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Survey: Email and Company Sites Providing Better ROI Than Social Channels
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A survey conducted at ad:tech by EPiServer has found that 60% of respondents are getting the highest return on investment from email marketing and company websites and blogs when compared to mobile and social channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. 

French Regulators Call Google Dominant, Express Concerns
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There’s good news and bad news for Google in France today.  The Autorite de la Concurrence – a competition watchdog – has decided it isn’t thrilled with the company’s power, but isn’t yet willing to assert that Google needs to be tamed with fines and legal measures, either.

Court Ruling Protects Email Privacy
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A ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that the government has to have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by service providers, and that email privacy is protected by the fourth amendment. 

The ruling came in an appeal of Warshak v. United States, a case which is described by the EFF in the following manner:

Give Google Your Voice. Literally.
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Google has launched personalized voice recognition for voice search on Android 2.2 and higher. If you’ve used Google’s voice search much, you probably know how inaccurate it can often be. This feature should (theoretically) help with this. 

Google will get to know your voice and understand it, and your search queries will become more accurate. Google’s Amir Mané and Glen Shires explain:

Americans Want More Control Over Their Online Information
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The majority (90%) of Americans want more control over the information that is available about them online, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive for Intellius.

Intelius Because people use websites and search engines to find out information about others, 80 percent believe their online identity is now as important as their “offline” personal or professional reputation.

Twitter Shows Its Real Power With Latest Top Ten of 2010 List

Yesterday, Twitter released a number of top ten lists for trends in 2010. They showed off the top trends of the year in general, as well as the top in tech, news, movies, people, TV, and hashtags. Today, the company has released a list of what it has deemed as the top ten most powerful tweets of the year

New Zealand Concludes Street View Investigation

The lawyers responsible for handling Google’s affairs in New Zealand may finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief.  The Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand announced today that she’s concluded her investigation into the Street View data collection debacle, and Google will not face any fines or significant penalties.

That’s not to say the search giant’s off the hook in every respect; from now on, it’s supposed to work more closely with Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff, and she gave the company a bit of a reprimand in a formal statement.

CNN Launches Free iPad App

CNN has launched a new free app for the iPad aimed at offering a more visual news experience.

 The CNN App for iPad combines images with  reporting from CNN, including text stories, blog posts, photo galleries, and live or on-demand video. Users have the ability to toggle between U.S. and international news.

 

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iPhone Game Developers Releasing Higher Quality Titles
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The Nintendo DS was once a giant in the portable gaming world, and enjoyed a long lasting time by itself atop the portable gaming mountain. That was until a little device called the iPhone (and iPod Touch) released. At first Nintendo tried to distance themselves from the iPhone by saying it really wasn’t a "gaming system".

Kodak Launches Facebook Photo Album App

Kodak has introduced a “Social Photo Album Creator” for Facebook that lets people combine photos from the site and work with others to make an album together.

There are three steps to using the Social Photo Album Creator:

 

Kodak-App

 

eBay Enjoys “Busiest Mobile Shopping Day Ever”

It apparently took eBay a little while to tally the numbers and write up the press release, but Sunday was a great day for the company.  eBay saw mobile shoppers flock to the site, establishing December 12th as the busiest mobile shopping day ever.

An official statement from the company declared, "In the U.S. mobile gross merchandise volume (GMV) grew 127 percent over the same Sunday last year, generating nearly $5 million in GMV; worldwide, mobile GMV grew 165 percent generating $13 million in GMV."

Adobe Launches Site Search Tool to Keep Visitors from Leaving Your Site
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Adobe has introduced a new tool for site search powered by Omniture, aimed at helping marketers anticipate visitor search intent and promote relevant products and content. It’s called Search&Promote. The real goal of the tool is to cut down bounce rates. 

Gmail App Learns 44 New Languages

The HTML5 version of the mobile Gmail app hasn’t exactly been friendly towards non-American users to date; English (and indeed what Google calls "U.S. English") was the only language in which it was available.  Now, however, Google’s addressed the problem in a big way.

Today, there are 44 new languages on the figurative table, and that should account for the vast majority of people who are likely to own a smartphone.  An Android device or anything running a recent version of iOS, in fact.

Twitter Releases Top Trends of 2010 for Various Categories

Twitter launched its year-end top trends list today. The top overall trends for 2010 were as follows:

1. Gulf Oil Spill
2. FIFA World Cup
3. Inception
4. Haiti Earthquake
5. Vuvuzela
6. Apple iPad
7. Google Android
8. Justin Bieber
9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
10. Pulpo Paul

Twitter also broke down the top trends for several categories. The top trends for news events were:

YouTube Launches “Trends” Site To Track Popular Clips
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Upwards of 35 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it impossible for anyone to view a fraction of whatever good stuff is available.  Even trying would be a waste of time.  YouTube’s launched a new site called YouTube Trends to highlight the popular clips, however.

Google Lets Advertisers Use Seller Ratings Extensions in Mobile Ads
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Google announced that its extending its Seller Ratings extensions for AdWords ads to mobile. These let advertisers show users when they have positive ratings, which can of course inspire clicks. 

Google Launches Site Aimed At Helping People Learn About Tech

Google has introduced a new website called TeachParentsTech.org aimed at helping people teach others about computer basics.

 

 

Google Latitude App For iPhone Launches
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Starting today, iPhone users may begin enjoying a lot more lunches, coffee breaks, and random shopping mall sit-downs with friends.  The Google Latitude app for iPhone was officially released this morning, and it promises to keep users informed of their (consenting) pals’ locations at all times.

Microsoft and Others Join FairSearch Fight Against Google (Update: Google Responds)
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Update: Adam Kovacevich, Google Sr. Manager, Global Communications and Public Affairs offered us the following statement:

Jackson Hewitt Offering Online Discount Shopping
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 Tax preparer Jackson Hewitt has launched an online Discount Shopping Network that offers cash back rewards from more than 800 retailers, including Target, Sears, Kmart, Best Buy and Staples.

The Discount Shopping Network is part of the first phase of the company’s roll-out of “MyTaxManager,” a new online tax management tool.

LinkedIn Adds New Data Center
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Don’t expect LinkedIn to introduce its own version of the fail whale (as Google recently did with a "whale fail" image) anytime soon.  This weekend, LinkedIn added a new data center, ensuring that the professional networking site will stay in working order.

Online Holiday Spending Nears $22 Billion
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U.S. online holiday spending has reached $21.95 billion during the first 40 days of the season, an increase of 12 percent over the same time period as last year, according to the latest report from comScore.

The most recent week (week ending Dec. 10) reached $5.15 billion in spending, an increase of 11 percent versus the corresponding week last year, as two individual days each surpassed $900 million.

 

MySpace Lets Celebrities “HiJack” its Site to Attract Users
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MySpace introduced what it’s referring to as "MySpace Hijacks" today. This is where curation of featured content on the site is taken over by celebrities, as if they had "hijacked" the site to bombard you with stuff they like. 

"On the heels of the newly redesigned Myspace, Hijacks is one of many content-focused initiatives supporting Myspace’s mission to provide the best social entertainment experience possible for the Gen Y audience," MySpace’s Laurie Spindler tells WebProNews.