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Bing Shopping Gets Natural Language Price Constraint Feature
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Bing has announced a new natural language search feature for Bing Shopping results. With the new capabilitiy, users should be able to use words like "under $100" or "under $50" along with their keywords to get relevant results for products that match such descriptions. 

Google Buys Technical Tool Firm Zynamics

Google and/or users of some of the company’s many products may soon be a little safer.  A company called Zynamics announced today that it’s been acquired by Google, and Zynamics specializes in reverse engineering tools and vulnerability research.

Facebook Buys Beluga
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Facebook has acquired mobile app Beluga and its team. TechCrunch shares the following statement from Facebook:

Loopt Launches Reward Alerts For Local Deals

Location-based service Loopt is introducing real-time mobile “Reward Alerts” app for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android phones.

 Reward Alerts allow brands and local businesses to offer limited-time deals to people nearby. Reward Alerts offer a “flash” deal that is redeemable in person, instead of a deal that is purchased now, but used at a later date.

Facebook Launches New and Improved Comments Plugin For Content Sites
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Facebook has launched a new version of its comments plugin, adding features like the use of social signals to order comments based on quality, improved moderation tools, the ability to add different log-in options, and better sharing of comments. 

Google Ventures Invests In Weather Insurance Start-Up

Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures have invested $42 million in a weather insurance start-up founded by former Google employees, called WeathrBill.

WeatherBill’s technology platform compiles large amounts of weather data from a variety of sources, then sells insurance based on statistical analysis.

Hulu CEO Forecasts 2011 Revenue Of $500 Million
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Prior to its launch, more than a few prominent bloggers predicted that Hulu would fail, and it was dubbed "Clown Co." in certain circles.  Now, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has forecast that his organization will earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million in ad revenue this year (see update).

Google In-App Payments Coming in May

Google has a new in-app payments product in private beta. Current users of Jambool’s Social Gold found about the product, which will most likely be formally launched at this year’s Google I/O in May. Google acquired Jambool back in August.

Adobe to Help Search Marketers Keep Paid Campaigns From Cannibalizing Organic SEO

Back in the fall of 2009, Adobe announced it was acquiring web analytics software provider Omniture. As a result of that acquisition, Adobe runs SearchCenter+, a paid search campaign management tool. 

Adobe announced today that SearchCenter+ now allows users to integrate data from both paid search campaigns and organic SEO. 

Facebook To Overtake Yahoo In Display Ads
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Facebook is on track to overtake Yahoo in display ad revenue this year, according to a new estimate from eMarketer.

 Facebook’s display ad revenues will reach $2.19 billion this year, accounting for 21.6 percent of all U.S. display ad dollars. Yahoo’s market share will reach 16.4 percent, while Google will account for 12.6 percent of display ad spending.

Groupon Launches In The United Arab Emirates
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When it comes to handling money, citizens of the United Arab Emirates know what they’re doing.  This small federation (115th in terms of total area) actually counts as the world’s 35th-largest economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.  So UAE residents should appreciate the fact that a local version of Groupon has launched.

Bing Surpasses Yahoo For First Time Globally
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Bing surpassed Yahoo in search for the first time worldwide in January and increased its lead in February, according to a new report from StatCounter.

Google Announces Big Expansion In Latin America

More details of Google’s plan to hire 6,000 new employees have come to light.  It seems the search giant will focus an unusual amount of attention on Central and South America, making a special effort to step up operations in that area.

Rachael Ray Comes to eHow

Demand Media has partnered with another celebrity in what would seem to be an effort to bring more credibility to its content. The company recently partnered with Tyra Banks in the fashion category, and now it’s Rachael Ray for the food category. 

Google Docs Converts Images/PDFs Into 29 New Languages

Google has expanded its Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature of Google Docs into 29 new languages. It’s now available in a total of 34 languages. 

This is the technology that analyzes images and PDF files and extracts text and formatting, so you can edit. The feature was introduced last summer. The development of the technology would be aided by scans of ancient texts

Hulu To Show TED Conference Clips

TED conferences are elite – and well-respected – events.  People are so eager to attend them that tickets costing $6,000 each are snapped up in no time at all.  Only now, videos of many TEDTalks will be available for free through Hulu and Hulu Plus.

Admittedly, this isn’t too huge a breakthrough in one sense; 886 video clips have already been posted at ted.com/talks, so anybody who knew what he (or she) was looking for was almost sure to find it.

Intel Acquires McAfee: Now It’s Official
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Last summer, Intel announced its intention to acquire McAfee for about $7.68 billion at $48 per share in cash. Today, the company announced the completion of that acquisition. 

McAfee will maintain its own brand, and the first "fruits" of the partnership will hit the market later this year, the companies said. 

Google Loses Gmail Users’ Email, Says It Will Be Back in Hours
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Some Gmail users have had some problems over the last day or so. Email messages have gone missing, along with labels, themes and other personalized settings. Google is working on fixing this. 

While only a small percentage of Google users was affected, that still accounts for thousands of users –  tens of thousands, according to ComputerWorld, who estimates the number to be about 35,000. 

Android Honeycomb Statue Arrives On Google’s Campus

Penny-pinching Google shareholders should perhaps look away.  Your money isn’t being used in the most responsible manner.  But it’s at least helping many of the rest of us smile, as Google’s once again installed an unnecessarily large statue in commemoration of the latest version of the Android operating system.

Facebook Will Give Your Mobile Phone, Address Info to Developers Again
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Remember last month, when Facebook announced it was granting access to users’ mobile phone numbers and home addresses to third-party developers (upon users granting permission)? Soon after, the company suspended the feature as privacy concerns quickly escalated. 

Google Apps Users Get New Gmail Contacts Features

Google announced that it’s rolling out an updated version of Gmail Contacts for Google Apps. In addition to improvements made to Contacts for regular Gmail users last summer, the new version comes equipped with some business-specific features. 

AT&T Launches Location-Based Shop Alerts
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AT&T has partnered with location-based mobile marketing platform Placecast to provide users with ShopAlerts, special offers sent to their mobile phones when they are near a store or brand.

The location-based mobile messaging service will be available for AT&T customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco who have opted-in to receive messages.

9 Ways To Disrupt And “Hipmunk” An Industry

hipmunk [hip-muhnk],   1.  verb:  To bring sexiness and simplicity into an existing industry with a fresh approach that delights people.  Example:  The real estate mortgage industry really sucks.  Someone should hipmunk it.  2. noun:  Startup funded by Y Combinator that makes it easier to find flights. 

Health Issues Drive Online Connections

Nearly 20 percent (18%) of U.S. Internet users have gone online to find others with similar health issues, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The number increases to 23 percent among Internet users who are living with a chronic disease.

 

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