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5:50 AM ET, August 4, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
It's official: Saudi Arabia bans BlackBerries  —  The rumors are true: Saudi Arabia has become the second country inside of a week to block access to Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices on grounds of national security.  —  The ban goes into effect on August 6 after a “grace period” …
RELATED:
Alex Wagner / PhoneDog.com:
BlackBerry Torch for AT&T: Available August 12 for $199.99  —  It may have been outed early a couple of times this morning, but now the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is officially official, complete with pricing and availability.  The Torch will be available on AT&T beginning August 12th for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
Boy Genius Report:
BlackBerry Torch 9800 hands on  —  We wrapped up the RIM and AT&T event with some hands on time with the just-announced though hardly-a-secret BlackBerry Torch 9800.  Here are some first impressions:  — The hardware (casing, build quality, feel) is typical RIM — it's great.
Jenna Wortham / New York Times:
BlackBerry Maker Resists Governments' Pressure
Discussion: Agence France Presse
Chris Pendleton / Bing Maps Blog:
Bing's Bringing Sexy Maps  —  Over the last few weeks a few of you lucky ducks got to experience a new map type we were flighting.  Around 10% of users were seeing our new maps in all its aesthetic glory.  Today, we're releasing it to everyone.  The new map type has two experiences …
RELATED:
Dan Nosowitz / Fast Company:
Bing Maps Re-Routed to Look Smarter and Calculate Your Cab Fare  —  Microsoft's Bing Maps, like Bing Search and Zune, is one of Microsoft's great underrated surprises.  It may seem like a ripoff of a better-known product (in this case, Google Maps), and that's not entirely inaccurate, but it's also unfair.
Discussion: Techi.com, Gizmodo and Ars Technica
Financial Times:
Motorola and Verizon team up for TV tablet  —  Motorola is developing a digital tablet device that will allow users to watch television on it, as the US mobile phone group attempts to chip away at a market established by Apple's popular iPad.  —  The device, which will have a 10-inch screen …
Josh Nguyen / Flickr Blog:
Welcome to your new photo page  —  After a few weeks in public preview, we're rolling out the new Flickr photo page to 100% of the Flickrverse.  Our effort in this release focuses on two areas that will continue to make Flickr the very best place for your photos.
Mike Schackwitz / The Windows Blog:
The new Hotmail is now available to everyone!  —  Here at Hotmail, we've had quite a busy week!  All of our customers are now upgraded.  The majority of you got the new Hotmail just this past week, as we completed the rollout to over 350 million people in more than 220 countries around the world.
Google Mobile Blog:
Introducing the new Search History link on Google  —  Have you ever tried to remember how to get back to a website that you found from a recent search?  Today in the US, we're launching a new search history feature which helps you quickly get back to sites you've been to and see items …
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
iPhone 4 unlock available now (update: video!)  —  It's the moment that many of you have been waiting for: the Dev-Team's ultrasn0w carrier unlock for iPhone 4 is out.  You'll find version 1.0-1 of ultrasn0w in Cydia on jailbroken devices.  If not, just add the repo666.ultrasn0w.com repository.
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Once The Most Powerful Person In Search, Srinija Srinivasan Leaves Yahoo  —  Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, the most powerful person in search was arguably Yahoo's Srinija Srinivasan.  If Yahoo's was the “gateway” to the web in the way some think Google is today, Srinivasan was the chief gatekeeper.
Discussion: Yodel Anecdotal and ResourceShelf, Thanks:atul
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
LinkedIn Acquires mSpoke For Its Recommendation Technology, Team  —  Professional social network provider LinkedIn has acquired mSpoke, a small startup that aims to make content more relevant through recommendation technology.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Discussion: Between the Lines Blog and Forbes
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
True Ventures Invests In 19 Year Old Entrepreneur Brian Wong  —  When Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg took venture money from True Ventures in 2005 and others he was just 21 years old.  Now the firm has invested in someone even younger - 19 year old Brian Wong.
Discussion: Teens in Tech
Ryan Singel / Epicenter:
FOIA Denial All But Confirms FTC Probe of Apple's Anti-Adobe Rules  —  The Federal Trade Commission has nearly 200 pages of records related to a purported complaint by Adobe against Apple for banning iPhone developers from using its authoring tools to make iPhone apps.
