Links and Reading for May 9th

Some of the more interesting and important items for May 9th :

  • Google to Unveil Online Music Service – – Google Inc. is preparing as early as Tuesday to unveil a new online music service similar to a service recently launched by Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, a move that escalates the battle to create the next generation of Internet businesses for storing and listening to music.
  • Microsoft Near Deal to Buy Skype for Nearly $8 Billion – – At a value close to $8 billion, the Skype deal would rank at or near the top of the biggest acquisitions in the 36-year history of Microsoft, a company that traditionally has shied away from large deals. In 2007, Microsoft paid approximately $6 billion to acquire online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. Many current and former Microsoft executives believe Microsoft significantly overpaid for that deal. But they are also relieved that Microsoft gave up on an unsolicited $48 billion offer for Yahoo Inc. nearly three years ago. Yahoo is valued at half that sum today.
  • Sputtering Video | Walt Mossberg | Mossberg’s Mailbox | AllThingsD – Every time I want to view a video on YouTube, the video repeatedly starts and stops. Sometimes a five-minute video takes 20 to 30 minutes to view. This happens on all my computers and on my smartphone. What can I do to correct this problem?
  • LinkedIn IPO Price Range Values Site at More Than $3 Billion | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD – LinkedIn set the price range for its much anticipated IPO this morning, saying it expects to offer 7.84 million shares for $32 to $35 a share. That would make the offering worth as much as $274.4 million and LinkedIn, which will have 94.5 million shares outstanding after it, worth more than $3 billion.
  • Rare Earth Metals Supply Seen Hitting Surplus Levels By 2013 – Focus on Funds – – Prices for rare earth metals have shot through the roof since 2009 as supplies of the strategic materials used in everything from high-powered magnets to mobile phone screens haven’t been able to keep up with demand.
  • CME Hikes Trading Fees As Oil Prices Jump 6% – Focus on Funds – – The CME Group (CME) said today that after the close of business Tuesday, it will raise such so-called margin requirements for futures trading in a wide range of oil products.
  • China’s yuan at record ahead of Washington talks – MarketWatch – HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — China's yuan rose to a fresh record against the U.S. dollar on Monday, edging up a fraction from its close in the previous trading session ahead of senior-level talks between Chinese and U.S. officials, slated for later Monday in Washington. China's central bank set the official central parity rate for the U.S. dollar at 6.4988 yuan, compared to Friday's setting of 6.5003 yuan. The level represented a record high against the dollar, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. The U.S. dollar dropped below the 6.50-level for the first time on April 29, and was at 6.4955 around midday in East Asia on Monday, according to FactSet data.
  • Microsoft near over-$7-billion deal for Skype: WSJ – MarketWatch – LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Microsoft Corp. is nearing a deal worth more than $7 billion to buy Internet-phone provider Skype Technologies SA, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. Talks on the deal were wrapping up Monday evening, with an agreement to be announced as early as Tuesday, the report said, but added the transaction could still fall apart. Microsoft and Skype declined to comment for the report, the newspaper said.
  • U.S. Releases bin Laden Videos – – WASHINGTON—The U.S. government released five video clips of Osama bin Laden that were seized by Navy SEALs during the raid on his compound, providing the first photographic evidence of what officials described as the al Qaeda leader's "active command-and-control center" in Pakistan.
  • 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error