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8:50 PM ET, January 2, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Not the iPad 3 or New TV — But Apple Planning Media-Related Event in the Big(ger) Apple This Month  —  According to sources close to the situation, Apple is planning an important — but not large-scale — event to be held in New York at the end of this month that will focus on a media-related announcement.
Danny Sullivan / Search Engine Land:
Google's Jaw-Dropping Sponsored Post Campaign For Chrome  —  Google, the company that has been fighting against paid links and “thin” content, seems to be behind a campaign that's generating both on behalf of its Chrome browser.  File this under “what were they thinking.”  —  “This Post Sponsored By Google”
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Mac Pro Build-to-Order Ship Dates Slip as Future Remains Uncertain  —  Just before Christmas, shipping estimates for Apple's 12-core Mac Pro model increased to 1-3 weeks, and while that specific model does tend to occasionally see some extra lead time, the shipping delays were later noticed …
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft to enable Linux on its Windows Azure cloud in 2012  —  Summary: Microsoft is preparing to launch a new persistent virtual machine feature on its Azure cloud platform, enabling customers to host Linux, SharePoint and SQL Server there.  —  This headline is not an error.
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch Europe:
SoundCloud raises $50 million round led by Kleiner Perkins  —  SoundCloud has raised a new fundraising round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  The amount was not released but TechCrunch understands it to be $50 million.  This would give the company a $200 million pre-money valuation.
Frederic Lardinois / SiliconFilter:
Just Ahead of the Iowa Caucuses, Google Launches its U.S. Election Site  —  Even though the presidential elections are still nine months away, the political circus in the U.S. is in full swing already (and has been for months), thanks to the impending start of the Republican primaries tomorrow.
Gabe Rivera / Techmeme News:
Techmeme's biggest stories of 2011, literally, as measured by height  —  One the best things about Techmeme is how “huge” or “big” stories can literally be that: conveyed through a stack of headlines several times taller than your screen size.  (Unless you hate this, in which case it's …
Harrison Weber / The Next Web:
It is now illegal to access any foreign website in the Republic of Belarus  —  According to the US Library of Congress, The Republic of Belarus has just recently published a law making it illegal for Belarusian citizens and residents access and/or use foreign websites (particularly for commercial purposes).
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Wikimedia Foundation Raises $20 Million From 1 Million+ Donors  —  Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and other sites, this morning announced that they've raised $20 million from more than a million donors, shattering a record once again.
Dylan Welch / Sydney Morning Herald:
New to Twitter: the tweet Murdoch took down ... fast  —  “Either @rupertmurdoch is genuinely now on Twitter, or some disgruntled ex-NOTW journo just won the hacking Olympics.”  —  Less than two days after joining Twitter, media mogul Rupert Murdoch appears to have had his first brush …
Steve Lohr / New York Times:
Unboxed: How Samuel Palmisano of I.B.M. Stayed a Step Ahead - Unboxed  —  BECAUSE it has become so consistently successful, I.B.M. is almost boring.  This is a company so predictable that its financial forecast is packaged as a “five-year road map,” as if it were some sort of state planning exercise.
Tim Stevens / Engadget:
MSN Direct goes dark, SPOT watches to suffer no more  —  When the noble SPOT watch was discontinued back in 2008, Microsoft promised the FM service that kept them informed would soldier on.  A year later that service too had its days numbered, and now, today, the counter clicks over to zero.
Danny Sullivan / Marketing Land:
For Consumers, Android Is More “Clopen” Than Open  —  Imagine if when Windows 7 came out, it was only offered on only one particular Dell computer.  It was also uncertain when or if other computers, including those made by Dell, would ever be able to upgrade to it.  Welcome to the “clopen” world of Android.
Discussion: BGR, parislemon and Technologizer
Michelle Meyers / CNET:
PostSecret shuts down iPhone app due to abusive posts  —  The PostSecret app has been shut down, but the blog is still alive and well.  —  PostSecret, the popular blog and new-media project that's long given people a place to share their deepest, darkest thoughts, today announced it has shut …
Matt Brian / The Next Web:
Asus faces customer backlash over Transformer Prime's locked bootloader  —  Taiwanese electronics giant Asus has been the subject of intense criticism over the release of its new Transformer Prime tablet after it emerged that the company had locked the bootloader on its device …
Ben Popper / Betabeat:
Coursekit Raises $5 M. from Joel Spolsky, David Tisch, IA Ventures  —  Coursekit, a graduate of TechStars NY which bills itself as an academic social network, has raised $5 million in a Series A round of venture capital financing.  Led by the Social+Capital Partnership …
Discussion: Bits and AllThingsD
 
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 More Items: 
Enigmax / TorrentFreak:
Website Blocking Law Implemented By New Spanish Government
Thomas Rogers / Salon:
Are we on information overload?  —  The Internet has transformed knowledge.
DannyD / SamMobile:
EXCLUSIVE: Product picture Galaxy Note AT&T. (NFC)
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Microsoft and Google: Comparing their top 10 official blog posts of 2011
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
Founder And Former CEO Of McAfee.com Lands $1.5M For ‘Grokr’
Discussion: TechEye and Pulse2
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Sandle / Reuters:
Hackers target emails of UK's Gordon Brown: report
Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
The Internet Is People  —  There's always been a tension …
Emil Protalinski / Friending Facebook Blog:
Facebook lists supported and deprecated SDKs
David Carr / New York Times:
The Danger of an Attack on Piracy Online
Discussion: ReadWriteWeb and Social Media
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Luxury Car-Sharing Service HiGear Shuts Down Due To Theft
Discussion: VatorNews and SlashGear
Amy Chozick / New York Times:
Today's Cable Guy, Upgraded and Better-Dressed
Discussion: The Verge and Slashdot
Lauren Goode / AllThingsD:
Uber CEO Responds to New Year's Eve Complaints, Plans More Surge Pricing
Discussion: GeekWire, Uber Blog, @travisk and Starting Up, Thanks:laurengoode