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9:55 AM ET, January 23, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
The Official Google Blog:
Understanding the web to make search more relevant  —  Last year at our second Searchology event, we announced Google Squared and Rich Snippets, two approaches to improve search by better understanding the web.  Today, we're kicking off the new year with two improvements based on those technologies.
RELATED:
Frederic Lardinois / ReadWriteWeb:
Google Search Just Got a Little Bit Smarter: Highlights Answers to Factual Questions
Motoko Rich / New York Times:
With Kindle, the Best Sellers Don't Need to Sell  —  Here's a riddle: How do you make your book a best seller on the Kindle?  —  Answer: Give copies away.  —  That's right.  More than half of the “best-selling” e-books on the Kindle, Amazon.com's e-reader, are available at no charge.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Facebook Snatches User's Vanity URL And Sells It To Harman International  —  This looks really, really bad.  An avid Facebook user named Harman Bajwa says that his Facebook vanity Url - Facebook.com/Harman - was unceremoniously revoked yesterday for violating Facebook's policies.
Discussion: Open Gardens
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Google Voice Extension For Chrome Adds Click To Call And Other Killer Features  —  I've just changed my default browser from Safari to Chrome.  The reason - the official Chrome Google Voice extension, which was updated on Friday.  If you're a Google Voice user (I'm possibly the most rabid one around …
Kasper Jade / AppleInsider:
Mac OS X 10.6.3 to enhance QuickTime, 64-bit Logic, printing  —  A third planned maintenance and security update to Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system will include significant enhancements to QuickTime X while also improving printing and Logic performance, AppleInsider has learned.
Joseph Tartakoff / paidContent:
Google's Brin And Page To Sell Off Shares; Give Up Majority Voting Power Over Five Years  —  Google (NSDQ: GOOG) just put out an SEC filing indicating that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will soon begin to sell off some of their holdings in the company, as part of a predetermined trading plan.
Nick Bilton / Bits:
A Big-Picture Look at Google, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo  —  On Wednesday, I wrote about a battle looming between Apple and Google as discussions take place over the possibility of Apple making Microsoft's Bing the default search engine on the iPhone.  —  Stepping back further …
Discussion: Gizmodo
Alexei Oreskovic / MediaFile:
Google's Nexus One muzzles the foul-mouthed  —  One of the most innovative features of Google's new Nexus One is the built-in voice recognition.  But there's one major limitation that Reuters discovered while putting the smartphone through its paces: the phone is a bit of a prig.
Royal Pingdom:
Internet 2009 in numbers  —  What happened with the Internet in 2009?  —  How many websites were added?  How many emails were sent?  How many Internet users were there?  This post will answer all of those questions and many more.  Prepare for information overload, but in a good way.
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Satellite Images Of Haiti Earthquake From Google & Bing Maps  —  Both Google Maps and Bing Maps offer ways to see the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti.  Below, a look at how to see before and after images, taken by satellite.  Plus, several 360-degree ground level videos you can view.
Discussion: Channel 10 and The Microsoft Blog
Nielsen Wire:
Led by Facebook, Twitter, Global Time Spent on Social Media Sites up 82% Year over Year  —  According to The Nielsen Company, global* consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year …
RELATED:
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Journalists' Social Media Sideshow Will Prove Nothing
Discussion: broadstuff and Agence France-Presse, Thanks:mathewi
Rick Klau / Blogger Buzz:
Important Note to FTP Users  —  Last May, we discussed a number of challenges facing Blogger users who relied on FTP to publish their blogs.  FTP remains a significant drain on our ability to improve Blogger: only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage …
Niftycurly / Instructables:
Make a $2 Adjustable Smartphone Car Mount in 10 minutes  —  introMake a $2 Adjustable Smartphone Car Mount in 10 minutes  —  Do you ever wander the aisles at store after store looking for just the right thing to hold your phone/GPS/mobile device while you're driving?
Discussion: Engadget
Taylor Buley / Forbes:
Microsoft's Danger Zone  —  The software giant should learn from Google's smart phone mistakes.  —  BURLINGAME, CALIF. — Microsoft is expected to introduce a phone under its own brand soon.  If it does, company executives would do well to study Google's foray into mobile hardware …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Dave Morin Leaves Facebook, To Launch New Startup With Napster Creator Shawn Fanning  —  Long time Facebook employee Dave Morin (pictured left), an early member of the team that led the launch of Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect, is leaving the company today, we've confirmed.
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Twitter Starts Rolling Out Local Trends (Pictures)  —  As you can see in the picture, Twitter has started to roll out its new Local Trends feature which takes the standard Trending Topics data and uses Twitter's geolocation functionality to make it based on location.
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft:
Microsoft Office 2010 system requirements: Changes in disk space, GPU recommendations  —  Via a January 22 blog post, Microsoft is providing more details about the system requirements for its Office 2010 suite, due out by June 2010.  —  The bottom line: If your PC can run Office 2007, it will be able to run Office 2010.
Robert Andrews / paidContent:
Kodak Owns A Stake In TweetPhoto Service  —  Turns out Kodak's November partnership with Twitter photosharing service TweetPhoto also gave it equity in the service.  —  Asked about approaches to partnerships, Eastman Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett told delegates at the Midem music conference in Cannes …
Christopher Helman / Forbes:
Microsoft's Ballmer Calls Out Google Over China Stance  —  Christopher Helman is the Southwest Bureau Chief of Forbes, based in Houston  —  Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, in a speech to oil company executives in Houston on Thursday, criticized Google for its threats to leave China …
John Timmer / Ars Technica:
Keeping computers from ending science's reproducibility  —  In recent years, scientists may have inadvertently given up on a key component of the scientific method: reproducibility.  That's an argument that's being advanced by a number of people who have been tracking our increasing reliance …
Dorian Benkoil / E-Media Tidbits:
Young Online Newspaper Audience Dropping; Older Consumers Adopting Social Media  —  Online newspaper consumption has dropped significantly among 18- to 24-year-olds, who are leading changes in media consumption.  Meanwhile, use of digital media overall has increased, led by older consumers …
Discussion: Lost Remote
Gordon Haff / CNET News:
Why cloud exchanges won't work  —  As cloud computing in its various forms increasingly happens rather than just being talked about, I'm starting to hear the idea of a cloud-computing exchange floated.  There are certainly things to like about the concept but I don't see it playing …
 
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 More Items: 
Alison Flood / Guardian:
Ursula Le Guin leads revolt against Google digital book settlement
Michael White / Bloomberg:
YouTube Discussing Online Rentals With Film Studios, Artists
Discussion: Mashable!
Samuel Axon / Mashable!:
Ustream Launches Pay-Per-View Live Video Platform
Discussion: 901am and Erictric
Bloomberg:
Rambus Wins Crucial Decision in Nvidia Chip Battle
Jim Finkle / Reuters:
Twitter users vulnerable to security flaw
Discussion: internetnews.com and Neowin.net
 Earlier Items: 
David Hornik / VentureBlog:
Facebook, Twitter and P&G  —  This afternoon I attended …
Discussion: All Facebook, Thanks:atul
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Call Me via VoIP on Facebook
John Cook / TechFlash:
Motricity files for $250 million IPO
Lee Mathews / Download Squad:
Chromium nightly build adds memory-saving ‘phantom tab’ support