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3:30 PM ET, December 3, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Mike Cohen / The Official Google Blog:
Can we talk?  Better speech technology with Phonetic Arts  —  In Star Trek, they don't spend a lot of time typing things on keyboards—they just speak to their computers, and the computers speak back.  It's a more natural way to communicate, but getting there requires chipping away at a range of hard research problems.
RELATED:
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Google Acquires Phonetic Arts To Make Robo-Voices Sound Human  —  No, Google hasn't acquired Groupon (yet).  But it does have a smaller, though very interesting acquisition to announce: it's just acquired Phonetic Arts, a company based in the UK that works on speech synthesis in games.
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
Guardian:
WikiLeaks fights to stay online after US company withdraws domain name  —  Everydns.net says attack against leaks site endangered other customers' service - effectively pushing site off the web  —  The US was today accused of opening up a dramatic new front against WikiLeaks, effectively …
RELATED:
Guardian:
Julian Assange answers your questions  —  The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, answers readers' questions about the release of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables  —  Fwoggie … Julian Assange:  —  I am an Australian citizen and I miss my country a great deal.
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Troubled Wikileaks Moves To Pirate Party Domain  —  After being cut off by its nameserver provider EveryDNS, Wikileaks has moved to a domain registered by Pirate Party Switzerland.  EveryDNS was forced to stop its services to Wikileaks after continued DDoS attacks, creating yet another setback …
Mahendra Palsule / Skeptic Geek:
EveryDNS.net Terminates Wikileaks.org DNS Services, Wikileaks.ch …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Meet Cloud Picker, Google's Stealthy New Storage Product  —  What is Google Cloud Picker?  According to these Blogger Forums, Sites Forums, and others, Google has been testing a new online storage tool called, you guessed it, Cloud Picker.  —  From these accounts, it appears that the tool …
Emily Steel / Wall Street Journal:
Some Data-Miners Ready to Reveal What They Know  —  Seeking to head off escalating scrutiny over Internet privacy, a group of online tracking rivals is building a service that lets consumers see what information those companies know about them.  —  The project is the first of its kind …
Sam Oliver / AppleInsider:
Apple won't allow demos, trials, betas on Mac App Store  —  Apple this week provided more information to developers regarding its forthcoming Mac App Store, and informed them that, unlike on iOS, trial versions of software will not be allowed.  —  Apple issued a handful of updates via …
Caleb Cox / The Register:
Sony sells Playstation-packing TV  —  All sorts of tech has been integrated into TVs from iPod docks to Blu-ray players, but now Sony has put a Playstation into one and it's available in the UK for under £200.  —  The Sony Bravia KDL-22PX300 is a 22in LCD TV with a built-in PS2 …
Chris Thompson / About Foursquare:
Foursquare revokes mayor editing rights  —  If a venue isn't offering a mayor special, there are very few advantages to becoming a foursquare mayor.  Yesterday foursquare reduced those benefits even further by taking away the right for mayors to edit their venues, leaving bragging rights as the only positive for becoming a mayor.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
The Rise Of The Gentleman Hacker  —  There was a good crowd at the TechFellows event tonight in San Francisco.  I ran into a lot of people I don't see all that often.  Among them were two entrepreneurs that have made a ton of money by selling their companies in the last couple of years.
Discussion: Telegraph
W.J. Hennigan / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Google pays Pennsylvania couple $1 in Street View lawsuit  —  Google Inc. will pay $1 in damages to a Pennsylvania couple who took the company to court, saying the company's Street View service was an invasion of privacy.  —  Street View is a feature that lets users pick a point on a map …
Sascha Segan / PC Magazine:
Verizon LTE Blows Through Monthly Data Cap in 32 Minutes  —  Verizon's new 4G LTE network is so fast that you can use up your entire 5GB, $50 monthly allotment in 32 minutes.  —  I'm in the middle of testing Verizon's new LTE network, and the 2010-era speeds are soured by the 2005-era thinking on data plans.
Connie Loizos / PE Hub Blog:
Engineering Shortage Is Real.  Former Digg Engineer Gets 7 Offers, Takes One for $150K  —  In recent months, venture capitalists have been complaining that a shortage of talented engineers is driving up engineering salaries at their portfolio companies.  —  Turns out all that complaining is warranted.
