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2:30 PM ET, March 1, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
Facebook Acquires Group Messaging Service Beluga In A Talent AND Technology Deal  —  Facebook has just acquired group messaging service Beluga, we've learned.  —  Here's what we know: Facebook has acquired both the product and the team, and the plan is apparently to keep the service open for now.
RELATED:
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:   Is Facebook Group Texting Coming Soon?
Richi Jennings / Computerworld:
Google Apps and Gmail outage outrage: Problem NOT resolved  —  Update: The Gmail outage is not yet resolved, despite 35,000 Google Apps and consumer Gmail users agonizing over missing mail.  The cloud service provider is furiously restoring from backup tapes as we speak.
RELATED:
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft delivers its ‘other’ tablet operating system: Windows Embedded Compact 7  —  Microsoft announced general availability on March 1 of the final version of its Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system, codenamed “Chelan.”  —  Microsoft posted a 180-day trial version …
RELATED:
Matt Rosoff / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
Microsoft Preparing Windows 8 Tablet Design Demos For June
Josh Constine / Inside Facebook:
Facebook's New Comments Box Plugin Filters Website Comment Reels by Relevance  —  Facebook has released a major update to its embeddable Comments Box social plugin for third-party websites.  The plugin processes social signals to surface the most relevant comments, and a new moderation dashboard allows admins …
RELATED:
Ray C. He / Facebook Developers:
Improving Comments Across The Web  —  Today, we're launching updates to the Comments Box plugin with new moderation tools as well as features to improve the distribution and quality of comments on your site.  —  More Social Relevance  —  The upgraded Comments Box uses social signals …
Todd Bishop / TechFlash:
Apple fights for ‘App Store’ name, calls Microsoft clueless as usual  —  Apple is defending its attempt to trademark the phrase “App Store,” saying in a new filing that Microsoft has failed to prove that the term should be left open for use by competing mobile application marketplaces.
Discussion: mocoNews, MacRumors and SAI
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Google's New In-App Payments Product Set For Launch In May 2011  —  Google was originally set to debut in-app payments support for Android in the fourth quarter of 2010, and recently said that the launch would be delayed until the end of this quarter.  Be that as it may, the company is set …
Christopher Williams / Telegraph:
Gordon Brown ‘blocked knighthood’ for Steve Jobs  —  Gordon Brown blocked an honorary knighthood for Apple founder Steve Jobs, it has emerged.  —  Apple chief executive Steve Jobs poses with the Apple iPad  —  The then-Prime Minister refused to knight Mr Jobs in 2009 because he turned …
Kevin C. Tofel / GigaOM:
Too Much Data?  New Evernote Should Help  —  Evernote today launched a redesigned version of its iPhone software, adding new views and features that further help to organize thoughts on the go.  Evernote 4, available in the iTunes App Store, now supports multiple attachments and up to 90 minutes of audio recording per note.
@theHipmunk blog:
Hipmunk Hotels  —  Today's a big day for Hipmunk: we're now searching hotels.  We've designed our hotel search around one basic premise: to find you a good deal in a good location.  —  Hipmunk helps you find the interesting parts of a city and see which hotels are nearby.  Our hotel search is built around a big map.
Vlad Savov / Engadget:
Motorola prices WiFi-only Xoom at £450 in the UK (update: €700 in Germany with 3G)  —  Finally Motorola gives us a chance to say something positive about its pricing of the 10.1-inch, Tegra 2-powered Xoom tablet.  UK electronics retailer PC World has just put up its Xoom pre-order page …
Brice Morrison / Inside Social Games:
How Zynga Defused Its FarmVille Time-Bomb  —  [Editor's note: This is a guest post by Brice Morrison, editor of game industry design site The Game Prodigy.]  —  When Zynga's FarmVille hit 80 million players on year ago in February 2010, it was a breathtaking event for the entire games industry.
Discussion: eMoney and VentureBeat
Frederic Lardinois / NewsGrange:
Bing's Shopping Search Gets Smarter with Natural Language Capabilities  —  If you search for “air jordans under $100” on Google today, you will get a nice list of ten blue links.  If you search on Google's shopping site, you will get quite a few results with prices around $250.
Dan Levine / Reuters:
Ex-Apple employee pleads guilty in kickback scheme  —  * Devine worked as a global supply manager at Apple  —  * Accused of taking kickbacks from suppliers  —  * Devine “a good man who made a mistake” - defense lawyer (Adds comments from Devine attorney and Apple, byline)
Richard G Russell / Foredecker:
Working At Microsoft-20% Time and Prototypes  —  I quite often see assumptions on the inter-tubes that writing software at Microsoft is a mind-numbingly boring, tedious, manual, excruciating, soul-crushing bureaucratic exercise.  This couldn't be further from the truth - especially in Windows.
