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9:00 AM ET, July 9, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Ryan Lawler / NewTeeVee:
New Apple TV Will Push 99 Cent Streaming TV Rentals  —  Apple is about to get a lot more serious about its “hobby” with the next release of its Apple TV set-top box, as sources say that the software company will look to push a new streaming rental service that will offer up individual TV episodes for 99 cents.
Mark Knichel / Gmail Blog:
Rich text signatures  —  Rich text signatures have long been one of our most widely requested features.  Some of you have tried your own solutions, including Greasemonkey scripts, browser plugins, and even using canned responses from Gmail Labs.  Others have simply lived with frustration …
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Why Facebook Killed A $100 Million Baby  —  This evening Facebook announced that they will officially kill the company's gift shop on August 1st of this year.  Currently generating tens of millions of dollars for the company a year, one has to wonder why the company would take such dramatic steps.
RELATED:
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Facebook To Close Its Virtual Giftshop August 1st  —  Those goofy ninja drawings, multicolored troll things, and birthday cakes adorning your Facebook wall are about to become collector's items.  Facebook has just announced that it is closing Facebook Gifts — a feature that launched …
Maggie Shiels / BBC:
Google's Street View ‘snoops’ on Congress members  —  Google's popular Street View project may have collected personal information of members of Congress, including some involved in national security issues.  —  The claim was made by leading advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog which wants Congress …
RELATED:
European Public Policy Blog:
Street View driving update
Boy Genius Report:
iPhone 4 bursts into flames, burns hand  —  One of our very close AT&T sources just sent us in these images.  Yes, it's a fried iPhone 4.  Apparently a customer brought the phone into the store to try and get help with it, although it's pretty evident that the phone is unrepairable.
Tricia Duryee / mocoNews:
iPhone Developer Throws Cold Water On Talk Of iAd's Stellar Performance  —  iPhone Developer Kenneth Ballenegger has put Apple's iAd network into a bit more context today after a report came out earlier, saying that one app was able to generate a jaw-dropping $1,400 in revenue in its first day.
RELATED:
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
NextStop Deal Is All About Facebook's Unquenchable Thirst For Top Talent  —  Earlier today, Facebook acquired NextStop, a social travel recommendation service.  There's been some speculation as to why this deal went down.  Is Facebook getting into the travel space?  Is this about their unlaunched location offering?
RELATED:
Kim-Mai Cutler / VentureBeat:
Facebook acquires activity-recommendations startup Nextstop
Kristen Gelineau / Associated Press:
Australia: Google Street View broke privacy law  —  SYDNEY — Google broke Australia's privacy law when it collected private information from wireless networks, the country's privacy commissioner said Friday, following an investigation into the Internet giant's “Street View” mapping service.
Discussion: Mashable!
RELATED:
Ina Fried / CNET News:
Netgear aims to make home storage hip  —  The concept of a home storage appliance is not exactly a sexy topic, but Netgear hopes its latest products will help change that.  —  On Thursday, the company is showing off a new line of pricey but powerful gear aimed at streaming content through the home and beyond.
Daniel Eran Dilger / AppleInsider:
Apple-backed SproutCore takes on Flash in race to deliver multitouch web apps  —  SproutCore, the open source “Rich Internet Apps” framework Apple adopted and invested in to construct its online MobileMe suite of web apps and its iWork.com service, is taking on a larger life of its own …
RELATED:
Peter Kirn / Create Digital Music:
Apple Opens Access to iTunes Library on iOS?  DJ Apps to Follow, Flare Ships First  —  Developers for iPhone, iPod touch, and now the iPad have long complained about lack of access to the iTunes library, the file store and metadata for uploaded files.  While version 3. of the OS provided …
Rosa Golijan / Gizmodo:
Fring iPhone App Supports Video Calls Over 3G to Any Fring or Skype User  —  I just had a videochat over 3G and it was the most amazing thing I've experienced all day.  There was some lag, voice quality wasn't perfect, and video was sometimes jittery.  But I loved every minute of it.
Melanie Lee / Reuters:
Google says China has renewed Web page license  —  (Reuters) - Google Inc said on Friday that the Chinese authorities had renewed its license to operate a website, averting a potential shutdown of its flagship search page in the world's biggest Internet market.
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
Zillow taking over Yahoo's real estate listings  —  Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate just announced a partnership where the popular real estate startup will take over Yahoo's home for-sale listings and also work with Yahoo on advertising.  —  This follows a number of similar announcements from Yahoo …
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries / Digits:
AOL's MapQuest Looks to Wikipedia Model for Mapping  —  MapQuest, the No. 2 Internet-mapping service after Google's, is taking the first steps toward a Wikipedia-like model — in which users would generate the maps themselves and combine the results for everyone to use.
Discussion: paidContent
Om Malik / NewTeeVee:
Hulu May Launch Ad-Free Premium App  —  The TV streaming service Hulu, which recently launched a paid subscription product, Hulu Plus is not averse to the idea of launching an even more expensive ad-free version, CEO Jason Kilar told me on Wednesday in a chat.
RELATED:
Staci D. Kramer / paidContent:   Hulu's Kilar: Ad-Free Hulu Plus Option Is ‘Theoretical’
Siobhan Gorman / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Plans Cyber Shield for Utilities, Companies … The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.
RELATED:
Jim Wolf / Reuters:   U.S. eavesdropping agency says Private Citizen is purely R&D
 
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 More Items: 
David Galbraith / David Galbraith's Blog:
Tim Berners-Lee.  Confirming The Exact Location Where the Web Was Invented
Thanks:atul
Tom Simonite / Technology Review:
Phony Twitter Profiles Aim to Outwit Spammers
pluGGd.in:
Access Internet via SMS and Voice - HP Launches SiteonMobile
Discussion: Download Squad and PC World, Thanks:cnha
Foremski / Silicon Valley Watcher:
The Lack Of Tech IPOs Is Holding Back Job Expansion Says Leading VC
Daniel Wallis / Reuters:
Venezuela arrests two for banking rumor Tweets
Discussion: The Next Web
Economist:
You bet  —  Attempts to ban online gaming are doomed to fail.
Agam Shah / Computerworld:
OLPC to add multitouch screen to future XO-1.75 laptop
Discussion: Electronista and CrunchGear
 Earlier Items: 
Yinka Adegoke / Reuters:
RPT-MySpace sale reports are “fabrications” - News Corp exec
Discussion: Guardian, ZDNet and Media Maverick
Brier Dudley / The Seattle Times:
Experian: Bing gains 7 percent, Google down 1 point in U.S.
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Exclusive: Yahoo Makes Another Major Product Exec Hire From Microsoft
Discussion: paidContent
Caroline McCarthy / The Social:
Toronto law firm preps Facebook privacy suit
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
comScore: Android Continues To Gain Smartphone Market Share