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1:45 AM ET, January 17, 2012

Techmeme

 Top Items: 
Sarah Lacy / PandoDaily:
Why I Started PandoDaily  —  Several months ago I became obsessed with a colony of trees in Utah called Pando Trees.  Measuring 43 hectares and weighing 6,000 tons, they're pretty impressive above ground.  But what really matters is what is happening below.  The interconnected root system is the oldest living organism in the world.
RELATED:
Ryan Tate / Gawker:
Tech Industry Buys Itself a Mouthpiece  —  How did Silicon Valleys bigwigs react when their favorite trade publication adopted strict new conflicts of interest policies?  They banded together to pay someone else to cover them.  —  Former TechCrunch reporter Sarah Lacy today launched PandoDaily …
Sarah Lacy / PandoDaily:
OK, Gawker, We'll Engage in Your Link Bait for Just One Post  —  The water cooler chatter from early this morning in PandoDaily's virtual offices (aka email):  —  Sarah: “We don't want to reference ‘accusers’ before we have them.”  —  Trevor: “Well by the afternoon, we will have them!”
Michael Arrington / Uncrunched:
Sarah Lacy Launches Pando Daily, Your New Favorite News Site
Chris Foresman / Ars Technica:
Apple to announce tools, platform to “digitally destroy” textbook publishing  —  Apple is slated to announce the fruits of its labor on improving the use of technology in education at its special media event on Thursday, January 19.  While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks …
RELATED:
Jordan Kahn / 9to5Mac:
Apple working with McGraw-Hill on education announcement slated for Jan.19 at Guggenheim
Discussion: MacRumors and Wall Street Journal
Steven Sinofsky / MSDN Blogs:
Building the next generation file system for Windows: ReFS … In this blog post I'd like to talk about a new file system for Windows.  This file system, which we call ReFS, has been designed from the ground up to meet a broad set of customer requirements, both today's and tomorrow's …
Dan Lyons / The Daily Beast:
Even Woz Thinks the Android Bests the iPhone  —  Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak still loves his iPhone, but says in some ways, Android has leapt ahead.  Wow.  —  Apple CEO Steve Jobs hated the Android smartphone operating system so much that he vowed he would spend his last dying breath …
Stuart Miles / Pocket-lint:
Samsung and Apple looking at new waterproof smartphone tech  —  A new technology that could save your phone from getting water damaged could be included the next wave of smartphones about to be made by Samsung and Apple.  —  Called HZO, the technology creates a nano-scale film barrier …
Ian Paul / PC World:
Log into Gmail on a PC via Your Smartphone  —  Google recently introduced a fun (and more secure) way to log into your Google account from a public terminal without entering your password into the PC, and instead using your smartphone and a QR code.  —  The method is similar to how Google sets …
John P. Mello Jr. / PC World:
Maker of Steve Jobs Action Figure Kills Project  —  The maker of a controversial Steve Jobs action figure is stopping production and sale of the 12-inch doll following threats of legal action by Apple and Jobs' family.  —  “Though we still believe that we have not overstepped any legal boundaries …
Alicia Eler / ReadWriteWeb:
Study: Why Do People Use Facebook?  —  Facebook is an accepted means of communication.  It is a never-ending virtual social gathering filled with adopted puppies, cute LOL kitties, baby announcements, viral articles and videos, events, groups, organizations and fan pages.  But why do people really use it?
Ingrid Lunden / paidContent:
The Year Of The Dumb And Dumber, Sub-$100 Smartphone - 500 Million Of Them  —  We've heard about how the boom in smartphone popularity, the dropping cost of components and the rapid rise of Android, a “free” smartphone OS, has led to a number of handset makers driving down the price for smartphones …
Matthew Panzarino / The Next Web:
Twitter's Dick Costolo calls Wikipedia's SOPA blackout ‘foolish’  —  We've already reported on Wikipedia's founder Jimmy Wales announcing that the site will be going dark, effectively closing up for business, for 24 hours on Wednesday in protest of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).
RELATED:
Tim Bradshaw / Financial Times:
Wikipedia's anti-SOPA blackout will go ahead on Wednesday
Zach Epstein / BGR:
America's first Nokia Windows Phone already free on contract  —  Nokia's first Windows Phone-powered smartphone to launch in the United States is already available for free on contract.  Nokia and T-Mobile unveiled the Nokia Lumia 710 last month and confirmed that while the handset is certainly …
