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6:20 PM ET, February 17, 2011

Techmeme

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The Official Google Blog:
An update to Google Social Search  —  Today we're doing a little bit more to bring you all the goodness of Google, plus the opinions of the people you care about.  As always, we want to help you find the most relevant answers among the billions of interconnected pages on the web.
RELATED:
Matt McGee / Search Engine Land:
Google's Search Results Get More Social; Twitter As The New Facebook “Like”  —  Your friends' activity on Twitter, Flickr and elsewhere — but for now, not Facebook — will soon be a lot more visible in Google's search results, including having an impact on how pages rank.
Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac:
Confirmed: Apple To Build Biggest Store Yet In Grand Central Terminal [Exclusive]  —  Apple will be building a massive store in New York's Grand Central Terminal, we have independently confirmed.  The store will open in the fall, likely early September — and it will be Apple's largest retail space in the world.
Greg Sterling / Search Engine Land:
Redesigned Bing Bar Toolbar More Like A “Dashboard”  —  Bing is introducing a totally redesigned version of its toolbar, called the “Bing Bar.”  Apparently it has been “rebuilt from the ground up,” says Microsoft's Stefan Weitz.  Indeed, it operates more like a kind of “dashboard” …
RELATED:
David Sarno / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Official list of attendees at Obama tech meeting: CEOs of Twitter, Netflix, Oracle, Yahoo, others  —  Here's the official list of attendees of Thursday evening's meeting of technology industry chiefs with President Obama in San Francisco.  It includes many of Silicon Valley's biggest names.
Popular Mechanics:
Confessions of an Apple Store Employee  —  Apple is famous for its secrecy, with a code of silence that runs from top management all the way down to its retail employees.  One Apple Store employee decided to throw protocol to the curb and tell us what it's really like working at the vaunted retail outlets.
Discussion: MacRumors, TUAW, MacStories and NBC Bay Area
Declan McCullagh / CNET News:
FBI: We're not demanding encryption backdoors  —  The FBI said today that it's not calling for restrictions on encryption without backdoors for law enforcement.  —  FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told a congressional committee that the bureau's push for expanded Internet wiretapping authority …
RELATED:
Jennifer Lynch / Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Newly Released Documents Detail FBI's Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws
Discussion: paidContent
Ben Fritz / Company Town:
Redbox digital service will go toe-to-toe with Netflix  —  Redbox is gearing up to challenge Netflix head-on, the kiosk DVD rental company confirmed Wednesday.  —  At a meeting with analysts, Redbox President Mitch Lowe said his company's forthcoming digital option will be subscription-based …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Nordstrom Acquires Flash Sales Site HauteLook For $270 Million  —  In one of the larger exits so far in the flash sales business, retail chain Nordstrom has acquired flash sales site HauteLookfor $180 million in Nordstrom stock and three-year earn-out of up to $90 million.  HauteLook has raised $41 million in funding.
Discussion: eMoney, Thomson IR and @cisco_mobile
DigiTimes:
Apple secures 60% of global touch panel capacity, causing tight supply  —  In order to achieve its internal goal of shipping 40 million iPad products in 2011, Apple has occupied close to 60% of the global touch panel capacity causing tight supply among Apple's competitors, according to sources from upstream component makers.
RELATED:
Darrell Etherington / GigaOM:   Prepaid Touch Panels Could Be the Secret to iPad's Success in 2011
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
Mac Growth Outpaces Market for 19th Straight Quarter  —  The Mac has been on a growth tear for a few years now, outperforming the broader PC market in most every sector.  Indeed, December 2010 marked the 19th consecutive quarter that it did so.  Mac shipments grew 23.5 percent for the month …
Ben Rooney / Tech Europe:
Motorola Executive Defends Tablet Price Tag … Motorola mobility chief Sanjay Jha confirmed that the company's new Xoom tablet will go on sale in the U.S. at $800, a higher price tag than current market leader Apple's iPad.  —  And in what has been described as the worst kept secret in the tech world …
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Spotify Signs On EMI for U.S. Launch.  At Least One More to Go...  It's getting closer: Spotify has finalized a U.S. distribution deal with EMI Music, multiple sources tell me.  —  Both EMI and Spotify declined to comment.  —  Coupled with last month's Sony deal, Spotify now has the approval …
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Presenting Our National Broadband Map.  It's a Start.  —  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) unveiled a nationwide broadband map for the U.S. today, and said “between five and ten percent of Americans don't have broadband.”
RELATED:
Amy Schatz / Digits:
NTIA, FCC Publish New National Broadband Map
Discussion: Electronista and Gizmodo
Jay Yarow / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
CHART OF THE DAY: The Death Of The Music Industry  —  Here is a stunning visualization of the collapse of the music industry from Bain.  As you can see, the growth of digital sales is not doing enough to offset the death of the CD.  —  (Chart via Peter Kafka, who spotted it on Flickr.)
Discussion: Evolver.fm and p2pnet
Wall Street Journal:
Accel Targets $2 Billion for New Venture Funds  —  Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Accel Partners is raising four new funds this year with an overall target of more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.  —  Accel is raising a growth-oriented fund …
Discussion: SAI and PE Hub Blog
Reuters:
Intel says will find new MeeGo partners  —  (Reuters) - Chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) said it would look for new partners for the MeeGo mobile operating system after partner Nokia chose to focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.  —  Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini said in a meeting …
Neil Hughes / AppleInsider:
Apple looking to increase battery life with dense lithium cells  —  Apple is investigating techniques to increase the energy capacity of rechargeable lithium battery cells without increasing the size of the battery, allowing longer battery life in future devices.
Discussion: MacStories and RazorianFly
Connie Loizos / PE Hub Blog:
It's Not a Bubble, People; It's a Pyramid Scheme  —  Mark Cuban knows a thing or two about bubbles, having profited handsomely from an earlier Internet boom.  But ask him if we're seeing Bubble 2.0 and he'll give you a different theory.  —  “It's almost the 2011 version of a private equity chain letter …
Discussion: DealBook
Darryl K. Taft / eWeek:
Google Asks Patent Office for Second Opinion on Oracle's Android Claims  —  Hoping to fend off Oracle's lawsuit claiming patent infringement for certain Java patents, Google has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to reexamine four of the patents.
 
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What does the future of cloud computing hold  —  and what does this mean for businesses?  We looked at the data, talked to luminaries, and listened to customers across the world.  Here's what they said.
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Here's why gamers should go with a processor that has high IPC and can hit the highest frequencies  —  Adding core count for core count's sake does not create a better gaming experience
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 More Items: 
Tricia Duryee / eMoney:
Amazon Lets Users Buy Android Apps Before Its New Device Even Ships
Discussion: NBC Bay Area
Elias Biryaberema / Reuters:
Uganda bans SMS texting of key words during poll
Matthew Lynley / VentureBeat:
Y Combinator founder: There is no tech bubble
Discussion: SAI, Deal Journal and PE Hub Blog
Claude Brodesser-Akner / New York Magazine:
YouTube Offering Millions for Celebrity-Created Content
Discussion: GigaOM and Techland
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Next New Networks SEC Filing Pretty Much Confirms YouTube Buyout
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Benchmark Capital Bets On Super-Quiet-Stealth-Shhhh ccLoop
 Earlier Items: 
Farhad Manjoo / Fast Company:
Are Silicon Valley's Engineers Underpaid?
Liz Gannes / Network Effect:
Posterous by the Numbers: 12.3M Blogs and 9.2M Monthly Visitors
Michael Kan / PC World:
China Microblog Blocks Searches for Hillary Clinton
Matt Rosoff / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
Sony Exec: We Are Not Abandoning iTunes