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3:40 PM ET, July 20, 2011

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Apple:
Apple Updates MacBook Air With Next Generation Processors, Thunderbolt I/O & Backlit Keyboard  —  Apple® today updated the MacBook Air® with next generation processors, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, a backlit keyboard and Mac OS® X Lion, the world's most advanced operating system.
RELATED:
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
The MacBook Is Dead.  Long Live The (New) MacBook Air.  —  “At this point, I'm thinking Apple should just replace the standard MacBook with the Air.”  —  Yes, I just quoted myself.  But I have a good reason.  I wrote that on October 21 of last year, after one day of playing with the just-released new MacBook Air.
John Siracusa / Ars Technica:
Feature: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: the Ars Technica review  —  Mac OS X 10.7 was first shown to the public in October 2010.  The presentation was understated, especially compared to the bold rhetoric that accompanied the launches of the iPhone ("Apple reinvents the phone") and the iPad …
RELATED:
Apple:
Mac OS X Lion Available Today From the Mac App Store  —  CUPERTINO, California—July 20, 2011—Apple® today announced that Mac OS® X Lion, the eighth major release of the world's most advanced operating system with more than 250 new features, is available today as a download from the Mac® App Store™ for $29.99.
Walter S. Mossberg / AllThingsD:
Apple's Lion Brings PCs Into Tablet Era  —  With its iPhones and iPads, Apple has led people toward a new way of operating digital devices that relies on direct manipulation of items with finger gestures, not a mouse and scroll bars.  App icons are arrayed front and center …
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
Google+ Now The Top Free App In The Apple App Store  —  After less than 24 hours of being live, the Google+ iPhone app has hit the number one free spot in the Apple app store, beating out “Draw ‘n’ Go: Awesomeness!” for the top slot.  —  This is quite impressive considering that the app …
Discussion: MediaPost, eWeek, PC Magazine and PC World
RELATED:
Apple:
Apple Updates Mac mini  —  Apple® today updated the Mac® mini with next generation Intel core processors, new discrete graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and Lion, the world's most advanced operating system.  The new Mac mini delivers up to twice the processor …
RELATED:
Matt Burns / TechCrunch:
Apple Updates The Mac Mini: Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs, Thunderbolt, And Even A OS X Lion Server Model
Discussion: The Next Web
Nathan Myhrvold / Bloomberg:
Myhrvold: Tech Giants Discover Value of Patents  —  Myhrvold: Tech Giants Discover Value of Patents  —  Patents rarely make headlines, but they did this month when Nortel Networks Corp., the defunct Canadian telecommunications giant, auctioned off its patent portfolio and drew …
Discussion: open
RELATED:
Paul Kedrosky / Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed:   The Trouble with Nathan Myhrvold's Pro-Patent Arguments
Ross Miller / This is my next:
Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt Display now available: FaceTime HD camera, 2.1 speaker system, and $999 price tag  —  New Mac Minis?  MacBook Airs?  Apple knows what you're really wanting is an excuse to upgrade your almost-but-not-quite two-year-old Cinema Display — only now, it looks like Apple's opted for new naming convention.
RELATED:
Apple:
Apple Introduces World's First Thunderbolt Display
Lee Youkyung / YONHAP NEWS:
Samsung to release Galaxy S2 in U.S. next month  —  Samsung Electronics Co. will release its flagship Galaxy S2 smartphone in the U.S. market next month, the chief of its mobile business division said Wednesday, a move that will likely pit the product against the forthcoming iPhone.
Todd Brix / Windows Phone Developer Blog:
Windows Phone Developers Get New App Hub Features: Mango app submission just one month away  —  This week marks another significant developer milestone on the path to the release of Mango and also gives me a chance to talk about where we're headed.  —  We know there's tremendous excitement among …
Darren Murph / Engadget:
Netflix to stream natively from HDMI-equipped tablets (updated)  —  You read that correctly — Netflix streaming is about to get really real on impending Honeycomb tablets.  One of the nuggets that makes Lenovo's newly unveiled IdeaPad K1 so special is the internal DRM module that allows …
RELATED:
Steve Lohr / New York Times:
U.S. to Close 800 Computer Data Centers  —  The federal government plans to shut 40 percent of its computer centers over the next four years to reduce its hefty technology budget and modernize the way it uses computers to manage data and provide services to citizens.
