Best Buy offering free iPhone 3GS with contract today

Now here’s a way to build some quick publicity (and quickly clear out some old stock). Best Buy will be offering the 8-gigabyte iPhone 3GS for free with a two-year AT&T contract later today (December 10), Engadget reports.

Intel chips headed to 35 tablets and ‘premier’ smartphones in 2011

Intel is not to be counted out of the smartphone battle yet, as its chips are headed to 35 tablets (including some already available) and “premier” smartphone vendors in 2011, Reuters reports based on comments from the company’s CEO Paul Otelinni.

Xing snaps up event startup Amiando

German business social networking site Xing has acquired Amiando, an online event management and ticketing services company, for around 10.3 million euros, as the “German LinkedIn” attempts to engage its more than 10 million members more actively.

Blog company Automattic has a massive audience, less-massive revenue

Executives from Automattic, the company behind blogging service WordPress, recently took the stage at the Le Web conference in Paris, where they shared some details about how the company is doing, as recounted in TechCrunch. The big takeaway: Automattic has signed up a long list of publishers who reach a huge audience, but it hasn’t succeeded in turning that into equally an impressive source of revenue.

Google turns its year in review into a commercial

Google released its Zeitgeist 2010 list today, highlighting the top queries in its search engine from around the world. More than the list itself, which held relatively few surprises, I was impressed by the effort that Google put into the presentation, with a video tour of the top searches (embedded below) and an interactive website showing different searches in different regions.

Photo app Picplz expands its social reach

The past few months have seen the launch of two hot San Francisco startups with mobile photo-sharing apps — Instagram and Picplz. Today, Picplz announced that it’s catching up with the competition on the social networking front, by adding support for photo-sharing site Flickr as well as blogging services Tumblr and Posterous.

Call of Duty and Kinect help video game sales hit record in November

And there was much rejoicing. Video game sales rose a healthy 8 percent for the month of November compared to a year ago, according to market researcher NPD. The sales were up mostly thanks to strong sales of Call of Duty Black Ops and the debut of Microsoft’s Kinect motion-control system.

Why Facebook’s playing a dangerous game with the Winklevoss brothers

Usually, Facebook’s public-relations officials can be relied on for a good old-fashioned “no comment” on truly sensitive matters. That makes the company’s response to a recent wave of reporting about ongoing litigation with Harvard classmates of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg more than a bit surprising.

LA media startups: Get feedback from Greycroft and Disney

Just a reminder that VentureBeat is bringing DEMO, the launchpad for emerging technologies, to Los Angeles on Monday, and we’re hoping to meet with top tech companies while we’re down there.

With new programming tools, Foursquare hopes more developers will check in

Location-based check-in service Foursquare just announced on its blog that is has officially released the second version of its application programming interface, or API, in beta. The first version of its API, used by third-party developers to build software that connects to Foursquare’s services, will still be functional, but will probably phase out in a few months, according to the company.

Intel wins over Apple with graphics-processor combo chip

In a blow to graphics chip maker Nvidia, Apple has decided to use Intel chips for its MacBook laptops in 2011, according to CNET. The chips, code-named Sandybridge combine 3D graphics and a microprocessor in a single chip.

Saplo’s API reads text so you don’t have to

Imagine a technology that can read and “understand” any block of text. That’s what Swedish startup Saplo does. It’s a sort of “Pandora for text” whose ultimate aim is to filter articles, tweets, ads or any other types of text based on your preferences. It can also group together similar text items, find related ones and even judge whether the text expresses positive or negative sentiments.

Android hits 300,000 daily activation milestone

Chalk another major milestone up for Google’s Android mobile OS. Google’s Andy Rubin tweeted last night that over 300,000 Android phones are activated daily — that’s up from 200,000 daily activations in August.

Bebo cofounder Michael Birch buys back a piece of his baby

After AOL sold Bebo, many scoffed at the idea of the social network’s resurgence. Despite AOL’s years of neglect, Bebo cofounder Michael Birch isn’t among the naysayers. Birch will be rejoining Bebo as an investor and advisor, purchasing a significant non-controlling stake in the company.

Survey: 8% of Americans on the Web use Twitter

In a new survey by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 8 percent of all American adults who are on the Internet said that they use Twitter.

Snapstick lets you view web content on your TV with a flick of your wrist

Using iPhones as a replacement for a TV remote control is trendy these days, since the touchscreen of the phone can be easier to maneuver than a TV remote. But Snapstick has figured out a way to get web content from your iPhone or iPad to your TV with just a flick of your wrist.