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6:05 AM ET, November 25, 2009


 Top Items: 
Geoffrey A. Fowler / Digits:
Amazon Upgrades Users' Kindles, Automatically  —  Owners of new Amazon Kindles are about to get two improvements to their e-readers.  They won't have to do anything; indeed, they might not even notice the upgrade.  —  AFP/Getty Images  —  The changes — to software called firmware …
Discussion: Hardware 2.0
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Amazon bolsters battery life for Kindle; Adds native PDF reader
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Chrome OS like lightning from a USB key: we could get used to this  —  We finally got around to prepping a USB key so we could boot to Chrome OS natively, and let us tell you: it's a world of difference.  Of course, running something natively instead of virtualized is always going to be a treat …
Discussion: Technologizer and Netbooked
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
What's Really Behind the Rupe-a-Dope With Google and Microsoft?  Here Are Five Possibilities!  —  Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.  —  There certainly is a lot of noisy swirl of late around the escalating fight between Google and some traditional media companies over content online.
Discussion: Financial Times, MediaPost and Guardian, Thanks:atul
Ikea campaign innovation on Facebook breaks new ground  —  Marketing through Social Media channels still leaves many marketers scratching their heads but occasionally the industry is provided with some inspiration to help provide a guiding light.  Take for example a new project to help market …
Discussion: CNET News
Google Mobile Blog:
Get movie trailers and more with Google Search for mobile  —  Heads up, movie fans — today we've launched a mobile version of our new Google Search results for movies, which makes it easier to plan a trip to the movies.  Just go to in the web browser on your iPhone, Palm WebOS …
Discussion: Mashable!, ReadWriteWeb, 901am and ResourceShelf, Thanks:atul
Nicholas Deleon / CrunchGear:
Take-down notices going after Microsoft Cofee  —  You'll recall that CrunchGear broke the news regarding the leak of Microsoft Cofee, a suite of applications used by law enforcement officials for their own devices.  The leak came from a popular BitTorrent site, and then spread to The Pirate Bay and all over the Internet.
Discussion: The Register
Eric Savitz / Tech Trader Daily:
Microsoft CFO Liddell Leaving; Replaced By Peter Klein  —  Microsoft (MSFT) this afternoon announced that CFO Chris Liddell is leaving the company at the end of 2009, and will be replaced by Peter Klein, who is now CFO of the Microsoft Business Division.  —  Liddell joined the company in May 2005 …
Liz Gannes / GigaOM:
Dropbox Raises $7.25M, Crosses 3M Users  —  Updated with new information from Dropbox: You don't go into file backup and syncing for the fame and glory, but that's what it seems to be yielding for 2-year-old Dropbox.  Simply put, people — including my GigaOM coworkers and I — love Dropbox because it works.
Discussion: TechCrunch, Thanks:chrismessina
Jessica E. Vascellaro / Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Creates Dual-Class Stock Structure  —  Facebook Inc. has established a dual class stock structure, a move that helps lay the groundwork for an eventual initial public offering.  —  The company is in the process of converting all current shareholders to Class B stock …
Susan Wojcicki / The Official Google Blog:
New search ad formats  —  At Google, we're committed to giving you the information you want — regardless of the form in which it might appear.  —  Text is often useful, but sometimes videos and pictures are a more effective way to receive information.  For example, if you want to learn a magic trick …
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Leaked Video: Swyping Versus iPhone Typing.  (Swype For Android Is Next).  —  A year ago, Swype launched a new way to type on a touchscreen phone at TechCrunch50.  Swype was created by the inventor of the T9 predictive typing system used on most phones today because he felt that new text input methods …
Richard Lai / Engadget:
Emblaze's First Else unveiled in London, promises to be a game-changer  —  Folks, today might be the day when you start to notice how ancient our smartphones have become, even if they only came out in last few months.  Blame Else (formerly Emblaze Mobile) for their confusingly-named First Else …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Mobile Web Usage Continues To Explode As Opera Mini Nears 40 Million Monthly Users  —  We all know the Mobile web is exploding in popularity.  Opera Mini, Opera's mobile browser, grew its monthly users by 11 percent to nearly 40 million users in October from 32 million users in August.
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
YC-Funded WakeMate Helps You Kiss Groggy Mornings Goodbye  —  Ah, the curse of the groggy morning.  You may have followed all the rules: no caffeine before bed, an early bedtime, and all the rest.  But your best efforts are oftentimes for naught, foiled by the mysterious ways of sleep cycles.
