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2:35 PM ET, March 13, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Marshall Kirkpatrick / ReadWriteWeb:
Google to Launch Major New Social Network Called Circles, Possibly Today  —  We believe that Google will preview a major new social service called Google Circles at South by Southwest Interactive today.  If what we've heard is correct, the service will offer photo, video and status message sharing.
RELATED:
Liz Gannes / NetworkEffect:
Google Denies Social Network Called Circles Will Debut Today, Despite Report  —  Google has reportedly built a social network called Google Circles intended to help users share photos, videos and status messages with only the most appropriate people.  Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb …
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Is your iPad 2 backlight bleeding? (video)  —  Now that many of you have collected and used your second generation iPad tablets for a few hours, we're starting to see the inevitable reports of defects.  Thus far, two issues have bubbled to the surface.  The first issue …
RELATED:
Arn / MacRumors:
iPad 2: GPU Benchmarked with Impressive Gains  —  Anandtech has determined the iPad GPU to be the PowerVR SGX543MP2, a more advanced dual-core version of the PowerVR GPU found in the original iPad and iPhone 4. … They found that the new graphics processor offered over 3-5x the speed in simple geometry tests over the original iPad.
Joshua Topolsky / Engadget:
Hello, I must be going  —  It's hard to believe that I'm currently writing the words I seem to be writing, though a casual stock-taking of my senses dictates that it must be true.  Here I am, at my computer, typing letters one by one into a plain text document, rolling along through …
RELATED:
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Exclusive: Engadget's Top Editors Topolsky and Patel Exit From AOL's Giant Tech Site  —  Josh Topolsky, the editor-in-chief of Engadget, is leaving the AOL-owned property, which one of the largest tech news sites on the Web.  —  Also departing is Managing Editor Nilay Patel, said sources.
Peter Rojas / @peterrojas:   Best of luck to @joshuatopolsky and @reckless, there is life after Engadget!
Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo:
How to Activate the Best Secret Feature In Your iPad  —  How to Activate the Best Secret Feature In Your iPad Your new iPad—and old too, with iOS 4.3—has a new hidden feature that Apple doesn't want you to know about: Extra multi-touch gestures that completely changes the iPad experience …
Kellex / Droid Life:
WiFi-only Galaxy Tab Launching April 4 for $399?  —  One of our posse members was hanging out at a technology fair today and it just so happened to include a Samsung rep who was quick to hand out the flyer above which shows that the wifi-only Galaxy Tab version should be out by April 4.
Robert McMillan / ITworld:
With hacking, music can take control of your car  —  Remote-controlled car hacking is a real possibility, researchers say - About 300 years ago, the English playwright William Congreve wrote, “music has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
Discussion: Slashdot
Michael Oryl / MobileBurn.com:
iSuppli estimates Apple iPad 2 3G component costs at $325  —  News by Michael Oryl on Sunday March 13, 2011.  —  Research firm iSuppli is working on its teardown of the new Apple iPad 2 tablet computer and has provided preliminary component cost estimates to All Things Digital.
Discussion: NewEnterprise and Digits
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:
Apple now taking Red Cross donations through iTunes for Japan relief fund  —  Apple has opened up a new portal in the iTunes Store to take donations for the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund.  Users who wish to donate can donate in $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 increments.
RELATED:
Ingrid Lunden / mocoNews:
Mobile Giving: A List Of Shortcodes To Donate To Japan
Discussion: textually.org
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Zynga Enables Donations To Tsunami Relief Through In-Game Purchases
Thanks:danidudeck
Jon Evans / TechCrunch:
The Walled Garden Has Won  —  Ten days ago Google discovered that apparently innocuous Android apps were in fact infested with “DroidDream” malware that included an Android rootkit, with the apparent intent of creating a smartphone botnet.  It infected more than a quarter of a million devices before Google intervened.
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Why Twitter Should Think Twice About Bulldozing the Ecosystem  —  In another shot fired across the bow of the Twitter ecosystem — or another volley in the ongoing Twitter wars of 2011 — the company has come out with new terms on which all developers must operate, which makes it clear …
Discussion: @joestump and @cdixon
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 More Items: 
Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:
Chrome 12 Will Drop Support for Google Gears
Discussion: Gears API Blog and thechromesource
 Earlier Items: 
Sean Hollister / Engadget:
Adobe Flash Player leaks for Motorola Xoom, we go hands-on (update: more video!)
Discussion: TechSpot
Adam Bryant / New York Times:
Google's Quest to Build a Better Boss
Discussion: Entrepreneur Watch