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MySpace Confirms 47 Percent Staff Reduction

If you happen to know anyone who’s employed by MySpace, today’s a good day to keep them in your thoughts.  MySpace CEO Mike Jones confirmed that heavy layoffs will occur, with 47 percent of the company’s employees (or roughly 500 people) due to be affected.

While it’s hard to imagine that half of MySpace’s workforce contributed absolutely nothing, and it’s extra suspicious that Jones made his announcement at a time when the Verizon/iPhone hoopla was distracting everyone, the CEO did try to indicate that MySpace is in good shape now.

EA Sports Launches Free Golf Game On Facebook
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EA Sports has launched a free PGA Tour Golf Challenge on Facebook.

PGA Tour Golf Challenge features real time 3D game play and allows users to play with their Facebook friends.

Why Are So Many Marketers Dissatisfied With Social Media Results?
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Over the holidays, I had some time to really dive into the LinkedIn B2B LeadGen Roundtable discussions. One started by Ann Thornley-Brown, President & CEO, Executive Oasis International, Toronto, caught my attention.

Consumer Groups Call On FCC To Investigate MetroPCS

A number of public interest groups have filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission requesting the agency investigate claims that new plans being offered by mobile provider MetroPCS block Internet content, applications and websites.

The public interest groups who sent the letter to the FCC include Free Press, the Center for Media Justice, Media Access Project, New America Foundation Open Technology Institute and Presente.org .

Equal Number Android Tablet, iPad Shipments Forecast For Late 2011
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Android phones got off to a late start compared to the iPhone, but now, most research firms agree Android phones are winning in terms of sales.  And Android tablets might soon pull off a similar coup, as the experts at BMO Capital Markets have predicted shipments of Android tablets and iPhones will draw even in the second half of this year.

iPhone for Verizon Coming February 10
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Apple and Verizon officially announced the iPhone 4 for Verizon today. Verizon includes the tagline, "The phone that changed everything. Coming to America’s most reliable network."

The iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning on Thursday, February 10, and qualified Verizon Wireless customers will be given the opportunity to pre-order it online on February 3.

Google Gives Third-Party Apps Access to Goo.gl
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Google has launched an API for its URL shortener, goog.gl. The API can be used to interact with the service and develop applications that store, share, and manage goo.gl URLs. 

Mobile Broadband Users To Reach 1 Billion This Year

Mobile broadband subscriptions surpassed the half a billion mark globally in 2010 and are on track to double before this year ends, according to a new report from Ericsson.

The greatest number of mobile broadband subscriptions, around 400 million, is expected to be in the Asia Pacific region, followed by North America and Western Europe with more than 200 million subscriptions each.

 

Rumor: Android “Ice Cream” To Launch This Summer

The version of Android that’ll come after the one codenamed "Honeycomb" is on the way, according to a new report, and should land this summer.  The seasonally appropriate designation: Ice Cream.

Groupon Acquires 3 Deals Sites, Expands Into More Countries
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Groupon is launching in India, Israel, and South Africa as it has acquired similar deals sites in each of those countries – SoSata, Grouper, and Twangoo respectively. 

"Collective buying is in its infancy in India, Israel and South Africa and we see strong potential," said Rob Solomon, president and COO of Groupon. "Groupon is shaping the way local merchants market themselves in every corner of the world."

Amazon Launches Daily Deal App For iPhone

Amazon has introduced a free application for iPhone users called Amazon Deals, which offers daily deals from  Amazon Gold Box.

People can use the app to act on limited-availability discounts and stay up to date with deal notifications.

Winklevoss Twins, Divya Narendra Revive Facebook Lawsuit
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Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, along with Divya Narendra, are at it again.  The three men, who claim Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them, have decided to effectively turn down an agreed-upon $65 million settlement and seek a much larger payout from the company.

Global “Google Science Fair” Planned
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Not much info is available at this point, but the parents and teachers of scientifically inclined 13-18 year olds (along with the 13-18 year olds themselves) might want to stay close to their computers tomorrow morning.  At 9 AM EST, Google intends to announce the first-ever Google Science Fair.

Google’s described the event as "the world’s first online global science competition," and some interesting partners are also involved: CERN, LEGO, National Geographic, and Scientific American. 

AMD CEO Steps Down, Company Searches for Replacement
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AMD announced today that President, CEO, and director Dirk Meyer has stepped down from these positions. The company’s Board has appointed SVP and CFO Thomas Seifert as interim CEO while they search for Meyer’s replacement. 

Groupon Raises $950 Million to Continue Rapid Growth
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Groupon announced that it has completed its $950 million round of financing, which has been discussed in the tech press over the last couple weeks. The company says it will use the funds to fuel global expansion, invest in technology, and provide liquidity for employees and early investors.

Everybody Gets the New Facebook Profile
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Facebook announced today that it is now rolling out the new profile design to all users. The design debuted last month, when CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared in an interview for 60 Minutes on CBS, and the company made the option available for users to switch. 

New SVP Of Yahoo Media Network Hired

Most stories covering personnel moves at Yahoo don’t exactly count as wins for the company, but it looks like Yahoo’s set to attain a victory.  Reports indicate Mickie Rosen will soon assume the title "Senior Vice President of the Yahoo Media Network."

Rosen has an impressive resume.  Her career began at McKinsey & Company, a large and well-known consulting firm, while she attended Harvard Business School.  She did stints at Disney, Quisic, Idealab, and Fandango afterward.

The Social Network Comes to DVD and Blu-Ray, Continues to Rake in Money

The Social Network, the hit movie depicting the founding of Facebook, makes its way to DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday. Sony Pictures Entertainment said last week in a press release that it was set to cross the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office, before being re-released in 600 theaters in the U.S. on Friday. 

Buick Using Facebook And Twitter For Scavenger Hunt

Buick is launching the “Quest for the Keys” program, a campaign focused on promoting Buick’s lineup, including the Regal, Enclave, Lacrosse and its new Verano.

Google Goggles Gets An Upgrade
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Google has launched a new version of Google Goggles, the application that lets users point their phone’s camera at a variety of things and get search results by taking a picture. The new version, version 1.3, is faster and smarter, according to Google. It can scan barcodes "almost instantly," the company says. 

Netflix Spotted on Android Device, Doesn’t Mean Yours Will Get It

A Netflix app for Android was spotted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which wrapped up yesterday. Verizon, showing off its new LG Revolution 4G phone with Android, showed evidence that the app is indeed in existence. 

Android users have been waiting for a Netflix app for quite some time, and have had to wait idly by while apps for the iPhone, iPad, and even Windows Phone 7 were released. UnwiredView.com posted the following video of the demo, which is now making the rounds: 
 

Don’t Invest in SEO Without Committing To What it Takes
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Companies that seek to expand their market reach to growing populations of customers spending time online have turned in significant numbers to search and social media as marketing channels. The world of search and social as an intersection with content marketing is quickly emerging as well.

BGC Gives eBay “Buy” Rating

BGC Partners, a firm with roots dating back to 1945, has new confidence in eBay.  Today, BGC upgraded its outlook on eBay’s stock from hold to buy, and raised its price target by 25 percent, as well.

The new price target is $35, up from $28.  That’s not a huge vote of confidence, considering that eBay’s stock is currently trading at $27.77, but at least shows BGC doesn’t think eBay is stagnant.

More People Adopting Mobile Shopping
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People are using mobile phones to access websites and apps more than ever before, with 33 percent using their phones to access a retailer website, and an additional 26% indicated they plan to access retailer websites or mobile apps by phone in the future, according to a new report from ForeSee Results.