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10:50 PM ET, May 15, 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: CNET News, Wolfram, Forbes and ResourceShelf, 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 …
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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.
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.
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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.
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 …
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
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.
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 …
RELATED:
Jeff Jarvis / BuzzMachine:
Tick, tick, tick  —  The Observer's John Koblin reports …
Discussion: Epicenter
Claire Cain Miller / Bits:
Do Web Entrepreneurs Still Need Venture Capitalists?  —  Is venture capital becoming obsolete for Web start-ups?  —  Yes, according to Robert Hendershott, a professor of private equity and entrepreneurship at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.
RELATED:
Rory Maher / paidContent.org:
Think Entrepreneurs Don't Need VCs? Think Again
Discussion: mocoNews
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
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.
Dan Friedman / Inside AdWords:
Update to U.S. ad text trademark policy  —  Imagine opening your Sunday paper and seeing ads from a large supermarket chain that didn't list actual products for sale; instead, they simply listed the categories of products available - offers like “Buy discount cola” and “Snacks on sale.”
RELATED:
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.
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” …
RELATED:
Matt McGee / Search Engine Land:
Quietly, Google Updates Its Blog Search Algorithm
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
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.
Frederic Lardinois / ReadWriteWeb:
Online Stats: Hulu Says Nielsen's Numbers are Wrong  —  Yesterday, we reported that Nielsen Online's April numbers showed that the number of unique streams on Hulu grew 7.9% since March, though the number of unique users dropped slightly to about 7.4 million.
Discussion: TECH.BLORGE.com and digg.com
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 More Items: 
David Eaves / eaves.ca:
Vancouver enters the age of the open city
Discussion: CNET News, open and Open Source
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Google's Chrome was ‘hackable’ at Pwn2Own contest
Discussion: The Register and Internetnews Blog
Erica Ogg / CNET News:
Sony hires a professional fixer
Discussion: The eBook Test
Alexander Haislip / PE Hub Blog:
Apple Buying Eye-Tracking Devices
Mark Milian / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Social Status: The guy who spread Keyboard Cat fever
Discussion: Global Nerdy and Laughing Squid
The Boy Genius / Boy Genius Report:
Verizon's upcoming BlackBerry releases: Tour, Pearl Flip, Atlas Storm 2 info
Saul Hansell / Bits:
Even in Mobile Video, the Action Is on the iPhone
 Earlier Items: 
John Cook / TechFlash:
1000 Markets is an Etsy rival with backing from PayPal founders
Thanks:toddbishop
news.teamxbox.com:
Microsoft Working on Digital Entertainment Handheld