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Google Distances Maps Navigation From iPhone
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Earlier today, reports indicated that Google Maps Navigation (an Internet-connected GPS nav system) would become available on the iPhone, and while some people viewed this a nice peace offering, others thought Google was damaging its mobile business.  Only it turns out even more cynicism was appropriate, as no such move is guaranteed to occur.

North Carolina Offers Tax Amnesty For Online Retailers
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The North Carolina Department of Revenue said today it is working with online retailers who operate affiliate programs in the state to resolve issues of tax liability.

Kenneth-Lay-North-Carolina The state said it will waive all back sales taxes and penalties for online retailers that sign an agreement by August 31 to start collecting sales tax.

Twitter Acquires SMS Specialist Cloudhopper
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Life is good – and rather Twitter-centric – for Joe Lauer and Kristin Kanaar.  Not only did they get to see Twitter hero Conan O’Brien perform last night, but today, Twitter announced that it’s acquired their messaging infrastructure company, Cloudhopper.

The Twitter-Cloudhopper relationship apparently goes back quite a ways.  Kevin Thau, Twitter’s director of mobile business development, explained on the Twitter Blog this afternoon that they’ve been working together for about eight months.

Newspaper Websites See Record Traffic
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U.S. newspaper companies drove record traffic to their websites in the first quarter of 2010, attracting 74.4 million unique visitors per month on average or 37 percent of all Internet users, according to a new report from Nielsen Online released by the Newspaper Association of America.

The new record follows the solid audience newspapers delivered in last year’s fourth quarter, with newspaper websites attracting an average of 72 million unique visitors per month during that period.

Yahoo Pushes Forward With Social Plans
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Following Twitter and Facebook’s conferences, it looks like Yahoo will keep the "significant social announcements" ball rolling in the weeks and months ahead.  Execs have shared some rough details and vague timeframes with regards to address book-, Facebook-, and Twitter-related integrations.

California Man Indicted For Cyber Extortion
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A California man has been indicted for cyber extortion after demanding New York Life Insurance pay him $200,000 if they didn’t refund his insurance premiums.

According to the Department of Justice, Anthony Digati, 52, allegedly threatened in emails and on a website he created to make false public statements and send millions of spam emails in an effort to damage the reputation of New York Life and cost the company millions of dollars.

“Remove Participant” Option Comes To Google Wave
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What is by Google’s own admission a "glaringly obvious" missing feature has been added to Google Wave.  Now, it’s possible for participants to be removed (or remove themselves) from waves, potentially saving people all sorts of time or embarrassment.

Add someone to a wave by accident?  Find out a friend can’t attend the event you’re trying to discuss?  This update addresses the fact that you still would have wound up bothering these folks with all sorts of irrelevant messages.

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Nexus One May Launch In UK Next Week

More than 15 weeks after the Nexus One launched in the US, it looks like our friends in the UK may finally get an opportunity to buy the Android smartphone.  Late yesterday, a "coming soon" page set up by Vodafone briefly changed to describe the release window as April.

Microsoft Matches, Tops Forecasts w/Earnings Report

Microsoft released its earnings report this afternoon, and for better or worse, seemed to follow a pattern established by Google, Yahoo, and eBay.  Which is to say: Microsoft beat analysts’ estimates, but is getting roughed up in after-hours trading.

Amazon First Quarter Earnings Up 68%
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Amazon.com reported today that its net income for the first quarter increased 68 percent to $299 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with net income of $177 million, or 41 cents per share in the first quarter of 2009.

Analysts expected earnings of 61 cents a share on revenue of $6.87 billion, according to a consensus forecasts from Thomson Reuters.

Yahoo’s Head Of Advertising Platforms To Leave Company
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Although it’s hard to imagine that any company keeps all its employees forever, it looks like Yahoo continues to be worse than average in terms of retaining important people.  This afternoon, a report revealed that Bill Wise, who is in charge of Yahoo’s Advertising Platforms business, will leave the same as so many before him.

Google Continues Buzz Rollout With Maps Tie-In

Ready or not, Google Maps fans, here Google Buzz comes.  Following all other sorts of product integrations, Google’s now made it possible to combine its Google Buzz layer of data with the desktop version of Google Maps.

Pandora Bringing Music Stream To Facebook

Pandora and Facebook will be deeply integrated according to an announcement at the F8 Developer Conference today.  using Facebook’s new Open Graph protocol, Pandora  will stream music directly onto the social networker from bands that fans have "liked” using Facebook buttons placed on other web sites. Users can also see what kind of music their friends are "liking" as well.

Yahoo Search Results to Include More Sponsors

Yahoo has launched a pilot program called "More Sponsors" in which it will add links at the bottom of Yahoo search results for more PPC adds. When a user clicks on one of the links it will bring up a page with nothing but sponsored search ads.

Facebook And StumbleUpon Drive The Most Social Traffic To Websites
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Twitter generates nearly 10 percent of social media global hits to websites, according to new research from StatCounter.

The report found that Facebook is still the main source of traffic to global websites with almost half (48%) of social media hits followed by StumbleUpon with 25 percent.

Social Networks Said To Account For 60% Of Mobile Web Usage

There’s good news for social networks – and perhaps MySpace in particular – this week courtesy of Ground Truth.  The mobile measurement firm has determined that almost 60 percent of the time people spend online using a cell phone is dedicated to social networks, and that MySpace is ahead of Facebook in many respects.

Google Adds to Google Maps Suggest Feature
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Google recently launched Suggest for Google Maps in several countries, and has now expanded the availability of the feature to ten more domains. The feature has also gotten some improvements.

Commerce Department Examining Internet Privacy

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has introduced an initiative aimed at gathering public input and reviewing the connection between privacy policy and innovation in the Internet economy.

Locke also announced the formation of an Internet Policy Task Force to identify public policy and operational issues impacting the private sector’s ability to realize the potential for economic growth and job creation via the Internet.

Hulu Fee Test Rumored To Begin Next Month
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Sorry, online TV fans, but heavy Hulu users might at last be asked to fork over some money.  A new rumor has indicated that Hulu will begin testing a subscription service next month, and that the monthly fee attached to this service will be a not-inconsiderable $9.95.

eBay Reports Positive Q1 Financial Data
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eBay has released its first-quarter earnings report, and there’s good news for the company’s fans: it beat most analysts’ estimates.  The bad news for fans (and especially shareholders) is that eBay’s stock has nonetheless fallen 8.14 percent in after-hours trading, possibly due to a weak forecast.

eBay

8 Tips for Real-Time Video Blogging
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WebProNews has been producing online videos for years now, but we recently started doing the real-time live video thing, so this subject hits close to home for us. We quickly learned that the difference between live and produced videos is quite great.

Google To Show Bazaarvoice Reviews In Search Results

Social commerce applications provider Bazaarvoice has partnered with Google to share product reviews in Google searches and advertisements.

Retailers and manufacturers using Bazaarvoice can use their product review content to drive more traffic from Google as well as provide brand exposure to shoppers.