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Skype, the immensely popular VoIP service, experienced the first major outage in its history yesterday and even though this will surely hurt the company in the very short run, its excellent crisis management will reduce the outage's impact to close to zero in the long run.

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Mozilla is slowly marching towards a general release of Firefox 4. Today, the non-profit launched the 8th beta version of its flagship browser. As expected, after 8 betas, there aren't any major new features in this latest version (though Mozilla promises to add a "do not track" feature before the final release). Instead, Mozilla is now focussing on fit and finish. In today's new version, the focus is on making it easier to set up Firefox Sync and the new look and feel for the add-ons manager. The new version also offers improved support for WebGL for 3D graphic visualizations on the Web.

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The FCC just approved new net neutrality regulations in a close 3-2 vote. Here are the basic rules for new net neutrality rules as established under the new FCC order.

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Augemented reality was one of the most overused buzzwords of the year, but for the most part, the applications we saw weren't really augmenting reality. Instead, like Layar and others, they take a phone's camera picture, GPS coordinates and compass heading and provide users with an overlay of nearby sights and shops. For some apps - especially stargazing apps like Star Walk - this is fine, but for most use cases, it's not really useful. Another type of augmented reality (AR) app that's hot right now uses paper markers and replaces them with 3D animation on your phone's screen - even Hallmark is getting in this business now, but it's more of a gimmick than a useful application of AR. The real promise of AR reaches far beyond this, however.

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Opera just released the 11th version of its desktop browser for Mac, Windows, FreeBSD and Linux. For a while, Opera was just an also-ran as Firefox and Chrome battled for the speed crown and market share in the browser business. Over the last year or so, however, Opera staged quite a comeback in the desktop arena and version 11 is the current culmination of this work. Here are the top 5 new features that make Opera 11 worth another look.

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Facebook is launching an email service on Monday. While that's only a rumor for now, I think it’s a well substantiated one and there is little doubt in my mind that that's what we are going to get. But this won't be a "Gmail killer" as the project is apparently internally known at Facebook. Sadly, though, the meme that this could really be a Gmail killer is already making its rounds and won't let up until Monday - when exhausted bloggers will likely split into two camps: those who think Facebook just killed Gmail and those who are disappointed that it didn't.

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Rumor had it that Apple was about to release the much anticipated iOS 4.2 update this week. While this update will bring new capabilities to the iPhone and iPod touch, iPad users will benefit from this the most, as they will finally get Apple's version of multitasking and folders. For now, though, it looks like Apple users will have to wait a few more days. According to the rumor mill, the current build has a major WiFi bug that could be a show stopper.

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A pilot study in Maryland looked at how students react when they can't go online or check their email on their phones.

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Somehow I completely missed the fact that those new blue "shared by" links on Google News results that appeared on my main search results pages a few days were new. Given the pace of the search giant's development cycle, I have to admit that I'm sometimes actually rather confused about what's new and what's been around for a while on Google.

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According to a cryptic message on the even more cryptic demoslam.com, a site that looks to be a Google property, "technology is awesome. Learning about it isn't. Until now." Starting on Wednesday, the text on this teaser site reads, you can come to the site to watch demos , "choose your favorites and most importantly, show the world what...

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Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg just told a group of aspiring entrepreneurs at Y Combinator's Startup School that he expects to invest most of the money Facebook is currently making back into the business. According to him, it currently "doesn't make sense to make a massive profit," as Facebook is already able to provide the necessary incentives to keep and motivate its employees.

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As I'm thinking about the sale of TechCrunch to AOL and Jason Calacanis' ideas for how to take tech reporting to the next level (in the form of an email newsletter), I can't help but think about what the next generation of tech blogs will look like. Since the early days of tech blogging, the field has become more professionalized and the major blogs now have plenty of full- and half-time staffers who ensure that no nuance of the tech world goes uncovered. While Twitter and Facebook have changed the way these publications find readers for their stories (in the early days, RSS feeds used to be a huge source of traffic), the blogs themselves all still look pretty much the same (one exception - at least with regards to their homepage, is the rapidly expanding The Next Web).

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A new Zogby poll commissioned by the kids-focused online advocacy group Common Sense Media challenges the idea that kids today don't care about online privacy. While some pundits believe that teens care very little about online privacy, the report suggests that teens are quite aware that social networks and search engines track their online behavior. I do have some...

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According to the Guardian, serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis plans to launch a new tech blog in early 2011. With this project, Calacanis is going into direct competition with TechCrunch, the influential Silicon Valley-based blog run by Calacanis's old nemesis Mike Arrington. According to the report, Calacanis plans to hire a small number of editors (possibly four). These writers will have to be free them to research stories deeply and will only have to file one story per week. Calacanis will also host a new startup conference that will challenge TechCrunch's highly successful Disrupt conference.

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After a few hours of wild speculation, TechCrunch founder and co-edit Mike Arrington and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong just announced that AOL has indeed acquired TechCrunch. According to Arrington, TechCrunch will be a fully owned subsidiary of AOL, but his team will have no "editorial boundaries" and AOL will allow the blog to operate as usual. Arrington will stay...