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About Doug Caverly

Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.
Google Waves White Flag In Real Estate Fight
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The people behind sites like Realtor.com, Redfin, and Trulia can breathe a sigh of relief and perhaps throw a party.  They seem to have defeated Google, which announced this afternoon that it’s retiring the real estate feature within Google Maps.

Netflix Announces Work On Facebook Integration

Netflix, which for better or worse possesses a rather unique ability to entertain solitary users for hours on end, is about to get both more social and more specific.  The company has informed shareholders that it will connect with Facebook in order to develop personal Netflix accounts.

Twitter Adds Bing’s Principal Scientist To Employee List

"Principal scientist" is an important-sounding title, and it’s hard to imagine any person holding it wouldn’t contribute a lot to his or her company.  Unfortunately for Microsoft, it looks like Bing’s principal scientist was lured away by Twitter.

PayPal VP Of Product Development Moves To Google
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Fans of Google Checkout and/or the idea of paying for things with your Android smartphone have reason to cheer this morning: Osama Bedier, the (former) vice president of product development at PayPal, has taken a job with a certain search giant.

Details are light about what Bedier might do at Google.  Nonexistent, really, so we’ll be sure to provide an update if and when that info becomes available.  UPDATE: Bedier’s LinkedIn profile now indicates he’s a VP at Google.

Facebook, Kickstarter Get Behind Sundance Institute

Artists who attend the Sundance Institute may soon have an easier time reaching an audience when they complete their programs.  Facebook and Kickstarter have promised to support alumni, providing funding and guidance.

Facebook’s contribution is more on the "guidance" side of things.  A statement on the matter explained, "Facebook will offer Institute alumni advice, educational materials, and best-practices tips on how to build and engage audiences via the service."

Google Leases 100,000 Square Feet Of Space In Venice, CA
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Yesterday, Google announced that it intends to hire more than 6,000 new employees this year.  Now, we’re starting to learn where the search giant will put some of its workers, as word’s spread that Google’s leased 100,000 square feet of office space in Venice, California.

Facebook Launches Secured Connection, Social Authentication Features
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Computer users who have learned not to submit important info online unless a "lock" icon is visible – and who’ve also come to fear captchas – should soon have a much-improved opinion of Facebook.  Today, the social network announced secured connection and social authentication security features to address both these issues.

Twitter’s Valuation Climbs To $4 Billion

For better or for worse, Twitter isn’t yet a public company, meaning it doesn’t have to deliver earnings reports the way Google and Yahoo have this quarter.  But an unofficial update on the company’s financial situation is available, as Sharepost has indicated that Twitter’s private valuation has hit $4 billion.

Yahoo Beats Q4 Estimates, But Held Back By Forecast
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The fourth quarter of 2010 could have gone much worse for Yahoo, judging from the earnings report the company released this afternoon.  Yahoo’s numbers were generally higher than what analysts expected, perhaps earning Carol Bartz a few points in unhappy shareholders’ eyes.  A low Q1 forecast threw a long shadow, however.

Yahoo Confirms Layoffs Ahead Of Q4 Earnings Report

In a few minutes, Yahoo will release an earnings report concerning the fourth quarter of 2010, but prior to that, the company’s admitted that yet another round of layoffs is taking place.  The number of affected individuals is probably in the neighborhood of 140.

Obviously, that’s not great news for those people, and it may not be a good sign for Yahoo, either.  Many companies are expanding, not contracting, as the economy recovers.

Facebook, MySpace, YouTube Named Top Blacklisted Sites Of 2010

Social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube continue to polarize corporations and people in charge of networks, judging by a new report from OpenDNS.  The sites showed up on both "top blacklisted" and "top whitelisted" lists covering the entire year of 2010.

National Geographic To Distribute YouTube “Life In A Day” Film
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An experimental film project in which over 80,000 YouTube users opted to participate will soon reach far beyond computer monitors and the occasional Internet-connected TV.  National Geographic has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Life in a Day, ensuring a theatrical release.