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry / SAI:
This 26-Year-Old Is Making Millions Cutting Out Traditional Publishers With Amazon Kindle  —  Welcome to disruption. 26-year old Amanda Hocking is the best-selling “indie” writer on the Kindle store, meaning she doesn't have a publishing deal, Novelr says.  —  And she shouldn't.
Sarah Perez / ReadWriteWeb:
StatCounter: Bing Just Beat Yahoo Worldwide  —  According to analytics firm StatCounter, the Bing search engine has just overtaken Yahoo for the first time worldwide during the month of February 2011.  From StatCounter Global Stats, Bing closed out the month with a 4.37% search share compared with Yahoo's 3.93%.
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
Big Appetite: Greylock Sends Entrepreneurs a Message with Expanded $1 Billion Fund  —  In case you missed it, being a super angel is officially passe.  The new hotness is having a late-stage growth cash.  Sequoia Capital is doing it.  Andreessen Horowitz is doing it.  Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is doing it.
Enigmax / TorrentFreak:
70% of the Public Finds Piracy Socially Acceptable  —  During the last decade the entertainment industries have tried numerous strategies to thwart Internet piracy.  One of the most common, especially with the music industry, was to sue some file-sharers into submission thereby creating a climate of fear designed to deter others.
Audrey Watters / ReadWriteWeb:
Report Finds Connected Devices, Not Phones, Leading the Explosion in Mobile Wireless  —  Wireless consultant Chetan Sharma has just released an updated report on U.S. mobile data for the last quarter of 2010, and it points to the growth in the wireless market, in mobile penetration and in data usage.
Vlad Savov / Engadget:
NVIDIA Tegra Zone officially launched, takes Android to new dual-core heights  —  It's the first of March, which in NVIDIA land means no longer just talking about Tegra Zone, but actually activating it and letting users see what all the fuss is about.  For those who've not yet heard of it …
Ina Fried / Mobilized:
T-Mobile Killing Off Microsoft's Danger Servers Ahead of Android-based Sidekicks  —  One of the first smartphones is headed for an unceremonious farewell.  —  T-Mobile announced on Monday that it plans to kill off the Microsoft Danger service that powers the current generation of Sidekick devices …
Rachael King / Business Week:
Sentiment Analysis Gives Companies Insight Into Consumer Opinion  —  Kia, Best Buy, and Viacom are using new tools to mine comments on the Web to see what consumers really think of their brands  —  Kia Motors (000270:KS) is eager to know what consumers think of its 2012 Rio …
Mike Shields / Adweek:
Hulu Set for Meteoric Growth in 2011  —  Ad revenue haul could be as high as $500 million  —  Hulu is on pace to haul in half a billion dollars in ad revenue in 2011, according to CEO Jason Kilar.  That would represent nearly a 100 percent increase from the $263 million the company …
Discussion: Mashable!
Ingrid Lunden / paidContent:
Boxee Picks Up $16.5 Million To Expand Connected TV Offerings  —  Cord-cutting has yet to hit the mainstream, but one service is beefing up its offering in an attempt to make it more of a reality.  The connected TV provider Boxee—which lets users watch TV programs, films and other content …
Neil Hughes / AppleInsider:
Apple granted patent for scratch-proof nitride metal device coating  —  Apple has been granted ownership of an invention related to scratch-proof coatings on stainless steel devices, using a nitride layer to potentially make iPhones, iPads and Macs more durable.
 
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 More Items: 
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
MeFeedia Reports 63 Percent Of Web Video Is HTML5-Friendly
Discussion: SAI, MeFeedia Blog and MacRumors
Ian Shapira / Washington Post:
Obama administration joins critics of U.S. nonprofit that oversees Internet
Andrew Allemann / Domain Name Wire:
ICANN May Shut Down .Jobs Registry
Discussion: DomainIncite.com
Tim Bray / ongoing:
Making Money in Mobile
 Earlier Items: 
John Cook / TechFlash:
Amazon pulls the plug on its AmazonTote pilot project
Discussion: NewsGrange and SAI
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Ron Conway, Chris Sacca And Others Invest 800K In PaaS Dotcloud
Discussion: GigaOM and Fortune
Sebastiaan de With / Cocoia Blog:
Getting Notified  —  There's some discussion on Apple-centric …
Michael Riley / Bloomberg:
Morgan Stanley Leak Shows Attack by China-Based Hackers Who Took On Google
Nilay Patel / Engadget:
Mac OS X Lion hands-on preview
Discussion: Fortune, TUAW and Softpedia News
Phil Nickinson / Android Central:
Honeycomb statue finally at Google campus