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4:45 PM ET, January 12, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Alexandre Roche / Facebook Blog:
Listen to Music With Your Friends  —  Music is one of the most powerful and fun ways to connect.  Whether it's at a concert with a bunch of people or on a long car ride with your best buddy, we love listening to music with our friends.  But what if you could listen to music with your friends …
RELATED:
Jacob Schulman / The Verge:
Facebook introduces ‘listen with friends’ feature for Spotify users, other services coming soon
Discussion: VentureBeat
Ashlee Vance / Business Week:
Steve Ballmer Reboots  —  Cooler tech, more energy, higher profit—the Microsoft CEO is out to prove Steve Jobs wrong and make Redmond relevant again  —  They had his dining room waiting.  Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive and one of the richest men in the world …
Benjamin Edelman / Ben Edelman:
Google Tying Google Plus and Many More  —  Disclosure: I serve as a consultant to various companies that compete with Google.  But I write on my own — not at the suggestion or request of any client, without approval or payment from any client.  —  This week Google announced Google Search Plus Your World …
RELATED:
Verdi / epic.org:
EPIC Urges Trade Commission to Investigate Google Search  —  In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, EPIC has called for an investigation of recent changes by Google to Google Search, the dominant search algorithm on the Internet.  EPIC cited Google's decision to include personal data …
Discussion: Pulse2
Dan Lyons / The Daily Beast:
Google Attempts to Take Down Facebook With ‘Search Plus Your World’ Feature
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
If SOPA's Main Target Is The Pirate Bay, It's Worth Pointing Out That ThePirateBay.org Is Immune From SOPA  —  In looking over Eric Goldman's excellent “linkwrap” of a bunch of recent SOPA/PIPA stories, it pointed me to a News.com article from last month, about how SOPA was really about going after one single site: The Pirate Bay.
RELATED:
Mary Jo Foley / All about Microsoft Blog:
LG signs Android, Chrome OS patent deal with Microsoft  —  Summary: LG Electronics is the latest Android vendor to license Microsoft patents in order to head off potential legal issues.  —  It's been a couple of months since Microsoft has touted any new Android/Chrome OS vendors agreeing to license its patents.
RELATED:
Curt Woodward / Xconomy:
Microsoft Claims Patent Licenses on 70% of Android Phones
Christian Robertson / Android Developers Blog:
Introducing the Android Design site  —  Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) is our biggest redesign yet — both for users and developers.  We've enhanced the UI framework with new interactions and styles that will let you create Android apps that are simpler and more beautiful than ever before.
Stephen Rosenman / Seeking Alpha:
Apple's Foreign Cash Hoard  —  Apple (AAPL) is piling up boatloads of cash: just not here.  —  Those boatloads are increasing becoming docked in Apple's foreign subsidiaries and cannot be repatriated without incurring additional hefty U.S. taxes.  A whopping $54 billion of Apple's $82 billion cash …
Discussion: Pulse2, Techie Buzz, TUAW and PhoneArena
David Barboza / New York Times:
Foxconn Resolves Pay Dispute With Workers  —  SHANGHAI — Foxconn Technology, the largest contract electronics manufacturer in the world, said Thursday that it had resolved a pay dispute with scores of workers at one of its factories in central China, following a large protest that involved threats …
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Gambling giant IGT buying DoubleDown for $500M, moving into Facebook games  —  International Game Technology, a maker of real-world casino games and gambling systems, has agreed to pay $500 million to acquire Seattle-based DoubleDown Interactive, a maker of casino-style Facebook games that don't allow users to gamble real money.
Discussion: AllThingsD, Thanks:johnhcook
Dave Stewart / Gmail Blog:
Improvements to the Gmail offline Chrome app  —  When we first announced Gmail offline last August, we told you that it was only the beginning of our HTML5-powered offline journey.  Since then, we've been listening to your feedback and today, we want to let you know about some of the key updates we've made to the Chrome Web Store app.
Gregory Lyons / iCrossing:
Facebook to Hit a Billion Users in the Summer  —  Last summer we took a look at Facebook usage around the world, and with Facebook recently announcing that they're currently at over 800 million active users we thought it would be interesting to extrapolate their current grown rate and estimate …
Bill Rigby / Reuters:
ARM chief not impressed with Intel phone chips  —  (Reuters) - The head of British chip designer Arm Holdings plc has shrugged off the latest attempt by Intel Corp to muscle its way into the expanding market for low-power processors used in smartphones and tablets, which ARM dominates.
