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12:45 PM ET, November 15, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Microsoft:
Microsoft Launches New Casual Games Hub  —  The company today rolled out the Microsoft Game Hub, which helps fans of casual games like Bejeweled play and interact socially across MSN Games, Bing Games and Windows Live Messenger.  —  Solitaire doesn't have to be so solitary anymore.
RELATED:
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Not So Casual: Microsoft To Revitalize MSN Games, Live Messenger And Bing Games  —  Microsoft this morning announced several new efforts to gain some ground in the booming social/casual gaming market.  The company will be debuting an all-new version of MSN Games (see preview here) …
Brian Womack / Bloomberg:
Facebook Passes EBay in Value, Becoming No. 3 U.S. Web Company  —  Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc.'s estimated worth is now bigger than EBay Inc.'s valuation, making it the third- largest U.S. Internet business and underscoring the growing allure of social media for investors.
RELATED:
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Facebook Worth $41 Billion (Report)  —  Facebook is now the third largest U.S. Internet business, behind Amazon and Google, according to a new Bloomberg report released this morning.  Based on trading on secondary markets - Facebook is not yet a public company - the site's stock is now at $16 …
Discussion: All Facebook
Liz Gannes / NetworkEffect:
Path: The Social App That's Not Viral (By Design)  —  Silicon Valley is in the midst of a mini photo-sharing app boomlet.  We have Instagram (which started adding 100,000 users per week as soon as it launched last month), Picplz (which beat out Instagram to get a Series A round with their shared investor …
RELATED:
Robert Scoble / Scobleizer:
Path: the social system that will piss social mavens off  —  I didn't read any of Path's hype before trying it myself.  I wasn't part of the beta.  I don't owe Dave Morin lunch (he's the founder of this new thing called Path that's getting a deep amount of hype tonight.  The photo is of him at the TED conference).
Path:
Introducing The Personal Network
Federico Viticci / MacStories:
“Exciting Announcement from iTunes” Coming Tomorrow, What Is It?  —  Oh, look what we have here.  Apple just updated its homepage on apple.com to include this banner, which states an “exciting announcement” from iTunes is coming tomorrow at 7 AM PST.  “Tomorrow is just another day.
Sameer Samat / The Official Google Blog:
Improvements to Product Search for this holiday season  —  Every year retailers start the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier—and still I procrastinate until late December before getting started.  This year I've already made my list and I'm ready to go.
Claire Cain Miller / New York Times:
Pulse, Popular App, Moves to Attract More Users  —  PALO ALTO, Calif. — Publishers' offices at print newspapers and magazines are tension-filled places these days, as executives watch readers and advertisers flock to the Web and cellphone screens.  —  Contrast that to the atmosphere …
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Raid The MiniBar: Meebo Gets Into The Site Check-In Game.  But Don't Call It A Game.  —  With the rise of Foursquare, the “check-in” has become fairly commonplace.  With the launch of Places, Facebook will only make it more so.  It shouldn't be surprising that we're seeing dozens …
Nick Saint / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
Tune In At 1PM ET For LIVE Coverage Of Facebook's Email Announcement  —  In just over two hours, Facebook is having another big event, reportedly to announce a new web-based email client its employees call their “Gmail killer.”  —  A solid email offering from Facebook could be a huge deal.
Ed Bott / Ed Bott's Microsoft Report Blog:
Microsoft vs. McAfee: How free antivirus outperformed paid  —  How effective is free antivirus software?  I had a chance to see a real, in-the-wild example just this month, and the results were, to put it mildly, unexpected.  The bottom line?  Microsoft's free antivirus solution found …
Discussion: Hardware 2.0 Blog, Thanks:edbott
Devin Coldewey / CrunchGear:
More Kinect Craziness: Mind-Blowing 3D Video Effect  —  The Kinect may be divisive as a gaming peripheral, but I think we can all agree that a $150 off-the-shelf depth-aware camera system is a good thing.  And just in the week since the device launched, people have already come up with some crazy applications for it.
Bob Boorstin / Google Public Policy Blog:
Promoting Free Trade for the Internet Economy  —  Today we're releasing a white paper [PDF] that explores the ways that governments impose limits on the free flow of information online.  It's pretty wonky stuff, but the premise is simple: In addition to infringing human rights …
Discussion: Reuters
Riva Richmond / New York Times:
Attacker That Sharpened Facebook's Defenses  —  A friend on Facebook suggests that you watch an amazing or funny or sexy video.  The link may seem innocuous enough.  But with a few simple clicks, you could end up infecting your PC with the Koobface worm.  —  Koobface, whose name is an anagram …
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Let a Zillion Users Blab: Yahoo Debuts “Contributor Network”  —  Yahoo is debuting a new offering for its hundreds of million of users, which takes the Demand Media model and notches up the volume by presumably allowing a thousand flowers to bloom.  —  Or, more to the point, blab.
