Techmeme
December 16, 2013, 11:00 AM

Top News

Joshua Kopstein / New Yorker:
The Mission to Decentralize the Internet  —  In the nineteen-seventies, the Internet was a small, decentralized collective of computers.  The personal-computer revolution that followed built upon that foundation, stoking optimism encapsulated by John Perry Barlow's 1996 manifesto “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.”
David Carr / New York Times:
AOL's Tim Armstrong reluctantly lets go of Patch as shareholder pressures mount  —  AOL Chief's White Whale Finally Slips His Grasp  —  Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, is finally winding down Patch, a network of local news sites that he helped invent and that AOL bought after he took over.
Josh Halliday / Guardian:
Google will not answer to British court over UK privacy claim  —  Search giant insists lawsuit concerning UK internet users' privacy should be brought in California where it is based  —  Google has been called “arrogant and immoral” for arguing that a privacy claim brought by internet users …
Glenn Peoples / Billboard:
The Download Hits Middle Age (and It Shows)  —  The slow but steady rise of on-demand services like Spotify and Rdio coincided with a drop-off in sales for various download fomats.  —  The digital download hit middle age in 2013.  Although retirement may be far in the future …
More: 9to5Mac
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
Amazon Pushes Installment Plan Payments for Kindle Fire HDX Tablets  —  Amazon seems to be selling a lot of its newest Kindle Fire tablets*.  But it would like to sell many more.  —  So here's Jeff Bezos' newest pitch: Buy a Kindle Fire HDX tablet today, and we'll give you nine months to finish paying for it.
Colin Campbell / Polygon:
Everything you need to know about the YouTube copyright crisis and why you should care  —  At the center of this week's confusing thicket of news and outrage surrounding YouTube video game copyright sweep is a very simple issue.  —  It's about freedom-of expression and the ability of critics …
Marco Arment / Marco.org:
Apple Can't Ban “Rate This App” Dialogs  —  There's been a lot of discussion in the last few days about those annoying “Rate This App” dialogs in far too many iOS apps today, initiated by John Gruber, summarized nicely by Chris Gonzales, and followed up with a nice discussion between Gruber and Daniel Jalkut in The Talk Show this week.
Adam Fisher / New York Times:
A profile of Google Maps, an integral part of the company's future location-aware products  —  Google's Road Map to Global Domination  —  Fifty-five miles and three days down the Colorado River from the put-in at Lee's Ferry, near the Utah-Arizona border, the two rafts in our little flotilla suddenly encountered a storm.
Nick Wingfield / New York Times:
Tech Companies Press for a Better Retail Experience  —  SEATTLE — Looking for a holiday gift?  Come on in.  Relax.  Take a seat in the leather chair.  —  Welcome to today's electronics store, a place that is now a little like entering a playground crossed with a cocktail lounge …
Tweets: @nickwingfield

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Allison Arieff / New York Times: