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4:20 PM ET, January 21, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Ken Auletta / New Yorker:
Why Is Eric Schmidt Stepping Down at Google?  —  Was Eric Schmidt pushed or did he jump?  Both.  According to close advisors, the Google C.E.O. was upset a year ago when co-founder Larry Page sided with his founding partner, Sergey Brin, to withdraw censored searches from China.
RELATED:
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
TechCrunch Interview With Eric Schmidt, Larry Page And Sergey Brin  —  Late last summer we were ready to break a big story - that Eric Schmidt would be stepping down as the CEO of Google.  Multiple sources and all that jazz.  The basic story was that he was tired (who wouldn't be) …
Harry McCracken / Techland:   The Eric Schmidt Era: Google 2001 vs. Google 2011
Matt Cutts / The Official Google Blog:
Google search and search engine spam  —  January brought a spate of stories about Google's search quality.  Reading through some of these recent articles, you might ask whether our search quality has gotten worse.  The short answer is that according to the evaluation metrics that we've refined …
RELATED:
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Google ready for action against content farms
Discussion: paidContent
Justin Scott / Mozilla Add-ons Blog:
Blocking the Skype Toolbar in Firefox  —  The Skype Toolbar for Firefox is an extension that detects phone numbers in web pages, and re-renders them as a clickable button that can be used to dial the number using the Skype desktop application.  This extension is bundled with the Skype application …
RELATED:
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Mozilla To Block Skype's Browser Toolbar - Skype Responds, Recommends Upgrading
Discussion: The Next Web
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:
iPad 2 will have the same cameras as the iPod touch  —  Oh, hello.  We've done some digging in the latest SDK and it looks like Apple's much rumored second-generation iPad will not feature some fancy 5 megapixel camera, but will instead shoot your flicks and take your pics with something close to a 1 megapixels.
Ian Hickson / The WHATWG Blog:
HTML is the new HTML5  —  In 2009 we announced that the HTML5 specification at the WHATWG was progressing to Last Call.  The plan at the time was to finish the specification this year and publish a snapshot of “HTML5” in 2012.  However, shortly after that we realised that the demand …
Theuni / XBMC:
You asked for it: XBMC for AppleTV2, iPad, iPhone4.  —  The XBMC team is proud to present our first ARM-based release, and it's a big one.  Scott Davilla, with the help of Edgar (gimli) Hucek and Zeljko (amet) Ametovic and several other developers and testers, is finally ready to pull the curtain off of his fun little secret.
RELATED:
Brian X. Chen / Gadget Lab:
Open-Source Hack Unlocks Apple TV's Potential
Discussion: Ars Technica
Greg Sterling / Search Engine Land:
Confirmed: Google Readies “Google Offers” Groupon Clone  —  Google is about to launch a Groupon clone according to Mashable.  Called “Google Offers,” the blog showed some promotional collateral that presents a very Groupon-like daily deal offering: [Google Offers Image] As everyone reading this knows …
RELATED:
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Why Google Still Needs to Buy a Groupon Clone
Discussion: TechCrunch
Ben Parr / Mashable!:
Google to Launch Groupon Competitor [EXCLUSIVE]
Ed Burnette / ZDNet:
Oops: No copied Java code or weapons of mass destruction found in Android  —  Sometimes the sheer wrongness of what is posted on the web leaves us speechless.  Especially when it's picked up and repeated as gospel by otherwise reputable sites like Engadget.
RELATED:
Florian Mueller / FOSS Patents:
New evidence supports Oracle's case against Google
Chris Ziegler / Engadget:
AT&T offering free MicroCells to top 7.5 percent of customers ‘likely to experience poor in-building coverage’  —  We've known that AT&T has been test-marketing free 3G MicroCells to subscribers with particularly awful reception in certain parts of the country since the product launched last year …
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Google Replaces ‘Reader’ Link With ‘Photos’ In Gmail, Users In A Tizzy  —  More proof that RSS is on its way out, and the apocalypse is nigh: Google has seemingly replaced the top link to its RSS reader product, Google Reader, with a link to ‘Photos’ (Picasa) at the top of the Gmail web interface.
Sam Gustin / Epicenter:
Tweets Hit Techmeme, Bloggers in a Tizzy  —  For years, Techmeme has been considered the tech news website of record.  A quick glance at the site, which aggregates tech news headlines from across the web, will tell you the topics that people are discussing, and who is discussing them, at any moment in time.
