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PayPal Opens New Customer Service/Operations Center
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Thanks to PayPal, the unemployment rate in Chandler, Arizona should dive rather soon.  PayPal announced today that it’s opening a new customer service and operations center in the city, and the center is designed to accommodate as many as 2,000 employees.

FTC Cracks Down On Mortgage Spammer

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today it has asked a federal judge to shut down a company that allegedly sent people millions of spam text messages.

The text messages allegedly advertised for a deceptive mortgage modification website called “loanmod-gov.net.” The FTC is asking the court to freeze the defendant’s assets.

Apple Event Invitations Sent, iPad 2 Basically Confirmed

Apple event invitations have been sent out for March 2nd. News of the event leaked out yesterday, but now it’s official, as reporters have started receiving their invitations.

It will take place at 10am Pacific on March 2nd in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

"Come see what 2011 will be the year of," the invitation teases, with a big picture of an iPad hiding behind a calendar page displaying a big number 2.

YouTube To Stream NBA and NHL Games?
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Sports-seeking cord cutters might have reason to rejoice, or at least reason to hope:  there’s a possibility YouTube will become a major player in the way sporting events, specifically, the NBA and the NHL, will be consumed by their fans.

After the success YouTube enjoyed from streaming of cricket from the Indian Premier League, Google’s online video service is looking to expand its reach by including the NBA and NHL in their sports stream lineup.

Foursquare Hosts Developers at Hackathon
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Recall, it was not too long ago that Foursquare released their latest developer toolset, the foursquare API v2.

Recently, in an effort to bolster the developer community and kick start more Foursquare-based apps, the company hosted their first Hack Day event in New York. According to the Foursquare dev blog, some 150 developers showed up at the event including geeks from around the States and even a few from Canada. 

Analyst Estimate: CBS Deal Cost Netflix $200 Million

The combined value of The Andy Griffith Show, Cheers, Frasier, every Star Trek series, The Twilight Zone, and Twin Peaks is in many ways incalculable.  They’re some of the greatest series ever made.  But if anyone was wondering, the cost of yesterday’s Netflix-CBS deal was probably in the neighborhood of $200 million, according to a new estimate.

BrightCove Partners with LG on Content for Smart TVs

Brightcove and LG Electronics have announced a partnership to expand online video content on LG’s Smart TVs. "The deal enables Brighcove’s 2,700+ customers – brands including New York Times, Fox, A&E – to extend their reach into the living room via LG’s Smart TVs, while LG is able to increase the high-quality online video content available through apps on these TVs," a spokesperson for Brightcove tells WebProNews.

Google Awards $2.7 Million Grant To International Press Institute

Google said today it has awarded a $2.7 million grant to the International Press Institute (IPI), based in Vienna, to sponsor the “IPI News Innovation Contest,” a project aimed at creating breakthrough ideas in digital news.

Grants will be awarded to non-profit and profit organizations working on digital, including mobile, open-source technology created by journalists and/or for journalists and distributed in the public interest.

MySpace Music, Songtrust Partner
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MySpace, which has long enjoyed a reputation for being a good place for individuals to get familiar with different bands, may soon become even more useful to up-and-coming musicians.  MySpace Music has partnered with Songtrust in an effort to introduce better music publishing management services.

Ford Launches Facebook Page For Electric Vehicles

Ford said today it has launched an “Electrified Vehicle Facebook” page in an effort to educate and share information with people about its electric offerings.

The Electrified Vehicle Facebook page offers users links to videos and photos of Ford’s electric vehicles. Users can participate in discussions, take polls, and ask the company questions about its electric offerings.

 

Is Sony Working on an

So far, the Sony-versus-the-PS3-Hackers war has been largely fought to a stalemate.  True, Sony has perhaps the bigger victory with the GeoHot ruling, but that clearly hasn’t stopped the hackers from counterattacking Sony’s position.

Sometimes, with a little help/friendly fire from Sony themselves.

Is Sony Working on an

So far, the Sony-versus-the-PS3-Hackers war has been largely fought to a stalemate.  True, Sony has perhaps the bigger victory with the GeoHot ruling, but that clearly hasn’t stopped the hackers from counterattacking Sony’s position.

