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5:30 AM ET, August 25, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Bloomberg:
Apple Said to Prepare New 99-Cent TV Show Rental Service  —  Apple Inc. is in advanced talks with News Corp. to let iTunes users rent TV shows for 99 cents and is in discussions with other media companies about similar deals, said three people familiar with the plan.
RELATED:
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Fortune:
99¢ TV shows coming Sept. 7 - report
Discussion: Electronista and SlashGear
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Google testing voice calling in Gmail  —  Google could be ready to turn Gmail into a communications hub by adding the ability to make phone calls from the Google Chat interface.  —  CNET has learned that Google is testing a Web-based service within Gmail that will allow users to place phone calls from their inboxes.
Chris Ziegler / Engadget:
Exclusive: HTC's Windows Phone 7-equipped T8788 breaks cover for AT&T  —  In case you needed any more evidence that AT&T is going all-in with Windows Phone 7, take a gander at this little beast, a phone known only as the HTC T8788 at this point (rest assured, you'll get a snappy, memorable …
RELATED:
Aza Raskin / Aza on Design:
Firefox Panorama: Tab Candy Evolved  —  I am happy to announce that Tab Candy is coming to Firefox 4.  Starting today, Tab Candy will be called Firefox Panorama and be available as a feature in Firefox betas.  Head to the Firefox 4 feature list, or watch the video below …
RELATED:
Arron La:
Android Revenue - Advanced Task Manager  —  Background  —  “Advanced Task Manager” is an Android application I created in February 2009.  At that time, it was needed mainly to kill running services that a number of applications spawned but never ended.  Some of these services would start …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Motorola Snaps Up 280 North For $20 Million  —  Motorola has acquired Y Combinator startup 280 North, we've confirmed.  We haven't confirmed, but have heard from multiple sources, that the price is around $20 million.  This is a sizable exit for the founders - the company has raised just $250,000 in a 2008 angel round.
Adrianne Jeffries / ReadWriteWeb:
Orkut Now Encouraging Users to Project Different Personas to Different People  —  The Google-owned social network Orkut is not well-known in the U.S., but it's extremely popular in India and Brazil - that is, until Facebook started catching up.  But Orkut just announced a new feature that makes it look pretty good.
RELATED:
The JobsBloggers / Microsoft JobsBlog:
The Top Three hottest new majors for a career in technology  —  Have you ever wondered what fields of study are hot right now in the world of technology?  Or maybe you're starting to think about declaring your major and you're looking for some real world guidance?
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Google Finance Now Looks Better In Your Mobile Browser  —  If you go to Google Finance on your iPhone or Android via the mobile browser, it looks a lot like an app.  You can enter a ticker symbol or company name in the search box at the top to generate a current price and stock chart.
Slash Lane / AppleInsider:
Third-party iPad clamshell keyboard case revealed in FCC filing  —  A new third-party iPad peripheral coming soon to the U.S. will turn Apple's touchscreen tablet into more of a traditional laptop form factor, with a clamshell case that provides tactile input via an attached Bluetooth keyboard.
Jessica Guynn / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Square hires Keith Rabois, Silicon Valley veteran and investor  —  Keith Rabois is paying it forward.  —  Not only did Google land technology to help boost its social networking ambitions when it bought Slide this month, it got PayPal veteran and Internet superstar Max Levchin as well.
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider, The Social and GigaOM, Thanks:mbaratz
Shashi Seth / Yahoo! Search Blog:
Yahoo! Transitions Organic Search Back-End to Microsoft Platform  —  First let me say, wow, what a week!  As I hope everyone saw our post from last week, Yahoo! began transitioning certain back-end functions for Yahoo! Search over to Microsoft's search platform.
Eric Eldon / Inside Facebook:
Facebook Updates Friend List Interface Again, Hoping to Increase Usage  —  In a small update that might be hinting at more changes to come, Facebook has altered how users select friends to add to their friends lists.  Previously, when you approved a friend request, the interface included an option to add a friend to one or more lists.
Discussion: TechCrunch
Ryan Singel / Epicenter:
Ad Firm Sued for Allegedly Re-Creating Deleted Cookies  —  Specificmedia, one of the net's largest ad-serving and tracking companies, has been hit with a federal lawsuit accusing the company of violating computer intrusion laws by secretly re-creating cookies deleted by users.
