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5:45 PM ET, May 18, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Jim / craigslist blog:
An Apology Is In Order  —  Dear South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster,  —  Two days ago you accused craigslist, and me personally, of engaging in criminal acts, reiterating your previous threat to file unwarranted and unconstitutional charges against us that are clearly barred by federal law.
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Stand Firm Craig (and Jim)  —  South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster is giving even the normally sleazy Attorney General title a bad name.  This is an office that has little to do with protecting the public and everything to do with making high profile attacks on targets that will generate a lot of positive press.
Greg Sandoval / CNET News:
Craigslist CEO wants apology from South Carolina AG
Olga Kharif / Business Week:
Cheaper iPhone Plans from AT&T?  —  AT&T may offer lower-cost data plans for iPhones, which would attract new subscribers and force smartphone rivals to cut prices, too  —  Victor Lin wants an iPhone, but he's put off by the price.  The smartphone costs at least $199 up front …
RELATED:
Sam Oliver / AppleInsider:
Repeat: AT&T may introduce $20 limited iPhone data plan  —  With next-generation iPhone hardware and software around the corner, a new report is adding to claims that AT&T is mulling changes to its iPhone monthly service and data plans that could reduce the cost of owning an iPhone and help Apple grow its share of the smartphone market.
Justin Smith / Inside Facebook:
Facebook Launches OpenID Support - Users Can Now Login With Gmail Accounts  —  Last month, Facebook announced that users would soon be able to login to the site via OpenID.  Today, Facebook has officially become an OpenID relying party: users can now register for Facebook using their Gmail accounts …
RELATED:
Luke Shepard / Facebook Developers:
Facebook Supports OpenID for Automatic Login
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
Connie Loizos / PE Hub Blog:
Peter Thiel On Valleywag; It's the “Silicon Valley Equivalent of Al Qaeda”  —  Peter Thiel is known for many things, from his hedge fund, Clarium Capital, to his venture capital firm, Founders Fund, to his role as the original CEO of PayPal — whose 2002 sale to eBay famously netted Thiel, then 34, roughly $60 million.
Henry Blodget / Silicon Alley Insider:
Search Engine Wolfram Alpha Launches With Big Dreams And No Chance  —  Another next-generation search engine launches.  It looks more differentiated than the much-ado-about-nothing known as Cuil, but that's not saying much.  —  Our prediction: Wolfram Alpha (terrible name) …
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
Apple's Mac Decline Could Be Worse This Quarter  —  Updated with NPD Group estimates for Apple's April Mac shipments.  —  Apple (AAPL) could face its second straight quarter of year-over-year declines in its Mac business.  (And only its second negative quarter since 2003.)
Discussion: CNET News, Apple 2.0 and Macsimum News
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Napster relaunching, again: $5 per month streaming plus five free downloads  —  Like subscription music services?  You know, like Microsoft's Zune Pass where you pay $14.99 monthly and keep up to 10 tracks each month forever.  Sure, renting music at $180 per year can be a drag for those stuck …
Amazon Web Services Blog:
New Features for Amazon EC2: Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, and Amazon CloudWatch  —  We are working to make it even easier for you to build sophisticated, scalable, and robust web applications using AWS.  As soon as you launch some EC2 instances, you want visibility into resource utilization and overall performance.
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Eric Schmidt's Commencement Address At Carnegie Mellon (Video)  —  Here's Google CEO Eric Schmidt's commencement address at Carnegie Mellon's 112th commencement ceremony, held yesterday.  (Via @CarnegieMellon)  —  Schmidt's talk to the audience, which he refers to as the ‘Facebook and Google generation’ …
Jim Dalrymple / CNET News:
Stanford's free iPhone course hits 1 million downloads  —  Stanford University on Monday said its free iPhone Application Programming course has been downloaded more than 1 million times since being uploaded to Apple's iTunes U—a learning-focused area of iTunes—seven weeks ago.
Mark Guim / The Nokia Blog:
Nokia N97 For North America Arriving June 2nd  —  I told you a couple days ago the Nokia N97 NAM was coming soon, but I wasn't sure of the exact date.  Well, Nokia just notified one of their major North American distributors of the estimated shipping date: June 2nd, 2009!  How accurate are we?
