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5:40 AM ET, November 30, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Google's Groupon Offer: $5.3 Billion, With $700 Million Earnout  —  According to sources close to the situation, Google has offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, in what will be its largest acquisition yet if completed.  —  Sources said the deal for the social buying site seemed likely to be struck …
RELATED:
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
If Google Buys Groupon, It'll Be a Windfall for Investors, Bankers...and Regulators?
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Forget Net Neutrality, Comcast Might Break the Web  —  The fight that erupted today between Level 3 and Comcast involves an esoteric agreement between two of the Internet's big players providers colliding with a series of equally arcane policy arguments, but at its core this fight is about money.
RELATED:
Level 3 Communications:
Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast's Actions  —  Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: LVLT) today issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Thomas Stortz, Chief Legal Officer of Level 3:  —  “On November 19, 2010, Comcast informed Level 3 that …
Joe Waz / Comcast Voices:
Comcast Comments on Level 3  —  Level 3 has inaccurately portrayed the commercial negotiations between it and Comcast.  These discussions have nothing to do with Level 3's desire to distribute different types of network traffic.  —  Comcast has long established and mutually acceptable …
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Kinect is Selling 2X as Fast as the iPad  —  The iPad was crowned the fastest-adopted consumer electronic device ever last month, stealing the title from the once-coveted DVD player.  Records are made to be broken, though, and the Microsoft Kinect has already come out of the gate twice as fast.
RELATED:
Tiernan Ray / Tech Trader Daily:
Microsoft: Over 2.5M Kinect Sold
Ben Parr / Mashable!:
Google's Secret Social Initiative Delayed Until Spring 2011 [EXCLUSIVE]  —  Google's big social initiative, once thought to be a full-fledged social network named “Google Me,” is experiencing delays that have pushed back the launch until spring 2011.  —  Mashable has learned …
Discussion: Softpedia News, SlashGear, Pulse2 and SAI
Ingrid Lunden / mocoNews:
The Biggest iPad Subsidy Of All: Softbank Gives It Away - What's Behind It?  —  One more operator is offering a reduced price for the iPad if you take it on a two-year contract: Softbank in Japan is preparing to launch a deal that offers users a 16GB iPad for free.
Jessica Guynn / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes officially launches Jumo, social network for social activism  —  Status update from Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and the social media whiz kid behind Barack Obama's presidential campaign: On Tuesday he officially launched Jumo.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Facebook Now Worth $50 Billion In Secondary Trading  —  It was just a few weeks ago that Accel Partners sold off around half a billion dollars of Facebook shares at a company valuation of $35 billion.  If you thought that was insane, and a lot of commenters did, then don't read the rest of this post.
Discussion: All Facebook
Danny Sullivan / Daggle:
How Facebook Connect Freaks Me Out  —  More and more sites I run into these days are offering a way for me to log-in using Facebook.  That's cool, if it means I don't have to fill out yet another registration form.  But the permission pages that come up sometimes are so scary that I decline the offer.
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Instagram Captures Their First Big Brand Partner: National Geographic  —  There seems to be a common cycle for many startups.  First, you capture users.  Then, you capture brands/celebrities.  Then you capture revenues.  Most startups never make it past step one, let alone steps two and three.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Playboy Magazine releases every issue from 1953 to 2010 on a hard drive  —  Playboy Magazine is on magazine racks, on the Web, on iPad, and now it's also on a hard drive.  —  The iconic publication, which has struggled a bit as the world goes increasingly digital, is offering every issue of Playboy …
Discussion: Pulse2, Neowin.net, TeleRead and Boing Boing
Ben Parr / Mashable!:
Flock Social Browser Declares War on RockMelt with Version 3.5  —  Flock, the self-described “social web browser,” is responding to the launch of RockMelt with the release of Flock 3.5, which boasts greater speed and added functionality.  —  The browser touts social integration …
Kelly Fiveash / The Register:
Mozilla rages at MS, Apple and Google's ‘trojan horse’ tactics  —  Shove your plug-ins where the sun don't shine  —  A well-respected Mozilla man has attacked Apple, Google and Microsoft for installing plug-ins without first asking for a web surfer's permission.