Discussion: Softpedia News
David Pierce / The Verge:
Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case fixes its own scratches and blemishes  —  A few years ago, Nissan developed a type of paint for its cars that can automatically fix scratches — now the company's taking its tech off your car and onto your iPhone 4 or 4S.  The new Nissan Scratch Shield …
Kevin C. Tofel / GigaOM:
Uh-oh, PC: Half of computing device sales are mobile  —  Last week, I pointed out some of the remote access solutions shown at CES that allow you to tap into the power of a full desktop computer from a mobile device.  I said it was another nail in the coffin for traditional personal computers …
Discussion: Appolicious Advisor
Electronista:
91% of business pros use iPads for work, 83% loyal to Apple  —  IDG finds iPad replacing PCs at work  —  Nearly every business pro with an iPad is using it primarily to get work done, IDG determined in a study on Monday.  About 91 percent worldwide who have iPads use it for work first …
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Former CBS Interactive Head Neil Ashe to Lead Wal-Mart's Global Online Commerce Biz  —  Neil Ashe, who left his job running CBS Interactive in late 2010, has taken a job helming Wal-Mart Stores' global online commerce unit.  —  The retail behemoth said that Ashe will become president and CEO …
Discussion: GeekWire, paidContent and Reuters
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Advertising Report: Facebook Now Earns 23% More Per Impression Than In Q1 2011  —  Facebook is making significantly more money per ad now, charging 23% more per 1000 impressions than at the start of 2011.  There are still cheap ad clicks to be had on Facebook — you just have to keep traffic bouncing around within the social network.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Windows Phone apps: does quantity equal success?  —  There's been a lot of talk about Windows Phone lately, especially around the latest handsets and user interface.  The New York Times highlighted the positive press that Windows Phone has received, stating that the OS is bold.
Katie Marsal / AppleInsider:
Apple jumps 9 spots to become 8th most valuable brand in the world  —  Apple was ranked the eighth most valuable brand of the world in 2011, with an estimated total value of $33.49 billion, making it bigger than Disney, Mercedes-Benz and Budweiser.  —  The 2011 rankings were released on Monday …
Shayndi Raice / Wall Street Journal:
Zynga Chief Talks IPO, Lessons Learned  —  Zynga Inc. Chief Executive Mark Pincus ended 2011 as the face of an overhyped Web initial public offering.  Now he wants to show the hype was justified.  —  Early last year, his San Francisco company, which makes social games such as “FarmVille” …
Discussion: Joystiq
Mikey Campbell / AppleInsider:
Samsung seeks $1B bond to expand Texas processor plant  —  Samsung is in talks with banks to acquire $1 billion to fund an expansion at its facility in Austin, Texas that is said to be the source of A5 processors powering the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, and could possibly be the factory responsible …
Discussion: Engadget and Bloomberg
Russell Adams / Wall Street Journal:
CBS Opens Sports Site to Fantasy App Makers  —  CBS Corp., in a move aimed at boosting its share of the nearly billion-dollar fantasy-sports business, is opening up its CBS Sports website so outside developers can create apps geared toward fantasy enthusiasts.
Discussion: @jlanzone
 
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 More Items: 
Riva Richmond / New York Times:
Koobface Gang That Spread Worm on Facebook Operates in the Open
Discussion: Naked Security
Christian Davenport / Washington Post:
As demand for e-books soars, libraries struggle to stock their virtual shelves
Discussion: TeleRead
Nancy Messieh / The Next Web:
Twitter is adding 11 new accounts per second and could pass 500 million in February, says report
Discussion: The Wall Blog and PSFK
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
The Pirate Bay Launches Promo Platform For Artists
Discussion: WebProNews, Inquirer and The Next Web
Daniel Edward Rosen / The New York Observer:
Exclusive: foursquare Celebrates New Office Space, Elbow Room
 Earlier Items: 
Stephen Shankland / CNET:
Ex-Firefox exec Shaver has plans for Facebook's Android app
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Why the video pros are moving away from Apple
Discussion: WebProNews
Monica Chen / DigiTimes:
Wintel tablet PCs may be priced from US$599-899