Gearlog
Brian Cornell / Google Mobile Blog:
Your Maps in Your Hands for the Holidays
Discussion: Unwired View and WebProNews
Dimitris Pagkalos / XSSed syndication:
New highly critical Facebook XSS vulnerabilities pose serious privacy risks
Discussion: All Facebook and Zero Day
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Tina Reinvents the Web
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Portland Gets WiMAX Service
Discussion: Brier Dudley's blog
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Blogger pleads guilty to G N' R leak
Cory Bohon / TUAW:
Walmart creates iPhone compatible site
Discussion: Appletell
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Let Your Boss Find Your Facebook Friends
Discussion: TECH.BLORGE.com
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Microsoft Sales Vet Leaves, After Consolidation Post-Qi Lu Hire
Ted Dziuba / The Register:
Native Client d**k-swinging met with fake Googasm
Sunshine / LiveSide:
Windows Live Essentials Beta Released!
Scott Rosenberg / Scott Rosenberg's Wordyard:
Google Blog Search loses its bearings