Thanks:atul
Audrey Watters / ReadWriteWeb:
Where the Startups Are, By Zip Code  —  As part of our “Never Mind the Valley” series here, we often feature communities outside the Silicon Valley that have become thriving centers for entrepreneurship.  We've profiled cities like Boston, Montreal, and Austin.
Discussion: PeteSearch
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
‘Angry Birds’ iPhone Game To Get Line Of Toys, Possibly Movie  —  According to Variety, Rovio, the company that makes ‘Angry Birds’ has been shopping the beloved iPhone game around Hollywood, and currently rolling out some franchising deals. … While we can't say anything definite …
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Sketchy Startup Promises Facebook Stock To Investors  —  Oh, this is a huge mess in the making.  A company called Freevi that has already had it's hand slapped for securities laws violations by the State of California is trying to raise funds from investors by promising to “secure” the investment with Facebook stock.
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
Elevation Moving to Acquire a Large Stake in Pandora  —  Elevation Partners' strategy to own large- even if late stage- chunks of leading Internet companies isn't going away.  We've heard from sources close to Elevation that the firm has signed a letter of intent to acquire a large chunk of shares in a …
Greg Kumparak / MobileCrunch:
Virgin Mobile shifts up their MiFi plan: $40.  Unlimited.  Contract-free.  Glorious.  —  Man, these pre-paid carriers are really learning to pull on a geek's heartstrings.  Just months ago, Boost launched the US' first Android-powered prepaid phone, the Moto i1.
John Timmer / Ars Technica:
Users are still idiots, cough up personal data despite warnings  —  Study after study has shown that users are the weak link when it comes to security.  Some of it, however, is not their fault: best security practices often go against everything we know about human behavior or mental capacity.
Joseph Menn / Financial Times:
Alibaba makes a second US purchase  —  Alibaba.com, the top online service matching manufacturers and wholesalers, on Tuesday night announced its second US acquisition this summer as part of a $100m plan to boost its presence in the world's largest economy.  —  The company based in Hangzhou …
Discussion: Computerworld
Brian Barrett / Gizmodo:
Please Stop Making New Phones With Old Firmware  —  We've reached the point where buying a “new” Android phone could still mean you're using firmware that's 18 months old.  There's got to be a better way.  —  Today's release of the Android 1.5-laden Dell Aero might be the most recent …
Natasha Murashev / All Facebook:
What Your “Cool” Facebook Friend Is Really Like  —  You probably have at least one Facebook friend who is constantly posting pictures of themselves at bars and commenting on everybody's wall and regularly updates their status with “smart” comments and checking in to every place they go and just seem irresistibly cool.
Joel Rosenblatt / Bloomberg:
Apple Manager Devine Must Allow Access to Safe Deposit Boxes  —  Paul Devine, the Apple Inc. manager accused of taking kickbacks in exchange for company secrets, must give the government access to two safe deposit boxes that a prosecutor said may contain “proceeds of the fraud.”
 
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 More Items: 
Jessica Heslam / Boston Herald:
Martha Coakley tells Craigslist: Abandon adult sex ads
Keith Andrew / PocketGamer:
Qwiboo's Vladimir Roth on why piracy is thriving on iPad
Discussion: TUAW and ReadWriteWeb
Matt Richtel / New York Times:
Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime
Harry McCracken / Technologizer:
Iomega Portable Hard Drives Hit the Big USB 3.0
Discussion: Iomega, SlashGear, Gizmodo and Electronista
Caitlin Fitzsimmons / All Facebook:
Why Facebook Spam Could Soon Rival Email Spam
Ed Bott / Ed Bott's Microsoft Report Blog:
Fact check: malware did not bring down a passenger jet
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Barrett / Gizmodo:
The 300,000 Biggest Websites, Visualized With Their Icons
Discussion: Switched
Jonny Evans / Computerworld:
Why ‘open’ Android may lose the Apple iOS wars
James Temple / San Francisco Chronicle:
Jack Dorsey connected the dots to create Twitter
Discussion: Laughing Squid, Thanks:atul