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Steve Ballmer On Schmidt: “We’re His Best Competitor”
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Last week, Eric Schmidt stated in an interview that Bing, not Apple or Facebook, is Google’s biggest competitor.  Now Steve Ballmer has responded, essentially agreeing and indicating that Bing will continue to innovate and pose a threat.

Microsoft’s CEO told Sharon Pian Chan with respect to Schmidt’s comment, "He’s right! . . .  We’re his best competitor, and we’re a very good competitor and we’re going to do a very good job."

Google to Offer Interesting New Display Ad Formats

While you may not tend to think about display ads when you think about Google, the company seems to be working hard to change that. Google says display advertising is at the heart of what it is doing these days, and that 99% of its top 1,000 clients are running campaigns on the Google Display Network. 

Facebook May Count Skype as Weapon Against Google
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According to Kara Swisher at All Things Digital’s BoomTown, Facebook and Skpe are preparing a new "deep integration partnership". This would include integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect. 

Google Announces New Agreement with Bizrate Insights

Google has announced an agreement with Bizrate Insights in the US, UK, and Germany that will affect its merchants. The program will get reviews from shoppers that have completed transactions on a site. Google says this means it will provide content businesses know they can trust to help improve and promote their customer experience.

comScore Gives Twitter Traffic Victory Over MySpace

Although it obviously took a little while for anyone to notice, it looks like August will go down as a very important period in Twitter’s history.  comScore has determined that Twitter passed MySpace in terms of unique visitors last month.

In one sense, the changeup wasn’t a huge deal: Twitter just saw 96 million visitors versus MySpace’s 95 million.  But the switch looks permanent, considering that, on a year-over-year basis, Twitter’s visitor count increased 76 percent while MySpace’s fell 17 percent.

AOL Acquires Thing Labs and Brizzly

AOL has acquired Thing Labs, makers of Brizzly. Brizzly is a social media reader that lets users view and post updates to Twitter and Facebook., see photos and watch videos.

Report: Yahoo Media VP To Quit

Yahoo News and Yahoo Finance are two of Yahoo’s most successful and therefore important properties.  Unfortunately for the company, new reports indicate that the executive who’s in charge of them will soon find employment elsewhere.

Jimmy Pitaro, who currently holds the title "Vice President of Media," started at Yahoo about four years ago as Vice President of Business Affairs.  Since then, he’s also been General Manager of Yahoo Sports and Head of Sports and Entertainment.

LinkedIn Makes Professional/Company Networking More Customized

LinkedIn made a couple of announcements today. First was an update to its Company Follow Feature, and second was the introduction of its new Career Pages. 

Company Follow has an updated look and feel with better customization, more personalized insights for professionals, and a new Career tab for both companies and professionals. 

GigaOm and TheStreet Combine Content and Audiences

AOL buying TechCrunch isn’t the only news happening in the tech content world today. GigaOm and TheStreet.com have announced a partnership, which will see the two publications sharing content and audiences. Both will share and co-author editorial and research content across their network of sites.

Content Creation Slows On Social Networks

 While the worldwide adoption of social networking is still increasing, other forms of social interactions, such as content creation, have experienced no significant growth in the past year, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Google Maps Photo Layer Gets Improvements, MapQuest Launches Atlas

There are a couple interesting things happening with online maps today. Google has updated its Photos layer and MapQuest has introduced Atlas. 

Yahoo and Ad Council Launch “Create for a Cause” Contest

Yahoo and the Ad Council have announced the launch of the 2010 "Create for a Cause" contest. The competition looks to highlight the best and most creative in non-profit-focused digital advertising.   

AOL Officially Acquires TechCrunch
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Update: AOL has now officially announced its acquisition of TechCrunch for an undisclosed amount. TechCrunch will continue to operate independently as a wholly-owned AOL unit.

Texting Bans Not Reducing Car Accidents

States that have laws banning texting while driving are not seeing a reduction in the number of accidents, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

In fact, such bans are associated with a slight increase in the frequency of insurance claims filed under collision coverage for damage to vehicles in crashes. This finding is based on comparisons of claims in 4 states before and after texting ban, compared with patterns of claims in nearby states.

Report: Android Continues Market Share Growth

Millennial Media has released its Mobile Marketing Mix report for the month of August. Among its findings are continued Android growth, as well as significant iPad growth. The firm points to the following as the highlights:

 

Google Named “World’s Most Attractive Employer”
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It looks like the concepts of free food, dogs at work, and 20 percent time (among other things) haven’t lost their appeal.  Universum, a company that specializes in employer branding, has again declared Google the "world’s most attractive employer."

New Tablet from RIM, Amazon Making a Tablet Too?

Amazon may have launched a new web version of its Kindle software, but rumor has it that it is also launching its own Android app store and possibly even its own tablet. 

AOL Acquires 5min Media to Bolster Video Content

AOL has acquired video syndication platform 5min Media. 5min claims to reach 160 million unique monthly visitors and has tens of thousands of videos across 20 categories and 140 sub-categories. 

Amazon Brings Kindle To The Web
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Amazon.com today launched a beta version of “Kindle for the Web,” allowing users to sample books directly through browsers without having to download anything.

To promote the offering, Amazon is allowing bloggers and website owners in its Amazon Associates Program to be part of Kindle for the Web by embedding samples of books on their websites. Website owners will earn referral fees from Amazon when users buy books using the links on their websites.

Google Reportedly Buying Plannr
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Google is buying Plannr, according to unconfirmed reports. Plannr is a mobile social calendar app, or as it’s officially described, "Plannr is the up-to-the-minute, simple way to make plans with your friends."

Facebook Investor Rules Out 2011 IPO
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Would-be Facebook investors will have to wait a while before the company has a ticker symbol like GOOG, MSFT, and YHOO.  Peter Thiel (re)confirmed this afternoon that Facebook won’t go public until 2012 at the earliest.

Bloomberg reported the same thing in July, meaning this isn’t exactly breaking news, but there is a difference between three anonymous sources and Thiel.  Thiel’s about as close to Facebook as anyone other than Mark Zuckerberg can get.

David Fincher Shares Real Thoughts on the Facebook Story
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David Fincher, the director of The Social Network shares some interesting thoughts about the story told in the movie – the founding of Facebook. 

In a press conference following a screening of the film in New York, Fincher lets loose on his thoughts about how the situation among Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker went down. 

Fincher says calling the Mark Zuckerberg character an "asshole" is a "reductive and overly-simplistic" way of putting it. 

More Devs Bet On Android’s Long-Term Success

Judging by the latest developer survey results from Appcelerator, Android’s future has become brighter than ever.  Exactly 59 percent of the developers involved wagered that it had the best long-term outlook, which isn’t bad by itself and represents a significant rise since June.

A little background data: in June, 54 percent of participating developers bet on Android, and 40 percent bet on iOS, so as the graphic below shows, the gap is definitely widening.

Twitter Reportedly Set to Unveil “Promoted Accounts”
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Twitter will reportedly announce another product for bringing in revenue tomorrow at the IAB MIXX Expo. Peter Kafka at All Things Digital says sources "familiar with the company’s plans" told him they will show off "Promoted Accounts".