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Paul Allen Refiles Lawsuit Against Top Tech Companies
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Whatever his faults, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen is at least persistent and ambitious.  Allen proved this yesterday by refiling a patent infringement lawsuit against AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube.

Facebook Drives Massive Traffic Boosts To Media Sites
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Facebook says it has increased referral traffic to media sites by over 100% thanks to tools like its social plugins and Graph API, both of which were launched at f8 back in April. 

Facebook has worked with some organizations closely to help them find the right integrations, which is good for all parties involved – more traffic for the media sites and more data for Facebook. 

Groupon Continues to Grow at Funding, Valuation, and Geographical Levels

Groupon has reportedly closed a new round of funding at $950 million. According to Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, who cites "a source with knowledge of the financing," Groupon is now valued at $4.57 billion.  Update: Arrington is now saying they have only closed half of that funding. 

Rumor Ties Facebook, Twitter To SEC Inquiry

Don’t look for employees at these companies to break out shredders – or even break a sweat – quite yet, but the Securities and Exchange Commission might be curious about certain details related to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Zynga.  Unconfirmed rumors indicate the SEC is looking into their privately traded stock.

eBay Releases 2010 “Top Shopped” Report
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In the past month or so, Google, Yahoo, and Bing all released year-end lists detailing what’s been on their users’ minds.  Now it’s at last eBay’s turn, as the company best known for its auction site has published what it calls the "Top Shopped" report.

Before we paste in the main list, here’s a quick (and perhaps unnecessary) word of explanation: no one’s claiming a soccer event, a football team, or an athlete was sold thousands of times.  Instead, eBay just found that products related to them changed hands quite often.

Work Smart, Rather Than Hard
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There is a common misconception in the world, especially amongst younger people, that you have to work hard and pay your dues, even if it means being miserable.  For some reason people seem to think that they have to be miserable for the first few years of their work life in order to get to where they want to be; either professionally or personally.  Lots of younger people have this notion that if they work hard that everything will be ok and fall into place for them.  This is the wrong way to go about trying to succeed.

AndroLib Counts 200,000 App Submissions To Android Market
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Five months ago, an organization called AndroLib indicated that 100,000 apps had been submitted to the Android Market.  Now, although AndroLib’s stats aren’t official, it looks like a whole lot of growth has taken place, as the latest graph shows the number has topped 200,000.

Have a look at the growth curve for yourself below.  It seems Android’s popularity with developers isn’t exactly tailing (or even leveling) off, which is good news for Google.  A platform with lots of apps should have a better ability to appeal to a wide range of people.

The Real Problem With Content Farms is Google
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The business of content farms like Demand Media is creating content in the form of articles and videos that search engines will crawl and feature prominently in the long tail of search results. Demand Media and all content farms’ Achilles’ heel is that much of their Internet traffic and revenue relies on Google.

McAfee Releases 2011 Threat Predictions Report
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Criminals have a long history of targeting what people like most, and judging from the new 2011 Threat Predictions Report from McAfee, cybercriminals will continue to be no different.  McAfee predicted that many of the technologies that gained popularity in the past 12 months may be exploited or attacked by online crooks next year.

Google Shares Android Operating Tips

Three days ago, some of you no doubt opened a present and were surprised (or not, depending on how many hints you dropped) to find an Android phone inside.  Now, while we’re sure you’re capable of reading the manual and experimenting, here’s a collection of Android tips straight from Google.

Advice For Dealing With Content Theft
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One of the wonderful things about the web is that most of the world’s information is accessible online. Better still, a large portion of the world has access to all of that information. Search engines play a huge role in making it easy to sift through that information and find the stuff you are looking for. Problems arise, however, when people who are less scrupulous decide to publish content and decide that the best way to do that is to steal it. Unfortunately, the web makes stealing of your content quite easy, and enforcement of your rights somewhat difficult.

Group Predicting Facebook Entry Into China Grows

A lot has been said in the past few weeks about Facebook entering China, and this morning, another expert expressed his opinion that the social network will at some point make an entrance.  Gady Epstein, the Beijing bureau chief for Forbes, even used a form of the word "inevitable" to describe the move.

