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Implications of New Gowalla Feature, Facebook Gift Cards

Gowalla has launched a new feature called "highlights" which it describes as "little rewards you can give to places that are important to your life". MG Siegler talks about the potential significance of such a feature.

Justin.tv Broadcasting Comes to Android
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Justin.tv has a new Android app for broadcasting live video. This competes with services like UStream and Qik. Unfortunately, it doesn’t let you simply watch Justin.tv content like the iPhone app does. Perhaps that will come later. This is the first Android app Justin.tv has offered.

Steve Jobs Takes Dig At Android, Eric Schmidt
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In between the announcements about iPods, Apple TV, and a music-oriented social network, Apple and Google’s mobile rivalry heated up a little more today.  Steve Jobs, while discussing the success of iOS, also tossed out what was likely a veiled insult at Eric Schmidt and Android.

Google Launches New Major Upgrade to SketchUp

Google has launched a new major version of its 3D modeling tool SketchUp: version 8. This comes ten years after the launch of version 1.

Google says there are over a million people using SketchUp. "That’s a pretty humbling number of 3D model makers," says SketchUp Product Manager John Bacus.

Zillow Partners With Aparments.com On Rental Listings
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Real estate website Zillow.com said today it has partnered with Apartments.com to bring the rental website’s database of 90,000 apartment listings to Zillow.

Apartments.com rental listings include home details, photos, floor plans, and property manager contact information.

Google Adds Company Logos to Locations in Google Maps
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Google announced a new feature for businesses in Google Maps in the U.S. today. The feature lets businesses include sponsored map icons that appear on the maps themselves. The feature actually began in a pilot program earlier this year in Australia.

Apple Announces New iOS, iPods, iTunes, Ping Social Network, Apple TV
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Apple held its big event today, and showed off several things.  At the event, Steve Jobs said that Apple now has 300 retail stores, and will soon open one in Spain making it 11 countries. He said that Apple has shipped 120 million iOS devices, and that there are 230,000 new iOS activations per day. He also said they’ve had 6.5 billion app downloads and get 200 app downloads every second.

The New iOS

Madden NFL Superstars Launches On Facebook
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Electronic Arts has launched Madden NFL Superstars on Facebook that allows users to create their own fantasy team by collecting NFL players and competing in matchups with their friends.

“Each day on consoles, fans are playing as many games online as the equivalent of 750 full NFL seasons,” said Peter Moore, president of EA SPORTS.

“Now on Facebook, Madden NFL Superstars will bring a whole new dimension and audience to the Madden NFL experience.”

Who Will Win the TV OS Battle?
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There is a lot of talk about connected TV, particularly with Apple’s announcement on the subject expected this afternoon.

Retrevo reached out to WebProNews with some commentary on the subject. The following comes from Retrevo’s Andrew Eisner, a computer journalist and the director of content for Retrevo.

Apple to Update Apple TV (with Netflix), iTunes, iPod Touch
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Apple announced that it will be streaming an event online today at Apple.com, at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM Eastern.

"Apple will broadcast its September 1 event online using Apple’s industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, which is based on open standards," the company says.

The whole thing is so open, you have to use a Mac running Safari on Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard, an iPhone or iPod Touch running iOS 3.0 or higher or an iPad. In other words you have to have bought an Apple device to view it.

Booyah Utilizes Facebook Places for Standalone App
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Booyah, makers of the check-in app/game MyTown, have unveiled a new game today, and it is is the first standalone app to utilize the recently launched Facebook Places API.

"In addition to being the first app built exclusively for Facebook Places, it is the only app that accesses Facebook Search," says Booyah.

Amazon to Take On Netflix With Subscription Service?
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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is working on a subscription service for TV shows and movies. The company has reportedly been talking with NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp. Viacom, and others about such a service.

What We Can Learn From International Beer Advertising

It is hard not to enjoy beer marketing. Even if you are not a marketer, this industry always offers creative advertising (particularly on TV) that is fun to watch and spends lots of money doing it. Every year at the Super Bowl, a good number of the Top 10 ads come from beer companies. In other venues beyond sports, beer advertising often promises good times, great parties and generally being able to escape from your daily life into a world of fun, travel and festivities.

Greenpeace Protests Facebook’s Data Center
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Facebook’s won the support of a lot of people as it builds a data center in Prineville, Oregon; an official Facebook Page is full of positive comments from locals.  However, because the facility will primarily be powered by coal, Greenpeace – along with around 500,000 individuals – has sided against it.

Google Now Indexes SVG Files
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Google is now indexing SVG files. SVG, which stands for scalable vector graphics, is a widely-deployed, royalty-free,  XML-based format for vector graphics and support for interactivity. The format was developed and is maintained by the W3C SVG Working Group.

Target To Start Selling Facebook Credits Gift Cards

Target said today it will be the first retailer to sell Facebook Credits gift cards at all of its 1,743 stores and on Target.com beginning September 5.

comScore Acquires Nedstat to Create the iPad of Analytics

comScore announced today that it has acquired Nedstat, an online analytics and optimization firm based out of Amsterdam.

The acquisition enables comScore to substantially expand its presence in Europe, with offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden. The company says this will help it reach out to new clients in these markets.

Enjoy These 5 Mobile Apps This Labor Day Weekend

Family reunions and quick getaways have become a Labor Day tradition for most people, but which apps work best for taking holiday trips? Grip’d.com spent several months testing various apps on each platform to see which ones make Gripd.com’s top five travel apps. If you have an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone, here’s a quick rundown of the best 5 travel apps:

Salesforce Announces Jigsaw for Salesforce CRM

Salesforce.com has announced the arrival of Jigsaw for Salesforce CRM. This is a new crowd-sourced business data service for Salesforce CRM customers.

A spokesperson for Salesforce tells WebProNews today’s announcement is significant for the following reasons:

Greplin is Real Personalized Search
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There’s a new kind of personalized, social search available that may trump any effort we’ve seen from Google to date in this corner of search.

Greplin is a new site that searches through "all your online data in one place, really fast" – or at least your the online data you have in the services that it supports, which is likely far from all of your online data. Still, the concept behind the site is pretty noteworthy, and it will likely add more services as time goes on.

Facebook Goes Back to the University, A New Spin on Online Charities
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Facebook has launched a "Universities on Facebook" page to "help students and campus organizations discover how to take full advantage of Facebook’s features to publicize events, distribute content, and foster community and school spirit."

The company has also acquired an interesting search patent for ranking based on click frequency.

Digg Has Found Its CEO
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Update 2: Rose has now put up the offiical announcement. He writes:

I’d like to update you on the latest change at Digg. After several months of searching, we are excited to announce that Matt Williams will become the CEO of Digg. As you know, I have been the interim CEO, while we looked for the right person, and I will still remain actively involved in the product, but am handing over the day-to-day running of the business to Matt...

Google Outlines Display Ad Strategies

Google has an interesting post up today on its official blog, outlining its efforts in growing display advertising. Within this outline are five what Google calls "key principles guiding our future product innovations in this area."

In short, these principles are: making life more efficient, total revenue management, more insight and control, betting on openness, everything is going to be "display".

Facebook Gets Click-Based Search Relevance Patent
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Facebook has been granted a patent called "Ranking search results based on the frequency of clicks on the search results by members of a social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation". Here’s the abstract: