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12:20 PM 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:
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
Live from the Macworld 2009 keynote  —  9:07AM “If you wanna hear some new things today — I have three new things...”  —  9:07AM “The last year was our biggest ever, 9.7 mil Macs.  We did it by growing twice as fast as the rest of the industry.”  “The hardware THE leopard (!)...”
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:
Matthew Lasar / Ars Technica:
Comcast starts new year with new network management system  —  Comcast says that, as of December 31, it has turned over a new leaf, network management practices-wise.  The new-and-hopefully-improved “protocol agnostic” system the company unveiled to the Federal Communications Commission in September is now in effect.
RELATED:
Karl Bode / DSLreports:
New Comcast Throttling System 100% Online
Discussion: Maximum PC all and GigaOM
Dan York / Disruptive Telephony:
Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac OS X provides screen sharing, WiFi access, chat features and Twitter-like mood messages  —  UPDATE: Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac OS X is now available for download.  —  Tonight out at the “ShowStoppers” event at MacWorld in San Francisco, Skype announced the new 2.8 Beta …
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 …
RELATED:
AppleInsider:
Briefly: iWork '09 reference appears at Apple.com  —  With just over an hour to go before Apple kicks off Macworld Expo 2009 with an inaugural keynote presentation from its marketing chief, references to a new version of the company's iWork productivity have appeared at Apple.com.
Discussion: MacRumors and Boy Genius Report
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 …
Chris Meadows / TeleRead:
Disney DVD debacle: Wall  •E vs. DRM  —  As anyone who's watched his adventures knows, Wall  •E knows all about obstinate, malfeasant corporate software that does nothing except step on individuals' rights.  Which is why it's so ironic that the DVDs of Wall
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.
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 …
Staska / Unwired View:
Apple patents iPhone Mobile Navigation / Mapping App  —  With the introduction of iPhone 3G with a GPS sensor, many fans expected a bonanza of various navigation apps for the new phone.  —  And, to be sure, there are quite a few of them using location capabilities.
Discussion: MacNN
Philipp Lenssen / Google Blogoscoped:
Checkout Icon Makes Ads 10% More Clickable, Google Says  —  An ad with a Checkout badge to the right, with non-Checkout ads below it.  —  Cross-integrating their products can help Google bring customers from their more successful products to their less successful ones.
Discussion: Search Engine Land and WebProNews
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
The Russian Bear Slashes a Social Network  —  The bubble in social networking has burst, decisively.  LiveJournal, the San Francisco-based arm of Sup, a Russian Internet startup, has cut about 20 of 28 employees — and offered them no severance, we're told.
Discussion: Changing Way and MarketingVOX
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 …
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 …
Anne Thomas Manes / Application Platform …:
SOA is Dead; Long Live Services  —  SOA met its demise on January 1, 2009, when it was wiped out by the catastrophic impact of the economic recession.  SOA is survived by its offspring: mashups, BPM, SaaS, Cloud Computing, and all other architectural approaches that depend on “services”.
Discussion: Real World SOA and Ironick
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: Tynan on Tech and p2pnet
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
Karen Jacobs / Reuters:
Best Buy offers used iPhones at lower price  —  ATLANTA (Reuters) - Retailer Best Buy Co, seeking new ways to appeal to cost-conscious shoppers, said on Tuesday it is selling refurbished versions of Apple Inc's iPhone 3G at its stores that are priced about $50 less than new iPhones.
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
 
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 More Items: 
Nate Lanxon / CNET News:
The history of Apple fans: A MacHeads review
Discussion: Macsimum News
InfoWorld:
IBM finalizing free Symphony office suite for Macs
Discussion: Insanely Great Mac
Bonnie Cha / CES 2009:
Pharos Traveler 137 GPS smartphone unveiled
Discussion: Boy Genius Report
Tony Smith / The Register:
NEC breakthrough paves way for powerless standy-by modes
Discussion: jkOnTheRun
David Meyer / Business Week:
Mobile Software Firm UIQ Goes Under
Gizmodo Australia:
New Kogan Agora Shots Get Us Excited For Android All Over Again
 Earlier Items: 
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
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch UK:
If a 13 year-old can launch a startup you have no excuse
Jeremy Kirk / Computerworld:
Amazon adds new S3 twist: Make people pay to access your data
Discussion: The Noisy Channel
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Following The Twitter Hack Trail To DigitalGangster
Emily Steel / Wall Street Journal:
Ad Shops Eye Web Space
Discussion: paidContent.org
Susanna Leng / The Official Google Blog:
Introducing Picasa for Mac (at Macworld!)