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Google and Verizon: NYT “Wrong” About That Google Verizon Deal
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Update 2: Verizon adds, "The NYT article regarding conversations between Google and Verizon is mistaken.  It fundamentally misunderstands our purpose.

Lawmakers Question Yahoo, AOL And MySpace Over Online Tracking

U.S. representatives Ed Markey (D-Mass) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) sent a letter today to 15 companies identified in a recent Wall Street Journal investigation as installing consumer-tracking technologies to target users visiting these sites.

MapQuest Lets You Send Locations To Your Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury
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AOL’s MapQuest announced a partnership with Ford Motor Company today, in which MapQuest users will be able to search for destinations from the MapQuest site, and send them directly to their Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicles (so long as they are equipped with the SYNC Traffic, Directions and Information service).

Google Turns Nexus One Into Developer Phone
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Google announced today that it has unlocked the Nexus One as its new Developer Phone. This comes at a price of $529.

Twitter Launching Another User Discovery Tool? Doesn’t Look Like It.

Update: It turns out that the shout out account is just an internal one for Twitter employees. Twitter gave The Next Web a statement saying, "W we can say is that it’s not a product. It’s an internal account where Twitter employees ‘give props’ to each other. " They didn’t acknowledge the TwitterOnNotice account, but it’s likely an internal deal as well.

U.S. Invests $1.2 Billion For Rural Broadband

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced funding of 126 Recovery Act broadband infrastructure projects aimed at creating jobs and providing rural residents in 38 states and Native American tribal areas improved service.

L.A. City Council Confirms Support Of Google Apps
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Los Angeles’s adoption of Google apps has been called groundbreaking by some onlookers.  It’s also been a cause for concern in certain circles, with delays cropping up and the police department citing security fears.  Now there’s (more) good news for Google, though, as the L.A. city council has again given Google Apps a thumbs up.

Delish.com Launches Social Trivia Game On Facebook

Food website Delish.com, operated jointly by Hearst Magazines Digital and MSN, have launched a social trivia game on Facebook called the Delish Challenge.

The Delish Challenge features more than 1,000 food-related questions that tests users knowledge as they work their way up the restaurant ladder from busser to executive chef.  Along the way users gather virtual goods, which can be traded with friends, including sushi knives, wine glasses and spicy chilies, Trivia topics include desserts, healthy cooking, comfort food and regional cuisines.

Judge Rules Google AdWords Do Not Infringe

A federal judge has ruled that Google’s AdWords program does not infringe on trademarks owned by language learning company Rosetta Stone.

Facebook Acquires Friendster Patents
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Almost every time a company is dragged into court, the process becomes a drain on its resources and isn’t great for PR (no matter how ridiculous the claims).  It’s perhaps understandable, then, that Facebook has acquired all of Friendster’s social networking patents and patent applications for a reported $40 million.

Google Acquires Developer Tools Provider Instantiations
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Google has apparently acquired yet another company – Instantiations. This is a provider of Java and Ajax development tools.

As MG Siegler (who first reported the news) points out, the company is known for its Google Web Toolkit designer, which is likely the reason for the acquisition.

Instantiations greets its site visitors with the following message:

IBM Looks Into Accessible Mobile Interfaces, Google Giving up on Wave?
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IBM has partnered with the Industrial Design Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay on mobile web research. The initiative will focus on development of new designs of mobile device interfaces that can be used by people who are semiliterate or illiterate, as well as individuals who have limited or no access to information technology.

Facebook Seeks Head Of Games Partnerships

The rate at which Facebook seals game-related deals may soon increase.  The social network’s current gaming partners may soon grow happier, too.  That’s because Facebook’s attempting to hire a "Head of Games Partnerships," and those will be among his (or her) top priorities.

Microsoft and Salesforce Settle Patent Dispute

Microsoft announced that it has settled the patent infringement cases it brought against Salesforce.com, and that the two companies have reached a patent agreement in which Salesforce will receive broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for tis products and services. This will also apply to Salesforce’s back-end server infrastructure.

In addition, Microsoft gets coverage under Salesforce’s patent portfolio for Microsoft’s products and services.

Facebook Takes Privacy Adjustments Mobile

Facebook announced that its privacy settings can be better controlled from anywhere you access the social network. They are rolling out mobile privacy settings via m.facebook.com/privacy. You can also go to the settings page and click "change" next to "privacy settings" from there.

It’s interesting that it’s taken this long to do so, considering how the privacy changes were launched back in May, but better late than never, I suppose.

Bing Lands Deal With Sheraton Hotels
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A well-respected line of hotels is entrusting at least part of its customers’ experience to Microsoft.  Sheraton Hotels & Resorts announced today that a new online destination, dubbed the "Sheraton Guest Portal," will be powered by Bing.

This arrangement is supposed to go well beyond putting the Sheraton logo somewhere on a modified version of the Bing homepage.  It isn’t meant to result in some one-size-fits-all site for all of the Sheratons around the world, either.

MySpace Improving its News Feed?

MySpace appears to be working on a new feature that could help give it a much-needed boost in consumer enthusiasm. From the sound of it, it’s almost like Digg meets the Facebook News feed (or Reddit meets Twitter, if you’d rather look at it that way).

Either way, it involves users voting content up and down, while giving them a way to tap into updates on topics of interest.

AdWords Campaign Experiments and Trademark Policy Changes
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Google has announced that it is rolling out AdWords Campaign Experiments to all U.S. advertisers. This is a free tool that the company says makes it easier to test and measure the impact of changes to keywords, bids, ad groups, and placements.

How Important is Firefox in the Battle for Search Market Share?
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Chitika has provided some very interesting search market-related findings. According to the firm, Firefox is responsible for a significant amount of Google’s share. In fact, based on the sample looked at, there were more Firefox-based Google searches than total searches from Bing or Yahoo.

It’s important to note that this isn’t representative of the entire search market, but it’s an interesting finding that may indeed have bigger implications in that market.

Report: Android on 1 in 3 U.S. Smartphones Sold

The NPD Group has released a new smartphone report, finding that Motorola and HTC have driven Android to the lead in the U.S. Android is installed on one in three smartphones sold, according to the group.

Meanwhile, for the first time since 2007, RIM has slid to the number 2 position, as Android took the lead.

While Android accounted for 33% of all smartphones purchased in Q2, RIM accounted for 28%. Apple came in third at 22% with the launch of the iPhone 4.

Flickr Photo Pages Get a Change in Design

Update: After several weeks of pubic preview, the new photo pages are now being rolled out to everyone.

Original Article: Flickr has launched a new photo page. Some elements of the page have been enlarged, or "embiggened" as Flickr puts it. Photos are now displayed in a bigger 640 pixel width and the photo page itself is wider.

Yahoo Expects Millions of OEM TVs/CE Devices to Ship with Yahoo in 2010 and 2011

As the world waits for Google TV to be unleashed this holiday season, Yahoo is doing its best to remind consumers that it already has a foot firmly in the space. The company did so when Google made its announcement, and now on the heels of a survey released by iSuppli last week, they’re at it again.

Would You Pay for Twitter if You Had to?
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Update: It appears there are some people out there that would pay to use Twitter if they had to. MG Siegler points to a survey from film critic Roger Ebert who would pay for Twitter, along with about 20% of his followers. Make of that what you will.

Intel and FTC Reach Settlement on Antitrust Case

Intel announced that it has reached a tentative settlement with the FTC in the antitrust suit the FTC brought against the company in December.

The suit alleged that Intel had violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. In this settlement, Intel does not admit any violations. Intel SVP and General Counsel Doug Melamed offered the following statement:
Intel and FTC reach agreement