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7:15 PM ET, January 15, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Sky Canaves / China Real Time Report:
Clearing Up Confusion on Google and China  —  From Silicon Valley to Zhongguancun, Google's surprise announcement that it may pull out of China has fueled an enormous amount of discussion in recent days, not all of it 100% accurate.  Below are some misstatements and misunderstandings we've seen:
RELATED:
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Chinese authorities behind Google attack, researcher claims  —  Forensics expert who examined malware believes it's too good to have come from independent hackers  —  Computerworld - The malware used to hack Google is so sophisticated that researchers brought in by the company to investigate believe …
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Verizon undercuts AT&T, reduces monthly voice plan by $29  —  Competition in the mobile landscape became more intense Friday, when Verizon Wireless announced it has cut its basic voice plan by $29 per month, to $69.99 for unlimited calling.  —  Verizon also has an unlimited voice and text plan …
RELATED:
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
AT&T Matches Verizon With $69.99 Unlimited Voice Plans. iPhone Not Included (But Also Cheaper).  —  As you may have heard, Verizon made some headlines today by unveiling new, cheaper plans to its customers.  Specifically, they cut the price of their unlimited voice plans by $29 down to $69.99.
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines:
Verizon Wireless revamps calling plans; Goes for customer grab ahead of 4G  —  Verizon Wireless is going on offense as it tweaks pricing plans, pares its device portfolio and markets heavily with its “there's a map for that” ad campaign.  The grand plan for Verizon Wireless: Grab customers …
Matthew Moore / Telegraph:
Sarcasm punctuation mark aims to put an end to email confusion  —  Expressing sarcasm in the written word can be a dangerous business, as anyone forced to apologise for sending a tongue-in-cheek email will confirm.  —  The SarcMark costs $1.99 to download  —  Now a US firm has come …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Twitter's Answer To Facebook Connect  —  Twitter is preparing to launch a new set of tools that will let third party websites easily integrate Twitter features directly into their web sites and services, multiple sources have confirmed.  In a nutshell, this is their response to the massively popular Facebook Connect.
RELATED:
Noel / Games from Within:
Making A Living (Barely) On The iPhone App Store (aka The Numbers Post)  —  The App Store is a very hit-driven environment.  A few apps sell a large amount of units, and the great majority sell next to nothing.  That's somewhat similar to the music industry, except that the audience for music …
Discussion: App Advice and www.pocketgamer.biz
Peter Burrows / Business Week:
Is Apple Ready for Merger Mania?  —  The company has hired a banker from Goldman Sachs and looks to be in a more acquisitive mode  —  Historically, Steve Jobs has not been the acquisitive type.  Since he returned to Apple (AAPL) as chief executive in 1997, the company has bought only 11 small companies …
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
The Original Tablet  —  I enjoyed Paul Thurrott's daily coverage of CES last week.  A big trade show is a hard thing to capture in prose, and Thurrott got it.  —  But I chuckled at this piece starting his CES coverage, “Exclusive!  Microsoft to Announce Tablet PC Before Apple!”:
Discussion: Technologizer, Thanks:atul
Chris Davies / SlashGear:
Nokia 2010 Symbian UI update detailed: built on Qt  —  Remember the concept mockups of what Nokia envisaged its Symbian S^4 UI might look like after it's reworked in 2010?  The company showed off a brief video demo back in early December 2009, and now they're opening up the floodgates …
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Yelp Enables Check-Ins On Its iPhone App; Foursquare, Gowalla Ousted As Mayors  —  When you think of the idea of “checking-in” at a venue in a mobile app, you likely think of Foursquare or Gowalla right now.  The two gained significant momentum, funding, and users in the location space in 2009.
Discussion: Widgets Lab
Brooke Crothers / CNET News:
Analyst: Apple tablet ‘in full production’  —  An analyst at AVI Securities said Friday morning that the Apple tablet is “in full production” and a research note stated that Apple “NAND” flash chip requirements may be increasing because of the tablet.  —  The Apple tablet information comes from …
Discussion: eWeek, Electronista, Digits and Gawker
Jack Purcher / Patently Apple:
Apple's Media Players will One Day be Both Portable TV & DVR  —  On January 14, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters coming to Apple's Media Players.  In Q4 2010, Apple introduced their fifth generation iPod nano …
Todd Shields / Bloomberg:
Broadway Must Vacate Airwaves to Make Room for Verizon, AT&T  —  Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Broadway theaters, churches and other users of wireless microphones were given five months to vacate U.S. airwaves that regulators say are needed for high- speed Web services planned by companies including AT&T Inc.
Discussion: PC World and BetaNews
RELATED:
John Eggerton / Broadcasting & Cable:   FCC Votes to Prohibit Distribution and Sale of Wireless Mics Using 700 mHz
Gagan Biyani / MobileCrunch:
Patent Reveals Possible Groundbreaking Multi-Touch Features for Apple's iSlate  —  Now that everyone knows the iSlate is real, the question is: what the hell is this thing going to be like?  How will it work?  What will wow us about the iSlate that we never really expected?
Phil Wainewright / Software as Services:
Why freemium is bad for business  —  I've never been comfortable with free products for business use, even though it's difficult to avoid using them if you're a small or one-person business (web analytics, for example, has been all but wiped out as a low-end paid service by Google's free offering).
Nicholas Carlson / Silicon Alley Insider:
AOL To Name An Ex-Googler “Head Of Technology” (AOL, TWX)  —  Several sources close to AOL (AOL) management tell us the company has hired Jeff Reynar, a former Google engineering manager, to “run overall technology” and report to CEO Tim Armstrong.  —  Jeff's title will be something like “head of technology.”
Discussion: TechCrunch
BBC:
Music file-sharer ‘Oink’ cleared of fraud  —  A man who ran a music-sharing website with almost 200,000 members has been found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Teesside Crown Court.  —  Alan Ellis, 26, was the first person in the UK to be prosecuted for illegal file-sharing.
Dan Fletcher / Time:
Foursquare's Twist on Facebook: A Reward for Checking In  —  Tweeting was the breakout web term for 2009.  The early favorite for 2010?  “Checking in.”  —  That's the basis of the Foursquare, the gorilla in a new wave of location-based social networking sites.
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Mozilla dumps Firefox 3.7 from schedule, changes dev process  —  Plans to quicken development pace by adding some features via security updates  —  Computerworld - Mozilla has made major changes to how it develops Firefox, and plans to drop Firefox 3.7 from its schedule and instead roll …
 
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 More Items: 
Economist:
The return of the mainframe: Back in fashion
Jessica Guynn / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Xobni takes over Twitter's old offices
Discussion: Xobni Blog
Marguerite Reardon / CNET News:
Clearwire may consider 4G alternatives to WiMax
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
No Surprise: Real Estate Ads Shrink From the Web. …
Amy Schatz / Digits:
Google and Verizon (Sort of) Play Nice on Net Neutrality
Phone Arena:
Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus to cost $150 and $100 respectively
Wayne Friedman / MediaPost:
Magna: DVRs In 44% By 2015  —  In five years, network programmers …
 Earlier Items: 
Jeremy Kirk / PC World:
Romanian Faces Five Years in Prison for Phishing Scheme
Discussion: Softpedia News
Marisa Taylor / Digits:
FTC Not Sure How to Enforce Blogger Disclosure Rules
Clint Boulton / eWeek:
Google, Bing Gain in U.S. Search While Yahoo's Slide Continues
Discussion: TechCrunch and PR Newswire