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6:45 PM ET, July 5, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Ben Parr / Mashable!:
EXCLUSIVE: Google to Retire Blogger & Picasa Brands in Google+ Push  —  Say goodbye to the Picasa and Blogger names: Google intends to retire several non-Google name brands and rename them as Google products, Mashable has learned.  —  The move is part of a larger effort to unify its brand …
RELATED:
Tom Cheredar / VentureBeat:   Google retiring Blogger and Picasa brands for public launch of Google+
FierceWireless:
Verizon confirms it will ditch unlimited smartphone data plans starting July 7  —  Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will switch to a new, usage-based pricing model for smartphone data starting July 7, a company spokeswoman confirmed.  —  Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told FierceWireless …
Monica Chen / DigiTimes:
Pegatron receives orders for 15 million iPhone 5s from Apple  —  Taiwan-based notebook maker Pegatron Technology is estimated to have landed orders for 15 million iPhone 5s (iPhone 4S) from Apple and is set to start shipping in September of 2011, according to sources from upstream component makers.
RELATED:
BackType:
BackType Has Been Acquired by Twitter  —  We're thrilled to announce that BackType has been acquired by Twitter!  We'll be bringing our team and technology to Twitter's platform team, where our focus will be developing tools for Twitter's publisher partners.
RELATED:
Colleen Taylor / GigaOM:   Twitter buys BackType to dig deeper with big data
Lauren Indvik / Mashable!:
Twitter Testing Facebook-Like Message Wall [PIC]  —  Twitter is testing a Facebook-like message wall on profile pages, prompting users to send public tweets (a.k.a @ replies, or mentions) to specific users directly from their profile pages.  —  Twitter is testing the feature with a small percentage of users.
Discussion: @dannysullivan
Wall Street Journal:
New Financing Values Twitter as High as $7 Billion  —  Even as Internet companies such as Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc. file to go public, Twitter Inc. is taking a different route: It is continuing to tap private investors.  —  The fast-growing Internet messaging service is currently …
Emil Protalinski / Friending Facebook Blog:
Facebook blocks Google Chrome extension for exporting friends  —  Facebook Friend Exporter is a Chrome extension developed by Mohamed Mansour, an open source software engineer, that lets you grab all the information about your Facebook friends so you can import them elsewhere.
Matthew Panzarino / The Next Web:
As of July 31st, all Google profiles will be public  —  Google will no longer allow users to have private Google profiles after July 31st, reports Search Engine Land.  The company had previously allowed users to create and maintain profiles on its service without publicly disclosing their existence.
Discussion: Search Engine Land
Tarmo Virki / Reuters:
Ailing Nokia cuts smartphone prices to halt slump  —  (Reuters) - Struggling Nokia has cut the prices of its smartphones in Europe, two industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday, raising the possibility of a more intensive price war in the mobile phone market.
Kate Murphy / New York Times:
iPads Replacing Pilots' Paper Manuals  —  What is in those bulky, black flight bags that pilots carry into the cockpit?  It is not a change of clothes but reams of reference material needed for the flight — about 40 pounds of it.  There are the aircraft's operating manual, safety checklists …
Bobbie Johnson / GigaOM:
Nokia's $200m secret shows the rot goes way, way back  —  There have been plenty of attempts to pinpoint where Nokia, the struggling Finnish mobile company, really started to go wrong.  Some think it was when the iPhone launched and left it in the dust; some would suggest it was when the board …
Discussion: SlashGear, Thanks:bobbiejohnson
Todd Haselton / BGR:
Android market share jumps as BlackBerry slides; smartphones now owned by 1 in 3 Americans  —  According to a new report from comScore, 1 in 3 Americans now own a smartphone.  Google's Android OS is ahead of the pack with a 38.1% share of the market during the 3-month period ending in May — up 5.1% from the last report in February.
