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10:25 AM ET, December 18, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Google In Discussions To Acquire Yelp For A Half Billion Dollars Or More  —  Google and Yelp are in advanced acquisition negotiations, we've confirmed from multiple sources.  And while the deal isn't done, we've heard that it's very likely to close.  The price is supposedly at least $500 million.
RELATED:
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Twitter + Foursquare = Yelp R.I.P?  —  Om's note: I wrote this long before the rumors about Google buying Yelp for $500 million started flying around.  In my post from today that breaks down the Yelp-Google deal, I explain why it is a good move for Yelpers to take the money and run.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Twitter Hacked, Defaced By “Iranian Cyber Army”  —  We've received multiple tips right around 10 pm that Twitter was hacked and defaced with the message below.  The site is currently offline.  We're looking into this and waiting on a response from Twitter.  —  The message reads:  —  Iranian Cyber Army
RELATED:
Biz / Twitter Blog:
DNS Disruption  —  As we tweeted a bit ago, Twitter's DNS records were temporarily compromised tonight but have now been fixed.  As some noticed, Twitter.com was redirected for a while but API and platform applications were working.  We will update with more information and details once we've investigated more fully.
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Google's Nexus One lacks multitouch  —  Our buddy Tnkgrl just had a sit down with Google and HTC's lovedroid, the Nexus One.  She “wasn't allowed” to take pictures or video but she came away with plenty of detail.  The biggest point of clarification might not be what's included in the handset, but what's missing: multitouch.
Stuart Dredge / Music Ally:
Rdio makes its debut... as an iPhone app  —  Rdio is set to be one of the more intriguing music startups of 2010 - it's a streaming subscription service set up by Skype/Kazaa founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom.  It's still in stealth mode, but has today launched an iPhone app …
Enigmax / TorrentFreak:
DRM Fiasco Ruins James Cameron's Avatar 3D Preview  —  ‘Avatar’ from Titanic director James Cameron is certainly the most anticipated film of the year.  —  Set on a moon under siege by humans determined to exploit its resources, this science fiction epic has been in the planning for many years …
Discussion: App Advice, Techdirt and p2pnet
Paul Boutin / VentureBeat:
Android closes in on iPhone ad traffic in AdMob's latest report  —  Google's open-source Android operating system accounted for more than one in four of the smartphone ads served in November by AdMob, the mobile ad network that Google agreed to buy for $750 million six weeks ago.
Barry Collins / PC Pro:
Mozilla: Firefox Mobile will kill off app stores  —  Mozilla claims that its new Firefox Mobile browser could be the beginning of the end for the hugely popular app stores created by Apple and its ilk.  —  Mozilla is releasing the first version of Firefox Mobile (codenamed Fennec) …
Jonny Evans / 9 to 5 Mac:
Apple iPhone is big, big, big in Japan  —  Apple is big - really big - in Japan, where the iPhone now accounts for 46.1 percent of the smartphone market, according to the latest data from Impress.  —  The company achieved sales accounting for almost half of the entire Japanese smartphone market across 2009, the analysts said.
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
Former Microsoft evangelist Don Dodge on Google vs. Microsoft (Q&A)  —  At Microsoft, Don Dodge was known as the software giant's ambassador to an at-times skeptical startup community.  When he was laid off in November, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington declared, “This is a huge mistake,” …
Chris Davies / SlashGear:
Notion Ink Tegra Android smartpad uses Pixel Qi display  —  CES 2010 is likely to see a fair few internet tablets being announced, but SlashGear has heard about one particular model that has more than a little promise.  Notion Ink's as-yet unnamed Android “smartpad” is based …
Sophie Hardach / Reuters:
French court rules against Google over book copying  —  A Paris court on Friday found U.S. Internet giant Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) guilty of violating copyright by digitising books and putting extracts online, following a legal challenge by major French publishers.
Dieter Bohn / PreCentral.net:
Palm Confirms 1.3.5: Speed, Battery, App Limit all to be improved, Plus Investor Call Notes  — Allowing for installation of more apps  — Increased speed and responsiveness on the Palm Pixi  —  We're still listening in and hearing good things about what's coming.
Michael Calore / Webmonkey:
Google: Mobile Gmail Exemplifies HTML5's Power  —  Over the last few months, Google has been busy optimizing its free Gmail service for mobile phones.  —  In a post on the Google Mobile blog, the Gmail team highlights the various optimizations it has steadily been building into the mobile version of the webmail site.
Philipp Lenssen / Google Blogoscoped:
Google Guru?  —  Chris writes in to say he's spotted a new service on his Google account services page: “Google Guru”, which points towards guru.google.com/guru/ ... which is non-existent at the moment.  The account page reads, “Guru ... Ask questions and get answers from online users”.
Aaron / The EtherPad Blog:
EtherPad Open Source Release  —  As promised, we hereby release all the source code to EtherPad.  —  http://code.google.com/p/etherpad/  —  Our goal with this release is to let the world run their own etherpad servers so that the functionality can live on even after we shut down etherpad.com.
Thanks:atul
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Brainstorm Tech:
Where in the world are Apple's 78 million handsets?  —  Mostly in the U.S., but Japan, France, Australia and China are coming on fast, says AdMob  —  Click to enlarge.  Source: AdMob  —  By the end of December, according to Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, Apple's (AAPL) will have sold 78 million iPhones and iPod touches worldwide.
