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4:05 PM ET, January 4, 2014

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 Top News: 
Rap Genius:
Rap Genius begins to recover its Google search ranking, details SEO strategies, apologizes  —  Rap Genius is Back on Google  —  It takes a few days for thiAnnotatengs to return to normal, but we're officially back!  First of all, we owe a big thanks to Google for being fair and transparent …
Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
Ezra Klein Speculation Creates Delicate Situation In Washington Post Newsroom  —  NEW YORK — In fall 2006, John Harris and Jim VandeHei were growing restless at the The Washington Post.  —  So the two political journalists began meeting privately with potential investors to launch an online site …
Steve Buttry / The Buttry Diary:
You don't tip competitors on Twitter; you beat them  —  You can't get scooped because competition gets tipped to a story when you tweet about it.  Your tweets already scooped the competition.  —  A Digital First engagement editor who's been teaching colleagues how to use Twitter got these questions from a veteran reporter:
Discussion: @dangillmor, @jayrosen_nyu and @macloo
Ed Christman / Billboard:
As streaming grows, digital music sales decreased in 2013, the first time since iTunes launch  —  Digital Music Sales Decrease For First Time in 2013  —  For the first time since the iTunes store opened its doors, the U.S. music industry finished the year with a decrease in digital music sales.
Jon Swartz / USA Today:
ESPN's behind-the-scenes tech wizardry at Candlestick Park  —  CANDLESTICK POINT, Calif. - It's three minutes before kickoff, and Chip Dean is frenetically orchestrating a phalanx of video, sound and graphics.  —  Like a composer leading a symphony, he conjured a national TV show that opened …
AJ Vicens / Mother Jones:
“We Rattled Too Many Cages:” An Eyewitness Account of Journalist Marie Colvin's Death in Syria  —  Syria is the deadliest place in the world for journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday, with 29 killed in the country in 2013—more than the next five countries combined.
Discussion: @motherjones and @ncaplanbricker
Matthew Lynch / Capital New York:
Neetzan Zimmerman to leave Gawker for social startup Whisper  —  Neetzan Zimmerman to leave Gawker  —  Gawker viral content mastermind Neetzan Zimmerman is leaving the company, according to editor John Cook who tweeted the news on Friday afternoon.  —  Reached by email …
Jeremy Barr / Poynter:
Photographer says Spokesman-Review's drone-shot video occurred in a ‘gray area’  —  While the journalism community is buzzing about drones' potential to help report hard-to-reach stories, the Federal Aviation Administration still largely bans the use of unmanned aircraft systems for commercial purposes, journalism included.
Brian Solomon / Forbes:
John Malone's Liberty Media Wants To Absorb Rest Of Sirius XM  —  Billionaire John Malone's Liberty Media announced late Friday a proposal to turn Sirius XM Radio into a wholly-owned subsidiary by creating a third class of Liberty shares.  Liberty already owns a controlling stake in Sirius XM …
Peg Brickley / Wall Street Journal:
Inquirer's Owners Push Newspaper to Auction Block  —  Philadelphia Inquirer's Owners in Impasse Over Management  —  PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Inquirer is being pushed back to the auction block by owners at odds over management of the newspaper operation and how to break the impasse at the top of the company.
Discussion: NewsWorks
Katie Roof / Fox Business:
Business Insider Turned Down $100M-Plus Buyout Offer: Source  —  BusinessInsider.com, an edgy financial and technology news website, may not technically be shopping itself, but that hasn't stopped potential suitors from calling, including one that recently offered more than $100 million …
Noelene Clark / Hero Complex:
‘Star Wars’ comics leaving Dark Horse, returning to Marvel in 2015  —  “Star Wars” No. 12 by Brian Wood.  (Hugh Fleming / Dark Horse Comics)  —  Marvel will publish new “Star Wars” comic books beginning in 2015, the company announced Friday.  —  The agreement between Lucasfilm and Marvel …
Discussion: Marvel.com, The Wrap and CNET
 
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100 Internet Marketing Experts Speaking at SMX in NYC  —  More than 100 of the world's most knowledgeable internet marketers will present at Search Marketing Expo - SMX East, September 30 - October 2 in New York City.
Say Media / Say Daily:
Brand Publishing Just Keeps Getting Better  —  Native ads and custom content are here to stay but some advertisers are also going all in and creating their own slick digital magazines.
AdExchanger:
If You Don't Care About Deep-Linking, You Probably Don't Care About Making Money  —  You're browsing the web and you see a retargeted web banner from eBay for a pair of shoes.  You were on the fence before, but...those shoes really are nice.
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James Doleman / The Drum:
Phone-hacking trial: Bloggers, tweeters and Alan Sugar
 Earlier Picks: 
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
Record Companies' Lawsuit Against Vimeo Heads Towards Appellate Showdown
Discussion: Plagiarism Today and Gigaom
 

 
From Techmeme:

Walt Mossberg / Re/code:
Exclusive Interview: Best Buy CEO Says Tablet Sales Are “Crashing,” Hope for PCs

Bloomberg:
Snapchat Said in Funding Talks With Alibaba at $10 Billion

Chris Duckett / ZDNet:
Samsung mobile profit down by a third in 2Q 2014

 
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