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1:55 AM ET, May 16, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
David Sarno / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
WolframAlpha launch runs into ‘a small snag,’ says creator [UPDATED]  —  Updated, 4:00 p.m.: WolframAlpha says it is “counting down” and will go ahead with the soft launch tonight despite earlier problems.  The project expects to be at full capacity by Monday.
RELATED:
Pete Cashmore / Mashable!:
LIVE: The Wolfram Alpha Non-Launch  —  Here we are, watching the live (!) Wolfram Alpha launch.  The tension is high for the debut of this “computational knowledge engine”, a super smart search engine that could provide a new way to search the web in addition to our faithful Google (but unlikely to replace it).
Chris Sherman / Search Engine Land:
Wolfram Alpha Live Review: The Un-Google  —  The already much discussed Wolfram Alpha official launch is Monday May 18, though the company has said they plan a “soft launch” starting tonight, with access gradually becoming available to everyone throughout the weekend.
Discussion: Wolfram, CNET News, ResourceShelf and Forbes, Thanks:atul
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Apple Serious About Background App Support For iPhone 3.0  —  Apple (AAPL) is serious about letting more iPhone software — beyond its native apps like phone, iPod, and Mail — run in the background, we've heard from sources in the mobile industry.  This could potentially happen as soon …
RELATED:
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Apple Is Indeed Talking About Opening iPhone Background Tasks  —  As great as the iPhone is, it has one glaring weakness: The inability to run third-party applications in the background.  That badly cripples certain types of apps, such as those that do instant messaging, music streaming and location-based services.
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Rumors Regarding Background App Support in iPhone 3.0
Discussion: Gizmodo
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Apple execs disclose options for boosting iPhone market share  —  Apple executives said this week they believe the iPhone remains in its infancy and went on to — somewhat uncharacteristically — reveal a series of strategic measures they may employ in the near term to help grow the handset's share of the booming smartphone market.
Mark Cuban / blog maverick:
How Twitter and Facebook Now Compete with Google  —  Last year I wrote a blog post entitled “If the news is important it will find me”.  The point was that we all live in so many social networks, that someone will send us an update if something in the world happens that we would be interested in.
Discussion: Techdirt
Phone Arena:
Project Charlie - three secret AT&T devices bound for Best Buy  —  Published on: Today by PhoneArena Team  —  Keep in mind that the information in this article is not official.  —  We've received some news from a Best Buy insider about some new phones that may be on the horizon for the electronics retailer.
RELATED:
John Cook / Gawker:
Twitter's Real-Time Uselessness Proven by (Mistaken) Gay Marriage Hysteria  —  Because people are irredeemably stupid and nobody pays attention to anything, thousands of Twitter users rejoiced today at the news that the California Supreme Court just overturned the state's gay marriage ban.  One year ago.
Discussion: Technologizer
RELATED:
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
Sorry, Twitter, Prop. 8 has not been overturned
Discussion: Daggle, TechCrunch and L.A. Now
Sheamus / Twittercism:
47 People Who Work At Twitter (And What They Do)  —  The shenanigans of the past couple of days on Twitter have provided us with a couple of key pieces of information: one, that Twitter really needs to work on its PR, and two, that the leadership provided by Jack Dorsey (@Jack), Evan Williams …
Joe Wilcox:
Is Twitter @replies Change Ashton Kutcher's Fault?  —  Analysis.  My immediate reaction is “yes,” after reading Dare Obasanjo's post “Why Twitter's Engineers Hate the @replies feature.”  OK, so maybe CNN and Oprah, also members of the “million-followers club,” share the blame.
Discussion: WebProNews and Epicenter
Jacob Schulman / Engadget Mobile:
Exclusive BlackBerry Storm 2 shots!  —  What's this we have here?  A trusted source just hit us with a slew of beauty shots of the Storm 2 that leaked a little bit ago.  Not much else to say at this point until we can get one in our hands — the photos really speak for themselves.
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Facebook Prepares To Launch Live Video Chat Product  —  Want to call your Facebook friends via video chat?  Soon enough you'll be able to.  Earlier today one of our readers sent us a link to one of Facebook's cached JavaScript files which reveals a number of clues as to a soon to be released video chat service.