Rachel King / Between the Lines Blog:
Amazon enables sending documents from the PC to Kindle  —  Summary: Amazon's new “Send to Kindle” option makes it possible to transfer files from Windows applications to the Kindle.  —  Amazon just added a huge new piece of functionality to the Kindle, making it more useful for all sorts of personal and business purposes.
Scott Kveton / Urban Airship:
Update on our plan to integrate location and context services into our push messaging platform  —  We announced the acquisition of SimpleGeo at the end of October 2011.  Since then we've been evaluating how to proceed in a way that benefits all parties involved: SimpleGeo and Urban Airship customers plus both companies.
Discussion: Spatially Adjusted
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Target Confirms Plans to Bring Dedicated Apple Shops to 25 Stores  —  Reuters reports that Target has confirmed its plans to launch “store-within-a-store” concepts for Apple products in 25 of its stores around the United States.  The announcement comes alongside a broader effort called …
Walter S. Mossberg / AllThingsD:
Working In Word, Excel, PowerPoint On an iPad  —  Although Apple's popular iPad tablet has been able to replace laptops for many tasks, it isn't a big hit with folks who'd like to use it to create or edit long Microsoft Office documents.  While Microsoft has released a number of apps for the iPad …
Macworld:
Forecasting next week's Apple education event  —  iBooks, ebooks, and iWork could be on the agenda for the January 19 event  —  All we know for certain about Apple's upcoming press event on January 19 is what it says on the invitation: It's at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and it's focused on education.
Nate Anderson / Ars Technica:
MPAA attacks Ars for “challenging efforts to curb content theft”  —  The Motion Picture Association of America doesn't like us.  According to the MPAA blog on Tuesday, “Arts Technica” is a “tech blog with a long history of challenging efforts to curb content theft.”
Discussion: Fortune and MPAA Blog
Jack Purcher / Patently Apple:
Apple is paving the Way for a new 3D GUI for iOS Devices  —  On January 12, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an exciting new 3D GUI for iOS mobile devices.  The new UI will work with proximity sensor arrays and will respond to hovering gestures.
Om Malik / GigaOM:
Bigger than Google+, MySpace isn't dead yet  —  MySpace, the grand daddy of social services is still wheezing along, comScore says in its latest social media report.  In fact it is bigger than Tumblr and Google Plus.  I have no idea where (and why) MySpace is getting so much traffic - still.
Discussion: hypebot and The Next Web
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Facebook Gives Politico Deep Access to Users' Political Sentiments  —  Counting Twitter mentions would have you believe that Ron Paul is the most popular Republican candidate in the ongoing U.S. primaries.  Umm, right.  —  But some social media analysis of politics is going beyond that.
 
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 More Items: 
Ina Fried / AllThingsD:
Microsoft Beefing Up CeBit Presence Even as It Pulls Back on CES
ICANN:
New gTLDs Update: Applications Accepted Today; New Guidebook Posted; Financial Assistance for Qualifying Applicants
Jamie Keene / The Verge:
Boxee's Live TV joins the Facebook Open Graph party
Alex Wilhelm / The Next Web:
Microsoft: Windows Phone will not battle Android on specs, will instead fight for ‘quality’
Discussion: WMPoweruser and The Verge
Janko Roettgers / GigaOM:
First numbers: How successful are Spotify's apps?
Discussion: AllThingsD
Eric Eldon / TechCrunch:
NewsGator Has Quietly Built An Enterprise Social Networking Business On Top Of SharePoint
 Earlier Items: 
Julie Bort / Business Insider:
Amazon Web Services Now Available Without That Messy ‘Web’ Part
Discussion: Computerworld
Cade Metz / Wired Enterprise:
Google's Data Center Engineer Shares Secrets of ‘Warehouse’ Computing
Jenna Wortham / Bits:
Beyond Siri: Voice Recognition Pops Up in More Gadgets
Discussion: Internet2Go
Seth Weintraub / 9to5Mac:
The MacBook Air Samsung SSD is about to get twice as fast
Discussion: I4U News and SlashGear