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5:50 PM ET, March 30, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Ina Fried / CNET News:
Microsoft, TomTom settle patent dispute  —  Microsoft and TomTom have reached a settlement in their respective patent suits, the companies said Monday.  —  As part of the deal, as TomTom will pay Microsoft for coverage related to mapping patents and file-management patents that Microsoft claimed …
RELATED:
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Is a Shorter Web Address Worth Big Money? bit.ly Raises $2 Million  —  Here's another Web 2.0 riddle that seems particularly hard to solve post-Lehman: What's the value of a service that takes a long Web address and makes it shorter?  —  One answer: Several million dollars.
Darren Murph / Engadget:
Netflix raising rates for Blu-ray subscribers by around 20 percent  —  Ruh roh.  In a move that will undoubtedly cause an incredibly raucous stir, only to fade away as movie renters realize that Netflix is still the best deal going, America's most adored by-mail rental service is hiking the price of Blu-ray rentals once again.
RELATED:
Emil Protalinski / Ars Technica:
Microsoft to kill Encarta later this year  —  Microsoft has announced that it is discontinuing its Encarta line of products.  The software products will be gone by June 2009 and the website will go down October 31, 2009.  —  When I first saw this, I had to do a double take.
RELATED:
Joseph Tartakoff / paidContent.org:
Victim Of Wikipedia: Microsoft To Shut Down Encarta  —  Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) will discontinue both its MSN Encarta reference Web sites as well as its Encarta software, which have both been surpassed by rising competitors, like Wikipedia.  In a message posted on the MSN Encarta Web site …
Discussion: TechCrunch and Mashable!
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
MySpace Embraces Microsoft Platforms For Mobile And Web Applications  —  Two Microsoft-related announcements coming from social networking giant MySpace today: the portal is adding support for Windows Mobile-run phones to its new mobile application, due this summer, and bringing …
RELATED:
Michael S. Scherotter / MSDN Blogs:
Silverlight for the MySpace Developer Platform
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Microsoft drops plan to charge for WinMo updates
Discussion: Electronista
Harry McCracken / Technologizer:
Macworld Expo Moves, Accepts Its Nickname  —  Here's the first hint of how IDG's Macworld Expo will change in the wake of Apple's decision to pull out of the show: It's moving from early January to February 9th-13th (which includes a Saturday-the show has been weekday only).
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
IAB Reports Internet Advertising Grew 10 Percent Last Year; Outpacing TV  —  In an upbeat report this morning, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that internet advertising in the U.S. grew 10.6 percent to $23.4 billion.  (The entire report is embedded below).
Discussion: Between the Lines and HipMojo.com
RELATED:
MG Siegler / VentureBeat:
Twitter quakes as San Francisco shakes  —  Earthquake news and Twitter have long gone hand in hand because of Twitter's instant mass-communication ability.  Today, an earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area (where Twitter's headquarters is located, along with many of its original users), and Twitter traffic went nuts.
Joe Wilcox / Microsoft Watch:
Lauren Is Right: Macs Cost More Than PCs  —  [Editor's Note: This is one of two companion posts about Microsoft's newest “I'm a PC” commercial, featuring computer shopper Lauren.  At Apple Watch, “Microsoft Shatters Mac Pricing Myths” explains how the 60-second spot dispels the most common defenses for Mac pricing.]
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
RBC says iPhone 3G ‘Pro’ won't boost iPhone momentum  —  The Royal Bank of Canada is maintaining its bearish near-term outlook on shares of Apple, claiming that although consumer interest in a new version of the iPhone remains healthy, sales of the new device are unlikely to provide the company …
Sinead Carew / Reuters:
Skype announces service for iPhone, BlackBerry  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Skype, the Internet telephone unit of eBay Inc, is planning to launch its service for iPhone users on Tuesday and for BlackBerry in May as part of its effort to expand beyond desktop computers.
RELATED:
Rory Cellan-Jones / dot.life blog:
Is Skype on the iPhone a big deal?
Discussion: last100 and BBC
Dan Sabbagh / Times of London:
Authors fight free books site Scribd for ‘pirating’ their work  —  Bestselling novels are reproduced without publishers' permission  —  Publishers and agents representing the authors J. K. Rowling and Ken Follett were battling last night to get free copies of their novels removed …
Discussion: TechCrunch and HipMojo.com
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
Microsoft Acquires Yahoo VP of Ops  —  Add another name to the list of Yahoo employees defecting to Microsoft.  Dayne Sampson, Yahoo's VP of operations for search and advertising, has fled the company for its former suitor, Microsoft confirmed to Digital Daily.
