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About Mike Sachoff

Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews.
Google And MySpace Renew Search Advertising Deal

MySpace and Google have reached an agreement to renew and expand their search and advertising partnership, which is good news for the struggling social network.

Under the terms of the deal, Google will continue to operate MySpace search and advertising and will also provide additional display advertising services to improve the entertainment content on MySpace.

US Making Little Progress On Broadband Speeds
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 Nearly half (49%) of the people in the U.S. do not meet the FCC’s minimum broadband standard of 4 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload, according to a new report by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

CWA’s annual Speed Matters report on Internet speeds in the United States indicates little progress has been made since the report was first issued in 2007.

Facebook Integrates With Clicker For TV Recommendations
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Online television guide Clicker has introduced its own recommendation engine called Clicker Predict, along with Facebook integration.

Clicker Predict considers more than 50 factors when making entertainment recommendation for users. These factors are updated as a person searches for, rates, discusses, saves, shares and views online programming.

Wowd Updates Social Search App For Facebook

Social search company Wowd, has released a new Web version of its service it says is focused exclusively on cutting through the clutter on Facebook and surfacing content that is the most relevant.

“We want to give people a simple tool they can really use – one that makes their online social lives easier,” said Mark Drummond, CEO of Wowd.

“We listen carefully to our users and do our best to incorporate their feedback whenever we can to ensure the best possible experience.”

Online Holiday Spending Hits $23 Billion

Online holiday spending has reached $23.82 billion, representing a 12 percent increase over the same time period last year, according to the latest report from comScore.

The most recent week (week ending Dec. 12) reached $5.31 billion in spending, an increase of 12 percent over the corresponding week last year. Monday, December 13, known as “Green Monday” (the second Monday in December when online spending has historically tended to peak), reached $954 million in spending, representing a 12-percent increase compared to last year.

Americans Want More Control Over Their Online Information
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The majority (90%) of Americans want more control over the information that is available about them online, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive for Intellius.

Intelius Because people use websites and search engines to find out information about others, 80 percent believe their online identity is now as important as their “offline” personal or professional reputation.

CNN Launches Free iPad App

CNN has launched a new free app for the iPad aimed at offering a more visual news experience.

 The CNN App for iPad combines images with  reporting from CNN, including text stories, blog posts, photo galleries, and live or on-demand video. Users have the ability to toggle between U.S. and international news.

 

Kodak Launches Facebook Photo Album App

Kodak has introduced a “Social Photo Album Creator” for Facebook that lets people combine photos from the site and work with others to make an album together.

There are three steps to using the Social Photo Album Creator:

 

Kodak-App

 

Google Launches Site Aimed At Helping People Learn About Tech

Google has introduced a new website called TeachParentsTech.org aimed at helping people teach others about computer basics.

 

 

Jackson Hewitt Offering Online Discount Shopping
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 Tax preparer Jackson Hewitt has launched an online Discount Shopping Network that offers cash back rewards from more than 800 retailers, including Target, Sears, Kmart, Best Buy and Staples.

The Discount Shopping Network is part of the first phase of the company’s roll-out of “MyTaxManager,” a new online tax management tool.

Online Holiday Spending Nears $22 Billion
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U.S. online holiday spending has reached $21.95 billion during the first 40 days of the season, an increase of 12 percent over the same time period as last year, according to the latest report from comScore.

The most recent week (week ending Dec. 10) reached $5.15 billion in spending, an increase of 11 percent versus the corresponding week last year, as two individual days each surpassed $900 million.

 

Google Voice Lets You Send Calls From Santa
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Google has introduced a new feature to its voice service that allows people to send and receive free personalized calls from Santa.

Users can visit sendacallfromsanta.com and choose from a number of options to send unique, often humorous , customized phone calls to anyone in the U.S. Users can also send the messages from Santa via email, Facebook and Twitter.

 

Cast Your Vote For The YouTube Symphony Orchestra
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YouTube has narrowed down finalists for its second YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 to be held at the Sydney Opera House and is calling on users to vote on the best musicians.

