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AOL To Expand Patch To 500 Sites

AOL said today it has launched 100 Patch local news sites and has plans to grow that number to 500 by the end of the year.

AOL plans to hire 500 journalists to support its Patch expansion and it will likely be the largest hirer of full-time journalists in the U.S. this year.

Google Launches Enhanced CPC for AdWords
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Google has announced the launch of Enhanced CPC, a new automated bidding feature in AdWords, aimed at helping users improve ROI on campaigns with manual bidding. It uses the campaign’s historical conversion tracking data to automatically adjust the Max CPC bid based on the likelihood that the ad will convert.

Google says this should lead to more conversions while reducing the overall CPA. Take a look at this video:
 

Microsoft Looks to Xbox to Help Drive Windows Phone 7 Success

Microsoft announced its first wave of games for Windows Phone 7. These will be available at launch or shortly after, the company said.

Microsoft revealed the first 50 titles, some of which gamers will recognize, and others that are completely new. The company also said the games will be "closely linked" with Xbox Live.

Don’t Click the Link for the Facebook “Dislike” Button
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Many Facebook users have long awaited the arrival of a "dislike" button for status updates that they find dumb, repulsive, or just annoying. If you happen to see someone on the social network claiming to have found one, however, don’t buy it. It’s a scam.

Google Presents Geo Team’s New Workspace

At most offices, employees don’t hope for much other than a comfortable chair and a nearby coffeepot.  Everyone expects more of Google, though, and the Geo team’s new headquarters don’t disappoint.

Tai Kuncio, an administrative assistant at Google, wrote a post (and shared some pictures) on the LatLong Blog today to show how the employees who work on Google Maps and Google Earth have been allowed to decorate their workspace.  The overall effect is impressive.

Chad Ochocinco Wants to Get Rid of Farmville

Fast Company has an interview with none other than Chad Ochocinco, receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals who makes as much of an impact on online pop culture as he does on the football field (perhaps more so). He wants to get rid of Farmville.

Major Publishers Project $3 Billion in Digital Subscription Revenue by 2014

Next Issue Media, a digital publishing consortium made up of Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time, has revealed findings from a study on consumer demand for digital newspaper and magazine products. According to the consortium, $3 billion in subscription revenue is expected by 2014.

After accounting for potential cannibalization of some print subscriptions, the industry could realize $1.3 billion in incremental revenue, the consortium says.

Google Gets BBC Exec To Manage News, Books Deals

The world’s largest broadcaster has lost an important executive to Google.  Madhav Chinnappa, who held the title of "Head of Business Development & Rights" at the BBC, is now supposed to help Google News and Google Books find more partners and handle the current lot.

Chinnappa’s rather lengthy new title is "Strategic Partner Development Manager, Google News & Books," and he should be well-suited to the position.  The contacts he must have made while working for the BBC will be worth a lot alone.

A Funny and Interesting Look Into iPhone Insurance Claims

‘I dropped it from a hot air balloon’ and ‘my dog mistook it for his favourite toy and chewed it to bits’ are among the bizarre insurance claims made for lost and damaged iPhones over the last 12 months, it emerged yesterday.

Other unusual claims include ‘I lost it while skydiving’, ‘I dropped it in a blender’ and ‘It fell into the kettle’.

The weird and wonderful claims came to light in a study by gadget insurers www.protectyourbubble.com.

Booyah Getting 350,000 Check-Ins a Week for Products in MyTown

Back in July, Booyah launched Check-Ins for products in the popular MyTown check-in-based game. The company announced today that it has seen, on average, over 350,000 Product Check-ins a week.

The feature has also attracted the attention of Pantene and H&M, which are offering exclusive items to players of the game.

FTC Goes After Acai Berry Internet Marketers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today, a U.S. district court has ordered the marketers of acai berry supplements and other products to stop an Internet sales scheme that allegedly scammed people out of $30 million or more in 2009 through deceptive advertising and unfair billing practices.

The FTC says since 2007, victimized consumers have flooded law enforcement agencies and the Better Business Bureau with more than 2,800 complaints about the company Central Coast Nutraceuticals (CCN).

