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4:20 AM ET, February 18, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Apple Is Weighing a Cheaper iPhone  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Apple has been exploring ways to broaden the appeal of the iPhone by making the popular device less expensive and allowing users to control it with voice commands.  —  But contrary to published reports, Apple is not currently developing …
RELATED:
Arn / MacRumors:   Apple Not Planning to Launch a Smaller iPhone
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:
Foremski / Silicon Valley Watcher:
Analysis: Google Social Search Is All About Blocking Facebook/Twitter Search
Discussion: Fortune and SAI
Wall Street Journal:
Regulators Eye Apple Anew  —  Enforcers Interested in Whether Digital-Subscription Rules Stifle Competition  —  WASHINGTON—U.S. antitrust enforcers have begun looking at the terms Apple Inc. set this week for media companies who want to sell their content on its popular iPad and other devices …
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.
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
Gawker's Gulp Moment: Big Redesign Is Driving People Away  —  About ten days ago, gossip blog Gawker and its sister sites Gizmodo, Lifehacker and others switched over to a drastic redesign which was met with plenty of jeers.  People always complain about design changes …
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Obama dines with tech stars of Silicon Valley  —  (02-18) 04:00 PST Woodside - —  President Obama - on his first official trip to the Bay Area that didn't involve political fundraising - held a dinner meeting Thursday to talk job creation and education with a star-studded team …
RELATED:
Matt Spetalnick / Reuters:   Apple's Jobs at tech CEO meeting with Obama: White House
Ryan Kim / GigaOM:
Apple Contemplating Reduction in 15-Minute App Purchase Window  —  In an apparent response to rising concerns about children buying costly virtual goods in freemium apps, Apple is reportedly discussing the possibility of reducing a 15-minute purchase window for users to buy successive apps …
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: Howard Lindzon and DealBook
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Zynga Raising $500 Million at $10 Billion Valuation  —  The fast-growing social gaming company, Zynga is close to completing a funding round of $500 million, valuing the company at $10 billion, said multiple sources.  —  The round includes big institutional investors Morgan Stanley …
Discussion: SAI and PE Hub Blog
RELATED:
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.
Sascha Segan / PC Magazine:
Skype: Expect Video Calling for AT&T  —  Now that Skype and Qik have joined, they plan to bring video calls to all four major US carriers.  —  BARCELONA—Skype's video-calling prowess will improve the quality of Qik video calls on Sprint and T-Mobile devices, and the joined company is pursuing …
Discussion: Electronista and Engadget
Tricia Duryee / eMoney:
Telltale Signs That Videogames Will Be Downloaded, Not Sold at Retail  —  The business of selling plastic-wrapped videogames for $60 apiece is becoming an ancient practice, as digital downloads take over-often at lower prices.  —  But a small San Rafael, Calif.-based videogame company thinks …
Alex Williams / ReadWriteCloud:
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels Now Hosts His Blog on Amazon S3 and So Can You  —  Amazon is now offering hosting for static Web sites through S3.  It makes it possible now for people with blogs and static Web sites to get the power of Amazon Web Services performance.  —  Its first customer?
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.
Jan Wildeboer:
Microsoft: Absolutely NO (GPLv3-or-compat-licensed) Free Software for Windows Phone and Xbox Apps.  —  This is rather uncool, IMHO, I stumbled upon this forum entry and was quite astonished.  It points to the Microsoft Application Provider Agreement that governs the Windows Marketplace …
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.
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” …
Fatema Yasmine / The Next Web:
Naval Ravikant and AngelList: The Match.com of Funding [Interview]  —  Last week I had the chance to talk to Naval Ravikant; founder of AngelList, serial entrepreneur and top global angel investor.  We talked in great detail about AngelList and his life as an investor.
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 …
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
‘Year Of The Rabbit’ Begins As Chrome 10 Hops Into Beta With ‘Crankshaft’ JavaScript  —  As they have made abundantly clear over the past several months, Google hates talking about the version numbers of Chrome.  —  Well, except when they have something to talk about.  Which is actually quite often.
Paul Lamkin / Pocket-lint:
Acer Windows Phone 7 devices coming Autumn 2011  —  EXCLUSIVE: September or October release  —  An Acer spokesperson has confirmed to Pocket-lint that Acer will be joining the Windows Phone 7 party this autumn, with a September or October 2011 launch planned.
Stephen Lawson / PC World:
House Passes Defunding of Net Neutrality Rules  —  The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment to its annual government funding bill that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from using any funds to implement the Net neutrality rules it approved last year.
Discussion: NewsGrange
 
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 More Items: 
Phil Hornshaw / Appolicious Advisor:
Apple adds copyright infringement to reasons for rejecting apps
Discussion: PlagiarismToday
Stephen Lawson / CIO.com:
Clearwire Gains Subscribers, Remains in the Red
Daniel Eran Dilger / AppleInsider:
Inside subscription content: Apple iPad vs Google One Pass vs Amazon Kindle
Brodie Beta / The Next Web:
Netflix may get slapped with fees to broadcast in Canada
Andrew Lyle / Neowin.net:
Microsoft planning IE9 announcement on March 14, launch imminent?
Discussion: The Windows Blog, Thanks:lylesback2
Daniel Eran Dilger / AppleInsider:
Apple nearing CDMA iPhone 4 deal with China Telecom
Darryl K. Taft / eWeek:
Google Asks Patent Office for Second Opinion on Oracle's Android Claims
 Earlier Items: 
Jennifer Lynch / Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Newly Released Documents Detail FBI's Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws
Wall Street Journal:
Accel Targets $2 Billion for New Venture Funds
Discussion: PE Hub Blog and SAI
Matthew Lynley / VentureBeat:
Y Combinator founder: There is no tech bubble
Discussion: VatorNews, SAI, Deal Journal and PE Hub Blog
Stacey Higginbotham / GigaOM:
Presenting Our National Broadband Map. It's a Start.
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
Mac Growth Outpaces Market for 19th Straight Quarter
Ben Fritz / Company Town:
Redbox digital service will go toe-to-toe with Netflix