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Amazon And Netflix Tops In Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction with ecommerce websites is down 2.6 percent to 79.3 on a 100-point scale, it lowest score since 2004, according to a new report from The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and ForeSee Results.

“Satisfaction with e-commerce and retail is off from a year ago overall, but the individual company results are mixed, and some organizations manage to find ways and resources to improve the customer experience,” said ACSI Founder Claes Fornell, professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Criterion Collection Comes To Hulu Plus

Film students, movie buffs, and people who are simply budget-minded now have more reason than ever to join Hulu Plus.  A new deal will see hundreds of Criterion Collection movies become available through the service without commercial interruption and at no extra charge.

The Criterion Collection is legendary in some circles.  Since 1984, it’s specialized in high-quality editions of rare, critically acclaimed films.  Prices can top $100 per movie, and sometimes just hundreds of copies are sold.

Apple Introduces Subscription Service On The App Store

Apple has introduced a new subscription service on its App Store for magazines, newspapers, video and music.

Groupon Launches as Stardeals in Australia
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Groupon has officially launched in Australia, under the brand Stardeals. Why not Groupon? Because A company previously known as "Scoopon" has the rights to that name in Australia at the moment. 

Blekko Partners with Stack Overflow for Programming Queries
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Blekko just announced it is now using the Stack Overflow community to help improve and maintain programming-related slashtags for its search engine. Stack Overflow, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a programming Q&A site built by programmers for other programmers. 

Google Lets You Androidify Yourself
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Google has launched an app called Androidify, which allows you to make a version of the Android mascot that looks like you. Expect these to start popping up everywhere like the South-Parkified avatars you currently see. 

There’s not much to say. It’s a free app that can be downloaded from the Android Market on your Android device. You can then share it with your friends. 

Report: iOS Grew Faster Than Android in January

Millennial Media released its Mobile Mix report for January, looking at trends for connected devices, mobile manufacturers, operating systems, and apps. "Last month we saw significant OS and Manufacturer growth on our network," a representative for the firm tells WebProNews. "iOS outpaced all other operating systems experiencing a 47% increase month-over-month. HTC claimed the number two spot on our Top Manufacturers ranking and is quickly closing the gap with Apple for the top manufacturer spot."

CitySearch Launches Daily Deals Aggregator
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Taking advantage of all the buzz about daily deals, CitySearch has taken it upon itself to provide a convenient way for user to check out available deals from one spot (an iPhone or Android app). 

YouTube, See3 Organize DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards
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It’s time for charitable organizations to dust off their camcorders and put on their thinking caps.  YouTube and See3 Communications have partnered for the second time to present the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards, a competition that will grant the winners cash, publicity, and a new gadget.

Why It’s Easier for a Startup (Than For Google) to Take Action on Content Farms
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A couple weeks ago, we reported that DuckDuckGo had followed its own blocking of content farms (like eHow) by promoting content from wikiHow. This begged the question: how much better is wikihow’s content? We had a conversation about that with Jack Herrick, founder of wikiHow (and one-time owner of eHow).

DuckDuckGo Founder Makes the Case For His Search Engine (vs. Google)
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Gabriel Weinberg, founder of alterative search engine DuckDuckGo sat down to talk with WebProNews about what people can get out of DuckDuckGo that they can’t get from the Google experience. 

"I’m not anti-Google," he says. "I know that they take privacy very seriously, and I respect what they’re doing, but they’re doing a few things that – one they can avoid, and one they can’t avoid – and both of which, we don’t do."

YouTube Attracts 8.4 Billion Streams In January
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 Online video usage in the U.S. is up significantly from the same time last year as time spent viewing video on a PC/Mac/laptops from home and work locations increased 45 percent, according to a new report from Nielsen.

The number of unique online video viewers only increased by 3.1% from last January, but the level of activity was up as viewers streamed 28% more video and spent 45% more time watching. Total video streams also saw significant year-over-year growth, up 31.5% to 14.5 billion streams.

RIM to Improve BlackBerry Contacts with Gist

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) announced that it has acquired Gist

Gist provides information about contacts, by creating a business profile for each one that includes recent news, status updates, and work details. It works by pulling contacts from various inboxes, address books, social networks, and other sources, then adding news, status updates, blog posts, etc.

Greplin Reportedly About to Open Up to the Public

We’ve written about Greplin a couple of times – once after the service launched, and again last week, when the company sent users an email with some new updates. If you’re unfamiliar with the service, the best way to describe it is truly personalized search. 

HP Buys Vertica, A Data Analytics Company

HP announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a real-time analytics platform company Vertica.

HP says the pick-up will enhance the company’s capabilities for information optimization, and that Vertica’s platform will help its customers analyze massive amounts of data for "real-time business intelligence."

Twitter Translation Center Opens Up
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Twitter has announced the launch of the Twitter Translation Center, which crowdsources translations from Twitter users. 

Smartphones Driving Mobile Media Consumption

Smartphones aggressively saturated the mobile market in 2010, driving an increase in mobile media consumption by users worldwide, according to a new report from comScore.

“2010 was a game-changing year for the mobile industry,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “Smartphone adoption, 3G penetration and unlimited data plans drove a surge of mobile media consumption across geographies and deepened the integration of mobile devices into everyday life.”

Kleiner Perkins Invests $38 Million In Facebook

Although it arguably doesn’t need much more support at this point, popular social network Facebook now has the backing of one of Silicon Valley’s most respected venture capital firms.  Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is said to be investing about $38 million at a valuation of $52 billion.

MWC11: IE9 Coming to Windows Phones This Year

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced several new features for Windows Phone today in a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. One feature is a "dramatically enhanced" version of Internet Explorer 9, which will become available for the mobile operating system in the second half of this year. 

Barnes & Noble Works To Attract Amazon Affiliates
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Barnes & Noble has issued an open letter to Amazon.com affiliates  trying to convince them to join its network.

The letter comes after Amazon’s decision to stop its affiliate program in some states that require the online retailer to collect sales tax on purchases.

Send a Valentine’s Day E-Card Google Style with “Map Your Valentine”
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Google is no stranger to holiday celebrations. It almost seems like there are more days that Google posts "doodles" for its logo than days it doesn’t. Today, being Valentine’s Day, is of course no exception. Here’s what the Google Doodle looks like today, if you’re one of many who rarely goes to Google.com to do your searching (as opposed to searching from the browser). 

YouTube, LG Partner Over Mobile 3D Video
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Owners of Android smartphones made by LG may soon begin to lead the way when it comes to mobile 3D video.  YouTube and LG announced a partnership this morning that will result in users being able to view, record, and share 3D clips without glasses.

Compared to needing spectacles and being limited to a handful of special big screens, this arrangement should provide viewers with a more convenient experience.  It also promises to increase the selection of content available.

Cheap iPhones Coming This Summer?

Rumor has it that this summer, Apple will release a new line of cheap iPhones, which will cost about half as much as the current iPhone 4. 

A report from the Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter," says:

Qualcomm To Bring Netflix Streaming To New Android Devices
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Wireless company Qualcomm said today that new Android devices using its Snapdragon platform will have access to instant streaming of TV shows and movies from Netflix.

“We’re excited about this collaborative effort to help bring the Netflix application to Android devices running on the Snapdragon platform,” said Liat Ben-Zur, senior director of software strategy and ecosystems for Qualcomm.