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4:55 PM ET, December 30, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
Steve Jobs' Health Declining Rapidly, Reason for Macworld Cancellation  —  According to a previously reliable source, Apple misrepresented the reasons behind Macworld and Jobs' keynote cancellation.  Allegedly, the real cause is his rapidly declining health.  In fact, it may be even worse than we imagined:
RELATED:
Jim Goldman / CNBC.com:
Apple's Jobs is (Still) Fine  —  You want to know how skittish Apple investors are and how little conviction they have in the company, or trust in its message, look no further than today's Gizmodo rumor fiasco.  —  The blog reports a serious decline in Steve Jobs' health as the real reason …
Discussion: Gawker
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Steve Jobs' Health ‘Totally Fine’ — CNBC (AAPL)  —  Conflicting reports about Apple (AAPL) boss Steve Jobs' health: A “solid” Gizmodo source says Jobs' health, not politics, is the reason why Jobs is skipping his annual Macworld Expo keynote.  CNBC's Jim Goldman follows up saying that's not true …
win.tue.nl:
MD5 considered harmful today  —  Creating a rogue CA certificate  —  Jacob Appelbaum, Arjen Lenstra, David Molnar, Dag Arne Osvik, Benne de Weger  —  We have identified a vulnerability in the Internet Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) used to issue digital certificates for secure websites.
RELATED:
Jonathan Stray / CNET News:
Web browser flaw could put e-commerce security at risk  —  But the SSL certificate is issued by MD5 Collisions Inc.  —  BERLIN—A key piece of Internet technology that banks, e-commerce sites, and financial institutions rely on to keep transactions safe suffers from a serious security vulnerability …
Matthew Lasar / Ars Technica:
Martin drops porn filtering from FCC free wireless broadband plan  —  Kevin Martin, the Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, called Ars Technica today to let us know that he has revised his proposal to roll out a free (and smut-free) wireless broadband service.
APC:
Apple prepping a quad-core MacBook Pro? … Apple's mid-October refresh of its notebook line left a curious gap at the top end of the card, with the 17 inch MacBook Pro missing the make-over of its 15 inch cousin and the 13.3 inch MacBook.  —  That could be about to change next week …
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Piper sees dull Macworld, new form factor iPhone by spring  —  With Apple chief executive Steve Jobs skipping out on this year's Macworld Expo, investment bank Piper Jaffray isn't holding high hopes for new product announcements outside a pair of refreshed Macs, but said in a report Tuesday …
Discussion: NEWSFACTOR, iPhone Savior and TUAW
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Brightkite Integrates with Facebook  —  Do you want your Facebook friends to know where you are and what you're doing at all times?  That's now possible thanks to mobile social network Brightkite and its recent integration with Facebook.  Through the addition of Facebook Connect …
Michael Thompson / Ars Technica:
Downloading your games?  Get ready for extra fees  —  The business of selling games has rapidly changed over the past few years, mainly because online services have allowed developers to bypass the middleman that is retail stores.  There are major advantages to purchasing a game via digital distribution …
Discussion: GamePolitics News and digg.com
Ben Kunz / Business Week:
A Modest Blogging Proposal  —  If “pay per post” lets online writers shill for cash, why not go all the way and sell real-life opinions, too?  —  It all started with a simple question from Forrester Research (FORR) analyst Jeremiah Owyang late in the afternoon on Friday, Dec. 12.
Discussion: The Noisy Channel
Eric Eldon / VentureBeat:
AOL's web-wide chat plans for AIM still in Powerpoint  —  AOL is thinking about launching a service that integrates AIM, its instant message service, into other sites, as we reported earlier this month.  However, sources close to the company are saying the plans are still in Powerpoint …
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Tough Love For Microsoft Search  —  Back in June, I spoke at Microsoft as part of a regular series for those involved with its webmaster tools group and anyone generally interested in search.  My talk was called “Tough Love For Microsoft Search,” and I covered various reasons why I felt …
Discussion: TechFlash and Network World
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Netflix, Adobe, Google Rated Best Places To Work.  AT&T, eBay, RadioShack Among the Worst.  —  Where are the best and worst places to work?  Glassdoor, the site that surveys employees about workplace conditions in great detail, has issued lists of the best and worst 50 companies as rated …
Nicholas Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
Digg's Ad-Targeting Improves  —  Bearing witness to social news site Digg's sad 2008 revenues — about $6.4 million on 30 million monthly uniques — we complained that one of the site's biggest problems was its ad-selling partner Microsoft's poor ad-targeting.
