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2:00 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.
Nilay Patel / This is my next:
Apple kills white MacBook, 11.6-inch Air is the new entry level Mac  —  Say goodbye to the plastic MacBook: it's no more.  The $999 11.6-inch MacBook Air is Apple's only entry-level machine now — and with the bump to a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor, it's probably just as capable as the old 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook.
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.
RELATED:
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 …
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 …
Seth Weintraub / 9to5Mac:
Adobe makes its first foray into the Mac App Store with Photoshop Elements
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 …
RELATED:
Kyung Lah / CNN:
Chairman: Google should have gone social earlier  —  Tokyo (CNN) — Looking back on his decade as Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt said the company should have focused more on connecting people — a hole that allowed the emergence of rival internet giant Facebook.
Discussion: SlashGear and The Next Web
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: CNET News, Gizmodo and The Next Web
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.
RELATED:
Kevin C. Tofel / GigaOM:   Who's on pace to sell 1M phones a day? (Hint: Not Apple)
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
Discussion: Digital Trends and Gizmodo
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.
RELATED:
Darren Murph / Engadget:
Netflix to stream natively from HDMI-equipped tablets (updated)
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Discussion: AllThingsD, Bloomberg and alarm:clock
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 and Paul Kedrosky's …
MG Siegler / TechCrunch:
The Key Subtle Notes From Apple's Earnings Call  —  When Apple announces their earnings, they typically do so with much pomp and circumstance.  You get a superlative-laden press release, which in recent years have been more than backed up by massive numbers.  But it's the earnings call itself that is often even more interesting.
RELATED:
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.
 
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 More Items: 
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:
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Discussion: Digital Trends
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
Facebook For Latinos Quepasa Buys myYearbook For $100 Million In Cash And Stock
 Earlier Items: 
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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
Audrey Watters / Hack Education:
The Wrath Against Khan: Why Some Educators Are Questioning Khan Academy
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
China not only fakes iPhones... but Apple Stores, too!
Dan Primack / Fortune:
Twitter's new plan: Commerce?