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10:50 PM ET, July 2, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Apple:
Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4  —  The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apple's history.  It has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever, and users have told us that they love it.  So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems …
RELATED:
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
iPhone 4 antenna woes prompt Apple to dump return fee  —  Move to mollify dissatisfied customers by ditching 10% restocking fee also aimed at quelling lawsuits  —  Computerworld - Apple has dropped the usual restocking fee for iPhone customers who want to return their smartphones, the company confirmed on Friday.
Mike Gikas / Consumer Reports Electronics Blog:
iPhone 4's supposed signal woes aren't unique, and may not be serious  —  The debate over the iPhone 4's supposed reception problems continues, including a new class-action suit.  Underplayed in the discussion is the fact that all phones are subject to interference from the human who is using them.
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Translation From Apple's Unique Dialect of PR-Speak to English of the ‘Letter From Apple Regarding iPhone 4’  —  Source: “Letter From Apple Regarding iPhone 4”. … We cannot believe we had to write this f**king letter. … We cannot believe we're getting s**t for this. … (No translation necessary.)
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
Why Apple's iPhone 4 Update Won't Fix Your Reception Problem  —  This graphic shows why some people experience the iPhone 4 signal drop problems while others haven't been able to reproduce it.  It also explains why Apple's incoming software update—which promises more accurate signal bars—won't fix the antenna problem.
Chris Ziegler / Engadget:
Life and death of Microsoft Kin: the inside story  —  Since our piece on Wednesday, we've had more trusted sources step forward to fill in some blanks and clarify the story behind the amazingly swift fall from grace that Microsoft's Kin phones have experienced since their launch just a few weeks ago.
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
How Many Palm Employees Did HP Just Lay Off?  —  I'm not quite sure, but make no mistake, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has cut some former Palm staffers from its ranks as it closes its acquisition of the smartphone maker.  I'm hearing different numbers from sources (once) close to the company, so it's difficult to put a firm number on them.
Nick Bilton / Bits:
Apple Hopes to Re-enter the Living Room  —  Knock, Knock.  Who's there?  Apple TV?  Apple TV who?  —  In September 2006, Steven P. Jobs, Apple's chief executive, announced news of the company's latest offering: the Apple TV.  Mr. Jobs had high hopes for his latest creation …
RELATED:
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Fortune:
Apple “well positioned” to enter the connected TV market in 2 to 4 years
Discussion: MacNN and AppleInsider
Mingyao Yang / The Facebook Blog:
Helping Newcomers Connect to Interests  —  Friends on Facebook are constantly helping each other connect with more of the people and interests that matter in their lives.  As more of your friends like the Facebook Pages of their favorites celebrities, public figures, businesses and organizations …
RELATED:
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Facebook Unveils One of History's Most Powerful Recommendation Engines
Discussion: Webmetricsguru
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Exclusive: The Sexy Russian Spy's Business Plan (And A Video Interview)  —  The bizarre case of Russian Spy ring arrested by the FBI earlier this week just keeps on getting stranger.  In particular, one of the alleged spies, 28-year-old Anna Chapman, is getting a lot of attention because of her …
Discussion: VentureBeat
RELATED:
Peter Svensson / Associated Press:   Spy suspects allegedly used regular consumer tech
Roberto Baldwin / Mac|Life:
Why Did Comedy Central Remove EyePhone Reference from Futurama Online Clip?  —  If you're like us, you're besides yourself with joy about the return Futurama.  Life just wasn't the same without the adventures of Philip J. Fry and his obnoxious friend Bender on our TVs every week.
Discussion: Gizmodo
CNN:
Obama announces new U.S. broadband connection funding  —  (CNN) — President Barack Obama on Friday announced new government investments in 66 projects to expand broadband connections in rural and poor areas across the country.  —  The $795 million in grants and loans funded …
Long Zheng / istartedsomething:
“Arc Touch Mouse” surfaces - Microsoft to launch multi-touch mouse?  —  Microsoft might be introducing a multi-touch mouse of its own tomorrow as several European retailers (specifically those in Norway and Denmark) have begun publishing listings for a product dubbed the “Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse” with the product code RVF-00003.