Jason Green / Mercury News:
Thieves steal $10,000 in equipment from Palo Alto Apple Store, later hit Los Gatos site  —  Two men broke into the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto early Sunday morning and made off with $10,000 in high-tech gear, police reported.  —  The thieves triggered an alarm at the University Avenue store …
Robin Goad / Hitwise Intelligence:
Social Xmas: Facebook's busiest day ever, YouTube overtakes Hotmail, Social networks = 10% of UK Internet traffic  —  With all of the focus on the economic downturn and the troubles in the retail sector, it's easy to forget the continued growth of social networking in the UK.
Discussion: WebProNews
InfoWorld:
Windows 7 takes shape  —  We all knew it was coming, but now it feels real.  With its debut to select developers in November, Windows 7 is no longer just a label but a real OS.  And the public beta is expected this spring.  —  Those expecting a radical redo of Windows will be disappointed …
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Your Google Docs May Be Open to Hijacking  —  In July of this year, Google finally gave webmail users a way to make sure that Gmail always used SSL - the protocol that encrypts connections to prevent hijacking.  Through a flip of switch in Gmail's settings, users could rest assured …
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Apple: Macs Ready For New Year's ‘Leap Second’ (AAPL)  —  This year will be a second longer than usual: The folks who control the world's official clocks will add a “leap second” at 11:59:59 p.m. GMT on Dec. 31 to make up for two slightly different time scales — atomic clocks and Earth's rotation.
Discussion: Macworld, TUAW and Agence France Presse
Jack Loechner / MediaPost:
Most Media To Suffer Retrenchment in 2009  —  According to a new report by FitchRatings, the company forecasts that the contraction in output among the major advanced economies will represent the steepest decline since the Second World War, with GDP in the U.S. to decline approximately 1.2%, while inflation is forecast to be 2.7%.
John Leyden / The Register:
Google Calendar phishing scam surfaces  —  Mark your diary  —  Fraudsters are using Google's Calendar service as a means to develop a new strain of phishing scam.  —  The ruse appears in the guise of a Google Calendar email notification.  Would-be marks are told their accounts …
Discussion: Sophos and WebProNews
Robert X. Cringely / PC World:
Apple's Holiday Headache  —  Apple fans weren't so jolly when the iTunes servers went down on Christmas morning — and stayed down for several days.  —  Recommends  —  It seems Apple fanboys and fangirls who found an iPod Touch under the tree this year also got a big hunk of coal from Jolly Old St. Steve.
Joanna Stern / LAPTOP Mag:
A Bundle of Joy Arrives: BenQ JoyBook Lite U101 First Impressions  —  The holiday season may be nearing the end, but it doesn't mean the gifts have stopped coming.  This morning the netbook stork dropped off a little bundle of Joy (puns haven't been this good since the MSI Wind first blew into town) - the BenQ JoyBook Lite U101.
 
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 More Items: 
Jill Lawrence / USA Today:
First U.S. tech officer will have hands full
Discussion: Technology Live
Chris Dannen / Fast Company:
How 2009 Will Spur The Rebirth Of Cyber Squatting
Rachel Kremen / Technology Review:
Broadband on Rails  —  A compact lens could make high-speed …
Discussion: DSLreports
internetnews.com:
Q&A: Alexa Raad, CEO of .org
Jeffrey Ball / Wall Street Journal:
Green Goal Hits Limit
Nathan Eddy / eWeek:
Sprint Bolsters Network for New Year's Texting Frenzy
Discussion: Epicenter and VentureBeat
Ian Shapira / Washington Post:
Get-Rich Offers Swell on Facebook
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
AT&T's YellowPages Paid $3.85 Million In Cash For YP.com
Discussion: EDGAR Online, Webware.com and Pulse2
 Earlier Items: 
Stephanie N. Mehta / Fortune:
The future of wireless is Down Under
Discussion: GPS Obsessed
Dan Zarrella:
How ReTweets Spread: The Epidemiology of Viral Messaging on Twitter
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Amazon Wins an Award It Didn't Give Itself: Tops in Customer Satisfaction
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Content Sites Bracing For 50% Revenue Slowdown
Discussion: PR 2.0 and HipMojo.com
Daniel Lyons / Washington Post:
The iPhone's Golden Touch
Discussion: textually.org and CloudAve