Opera ‘censors’ Chinese content  —  Web browser Opera has closed a loophole which allowed Chinese users to access sites banned by the government.  —  At the weekend mobile users of the Opera Mini browser were asked to upgrade to a Chinese version.  —  According to the BBC's Beijing Bureau …
Discussion: The Register
Kevin Purdy / Lifehacker:
Hands-On Look at What's New in Office 2010  —  Now that we've had some time to play with the Office 2010 Professional Beta, we thought we'd share what's new and useful inside Microsoft's big suite.  Take a gander at the pictorial evidence below.  —  Overall, Office 2010 is not the kind …
Discussion: Gadget Venue
Aza Raskin / Aza's Thoughts:
Identity in the Browser (Firefox)  —  Identity will be one of the defining themes in the next five years of the Web.  Nearly every site has a concept of a user account, registration, and identity.  Searching for “sign in” on Google yields over 1.8 billion hits.
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
Venture Capital Dispatch:
VC-Backed Co. Pushes Envelope With Postmarked Email Service  —  With more people emailing and fewer people sending physical mail in recent years, the U.S. Postal Service is taking steps to move into the digital world - and using a venture-backed company to do so.
Discussion: VentureBeat
Michael Learmonth / AdAge:
Hulu's Massive Traffic Bump?  Thank ABC, New TV Season  —  Viewing Follows TV Patterns as Site Nears Fourth-Quarter Ad Sell Out  —  NEW YORK ( — The Hulu nation is growing — and fast.  —  Fueled by the fall TV season and the addition of ABC shows to its library …
Brad Stone / Bits:
Independent Skype Set for Executive Shakeup  —  Last week, Skype became a newly independent company, formally separating from its parent of the last four years, eBay.  Now the Internet phone company, with major offices in Luxembourg and London, is set for a significant reorganization of its management team.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Scamville Shakeout: Was Gambit The Right Fall Guy?  —  I'm not sure any lasting change will come from our series of Scamville posts.  For now the most egregious of the social gaming offers are gone, which is a good thing.  But none of the big players seem to have felt much pain.
Discussion: Gambit Blog
Bill Gorman / TV by the numbers:
TiVo Loses 314,000 Subscribers, Worst Quarterly Subscriber Fall Yet, Now Below 3 Million  —  TiVo Loses 314,000 Subscribers vs. 146,000 in Previous Quarter Even by the standards of its continuing loss of subscribers, the last quarter was a particularly bad one for TiVo.
Cecilia Kang / Washington Post:
White House official's net neutrality comments irk AT&T  —  White House official links the issue to censorship in China  —  AT&T doesn't like the idea of new regulations mandating unfettered access to the Internet, and recent comments from the Obama administration that connected the issue …
Discussion: The Hill
Richard MacManus / ReadWriteWeb:
The Most Influential Websites in the World: Wikipedia #1, Twitter #4 With a Bullet  —  A year ago we profiled an oddly-named service called ://URLFAN, which we concluded was a good ‘Influence Index’ for the Web. ://URLFAN ranks websites by popularity, based on blog mentions.
Chris Davies / SlashGear:
Sony VAIO X gets OS X Snow Leopard  —  There's a lot to like about Sony's VAIO X ultraportable - its indecently-skinny build, the engineering intelligence that went into its design, and its lengthy battery life just to name a few things - but if you're less than inspired by Windows 7 then how about a Mac OS X version?
Kim-Mai Cutler / VentureBeat:
Facebook co-founder's Asana raises $9M from Benchmark, Andreessen-Horowitz  —  Asana, the productivity management startup from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and lead engineer Justin Rosenstein, has raked in $9 million from Benchmark Capital and Andreessen-Horowitz.
Tyler Tschida / App Advice:
Riptide Reveals Early In-App Purchase Results For Their Free Game Gravity Sling  —  Apple's decision on October 15th to allow free apps to include in-app purchases certainly generated a lot of buzz among developers, and now, thanks to iPhone game developer Riptide, we finally have some results …
Mark Harris / Times of London:
The Googlephone: Google gears up for attack on mobile-phone market  —  The internet giant is about to launch a system offering free calls - along with the mother of all handsets.  —  Google is gearing up for an all-out assault on the mobile-phone market that will include a new …
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 More Items: 
Grant Gross / Computerworld:
U.S. senators ask EU to hurry probe of Oracle-Sun
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
New Developer Policies Go Into Effect On December 16
Editor and Publisher:
‘NYT’ Partners with Samsung to Offer Netbook Discount
Nathan Becker / Digits:
Online Shopping Up From Last Year, but Well Below Trend
 Earlier Items: 
Rick Merritt / EE Times:
U.S. pumps another $620M into smart grid projects
Neil Hughes / AppleInsider:
Apple seeks permanent injunction to prevent Psystar sales
Discussion: Macsimum News
Leslie Meredith / LiveScience:
Color E-readers Inspired by Butterflies
Discussion: Softpedia News
Cody Barbierri / VentureBeat:
Siri raises $15.5M more for virtual personal assistant
Discussion: Pulse2 and Internet2Go
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Under The Hood: Google News & Ranking Stories
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch Europe:
Achtung! Google Analytics is illegal, say German government officials