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11:10 AM ET, January 6, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Greg Sandoval / CNET News:
Sources: Apple to expand DRM-free music, pricing  —  Apple has cut deals that will finally enable iTunes to offer songs free of copy protection software from the three largest music labels, according to two sources close to the negotiations.  In exchange, Apple has agreed to become more flexible on pricing, the sources said.
RELATED:
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Confirmed: iTunes Going DRM-Free.  Unclear: Does Anyone Care?  —  In 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs predicted that half the music offered at his iTunes store would be sold without digital rights management-the lock and key system that the music labels wrap their songs-by the end of that year.
Motorola Media Center:
Motorola Unveils World's First Mobile Phone Made Using Recycled Water Bottle Plastics  —  Latest devices to be displayed at 2009 International CES in Las Vegas  —  Las Vegas - CES - Jan. 6, 2009 - Today Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced two new mobile devices that will make social responsibility …
RELATED:
Dan York / Disruptive Telephony:
Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac OS X provides screen sharing, WiFi access, chat features and Twitter-like mood messages  —  Tonight out at the “ShowStoppers” event at MacWorld in San Francisco, Skype announced the new 2.8 Beta for Mac OS X. The new version will apparently be available for download tomorrow, January 6, 2009, from Skype's website.
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
MediaSentry may be gone, but RIAA tactics will live on  —  The Wall Street Journal reported Monday (subscription) that the Recording Industry Association of America has dropped long-time P2P investigator MediaSentry in favor of European firm DtecNet.  —  The move comes as the RIAA switches tactics …
Discussion: p2pnet and PC World
RELATED:
Michael Masnick / Techdirt:   No One Can Find ISPs Who Have Agreed To RIAA's 3 Strikes Plan
David Kravets / Threat Level:
Top Internet Providers Cool to RIAA 3-Strikes Plan
Discussion: DSLreports and P2P Blog
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:
Following The Twitter Hack Trail To DigitalGangster
Discussion: Music Ally
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
HTC announces HTC S743: U.S. edition, suckaz  —  Not forgetting about those ever-important arrogant American consumers, HTC has crafted a U.S.-specific version of their HTC S740 Windows Mobile Standard device.  Supporting 850MHz/1900MHz HSDPA bands (sorry, T-Mo users), they're taking …
Microsoft:
Xbox 360 Records Its Biggest Year Ever  —  Driven by record sales at retail along with an 84 percent jump in online consumer spending; global install base lead over PlayStation 3 expands to more than 8 million units.  —  Despite a tough economy, the gaming industry held strong in 2008 …
Discussion: I4U News and the Econsultancy blog
RELATED:
Jessica Dolcourt / CNET News:
SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone announced  —  Six months after announcing its intention to bring SlingPlayer to the iPhone 3G, Sling Media has another announcement to make—just not the one you're wishing for.  —  SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone isn't ready yet, Sling said on Tuesday, but it is on its way.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
HP unleashes a series of new low-cost computers at CES  —  Hewlett-Packard is launching a bevy of new products today that show it is designing its products to take into account the lighter pocketbooks and energy usage concerns of consumers.  —  These products being unveiled this week …
RELATED:
PC World:
AMD: Creating a New Laptop Category (PC World)  — Netbooks have their appeal—tiny budget machines with just enough oomph to run Windows XP.  Ultraportables have horsepower in spades, but they cost too much to suit some people.  This year we're going to see a whole new category of notebook …
Discussion: CES 2009, Gizmodo and Engadget
RELATED:
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Netbooks and the Death of x86 Computing  —  Freescale said Monday it would offer an ARM-based chip that could lead to a $200 Linux-based netbook, offering about twice the amount of usage on a single battery charge as Intel's Atom processor allows.  Freescale's efforts are nothing new …
Bonnie Cha / CES 2009:
Pharos Traveler 137 GPS smartphone unveiled  —  Getting a jump start on CES 2009, location-based provider Pharos officially introduced on Tuesday the Pharos Traveler 137 smartphone, a Windows Mobile 6.1-based handset with integrated GPS and navigation software.
Discussion: Boy Genius Report
Nathania Johnson / Search Engine Watch:
Yahoo Gives Itself Permission to Change Your Search Marketing Campaigns  —  If you conduct search advertising through Yahoo, you just got a brand spanking new addition to your search marketing team: Yahoo.  —  Through an update to their terms and conditions, Yahoo gives itself permission to hijack your search marketing campaigns.
Discussion: Search Engine Journal
InfoWorld:
Bringing Macs into business: Real-life IT stories  —  As more businesses bring Apple Macintoshes into their regular operations, IT has to figure out how to ensure the Macs play well in the typical Windows-dominated environments.  Several companies share the lessons — good and bad — that they have learned.
Discussion: The Open Road and The Register
Arik Hesseldahl / Business Week:
Was Apple ‘Adequate but Late’ on Jobs?  —  Some corporate governance experts question whether the tech giant could have been more forthcoming about its CEO's hormone imbalance  —  Apple (AAPL) investors got answers to some of their nagging questions about the health of the company's chief executive …
Susanna Leng / The Official Google Blog:
Introducing Picasa for Mac (at Macworld!)  —  Sometimes I find it hard to describe Picasa without sounding like a late-night infomercial for a multi-bladed thingamabob: “It's a photo organizer!  A photo editor!  A web-savvy photo sharing and management system in just one tiny package!”
RELATED:
Tony Smith / The Register:
NEC breakthrough paves way for powerless standy-by modes  —  NEC has announced the development of a memory circuit element that, it claims, will allow chips to consume no power when they're put in stand-by mode.  —  The circuit component is a non-volatile magnetic flip-flop (MFF) …
Discussion: jkOnTheRun
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch UK:
If a 13 year-old can launch a startup you have no excuse  —  “My name's Scott.  I'm 13 and have launched a web startup.”  So began an email exchange over last weekend which culminated with me chatting to Scott's mum today to verify, that, indeed, he was actually 13 and really had launched a blogging site for people in Scotland.
 
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 More Items: 
Anne Thomas Manes / Application Platform …:
SOA is Dead; Long Live Services
Discussion: Real World SOA
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
The Russian Bear Slashes a Social Network
David Meyer / Business Week:
Mobile Software Firm UIQ Goes Under
Gizmodo Australia:
New Kogan Agora Shots Get Us Excited For Android All Over Again
Ryan Paul / Ars Technica:
Debian 5 release approaches... binary blobs included
Discussion: Linux-Watch.com
Robert McLaws / Windows-Now.com:
I Am Boycotting IE Mobile Until Microsoft Gets Its Act Together
Discussion: IntoMobile
 Earlier Items: 
Jeremy Kirk / Computerworld:
Amazon adds new S3 twist: Make people pay to access your data
Discussion: InfoWorld
William M. Bulkeley / Wall Street Journal:
IBM Chief: IT Investment Will Create Jobs
Emily Steel / Wall Street Journal:
Ad Shops Eye Web Space
Discussion: paidContent.org
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Comcast Can Now Slow Bandwidth Hogs Across Its Network
Discussion: Ars Technica and DSLreports
Judy Lin / Associated Press:
Ex eBay CEO prepares run for Calif. governor
Tom Ohanian / MediaPost:
Why Apple and Wal-Mart Are Poised To Rule The World Of Mobile Media