Discussion: broadstuff and SEO and Tech Daily
Jeanette Borzo / Wall Street Journal:
Can Employers Fire Over Facebook Gaffes?  —  Facebook gaffes that can cause trouble in the workplace aren't unique to drunken college students any more.  As more companies—and their workers—tap into the world of blogs, Twitter and Facebook, employers are tripping over legal potholes in social media.
Zach Epstein / BGR:
AT&T may implement speed and data tiers for 4G LTE service  —  BGR has learned that AT&T may have plans to offer tiered data services when it launches its Long Term Evolution network later this year.  The carrier apparently plans to trial two separate types of tiers alongside its LTE service: speed tiers and data tiers.
Horace Dediu / asymco:
65% of Apple's sales came from iOS powered devices  —  The iPhone and iPad generated $15 billion of revenue last quarter.  In addition, iPod touch generated about $2.3 billion, implying that iOS based devices were responsible for sales of $17.3 billion.  —  To put that in perspective I drew …
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Developers Share Mac App Store Sales Figures  —  When Apple's new desktop-focused Mac App Store launched, it was expected to be a hit.  One day later, Apple confirmed that the store was taking off, with over 1 million downloads on its first day.  But how many of those were free apps?
Discussion: MarketingVOX
Eric Eldon / Inside Social Games:
Zynga Buys Area/Code, Developer of Ubisoft's CSI: Crime City Game on Facebook  —  Zynga has just announced the acquisition of independent game developer Area/Code, a company best known to our readers for its work with Ubisoft, developing the Facebook game CSI: Crime City.
Discussion: TechCrunch, VentureBeat and Area/Code
Jesse Stay / Stay N' Alive:
Facebook Quietly Launching Friendfeed-like Live Commenting  —  Tonight, in a moment of rare form, as I was singing Hakuna Matata on Facebook with Krystyl Baldwin and others (an occasion one must do often) I noticed a new feature pop up before my eyes.  Instantly, with no refresh of the page …
Rob Jackson / Android Phone Fans:
Motorola Apologizes For PR Gaffe, Promises Better Bootloader Policy  —  Despite Motorola continually making some of the hottest Android handsets - and the pattern continues with the Atrix - some of the most passionate Android fans refuse to become customers because of a “locked bootloader”.
Kyle VanHemert / Gizmodo:
Apple's Making It Impossible To Open Up Your iPhone By Secretly Swapping Its Screws  —  Apple's products are notoriously difficult to open and repair—surprise, they want you to buy new stuff!—but this is especially ridiculous.  During repairs, they're replacing the iPhone 4's Philips screws …
 
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Smartsheet:
Gartner research vice president Mike Gotta to present at Smartsheet ENGAGE  —  Gotta will discuss why collaborative work management is increasingly essential for business at Smartsheet's annual customer conference Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Seattle.
TWiT.tv:
Tech Podcasts from Every Angle  —  TWiT.tv covers the latest in news, privacy, hacking, security, plus reviews of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and wearables.  If it has a chip, Leo Laporte and friends have a podcast on it.
Google Fi:
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Zoho:
Why this is the right time to be a tech geek  —  Gazing at Gizmodo or calling yourself a geek doesn't make you one.  Being a geek is more about “how you love” than “what you love”.  Geeks are motivated by a passionate interest in a specific subject.
Ingram Micro:
Apply for the World's Largest Startup Competition  —  B2B ISVs are encouraged to apply for the Comet Competition ahead of the September 30 deadline, with top prize of $1M made possible by Ingram Micro.
Intel:
The field of opportunity for AI is immense—does your CPU have AI Inside?  —  Here are three questions every technology buyer should be asking of their AI tech supplier.
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 More Items: 
Romin Irani / ProgrammableWeb:
Wolfram Alpha API Now Free and Open to All
Discussion: Download Squad
Nick Bilton / Bits:
Will Apple Put the iPhone on Other Carriers?
Discussion: asymco
Nob Seki / Six Apart News & Events:
Six Apart Japan to be acquired by Infocom and assume responsibility …
Discussion: Say Media and The Blog Herald
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
PeopleRank: Quora Is Developing An Algorithm To Determine And Rank User Quality
Discussion: Quora
Doug Palmer / Reuters:
Analysis: Hu addresses U.S. stress over China high-tech drive
Ryan Kim / GigaOM:
Google's Android Market Rules Could Squeeze Amazon's Android App Store
 Earlier Items: 
Adrian Chen / Gawker:
What a Stolen Credit Card Costs on the Digital Black Market
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:
Confirmed: iPad 3G launching soon in China
Greg Kumparak / MobileCrunch:
SkyFire Pulls In Another Million Bucks With The Launch Of SkyFire For iPad
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Verizon's First iPhone Commercial: It Begins