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2:55 PM ET, December 20, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
Poor iPhone reception graduates to SNL ‘Weekend Update’ joke status  —  “It was reported this week that Google would soon launch its own cellphone as a challenge to the iPhone.  Also a challenge to the iPhone?  Making phone calls.”  —  Cue uproarious applause.  —  Update: Video after the break!
Charlie Stross / Charlie's Diary:
Gadget Patrol: 21st century phone  —  (This isn't a product review, it's a big-picture overview brought to you from the universe of “Halting State”.)  —  It shouldn't be news to anyone that smartphones — as a category — really took off in the second half of the noughties.
Discussion: The Tao of Mac, VoIP Watch and Slashdot
Andy Ihnatko / Chicago Sun Times:
Need a last-minute gift?  Go get yourself an eBook reader  —  It's the week before Christmas.  You were hoping to find a gift that would be so thoughtful and such an emotionally-compelling statement about your relationship that your loved one would never intellectually work out just how little you spent on it.
Discussion: TeleRead
Paul Bradshaw / E-Media Tidbits:
In the E-mail Era, Who Owns the Interview?  —  Some time ago I was interviewed via e-mail for an article and, as I often do, after providing answers to the nine questions, I asked the following: “Mind if I republish these answers in full on my blog after the piece goes live?”
Discussion: Sample the Web and TeleRead
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Google To Acquire DocVerse; Office War Heats Up  —  Google, which is currently on one heck of a spending spree, is closing an acquisition of San Francisco based DocVerse, a service that lets users collaborate around Microsoft Office documents, we've heard from a source with knowledge of the deal.
Lee Mathews / Download Squad:
Opera 10.5 pre-alpha leaks: Windows 7 integration, per-tab private browsing  —  While version 10.5 has not been released yet by Opera officially, there's a pre-alpha build that has been turned loose by someone.  It seems legit enough: help -> about reports that the browser is version 10.5 internal, build 20192.
Popular Mechanics:
How James Cameron's Innovative New 3D Tech Created Avatar  —  Director James Cameron is known for his innovations in movie technology and ambitions to make CG look and feel real.  His next film, Avatar, will put his reputation to the test.  Can Cameron make blue, alien creature look real on the big screen?
Discussion: GeekTonic
Kevin J. O'Brien / New York Times:
As the Going Gets Tough, Nokia Brings Out Its Legal Guns  —  BERLIN — When Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, sued Apple, Samsung, LG and eight other competitors within six weeks beginning in October, the Finnish technology giant said it was conducting a routine defense of its intellectual property.
Simon Willison / Simon Willison's Weblog:
Crowdsourced document analysis and MP expenses  —  As you may have heard, the UK government released a fresh batch of MP expenses documents a week ago on Thursday.  I spent that week working with a small team at Guardian HQ to prepare for the release.  Here's what we built:  —  http://mps-expenses2.guardian.co.uk/
Discussion: rc3.org
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
The World Has Changed.  Is Jigsaw Still Evil?  —  In 2006 I was horrified by Jigsaw, a website that encouraged users to upload people's contact information (often from business cards) for money - $1 per contact.  Other people then bought that contact information.
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
Smart Customer Service Lessons: Responding Faster To Complaints About Your Competitors  —  This post is part of the IT Innovation series, sponsored by Sun & Intel.  Read more at ITInnovation.com.  Of course, the content of this post consists entirely of the thoughts and opinions of the author.
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
David Pogue Weighs In On Ebook DRM: Non-DRM'd Ebook Increased His Sales  —  Mark Rosedale (an employee of O'Reilly) was the first of a few to send in David Pogue's recent column in which he discusses the question of ebook DRM.  Remember, just recently a Sony exec claimed that you couldn't make money on ebooks without DRM.
Discussion: TeleRead
 
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 More Items: 
David Chartier / Macworld:
Twitter client Kiwi lets you style, hide, organize tweets
Discussion: Mashable!
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Etsy Buys Retail Product Ad Platform Adtuitive, Gains Five New Programmers
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
Hungary votes for open standards
Venture Capital Dispatch:
Indiana University Fights Back Against Start-Up Funding Shortage
Todd Bishop / TechFlash:
Microsoft patent: Sorry, fatso, no more hiding behind that avatar
Discussion: Download Squad and The Microsoft Blog, Thanks:loyals
The Steve Rubel Lifestream:
Search the Live Web with Two Simple Bookmarklets
 Earlier Items: 
Christine Chen / Google Public Policy Blog:
Google's approach to privacy
Discussion: Download Squad and BayNewser
Kevin Kelleher / GigaOM:
For Palm, Yet Another Wrenching Crisis
Discussion: Internet2Go and Seeking Alpha
Associated Press:
Stock windfall for Google employees
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Kdawson / Slashdot:
Yes, Google Does De-List Pages; But When?
Eric Eldon / Inside Social Games:
With Hit Social Game Happy Farm, Chinese Developer 5 Minutes …