Discussion: Yahoo!, AdAge and Yodel Anecdotal
Leena Rao / TechCrunchIT:
EMC Buys Enterprise Data Storage Company Isilon For $2.25 Billion In Cash  —  Enterprise software giant EMC has just acquired Isilon Systems for $2.25 billion in cash or appoximately $33.85 per share.  The deal was rumored to be in the works but now it's official.
Matt Marshall / VentureBeat:
RIM shuts out red-hot mobile chat application Kik — without explanation  —  Kik, the hot mobile chat application we wrote about two weeks ago that was seeing explosive growth, has been pulled from the Blackberry app market App World.  —  RIM, the maker of Blackberry phones …
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Fortune:
Mark Papermaster should be happier at Cisco than he was at Apple  —  In many ways, the networking giant is a better fit for the 26-year IBM veteran  —  Papermaster.  Photo: Apple Inc.  —  Last week wasn't a total disaster for Cisco (CSCO) — which got a $29 billion market cap haircut Tuesday …
Kat Hannaford / Gizmodo:
Rumor: Google Taking On eBay With Boutiques.com Site Launch  —  Fashion bloggers are squealing that Google's going into the fashion business, following an invitation for a swanky NYC launch event this Wednesday, where “high tech fuses with high fashion.”  Supposedly, they'll …
Jon Evans / TechCrunch:
Dear Foursquare, Gowalla: Please Let's Stop Pretending This Is Fun  —  It's a bad month to be Foursquare or Gowalla.  Ten days ago, 900-pound gorilla Facebook announced Facebook Deals for Facebook Places (i,e., location-based coupons) and check-ins for third-party apps.
Zach Epstein / BGR:
Motorola MOTOPAD to usher in Android 3.0  —  Just as Motorola helped Google usher in Android 2.0 with the DROID, the reborn gadgeteer is now seemingly charged with a similar task for Android 3.0.  Details for the time being are remarkably slim, but Mobile-Review.com — home …
Peter Pae / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
The future of writing on tablets: A Q&A with Information Architects  —  They say they are organizing the Web so you don't have to.  To them, every serif means something.  —  Founded by Oliver Reichenstein in 2005, Information Architects is a design strategy group focused on how information …
Discussion: MacStories
 
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5 Ways Technology Can Transform Government Operations  —  Migrating from unsecured legacy technologies to secure and cost-effective cloud-based applications can help governments and agencies in five key ways.
TWiT.tv:
Tech Podcasts from Every Angle  —  TWiT.tv covers the latest in news, privacy, hacking, security, plus reviews of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and wearables.  If it has a chip, Leo Laporte and friends have a podcast on it.
Google Fi:
Google Fi - a phone plan, by Google  —  We felt that most phone plans just weren't made with you in mind.  So that's why we built Google Fi with features that real people actually want.  Click to learn more.
Zoho:
The Partner's guide to marketing on LinkedIn  —  What is LinkedIn® really?  —  It's a question that keeps popping up from time to time, is it a social media site for professionals?  —  Is it a platform for job seekers and recruiters to meet?
Intel:
The Future of Gaming is About More Than Just Processors  —  When it comes to making the PC the best place to play, you have to give developers the tools they need, provide real world performance and anticipate what's next.
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 More Items: 
Frédéric Filloux / Monday Note:
Ebooks Winners & Losers
Discussion: dailywireless.org
Voltier Creative:
A Look at the Kind Heart of One of the Most Influential Communities on the Internet
Kevin J. O'Brien / New York Times:
Smartphone Sales Taking Toll on G.P.S. Devices
Robert Scoble / Scobleizer:
The technology inside the Google self-driving cars
Wei Luo / Google LatLong:
New panoramic photos in Google Earth
Discussion: PC Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
Vlad Savov / Engadget:
Windows Phone 7 beats iPhone 4 and Android ... in a grilling contest (video)
Krishna Sankar / My missives:
Google - A Study In Scalability And A Little Systems Horse Sense
Discussion: AdExchanger.com
Ron Lieber / New York Times:
Zagat Survey Aims to Regain Its Online Balance
Discussion: Smallbiztechnology.com and Beet.TV
Jean-Louis Gassée / Monday Note:
The iPadification of OS X - Part II
Discussion: 9 to 5 Mac
Nick Bilton / Bits:
One on One: Tim Wu, Author of ‘The Master Switch’
Discussion: Computerworld, TechEye and Slate
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
The Phone Call Is Dead