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1:40 PM ET, April 4, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Kent Walker / The Official Google Blog:
Patents and innovation  —  The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation.  Some of these lawsuits have been filed by people or companies that have never actually created anything …
RELATED:
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines Blog:
Google bids $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents  —  Nortel said that it is selling all of its remaining patents and applications for $900 million to Google.  —  With the move, Google gets about 6,000 patents covering wired, wireless and digital communications technologies.
Discussion: NBC Bay Area
Joshua Topolsky:
This is my next project  —  As you may have already heard (or read), there's some activity going on in the world of Joshua Topolsky.  Earlier this evening, David Carr published a piece in the New York Times about a new project that I'm embarking on... and I want to just say a few things about it.
RELATED:
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
SB Nation Sacks AOL in Raid of Former Engadget Team for Competing New Tech Site, As AOL Zeroes in on New EiC  —  Jim Bankoff, the fomer AOL exec responsible for buying Engadget for the Internet portal, has grabbed eight staffers who had recently left the huge tech site amid tensions, in order to start a new gadget property.
Jim Bankoff / @bankoff:   I am very proud to welcome @joshuatopolsky @joannastern @reckless @futurepaul @bjork24 @justinglow @ohnorosco @zpower to our @sbnation team.
Thomas Ricker / Engadget:
Sony's Howard Stringer confirms Honeycomb tablet in US by summer  —  Ready for a taste of a sweet Honeycomb tablet with a Sony twist?  You'd better be — Japan's Nikkei is quoting Sony chief executive, Sir Howard Stringer, saying that the company's first Android 3.0 tablet will be on sale by the end of summer.
Greg Kumparak / MobileCrunch:
10 Things That Simply Need To Be In iOS 5  —  WWDC.  It's like Christmas for OS X and iOS developers.  Each year, they flock to San Francisco's Moscone Center, anxiously awaiting the pair of gifts that Apple annually bestows: the new iPhone, and a bundle of new features upon which they'll build their next big thing.
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
Milk: Kevin Rose's New Company Aims to Solve Big Problems on the Mobile Web  —  Well by Silicon Valley standards, that certainly wasn't a long “stealth” period.  Just weeks after he quit Digg, Kevin Rose is announcing details of his new startup.  Knowing Rose, I can tell why he's so excited to get started.
Henry Blodget / The Wire:
IT'S OFFICIAL: AOL Fires Freelancers*  —  A couple of weeks ago, AOL threw its freelance journalists into purgatory:  —  They were supposed to sit tight and wait to hear from their editors on their roles in the post-merger Huffington Post Media Group.  —  The freelancers, naturally …
Greg Bensinger / Bloomberg:
Sprint Plans Tap-and-Go Payment Service This Year to Get a Jump on Rivals  —  Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) plans to start a service this year that will allow customers to make purchases with their mobile phones, ahead of a similar initiative from rivals Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc. (T) and T-Mobile USA.
Discussion: IntoMobile
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry / SAI:
The Libyan War Derails Letter.ly, Will More .ly Startups Be Threatened?  —  Letter.ly, a startup that helps set up and manage paid email newsletters, had its service briefly shut down by the Libyan war and has had to move its service to the domain Letterly.net.
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
How We All Missed Web 2.0′s “Netscape Moment”  —  On May 26, 2009 Mike sat down with Yuri Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and a Flipcam to talk about the then-scandalous $200 million investment DST made in Facebook, at a price that valued the company at about $10 billion.  The camera-work is Blair-Witch-Project-like at best.
Discussion: broadstuff
Kara Swisher / BoomTown:
Myspace Bake-Off Starts Wednesday and-Despite Reports-No Bidder in Lead (and No Zynga Interest Either)  —  While no one inside or outside Myspace owner News Corp. expects fireworks and giant piles of money, the tire-kicking for the long-troubled social-networking-turned-entertainment site actually starts Wednesday.
Discussion: hypebot
Tricia Duryee / All Things Digital:
Zynga Appoints DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg to Board  —  Zynga is beefing up its board of directors by announcing today that it has added Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation.  —  Katzenberg, who created the animation studio along with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen …
Discussion: TechCrunch and VentureBeat
Audrey Watters / ReadWriteWeb:
What Do Kids Say Is The Biggest Obstacle To Technology At School?  —  iPads.  Interactive Whiteboards.  Netbooks.  Video games.  Although educational technologies are being implemented more and more in classrooms across the country, we don't often stop and ask students - or their parents - what they think their technology needs are.
