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About Mike Sachoff

Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews.
Online Holiday Spending Hits Record $32 Billion
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Online retail spending for the 2010 holiday season reached $32.6 billion, representing  an increase of 12 percent compared to last year and an all-time record, according to the latest report from comScore.

Malware Threats Increased In 2010
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In 2010, cyber-criminals created and distributed one-third of all existing viruses, creating 34 percent of all malware that has ever existed, according to PandaLabs annual security report.

PandaLabs did find the speed at which the number of new threats grew has actually decreased compared to 2009. Every year since 2003, new threats grew by at least 100 percent, but in 2010, the increase was 50 percent.

Amazon Introduces Kindle App For Windows Phone 7

Amazon continues to make its Kindle app available on more and more devices, the latest is Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

Half Price Books Begins Selling Online
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Half Price Books said today it has launched HPB.com, which features its new online web store, HPB Marketplace.

Through a partnership with Monsoon Commerce Solutions, a company that powers websites for online retailers, Half Price Books has begun selling books, music and media online.  The company says its website will give users access to more than 120 million book, movie and, music titles sold through Half Price Books and other independent sellers. Previously the company offered its inventory via third- party sellers such as Amazon and Half.com.

 

Netbooks Set To Overtake Laptops And PCs
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Purchase rates for personal computers and mobile phones (not including smartphones) will decrease by 39 percent and 56 percent this year compared with last year, respectively, according to a new survey from Accenture.

By contrast, buying rates of 3DTVs (three-dimensional TVs) are expected to rise 500 percent; tablet computers 160 percent; ebook readers 133 percent; and smartphones 26 percent.

Google Gives $4 Million Grant To Environmental Group

Environmental education group, NatureBridge, said today it has received a $4 million grant from the Google Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation.

Over a three-year period, the grant will help NatureBridge serve more students and teachers with environmental education programs in more national parks and in the communities where they live.

Starz Introduces

Cable network Starz said today it is launching its first social media game on Facebook, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” and an iPad app for its “Spartacus” original series.

The Beta version of the game will launch on January 6 to the first 10,000 “Spartacus” fans who register on Facebook.

A full launch of the “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” game is set for January 20, before the broadcast of the series on January 21.

Starz Introduces

Cable network Starz said today it is launching its first social media game on Facebook, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” and an iPad app for its “Spartacus” original series.

The Beta version of the game will launch on January 6 to the first 10,000 “Spartacus” fans who register on Facebook.

A full launch of the “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” game is set for January 20, before the broadcast of the series on January 21.

Starz Introduces

Cable network Starz said today it is launching its first social media game on Facebook, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” and an iPad app for its “Spartacus” original series.

The Beta version of the game will launch on January 6 to the first 10,000 “Spartacus” fans who register on Facebook.

A full launch of the “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” game is set for January 20, before the broadcast of the series on January 21.

Netflix Button Coming To New Remote Controls

Netflix said today it is working with major consumer electronics makers to develop  a Netflix-branded one-click buttons on remotes that operate Internet connected TVs, Blu-ray disc players and other devices.

StumbleUpon Tops Facebook In Social Media Traffic
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Analytics firm Statcounter said today that discovery engine StumbleUpon has surpassed Facebook as the top source for social media traffic in the U.S.

StumbleUpon had 43 percent of the U.S. social media traffic on January 1st, while Facebook trailed with 38 percent.

Google Adds New TV Partner
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Google has added Vizio as its first TV partner in the new year, joining Sony and Logitech.

The official Google TV Blog offers more details. “We’re kicking off the year with a new partner, Vizio, a leading TV maker in the U.S.”

Internet TV Users Favor Netflix Over YouTube

Nearly a quarter (21%) of all TVs shipped in 2010 had Internet connectivity and that is on track to grow to over 122 million in 2014, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

Growth of connected TV was fueled by the Japanese market in 2010 and driven by high levels of broadband access. Emerging markets will play a key role in the future growth of this segment, with Eastern Europe forecast to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014.

 

Office Depot Launches Facebook Sweepstakes

Office Depot has launched a Facebook sweepstakes with the goal to find “America’s Messiest Office.”

From today through January 31st, users can upload a photo of their messy, unorganized office space or desk to Office Depot’s Facebook page for a chance to win a variety of prizes.

AdKeeper Lands $35 Million In Funding

AdKeeper, a company that allows users to save online ads for later viewing, said today it has raised $35 million in Series B funding led by Oak Investment Partners

The round raises AdKeeper’s total funding to $43 million since it came out of stealth in October and is set to publicly launch in February.

AdKeeper allows users to save ads in personal “Keepers” to review the ads later. Users can click on the “Keep Button” which is embedded in the ad.

Turner Redesigns NCAA.com

 Turner Sports has relaunched NCAA.com with plans to make it a year-round destination for college sports fans and provide coverage for all 88 NCAA championships.

The new NCAA.com will provide users with editorial coverage of all men’s and women’s NCAA sports during the regular season and championships, with school-specific content for more than 1,000 NCAA institutions. Exclusive live video streaming will be featured on the site from more than 60 NCAA championships as well as video highlights from all 88 championships

ESPN Introduces ScoreCenter For Internet Enabled TVs
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ESPN is making its mobile ScoreCenter application available on Samsung Internet-enabled televisions.

The ScoreCenter app will be available in the Samsung App store and allows users to view scores from a variety of sports. Personalization features allow users to customize the app by highlighting their favorite teams and leagues.

 

ESPN-ScoreCenter

 

Mobile Devices Playing Larger Role For Holiday Shopping
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Nearly one-third of Americans say while they are at a store looking at product, they tried to find a better deal on their mobile device, according to a new report from GfK Roper, conducted on behalf of SapientNitro.

Thirty-three percent say while out shopping, they email or texted someone to tell them about an experience at a store, such as finding a deal or gift. Nineteen percent have used their phone to post something to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other social networking sites about their holiday shopping experience.

AdMob Partners with Coke On Holiday Android App

Google’s AdMob team has partnered with Coca-Cola to create a mobile holiday live wallpaper app for Android.

The animated live wallpaper app features a snow globe. The Google Mobile Ads Blog offers more details. “Coke’s live wallpaper takes the user into this snowglobe experience.”

 

Free Shipping Drives Online Holiday Spending

Online holiday spending has reached $27.46 billion this season, marking a 12 percent increase over the same time period versus last year, according to a new report from comScore.

MySpace Introduces New Tools For Musicians

MySpace has introduced new tools to help musicians better promote and mangage their music.

MySpace has partnered with marketing platform Reverbnation and will offer its FanReach email marketing tool to all musicians with a profile. FanReach allows artists to communicate with others both on MySpace and via targeted email campaigns.

Amazon Adds Newspapers And Magazines To Kindle For Android App

Amazon said today that users of its Kindle for Android app can now buy, read, and sync more than 100 Kindle newspapers and magazines.

Additional new features include the ability to buy and download Kindle books and periodicals within the Kindle for Android app, share reading progress via social networks, and zoom closer to images and other graphics. Kindle for Android is the first major e-book app to offer periodicals on the Android platform.

Vevo Launches HD iPad App
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Music video site Vevo has launched a free HD app for the iPad that features its catalog of 25,000 videos from more than 7,500 artists.

“We optimized the Vevo experience specifically for the iPad. It’s a perfect match, actually—Vevo’s crystal clear videos played on iPad’s big, beautiful screen,” the company says in a blog post.

Google Maps Introduces Holiday Email Cards

Google has introduced a new feature that allows people to create and personalize their own holiday greeting cards and send them to others via email.

 

Google-Holiday-Cards