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6:55 PM ET, December 23, 2010

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Tony Bates / The Big Blog:
Another update: Skype stabilized  —  I wanted to continue to update you on the status of the outage.  We've been able to successfully stabilize Skype due to the dedicated supernodes deployed by Skype's engineering team.  We're at roughly 90 percent of normal user volumes.  —  Audio, video and IM are running normally.
RELATED:
Abby Sewell / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Skype CEO says company may offer credit vouchers to paying customers  —  Skype CEO Tony Bates told users in a video message posted on the company's website Thursday that the online calling service is considering giving credit vouchers to paying customers who have been affected by the major service outage that began Wednesday morning.
Dan York / Disruptive Telephony:
Understanding Today's Skype Outage: Explaining Supernodes
Josh Ong / AppleInsider:
Apple's next-gen iPad to get iPod touch-like back, wide-range speaker - rumor  —  The second-generation iPad may have a smaller bezel, a flat back panel and a wide-range speaker, a new unverified report claims.  —  Japanese Mac blog MacOtakara published the rumor Thursday, citing an “anonymous Chinese source.”
Cecilia Kang / Post Tech:
FCC chair to approve Comcast-NBC merger with conditions for program sharing  —  The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission issued a draft order approving Comcast's proposed merger with NBC Universal on Thursday, putting the deal up for vote before the agency's other members.
RELATED:
Karl Bode / DSLreports:
FCC Releases Full Neutrality Rules …
Amir Efrati / Wall Street Journal:
Google Woos Local Advertisers  —  Google Inc., which helped popularize the idea of automated ad sales on the Web, has been quietly turning to an old-fashioned tool—phone calls—to compete in the hot market for local business advertising.  —  The Internet-search giant this year …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Apple Trademarks ‘VoicePass’, And I Just Nicknamed My iPhone For Them  —  In the spirit of my trademark watch this morning:  —  Earlier this week, Apple filed a U.S. trademark for ‘VOICEPASS’, in the ‘Construction and Repair Services’ category.  Bloomberg casually mentioned …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Facebook Appears To Be Blocking All (Bit.ly Operated) j.mp Links  —  William Albano checks in to tell us that Facebook is blocking all j.mp links in status and page updates (but not profiles).  Sure enough, I tried to post a j.mp link in a status update just now, and I got an error notice saying:
Adam Lashinsky / Fortune:
New evidence raises questions about how long Mark Hurd knew of Jodie Fisher  —  Former HP CEO Mark Hurd's assistant has said she alone discovered and hired the former actress as an HP contractor in 2007.  But it turns out Hurd asked about Fisher years earlier.
Discussion: SAI
Facebook:
What's on your mind?  —  People use status updates to share what's on their minds, to tell others what they're doing, and to gather feedback from friends.  The different ways people use status updates form some interesting patterns.  In this study, we looked at the usage of words in different “word categories” in status updates.
Arik Hesseldahl / NewEnterprise:
What Tech Companies Are Spending in Washington  —  It's no big surprise that big companies spend a lot of money in Washington to try to influence the outcome of pending legislation and to try to talk lawmakers and agency officials out of regulating one thing or another.
Brooke Crothers / CNET News:
Obama cites Steve Jobs' wealth, product success  —  President Obama today cited Apple CEO Steve Jobs' product success as an example of a person who Americans should “expect to be rich” as an incentive for others.  —  Responding to a reporter's question, the president prefaced his comments …
Katherine Rosman / Wall Street Journal:
A Holiday Card From Google  —  Five Artists, 250 Hours, Six Months to Create the Search Engine's ‘Doodle’  —  Set to be unveiled at 9 a.m. eastern time Thursday, Google's 2010 holiday doodle has 17 interactive images that approximate the logo's letters and colors.
Matt Buchanan / Gizmodo:
Oh Look, Here's Samsung's 4G LTE Android Phone for Verizon  —  Looks like Verizon'll have plenty of Android phones running around on 4G LTE soon enough.  Here's a first look at Samsung's, running Froyo and TouchWiz (but according to our tipster, not Bing!).  Aaaand a front-facing camera, Verizon's first.