Ryan Lawler / GigaOM:
Why Latin America is Netflix's next big market  —  Netflix announced plans to go truly global Tuesday, with the news that it would introduce its streaming video subscription service in 43 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.  While many expected Netflix to launch in one or maybe …
Discussion: App Advice
RELATED:
Larry Dignan / Between the Lines Blog:
Netflix plots Latin America expansion, certifies TI for high-def streaming
Janko Roettgers / GigaOM:
Google plans to open Hangouts for interoperability  —  Hangouts, the group video chat component of Google Plus that everyone's been raving about, could eventually be usable with other video chat clients and services as well.  Google Real-time Communications Tech Lead Justin Uberti wrote …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Google Rumored To Launch ITA-Powered Travel Search Product Soon  —  We're hearing that Google is planning to launch an ITA integrated-flight search product as soon as a few weeks from now, according to a well-placed industry source.  In April, the DOJ finally approved Google's $700 million acquisition …
Krishna Panicker / The Big Blog:
New Skype 5.2 Update for Mac Brings Group Screen Sharing and Improved Multi-tasking  —  We are excited to announce that the Skype 5.2 update for Mac is now available for download.  —  With this new update, Skype for Mac users can now share their screen during a group video call.
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Apparently Undeterred by Apple Crackdown, Tapjoy Investors Pour In $30M More  —  Tapjoy, which has seen its app marketing business significantly affected by Apple's changed stance on in-app promotions, is still charging ahead.  The company last week raised $30 million in a round led …
Discussion: Inside Mobile Apps and VentureBeat
Anne Tergesen / Wall Street Journal:
When Guests Check In, Their iPhones Check Out  —  When booking a weeklong yoga retreat, Amanda Levy signed up for a special package.  Called “digital detox,” it promised a 15% discount if Ms. Levy, a sales executive at a San Francisco social-networking company, would agree to leave …
Discussion: The Business Insider
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:
Microsoft to retire Office XP, Vista SP1 next week  —  Slates plug-pulling for July 12; Vista users must upgrade to SP2  —  Computerworld - Microsoft will retire 2001's Office XP and the first service pack for Windows Vista next week, according to the company's published schedule.
Simon Mackie / GigaOM:
Why Google+ could find a home in the workplace  —  Last week, Google rolled out a beta of its highly-anticipated new social networking platform, Google+.  Reaction to the launch so far has been mainly positive, with praise for the app's design and features.
 
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Strategies for shutting down SaaS sprawl  —  Managing a chaos of apps steals focus away from IT leaders who are increasingly helping to drive business.  Read the report.
TWiT.tv:
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Zoho:
Are you ready, Australia?  We've opened two new data centres for the A/NZ region!  —  In recent years, more and more Australian businesses have adopted Zoho as their preferred software platform …
AWS Startups:
Shaping Your Startup Culture to Thrive  —  Our panel of experts at our AWS Loft in New York, including folks from Buzzfeed, Enigma, and Value Culture, discuss why culture is vital to any startup that wants to survive past its early days.
Google Fi:
Google Fi - a phone plan, by Google  —  We felt that most phone plans just weren't made with you in mind.  So that's why we built Google Fi with features that real people actually want.  Click to learn more.
TechCrunch Disrupt SF:
Clearbanc co-founder and president Michele Romanow is coming to Disrupt SF  —  Raising venture capital isn't easy; for some, it's impossible.  Clearbanc offers startups a fundraising alternative …
Intel:
Here's how Intel is powering breakthrough research in astronomy, medicine, AI and beyond  —  Fastest supercomputer in academia - Frontera, is based on 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.
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 More Items: 
Susan Decker / Bloomberg:
Google Searching for Patents After Nortel Loss
David Kravets / Threat Level:
‘Massive Infringement’ Case Against CNET Dropped
Discussion: TorrentFreak and paidContent
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Mobile Payments To Triple To $670B By 2015; Digital Goods Will Represent 40% Of Transactions
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Dancing Queen: After Meeting With Microsoft Last Week, Yahoo Is Next on Hulu's Sales Card
Discussion: MacNN
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Microsoft Bing innovates on iPad with ‘Lasso’ quick search
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries / Digits:
Traffic App Waze, ABC Team Up to Fight ‘Carmageddon’ in L.A.
 Earlier Items: 
Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
Feature: Unlicensed: Are Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player illegal?
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Firefox PDF reader passes ‘pixel-perfect’ test
Discussion: Computerworld and Softpedia News
Rocky Agrawal / TechCrunch:
Google Offers Versus Groupon: The Portland Throwdown
Discussion: PSFK
Samantha Murphy / New Scientist:
Exclusive first interview with key LulzSec hacker
Discussion: New York Times
Ben Hirschler / Reuters:
Evidence “increasingly against” phone cancer risk
Discussion: BGR and DSLreports