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6:00 PM ET, December 31, 2008

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
John Herrman / Gizmodo:
30GB Zunes Failing Everywhere, All At Once  —  Right, so this is a weird one: we're getting tons of reports—tons—about failing Zune 30s.  Apparently, the players began freezing at about midnight last night, becoming totally unresponsive and practically useless.  Updated 12:00PM
RELATED:
David Chartier / Ars Technica:
30GB Zune apocalypse arrives as devices enter digital coma (Updated 2x)  —  Around midnight Pacific time last night, 30GB Zunes began restarting and locking up at their boot screens.  Reports have swamped official forums and fan sites, and Microsoft has yet to officially comment on the reason for this pre-New-Year's Zune apocalypse.
Paul Davidson / Official Zune Insider Blog and Podcast:
30 gb zune issue update  —  We were made aware of a widespread issue facing owners of Zune 30 devices this morning.  We have a technical team working hard to isolate the issue right now and will update everyone as much as possible.  Thanks for your patience while we get to the bottom of this.
Discussion: VentureBeat and The Microsoft Blog
9 to 5 Mac:
Macworld 2009 Announcemnt: iWork '09 goes Cloud  —  We just got a truckload of Macworld information dumped on us from our best source.  As we piece it together we'll trickle it out.  The first big piece of information is that iWork is going into the Cloud.  Not just storage, either.
Steven Sande / TUAW:
Rumor Watch: New Mac mini go for launch  —  When it comes to the Mac mini, there are people out there who know everything there is to know... and now, those savvy sources are telling TUAW that they are confident a new Mac mini is set to be announced at Macworld Expo 2009 next week.
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
A $3 billion buried treasure found via Google Maps?  —  Between my computer and my iPhone, I use Google Maps to find just about everything these days.  Still, I never thought about using it to find buried treasure — but Nathan Smith did.  —  The 39-year-old musician supposedly used Google Maps …
Discussion: GPS Obsessed and Houston Chronicle
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
Marissa Mayer's 2009 Resolution: Leave Google  —  What will Google be like without Marissa Mayer, the glamour nerd whose goofy laugh so neatly captures the search engine's adolescent awkwardness?  We'll know soon.  We hear the company's 19th employee is planning her goodbye.
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Why the Web Matters in the Viacom/Time Warner Fight  —  The Viacom/Time Warner Cable faceoff-Viacom is threatening to yank its channels (Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, etc.) off the screens of the cable company's 13.3 million subscribers at midnight tonight-is nothing new.
Discussion: NewTeeVee and Gizmodo
RELATED:
Tiernan Ray / Tech Trader Daily:
Apple: Friedman, Billings Sees iPhone Nano in Q2  —  While rumors of forthcoming Apple (AAPL) products for at Macworld next week have been relatively muted this month, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey analyst Craig Berger put out a note this morning stating that his “incremental checks into the Apple supply chain” …
Nicholas Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
Michael Dell Cans Execs He Handpicked To Save The Company (DELL)  —  After Dell founder Michael Dell came back as CEO in 2007, he hired former Solectron chief Michael Cannon as president of global operations and former Oracle exec Mark Jarvis as chief marketing officer.
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Scribd Had A Blowout Year, And So Did the Web Document  —  The biggest surprise fro me in the social media rankings that I posted earlier today was the appearance of document sharing service Scribd in the top 20.  According to the comScore numbers, it has more unique visitors worldwide …
Joey deVilla / Global Nerdy:
The Air Force's Rules of Engagement for Blogging  —  You've probably seen many articles on companies and organizations saying that they take social media seriously.  Here's one such organization that you might not expect: the United States Air Force.  Take a look at the Air Force Blog Assessment chart, reproduced below:
Discussion: MediaMemo and Web Strategy
Jason Chen / Gizmodo:
Google Street View Captures Prototype Porsches  —  First Google Street View captures a person peeing on the street, and now they drive right by a bunch of Porsche prototypes in Colorado.  —  We're not sure how old these photos are, but they're supposedly of updated “Boxters, Caymans and even a 911”.