Dharmesh Mehta / The Windows Blog:
Over 500,000 Windows Live Spaces blogs migrated to WordPress.com  —  We're very excited to be working with WordPress.com to let customers connect the fantastic blogging capabilities of WordPress.com with the leading communications and sharing services of Windows Live.
Zach Epstein / BGR:
WP7 developers complain of missing payments, broken reporting tools  —  Microsoft is making good progress in its efforts to woo developers to the new Windows Phone 7 platform, but we hope the company is equally devoted to keeping devs on board once they arrive.
John Biggs / TechCrunch:
Microsoft TV: A Bold Move That May Blow Up Broadcast  —  From what we can tell from a brief Reuters report, Microsoft is in talks with HBO and Showtime to broadcast and sell a la carte video through the XBox.  Microsoft already offers ESPN through XBox Live.
Discussion: broadstuff and Digital Trends
RELATED:
Yinka Adegoke / Reuters:
Microsoft in talks for new TV service: sources
Liz Gannes / NetworkEffect:
Twitter Gets a Hollywood Guy: Omid Ashtari  —  Twitter has hired its first official liaison to the stars: Creative Artists Agency veteran Omid Ashtari.  His first day at the microblogging service was today.  —  Ashtari told me he is “going to be Twitter's L.A. person” and will be dealing with media companies and celebrities.
Discussion: Lost Remote
Riley McDermid / VentureBeat:
Google-backed satellite provider O3b raises $1.2B to bring the world online  —  Google-backed Internet satellite company O3b Networks has raised $1.2 billion in what is says is its final funding round before it launches its “constellation” of fiber-quality satellites to bring the developing world online.
Wall Street Journal:
Makers of Firefox Browser Explore Do-Not-Track Tool After Scrapping Earlier Effort  —  Makers of Firefox Browser Explore Do-Not-Track Tool After Scrapping Earlier Effort  —  The makers of the popular Firefox Web browser are exploring ways to create a do-not-track mechanism that could offer Internet users …
Discussion: AdExchanger.com
Robert Quigley / Geekosystem:
How to Make Google Translate Beatbox  —  Not sure if this falls in the category of Easter Egg or clever manipulation, but either way, there go our afternoons: Redditor harrichr has devised a scheme for turning Google Translate into a makeshift beatbox machine. … For the lazy, just click this link and it'll be done for you.
Discussion: TechCrunch
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Zuckerberg Interviews Former President George W. Bush At Facebook HQ [Video]  —  Looks like President Obama isn't the only one resorting to Facebook as a way to reach the American people.  In a first for a U.S. President past or present, former President George W. Bush will hold a discussion …
Georgina Prodhan / Reuters:
Few smartphone owners are loyal to their brand: survey  —  (Reuters) - The booming smartphone market shows no sign of slowing but manufacturers will have to fight hard to keep their customers as smartphone owners show little loyalty to their current brands, a GfK survey shows.
Courtney Comstock / SAI:
Morgan Stanley's Legendary Tech Analyst Mary Meeker Moving To Kleiner Perkins  —  Kleiner Perkins just poached Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley's star tech analyst, says CNBC, citing WSJ.  —  Meeker has been a huge name since the .com days, and every year comes out with a hugely influential report/overview of the industry.
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 More Items: 
Mac Slocum / O'Reilly Radar:
For social search, similarity could trump friendship
Vitaly Kamluk / Securelist:
GpCode-like Ransomware Is Back  —  We have received several reports …
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:
Peter Sunde Seconds The Idea Of An Alternative Root DNS
Discussion: Geek.com
Adam L. Penenberg / Fast Company:
How Video Games Are Infiltrating—and Improving—Every Part of Our Lives
Eli Hodapp / Touch Arcade:
Apple Updates Game Center ToS to Include Use of Real Names
Discussion: The Next Web
Chuck Kisselburg / CircleID:
DNS: The Basis for Billions
 Earlier Items: 
Andy Greenberg / The Firewall:
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Wants To Spill Your Corporate Secrets
Tim Hirsch / BBC:
Rio favela tweets create overnight celebrity
Discussion: GigaOM
Rand Fishkin / Rand's Blog:
The Algorithm + the Crowd are Not Enough
Discussion: Stage Two