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5:30 PM ET, May 23, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Jim Dalrymple / The Loop:
Apple says developers are licensed for Lodsys patents  —  In a letter sent to Lodsys on Monday, Apple asked that the company withdraw letters sent to app developers demanding they license the technology.  “Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the App Makers are protected by that license …
RELATED:
Mark Small / Macworld:
Full text: Apple Legal's letter to Lodsys  —  [Below is the full text of the letter Apple Legal sent to Lodsys regarding its patent dispute with app developers.  Read the full story here.  -Ed.]  —  BY EMAIL AND FIRST-CLASS MAIL  —  Chief Executive Officer  —  Lodsys, LLC  —  [Address information removed]
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Square's Disruptive New iPad Payments Service Will Replace Cash Registers  —  Mobile payments startup Square is announcing big numbers today—500,000 Square card readers shipped, 1 million Square transactions in May, and the startup is now processing $3 million in mobile payments per day.
RELATED:
Mason Cohn / Fortune:
Dorsey's Square tries to eliminate the card swipe by bringing back the tab  —  Square is announcing two new services — Card Case and Square Register — hoping to reduce payment friction even more, on both ends of everyday transactions.  —  FORTUNE — Jack Dorsey hates receipts, but fans of his startup, Square, already knew that.
Discussion: CNN, RazorianFly, 9 to 5 Mac and TUAW
Amir Efrati / Digits:   Dorsey's Square Tries to Kill Cash Register; Local Deals Coming
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
Amazon Almost Giving Away Lady Gaga's New Album  —  It's not free, but it's close: Amazon is selling digital downloads of “Born This Way,” Lady Gaga's newest album, for 99 cents.  —  That gets you 14 songs and a digital booklet.  The same album goes for $11.99 at Apple's iTunes …
RELATED:
DigiTimes:
Apple said to introduce curved-glass iPhone 5  —  There has been a fair amount of buzz on the iPhone 5, and the latest being circulated around the supply chain in Taiwan is that Apple is going to adopt a curved cover glass for its next generation model, according to industry sources.
Matt Warman / Telegraph:
HP: ‘Touchpad will be better than number one’ tablet  —  HP talks up forthcoming Touchpad tablet ahead of European launch later in the year and announces first app partners  —  HP will emulate its PC market success in the tablet world when it launches the Touchpad over the summer, the company's European head Eric Cador has claimed.
Surur / WMPoweruser.com:
Over 500 new features coming in Windows Phone 7.5  —  Apologies for the low volume.  —  Microsoft has been speaking at the Japanese Microsoft Developer Forum 2011 and amongst the wide range of topics he covered he also spoke about the next version of Windows Phone 7.
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Foursquare and Groupon Planning Distribution Deal  —  Daily deals leader Groupon and social location innovator Foursquare are in partnership talks, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.  —  The arrangement is likely to see Groupon deals targeted to Foursquare users' check-ins.
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Google Buys Sparkbuy: Comparison Shopping Site Now Closes, Team Remains  —  Google has acquired Sparkbuy, a comparison shopping site that has focused on laptops.  The site closed today as part of the purchase; the three person team will continue on with Google.  —  Was this a talent acquisition, then?
Discussion: AllThingsD, GeekWire and TechCrunch
Ty Burr / Boston Globe:
A movie lover's plea: Let there be light  —  Many theaters misuse 3-D lenses to show 2-D films, squandering brightness, color  —  As if rising ticket prices and chatterbox patrons weren't enough, moviegoers in the Boston area are being left in the dark thanks to the regular misuse of the lenses …
John Cook / GeekWire:
Zillow.com selects “Z” for ticker symbol, trims Q1 net loss  —  Zillow.com plans to trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the one letter ticker symbol Z when it expects to debut later this year.  That's slightly unusual, since most of the tickers on the exchange such as Microsoft (MSFT) …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Social game leader CrowdStar raises $23M  —  Social game leader CrowdStar has raised $23 million in a first round of funding led by Intel Capital and Time Warner Investments.  The company plans to use the money to double its headcount and expand on a global scale.
Mathew Ingram / GigaOM:
Do@ Gets $7 Million to Try to Disrupt Mobile Search  —  Search is a market many assume is over as far as startups are concerned.  After all, how could anyone compete with Google and Microsoft?  A new service called Do@ thinks there is still room to change the way we search, however …
Kunur Patel / AdAge:
One Year Later, AdMob Making Its Mark on Google  —  Mobile Display and Search Integrated Into Larger Infrastructure  —  One year after regulators gave Google the green light to acquire AdMob, the union of search giant and mobile ad network is beginning to bear fruit.
