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10:35 PM ET, December 21, 2009

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Yelp Walks Away From Google Deal, And Half A Billion Dollars  —  Jeremy Stoppleman, the CEO of Yelp, has walked away from an all-but-signed deal to be acquired by Google for more than half a billion dollars.  —  The deal was, as we wrote late last week, in the later stages of negotiation.
RELATED:
Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed:
Netscape, Yelp, and the Tech IPO Boom of 2010 … Yelp may have just turned down a half-billion dollar takeover offer from Google.  Zynga does a crazy-big $180m funding.  Not long ago, Twitter took another $100-million in financing, and now we learn it's ... profitable.
Lars Backstrom / Facebook Blog:
Facebook Memology: Top Status Trends of 2009  —  Status updates on Facebook help people understand their friends and the people around them—how they're feeling, what they're doing and what they're thinking.  In the United States alone, people on Facebook are sharing hundreds of millions of words every day …
The Official Google Blog:
The meaning of open  —  Last week I sent an email to Googlers about the meaning of “open” as it relates to the Internet, Google, and our users.  In the spirit of openness, I thought it would be appropriate to share these thoughts with those outside of Google as well.  —  At Google we believe that open systems win.
Wilson Rothman / Gizmodo:
Our 2009 12-City 3G Data Mega Test: AT&T Won  —  Given carrier reputation and our own iPhone call drops, we were pretty surprised to discover, through careful testing in 12 markets, that AT&T's has pretty consistently the fastest 3G network nationwide, followed closely—in downloads at least—by Verizon Wireless.
Mia / YouTube Blog:
Make Way for youtu.be Links  —  It's all the rage: link shorteners to ensure that those useful URLs you're sharing don't take up too much precious character count while also giving you an inkling of what you're about to click on.  Well, we've just launched youtu.be as a shortener for YouTube video links …
Brian Garner / AppleInsider:
Apple's TV subscription plan gains potential partners in CBS, Disney  —  Both CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co. have shown interest in offering content for Apple's TV subscription proposal slated for roll out sometime in 2010.  —  Walt Disney Co. and CBS Corp. are considering participating …
RELATED:
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Apple May Be On The Verge Of Kneecapping The Cable Industry.  Finally.  —  The cable companies suck.  All of them.  Some suck less than others.  But they all suck.  We need someone to whip them into shape.  And that someone may be Apple.  —  Apple may be on the verge of gaining …
Boy Genius Report:
Motorola Opus One specifications  —  When we say we have specifications, boy, do we mean it.  One of our connects has sent us the full rundown on Motorla's Opus One (their first iDEN Android handset) that we revealed a little while back.  The features on the device are actually pretty reasonable …
Jared Newman / PC World:
New Intel Atom Chips Spell More Trouble for Pricier PCs  —  Here's a rhetorical question: How are netbooks any less attractive to consumers when Intel improves the Atom chips inside them?  —  That's a question Intel will have to answer with the launch of its new Atom chip for netbooks, the Atom N450.
RELATED:
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Twitter Captures A Nexus One Unboxing And Another Video  —  A number of pictures have hit the web now showing the Nexus One, aka the Google Phone, in the flesh.  But there haven't been too many showing its packaging, and it getting unboxed.  Today, some Twitpics shared by one user show those.
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Apple Releases Firmware Update to Address Screen Flickering on 27-Inch iMacs  —  Apple today released 27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0, addressing recent complaints of screen flickering on the company's newest iMac models. … Installation instructions for the firmware update …
Steve Blank:
The Elves Leave Middle Earth - Sodas Are No Longer Free  —  Sometimes financial decisions that are seemingly rational on their face can precipitate mass exodus of your best engineers.  —  We Hired the CFO  —  Last week as a favor to a friend, I sat in on a board meeting of a fairly successful 3½ year-old startup.
Thanks:atul
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Why the HTML5 ‘Video’ Element Is Effectively Unusable, Even in the Browsers Which Support It  —  I seldom post video to DF, but when I do, I refuse to embed Flash,1 I want the markup to be sane and standard, I want the video to play in popular standards-compliant web browsers, and I don't want the video to download/buffer automatically.
Discussion: Ajaxian and jd/adobe, Thanks:atul
Connie Guglielmo / Bloomberg:
Hewlett-Packard Reviews Claim That Its Facial-Tracking Software Is Racist  —  Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) — Hewlett-Packard Co. is looking into the facial-tracking software used in its personal computers, after a customer calling himself “Black Desi” said the program was racist because it was unable to follow his movements.
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Obama to name Howard Schmidt as cybersecurity coordinator  —  Seven months after President Obama vowed to “personally select” an adviser to orchestrate the government's strategy for protecting computer systems, the White House is expected to name a former Bush administration official to the job as early as Tuesday.
