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6:00 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.
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
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
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:
Update on Last Night's DNS Disruption
Discussion: Network World and Bits
Nik Cubrilovic / TechCrunch:
The Anatomy of The Twitter Attack: Part II
Discussion: eWeek and Praetorian Prefect, 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.
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 …
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 …
RELATED:
David Pierce / VentureBeat:   Rdio is ready for the App Store—but not for users
Karl Bode / DSLreports:
Verizon Responds To FCC Inquiry On ETFs, Erroneous $1.99 Fee  —  And the excuses are just as lame as you thought they'd be...  · fcc  · business  · wireless  —  As we've been covering, the FCC recently sent a latter to Verizon asking them to explain why they just doubled …
Dan Primack / PE Hub Blog:
Twitter App Store Oneforty Gets Funded  —  Back in June, Twitter app store oneforty became the first TechStars Boston company to get seed funding (just two weeks after presenting).  Now it has become the first one to get institutional VC funding, with a small round that was led by Flybridge Capital Partners.
Olga Kharif / Tech Beat:
Skype Talks Cooperation With Avaya  —  Now that gearmaker Avaya and Web-calling service Skype share a private-equity owner, the two companies are discussing ways they can better work together.  “We are having conversations with [Skype],” Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy said in an interview today.
Discussion: mocoNews
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.
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.
RELATED:
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.
Joab Jackson / PC World:
Mozilla Rolls out Latest Firefox Beta  —  The Mozilla development community has rolled out the latest beta of its Firefox 3.6 browser.  —  In addition to the usual round of bug fixes, Firefox 3.6 beta version 5, comes with a number of new features and performance enhancements.
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”.
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 …
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
Mia / YouTube Blog:
Facebook Feeds Begin Showing Up on YouTube's Homepage  —  You might have noticed that YouTube's been getting a lot more social lately.  We've launched several features in the last few months that let you better connect with the platforms that matter most to you (and discover new videos you're likely to love in the process).
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, PC Magazine, eWeek and PC World
 
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 More Items: 
Steve Smith / MediaPost:
Having The Big Cookie Talk
Fred / A VC:
Open APIs and Open Standards
Discussion: /Message
Bloomberg:
Facebook Can Take More Time on IPO Following Russian Investment, DST Says
Discussion: paidContent, Thanks:mrinaldesai
Nick / Loopt In:
Did Someone Predict a Storm?  Loopt Now Playing on the BlackBerry Storm
Discussion: Ars Technica and BlackBerry Cool
Dirk / Layar:
We haved pulled Layar from the App Store due to crashes
Discussion: VentureBeat and ReadWriteWeb, Thanks:mrinaldesai
Bloomberg:
LinkedIn Joins ESPN, Skype in Shifting From Free Web Content to ‘Freemium’
 Earlier Items: 
Todd Bishop / TechFlash:
Spitter: Seattle technology vets creating a Twitter for sports nuts
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Trackle Launches Real-Time Social Directory Of Tracking Alerts
Discussion: VentureBeat and GigaOM
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
Aaron / The EtherPad Blog:
EtherPad Open Source Release
Discussion: Computerworld, Ajaxian and eWeek, Thanks:atul