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4:35 AM ET, January 7, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
iOS 5.1 beta reveals Apple's plan to soon ship iPads, iPhones with quad-core chips  —  Speed increases are an expected part of Apple's iOS device hardware upgrades, but what Apple has up their sleeves for speed enhancements is typically up for debate.  The first-generation iPad clocked around 1GHz …
Daniel Eran Dilger / AppleInsider:
Apple to open new store-within-a-store outlets inside Target this year  —  Apple will be opening new store-within-a-store locations in select Target locations later this year, enabling the company to expand its retail reach into smaller metro areas.  —  According to a source familiar with Apple's plans …
Agam Shah / Computerworld:
OLPC's XO-3 tablet to debut at CES  —  OLPC will defy skeptics by delivering the XO-3 on time and at the projected price point of under $100  —  One Laptop Per Child's XO-3 tablet is ready to ship after years in the making, and working units will be shown next week at the Consumer Electronics Show …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft will no longer provide detailed Windows Phone update information  —  Microsoft is planning to remove detailed Windows Phone update information from its site, the company announced on Friday.  Where's My Phone Update? has served as a popular destination with carrier specific update information …
Carey Gillam / Reuters:
Sprint ousts 4 executives, merges consumer/business  —  (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel (S.N), the No. 3 U.S. mobile service, is merging sales and marketing for its business and consumer operations as part of a streamlining that includes the departures of four top executives, according to Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.
RELATED:
Ian Sherr / Wall Street Journal:
Vizio Jumps Into PC Fray  —  Vizio Inc., which shook up the market with inexpensive high-definition televisions, now wants to become a computer manufacturer.  —  The Irvine, Calif., company, which ranks as one of the top sellers of televisions in the U.S., plans to show a line …
Tiernan Ray / Tech Trader Daily:
Apple: Building a NAND Empire, Says Bernstein  —  Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi today weighs in with his view on the rumored purchase recently by Apple (AAPL) of an Israeli company called Anobit and what it means in the context of Apple's being the world's largest buyer …
Steve Kovach / Business Insider:
WARNING: All That Free Spotify Music You've Been Enjoying Is Going To End Soon  —  Spotify made its big U.S. debut on July 14, 2011.  —  In one week, we'll be marking the streaming music service's six-month anniversary.  —  And in one week, all those users who signed up for the free …
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:
Spaghetti Against the Wall  —  Jun Yang, reporting for Bloomberg on Samsung's quarterly results: … So Jony Ive leads the design team at the two most-profitable phone makers.  Impressive. … In what regard can Apple be considered behind Samsung, other than unit sales …
Marco Arment / Marco.org:
The limited world of auto-renewable subscriptions  —  Apple's In-App Purchase system permits two types of subscription purchases.  The documentation suggests that Auto-Renewable subscriptions are the right choice in almost every case: … When developing Instapaper 4.0 …
Discussion: MacStories
Nathan Ingraham / The Verge:
Safari 5 for OS X, Firefox 9 for Windows 7 crowned victors of browser benchmark battle  —  Tom's Hardware has been running its meticulously detailed Browser Grand Prix since early 2010, and today it has crowned two new winners: Firefox 9 won in the latest Windows 7 Ultimate tests, while Safari 5 was the top browser for OS X Lion.
James Temple / The Technology Chronicles:
Breaking: Salesforce.com signs biggest SF lease in a decade  —  Salesforce.com has signed a 400,000-square-foot lease in San Francisco, striking what Mayor Ed Lee's office says is the largest office deal in the city in a decade.  —  The transaction at 50 Fremont St. doubles …
Discussion: @benioff and bizjournals
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook Says Privacy Advocates Should Applaud Timeline, EPIC FTC Probe Unnecessary  —  TechCrunch has received a response from Facebook to the Electronic Privacy Information Center's letter urging the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate Timeline for privacy violations.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Yahoo Seeking New Board Members  —  Yahoo Inc. is searching for several new board candidates to replace possible outgoing directors and has hired executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. to assist in that effort, people familiar with the matter said.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Yahoo Explores for New Directors
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
AT&T has a stake in Microsoft's Windows 8 tablets, too  —  Summary: At a pre-CES developer conference, AT&T and Qualcomm execs are going to be talking up LTE-charged Windows 8 tablets.  —  It's already well established that AT&T seems to be Microsoft's best friend among the four U.S. carriers for Windows Phone.
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
Al Gore Comes Out Against SOPA/PIPA  —  Well, check this out.  Al Gore has come out strongly against SOPA and PIPA, angrily denouncing the bill and its supporters.  It's a quick 2-minute video taken at a CareerBuilder event, and it's in response to an audience question.
RELATED:
John Paczkowski / AllThingsD:
Stymiest Looks to Be a “Lock” for RIM Chair  —  Research In Motion's 2011 was about as ugly as they come.  And with few indications that 2012 will be much better, the company is preparing to make some significant management changes.  —  Sources close to the company say that co-founders Mike Lazaridis …
Discussion: PhoneArena
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
PayPal's First In-Store, Brick And Mortar Mobile Payments Integration Is At Home Depot  —  As we've reported in the past, PayPal announced an in-store payments technology both via mobile and point of sale systems that is currently being tested on a ‘friends and family’ basis in a national retailer.
Matthew Panzarino / The Next Web:
Twitter promises better tools to 400,000 volunteer translators, launches Swedish  —  Twitter has today reported that it has 400,000 volunteers working on translating the service into other languages.  This crowd-sourced translation has allowed them to offer Twitter in 21 languages including today's new language: Swedish.
Discussion: Twitter Blog and WebProNews
Robin Wauters / TechCrunch:
No Cable Killer After All: KIT digital Buys Assets Of Sezmi For $27 Million  —  So much for Sezmi's ambitious plans to kill cable TV: the assets of the cloud-based TV delivery platform company were recently acquired by KIT digital for approximately $27 million in a mixture of stock and cash.
Matt Brian / The Next Web:
Samsung launches ChatON on the App Store, hopes to compete with iMessage  —  Samsung's multi-platform instant messaging service ChatON has launched today on the App Store, allowing owners of Android, Bada (and soon other smartphones) to chat with their friends that own an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and vice versa.
 
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 More Items: 
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Shelby.tv To Launch “Touch Play”: An AirPlay-Based Gesture Remote
Discussion: shelby.tv and Betabeat
Andrew Allemann / Domain Name Wire:
Amazon's Quidsi appears to be working on Casa.com
Discussion: The Next Web and TechCrunch
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:
News Corp. Pushes Phone-Hacking Settlements as Trial Nears
Frederic Lardinois / SiliconFilter:
London Gets “Europe's Largest Free WiFi Zone” Ahead of 2012 Olympics
Bob Egelko / San Francisco Chronicle:
State's top court refuses to hear Apple's tax case
Discussion: MacNN
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Siri Sibling Trapit Raises $6.2 Million Series A From Horizons
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Microsoft to beef up its entry-level Office 365 offering
Bloomberg:
China Unicom Offers Free IPhone 4S for Users Who Sign Multiyear Contracts
Ingrid Lunden / paidContent:
Nokia Buys Norway's Smarterphone To Spruce Up Its Feature Phone OS
Peter-Paul Koch / QuirksBlog:
The Java ME nonsense story
Zachary Wolff / the dialog:
Twitter: To log or not to log: Is that the question?