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3:45 PM ET, December 22, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Peter Parkes / Skype The Big Blog:
Skype downtime today  —  Earlier today, we noticed that the number of people online on Skype was falling, which wasn't typical or expected, so we began to investigate.  Skype isn't a network like a conventional phone or IM network - instead, it relies on millions of individual connections between computers …
RELATED:
Ina Fried / Mobilized:
Skype Details Problems, Says May Take Hours to Fix  —  Skype users were sent scrambling for one of the few remaining pay phones on Wednesday as the Internet telephone service experienced a widespread outage.  —  A page deep in the company's support site confirms the issue, but appears to significantly understate the problem.
Discussion: Electronista
Zee / The Next Web:
Skype Goes Down.  —  Updating: Updates at the foot of the post.  —  Skype is currently down for the large majority of its users; its first down time spell since 2007.  The enormity of Skype going down is appreciated when you consider that last year it accounted for 12 percent of the world's international calling minutes.
Wall Street Journal:
Microsoft to Reveal New Version of Windows  —  Microsoft Corp. next month plans to discuss a new version of its widely used Windows operating system that targets low-power devices and adds support for a second strain of chip technology, according to people briefed on Microsoft company's plans.
RELATED:
Ina Fried / Mobilized:
Microsoft Plans to talk Windows on ARM at CES, but Products a Ways Off  —  After many months of working in secret, Microsoft is nearly ready to start talking about its plans to bring Windows to ARM-based processors.  —  However, while the company is set to discuss the effort …
David Radcliffe / The Official Google Blog:
Investing in New York  —  Google New York started in a Starbucks on 86th Street with one person in 2000—a scrappy, highly-caffeinated sales “team.”  After moving to a larger office in Times Square, in 2006 we relocated to our current home in Chelsea, at 111 Eighth Avenue—a former Port Authority building.
Discussion: TechCrunch, Gawker and New York Post
Matthew Lasar / Ars Technica:
FCC: Yup, we're going to stop “paid prioritization” on the 'Net  —  The Federal Communications Commission is releasing the details of its new net neutrality Order in stages.  Although the FCC's new ban on “unreasonable discrimination” for wired ISPs allows certain kinds of traffic discrimination …
RELATED:
Latoya Peterson / NPR:
The Worst Ideas Of 2010: Ping  —  All week we'll be talking about the best and worst ideas in music this year — click here to see all the stories.  Write us at therecord@npr.org if anything in the business or culture struck you as particularly effective or shockingly misguided in 2010.
Ben Worthen / Wall Street Journal:
Hurd Wants Accuser's Letter Shielded  —  Mark Hurd, the former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive, is fighting to keep private the letter that led to his resignation from the technology behemoth and has triggered an investigation by federal regulators.  —  The eight-page letter …
Ryan Tate / Gawker:
Facebook Will Thwart Google, Says Ex Googler  —  Does Google have any chance at all of competing with arch-rival Facebook?  Not really, former Google bigwig Paul Buchheit says.  Buchheit tells us his old company will probably find it easier to land on the moon.  —  It's an important issue.
Discussion: TechSpot, Paul Buchheit and SAI
Matt Richtel / Bits:
E-Mail's Big Demographic Split  —  In an article in Tuesday's Times, I wrote about the changing status of e-mail.  Once it was cool to merely have an e-mail account (or several), but many young people now think of it as old school, and much prefer the zip of texting, instant messaging and social networks.
