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Newswatch 11.14.07: The future of social nets? Email

YHOO, GOOG see email as the killer social app

[NYT] Web-based e-mail systems already contain much of what Facebook calls the social graph — the connections between people. That’s why the social networks offer to import the e-mail address books of new users to jump-start their list of friends. Yahoo and Google realize that they have this information and can use it to build their own services that connect people to their contacts.

Murdoch: WSJ must go free

[NYT] Rupert Murdoch says he plans to abolish subscription fees at The Wall Street Journal’s Web site, according to news accounts from Australia. This apparently was news to executives at his company and The Journal, who cautioned that the decision might not be final.

'Moral pygmies' pay families

[LA Times] Yahoo promised to pay the families' legal bills and to create a fund to "provide support to other political dissidents and their families," but the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company wouldn't disclose other details of the agreement.

Sun worries Android will split Java

[News.com] "Anything that creates a more diverse or fractured platform is not in (developers') best interests," said Rich Green, executive vice president of Sun's software work. The feedback from developers is, 'Help us fix this.'"

Marvel comics go online

[Reuters] The publisher said on Tuesday that it will start a Web site that will feature access to thousands of its comic books and the famous heroes who populate them, from Spider-Man and the X-Men to the Fantastic Four and The Avengers.

Sun commits $2b for virtualization

[InfoWeek] Following close on Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL)'s heels, Sun Microsystems on Wednesday announced that it will offer a Xen-based hypervisor -- xVM -- for generating virtual machines and Sun xVM Ops Center for managing them.

New Zune is better

[WSJ] They are smaller, lighter and more attractive, and they include three big improvements. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Apple hasn't been standing still, either. It now has its own large-screen, wireless model, the iPod Touch, with a radical "multi-touch" interface like the iPhone's.

Your personal assistant is in India

[NYT] Thanks to Indian companies like Brickwork India and GetFriday, even sole proprietors can have personal assistants to conduct research, monitor the Web, make appointments and even give them a wake-up call and tell them to get some exercise — all for as little as $15 an hour.