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3:35 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.
Om Malik / GigaOM:   Twitter + Foursquare = Yelp R.I.P?
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
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.
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
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: Silicon Alley Insider and Gearlog
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 …
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.
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
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 …
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.
Discussion: ClipperHouse and MobileCrunch
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:
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 …
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: InfoWorld and eWeek, Thanks:atul
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
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) …
Caroline McCarthy / CNET News:
Facebook to hold spring F8 dev conference  —  Looks like Facebook will be throwing another big “F8” developer conference in the spring, after taking 2009 off.  According to a sparse post on the company's developer blog, the event will be held April 21 and 22 in San Francisco.
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
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,” …
 
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 More Items: 
Joab Jackson / PC World:
Mozilla Rolls out Latest Firefox Beta
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: 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
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Trackle Launches Real-Time Social Directory Of Tracking Alerts
Discussion: GigaOM
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
New Rule for Cabbies: No Devices in the Ear
 Earlier Items: 
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Zynga's Mark Pincus Talks About Big Funding, “Offer Ad” Controversies and More!
Thanks:atul
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Groupon Valued At $250 million
Discussion: Widgets Lab
Peter Burrows / BusinessWeek:
Apple Will Let Google Continue Using Lala
Discussion: Technologizer