The Official Google Blog:
Go thataway: Google Maps India learns to navigate like a local  —  Have you ever been lost?  Perhaps you missed a turn because a street sign was poorly labeled, hard to see in the dark, or just not where it should have been?  These are problems we've all faced, but they're especially complicated in India …
Discussion: Google LatLong, Softpedia News and ReadWriteWeb, Thanks:atul
Ryan Singel / Threat Level:
Netflix Spilled Your Brokeback Mountain Secret, Lawsuit Claims  —  An in-the-closet lesbian mother is suing Netflix for privacy invasion, alleging the movie rental company made it possible for her to be outed when it disclosed insufficiently anonymous information about nearly half-a-million customers …
Dan Frommer / Silicon Alley Insider:
JooJoo/CrunchPad Company Responds To Mike Arrington's Lawsuit  —  Fusion Garage, the Singapore-based company behind the JooJoo tablet — formerly known as the CrunchPad — has responded to the lawsuit that TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington filed earlier this month.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Facebook readies its Game Dashboard to organize your social gaming life  —  Facebook is in the midst of redesigning how users find, interact with, and keep track of games on the social network.  Called the “Game Dashboard,” the new feature is Facebook's attempt to play nice with social game developers …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Groupon Valued At $250 million  —  Multiple sources tell us that Groupon, the surging Chicago-based startup, was valued at $250 million when they closed their recent $30 million venture round with Accel Partners and previous investors.  In that post we wrote that “the company is going gangbusters …
Discussion: Widgets Lab
Spencer E. Ante / Business Week:
Verizon Prepares for the iPhone  —  Verizon Wireless is buttressing its network in the event Apple drops AT&T as the exclusive carrier of its popular smartphone  —  There's no telling yet whether or when AT&T (T) might lose its position as the sole U.S. carrier of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone.
Kristin / Search Blog:
Bing iPhone app - upcoming fixes  —  The response so far to the Bing app for iPhone has been incredible; we are excited by the strong customer response and download traffic!  However, we've also heard about a couple of issues that we'd like to address:  —  1. Using voice search outside the U.S. crashes the app.
Kelsey Volkmann / bizjournals:
Bing!  Information Design sues Microsoft  —  Bing!  Information Design in St. Louis has sued Microsoft Corp. for alleged trademark infringement and unfair competition over Microsoft's new Bing search engine.  —  The suit, filed this week in St. Louis City Circuit Court …
Naty / Real-Time Rendering:
US Gov Requests Feedback on Open Access - ACM Gets it Wrong (Again)  —  In 2008, legislation was passed requiring all NIH-funded researchers to submit their papers to an openly available repository within a year of publication.  Even this modest step towards full open access was immediately attacked …
Discussion: Boing Boing and DigitalKoans
Ilinca Nita / Unwired View:
Lots of Samsung bada OS screenshots leaked  —  For one reason or another, Samsung's been a bit reluctant in showing screenshots of its newly-announced bada smartphone OS.  —  Well, in case you want to know what the new mobile platform looks like (and you probably do want), there are many leaked screenshots available.
E.B. Boyd / BayNewser:
Personal Appeal from Jimmy Wales Nets Wikipedia $430K in 24 Hours  —  Wikipedia's parent organization—the Wikimedia Foundation—is in the middle of its sixth annual fundraising drive—think NPR pledge drive without the annoying interruptions.  The goal: $7.5 million.
John Letzing / MarketWatch:
Privacy groups file FTC complaint against Facebook  —  SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Ten privacy and consumer groups announced Thursday they've filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleging that Facebook Inc.'s privacy-policy changes violate federal law.
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
More on PastryKit  —  A bit more regarding PastryKit, Apple's web framework for creating iPhone web apps with a look and feel very close to that of native iPhone apps.  —  Apple's Various JavaScript Frameworks  —  Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch posted this terrific overview of the known JavaScript frameworks …
Discussion: rentzsch.tumblr.com
 
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 More Items: 
Peter Burrows / BusinessWeek:
Apple Will Let Google Continue Using Lala
Associated Press:
Hackers Steal SKorean-US Military Secrets
Discussion: Agence France Presse
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Loopt Ventures Into Yelp's Territory With New Local Reviews Site
Discussion: Ars Technica and By the Waze
Damian Roskill / Compete Blog:
Start-up Watch: Typepad vs. Tumblr
Ben Fritz / Company Town:
Carl Icahn's new target: Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive
Gabriel Kahn / Wall Street Journal:
Sony, RealD in 3-D Equipment Partnership
Discussion: Sony Insider
Reuters:
Heartland to pay AmEx $3.6 mln over '08 cyber intrusion
Discussion: PC World
 Earlier Items: 
Nat Ives / AdAge:
Kindle Rivals Cozying Up to Magazine, Newspaper Publishers
Discussion: Bits
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Ad.ly Launches Analytics For Sponsored Tweets
Michael Cheng / The Official Google Blog:
Translate Google Sites with one click
comScore, Inc.:
Android: Crashing the Smartphone Party
Royal Pingdom:
Thank you Google for the SLOOOW Internet
Discussion: These are the Droids