Abe Murray / Google Book Search Blog:
Google eBooks: By the Numbers, Then and Now  —  It's been about six months since we launched Google eBooks.  Now, we're happy to report there are more than three million free Google eBooks available in the U.S. for your enjoyment and enlightenment (as compared to more than two million at launch).
Colleen Taylor / GigaOM:
Updated: Cisco Shuts Down Eos Social Platform  —  Updated throughout with confirmation, comment from Dan Scheinman, the former Cisco VP in charge of Eos:  —  The spring cleaning continues for Cisco Systems.  We're hearing rumors that the San Jose, Calif.-based company is shutting …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Jive Buys Microsoft Office Collaboration Plugin OffiSync For Up To $30 Million  —  Social enterprise giant Jive is continuing its shopping spree today, picking up OffiSync, an Israeli startup that adds a collaboration layer to Microsoft Office applications, we've confirmed.
Jason Kincaid / TechCrunch:
Ashton Kutcher Teams With UberMedia To Launch A.plus, His Own Custom Twitter App  —  Ashton Kutcher fans who can't get enough of the star on Twitter are about to get some very good news.  And the rest of you — even if you aren't necessarily huge Ashton fans — will want to pay attention too.
Discussion: AllThingsD, WebProNews and AllTwitter
Joshua Brustein / Bits:
One on One: Jaron Lanier  —  Jaron Lanier, a partner architect at Microsoft Research, has had a long and varied career in technology.  Mr. Lanier popularized the term “virtual reality” in the 1980s and has worked for decades on computer science, physics and music.
Tim Stevens / Engadget:
Sony estimates $3.2b loss this year, $171 million cost for PSN breach  —  It has not been a good year for Sony, which was affected both by the massive earthquake in March and the PSN outage that spanned from April into May.  There couldn't be any doubt that those things would have a drastic impact …
Jack Neff / AdAge:
Google Grabs P&G Exec to Head Sales for YouTube  —  Hire of Lucas Watson Is Part of Site's Effort to Court Large TV Advertisers  —  Google has hired Procter & Gamble Co. digital marketing director Lucas Watson as VP-sales and marketing for YouTube and video, part of its latest bid …
Michael Gartenberg / Macworld:
Apple keeps on giving lessons in retail  —  If you shop in the U.S., you're likely familiar with the Nordstrom brand.  It's not just another department store: It's a business with legendary customer support.  —  Nordstrom is noted for taking returns on everything they've sold for any reason.
Mike Swift / Mercury News:
Facebook to assemble global team of ‘diplomats’  —  With 70 percent of its more than 600 million members outside the United States, Facebook is creating its own foreign service, hiring a network of ambassadors from India to Ireland to represent the Palo Alto-based social network with foreign governments and cultures.
Discussion: techPresident
Naked Security / Sophos:
Sony BMG Greece the latest hacked Sony site  —  In what seems to be a neverending nightmare it appears that the website of Sony BMG in Greece has been hacked and information dumped.  —  An anonymous poster has uploaded a user database to pastebin.com, including the usernames …
 
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 More Items: 
Terrence O'Brien / Engadget:
T-Mobile lauches new individual and family plans right on schedule
Zach Epstein / BGR:
RIM being investigated for possible securities law violations
Discussion: PhoneArena
Steve Lohr / Bits:
Skype President Looks Ahead
Tricia Duryee / AllThingsD:
Rent the Runway Gets $15 Million From Kleiner Perkins to Be the Netflix of Fashion
Discussion: TechCrunch and Bits
Sarah Lacy / TechCrunch:
Lerer Ventures Raises Second $25M Seed Fund for NYC Startups
Discussion: Betabeat, Thanks:beet_tv
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Heater / Engadget:
Kobo unbuttons for $129 eReader Touch Edition, we go hands-on (video)
Ina Fried / AllThingsD:
Livescribe Connects Its Digital Pen With Google Docs, Evernote
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Fred Wilson More Or Less Confirms Twitter Stock Sale, Says Secondary Sales Often “Prudent”
Discussion: GigaOM and SAI
Vlad Savov / Engadget:
ASUS gets Computex 2011 started early with a tablet teaser
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Shortform Video Platform VYou Reels In $3M
Discussion: VatorNews
Philip Elmer-DeWitt / Fortune:
Foxconn closes its polishing plants; effect on iPad unclear