Damon Darlin / Bits:
‘Nerd’ and ‘Geek’ Should Be Banned, Professor Says  —  The Times ran an article Monday suggesting that what America will need in the future are more “cool nerds.”  A playful tweak of the nerd stereotype, to be sure, in an effort to alter it.  The people described in the piece were ones with hybrid careers …
Discussion: AppScout
Joe Wilcox / BetaNews:
10 Things Microsoft did right in 2009  —  The year 2009 was pretty good to Microsoft, even as the weak economy ravaged sales.  Microsoft actually did a few things right.  The did wrong list will come tomorrow.  For today, I present the list of 10 things Microsoft did right in 2009 — in no order of importance.
Zee / The Next Web:
Firefox 3.5 is Now the World's Most Popular Browser  —  Site tracking and analytics tool StatCounter Global Statistics now shows that Firefox 3.5 is the most used browser in the world.  —  Note this is the version of the browser rather than the browser brand but nevertheless an incredible achievement.
Spencer E. Ante / Business Week:
Content-Search Deals Make Twitter Profitable  —  Data-mining deals signed in October will bring in $25 million in exchange for rendering Twitter's tweets searchable on Google and Microsoft Bing  —  Twitter is ending 2009 on a high note.  The microblogging site has reached profitability …
Etsy News:
Etsy's New Old Young CEO  —  As 2010 begins, I will return to Etsy as CEO, and Maria will leave the company.  —  Maria joined Etsy in the middle of 2008 and led Etsy through an important foundational phase.  We are a profitable company now, and Maria helped us reach this major milestone.
John Cook / TechFlash:
Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital loses president after 7 months  —  The head of Paul Allen's multi-billion dollar investment arm, Vulcan Capital, has stepped down just seven months after taking on the role of president, TechFlash has learned.  —  Chris Temple, who originally joined Vulcan last year …
Discussion: paidContent and Xconomy, Thanks:ericengleman
Joanna Stern / Engadget:
ASUS Eee PC 1005PE review  —  By our count ASUS has released — at the very least — 20 Eee PC netbooks since 2008.  Some had 8.9-inch or 10-inch displays, some ran Xandros Linux or Windows XP, and some packed hard drives instead of flash storage.  But common to virtually …
Laura June / Engadget:
Nook 1.1 update hitting now  —  Right on schedule, the Barnes and Noble Nook is kicking out a software update (we rebooted to get the download to start).  We've heard this will fix some of the issues we had with the unit in our review — but we'll update you once we've had a little time to play around with it.
Rafat Ali / paidContent:
Yahoo Closing Down Its Offices Worldwide For A Week, To Save on Costs  —  Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is closing down its offices worldwide for a week, its first ever.  From Dec 25 to Jan 1st, all its offices will be closed, except for “essential services” including some customer service, as a way to cut its operating costs, reports WSJ.
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Christmas Cards Spreading Like Wildfire On Facebook  —  If you've spent any time on Facebook over the past week, there's a good chance that you've received or at least seen a christmas card on the wall of one of your friends.  There are now countless applications on the Facebook platform …
Discussion: Inside Facebook
Miguel Helft / New York Times:
The Science of Managing Search Ads  —  MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Cyber Monday had gone swimmingly for Tiny Prints.  —  Despite the economic downturn, customers streamed into the Tiny Prints online store on the Monday after Thanksgiving, called Cyber Monday because it is one of the busiest days of the year for Web retailers.
Discussion: the Econsultancy blog, Thanks:atul
Caroline McCarthy / The Social:
Big Facebook privacy void: Controls on Connect  —  A Foursquare check-in posted to Facebook through Facebook Connect.  —  (Credit: Facebook)  —  Privacy on Facebook has been front and center this month as the company has rolled out the controversial revamp of its user privacy settings.
 
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Smartsheet makes Deloitte Fast 500 List  —  For the fifth year in a row, Smartsheet ranks on the list of the fastest-growing companies in North America.
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 More Items: 
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Metaplace to shut down its site for thousands of virtual worlds
Discussion: CNET News, Gamasutra and Raph's Website
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Facebook Uses FriendFeed As A Testing Ground For The Next Generation Of OAuth
Michael Learmonth / AdAge:
Who Gets the Highest Ad Rates Online?
 Earlier Items: 
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Case Study: How Google Hosts & Funds A Copyright-Infringing Web Site
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
The Start Project Launches To Create, Incubate Startups
Discussion: Bits, PSFK, GigaOM and RyanSpoon.com
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Location-Based Ads Come to Augmented Reality in the US
Stephen E. Arnold / Beyond Search:
Chief Economist of Google Invents a Search Tool for Advertising
Jolie O'Dell / ReadWriteWeb:
Ford's Wired Fleet: WiFi Hotspots on Four Wheels