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CNBC No. 2 Jonathan Wald Leaving For Bloomberg

Jonathan Wald, a senior vice president at CNBC who runs the network’s editorial operations, is leaving the the company. Jonathan reports to CNBC boss Mark Hoffman. The newsroom reports to Jonathan.

According to a source, Jonathan is leaving because his contract runs out at the end of the quarter, and he and the network could not come to terms on an extension. CNBC staffers suspect that he has another position lined up elsewhere.

A source close to the situation says Wald is not headed to Bloomberg, where the Managing Editor, Jonathan Meehan, is leaving. The source says Wald wants the top job somewhere, and CNBC boss Mark Hoffman isn’t going anywhere. A former student of Jonathan’s at Columbia Journalism School speculates that he might also be headed there, but this seems likely to remain a part-time gig.

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Obama Gets a Google Vet–But Not for CTO

Barack Obama has yet to announce who his chief technology officer will be. But he has hired a Silicon Valley exec for another role: Google product manager Katie Jacobs Stanton will be the new President’s “director of citizen participation,” starting in March, sources tell me.

What the job entails isn’t completely clear to me, but I gather that she plans on using Web tools to let, well, citizens participate in the Obama White House.

The model: Google’s “Moderator” tool, which let people submit questions for the Presidential debates, and was later used to let them suggest initiatives for the new administration via its Change.gov site.

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Streaming video cannibalizing DVD rentals, says Netflix

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings noted that there were millions of subscribers using the Watch Instantly feature, and that Netflix had seen a “substitution effect” among subscribers who do so.

“We are seeing early signs of less DVD usage with some subscribers who are also watching instantly as compared to subscribers who only receive DVDs,” said Hastings. “Time will tell whether this substitution effect is an attribute of early adopters or a mainstream behavior.”

“The phenomenon reinforces the fact that online offerings really do compete with physical media for the same pieces of the movie pie, and that could prove worrisome for Blu-ray as online video continues to grow in popularity. “

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Skype Lite Landing On Android Phone Others Too

Skype announced on Thursday the forthcoming release of Skype Lite for Google Android and other Java-enabled phones. Skype Lite marks the communication company’s first native VoIP client for Java.

Skype is submitting the app to Google’s Android Market on Thursday morning, though it could take Google a few days to offer it for download.

In addition, Skype Lite will also be available on Thursday to about 100 models of Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, LG, and Samsung phones. The app has been available in beta form for a growing number of handsets on Skype.com, and isn’t expected to change in this initial release.

Skype Lite is truly that: a back-to-basics build that allows the customary cut-rate international calling to Skype contacts, and also calling credits to non-Skype buddies using the SkypeOut service. You’ll be able to IM other Skype friends in addition, an activity best done with a data plan. Users anticipating the fuller features of the newly updated Skype for Windows Mobile beta won’t find them in this debut version.

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Opera Software releases Opera Mobile 9.5 beta

It’s time that Opera Mobile got its due. Long overshadowed by Opera Mini–the light, server-fed browser for Java phones–Opera Mobile is a robust browser built on Web standards (and written with C and C++) that’s known for delivering a full Web experience to Windows Mobile and Symbian phones.

Yet even though Opera Mobile has made good as a much closer approximation of the desktop Internet experience, it traditionally hasn’t received the same developmental attention as Opera Mini. With Opera Mobile 9.5 beta, released on Thursday as freeware, things begin to change.

In many ways, this beta version of Opera Mobile is a fusion of Opera’s Desktop and Mini versions. It inherits certain tabbing, searching, linking, and saving capabilities from Opera Desktop 9.5, and Opera Mini’s search and display settings.

What follows is a full hands-on review of Opera Mobile 9.5 beta (also see the video) that takes into account the program’s newly redesigned interface, features, performance enhancements,Opera Dragonfly, issues, and what to expect from future beta builds, of which there will be several before the final release. We also won’t leave out availability and price.

 

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