By JP Mangalindan
January 18, 2011

A curated selection of the long weekend’s most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.

  • A flurry of rumored iPad details hit the Interwebs over the weekend, adding more fuel to the flames. The thinner, sleeker Apple tablet could sport a dual-core 1GHz ARM CPU with a new SGX543 graphics and video core offering twice the processing power at the same clock speed, a new screen technology similar to — but not the same as — the iPhone 4’s Retina Display with a super high resolution of 2048 x 1536, exactly double the first-generation iPad’s resolution. While it’s not quite Retina Display sharp, human eyes may not be able to tell the difference. The device itself will remain at 10 inches but don a thinner, flatter chassis, front and rear cameras, and an SD slot. (Engadget and TUAW)
  • In other Apple news, Steve Jobs formally announced he’s taking an indefinite leave of absence to focus on his health. In the company memo, Jobs assured employees he would still continue on as CEO and be involved in major strategic communications, but said COO Tim Cook would oversee day-to-day operations. Concluded Jobs: “I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.” This marks the second time in two years Jobs has taken medical leave — the first time was in 2009 when the CEO had a liver transplant. (Apple and Fortune)
  • Goldman Sachs will not include U.S. clients in its private offering of Facebook shares because the recent media brouhaha”might not be consistent with the proper completion of a U.S. private placement under U.S. law.” As a result, some clients are saying the reversal could damage Goldman’s client relations going forward. (Wall Street Journal)
  • In an interview with Maria Bartiromo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discussed the success of Kinect, dodged questions regarding Windows Phone 7’s viability, and complimented Facebook, a partner the company is working with for its Bing search engine (“It’s worth exactly what investors will pay for it. They’re a great partner, and I love them.”) Ballmer also talked about what he feels to be the two biggest trends for the next two years: natural interface via voice, touch and vision recognition, and the Cloud. “There’s still so much more that we can do when you think about the Internet not just as a place to publish a document, but a place to help support communal computing. Whether it’s for a business or for a group of friends.” (USAToday)

  • Struggling video chain Blockbuster is asking creditors for more money to help get out of bankruptcy protection, prompting a debate among bondholders about whether they should invest further or just put it up for sale. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer gave Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two discs containing info. covering multinationals, financial firms and 2,000 wealthy, prominent individuals in the UK, U.S., and Germany. (BBC)
  • Online video distribution site SnagFilms, which offers free documentary films with advertising along with rental streaming and purchase options, got $10 million in funding from Comcast’s investment arm and New Enterprise Associates, putting its valuation at $50 million. (AllThingsD)
  • Groupon is in talks with Chinese Internet powerhouse Tencent to help out with the daily deals site’s global expansion. Deal terms remain scant, but a co-branded join venture is likely. (AllThingsD)
  • Britain’s two biggest labels, Universal and Sony Music, hope to thwart piracy by trying a new strategy in which new singles available to buy at the same time they first hit the airwaves. (Guardian)

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