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4:35 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!
Simon Bowers / Guardian:
Google's subsidiaries allow company to avoid £450m tax  —  Revenues from customers in Britain were diverted to Google Ireland Limited  —  Google, which has an estimated 90% market share of UK internet searches, last year used a cross-border network of subsidiary companies to ensure …
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
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.
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.
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Brittany Murphy Death & Google's Real Time Search Results  —  The death of actress Brittany Murphy is probably the first test for Google's new real time search results.  Earlier this year, when Michael Jackson died, it took several minutes for the news to make it into Google despite the extraordinary number of searches it was getting.
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: TechCrunch and GeekTonic
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.
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
Kevin J. O'Brien / New York Times:
As Going Gets Tough, Nokia Brings Out 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.
Paul Miller / Engadget:
Stable Android 2.1 hacked onto Droid, speeds through those extra home screens  —  Staying warm out there?  Got a cup of hot cocoa in hand?  Good, because Mr. Greek35T over at AllDroid has a stable version of the (previously rough-around-the-edges) Android 2.1 ROM ready for all you Droid users to play around with.
Discussion: Gadgetell and Phone Arena
 
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What Up, Microsoft?  —  It's not just hardware, and it's not just Surface.  Paul, Mary Jo, and Leo talk about what Microsoft has up its sleeves for the Oct 2 event.  Subscribe to the Windows Weekly podcast.
Zoho:
Webinar Recap: Email as a tool for webinar engagement  —  Today, marketers are constantly on the lookout for different ways to promote their brand.  Conducting webinars is one of the easiest ways to connect …
AWS Startups:
Shaping Your Startup Culture to Thrive  —  Our panel of experts at our AWS Loft in New York, including folks from Buzzfeed, Enigma, and Value Culture, discuss why culture is vital to any startup that wants to survive past its early days.
Google Fi:
Google Fi - a phone plan, by Google  —  We felt that most phone plans just weren't made with you in mind.  So that's why we built Google Fi with features that real people actually want.  Click to learn more.
TechCrunch Disrupt SF:
Patrick Brown, the chief executive of Impossible Foods, is coming to Disrupt  —  Impossible Foods is having quite the year.  In the past seven months, the company has signed a nationwide deal with Burger King …
Intel:
Here's how Intel is powering breakthrough research in astronomy, medicine, AI and beyond  —  Fastest supercomputer in academia - Frontera, is based on 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.
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 More Items: 
Simon Willison / Simon Willison's Weblog:
Crowdsourced document analysis and MP expenses
Discussion: rc3.org
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
Smart Customer Service Lessons: Responding Faster To Complaints …
David Chartier / Macworld:
Twitter client Kiwi lets you style, hide, organize tweets
Discussion: Mashable!
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
David Pogue Weighs In On Ebook DRM: Non-DRM'd Ebook Increased His Sales
Discussion: TeleRead
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Etsy Buys Retail Product Ad Platform Adtuitive, Gains Five New Programmers
Matt Asay / The Open Road:
Hungary votes for open standards
 Earlier Items: 
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
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