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Google PowerMeter Gets New Partner

Powerhouse Dynamics, provider of eMonitor, a circuit-level home energy tool, has become an integrated device partner with Google PowerMeter.

“Powerhouse Dynamics’ integrated device partnership with Google PowerMeter provides our customers with one more level of convenience in viewing home power consumption,” said Powerhouse VP of Business Development Tim Durant.”

 

Facebook Users May Have People Following Them They Aren’t Aware Of

Facebook has a somewhat hidden feature that lets people follow your updates when you’re not actually friends with them. Before you freak out, this is only applicable for updates that are shared publicly. 

Major Security Flaw Discovered (and Exploited) on Twitter
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Update: Twitter has addressed the issue on the main company blog:

The short story: This morning at 2:54 am PDT Twitter was notified of a security exploit that surfaced about a half hour before that, and we immediately went to work on fixing it. By 7:00 am PDT, the primary issue was solved. And, by 9:15 am PDT, a more minor but related issue tied to hovercards was also fixed. 

The longer version of the story can be read on the blog

Google Adds Web Font Support to Google Docs
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Google announced today that Google Docs now supports web fonts using the Google Font API. To start off, there are six new fonts available.

Google Creates Themed Ads For Custom Search

Bold, in-your-face ads have never been Google’s style; instead, the search giant professes to prefer ads that attract users’ attention by being relevant.  So now, in a move appropriate to that philosophy, Google’s introduced themed ads matched to Google Custom Search.

Sites with grayish backgrounds and some green text will now be accompanied by similarly colored ads.  Ditto for sites with greenish backgrounds and some purple text, or whatever the case may be.

Twitter Tapped By Drug Maker To Fight Pharmacy Crime

Purdue Pharma said today it will use Twitter to fight pharmacy crime by sharing information about pharmacy robberies with law enforcement officials and pharmacy staff.

Watch: Google-Sponsored Internet at Liberty 2010 Event

Google, along with Central European University, is sponsoring a conference in Budapest called Internet at Liberty 2010. The conference, Google says, "brings together grassroots global activists alongside representatives of NGOs, academic centers, governments and corporations in order to explore the many issues at hand."

Bonanzle Buys 1000 Markets, Becomes Bonanza
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E-Commerce site Bonanzle, which is often touted as an alternative to eBay, has acquired artisan merchandise site 1000 Markets, and changed its name to Bonanza. The combined company, which will take aim at sites like Etsy, is located at Bonanza.com, with a new design. 

AOL And Patch Partner With Colleges On Journalism
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AOL and its subsidiary Patch have launched PatchU, a new network of partnerships between local Patch online publications and colleges and universities, with a focus on helping the next generation of journalists.

The initiative, which launched this fall, offers interships and coursework at local Patch publications to students under the guidance  of Patch’s editors.

Hulu Plus v2.02 Released
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Fair warning: Hulu Plus remains in a state of "limited preview," and its controversial fee/commercial setup hasn’t changed, either.  But v2.02 was released this morning, and it should go a ways towards making Hulu Plus more attractive to potential users.

Oracle and HP Make Up

Update 3: The companies have apparently resolved their differences and will continue their partnership. Bloomberg BusinessWeek has details

Update 2: Oracle has responded with the following statement:

The New Foursquare Emerges for iPhone

Foursquare announced version 2.0 of its iPhone app, as well as a new way to connect it to the web. There are three main features that Foursquare is emphasizing with today’s announcement. 

Yahoo Patents May Cover Google Instant
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No one’s launched a product or sent in the lawyers just yet, but it looks like Yahoo is on Google’s tail in terms of instant search and might trip up its rival with a legal objection.  Shashi Seth, Senior Vice President of Yahoo Search Products, has indicated that Google Instant infringes on perhaps five patents Yahoo holds.

Is an Apple Store for Print Publications Really the Answer?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple could announce a "print subscription" offering as early as the next month or two. The publication cites "people familiar with that matter", though one of these people said it may come early next year, alongside the next version of the iPad. That sounds more like Apple’s style to me. 

Bing Suggests Twitter Users Based on Searches
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Bing has launched a new feature for Bing Social, which recommends users to follow on Twitter, based on your search activity. Enter a query, and it will give you three users it thinks you might like to follow based on that query. 

Google Enriches BMW Navigation Interface

Starting this month, people who buy a BMW in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, or the UK should find the navigation interface significantly improved thanks to Google.  A renewal of a deal involving BMW’s Connected Drive service means a couple new features have become available.

In terms of letting a driver keep his (or her) attention focused on the road, search suggestions are far and away the most significant new feature.  Forget the idea of working out how to spell all of "Bar Stuzzichini" on a small screen while traveling at 70 MPH.

Mozilla Launches New Version of Firefox Home iPhone App

Mozilla announced that its Firefox Home app is now available in more languages worldwide. Firefox Home lets iPhone and iPod Touch users sync their Firefox browsing history, bookmarks, andopen tabs to their mobile device. 

Users can use the app to search, open links in Safari, email the URL, or copy the URL. 

Pandora Launches On TiVo

TiVo has announced the availability of Internet radio service Pandora on all of its broadband-connected TiVo Premiere boxes.

 On TiVo, users can create a new free Pandora account, or sign-in with an existing Pandora accounts and access their current station on television. Users can access Pandora stations created on TiVo or any other platform where they listen to Pandora, including PCs, smartphones and other connected devices.

 

Amazon Reportedly Makes Offer to Buy “Netflix of Europe”

If a report from Reuters is accurate, Amazon has made an offer to buy European video rental service Lovefilm  for about  £200 million ($312 million). Neither company has confirmed the offer. 

Germans Reject Street View In Large Numbers
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Anyone who’s been looking forward to browsing Google Street View images of Germany should prepare to encounter lots of blank or ultra-blurry spots.  A report’s indicated that hundreds of thousands of Germans may have taken advantage of an opt-out process that Google made available.

Rumors Have Apple Acquiring Polar Rose
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9to5Mac is pointing to a Norwegian Mac site called Mac1, which claims that Apple has bought all of the shares of Polar Rose, a facial recognition company based out of Sweden. The news is unconfirmed, at this point. 9to5Mac provides this Google Tranlsated excerpt:

Monetizing What Users Are Already Forced to Pay Attention To

Peter Kafka at All Things Digital’s MediaMemo is reporting about a startup focused on advertising from the CAPTCHA. Solve Media aims to take a web element, which already requires user attention (the CAPTCHA) and monetize it through advertising. 

It’s really not a bad idea, but it’s not exactly a new one either. We’ve seen examples of this in the past, though I can’t honestly say I’ve encountered it much in everyday web browsing. 

Fewer Teens Concerned About Texting While Driving
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Even with academic research indicating the consequences of texting while driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, some teens don’t see it that way, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of State Farm.

Among 14-17 years olds who intend to have or already have a driver’s license, the survey found 36 percent strongly agree that if they regulary text and drive it could lead to a fatality. In contrast, more than half (55%) of teens strongly agree that drinking while driving could be fatal.

IBM to Acquire Netezza for $1.7 Billion

IBM announced it is acquiring Netezza at $27 per share or approximately $1.7 billion, to expand its business analytics initiatives.

Netezza provides analytics in a data warehousing appliance. IBM says that the combined strengths of the companies are a "key differentiator at a time when organizations of all sizes are looking to gain more insight from their business information."