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8:30 PM ET, January 5, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Apple:
Letter from Apple CEO Steve Jobs  —  For the first time in a decade, I'm getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.  —  Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health …
RELATED:
Apple:
Statement by Apple's Board of Directors  —  It is widely recognized both inside and outside of Apple that Steve Jobs is one of the most talented and effective CEOs in the world.  —  As we have said before, if there ever comes a day when Steve wants to retire or for other reasons cannot continue …
Nicholas Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
Gizmodo Gets Steve Jobs Macworld Story Right, CNBC Gets It Wrong  —  The headline news is that Steve Jobs is sick and that's why he isn't giving a keynote at Macworld.  —  One interesting side note is that an online media outlet most people would call a blog got the story right and a reliable old media brand did not.
Discussion: Gizmodo, CNET News and Fast Company
internetnews.com:
Apple's Jobs: Condition Won't Hinder CEO Duties
Discussion: InformationWeek and Fast Company
BIZ / Twitter Blog:
Monday Morning Madness  —  This morning we discovered 33 Twitter accounts had been “hacked” including prominent Twitter-ers like Rick Sanchez and Barack Obama (who has not been Twittering since becoming the president elect due to transition issues).  We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue.
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Celebrity Twitter Accounts Hacked (Bill O'Reilly, Britney Spears, Obama, More)  —  My guess is this has nothing to do with the phishing attacks that started on Twitter a couple of days ago.  But a few minutes ago the official Fox News Twitter account posted “Breaking: Bill O Riley is gay” …
Jenna Wortham / Bits:
Twitter-Savvy Hackers Tweak the Twitterati  —  Life's not so tweet over at Twitter these days.  The microblogging company, which allows users to broadcast short messages to groups of followers, recently found itself the target of a wave of hacking and phishing attacks.
Jennifer Leggio / Feeds:
Naivete: Web 2.0's biggest security threat
Discussion: Web Business and eWeek
Michael Calore / Epicenter:
After an Agonizing Wait, Picasa for Mac Finally Arrives  —  Mac users, you can stop holding your breath.  Google announced Monday that Picasa for the Mac, a free desktop application for editing, organizing and sharing digital photos, is now available as a public beta through Google Labs.
RELATED:
Susanna Leng / The Official Google Blog:
Introducing Picasa for Mac (at Macworld!)
Wall Street Journal:
TV and Web Marry After Long Courtship  —  After more than a decade of disappointment, the goal of marrying television and the Internet seems finally to be picking up steam.  —  A key factor in the push are new TV sets that have networking connections built directly into them, requiring no additional set-top boxes for getting online.
RELATED:
Om Malik / GigaOM:
With Microsoft in Sight, Cisco invests in Xobni  —  Xobni, a San Francisco-based maker of software for email services, has raised $7 million in fresh funding led by Cisco Systems.  Existing investors Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures and Atomico also invested in this round of founding.
Discussion: Bits, Xobni and Silicon Alley Insider
RELATED:
Matt / Xobni Blog:
Xobni Closes $7 Million Series B Financing - Bring on 2009!  —  This past year has been very exciting for Xobni and we expect 2009 to be even better.  —  During 2008, we introduced Xobni to the world.  We saw our product downloaded more than 1.5 million times and evolve into an application deployed by Fortune 500 enterprises.
Discussion: VentureBeat, TechFlash and TechCrunch
Ina Fried / CNET News:
Microsoft still pushing ‘Apple tax’ notion  —  With Apple's last Macworld keynote speech just hours away, Microsoft is again talking up the idea of an “Apple tax” that people pay when they opt for a Mac over a Windows PC.  —  It's a concept that Microsoft started touting in the fall.
