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Eric Schmidt Tired of Being Asked About Google’s Ranking Factors
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Danny Sullivan has posted a few videos from Google’s Zeitgeist event, and one of them is a fairly entertaining banter between Sullivan and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.  Sullivan  asks why Google doesn’t list its 200 ranking factors. Schmidt’s response:

Facebook Throws Rotten Tomatoes at Movie Fans

Facebook has formed a new partnership with Rotten Tomatoes, which will make Rotten Tomatoes personalized for the user, if they are logged into Facebook. 

Twitter Usage Among College Faculty Increases
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More than a third (35.2%) of college faculty members now use Twitter in some capacity, an increase from 30.7 percent in 2009, according to a new survey from Faculty Focus.

 Nearly half (47.9%) of those surveyed said they have never used Twitter, down from 56.4 percent in 2009. The remaining 16.9 percent said they tried Twitter but stopped using it – a four percent increase from 2009.

Facebook Places Launches In The UK
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Some Facebook users who live to the east of the Atlantic can now share their location on the site.  Today, Facebook Places launched in the UK, allowing people to check in and tag their friends (or not) as they move around in the real world.

Nothing’s different about the way Facebook Places operates in the UK compared to the US, so we won’t bother with lots of long descriptions and technical details.  Plenty of documentation already exists.

Google: Consumers Rely on Search Engines Over Social for Product Searches
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Google pointed to some stats from PowerReviews and the e-tailing group this week, which show that search still largely dominates as the source used to begin a product search by consumers. 

According to these findings, 57% start with a search engine. 20% view a brand’s site. 18% research at a retailer. 3% use social network sites, and 2% pose a question on Twitter (it’s unclear whether Twitter is counted in the social network sites category).  

AT&T and NCAA Launch College Football iPhone App
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AT&T and the NCAA have launched a new iPhone/iPod Touch app. With a big day of college football coming tomorrow, its as good a day as any for such an app. 

The app is free and combines social functionality with real-time NCAA football news. Fans of Division 1 teams will be able to chat with one another (as well as fans of opposing teams, so that should cater to a fair amount of trash talk). 

Google Improves Video Chat Quality with New Gmail Feature
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Google introduced a new feature in Gmail Labs today for video chat enhancement. If you turn the feature on, your video chat experience will come with higher resolution. 

Chances are, the feature will be automatic in the future. Google says by using it, you’ll be getting a preview before its turned on for everyone. 

WordPress Reveals IE9 Pinning Features

Internet Explorer 9 (beta) was launched to the public this week, and it’s gotten a lot of buzz and high marks. It’s also gotten a lot of web properties doing things to utilize its features. Microsoft’s own Bing features are certainly interesting. 

Yahoo And Microsoft Make Small Search Gains
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Google continued its reign over the U.S. search market in August with 65.4 percent market share, followed by Yahoo with 17.4 percent (up 0.3 percentage points) and Microsoft with 11.1 percent (up 0.1 percentage points), according to the latest analysis from comScore.

 Ask saw no change month-over-month capturing 3.8 percent of the search market, followed by AOL, which also remained flat with 2.3 percent of the market.

Microsoft Exec Says Android Infringes Patents

Android isn’t free and Google is going to face a lot of legal problems, if one Microsoft exec is to be believed.  Tivanka Ellawala, CFO of the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, indicated yesterday that some patents have been violated.

At the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference, Ellawala stated according to Kurt Mackie, "[Android] does infringe on a bunch of patents and there are costs associated with that."

Yahoo Readies New Mail and Search Features, iPad App, Custom Ads, and More
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Update: Yahoo tells WebProNews that it plans on implementing features similar to the new search features for other categories beyond news and entertainment, but would not get specific at this point. 

Google Hires Netflix VP To Pursue Content Partnerships

One of the people responsible for Netflix’s jaw-dropping selection of content now works for Google, according to a new report.  Indeed, Robert Kyncl should even hold the important title (and position) "Vice President of Content Partnerships" at the search giant.