Joseph Galante / Bloomberg:
Mint.com May Begin Selling Access to Anonymous Consumer Data  —  Mint Software Inc., an online service that helps consumers track every dime they spend, has a goal for its own pocketbook: boosting sales as much as 10-fold this year.  —  To fuel revenue, the company may start charging …
Phil Goldstein / FierceWireless:
Report: Palm Pre launching first week of June  —  Sprint Nextel will launch the Palm Pre in the first week of June, according to a report in the New York Times.  —  The report, citing unnamed people briefed on the matter, indicated that a battle between top smartphones …
RELATED:
Matt Richtel / New York Times:
Cellphone Makers Hope for a Blockbuster Summer
Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac:
Exclusive: Apple Is Building a New Helpdesk Operation: New Product, Or Growing Popularity?  —  Apple appears to be building a large, distributed helpdesk operation, either in anticipation of a major new product, or simply to sustain the company's growing popularity.
Discussion: TheAppleBlog and Softpedia News
Ian Deitch / Associated Press:
Israeli intelligence issues Facebook warning  —  Israel's internal intelligence service urged the public Monday to exercise caution when using Facebook, saying Arabs are trying to recruit spies on the popular social networking site.  —  The Shin Bet security agency warned Israelis …
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
Harvard prof tells judge that P2P filesharing is “fair use”  —  Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson is headed to federal court this summer to defend an accused file-swapper, and he plans to mount a novel defense: P2P sharing is simply “fair use.”  —  Wholesale copying of music on P2P networks is fair use.
Discussion: digg.com
Eric Lai / Computerworld:
Buy an app via Windows Marketplace, share with four friends or family members  —  Microsoft readies challenge to rivals in mobile apps market  —  Computerworld - In a potentially market-changing move, Microsoft Corp. plans to let customers of its upcoming Windows Marketplace …
Teddy Wayne / New York Times:
Social Networks Eclipse E-Mail  —  Alongside the explosive growth of online video over the last six years, time spent on social networks surpassed that for e-mail for the first time in February, signaling a paradigm shift in consumer engagement with the Internet.
Discussion: Internet Evolution
AppleInsider:
Series of YouTube videos show off Apple's Snow Leopard  —  A YouTube user going by the name ‘LeopardOctober’ has recently posted over a half dozen videos taken from recent pre-release builds of Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system, showing off everything from QuickLook movie playback to the new QuickTime X interface.
Abbey Klaassen / AdAge:
Twitter Proves Its Worth as a Killer App for Local Businesses  —  New Orleans Pizza Joint, Chicago Yogurt Chain See Results From Promos on Microblogging Service  —  NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — All those brands trying to figure the ROI of Twitter?  They might do well to follow the lead of the local pizza joint.
CNET News:
HTC Magic vs. Samsung I7500  —  Here're the HTC Magic (left) and the Samsung I7500 (right) side by side.  The I7500 looks slightly larger than the Magic, but that's because my hand was slightly closer to the camera.  Also, the screen on the I7500 appears dimmer due to an early firmware issue …
Greg Kumparak / MobileCrunch:
Apple Begins Stress Testing Push Notification Servers  —  And so it begins.  With WWDC and presumably the release of iPhone OS 3.0 just around the corner, Apple has deemed it time to begin stress-testing their Push Notification servers.  We just received a letter from a (very) trusted source …
Discussion: AppleInsider, MacRumors and Engadget
Reuters:
McAfee, Symantec eye iPhone products  —  BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - McAfee Inc said its business improved in May from April and, like larger rival Symantec Corp, the security software maker is developing products for Apple Inc's popular iPhone.  —  McAfee Chief Executive Dave DeWalt …
Ben Kuchera / Ars Technica:
Sims 3 leaked to torrent sites weeks before retail release  —  While EA may be backing off the practice of using invasive DRM in its games, piracy continues.  The newest casualty?  Sims 3 has leaked to the torrent sites two weeks before the game's release.
Discussion: TechSpot, Techgeist and CrunchGear
Kris Graft / Gamasutra:
Walmart Testing “Video Game Buyback” Kiosks  —  stumble it!  —  Walmart has leased store space to third-party automated kiosk company E-play, which has released 77 “Video Game Buyback” stations at select locations, Walmart corporate told Gamasutra on Monday.
 
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 More Items: 
Nick Gonzalez / TechCrunch:
The IAB Sets Some Standards For Social Ads
Orlando Sentinel:
Who are top Tweeters? UCF grads' site tells
Discussion: Etan on Tech
Jim Finkle / Reuters:
AT&T to offer cloud-based storage as a service
Discussion: Between the Lines and TechSpot
Priya Ganapati / Gadget Lab:
Why E-Books Look So Ugly
Discussion: TeleRead and digg.com
 Earlier Items: 
Billy Bragg / Guardian:
Do we want ISPs to penalise our fans?
Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
For Wired, a Revival Lacks Ads
Discussion: Gawker, Thanks:atul
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Will OpenTable Be Just What Silicon Valley Ordered This Week?
Discussion: Dealscape