Discussion: Garage419, Gearlog and techeblog.com
Will Park / IntoMobile:
iPhone 3G unlock imminent! iPhone Dev Team says “vtaber”  —  What is this “vtaber” we speak of?  Well, it has to do with the binary code that was posted to the iPhone Dev Team's blog.  We've been checking the iPhone Dev Team blog religiously over the past 12 hours in hopes of catching …
BBC:
UK housewives rule in online time  —  A survey of more than 27,000 web users in 16 countries has shown that the Chinese spend the largest fraction of their leisure time online.  —  However, UK housewives spend even more than China's average - 47%.  —  Germans are the most likely to meet someone …
Discussion: broadstuff and Neowin.net
Jon Swartz / USA Today:
Bad news for workers is good news for LinkedIn  —  MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Where everyone else sees economic gloom and doom, Reid Hoffman sees opportunity.  —  As the freshly minted CEO of LinkedIn (and its founder), he is shepherding a moneymaking tech company in battered Silicon Valley.
AppleInsider:
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to appear at Macworld  —  While the verdict is out on whether Apple chief executive Steve Jobs will make some form of appearance at next week's Macworld Expo, the ‘other Steve’ that helped co-found the company more than 30 years ago will be on hand to throw his weight behind a third-party product launch.
Susan Straccia / The Official Google Blog:
Google blogging in 2008  —  Every year right about now we round up our blogging activity across Google.  Ready?  Here goes.  —  This is our 368th post of the year on the main Google blog, which is 23% more than in 2007.  In addition to more posts, we are thrilled to know that we have many more readers now — 78% more, to be exact.
Discussion: WebProNews
Joe Wikert / TeleRead:
Memo to Jeff Bezos  —  As 2008 comes to a close I find I'm less of a Kindle advocate than I was earlier in the year.  My new iPhone is partially to blame.  After all, it's one of the reasons I wrote this critical post on my other blog yesterday.  It's not just about the iPhone though.
Richard Owen / Times of London:
Fury as Mafia godfathers idolised on Facebook  —  To the fury and dismay of relatives of Mafia victims, pages posted on the social networking site Facebook idolising notorious Cosa Nostra Godfathers have generated thousands of supporters in Italy.  —  The fan sites offer tributes not only to Salvatore …
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Google's Top Ten Products (More Or Less)  —  Can you name Google's top ten products?  If you look at how Quantcast ranks Google's subdomains, you can get a sense of which Google products are the most popular, since they each have their own subdomain.  Google's main search engine tops the list …
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:
A Record Label That Embraces BitTorrent  —  While the major record labels still insist that BitTorrent and any sort of file sharing is evil and needs to be wiped out, it's great to see some indie record labels fully embracing how BitTorrent is actually a much cheaper and much more efficient distribution and marketing tool.
Discussion: TorrentFreak
Donald Melanson / Engadget:
DIY external iPhone keyboards get a tad more practical  —  That 360 Chatpad hack we saw back in November was certainly an impressive enough proof of concept, but if you want to get a bit more typing done with a bit less cluttter, you'll no doubt be quite a bit more impressed with this latest mod by the very same Ralf Ackermann.
Discussion: O'Grady's PowerPage
David Cancel:
Announcing Ghostery  —  Ghostery is a FireFox Add-on that analyzes the page you're on and shows you if it contains any web bugs.  —  Ghostery originally started out as GreaseMonkey script I created last year called Invisible Web.  Turning it into a Firefox extension made it a bit …
 
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 More Items: 
Agence France Presse:
Canada seeks access to detained Iranian-Canadian blogger
Joel Hruska / Ars Technica:
China licenses (non-Chinese) 3G wireless standards
Discussion: CNET News
Arik Hesseldahl / Business Week:
Bringing Broadband to the Urban Poor
BBC:
Pioneer of cyberspace honoured
AppleInsider:
Quanta to manufacture Apple netbooks in 2009 - report
Discussion: Infinite Loop
Martin Drashkov:
Priced Android Applications Coming Within Weeks
Discussion: PC World, VentureBeat and WebProNews
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Hulu: Turns Out We Didn't Miss Sarah Palin So Much, After All
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Alana Semuels / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Texting while driving: everything you need to know about the new law
Discussion: AppScout, TechFlash and All Points Blog
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
A Few Popular Presents Rise Above Recession
Discussion: /Message
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Wikipedia's new plea for donations stirs skepticism