Make Your Company’s Site a Social Hub in 2011

EyeforTravel published their 2011 Trends and their number one pick is the increasing need to integrate social content and activity on your corporate website.

Buzz Predicts Three Versions Of iPad 2
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Better products often offer consumers more choices.  Compare the original Model T (which Henry Ford supposedly approved in "any color so long as it’s black") to a modern Rolls Royce (available in thousands of paint, leather, and trim combinations), for example.  And now a rumor claims three versions of the iPad 2 will be produced.

Google Announces $20 Million Donation To Charities
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This week, tens of millions of people are resuming their normal work/school habits, perhaps packing up holiday decorations and definitely returning to less-than-merry states of mind.  But Google’s not quite through being cheery, as the company announced this morning that it’s donating $20 million to charity.

UK Online Retailers Score Big On Boxing Day

Many retail sites that cater to people in the UK had a great time of things yesterday.  In keeping with tradition (and barring some strange New Year’s Eve surge), new UK-specific Experian Hitwise data shows that Boxing Day turned out to be the busiest day of the year for online retailers.

Facebook For iPhone App Gains 1.6M Users In Three Days
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Earlier today, we reported that Facebook beat Google in terms of UK traffic over Christmas.  We also reported that Apple upped its sales forecasts for iPhones.  Now, to perhaps link the two stories together, it turns out that the Facebook for iPhone app gained around 1.6 million users in the past three days.

Considering how long Facebook, the iPhone, and the Facebook for iPhone app have all been around, growth of this sort is fairly astonishing.  It’s easy to imagine most or all of the potential user base would already have been exhausted.

Rumors Fault Google TV For Logitech Revue Shipping Freeze
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Popular products are almost always difficult to get around Christmas, with high demand causing stores to run out of bestsellers.  Unfortunately for a certain search giant, it’s starting to sound like a lot of items incorporating Google TV tech were allowed to collect dust.  Rumors indicate Logitech even asked a supplier to stop shipping Revue units.

Apple Not Doomed To Repeat History
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In 1995 I remember waiting in lines to buy Windows 95. It effectively ended the design lead Apple had for 11 years in personal computers. From then on Microsoft had both the thought leadership and the market share. Apple ended up with less than 10% market share. Microsoft had most of the rest.

Lots of people think that Apple could repeat 1995 in 2011. This time with iOS instead of Macintosh OS and with Google in the place of Microsoft.

We forget one little thing: 1995 was different.

Here’s how.

Report: Apple Boosts Q1 iPhone Sales Targets
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Two days ago, lots of people no doubt woke up to discover iPhones under their Christmas trees, and it looks like Apple expects many more iPhones to find new homes in the first quarter of 2011.  Rumors indicate the company’s upped its targets by between 5.3 and 10.5 percent.

Android Security Team Talks Openness, Not Rooting
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Last week, reports began to circulate that the Nexus S had been rooted.  Concerns about Android’s (lack of) security ensued.  Android fans shouldn’t worry, however, as this appears to be an authentic "it’s a feature, not a bug" situation.

Non-news along these lines may be a little anticlimactic, but Google has been pretty firm on the matter.  The company explained its stance last week and hasn’t tried to go back on that position since.

Social Signals You Should Be Monitoring
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Listening is not hard these days.  There are now over 200 tools that can help you gather the conversations.

The next step is not so simple.  Finding the right content and figuring out exactly what the people talking about you need and want is critical to PR success today. Content analysis is a traditional PR skill, but data mining is not.  Building social graphs has not been part of our PR practice.

Facebook Tops Google In The UK
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If any Facebook employees were still manning their stations two days ago, you can be sure they sent up a cheer as traffic data rolled in.  A report from Experian Hitwise has indicated that, at least in the UK, Facebook received more visits than Google for the first time ever.

Microsoft Intent On Making Tablet Gains
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It can only be a company of the stature as Microsoft that can continue battling and trying real hard to make it big in every field that it enters. No matter how much competition it faces from stalwarts like Apple, Google, etc. in the Tablet market (which is dominated by iPads) Microsoft is bent on making it big here too.