Christian Kaiser / The Netflix Tech Blog:
HTML5 and Video Streaming  —  This is Christian Kaiser, VP of Engineering here at Netflix.  —  My colleague John Ciancutti recently posted about our use of HTML5 for user interfaces; I thought I'd add a perspective on HTML5 and video streaming.  —  Since HTML5 includes a facility to embed video playback …
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and GigaOM
Jackie Cohen / All Facebook:
Facebook Drives More Video Traffic Than All But Google  —  Facebook has surpassed Yahoo in the amount of traffic sent to video destinations, although Google still has the lead in this regard.  —  This comes from a report by Brightcove and TubeMogul based on data what the two call aggregate media sites …
Discussion: Fast Company, MediaPost and TechCrunch
RELATED:
Joe Mullin / paidContent:
Firefox Designer: New Feature Will Expose Sites With Weak Privacy Policies  —  Another sign that browser companies are toying with new ideas for beefing up privacy protection: Mozilla has released a set of icons that are intended to communicate to users, in a simple and straightforward way, how their data can be used.
Discussion: Webmonkey and Aza on Design
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
MobileRSS Backs Down, Will Remove Similarities To Reeder  —  This afternoon, we wrote a post about the popular RSS feed reader, Reeder, calling out rival MobileRSS for design theft.  As we noted, the community was starting to rally around Reeder, as both Read It Later and Instapaper …
Hiroko Tabuchi / Bits:
Clues About the Next PlayStation Portable  —  TOKYO —Sony's gaming chief, Kazuo Hirai, expected by some analysts to be Sony's next president, gave hints on Wednesday to burning questions that have fascinated the blogosphere for months: Is there a new Sony handheld gaming device in the works to succeed its PlayStation Portable?
Eric Zeman / InformationWeek:
Samsung Nears 10 Million Galaxy S Sales  —  Samsung recently announced that sales of its Android-based Galaxy S line of smartphones has reached 9.3 million, putting it just short of Samsung's goal of 10 million.  —  Earlier this year, Samsung predicted that it would sell 10 million units of its Galaxy S line of Android smartphones.
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Demand Media's IPO-Which Won't Happen Until After the New Year Now-Depends on How It Accounts for Content  —  Yesterday, Demand Media submitted another amended S-1 to the Securities and Exchange Commission, part of its march to an initial public offering many had expected to take place sooner rather than later.
 
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 More Items: 
Audrey Watters / ReadWriteWeb:
New CEO for Second Life as Linden Lab Names EA Gaming Vet to Head Company
Discussion: TechFlash and VentureBeat
Michael Kan / PC World:
Baidu's Twitter-like Service Gains 1 Million China Users
Ryan Paul / Ars Technica:
OpenBSD code audit uncovers bugs, but no evidence of backdoor
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and InfoQ
Monica Chen / DigiTimes:
ECS, Asustek, MSI to showcase tablet PCs at CES 2011
Sam Diaz / Between the Lines Blog:
Oh, the irony.  European Commission, an ACTA proponent …
Pew Internet:
Politics goes mobile
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and Hillicon Valley
 Earlier Items: 
Arik Hesseldahl / NewEnterprise:
Gawkergate Collateral Damage Now Includes the New York Times
OAS:
Joint Statement On Wikileaks
Discussion: The Register and Computerworld
Bruce Sterling / Webstock:
The Blast Shack  —  We asked Bruce Sterling (who spoke …
Andrew Wallenstein / paidContent:
Rovi To Buy Sonic Solutions, Forming New Force In Digital Distribution
Graham Bowley / New York Times:
Computers That Trade on the News
Cecilia Kang / Post Tech:
Obama's deputy CTO leaves to launch start-ups
Sam Gustin / Epicenter:
Google Buys Giant New York Building for $1.9 Billion