Justin O'Beirne / 41Latitude:
Google Maps & Label Readability  —  Why Do Google Maps's City Labels Seem Much More “Readable” Than Those of Its Competitors?  —  For months, I've been trying to figure out why Google Maps's city labels seem so much more readable than the labels on other mapping sites.
David Kravets / Threat Level:
Prosecutors Dismiss Xbox-Modding Case Mid-Trial  —  LOS ANGELES — Federal authorities in the first-of-its-kind game-console-modding criminal trial abruptly dropped their prosecution here Thursday, “based on fairness and justice.”  —  “The government has decided to dismiss the indictment …
Harry McCracken / Technologizer:
A Guided Tour of Computing History  —  Steve Wozniak with George Stibitz's one-bit computer from 1936  —  On January 13th, the seven-year-old Computer History Museum will open its first truly full-blown permanent exhibit:, the 25,000-square-foot, $19 million “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing.”
Zach Epstein / BGR:
Motorola CEO talks smartphones, tablets and 4G; alludes to Q1 Verizon iPhone launch  —  Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha delivered a keynote yesterday at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference, and it was quite a doozy.  Topics covered included the future of Motorola's smartphone business …
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
50 Percent of Smartphones Sold in China Last Quarter Run Android  —  The smartphone market in China is growing at an extraordinary rate, largely thanks to Google's Android OS.  Chinese consumers purchased 8 to 10 million smartphones last quarter, up from an estimated 2 to 3 million in the same period last year.
Andrew Munchbach / BGR:
Gartner names Samsung top Android provider in States, 3M Galaxy S handsets shipped in U.S.  —  Samsung has just issued a press release pertaining to kudos it recently received from analytics firm Gartner.  Gartner has named Samsung the top Android provider in the United States based on …
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Viber is a new free VOIP app, currently available only for the iPhone.  I've been trying it today, and have a few notes.  —  The Good  — Initial setup is very easy.  Your phone number is your Viber identifier.  You launch the app, tell it your phone number, and a moment or two later …
Discussion: TechCrunch
Associated Press:
Viacom appeals ruling in YouTube copyright case  —  SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Viacom Inc. is appealing a court decision that YouTube obeyed copyright laws even though the Internet video site used to show thousands of pirated clips.  —  The challenge filed Friday in a federal appeals court …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Survey Says: 63% Of You Ignore The Ads On This Very Page  —  Of those of you who aren't diligently blocking the ads on this page, 63 percent are apparently ignoring them anyway.  In fact, a majority of Americans say they ignore Internet advertising the most, compared to television, radio and newspaper ads.
Discussion: PR Newswire and VatorNews
Terrence O'Brien / Switched:
Droid 2 Allegedly Explodes in Man's Ear  —  Cedar Hill, Texas resident Aron Embry claims that his brand-new Droid 2 exploded.  Usually, when cell phones explode (and yes, they do explode from time to time), they're in a pocket where heat is easily trapped.  Embry claims he was talking …
 
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 More Items: 
Bloomberg:
Seagate Said to Have Spurned Takeover Proposal From Rival Western Digital
Discussion: The Tech Report and Softpedia News
Dan Primack / Fortune:
Exclusive: Roger Ehrenberg raises big(ger) fund for big data
Discussion: VentureBeat and SAI
Tim Conneally / BetaNews:
In latest treatise, Level 3 says feud with Comcast like great telecom unbundling
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines Blog:
BMC acquires GridApp Systems; Expands Salesforce.com partnership
Rebecca Moore / Official google.org Blog:
Introducing Google Earth Engine
Seth Weintraub / Fortune:
Android OS 2.X upgrade picks up steam
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Rooney / Tech Europe:
U.K. Government Urged to Back Open Web
Discussion: eWEEK Europe UK
Josh Lowensohn / CNET News:
Silverlight 5 to bring media boost, windowed apps
Andy Serwer / Fortune:
Diller stepping back at IAC? “Ridiculous ... I'm stepping closer”
Dion Almaer / techno.blog:
Native apps are always better than Web apps; Psst, the new way has an escape chute
Elizabeth Fish / PC World:
AVG Free Update Bricks 64-Bit Windows 7 PCs
Discussion: TechEye and Inquirer