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1:30 PM ET, January 9, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Microsoft TechNet:
Welcome to the Windows 7 Beta Customer Preview Program  — Test Windows 7 Beta in your lab environment  — Stay informed on updates and resources  —  Windows 7 is...  the next release of the Windows client operating system, built on the secure foundation of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
RELATED:
Emil Protalinski / One Microsoft Way:
Windows 7 public beta is available now  —  As Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer promised at CES 2009 during his preshow keynote, the Windows 7 beta is now available to the public for download.  It is only available to the first 2.5 million people who download it, so make sure to get your hands on it as soon as you can!
Michael Calore / Epicenter:
Windows 7 Public Beta Will Be Available at 12 Noon PST  —  [Update!  The Microsoft Partner Program website has the official time: “Partners with a MSDN or TechNet subscription can download Windows 7 Beta now.  All other partners can download Windows 7 Beta starting January 9, 2009 at 12:00 P.M. Pacific Time.”
Discussion: TG Daily and Gizmodo Australia
Ina Fried / CNET News:
Web site problems as Windows 7 beta hits  —  Microsoft's Windows Web site will be the place to go to get the Windows 7 beta later on Friday.  At the moment though, many users are encountering just error messages when they try to reach the site.  —  This was the message I got—"HTTP Error 503.
Discussion: Channel 10 and Full of I.T.
Adrian Covert / Gizmodo:
Palm Pre Preview: Simply Amazing  —  Hey, I just had some time to play with the Palm Pre, maybe the most important handset to be announced in two years, and here's what it was like to use it.  Updates coming.  —  The Palm Pre is a lot smaller than I initially thought it would be.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Yahoo Nears End of CEO Search  —  Yahoo Inc. is in the final stretch of its search for a chief executive officer, and a decision could come as soon as next week, said people close to the Internet company.  —  Among candidates still under consideration is Carol Bartz, the former chief executive officer …
RELATED:
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
Is Yahoo CEO Candidate Carol Bartz Any Good? (YHOO)
Discussion: p2pnet
Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
Google Chrome 2.0 Pre-Beta  —  Google Chrome's development is high-paced and version numbers are not very significant, but it's weird to see a pre-beta release of Chrome 2.0, four months after Chrome 0.2.  There are many new things in Chrome 2.0:  —  * form autocomplete …
RELATED:
Jonathan Skillings / Webware.com:
Google tunes up Chrome development
Discussion: Beet.TV and Chromium Blog
Amazon Web Services Blog:
Manage Amazon EC2 With New Web-Based AWS Management Console  —  Today we're announcing the availability of the Web-based AWS Management Console, which in this first release provides management of your Amazon EC2 environment via a point-and-click interface.  A number of management tools already exist …
Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
For BlackBerry, Obama's Devotion Is Priceless  —  This week, Michael Phelps signed a deal worth more than $1 million to advertise Mazda in China.  Jerry Seinfeld earned a reported $10 million to appear in Microsoft's recent television campaign.  —  But the person who may be the biggest celebrity pitchman …
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch UK:
The UK government's plans to retain email data and rate online content will cost too much, destroy business, liberty and must be stopped - start making placards  —  20 Comments  —  From March this year all ISPs will by law have to keep information about every e-mail sent or received in the UK for a year.
RELATED:
Angus Crawford / BBC:   UK e-mail law ‘attack on rights’
Ed Sutherland / Cult of Mac:
Apple Ditching MacWorld in Favor of CES?  —  Apple is ditching MacWorld to instead exhibit at CES next year instead, according to one source.  —  The source, citing “friends who work at Apple,” insisted the company is ditching MacWorld because it will “go large” at CES, which typically runs concurrently with MacWorld in early January.
Richard Waters / Financial Times:
Microsoft's quest to beat Google  —  The consumer electronics and technology world is used to starting the year with a landmark presentation from one of the industry's leading figures.  —  That role has traditionally fallen to Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, whose annual appearances …
John Oates / The Register:
Ballmer tries to breathe life into Yahoo! deal  —  Dead! horse! flogged!  —  Steve Ballmer is still trying to resurrect a possible search deal with Yahoo!.  —  Ballmer told the FT that he thought a search deal was still possible - and that it would most likely happen when Yahoo! …
The Ask.com Blog:
Semantic Search Technology Advances from Ask.com  —  For millions of everyday queries, there is one, simple, direct answer the user is seeking, but the current generation of search relegates consumers to sifting through links and then searching through the Websites themselves to find the answer.
