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4:50 PM 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:
Claire Cain Miller / New York Times:
Google Is in Talks to Buy Yelp  —  SAN FRANCISCO — In a sign that Google is interested in broadening its reach among local businesses, the search giant is in acquisition talks with Yelp, the review site for local businesses, according to three peoplewith knowledge of the deal.
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.
RELATED:
Sam Diaz / Between the Lines:
Verizon prepares for iPhone? Don't believe the headlines
Discussion: Creative Capital
Tnkgrl / tnkgrl Mobile:
Exclusive: Google Nexus One hands on  —  I just played with the Google Nexus One for a few minutes, Here's my report:  — It's extremely thin  — It's much nicer looking in person than in pictures  — There's a 4 GB micro-SD card installed  — The battery capacity is 1400 mAh
RELATED:
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.
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.
Nik Cubrilovic / TechCrunch:
The Anatomy of The Twitter Attack: Part II
Thanks:glassjubo
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 …
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.
Discussion: Gearlog and Silicon Alley Insider
RELATED:
Paul Boutin / VentureBeat:
Android closes in on iPhone ad traffic in AdMob's latest report
Phone Arena:
Verizon to get Palm Pre Plus, LG VS750, and Motorola Devour smartphones  —  Published on: Today by PhoneArena Team  —  Thanks to a few of our tipsters, we've learned what new smartphones are lurking to be released by Verizon Wireless over the next couple of months.
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 …
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Google Grabs Plaxo's CTO To “Turbocharge” The Opening Of The Social Web  —  Back in June, Google lost Kevin Marks, one of the social web's main proponents within the company.  Today, they've gained a new one: Joseph Smarr.  —  Smarr is joining Google to “help drive a new company-wide focus …
NASDAQ.com:
Mac Clone Computer Maker Psystar To Shutter  —  SAN FRANCISCO -(Dow Jones)- Psystar Corp. is in the process of closing down its operations, a move that follows a court decision earlier in the week barring it from selling products already found to have violated Apple Inc. (AAPL) copyrights.
RELATED:
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:   Psystar Winding Down Business as Web Site Goes Dark
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 …
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.
RELATED:
Olga Kharif / Tech Beat:
Skype In “Conversations” With Avaya  —  Now that gearmaker Avaya and Web-calling service Skype share a private-equity owner, “we are having conversations with [Skype],” Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy told us this morning.  —  While Kennedy wouldn't detail the conversations, it's not difficult …
Discussion: mocoNews
Steve / The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:
Some last-minute thoughts  —  Obviously we will be following Operation Chokehold today and hope to bring you up-to-the-minute coverage of events as they are unfolding around the nation.  To do that, we'll need your help.  We need you to send in reports, updates, photos — whatever.
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.
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”.
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 …
Discussion: Cathode Tan
Paul Krill / InfoWorld:
Performance problems delay Visual Studio 2010 release  —  Microsoft has pushed back the original March 2010 release date and is extending the beta period  —  Beset by performance issues, Microsoft has decided to extend the beta testing period for its upcoming Visual Studio 2010 software development platform …
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Brainstorm Tech:
AT&T survives Operation Chokehold  —  Ma Bell's wireless network is still standing after Friday's grassroots iPhone attack  —  The appointed hour — Friday, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. PST — came and went and AT&T's (T) wireless had not been brought to its knees, despite the best efforts of thousands of Apple (AAPL) iPhone 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.
Discussion: Computerworld, Ajaxian and eWeek, Thanks:atul
Joe Wilcox / BetaNews:
Mac fan blogs miss the point about Android, iPhone and Windows Mobile  —  It amazes me how Mac and tech blogs can take data touting Google Android phone gains and turn it into an iPhone beats Windows Mobile phone foo fest.  Give it up.  The data reveals much more interesting findings than that.
Discussion: Guardian, eWeek, PC Magazine and PC World
Diane Bartz / Reuters:
U.S. trade court rules for Kodak in patent fight  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co has won a preliminary fight with Samsung Electronics, which the camera giant had accused of infringing its digital camera patents.  —  An International Trade Commission judge ruled …
Bloomberg:
Facebook Can Take More Time on IPO Following Russian Investment, DST Says  —  Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc., the most popular social-networking Web site, can take more time to decide on an initial public offering after Russia's Digital Sky Technologies bought a stake, the head of the investment group said.
Discussion: paidContent, Thanks:mrinaldesai
 
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 More Items: 
Fred / A VC:
Open APIs and Open Standards
Discussion: /Message and MobileContentToday
Dan Primack / PE Hub Blog:
Twitter App Store Oneforty Gets Funded
Discussion: TechCrunch and Mass High Tech
Joab Jackson / PC World:
Mozilla Rolls out Latest Firefox Beta
Dirk / Layar:
We haved pulled Layar from the App Store due to crashes
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb, Thanks:mrinaldesai
Bloomberg:
LinkedIn Joins ESPN, Skype in Shifting From Free Web Content to ‘Freemium’
Todd Bishop / TechFlash:
Spitter: Seattle technology vets creating a Twitter for sports nuts
 Earlier Items: 
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
New Rule for Cabbies: No Devices in the Ear
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Zynga's Mark Pincus Talks About Big Funding, “Offer Ad” Controversies and More!
Thanks:atul
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
Former Microsoft evangelist Don Dodge on Google vs. Microsoft (Q&A)
Peter Burrows / BusinessWeek:
Apple Will Let Google Continue Using Lala
Discussion: PC World and TUAW