Users can vote on the remaining 336 finalist from 46 countries over the next seven days to determine who will be going to the Sydney Opera House from March 14-20 to perform for a global audience.

 

E-Reader Sales Set To Double This Year
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E-reader sales are on track to total 6.6 million units in 2010, up 79.8 percent from 2009 sales of 3.6 million units, according to a new report from Gartner.

Hugues-De-La-Vergne In 2011, global e-reader sales are forecast to surpass 11 million units, a 68.3 percent increase from 2010.

Amazon Offers Nielsen BookScan To Authors

Amazon.com said today that authors who use its Author Central service can now view Nielsen BookScan’s weekly geographic sales data for their print books for free.

Author Central is a free service that helps authors promote their books and reach more readers. Also announced today, Author Central has added a feature that shows authors past history on the Amazon bestsellers rank for their books.

Scammers Targeting Amazon Retailers With Fake Receipts
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Cyber criminals are using a hacking program to create fake receipts for items sold through Amazon.com and its retail partners, in an effort to receive refunds or new products, according to security firm GFI Software.

“The free program available online allows scammers to create an HTML ‘receipt’ for phantom Amazon.com purchases,” said Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher, GFI Software

 

Online Holiday Spending Tops $17 Billion
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U.S. online holiday spending has surpassed $17.5 billion in the first 35 days of the November -December shopping season, up 12 percent, according to a new report from comScore.

More Than Half Of Americans Say Best Deals Are Online
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Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans feel that the easiest way to complete their holiday gift purchases is online, while 87 percent favor brick-and-mortar stores, according to research firm StrategyOne.

When it comes to finding the best deals overall, Americans are divided — with 52% stating they found the best deals online, while 48% say they could find the best deals in retail stores.

Americans Ignoring Internet Banner Ads
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Online advertising is considered a good way to target and reach consumers, but nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans say they tend to ignore Internet ads, according to a new survey from Adweek Media and Harris Interactive.

Among those who ignore Internet ads, 43 percent say they ignore banner ads the most and 20 percent say they ignore search engine ads the most. Smaller percentages say they ignore television ads (14%), radio ads (7%) and newspaper ads (6%); just 9% of Americans say they don’t ignore any of the listed types of ads.

 

Netflix In New Streaming Deal With Disney
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Netflix and Disney-ABC Television Group have reached a new licensing agreement that will allow Netflix to stream episodes from the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel and ABC Family.

Ted-Sarandos-Netflix Under terms of the agreement, Netflix will not be allowed to stream current shows earlier than 15 days after the initial broadcast.

Amazon Set To Expand Kindle For The Web

Amazon.com has expanded its  Kindle for the Web to allow anyone with access to a browser to buy and read Kindle books.

 Retailers, authors, bloggers and website owners will be able to offer Kindle books from their own sites and earn referral fees through the Amazon Associates Program for sales made through their site. Amazon said its expanded Kindle for the Web will be available in the coming months.

TigerLogic Launches A Real-Time Facebook Newspaper

Update

eBay Adds Milo Shopping Results To RedLaser App

eBay has added local shopping results from Milo, its most recent acquisition, to its RedLaser barcode-scanning application, now available on the iPhone and Android.

With the integration of Milo, shoppers on RedLaser can find out, through a single scan, which local retailers have an item in-stock along with the best price. Shoppers can scan products from 50,000 U.S. stores.

Online Holiday Shoppers More Satisfied With Price

Shopper satisfaction with online retailers during the holidays indicates they are more satisfied with prices this year than they were at the same time last year, according to a new report from ForeSee Results.

Customers’ ratings of prices this year (72.1 on the study’s 100-point scale) are more than half a point higher than they were in 2009; though still slightly lower than on Cyber Monday, due to fewer online incentives and specials. Satisfaction with price still remains far below pre-recession levels, which was as high as 75.1 the week of Thanksgiving, 2007.