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7:15 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 …
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 …
Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
Consumers Union to Buy a Blog From Gawker  —  Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, planned to announce Wednesday that it had acquired Consumerist.com, a popular blog formerly owned by Gawker Media.  —  Consumerist is one of several sites Gawker has sold this year …
RELATED:
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Gawker Media's Nick Denton Sells Another Blog and Puts Another One on the Block
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
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.
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
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
Musician Finds a Following Online  —  Word-of-Mouth on Blogs and Other Sites Attracts Fans — and a Record Deal  —  In late 2006, Justin Vernon, a musician in Eau Claire, Wis., recorded nine songs while staying at his parents' hunting cabin in northern Wisconsin after a breakup with a girlfriend and his long-time band.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Large Form iPod Touch To Launch in Fall '09  —  We've got this from three independent sources close to Apple: expect a large screen iPod touch device to be released in the Fall of '09, with a 7 or 9 inch screen.  Prototypes have been seen and handled by one of our sources, and Apple is talking to OEMs in Asia now about mass production.
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 …
Response / F-Secure Antivirus Research Weblog:
Curse of Silence, a Symbian S60 SMS Exploit  —  An easily reproducible SMS exploit was disclosed and demonstrated today at the 25th Chaos Communication Congress (25C3).  The exploit is effective against a wide range of Symbian S60 smartphones and will effectively prohibit victims from receiving SMS messages.
Discussion: Symbian-Guru.com
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: Mashable! and WebProNews
Tiernan Ray / Tech Trader Daily:
S&P Sees Microsoft-Yahoo! JV, Google-Apple Tensions  —  'Tis the season to make year 2009 predictions.  Today, Standard & Poor's analysts released their predictions for the Internet in 2009.  Scott Kesler, Internet analyst with S&P, says Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo! (YHOO) will …
Discussion: L.A. Times Tech Blog
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%.
Discussion: VentureBeat
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
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 …
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 …
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 …
Connie Loizos / PE Hub Blog:
DFJ Raising Another $600 Million, Just as Forbes Shines an Unflattering Light on Its Performance  —  Draper Fisher Jurvetson has begun raising for its tenth venture capital fund, just one year after scoring $650 million for its ninth.  According to a regulatory filing, the firm is targeting $600 million.
Discussion: Clickety Clack
 
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 More Items: 
Megan McCarthy / Techmeme News:
Top 10 objectively biggest tech stories of 2008
Discussion: TechCrunch and broadstuff
Eric Eldon / VentureBeat:
AOL's web-wide chat plans for AIM still in Powerpoint
John Leyden / The Register:
Google Calendar phishing scam surfaces
Discussion: Sophos and WebProNews
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
Discussion: TechCrunch
Rachel Kremen / Technology Review:
Broadband on Rails  —  A compact lens could make high-speed …
Discussion: DSLreports
Robert X. Cringely / PC World:
Apple's Holiday Headache
 Earlier Items: 
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
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Tough Love For Microsoft Search
Discussion: TechFlash and Network World
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Content Sites Bracing For 50% Revenue Slowdown
Discussion: HipMojo.com and PR 2.0