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Google's Big Problem: It Ain't What You Think  —  When I first met Larry Page and Sergey Brin back in the 20th century, my first impressions about them included phrases like super-smart, engineer's engineers and minimalists.  They argued against the clutter that was AltaVista …
Discussion: CNET News, Beyond Search and Inquirer
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Devicescape helps MetroPCS offload data traffic to Wi-Fi networks  —  Wireless phone provider MetroPCS announced a deal with Devicescape that allows the cell phone service provider to move data traffic from its cellular network to Wi-Fi networks.  —  In doing so, MetroPCS will be able …
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Judge Sides With Google, Throws Out Android Trademark Suit  —  Back in April 2009 — before the incredible rise of Android had really picked up steam — Google's mobile operating system faced a challenger that had almost nothing to do with cell phones.  Erich Specht, a man who ran …
Ryan Singel / Epicenter:
Craigslist Shuts Down International “Adult Services” Sections  —  Craigslist, the popular online classified ad service, has seemingly shut down its controversial “adult services” section worldwide.  —  In early September, Craigslist shuttered that section in the U.S., following years …
Andrew Munchbach / BGR:
Verizon Wireless branded Windows Phone 7 apps surface in Marketplace  —  If you're waiting for a Windows Phone 7 device on Big Red, we have some encouraging news for you.  It appears as though Verizon compatible WP7 applications are starting to make their way into the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Jeff Cormier / The Next Web:
Hidden Safari Mobile feature reveals augmented reality capability  —  Occipital, the company behind the grand app recently profiled by TNW, 360 Panorama, has discovered something new and exciting contained within the Safari Mobile Browser.  —  To use what Occipital's discovered note …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Confirmed: Motorola Mobility Acquires Cloud Storage Startup Zecter  —  It's a done deal.  As we reported yesterday, Motorola subsidiary Motorola Mobility has acquired cloud storage startup Zecter.  Y Combinator-backed Zecter is best known for developing cloud streaming and storage services ZumoDrive and ZumoCast.
Phone Arena:
EXCLUSIVE: Real photos of the HTC EVO Shift 4G  —  That elusive handset, the HTC EVO Shift 4G, which is expected to be something like a slightly watered-down version of the first WiMAX phone for Sprint, the EVO 4G, has been making random appearances in our news for the last couple of months now.
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables' exposure by WikiLeaks  —  The CIA has launched a task force to assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks.  —  Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force.
Zi Wang / Google Mobile Blog:
Android In Spaaaace!  —  Here at Google, we're all about exploration.  It's no surprise that some of our favorite products are built to let you explore the world in ways never before possible.  Google Maps lets you find your way all around the world.  Google Earth lets you explore the planet in detail, complete with trees and oceans.
Loretta Chao / Wall Street Journal:
In China, Zuckerberg Meets Top Tech Executives … This photo taken December 14, 2010 shows a map on a page from Facebook.  The map displays friendships as lights on a deep blue background.  The eastern half of the U.S. and Europe shine the brightest, while China, Russia and central Africa …
Daisuke Wakabayashi / Wall Street Journal:
Sony Launches Music Service  —  TOKYO—Sony Corp. said Wednesday it launched an online streaming-music service in the U.K. and Ireland and will roll out the platform to other major markets next year, as it looks to try to catch up with rivals such as Apple Inc. in linking its electronics to online digital content.
Amruta Sabnis / Reuters:
Sony to buy back chip plant from Toshiba: report  —  (Reuters) - Sony Corp plans to buy back a Nagasaki semiconductor plant from Toshiba Corp for about 50 billion yen ($597.2 million) to double output capacity for image sensors used in smartphones and other devices, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Discussion: Electronista
Lance Whitney / CNET News:
Over half of late-20s crowd own cell phones only  —  Fifty-one percent of 25- to 29-year-olds live in households that have kicked the landline habit, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  —  That is the first time that wireless-only households …
 
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 More Items: 
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Spain Rejects Proposed Legislation to Shutdown P2P Sites
Robin Wauters / TechCrunchIT:
Teradata Buys Marketing Automation Software Company Aprimo For $525M
Mikael Ricknäs / PC World:
Alcatel-Lucent Trust Sues Apple, Others Over Video Patents
Discussion: TechEye and Imaging Insider
Chris Davies / SlashGear:
Mystery HTC leaks: Incredible HD aka Mecha?
Greg Sterling / Search Engine Land:
NY Times Argues Against Google-ITA Acquisition — Delicately
 Earlier Items: 
Aza Raskin / Aza on Design:
The Problem With Home  —  If you sit and watch people use …
Joann S. Lublin / Wall Street Journal:
Calpers, Apple at Odds on Governance
Discussion: MacNN, Macgasm and AppleInsider
James Somers / The Atlantic Online:
The Simple Software That Could — but Probably Won't — Change the Face of Writing
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
The Pandora-Elevation Deal that Never Closed and a Mid-2011 IPO?
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Jon Gotow on Apple's Replacing the Mac OS X Software Directory …
Owen Thomas / VentureBeat:
How Twitter acquires people
Discussion: Fast Company, eWeek and Softpedia News
Spencer E. Ante / Wall Street Journal:
Verizon Will Offer Motorola Phone for 4G Network