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4:10 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
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.
Joanna Stern / Engadget:
Sources: Google-branded Chrome OS netbook to launch on December 7th  —  The headline pretty much reveals the brunt of it, but indeed, it looks like next week Google is going to start talking about how its Chrome operating system is coming along.  Multiple sources have told us that Google …
Discussion: Erictric, The Next Web and Gizmodo
RELATED:
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Google Begins Emailing Extension Developers To Get Ready For Chrome Web Store
Discussion: MediaMemo
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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.
Discussion: Pulse2
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
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Apple, Publishers Still Miles Apart on iTunes Subscriptions  —  Magazine publishers used to salivate over the iPad.  Now they're a lot more reserved.  They make hopeful noises about Google's Android tablets instead.  —  That's because Apple and the publishing industry haven't been able …
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.”
Owen Thomas / VentureBeat:
Facebook's big move to Madison Avenue  —  The world's largest social network could soon be opening shop on Madison Avenue, the iconic address long linked to New York City's advertising industry.  —  Facebook has leased two floors at 335 Madison Avenue, according to a source …
Dan Primack / Fortune:
Exclusive: Roger Ehrenberg raises big(ger) fund for big data  —  “Big data” is the tech startup world's latest buzzword, and one New York City investor has raised a fund to capitalize on the revolution.  —  IA Ventures has closed its debut fund with $50 million in capital commitments, Fortune has learned.
Discussion: VentureBeat and SAI
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
 
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 More Items: 
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Survey Says: 63% Of You Ignore The Ads On This Very Page
Discussion: PR Newswire, MarketingVOX and VatorNews
Bloomberg:
Seagate Said to Have Spurned Takeover Proposal From Rival Western Digital
Discussion: The Tech Report and Softpedia News
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
Andrew Munchbach / BGR:
Gartner names Samsung top Android provider in States, 3M Galaxy …
 Earlier Items: 
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