RELATED:
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Macworld Expo 2009 Predictions
Discussion: CNET News and TUAW
Chris Foresman / Infinite Loop:
Macworld.ars: Company may have spilled Mac mini beans  —  A press release from SeeFile software indicates that Apple will in fact release a new Mac mini tomorrow at the Macworld Expo, and may have build-to-order storage options as high a 1TB.  —  “New Apple Mac Mini hardware to be supported …
Discussion: Gizmodo, Ubergizmo and Ars Technica
RELATED:
Macworld:
Software company press release hints at new mini (Macworld.com)
Discussion: AppleInsider
Liz Gannes / NewTeeVee:
Time Spent Watching Video Jumps 40% in One Year  —  One way to think about online video is to consider how big a chunk it takes out of our daily lives.  The amount of time U.S. Internet users spend watching video is up an impressive 40 percent year over year.
Discussion: Contentinople and broadstuff
RELATED:
Ina Fried / Beyond Binary:
Microsoft elevates server unit, promotes Muglia  —  Microsoft started off its new-year executive shuffling by promoting longtime Server and Tools unit head Bob Muglia to president, a title he shares with entertainment boss Robbie Bach and business software chief Stephen Elop.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:   Microsoft's Muglia Makes Comeback
TOP 20 MSI News:
Debut of MSI U-Series New Force First Launch of U115, the Dual HD Model  —  Whole New All-In-One Wind NetOn Models Starting an Era of Dual Core Atom  —  Taipeiã€'In the CES 2009, to be held in Las Vegas from January 8, MSI will once again capture the world's eyes with its prolific R&D and designs.
Michael Rose / TUAW:
Rumor watch: AT&T tethering plans may be announced this week  —  It's been under the rumor banner for some time now, but we've been told by a trusted source that the long-awaited AT&T iPhone-as-modem tethering plans (preliminary details in MacBlogz' post from November: 5 GB data cap …
Matt Buchanan / Gizmodo:
Roku Netflix Box Gets Amazon Video on Demand  —  Roku's Netflix box is currently a one-trick pony, but it's getting Amazon's Video on Demand later this year, meaning you can soon buy or rent and instantly stream movies and TV shows from Amazon's service.  —  Amazon's Video on Demand library …
Daniel Terdiman / CNET News:
Early returns show strong holiday video game console sales  —  Though the retail economy suffered what appears to be one of the bleakest holiday seasons in recent memory, it looks as though the video games industry bucked that disastrous trend.  —  That's one conclusion that can be drawn …
Discussion: TechFlash
Josh Lowensohn / Webware.com:
Browser add-on makes Flickr's galleries faster  —  Browser add-on Flickr Gallery Plus adds extended functionality to Flickr's set view, allowing users to click through to see full versions of each shot without having to reload the page.  Once installed it will go out and pre-fetch …
Discussion: Lifehacker
Richard / socialmediocrity:
Lying on Facebook  —  In what looks like another hack, the socialmediocrity office was alerted to another mildly amusing copy change on the site.  Accessing the Advertising platform, we notice that the “Advertising” label has been replaced with “Lying” in English (UK) language.
Discussion: All Facebook and TechCrunch UK
 
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 More Items: 
Chris Mellor / The Register:
Fujitsu tells WD the deal's off
Discussion: Maximum PC all
Don Reisinger / Webware.com:
How to downsize your social network portfolio
Eric Goldman / Technology & Marketing Law Blog:
Veoh Gets Another Nice 512(c) Win—UMG v. Veoh
Discussion: TechCrunch
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Hype Machine Zeitgeist: Listen in Full to the 50 Most Blogged Albums …
Wall Street Journal:
Meg Whitman Mulls California Run
Discussion: Associated Press and TechCrunch
Victoria Ho / CNET News:
Lenovo rumored readying layoffs
Josh Lowensohn / CNET News:
Quickoffice brings simple Excel editing to iPhone
 Earlier Items: 
PC World:
Samsung to Launch Thin Blu-ray Disc Player at CES
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Verizon Wireless To Overtake AT&T As Biggest Carrier This Week
Discussion: RCR Wireless News and Crave
Dan Rayburn / The Business Of Online Video:
Lots Of Buzz Over Broadband Enabled TVs, But Impact Not Felt For Many Years
InfoWorld:
IBM employees buzzing about layoff rumors
Financial Times:
Surfers should pay congestion charges
Discussion: Richi Jennings
Chris Mellor / The Register:
Iomega aims at TVs with home server
Discussion: Gizmodo