Larissa Fontaine / Google Book Search Blog:
Pottermore and Google team up to enable Harry Potter ebooks push to Google Books libraries  —  When JK Rowling's new website Pottermore opens its doors this Fall, we'll provide services to help fans make the most of their ebook purchasing experience.  Pottermore and Google are teaming …
Sara Jerome / NationalJournal:
Kohl Seeks to Block AT&T Merger  —  Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., who chairs the Senate's Antitrust Subcommitteee, is calling for regulators to block the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, saying on Wednesday that it would be “highly dangerous to competition and consumers.”
Ryan Lawler / GigaOM:
Tango raises $42M, will fight Skype on the desktop  —  How hot is the mobile video chat market?  So hot that one of the leading technology companies in the space, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tango, has raised $42 million aimed at rapidly growing its workforce to compete with startups like ooVoo and industry heavyweights like Skype.
AppleInsider:
Apple releases 64-bit, full-screen iTunes 10.4 and iWork updates [u]  —  With Mac OS X Lion now unleashed on the Mac App Store, Apple has also introduced a new version of iTunes that is both 64-bit and full-screen capable, in addition to full-screen version of iWork that will also leverage several …
Frederic Lardinois / SiliconFilter:
Wave Goodbye to Google Labs  —  Google just announced that it is shutting down Google Labs, the company's central hub for testing new product ideas and features.  According to Google, the decision was made in order to allow it to prioritize its product efforts.
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Zillow Soars 200 Percent In First Trade With Over $1 Billion Valuation  —  Shares of real estate listings site Zillow began trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol ‘Z’ today, opening at $60 per share.  This gives the company a whopping $1.6 billion valuation.
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
Amazon Pulls a Netflix, Adds (Old) CBS Shows  —  Amazon, which is trying to build up a digital video service that can rival the one Netflix has built, has added a bunch of TV shows from CBS — just like Netflix did earlier this year.  —  The deal is more or less a replica of the pact CBS …
Ina Fried / AllThingsD:
T-Mobile to Offer Lower Rate Plans to Those Who Bring Own Phone (Or Pay Full Price)  —  T-Mobile is rolling out a set of new “value” rate plans that cut the monthly costs for people that either have their own phone or are willing to pay full price in exchange for the lower service fees.
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Apple initiates mass discontinuation of boxed retail software  —  Further emphasizing the Mac App Store as the preferred place to get new software for Mac OS X, Apple on Wednesday discontinued a slew of boxed software products.  —  Virtually all of Apple's retail software was declared …
 
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 More Items: 
Hugo Martin / Money & Company:
New TSA software to end naked scanner images
Discussion: USA Today and Reuters
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Social Photo Aggregator Pixable Adds Intelligent Video Discovery
Regina Sinsky / VentureBeat:
Online payment company WePay helps little guys, goes after big ones (PayPal)
Zach Howard / Reuters:
Law enforcement to begin iPhone iris scans amid privacy concerns
Phil Goldstein / FierceWireless:
Reports: Google interested in scooping up InterDigital
Michelle Nichols / Reuters:
Tech-savvy Taliban fights war in cyberspace
Discussion: Digital Trends
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Facebook For Latinos Quepasa Buys myYearbook For $100 Million In Cash And Stock
 Earlier Items: 
Klint Finley / ReadWriteWeb:
The Rise and Fall of the Cisco Empire
Paul Ford / New York Magazine:
Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?
Spencer Ackerman / Wired.com:
Meet the ‘Keyzer Soze’ of Global Phone-Tracking
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
China not only fakes iPhones... but Apple Stores, too!
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
The Key Subtle Notes From Apple's Earnings Call
Discussion: eWeek, Fortune, msnbc.com and AllThingsD