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4:10 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?  —  Facebook has been trying to serve as a tool for enabling friends keep in touch with each other and today the company appears to be expanding such functionality through the acquisition of Beluga, a group texting product.
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
With Jobs Definitely Mulling Appearance at iPad Event, Let's Hope the Focus Is on the Product  —  According to several sources close to the situation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs-who is on a health-related leave from the company-is definitely considering an appearance at its big iPad 2 event tomorrow.
RELATED:
Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac:
Apple Staffer: iPad 3 Is The One To “Make A Song & Dance About”  —  We've received some tidbits of information about the iPad 2 launch tomorrow from an Apple staffer:  — MobileMe is being revamped with cloud storage features.  — The iPad 2 is a ho-hum update.  It's more of a speed bump than a redesign.
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:
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.
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.
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 …
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
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Andreessen Horowitz Makes It a Foursome-Adds IronPort's Scott Weiss as Investing GP  —  High-profile venture firm Andreessen Horowitz added another investing general partner to their group today, with the appointment of IronPort Co-founder Scott Weiss.  —  Weiss is the fourth investing GP …
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.
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 …
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)
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.
@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.
Sinead Carew / Reuters:
Verizon eyes tiered pricing for mid-summer  —  (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless will replace its unlimited mobile data service with usage-based pricing for iPhone customers around the middle of the summer, according to the finance chief of parent Verizon Communications.
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
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%.
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.
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.
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Skype Teams Up With Citrix To Bring GoToMeeting Web Conferencing To Business Offerings  —  As the company looks to boost revenue in 2011 in advance of an IPO, Skype is pursuing an aggressive enterprise strategy.  Today, Skype's VP of Enterprise, David Gurle, is announcing a strategic partnership …
Discussion: Bits and GigaOM
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 …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Google Buys Security Analytics Software Developer Zynamics  —  It looks like Google has made an acquisition today: security analytics software company Zynamics.  —  Here's the post on Zynamic's blog: We're pleased to announce that zynamics has been acquired by Google!
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.
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 …
Dan Frommer / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
Amazon's Android App Store Is Supposedly Launching This Month  —  Amazon's app store for Google Android devices is launching soon — this month — according to this tweet from mobile ad network Millennial Media.  —  “Launching this month!  Amazon Appstore for #Android—learn more here,” …
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.
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.
Amir Efrati / Digits:
Coming Soon: Advertiser Alerts on Your Phone  —  Advertisers have long contemplated a world in which they could contact people walking down the street with special offers and get them to change course and enter a store.  There's been new movement this week to make that vision a reality.
 
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 More Items: 
Owen Thomas / VentureBeat:
White House-backed Startup America teams up with DEMO
Discussion: TechCrunch
Neil Hughes / AppleInsider:
Apple granted patent for scratch-proof nitride metal device coating
Rachael King / Business Week:
Sentiment Analysis Gives Companies Insight Into Consumer Opinion
Mike Shields / Adweek:
Hulu Set for Meteoric Growth in 2011
Discussion: Mashable!
Ian Shapira / Washington Post:
Obama administration joins critics of U.S. nonprofit that oversees Internet
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Bray / ongoing:
Making Money in Mobile
John Cook / TechFlash:
Amazon pulls the plug on its AmazonTote pilot project
Ina Fried / Mobilized:
T-Mobile Killing Off Microsoft's Danger Servers Ahead of Android-based Sidekicks
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Ron Conway, Chris Sacca And Others Invest 800K In PaaS Dotcloud
Discussion: GigaOM and Fortune
Nilay Patel / Engadget:
Mac OS X Lion hands-on preview
Discussion: Fortune