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Delaying DTV Could Mean Longer Wait for LTE  —  President-elect Barack Obama is asking Congress to delay the transition that will force the nation's TV broadcasts to switch from analog to digital signals.  Depending on how long the delay is, it could affect the deployment of several services destined …
Datamation:
How China's ‘50 Cent Army’ Could Wreck Web 2.0  —  Two years ago, Chinese President Hu Jintao called on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members to “assert supremacy over online public opinion, raise the level and study the art of online guidance and actively use new technologies to increase the strength of positive propaganda.”
Discussion: Beyond Search
Matt Richtel / Bits:
Microsoft: Expect Fewer Phones With Windows  —  Microsoft says it is responding to the fierce competition in the phone market by retooling and beefing up its mobile operating system-and by putting it on fewer devices.  —  Todd Peters, the vice president of marketing for the Windows Mobile division …
Jacob Schulman / Engadget:
Coby's sub-$200 netbooks handled at CES  —  Remember those sub-$100 Coby netbooks that we deemed a hoax?  Well, it looks like they might not be as hoax-y as we originally thought.  Here at CES, Coby has a bunch of base models on the show floor in a myriad of color combos.
Speaking of Security, the RSA Blog and Podcast:
Online Fraudsters Prey Upon the Media and Public Interest in Current Events to Launch “Cease-Fire Trojan Attack”  —  Yesterday morning, the RSA FraudAction Research Lab discovered a social engineering scam designed to lure people, via an email spam attack, to a fake news website designed to look like CNN.com.
Nate Mook / BetaNews:
Dell follows Apple with LED flat panel monitors of its own  —  Dell on Thursday took the wraps off a new line of flat panel displays that feature LED backlighting and consume less than half the power of comparable monitors, the company claims.  But the G2210 and G2410 use lower-quality screens …
Mark Ward / BBC:
Do-it-yourself 3D movies at home  —  BBC News technology correspondent, Las Vegas  —  3D films may soon no longer be the sole province of movie studios with big budgets.  —  At CES, two firms have been showing off ways for home users to make and share their own 3D films.
Dianne See Morrison / paidContent.org:
Is The Rising Popularity Of The iPod Touch Cutting Into iPhone Sales?  —  According to early reports, the iPod Touch was a hot seller over the holidays.  At the same time, sales of the mighty iPhone have been slowing in some places.  Is there a connection between the two?
Discussion: Business Week
Jack Davis / Docu-Drama:
Could it be?  Survey says executive salary cutbacks are climbing  —  “One clear sign of the challenging economic environment we face is the decision by executives to take a pay cut,” according to a survey of executive pay practices by Equilar, the Redwood City information services firm that mines SEC filings for compensation data.
Daily Mail:
What credit crunch?  Apple launch £1.6m diamond-encrusted iPhone … As the global credit crunch continues to bite in 2009 one jeweller has decided to buck the trend by designing the world's most expensive phone.  —  The new Apple iPhone 3G ‘Kings Button’ is made of solid 18 carat yellow gold, white gold and rose gold.
Discussion: IntoMobile and mobilesyrup.com
 
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 More Items: 
Erica Sadun / Ars Technica:
Linux-based HP Mini Mi ships with command line disabled
Discussion: digg.com
Saul Hansell / Bits:
C.E.S. Interview: Samsung's Jong Woo Park on Interactive TVs
Discussion: Techdirt
Reuters:
Panasonic and LG bet boldly on flatscreen TV growth
Sascha Segan / Gearlog:
CES 2009: The Stupidest Accessory at CES is 100% Fail
Discussion: OhGizmo! and MobileDevicesToday
Zach Spear / AppleInsider:
Apple files patent for camera hidden behind display
Discussion: digg.com
Joel Hruska / Ars Technica:
AMD's Phenom II could mark company turnaround
Lester Haines / The Register:
‘Kidnapped’ child tracked by mobile phone and Street View
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Mellor / The Register:
SanDisk flashes notebook flash
Discussion: GPS Obsessed, Engadget and eWeek
Owen Thomas / Gawker:
Liberal Blogosphere Proves Trivially Easy to Destroy
Sinead Carew / Reuters:
Touch-screen gadgets alienate blind
Discussion: Boy Genius Report
John Timmer / Ars Technica:
Report: Gmail about one-third as expensive as hosted e-mail
Discussion: PC World and digg.com
Nate Elliott / The Forrester Blog …:
The Easiest Way to a First-Page Ranking on Google
Ina Fried / Beyond Binary:
Ballmer: Google, Google, the economy, Google
Discussion: Search Engine Land