Discussion: TeleRead and Boing Boing, Thanks:atul
Joseph Radford / Reuters:
Sharp plans to launch 3D smartphone this year  —  (Reuters) - Sharp Corp plans to take on Apple's iPhone by the end of the year, with the international launch of a smartphone featuring a 3D panel that can be viewed without special glasses, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Discussion: MobileContentToday and Engadget
Brad McCarty / The Next Web:
Chrome users: you can now drag and drop Gmail attachments to your desktop!  —  For quite some time, Gmail users in Chrome and Firefox have been able to drag and drop multiple attachments into the window to be sent, but that's where the fun stopped.  If you wanted to download attachments …
Donald Melanson / Engadget:
Microsoft teases something ‘flat’ and ‘touchy’  —  Microsoft Hardware was a bit of a late-comer to Twitter, but it sure is making up for lost time — it's just posted a pair of intriguing tweets teasing as yet unannounced product.  The first is simply the phrase “Don't be so touchy …
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines Blog:
Barnes & Noble on the block: Will a sale help it versus Amazon?  —  Barnes & Noble has been under attack from Amazon for years whether it be the physical bookstore retail model, e-commerce or e-books and e-readers.  Now the company is evaluating “strategic alternatives” including a possible sale.
Brian Womack / Bloomberg:
Facebook Advertisers Boost Spending 10-Fold, Sandberg Says  —  Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc.'s biggest advertisers have boosted spending by at least 10-fold in the past year as the social network crossed the half- billion user mark, becoming more alluring to marketers that want to reach a broad online audience.
Discussion: TechCrunch
Staska / Unwired View:
Samsung thinks about putting touchscreen on a tablet's back  —  Now that Apple showed how a real tablet device should look and work, everyone else is scrambling to make their own tablet that will be at least on par with the iPad.  —  Samsung is no stranger here, and has already confirmed …
Gautham Nagesh / Hillicon Valley:
Senate votes to clean up federal copyright laws  —  The Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night to clarify federal copyright laws.  —  The Copyright Cleanup, Clarification and Corrections Act, introduced Monday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) …
Digits:
The Information That Is Needed to Identify You: 33 Bits  —  With more than 6.6 billion people in the world, it's easy to feel safely anonymous.  —  Many data collectors assure consumers that they don't collect or store personally identifiable information — things like full names, Social Security numbers or credit-card numbers.
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Skyhook Will Take the Location Battle to Court  —  Skyhook Wireless took a beating recently as news surfaced that one of its flagship customers is now using its own location data rather than the database provided by the Boston-based startup.  Skyhook, which maintains a collection …
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Google Earth Used To Fine People With Pools, Again  —  “Under the table” pools may be the catalyst of the next technology revolution in government.  During last February's economic collapse in Greece, the normally technophobic Greek government used Google Maps and Google Earth to find people …
Discussion: Lifehacker, Gadgetell and Gizmodo
 
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 More Items: 
Owen Fletcher / Wall Street Journal:
Baidu's CEO Pursues Long-Term Growth
Brooke Crothers / CNET News:
FTC to spell out Intel settlement
Discussion: Bloomberg and Electronista
Robert McMillan / Computerworld:
Google fixes flaw in Audio CAPTCHA
Priya Ganapati / Gadget Lab:
Foxit eSlick E-Reader Nears its End
Discussion: The Next Web, SlashGear and OhGizmo!
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
fflick's Sentiment Engine Turns Twitter Into A Crowdsourced Movie Critic
Discussion: Fast Company
Audrey Watters / ReadWriteWeb:
Scholars Build Blog-to-eBook Tool in One Week
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
How Apple's App Store Censoring Process Works
 Earlier Items: 
Greg Kumparak / MobileCrunch:
Is Verizon lying about the Droid's capabilities?
Discussion: Gadget Lab, eWeek and Electronista
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft's LightSwitch: Building business apps for Web, PCs and cloud
Jon Swartz / USA Today:
‘Start-up King’ Mike Cassidy strikes Silicon Valley gold
Discussion: DealBook
Antonio Garcia-Martinez / AdGrok:
New York will always be a tech backwater, I don't care what Chris …
Discussion: Stowe Boyd
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
Apple Security Breach Gives Complete Access to Your iPhone
Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
Google Multiple Sign-in, Now Available