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5:50 PM ET, March 18, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Charles Starrett / iLounge:
Apple plans major MobileMe revamp for April launch; prior version to be phased out in a year  —  Apple is set to announce a new, free version of MobileMe next month, according to a trusted iLounge source.  The source, who works for a major educational institution, claims the school's supplier …
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:
iPhone 5 prototypes spotted: metal back, larger display, iPhone 4 shape?  —  Image is a third-party “metal” back sticker for iPhone 4, not an image of the iPhone 5  —  A source from Foxconn who we believe to be reliable has provided us with some information about Apple's fifth-generation iPhone.
Andrew Allemann / Domain Name Wire:
ICANN Approves New .XXX Top Level Domain  —  ICANN Board approves new .xxx domain name.  —  Today the ICANN Board of Directors authorized the CEO of ICANN to execute the proposed registry agreement for the .xxx sTLD with ICM Registry.  —  ICANN's Board of Directors didn't agree with GAC advice on the issue.
Discussion: PC Magazine, CircleID and The Next Web
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Matt Rosoff / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
A Seedy New Neighborhood For The Web: XXX Domain Approved
John Ellis / SAI: Silicon Alley Insider:
Obama Nears Appointment Of Eric Schmidt As Commerce Secretary  —  The word in Washington is that President Obama is close to naming departing CEO Eric Schmidt as the nation's next Secretary of Commerce.  —  Mr. Schmidt picked up an important vote of confidence earlier this week …
John Brownlee / Geek.com:
Steve Jobs was Google's first choice for CEO  —  Here's an interesting fact: if Google had launched just a couple of years earlier, Apple's Steve Jobs might have been its CEO.  —  Way back in 2000, Google was just getting rolling, but its backers in the venture capital world decided …
Discussion: Cult of Mac
RELATED:
Steven Levy / Wired:   Larry Page Wants to Return Google to Its Startup Roots
Ted Sarandos / Netflix Blog:
House of Cards  —  Hi, Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer here.  We're delighted to tell you that in late 2012 Netflix will be bringing to our members in the U.S. and Canada exclusively “House of Cards,” the much-anticipated television series and political thriller …
RELATED:
Nick Bilton / Bits:
Is Amazon Working on an Android Kindle?  —  Amazon has been incredibly successful with its Kindle e-reader, offering a lightweight reader at an affordable price.  But the pizazz of the iPad 2 and the dozens of Android-based tablets that are slowly making their way off of conveyor belts …
Richard Gaywood / TUAW:
AT&T aggressively moving against unauthorized tethering  —  AT&T is ruining a lot of people's days with a customer mailshot explaining that its “records show that you use [tethering] but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” iOS, of course, will disable the built-in tethering facility if you do not have an appropriate carrier plan.
RELATED:
Paul Horowitz / OS X Daily:
AT&T Cracking Down on Unofficial iPhone Tethering & MyWi Users
Jim Dalrymple / The Loop:
AT&T cuts price of iPad 3G by $100  —  AT&T on Friday slashed the price of the original iPad 3G by $100 throughout its U.S. retail stores.  —  The iPad 3G now costs $429, $529 and $629 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, respectively.  Yesterday, the iPad 3G cost $100 more and last month it cost $200 more for the iPad 3G models.
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Not Even Kevin Rose Really Uses Digg Anymore  —  How bad are things at the once-mighty Digg these days?  Not so good.  It's been months since Digg relaunched in August in a quest for relevance.  They had 18 million unique worldwide visitors that month according to Comscore.
Ben Popper / Betabeat:
Twitter Splits Soho, Takes Facebook Space on Madison  —  Twitter, the Web's biggest repository of personal oversharing, political dissent and tasteless self-promotion, is donning a suit and tie.  —  The little blue bird has been perching in a spartan, open-concept loft in Soho since November …
Discussion: MediaPost, Pulse2, MediaMemo and WebProNews
Business Week:
Are Four Words Worth $25 Billion for Groupon?  —  Inside Andrew Mason's plan to remake Groupon, fend off copycats, and change your spending habits forever  —  On a frigid Chicago morning in early March, Andrew Mason stood on a street corner outside his company's offices to reveal …
Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac:
How the iPhone, NFC and Mac App Store Will Enable Remote Computing [Exclusive]  —  With all the rumors about NFC being in the next iPhone — or not in the next iPhone — we have a few more details about Apple's remote computing plans that revolve around the technology.
Chris Espinosa / cdespinosa's posterous:
0x22  —  Today is the 34th anniversary of the date on my Apple employee badge.  —  So what happened on St. Patrick's Day, 1977, my first day at Apple?  What was employee orientation like?  Where was my desk?  —  Well, there aren't answers to those questions.  Nothing in particular happened on 3/17/77.
Georgina Prodhan / Reuters:
Elop says work begun on first Windows Nokia phones  —  * Has no current plans to change Nokia management  —  Work has begun on the first Nokia (NOK1V.HE) smartphones based on Microsoft (MSFT.O) software following the partnership announced by the companies last month, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop told Reuters.
Patrick Seitz / IBD Click:
Netflix's Deep Integration With Facebook Under Way  —  Netflix (NFLX) has begun asking users to hook up their Netflix accounts with their Facebook accounts to share with friends and family information about what videos they're watching.  —  Netflix executives first revealed their plans …
Richard Boscovich / TechNet Blogs:
Taking Down Botnets: Microsoft and the Rustock Botnet  —  Senior Attorney, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit  —  Just over a year ago, we announced that the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), in cooperation with industry and academic experts, had successfully taken down the botnet Waledac in an operation known as “Operation b49”.
Sean Hollister / Engadget:
Flash 10.2 hits Android today, Adobe hopes for viewable 720p playback in a matter of weeks  —  Today, Adobe Flash 10.2 will hit the Android Market for devices running Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and by now you're probably familiar with what it brings — increased performance …
Matt LeMay / bit.ly blog:
bitly's Got a Brand New Mobile Site!  —  Hey look, it's a desk covered in mobile devices!  —  What makes these mobile devices different from all other mobile devices?  They are all running the brand new cross-platform bitly mobile site, which we are extremely stoked to share with you today.
Wall Street Journal:
RIM, Carriers Fight Over Digital Wallet  —  BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. is locking horns with wireless carriers over control of mobile-payment data, in an example of the battles erupting as smartphones evolve into electronic wallets.  —  The dispute centers on where key data related …
Jack Purcher / Patently Apple:
The EU Grants Apple 24 iOS Icon Design Patents  —  It seems that Europe is getting all of Apple's trademark business these days.  Since January there have been five major filings alone.  It Began with Ping, Apple's branding for their social network for music.
Discussion: Pulse2 and The Next Web
 
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 More Items: 
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
The Sun Will Set For Yahoo's AlltheWeb On April 4
 Earlier Items: 
Charles Arthur / Guardian:
Developers express concern over pirated games on Android Market
Gavin Clarke / The Register:
RIM PlayBook to sync with Microsoft Exchange cloud
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and eWeek
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
FriendFinder Revisits Plans To Go Public
Discussion: Pulse2 and PR Newswire
James Slater / SEO Blog by Dave Naylor:
Hidden Services on Google Social Search