Facebook Creeps Up the Charts as 178 Million Americans Watch Online Video
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comScore released its Video Metrix data for July today. According to this, 178 million people in the U.S. watched online video content during the month, watching an average of 14.7 hours per user.

During the month, Facebook moved up from the fourth position to the third position behind Yahoo properties, and of course Google properties at number 1. Facebook accounted for 46.6 million viewers.

Report: Bing Leaps Over Yahoo in the Search Market
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Chitika revealed its July search stats today, which have Bing at #2 in the search market, over partner Yahoo.

"July is over, and we have stats: in looking at the full month’s traffic, Google remains unassailable in its #1 spot, and Bing beats out Yahoo! by a few percentage points for the #2 spot," the firm says. "AOL and [Ask] continue to jockey for 4th place."

Will People Pay for App-Based News Publications?
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A couple weeks ago, reports surfaced that News Corp. was working on a new app-only publication. Even before much was known about the project, some heralded it as a "game changer". I find that notion to be a bit premature.

Will this be a game changer? Tell us what you think.

LinkedIn Adds New Features to Recruiter

LinkedIn has launched a couple new features for LinkedIn Recruiter, aimed at making it easier to manage projects and talent. They have added one-page project management and the ability to set reminders on profiles.

Half.com Launches iPhone Comparison Shopping App
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eBay owned Half.com has released an iPhone application Buying Wizard aimed at helping users comparison shop for deals on textbooks.

The Half.com iPhone app is the first eBay buying application to integrate barcode scanning technology. The app allows users to scan barcodes on items to find the best deal on textbooks, DVDs, novels and video games.

 

Half-iPhone-App

 

Market Research Firm Says Internet-Connected Devices Will Surpass 5 Billion This Month

IMS Research has shared some findings indicating that the number of Internet-connected devices is expected to pass the 5 billion milestone this month. Furthermore, the organization forecasts 22 billion by 2020.

Yahoo Japan Acquires Cirius Technologies

An organization that bears Yahoo’s name – even though Yahoo just holds a 35 percent stake in it – has acquired another company.  Cirius Technologies, which deals in location-based advertising tech, is now part of Yahoo Japan.

Cirius’s primary business is a service called AdLocal.  It acts as a location-based mobile advertising network, allowing marketers to pick where and when consumers will see an appeal to buy something, along with who (in terms of demographics) the consumers will be.

Facebook Driving Social Media Ad Spending
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U.S. advertisers will spend $1.68 billion on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter in 2010, according to a new report from eMarketer.

The $1.68 billion figure represents a 20 percent increase over 2009 on social network advertising spending and is set to climb to more than  $2 billion in 2011.

 

Social-Media-Ads

 

Intel Increases Cable Presence with Purchase of Texas Instruments’ Cable Modem Unit

Intel just announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Texas Instruments’ cable modem unit. Intel says this will enhance its focus on in the cable industry and related markets.

Hulu Said To Aim For Fall IPO

It may not be long before it’s possible to track the stock symbol HULU in addition to tech mainstays like GOOG and YHOO.  A new report has indicated that Hulu intends to go public sometime in the next few months.

New York Times-Owned Paper Puts Paywall Around Online Content
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Telegram.com, the website for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in Massachusetts, which is owned by the New York Times Company, has now put up a paywall. On Telegram.com, users are granted with a message, which reads:

Facebook Acquiring Search Company with Google Connections
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According to a report from Kara Swisher at Boomtown, Facebook has acquired a company called Chai Labs, though this has yet to be confirmed by either company. Also not confirmed is the price, but it is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million.

Swisher speculates that the acquisition is more focused on acquiring talent, which would certainly fall in line with past Facebook acquisitions.

Google Reportedly Acquiring Like.com

Google is reportedly acquiring Like.com for over $100 million. According to Michael Arrington, the companies are in the final stages of the deal, based on word from "multiple sources".

At first glance, Like.com looks like your ordinary, run of the mill e-commerce site, but the technology behind it has apparently caught Google’s eye.