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7 stories to read this weekend

Monsters University, Tony Soprano and Michael Hastings — they all make an appearance in this week’s newsletter, along with Justin Bieber, carmakers, the Rust Belt and last but not the least, Silicon Valley’s real papa, Robert Noyce, who started Intel Corp.

Paragraph launches an aggregated lit mag for the iPad age

A new iPad magazine called Paragraph Shorts curates the “best short stories” from across the web and presents them in a Flipboard-like interface. The free app aims to add value through curation, introducing readers to authors and publications they might not have known about otherwise.

7 stories to read this weekend

How did the wheelie suitcase come about? What happens when greed comes to healthcare? How did the TV show Lost come about. How to publish in a post-iPad world? The War on Drugs has failed, what’s next? Internet of plants. This week’s recommend reading list.

So Apple did buy more than just Color Labs’ engineers

More details on the sale leak out via a lawsuit filed against Color on Monday. Most attention in the document is going to be rightly focused on the jarring accusations being leveled against CEO and founder Bill Nguyen by the petitioner, Adam Witherspoon, a cofounder of Color

Blog network Buzz Media acquires music magazine Spin

Los Angeles-based entertainment blog network Buzz Media, which owns over 40 sites including Stereogum and Just Jared, has acquired music publication Spin, including its print magazine, website, iPad app and events business. It’s unclear whether Spin will survive in print.

Dow Jones’ SmartMoney magazine goes online-only

Plagued by declining ad pages and dollars, SmartMoney, the Wall Street Journal’s twenty-year-old personal finance magazine, is ceasing print production and going online-only. Twenty-five print staffers are losing their jobs while the digital editorial team expands to 15..

2.6 million join Free Mobile’s French revolution

After just three months of operation, France’s disruptive Free Mobile — which has upset the market with an innovative and controversial offering — has won 2.6 million subscribers, an unprecedented number for a new European launch.

Verizon offers Color a second chance with video partnership

Verizon Wireless is partnering with Color to highlight the power of its 4G network. The carrier will offer its customers the chance to use an enhanced version of Color, which will enable live video streaming with audio and double the existing frame rate.

CloudFoundry attacks Google-style problem with BOSH

With its new BOSH management process, VMware keeps pushing CloudFoundry as a good multi-cloud PaaS option by making it easier to deploy and manage across clouds and on the biggest clouds. That’s important as more companies hedge their bets when it comes to cloud deployment.

Cleantech: Y U No Working?

This is a presentation I made for a decal class at UC Berkeley’s Haas school on Wednesday night. I learned of BrightSource pulling its IPO on my way out of the class, which made me feel like the guy in the first slide.

Hi, I am a big dumb fat pipe & I am okay with that

Hong Kong Broadband Network, a company I have covered numerous times in the past, is perfectly comfortable selling a lot of bandwidth cheaply and embracing all sorts of over the top services running on top of their network and are okay selling big fat dumb pipes.

Chill moves from live chat to social video discovery

Chill.com has all but abandoned its Turntable.fm-like group chat rooms and is now focusing squarely on social video discovery. The startup’s founder Brian Norgard likened the new approach to the way people interact with content in media-focused social networks like Instagram and Path.

Minted, crowdsourced stationery maker, gets $5.5 MM in funding

Minted, a San Francisco-based stationery company was almost out of cash when its initial idea didn’t take off. A long shot bet on crowd sourcing has paid off and the company is now looking for growth in new markets. A $5.5-million infusion will surely help.

Don Norman: Google doesn’t get people, it sells them

Design guru Don Norman is the godfather of design in the technology industry, a veteran who has been around the block with companies like Apple and HP. Now he thinks that it’s time we started being more skeptical of Google’s ambitions — or risk losing something important.

Top AOL Editors Are Heading For The Exits

AOL (NYSE: AOL) has been one of the biggest hirers of journalists over the past two years, but lately, it’s experiencing something of an exo…

Video: Ashwin Navin’s Connected TV Startup Flingo

Flingo makes it possible to bring web videos to any connected Vizio TV, thanks to a new open source library that can be integrated into any web site. Flingo CEO Ashwin Navin, formerly of BitTorrent Inc., recently stopped by our office to demonstrate the project.

For Minted, Crowdsourcing Means Money

Minted.com, a San Francisco-based online stationary seller has found enough success with the crowd sourcing model to think about expanding into new markets. The company has hired veteran Google engineer as its CTO to beef up its infrastructure it needs for its grand ambitions.

Yahoo Building Next Chicken Coop Data Center in Switzerland

On the eve of the opening of Yahoo’s first ultra-efficient chicken-coop inspired green data center, Yahoo exec Scott Noteboom told me the company also had other Coop data centers under construction in undisclosed locations. Well, here’s the location of Yahoo’s second coop data center: Switzerland.

Mobilize 2010: Negroponte Sees Tablets as Creative Tool

Nicholas Negroponte and Weili Dai of One Laptop Per Child take the stage for the Mobilize 2010 Keynote to discuss One Laptop Per Child, the future of the tablet, and what connectivity is doing to bring about change for children in developing nations.

Usability Study Shows Kids Don’t Search

While adult Internet users are increasingly “search dominant,” kids navigate the web using bookmarks, remembering their favorite sites, and accessing paid subscription content and games. That’s a finding from a new qualitative usability study on how children use the web by human-computer interaction researcher Jakob Nielsen,

Steve Nash to be an Early-Stage VC

Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is preparing himself for a second career in investing, and is currently raising $20 million for a new New York City-based VC firm called Consigliere that will invest in early stage companies in categories including e-commerce and sports.

Indie Sci-Fi Comedy Solo Needs Some Time to Grow

The new sci-fi series Solo, created by Jonathan Nail, has solid performances and great production value, especially given its futuristic setting. However, its uncertain tone is a clear sign of a show that’s searching for the right note to strike, and hasn’t found it yet.

Does Facebook Have a Fatal Cultural Problem?

Has Facebook failed to evolve along with the core of its user base, and could that spell doom for the social network? In a blog post at the Harvard Business Review site, professor Bruce Nussbaum argues that it has, and it could. But is he right?

Foursquare North Pole Check-in: It's a Race!

Parker Liautaud is on an expedition to the North Pole, where he plans to check in via Foursquare and be the first to earn the Last Degree badge. But he has some company: a British insurance executive wants to be the first to check in, too.

Don’t Forget to ElfYourself

It’s true, eCards are soooo ’90s, but that’s only because most of them look terrible, aren’t specific or personalized enough, and/or cost…

Lessons from a Startup Acquisition

Founders are notorious for falling in love with their visions. How else could we survive 18-hour workdays or a multitude of setbacks…

FriendFeed. More Like (Fake)FriendFeed

Recently the social web has begun to morph into something altogether different from what it promised to be. The latest example is life-streaming service FriendFeed, which is offering up well-known Internet personalities as “friends” its users can choose to follow.

IAC Does A Reorg Of Its M&A Team

Interactive Corp (NSDQ: IACI). which has had a very active M&A team which hasn’t resulted in all that many deals (some of them because they…

Xavier Niel, France's Broadband Maverick

On my recent trip to Paris, I had the chance to meet up with the man behind what is arguably one of France’s most dynamic technology companies — one that I feel epitomizes a true, 21st century broadband service provider. Here is a look into Xavier Niel’s Free.fr.