Zach Epstein / knowyourcell.com:
Google to launch music service alongside Android 3.0 - Q4 2010  —  Google is targeting the holidays for the debut of its much anticipated digital music offering  —  When Google's VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra announced that the company had acquired music-streaming service Simplify Media …
Charles Arthur / Guardian:
Eric Schmidt talks about threats to Google, paywalls and the future  —  Google chief Eric Schmidt tells Activate summit that the future of newspapers is online - and mobile  —  • Video: Eric Schmidt discusses newspapers and the web with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Twitter to Publish Shopping Deals Through @EarlyBird Account  —  Twitter has rolled out several different advertising systems in recent weeks and we're hearing that the next one will take a page from the Dell Computers playbook.  In December, Dell famously reported $6.5 million …
Wall Street Journal:
Apple Lets Google Sell Targeted Ads  —  Apple Inc. doesn't appear to have barred Google Inc. and others from selling targeted ads inside iPhone and iPad applications, after implying several weeks ago that it might do so.  —  Software developers say their new and updated applications …
Sam Odio / Facebook Blog:
Making Facebook Photos Better  —  We're constantly working on making Facebook better, and one area where we've been spending a lot of time is on photos.  —  Coming to Facebook two months ago from Divvyshot (a tiny little photo startup) I was amazed at how much people are using Facebook Photos.
Ben Jones / TorrentFreak:
Pirate Party to Run Pirate Bay from Swedish Parliament  —  When the Swedish Pirate Party announced, back in mid-May, that they were the new ISP of The Pirate Bay, it surprised a lot of people.  With their latest announcement, that they will run The Pirate Bay from inside the Swedish Parliament …
Discussion: Techdirt and Erictric
J.R. Bookwalter / Mac|Life:
Chase Mobile Update Brings iPhone Check Deposit  —  If anyone needs proof that we're all living in the future, look no further than the latest update to the Chase Mobile iPhone app, which now allows not only person-to-person QuickPay to any e-mail address, but also the ability …
Discussion: Engadget, IntoMobile and Mashable!
Ten One Design:
Pressure-Sensitive Drawing on iPad  —  The iPad is great for sketching and taking notes, but could it be even better if it was able to respond to pen pressure?  —  We plan to release this capability as a free software library so it can be included in any application.
Kellex / Droid Life:
DROID Incredible to Receive OTA Update Adding 720p and Mobile Hotspot  —  Droid Incredible owners, prepare yourselves to become upgraded.  According to our sources, an OTA update is readying for deployment to the DI which will add some much needed features that were missing during the device's initial launch.
 
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 More Items: 
Ryan Paul / Ars Technica:
Mozilla: 2 billion Firefox add-ons downloaded
Jacqueline Emigh / BetaNews:
Now live on DirecTV: TV's first set of 3D-only HDTV channels
Discussion: Crave
Emil Protalinski / Ars Technica:
Internet Explorer (even IE6!) gains market share
Discussion: internetnews.com
Floyd Norris / New York Times:
France Calls Google a Monopoly
Discussion: The Next Web
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
BitTorrent Only TV-Show Becomes Huge Success
Discussion: NewTeeVee and Techdirt
Ryan Lawler / NewTeeVee:
Blockbuster To Be Delisted from NYSE
Gartner:
Gartner Trims Worldwide IT Spending Growth Forecast to 3.9 Percent for 2010
Discussion: The Register
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Krasilovsky / Local Onliner:
Groupon, McClatchy Team for Daily Deals in 28 Markets
Yahoo! Search Blog:
Get Timely Suggestions on Yahoo! Search
Nick Saint / Silicon Alley Insider:
Remember Diaspora?  The Would-Be Facebook-Killer Is Still Underway For Some Reason
Lee Pender / Redmond Mag:
What Does Microsoft Know About You?
David Pogue / Pogue's Posts:
The Swype Revolution?  —  It's tough reviewing an Android phone …
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes / ZDNet:
iPad blasts past Android in usage share
Discussion: PadGadget and AppleInsider