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7:35 PM ET, January 21, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion At $50 Billion Valuation  —  Facebook has officially announced that it has just raised $1.5 billion in funding at a $50 billion valuation, according to a release issued today (we've embedded the release below).  —  As stated in the release, the investment was broken into two parts.
RELATED:
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
The Clock Is Set For A Facebook IPO By April, 2012  —  Today, Facebook announced that it raised a total of $1.5 billion in its latest round, giving the company a valuation of $50 billion.  But it also disclosed something else: when it will likely go public.
Discussion: Mashable and SelectStart
Anthony Ha / VentureBeat:
Facebook confirms $1.5B funding, leaves $500M on the table
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:
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Did Google Just Declare War on Demand Media?  —  Over the past few months, there has been a growing chorus of criticism — much of it anecdotal, but coming from a number of respected technology observers — about Google's increasingly useless search results.
Discussion: Search Engine Land, Mixed Media, SAI and WebProNews, Thanks:defrag
Tom Krazit / CNET News:
Google ready for action against content farms  —  Google is ready to fire a shot across the bow of the so-called content farms, willing to acknowledge recent criticism of the quality of its search results but still not quite ready to detail specific remedies.
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:
Charles Arthur / Guardian:
Google shuffle: why Schmidt had to be pushed from the top  —  After slipups with search, Street View and Android, it's clear that Google needs tighter control at the top - and Eric Schmidt is not the man for the job  —  Eric Schmidt's departure after nearly 10 years as chief executive of Google …
Harry McCracken / Techland:   The Eric Schmidt Era: Google 2001 vs. Google 2011
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
TechCrunch Interview With Eric Schmidt, Larry Page And Sergey Brin
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.
Brian X. Chen / Gadget Lab:
Open Source Hack Unlocks Apple TV's Potential  —  Your Apple TV just got a lot less boring with the help of nifty new tools that override its restrictions and add powerful capabilities.  —  Launched Friday morning, the hack for Apple TV 2 expands the set-top box's multimedia playback …
Discussion: Ars Technica
RELATED:
Theuni / XBMC:
You asked for it: XBMC for AppleTV2, iPad, iPhone4.
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 …
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 …
Jon Brodkin / Network World:
Ballmer to Hu: 90% of Microsoft customers in China using pirated software  —  Microsoft CEO raises concerns to Chinese president about intellectual property protection  —  While Chinese President Hu Jintao knew he'd face some tough questions when he came to the United States this week …
RELATED:
Doug Palmer / Reuters:   Analysis: Hu addresses U.S. stress over China high-tech drive
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Creator Of Million Dollar Homepage Makes Do Nothing For 2 Minutes  —  PopJam CEO Alex Tew, the guy behind the internet phenomenon Million Dollar Homepage, has now gone the opposite extreme.  Along with developer Ben Dowling, he has created Do Nothing For 2 Minutes, a site whose purpose is pretty self-explanatory.
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft moves its Chatter-like OfficeTalk toward commercialization  —  OfficeTalk — Microsoft's enterprise-focused microblogging technology — may soon find a home among the company's product teams and become a shipping product and/or service.  —  OfficeTalk, one of the projects launched …
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 …
Ed Burnette / Ed Burnette's Dev Connection Blog:
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.
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.
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.
Romin Irani / ProgrammableWeb:
Wolfram Alpha API Now Free and Open to All  —  Computational knowledge engineWolfram Alpha has just become more accessible from a variety of applications.  Wolfram Alpha has thrown open access to its API to all developers with version 2. of its Wolfram Alpha API, allowing you to integrate …
Discussion: Wolfram and Download Squad
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: Deal Journal and TechCrunch
 
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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.
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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: 
Gautham Nagesh / Hillicon Valley:
Groups say Comcast may have violated net-neutrality rules
Thanks:gnagesh
Anil Dash:
How should a White House Quora Work?
Nick Bilton / Bits:
Will Apple Put the iPhone on Other Carriers?
Discussion: asymco
Eric Eldon / Inside Social Games:
Zynga Buys Area/Code, Developer of Ubisoft's CSI: Crime City Game on Facebook
Nob Seki / Six Apart News & Events:
Six Apart Japan to be acquired by Infocom and assume responsibility …
Discussion: Say Media, Asiajin and The Blog Herald
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
Developers Share Mac App Store Sales Figures
Discussion: TUAW and MarketingVOX
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
PeopleRank: Quora Is Developing An Algorithm To Determine And Rank User Quality
Discussion: SAI and Quora
Jeanette Borzo / Wall Street Journal:
Can Employers Fire Over Facebook Gaffes?
Adrian Chen / Gawker:
What a Stolen Credit Card Costs on the Digital Black Market
Justin Scott / Mozilla Add-ons Blog:
Blocking the Skype Toolbar in Firefox