YouTube Instant Creator Worked on Secret Facebook Project
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YouTube Instant creator Feross Aboukhadijeh tells WebProNews he can’t talk about his work at Facebook, because it’s related to a project that is "still secret". 

YouTube Instant has seen 715,000 visitors in six days. We talked a bit the other day about the "viral whirlwind" that the site created. We exchanged some words with  Aboukhadijeh, and he doesn’t really know how it happened. But boy, did it happen. 

Is Google Arrogant? How About Apple? Facebook?
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There’s a discussion going around the Blogosphere that is picking up a bit of steam, regarding Google and how arrogant or condescending the company is or isn’t. While this is surely not the first time the topic has ever been discussed, this particular instance of it appears to have started with a post from Mike Elgan at ITWorld over the weekend. 

Why the New Twitter May Benefit Businesses and Marketers Greatly
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This week, Twitter introduced a new redesign of Twitter.com with a two-pane format aimed at providing a richer user experience, and you can easily tell by looking at it that it does just that. 

Consumer Watchdog Calls on Google To Answer 4 Privacy Questions
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Consumer Watchdog, the group behind the much-publicized Eric Schmidt ice cream man video, has issued a press release blasting Google yet again. This is no surprise, considering recent news of an ex-Google engineer violating the personal data of of minors.

Motorola Picks Up Aloqa for Undisclosed Sum

Motorola announced today that it has acquired Aloqa GmbH, developer of Aloqa, which is a mobile service that notifies users of places, events, music, movies and other activities based on location and personalization.

Aloqa also annuonced that it has now surpassed its million user milestone. The service is available for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson models.

Lots Happening with Bing Maps Today
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"Bing Maps just got more useful for developers, bus and train commuters and education advocates everywhere," a representative for Bing tells WebProNews. She is referring to a series of announcements Microsoft made today regarding Bing Maps. 

The company released two new Bing mapping apps, made additions to the Bing Transit Map, and released the final Windows Phone 7 SDK which features Bing and Microsoft Advertising.

Education

FTC Discusses Google, AdMob Antitrust
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 In testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee, the Federal Trade Commission explained how it protects consumers by applying well-established principles of competition to fast-changing technology markets.

IE9 Now Available for Download
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Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 9 is now available for download. It’s already getting some pretty positive buzz, particularly for an Internet Explorer release.

Ed Bott at ZDNet calls it "the most ambitious browser release Microsoft has ever undertaken". Pretty strong words. 

The download even has its own special domain at BeautyoftheWeb.com

Justin.tv Broadcasting Comes to iPhone

At the beginning of the month, Justin.tv launched its Android app for live streaming. Today, it has updated its iPhone app with similar functionality. iPhone 4 and 3GSs users can broadcast live video from the app over 3G or WiFi.

"We have already seen a 20% increase in daily broadcasters due to new people using Android to broadcast live,"  says Caleb at Justin.tv.

Google, Microsoft And IBM Among Top Global Brands

IBM, Microsoft and Google are the top global brands, according to the latest report from Interbrand.

Google (#4) saw a 36 percent increase in value over last year, bringing the brand closer to rival Microsoft (#3). HP (#10) enters the top 10 for the first time, having increased brand value under a new business model and brand platform. For the 11th year straight, Coca-Cola (#1) retains its top spot as the number one ranked brand on the list.

Hulu To Open Development Center In Seattle

Amazon, Expedia, Redfin, and Zillow may want to hold an employee appreciation day in the near future.  Hulu announced today that it will open a development center in Seattle – which is where those organizations are headquartered – and the company is also looking to increase its headcount.

Disney/ABC and Nielsen Partner on Innovative TV Show iPad App

Disney/ABC and Nielsen have announced a new iPad app. The app is the first to be built on Nielsen’s new Media-Sync Platform, and uses audio watermarks to sync mobile devices to TV Programming.