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HP Launches Live Streaming Comedy Show On YouTube

HP has launched a live streaming comedy show on YouTube that is hosted by comedian Rob Riggle and will feature actors from the Upright Citizens Brigade.

The video series called HP ePrint Live calls on people to send in ideas for comedic skits.

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.

Who Will Be the Apple of Streaming Music?
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Since April, Rhapsody has gained over 100,000 net new subscribers. The total number is upwards of 750,000. The company estimates that there are around 1.5 million US music subscribers, which means that it has captured around half of the market. While mobile has helped fuel their growth, Rhapsody is also speaking with cable television companies.

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.

Schmidt: Competitors Spreading Misinformation
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As reported, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is turning over his CEO role to co-founder Larry Page, in favor of an Executive Chairman role.  We sat in on a call with those two and co-founder Sergey Brin, who talked a little bit about the management strategy

Brin Looking Forward to “Many More Decades” with Page and Schmidt

Listening to Google’s earnings call, the conversation began with the big news – Eric Schmidt is stepping down as CEO of the company. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of previously unavailable information came out of that, but there was a quick introduction of the news from Schmidt, Larry Page (who will take his place) and Sergey Brin, followed by a Q&A with those three. They apparently didn’t have the time to stick around any longer, so it went by very fast. 

If You’re Not Local, How Can You Compete in an Increasingly Local Google?
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Update: Looks like there is likely to be a lot more local action coming Google’s way soon. 

Schmidt Out as Google CEO
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Google just dropped a bombshell: Eric Schmidt is out as CEO (as announced in the company’s earings report. We’ll be covering the company’s earnings call, which is sure to have more on this.

Bing Reaches Out To BlackBerry Users

BlackBerry users who feel ignored every time a report on the mobile industry stops after comparing Android devices and the iPhone have reason to be grateful to Bing.  Today, Bing for Mobile updates were announced that will bring the app to more BlackBerry users, add new features, and improve the overall experience to boot.

Techmeme Now Posting Tweets As Stories

Update: Rivera has elaborated a bit more on the site’s use of tweets in a blog post (blogs aren’t dead yet):

Demand Media IPO Reportedly Coming Next Week
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Demand Media’s much-anticipated initial public offering is coming next week, according to Kara Swisher, reporting for the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital. She says numerous sources "with knowledge of the situation" say it will happen after the company’s road show for investors. 

Mobile Email Usage Sees Significant Growth
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In November 2010, the number of U.S. visitors to web-based email sites decreased 6 percent compared to the previous year, while email engagement declined at a greater rate, according to a new report from comScore.

During the same time period, the number of users accessing email via their mobile devices grew by 36 percent.

Gmail Labs Get Search Feature

The point of a laboratory is to facilitate testing.  The average chemist might not get too far if he was just presented with a jumble of beakers, however, and similarly, Gmail Labs has been getting pretty messy.  A new feature promises to fix that issue.

Turn Your Twitter Message Into A Tweet Ring
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Amsterdam based start-up Alphabeth.com has introduced something that every Twitter user surely needs, Tweet Rings.

“Some Tweets should last forever because they mark a special moment in your life or express your personal motto,” the company says.

“Perhaps your favorite message is just so beautiful that you want to carry it with you.” Perhaps.

Yahoo7 Purchases Group Buying Site For $40 Million

Yahoo7, which is the product of a partnership between Yahoo and the Seven Network in Australia, is now also part of the group buying phenomenon.  Yahoo7 announced today that it’s acquired Spreets, a group buying site with 500,000 members.

Use Your Existing Number For Google Voice, But Pay Generously For It
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Some Google Voice users noticed a feature that appeared in their accounts called Number Porting. This means adding your existing number to Google Voice, as opposed to having to use a new phone number entirely for the service, which users have had to do up until this point. 

The feature is evidently only being tested for the time being, but will could go mainstream in the future. If you don’t have to get a new number, there’s a much bigger incentive to use Google Voice…that is if you don’t mind paying the price.   

Sony Launches Mobile Music Apps For Its Artists

Sony Music Entertainment said today it is working to develop mobile entertainment apps for its artists and labels using technology from Mobile Roadie, a platform for creating and managing mobile apps.

Sony Music will create customized apps for its artists and offer users access to news, streaming music and videos, photo galleries, tour schedules, ticketing options, and chat.

YouTube Launches New Homepage For All Users
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Statistics prove that YouTube.com is one of the most visited pages in existence.  At the same time, anecdotal evidence suggests people barely give it a glance before conducting a search or clicking away.  So a new homepage has been designed, and it’s now launched for everyone to see.

A quick clarification: the overhauled homepage is actually available for everyone who’s logged in to see.  Which some people may view as an inconvenience or even a threat to their privacy, but also allows for a degree of personalization.

What Do Customers Expect From Your Social Media Practices?

Have you noticed members of your community posting customer service related questions on your Facebook Page? Or perhaps you have now revised your customer service and customer relationship management processes to integrate Twitter as part of your programme.

Amazon Buys European Netflix-Like Company, LoveFilm
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Amazon is acquiring the remaining shares in LoveFilm, which is often referred to around the web as the "Netflix of Europe". Amazon already owned a 42% stake in the company. 

Facebook Looks to Get More People Using the Site on Phones
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Facebook has launched a new mobile app for feature phones in order to get more people in the world using Facebook via their mobile devices. This should help with that. 

"We want people to have a great mobile experience no matter what type of phone they carry," said Facebook program manager Mark Heynen. "Smartphones have offered better features for sharing with friends but aren’t used by most people around the world."

Social Video Chat Service vChatter Gets New Funding
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Social video chat service vChatter has secured a new $350,000 round of funding, which the company will use to ramp up their development team for faster velocity on the rollout of new features, a spokesperson for the company tells WebProNews. This brings the company’s total funding up to $600,000 after raising an initial seed round of $250K in the summer of 2010.

eBay Delivers Impressive Q4 Earnings Report

The fourth quarter of 2010 – which of course coincided with the all-important holiday shopping season – was a pretty good period for eBay.  The company reported its financial results this afternoon, and managed to come in above analysts’ forecasts.

Google Lets You Search with Local Recommendations From Specific Friends

Google announced a new Google Maps feature today, related to the company’s recently launched Hotpot social recommendation product. Now, users can search Google Maps, and request results based on the recommendations of specific friends.