Google Plans 1,000-Person Hiring Spree In Europe

Anyone concerned that Google’s growth will slow under Larry Page can probably at least put aside those fears with respect to the company’s headcount.  Outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt announced today that Google intends to hire 1,000 people in Europe alone.

Facebook Credits To Become Universal Currency On Site
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A currency – whether real or virtual – is only as good as the extent to which it’s accepted.  So to increase the value of Facebook Credits (figuratively speaking), Facebook will soon make them a mandatory option in social games that use payments.

Users and developers shouldn’t react with too much dismay.  Other in-game currencies will be still be permitted, and Facebook intends to let developers keep 70 percent of the revenue from transactions that involve Facebook Credits.

Google Enables “Cloud Printing On The Go”
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Let’s face it: smartphone adoption isn’t close to universal, and the average non-student probably doesn’t print documents on a regular basis.  But today, Google launched Google Cloud Print for mobile documents and Gmail for mobile, an interesting service that introduces new options concerning when and where people can print.

Orkut Turns 7

Sometimes, Google pulls out all the figurative stops when making an announcement, calling news conferences, issuing press releases, and putting notices on Google.com.  Today, there’s a blog post and a site-specific doodle to celebrate the seventh birthday of Orkut.

Twitter Ad Revenue Forecast To Triple This Year

Twitter’s efforts to generate ad revenue will kick into high gear this year and be quite successful, according to a new report.  eMarketer estimates the company will earn $150 million in 2011, up more than 333 percent from the $45 million it may have earned in 2010.

Obviously, that would represent a huge increase.  Then eMarketer thinks Twitter will achieve a repeat performance of sorts in 2012, upping its ad revenue by about $100 million again to $250 million.

Google Gives Eric Schmidt $100 Million Sendoff
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Following the did-he-jump-or-was-he-pushed debates that surfaced last week, there’s good news for Eric Schmidt: vacating the role of CEO of Google will be more lucrative than working a normal job for a lifetime.  It turns out Google intends to give Schmidt an awards package worth $100 million.

Additional Facebook Data Center Lined Up In Oregon

Facebook users’ messages, likes, and photo uploads may at some point have (another) very tangible effect on Prineville, Oregon.  It’s starting to look like Facebook – which is already building one data center near the city – could also build a second facility.

To be clear: nothing’s been confirmed, and no timeframe’s even been hinted at.  But people have at least gone on the record.

Hulu Recaptures Spot On List Of Top Video Sites

New numbers are out with respect to the U.S. online video landscape, and, to be perfectly honest, they’re quite similar to the old numbers.  But according to comScore, at least one noteworthy thing happened in December: Hulu made its way back onto a top ten list.

Hulu’s been on the edge as of late.  In October, it came in tenth among video sites in terms of total unique viewers.  Then Hulu, despite all the backing it’s received from ABC, Fox, and NBC, was absent from the November list.

Eric Schmidt Plans $334 Million Stock Sale
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It may be quite a while before it’s possible say for sure whether Eric Schmidt chose a new position or was asked to step down, but in the meantime, no one needs to feel sorry for him.  The soon-to-be ex-CEO of Google has submitted paperwork to clear the way for a stock sale worth about $334 million.

Google Funds Mathematical Olympiad With 1 Million Euros

For years to come, some of the world’s top math whizzes may be indebted to Google.  The search giant announced today that it’s donating 1 million (or about $1.35 million) to the International Mathematical Olympiad, which should help fund global events through 2015.

LinkedIn May Be Approaching $3B In Value
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Ahead of an IPO that may (or may not) take place this year, privately traded shares of LinkedIn are beginning to soar in value.  New rumors indicate that share prices make the professional networking company worth about $3 billion.

CNNMoney Implements LinkedIn Widget
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Let’s be honest: however content most people are with their jobs, Fortune’s "100 Best Companies to Work For" list can elicit envy.  So LinkedIn and CNNMoney may be onto something, as they’ve partnered to point people who read the list towards individuals who work at the top companies.

This marks the first implementation of LinkedIn’s Company Insider widget, which would be quite significant on its own.  It doesn’t hurt that big names like CNNMoney (which acts as the online home of Fortune) and Fortune are involved, either.