John Paczkowski / Digital Daily:
The MacBook Air: A $2.2 Billion-a-Year “Quasi-Tablet”  —  With all the chatter over the iPad 2, the iPhone 4 and its successor, it's easy to forget that Apple has another ultra-portable device that's doing quite well at market: the MacBook Air.  —  Nearly six months after it launched …
Discussion: AppleInsider, MacNN, TUAW and MacStories
Christian Zibreg / 9 to 5 Mac:
Untethered iOS 4.3.1 jailbreak is out, supports all devices except iPad 2 and Verizon iPhone  —  Fans of jailbreaking have long known that Sundays are traditionally reserved for major iPhone jailbreaks.  Following yesterday's tweet by a team member MuscleNerd, Dev-team released a set …
Mark Milian / CNN:
Why Nintendo isn't making a phone  —  Playing Super Mario on a Nintendo phone will remain a pipe dream.  —  Although Microsoft and Sony — Nintendo's rivals among the “Big Three” gaming companies — have branched into mobile phone development, Nintendo isn't planning to build a phone …
Christian Zibreg / 9 to 5 Mac:
iAd rival: Unofficial app store Cydia lands advertising deal with Toyota  —  Companies are keeping a close eye on the jailbreaking community as at least one big brand demonstrates willingness to advertise on Cydia, the unofficial store for unsanctioned third-party programs which can be installed on jailbroken iPhones, iPods and iPads.
B.L. Ochman / AdAge:
Most Fortune 50 Brands Still Hiding Their Social Media  —  Looking for Facebook or Twitter Icons on Corporate Websites?  Keep Looking  —  Surely, as we head into the second quarter, the Fortune 50 — if not all big companies — are now at least involved in social media and want us to find them everywhere they have an online presence.
Discussion: Marketing Pilgrim and FM Blog
Daniel Bailey / ConceivablyTech:
Firefox 5: Social Sharing, Home Tab, PDF Viewer, Tab Apps  —  Details about the next version of Firefox are slowly emerging.  The browser will receive significant UI revisions and feature updates that will make Firefox more social and adopt several features that are already working well in Google's Chrome browser.
Ed Bott / Ed Bott's Microsoft Report Blog:
Developer bypasses carriers, delivers Windows Phone update  —  In the last two months, Microsoft has released a pair of updates to its Windows Phone software, including the March update ("NoDo") which adds bug fixes, performance improvements, and copy-and-paste support.
Joe McDonald / Associated Press:
Google profile in China shrinking  —  BEIJING - A year after a public spat with Beijing over censorship, Google Inc. says its business with Chinese advertisers is growing even as the Internet giant's share of online searches in China plunges.  —  A major Chinese portal announced last week …
Discussion: VentureBeat and Fast Company
RELATED:
Patrick Chovanec:   Going After Google  —  When Google threw down the gauntlet …
 
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 More Items: 
Zach Epstein / BGR:
AT&T confirms early upgrade price changes for iPhone 4, other smartphones
PC Advisor:
Intel Oak Trail tablets to ship in May
Discussion: Fudzilla, Softpedia News and TechEye
Leena Rao / TechCrunchIT:
EMC Buys Network Security Monitoring And Analysis Company NetWitness
Robin Wauters / TechCrunchIT:
Apax Partners Acquires Software Giants Epicor, Activant For Close To $2 Billion
Claire Cain Miller / New York Times:
Promoting Science, and Google, to Students
Miguel Helft / New York Times:
Ruling Spurs Effort to Form Digital Public Library
Discussion: Fast Company
Matthew Campbell / Bloomberg:
Vivendi to Purchase Vodafone Stake in SFR for 7.95 Billion Euros
Discussion: PC World, BBC and Wall Street Journal
 Earlier Items: 
Nathan Olivarez-Giles / L.A. Times Tech Blog:
Google Person Finder: a tool born of disaster, from Hurricane Katrina to Japan's quake, tsunami
Kansas City Star:
KCK courted Google Internet project quietly, cautiously
John Markoff / Bits:
The Asymmetrical Online War
Discussion: GMSV
James Temple / San Francisco Chronicle:
Google's Larry Page must mend image of firm, self
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Microsoft's Windows 8 recipe: Hint of Office, dash of Xbox, ounce of Windows Phone