Discussion: Mashable!, Thanks:mrinaldesai
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
Verizon's upcoming BlackBerry releases: Tour, Pearl Flip, Atlas Storm 2 info  —  So check it.  We just got a tip from a new ninja but this information looks really credible so we're running it... Here's the random bits of info we received:  — All Verizon BlackBerry handsets launched after the BlackBerry Tour will have Wi-Fi
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
crackho.com DNS prank ruffles Sarah Palin's feathers  —  Is it really copyright infringement if all you're doing is redirecting one of your own domains to an official government one?  The Alaska attorney general doesn't seem to understand the complications of DNS, but he does know one thing: Sarah Palin ain't no crack ho.
Tom Steinert-Threlkeld / Between the Lines:
Jeff Bezos, meet Tony Hsieh.  Zappos Moving into Electronics.  And More.  —  As I said this morning, you should rule the world!!!  How about starting by giving seminars?  You could start with Wall St., then banks, how about the auto industry, then there's the airlines.
John Koblin / New York Observer:
New York Times Considers Two Plans to Charge for Content on the Web  —  By the end of June, The New York Times will come to a decision on how to charge for some of its content on the Web, The Observer has learned.  —  Executive editor Bill Keller said at a meeting with staff on Wednesday …
Tomio Geron / Venture Capital Dispatch:
Backed Into A Corner, Child Star Twitter Speaks!  —  Twitter Inc. broke into the mainstream in 2009 with appearances on everything from the Larry King Show to Oprah — and its usage is exploding.  —  If it were a celebrity, Twitter would be pursued endlessly by the paparazzi and appear …
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Apple 2.0:
Pushing the App Store price envelope  —  For people who had been waiting since January to watch TV on their iPhones, price doesn't seem to have been an object.  —  Within a day of its release Wednesday, SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone had shot to the No. 10 spot on Apple's (AAPL) closely watched Top Paid Apps list.
Mark Milian / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Social Status: The guy who spread Keyboard Cat fever  —  Play him off, Keyboard Cat.  Credit: Brad O'Farrell  —  On its own, the Keyboard Cat video might elicit a smile and a chuckle.  But when the adorable feline pounding its paws on a musical keyboard is preceded by an awkward …
Discussion: Global Nerdy and Laughing Squid
Eric Eldon / VentureBeat:
Google improves Blog Search, but not by much  —  Google Blog Search just got a few upgrades — it apparently wants to become more like algorithm-driven news aggregator Techmeme, before that site let in the humans.  Specifically, Blog Search has added more items to its “clusters” …
Chris Dannen / Fast Company:
10 Questions About the Facebook Hack Attacks  —  On Thursday night, Facebook was attacked by hackers for the fourth time this month.  Who is behind the attacks isn't known, but the malefactors appear to be using several old tricks—phishing, malware downloads, and other conceits …
Discussion: eWeek and Switched
David Eaves / eaves.ca:
Vancouver enters the age of the open city  —  A few hours ago, Vancouver's city government posted the agenda to a council meeting next week in which this motion will be read: … A number of us having been working hard getting this motion into place.  While several cities, like Portland …
Discussion: CNET News, open and Open Source
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Google's Chrome was ‘hackable’ at Pwn2Own contest  —  Sole surviving browser patches same bug used to make money off Safari flaw  —  Computerworld - Although Google's Chrome was the only browser left standing after March's Pwn2Own hacking contest, it was vulnerable to the same bug …
Discussion: The Register
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Federated Media Will Search for New Leader Says Founder and CEO Battelle (Plus a Web Squared and Double-D Video!)  —  John Battelle (pictured here), the founder, chairman and CEO of Federated Media Publishing, told his staff this morning that he will begin a search for a new top exec to take the company into its next stage of growth.
 
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 More Items: 
Erica Ogg / CNET News:
Sony hires a professional fixer
Discussion: The eBook Test
Alexander Haislip / PE Hub Blog:
Apple Buying Eye-Tracking Devices
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Even in Mobile Video, the Action Is on the iPhone
BBC:
The hi-tech battle for Africa
Discussion: open and Slashdot
Economist:
Tossed by a gale
Casey Chan / Android Central:
T-Mobile's Android 1.5 Cupcake Update Release Schedule Revealed ?
Discussion: jkOnTheRun and IntoMobile
 Earlier Items: 
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Google Friend Connect Adds Recommendations Gadget
Rory Maher / paidContent.org:
Think Entrepreneurs Don't Need VCs? Think Again