Discussion: TechFlash and CNET News
Kirby Chien / Reuters:
Google launches free, legal music downloads in China  —  BEIJING (Reuters) - Google Inc on Monday launched free downloads of licensed songs in China, while sharing advertising revenue with major music labels in a market rife with online piracy.  —  Lee Kai-Fu, president of Google in greater China …
Sascha Segan / Gearlog:
Motorola, Cricket Launch QA4 Touch-Screen Phone  —  Cricket Wireless and Motorola today announced the low-cost carrier's highest-end phone so far, the Motorola Evoke QA4.  The QA4 will be Cricket's first touch-screen phone.  —  The Evoke is a somewhat oval-shaped slider phone (4.25" x 2" …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Intel launches Nehalem server chips to improve data center efficiency  —  Intel introduced its Xeon 5500 Series family of server chips today — chips it hopes will be the standard for data centers of the future.  —  The chips (formerly code-named Nehalem) are the server variant …
Cleve Nettles / 9 to 5 Mac:
What would a new MacBook Mini look like?  Is this real?  —  Thanks to our Russian commenter meguxx, who passed along this little probably-Photoshopped - (but hopefully not) MacBook Mini.  Anyone with some Russian wanna break down the specs they list?  —  Update: We've gotten many more picts here.
Western Digital Hard Drives:
WD ENTERS SOLID-STATE DRIVE MARKET WITH ACQUISITION OF SILICONSYSTEMS, INC.  —  Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC), a world leader in hard drive storage for computing and consumer electronics applications, today announced that it has completed a $65 million cash acquisition of SiliconSystems …
Discussion: eWeek and Between the Lines
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Yahoo Net service comes to Samsung TVs  —  Yahoo technology to bring Internet services to TVs has fledged from the demonstration realm to become a available in actual product, Samsung TVs.  —  Yahoo calls the technology TV Widgets, but Samsung is branding it as Internet@TV.
Discussion: last100
Nathan Fouts / Mommy's Best Games' dev log:
Big fish in a shallow pond  —  True to their word, Microsoft has provided Community Games sales data by the end of March.  The results are, in one word, sobering.  —  First, let me just reiterate that we have been very upfront about what Mommy's Best is trying to achieve.  We want to make kick ass games, full-time.
Abbey Klaassen / AdAge:
Using Social Media to Listen to Consumers  —  A Vocal Few Don't Represent the Majority but Could Signify a Larger Issue  —  NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — If the social-media sphere attacks your brand, do “real people” hear the screams?  Not likely, according to surveys that indicate marketers …
Discussion: PR 2.0, Thanks:sbauman
Omar El Akkad / Globe and Mail:
Meet the Canadians who busted GhostNet  —  Researchers uncover explosive cyberspy network infecting more than 1,200 computers worldwide  —  Against the backdrop of humming computers in the underground lab in Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, a screen flickered …
Discussion: CircleID
 
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 More Items: 
Matt Cutts / Gadgets, Google, and SEO:
Hacking Google: Retro Links Revives Old Google Feature
Discussion: Search Engine Land, Thanks:atul
John Herrman / Gizmodo:
Opera Mobile 9.7 to Support Flash, Google Gears, Server-Side Compression
Discussion: DailyTech
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Apple: Hitch Seen In Potential China Unicom Deal
John Cook / TechFlash:
Ignition sets up offices in Seattle
Discussion: Xconomy
Mark Walsh / MediaPost:
Journalists Jump Print's Sinking Ship For AOL Jobs
Discussion: Screenwerk
 Earlier Items: 
Josh / Bokardo:
Relationship Symmetry in Social Networks: Why Facebook will go Fully Asymmetric
Discussion: BookBlog, Thanks:atul
John Biggs / CrunchGear:
Dell launches colorful Inspiron line
Discussion: Engadget and Gizmodo
Olga Kharif / Business Week:
Serious Threats to Sirius Radio
Telegraph:
University offers social media degree about Facebook Twitter and Bebo
Discussion: Mashable! and CNET News
Dan Cohen / Gear Diary:
First Look... eSlick eReader
Discussion: Engadget, CrunchGear and Gizmodo
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Twitter Hiring A Concierge To Pamper Celebrities.  Requires Schmoozing.
Discussion: Switched and Maximum PC all, Thanks:mrinaldesai
Erica Sadun / Ars Technica:
Chrome for OS X: State of the Browser
Discussion: CrunchGear, Gizmodo and Electricpig.co.uk, Thanks:mrinaldesai