eBay Drops $1.2 Billion on Korean eCommerce Site
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This has certainly been a huge week for eBay announcements. First, it was announced that StumbleUpon as being taken back by its founders. Then a similar scenario was announced for Skype. Then eBay announced a ton of changes to its marketplace.

Best Buy, Wal-Mart Enjoy Circuit City Web Traffic
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Circuit City closing down was obviously good news for electronics retailer competitors. But which ones are reaping the benefits the most? They are whom you’d expect: Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Hitwise reports on where online consumers go after being greeted with CircuitCity.com’s Sorry-we’re-closed message. Twenty percent of them float downstream to Best Buy’s website. Ten percent go to Wal-Mart, followed by Kmart.com and Sears.com with four and two percent respectively.

Amazon Says No To Phorm Tracking
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Amazon.com announced today it would not allow behavioral advertising firm Phorm to access its Web pages to compile information on Internet users.

Phorm tracks individuals browsing in order to serve highly targeted ads. Phorm has received criticism from the European Commission for the way ISPs use it in the UK. The EU is currently considering legal action against the UK over the use of Phorm.

YouTube A Breeding Ground For Ponzi Schemes
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Google might be struggling to make money off YouTube, but pyramid schemers are apparently doing just fine. They’re doing so well, the Better Business Bureau has issued an alert warning of “little Bernie Madoffs” running all around the video site Call it user-generated scamming. .

A search for “cash gifting” on YouTube brings back over 25,000 videos and, at the rate they were going last week, the videos have been viewed over 60 million times.

Put Yourself Into Your Google Profile URL
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It has been discovered that Google Profiles are now letting users enable the option to create a vanity URL. In other words, if you check a box, your Google profile page will become htp://www.google.com/profiles/whatever-your-gmail-name-is.

Google Making Changes to Search Referrals
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Update: Google now says: We initially reported that Urchin Software might require a patch to handle the new URL structure, but after some additional testing, it turns out no patch is needed. Urchin can handle both the current and new URLs.

Original article: Google is changing referral URLs on results pages. What up until now has looked something like this:

YouTube Symphony Orchestra Reaches Final Stages

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra project represented a neat idea: use the Internet to have musicians from all over the world perform a single piece of music.  And now it’s reaching the final and most interesting stages of development as a mashup’s been compiled and everyone’s set to perform at Carnegie Hall.

The Savvy PR Of Crocs

Living in Boulder, Colorado, I am surrounded by entrepreneurs and startups, but we don’t have a lot of national brands based in our small town. There are two that you’ve heard of, however: Celestial Seasonings and Crocs.

The former makes tea. Really good tea. The latter? They make those ubiquitous rubber shoes with the holes punched in ‘em, and a whole lot more.

Majority Of Americans are Influenced By Online Reviews
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The majority (84%) of Americans say online customer reviews have an influence on their decision to purchase a product or service, according to a new survey from Opinion Research Corporation.

Only 28 percent of respondents said they had posted their own feedback online while 66 percent had checked some type of online review forum when looking to purchase a specific brand of product or service.

Twitter Sees Big Growth in March, Co-founders Talk
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Research from comScore shows that Twitter has jumped 131% in March to 9.3 million visitors in the U.S. This is an increase of 5 million visitors from February.

Google Launches Mobile Blogging Capabilities for Blogger
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Google has updated the Blogger dashboard to simplify setting up email and mobile posting for Blogspot blogs. It now supports SMS, MMS, and email posting. The idea is that you can easily post updates to your blog easily while you are on the go.

New Venture Hopes To Make Newspapers Money Online
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Three veteran media executives have partnered to launch a company with the goal of helping struggling U.S. news papers and other traditional media make money online by charging readers for content.

Journalism Online says it " will quickly facilitate the ability of newspaper, a magazine and online publishers to realize revenue from the digital distribution of the original journalism they produce."

Study Claims Spam Is Hurting The Environment
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Can spam cause damage to the environment and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions?

That’s what a study from McAfee and climate-change researchers ICF have concluded. The study "Carbon Footprint of Spam" released today, found the global annual energy used to transmit, process and filter spam totals 33 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), or 33 terawatt hours (TWh).

That’s equal to the electricity used in 2.4 million homes, with the same green-house gas as 3.1 million passenger cars using 2 billion gallons of gas.

Why “Pick Your Five” is So Popular on Facebook
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The other day, we looked at how the Facebook redesign has shaken up app popularity. The top apps lost their spots, and LivingSocial‘s "Pick Your Five" has taken over as the most popular app on Facebook.

Google Scores Big Deal With Virgin Media
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In a roundabout way, the use of Gmail is about to become much more common in the UK.  Virgin Media and Google announced a deal this morning that’ll allow four million home broadband customers to benefit from the service’s perks while using either new or existing email addresses. 

Facebook Making Big Gains In Europe

Facebook is now the sixth most popular Web site in the world with 275 million visitors in February, a 175 percent increase over the previous year, according to comScore.

Facebook has experienced strong growth in Europe, where the site has seen a 314 percent increase to nearly 100 million visitors.

Google Puts News on a Timeline

One of the big debates about online news is that original sources don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Google News has recently been one of the focal points in the ongoing Associated Press finger-pointing sessions.

Cybercrime Continues To Grow At Rapid Pace

Cybercrime continued to grow at a rapid pace throughout 2008,primarily targeting personal financial information of computer users, according to a new report from Symantec.

Symantec said it created more than 1.6 million new malicious code signatures in 2008, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the total malicious code signatures ever created by the security firm.

Casio’s Money Shot Too Hot For YouTube
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Usually viral videos are meant to be seen, spread around, stir up the hive. But a pair of videos meant to promote Casio’s new Exilim C721 phone proved too hot for YouTube and were subsequently yanked. Or is this just part of the grand viral scheme?

Olympic Athlete’s Mother Sues Google
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The mother of a US Olympic speed skater has filed suit against Google demanding the company delete an alleged defamatory blog post published by a deceased blogger on Blogspot.

Winter Olympics fans were dazzled in 2006 by the performance of Shani Davis, the first African American speed skater to make the Olympic team. Davis went on to win gold and silver medals and set a number of world records.

Researchers Link Twitter To Moral Compass Confusion
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Using Twitter will not turn you into a sociopath.  Still, there’s some new information out concerning Twitter and human emotion, and the researchers’ preliminary findings imply that people aren’t really able to process significant things quickly. 

Auto Makers Making Good Use of Online Advertising
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Research from comScore recently showed that auto makers are doing pretty well with online advertising. In particular, they are using the medium to push SUVs. comScore explains one example:

SEO Blackhatters Target Ford Via Google
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PandaLabs has identified over a million spam links used to target Google searchers looking for information about automotive parts from Ford and Nissan especially. Panda calls it “a major Blackhat SEO attack” designed to dupe searchers into downloading spyware or purchasing phony security software.

YouTube Orchestra Prepares For Carnegie Concert
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The YouTube Symphony Orchestra, comprised of more than 90 classical musicians from around the globe, who submitted video auditions to the site, held its first rehearsal Monday, two days before its Wednesday night debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

The YouTube orchestra is made up of musicians from more than 30 countries that have been practicing for the concert at home and receiving online tutorials from some of the world’s most respected classical musicians.