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9:45 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
Discussion: I4U News and Phones Review
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 …
John Fu / Google Chrome Blog:
Faster than a speeding rabbit: speed, sync, and settings  —  In the spirit of the lunar new year, we're excited to kick off the Year of the Rabbit with a slew of enhancements in the Chrome beta channel.  Today's new beta includes a dramatic improvement in JavaScript speed, new password sync features …
RELATED:
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.
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.
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
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 …
Discussion: SAI
Jolie O'Dell / Mashable!:
Google Unveils Delicious Bookmark Importer  —  Google has just rolled out a convenient new tool for importing your Delicious bookmarks to Google Bookmarks.  —  The simple importer takes your Delicious login credentials (or lets you use a one-click OAuth button) and imports all your bookmarks, preserving labels or tags.
Michael Kan / PC World:
Lenovo to Launch LePad Tablet Worldwide in June  —  Chinese PC maker Lenovo plans on selling its LePad tablet worldwide in June, but will first launch the device in China at the end of March, a company spokesman said on Friday.  —  The LePad, Lenovo's first tablet computer …
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: Fast Company, PE Hub Blog and SAI
RELATED:
David Pierson / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Father of China's Great Firewall discusses being persona non grata, admits to skirting the censorship he built  —  The man better known as the father of China's Great Firewall defended his invention which blocks out hundreds of thousands of foreign websites and admitted to owning software to evade the censorship he helped create.
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 …
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.
Tantek / Microformats:
Facebook Adds hCalendar and hCard Microformats to Millions of Events  —  As of today, Facebook has marked up all events with the hCalendar microformat including marking up their venues with hCard as well.  According to a simple Google search, that's millions of public events now with microformats …
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb
Phil Hornshaw / Appolicious Advisor:
Apple adds copyright infringement to reasons for rejecting apps  —  Apps mentioned:  —  The iTunes App Store is a big place, and in such a large and crowded digital space, there are bound to be a few unseemly characters.  —  One such character is intellectual property theft …
Mike Melanson / ReadWriteWeb:
Klout Chrome Extension Brings Scores to the Twitter Timeline  —  Time and again, we're told that influence on Twitter isn't simply about the number of followers someone has.  It's about a number of different factors, from retweets to reach to interaction, and more.
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
San Francisco Wants to Tax Your Stock Options- All of Them.  —  Few people are aware the San Francisco has had a tax provision in its municipal code since 2004 that requires companies to pay a payroll tax on gains from employee stock options.  No one pays it, and San Francisco hasn't enforced it to date …
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.
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 …
Foremski / Silicon Valley Watcher:
Analysis: Google Social Search Is All About Blocking Facebook/Twitter Search  —  Google's decision to give prominence to links in search results that come from your social network might help to improve some search results but it will not help improve overall search quality.  —  Google posted:
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 …
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.
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
 
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 Techmeme Sponsor Posts: 
Smartsheet:
Smartsheet's CEO: Our Software Market Is Still in Its Early Stages  —  During a talk with TheStreet, Mark Mader argues his firm's work execution platform still has a lot of headroom to displace manual business processes.
Zoho:
3 ways to bring in high-quality leads  —  This is a guest post by JotForm.  —  Gathering high-quality leads to convert into paying customers isn't the easiest thing to do.  From spambots to poorly created lead …
Google Cloud:
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Intel:
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 More Items: 
Stephen Lawson / CIO.com:
Clearwire Gains Subscribers, Remains in the Red
Fatema Yasmine / The Next Web:
Naval Ravikant and AngelList: The Match.com of Funding [Interview]
Discussion: VatorNews
Stephen Lawson / PC World:
House Passes Defunding of Net Neutrality Rules
Discussion: Inquirer and NewsGrange
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
Alex Williams / ReadWriteWeb:
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels Now Hosts His Blog on Amazon S3 and So Can You
Andrew Lyle / Neowin.net:
Microsoft planning IE9 announcement on March 14, launch imminent?
Discussion: The Windows Blog, Thanks:lylesback2
Bianca Bosker / The Huffington Post:
Facebook Adds ‘Civil Union,’ ‘Domestic Partnership’ To Relationship Status Options
 Earlier Items: 
Tricia Duryee / eMoney:
Amazon Lets Users Buy Android Apps Before Their New Device Even Ships
Discussion: NBC Bay Area
Jennifer Lynch / Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Newly Released Documents Detail FBI's Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws
Claude Brodesser-Akner / New York Magazine:
YouTube Offering Millions for Celebrity-Created Content
Peter Kafka / MediaMemo:
Spotify Signs On EMI for U.S. Launch. At Least One More to Go...
Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac:
Confirmed: Apple To Build Biggest Store Yet In Grand Central Terminal [Exclusive]
Greg Sterling / Search Engine Land:
Redesigned Bing Bar Toolbar More Like A “Dashboard”