Sometimes, with a little help/friendly fire from Sony themselves.

Is Sony Working on an
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So far, the Sony-versus-the-PS3-Hackers war has been largely fought to a stalemate.  True, Sony has perhaps the bigger victory with the GeoHot ruling, but that clearly hasn’t stopped the hackers from counterattacking Sony’s position.

Sometimes, with a little help/friendly fire from Sony themselves.

Eric Schmidt Speaks at Humboldt University: Full Video

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at Humboldt University in Berlin last week. Google has now made video of the entire speech available.

He talks about Google increasing its presence in Europe and Germany, and the funding of a center for discussing/debating the evolution of the web. He also announces a small business initiative.

He then talks about OnePass, the new subscription service the company announced recently.  

There are some microphone issues at the beginning that are somewhat comical. 

Demand Media: We’re “Very White Hat”
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Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt, speaking on an earnings call today, took to defending his company’s content, which is often subject to a great deal of criticism, though I would contend that much of the criticism is really geared toward Google for surfacing some of the more questionable (in quality) content over other results that would appear more authoritative. 

Demand Media Posts First Earnings Report as Public Company

Demand Media posted its fourth quarter financial results today – the company’s first earnings report since going public last month. Demand posted revenue of $73.6 million, an increase of 33% compared to $55.5 million in the same quarter the previous year. 

Income from operations was $2.8 million compared to a net loss from operations of ($3.2) million in Q409. Net income was $1.0 million compared to a net loss of ($3.9) million in Q409. Cash flows from operations was $20.9 million, up 95% compared to $10.7 million in Q409.

iPad 2 Expected to Be Unveiled at Apple Event on March 2nd
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Kara Swisher at AllThingsD is reporting that Apple will unveil the iPad 2 on March 2nd at in event in San Francisco. 

Recent reports have indicated that the next iPad will be available through both AT&T and Verizon, and will be thinner, lighter, and will have at least one camera on the front, as well as more memory, and a more powerful graphics processor. 

Google Gets Behind Tax Data Visualization Contest

Prepare to take some pride in what your tax dollars achieve (or decide to disappear into the forests of Canada).  Google’s throwing $5,000 and its PR machine behind a contest meant to show the public how American tax money is spent.

Google Launches API for Chrome Omnibox
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Google announced the launch of a new omnibox API for Chrome. This means developers will be able to do new cool things with the omnibox (the address bar in Chrome, which also serves as a search box). 

Facebook Hires Google’s Latin America Head

Although Google’s famous for being one of the world’s best employers, Facebook has been able to lure workers away on a regular basis, and the social network’s starting to get quite aggressive about it.  Indeed, the latest switch involves Alexandre Hohagen, Google’s (former) top-ranking exec in Latin America.

Netflix and CBS Strike Content Streaming Deal
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Netflix announced a new deal with CBS that will allow it to stream CBS content for two years (non-exclusively). The deals enables Netflix to stream select TV shows like Medium, Flashpoint, Frasier, and Cheers.

Other shows included in the deal are: Family Ties, the original Hawaii Five-O, Star Trek, Twin Peaks, The Twilight Zone, and The Andy Griffith Show. 

Is Blogging Really in Danger Because of Social Networks?
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Here we go again with another one of those silly social media vs. blogs debates. The New York Times stirred the pot this time with an article called, "Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter."

Can you imagine ever reading only social media updates and no blogs? Share your thoughts.

Square Eliminates Transaction Fee, Calls it a Revolution
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Square, the mobile payments company co-founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, just announced that it is removing a 15¢ transaction fee on credit card payments – a move that is sure to capture merchants’ attention. The company says:

Now when you swipe a card with Square there is just one fee: 2.75%. What you see is what you pay.

ForRent.com Partners With Oodle On Facebook Marketplace

ForRent.com said today it has partnered with online classified company Oodle to integrate its apartment listings in the Facebook Marketplace.

“Looking for and acquiring a home (be it renting or buying) has been called one of life’s major stressors. Engaging feedback from one’s ‘social network’ can ease the anxiety of this decision,” said  Brock MacLean, senior vice president of national sales and development at ForRent.com.