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Will Google Buzz Change the Social Media Game?
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Update 2: Buzz has gotten off to a great start in terms of attracting users. Google said in a blog post yesterday that over 9 million posts and comments had been created, and they were seeing over 200 posts per minute. Both numbers have likely grown since then.

Federal Reserve Launches Consumer Credit Card Site
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The Federal Reserve has launched a new website aimed at helping consumers better understand the new credit card protections that will go into effect on February 22.

These rules ban a number of harmful practices and require more transparency in the disclosure of the terms and conditions of credit card accounts.

Federal Commission Greenlights Google Energy

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is okay with the idea of Google dealing in energy.  Yesterday, it granted "market-based rate authorization" to Google Energy and designated the entity a Category 1 seller in all regions.

Yahoo And NBC Benefit From Winter Olympics

Yahoo Sports said today traffic to its site during the Winter Olympics has soared, beating out both NBCOlympics.com and ESPN.com.

According to comScore, Yahoo’s Winter Games coverage attracted 9.3 million unique visitors, more than NBC’s Olympics site (7.6 million unique visitors) and ESPN (8.4 million unique visitors). Yahoo Sports attracted over 17.5 million unique visitors over the week, more than double the visitors to its nearest competitors.

Google Shopper Android App Launches
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Android phone owners should now be able to become smarter consumers.  A free app called Google Shopper has been released, and with it, users are supposed to find it easier than ever to look up product specs, check out reviews, and compare prices.

Google Shopper doesn’t quite represent some breakthrough.  Instead, it combines the image recognition abilities offered by Google Goggles with the barcode-scanning feature Google Product Search for mobile introduced in May.  Plus some voice recognition tech that’s been in development for even longer.

Yahoo Opens Data Center, Call Center In Nebraska
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Yahoo’s been busy in Nebraska.  This week, the company announced the opening of both a data center and a call center in the state, and apparently the celebration was a big deal, with Jerry Yang and several high(-ish) ranking politicians all showing up.

Sony Ericsson CEO Admits Nexus One Snub
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As interesting alternate timelines go, the idea of a cell phone having been built by a different company doesn’t exactly rank up there with JFK surviving his trip to Dallas.  Still, the CEO of Sony Ericsson raised more than a few eyebrows by admitting that his company declined the opportunity to manufacture the Nexus One.

Yahoo on Search and Advertising Post Microsoft Deal
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Now that Yahoo and Microsoft have received DoJ and EU approval on their search and advertising deal, Yahoo is doing plenty of talking about what the deal will mean for its search engine and its advertisers.

The two companies have a Search Alliance page set up that gives some insight about what to expect, such as:

FoxSports.com To Launch Animated Golf Series

FoxSports.com has partnered with Skadaddle Media on a new animated online golf series called "Of Course."

"Of Course" is set to debut on FoxSports.com on March 1, 2010. The series was written and produced by Skadaddle Media co-founders Todd Lieman and Jon Wank.

Google Rumored to Be Eyeing Possible iTunes Competitor
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Rumor has it that Google is eyeing Beverly Hills-based CatchMedia as another possibility in a string of acquisitions. CatchMedia is a company that is focused on creating a "Play Anywhere" system, which lets consumers use their music/media content collection and services wherever they want, regardless of the device they’re using.

DOJ Approves MSFT-Yahoo Deal
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UPDATE: As stated in a press release a Microsoft representative emailed to WebProNews, "Microsoft (Nasdaq ‘MSFT’) and Yahoo! (Nasdaq ‘YHOO’) announced today that they have received clearance for their search agreement, without restrictions, from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission, and will now turn their attention to beginning the process of implementing the deal."

Close-Up with Samsung’s New Line-Up

One of the most discussed displays at CES 2010 was Samsung‘s exhibit. WebProNews and many other event attendees were amazed by the collection of TVs, 3D innovations, and a new category of e-readers Samsung had to offer at the conference.

Amazon Rolls Out Kindle App For BlackBerry

Amazon.com has launched "Kindle for BlackBerry," a new free application that can be downloaded from the retailer’s website.

Kindle for BlackBerry offers access to over 420,000 books and is available on variety of BlackBerry devices. Kindle for BlackBerry allows users to save and synch bookmarks on their Kindle devices, iPhone, iPod touch, PC and BlackBerry. Amazon said it has plans to do the same for Mac and iPad soon.

Google Takes Popular Email App from iPhone For Itself

The competition between Google and Apple appears to be getting fiercer by the day. Google has now acquired popular iPhone app reMail, and has discontinued it in Apple’s App Store, and most likely offer it in the Android Market (although this has not been confirmed).

Yapta Taps Kayak For Flight Search

Airfare tracking service Yapta said today it is partnering with travel search site Kayak to power its flight search engine.

"By introducing Kayak’s best-in-class flight search engine, Yapta members now have greater access to flight data and are able to track prices for virtually any flight in the world," said Tom Romary, president and CEO of Yapta.

Firefox Mobile For Android Due Out This Year
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A new way for Android users to get around the Web should debut this year.  Jay Sullivan, Vice President of Mobile at Mozilla, has indicated that Firefox Mobile for Android will land sometime in 2010.

HBO Launches Video Service For Verizon FiOS Customers

Verizon FiOS customers who subscribe to HBO will be able to watch the cable television’s programming online for free, starting tomorrow.

Customers must subscribe to both FiOS TV and FiOS Internet to gain free access to the online video site HBO Go. HBO Go will support Verizon subaccounts and allow up to three users in the same house access content.

Wrapsol’s New Scratch-Free Film Protector

Today, protecting our cellphones, ipods, and other electronic devices is important to us due to their worth. At CES 2010, WebProNews came across Wrapsol’s unique film creation that protects our mobile and other electronic devices that we love so much.

HSTi Wireless Media Stick Allows Streaming Media
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During CES 2010, WebProNews discovered an interesting product for media streaming. The HSTi Wireless Media Stick allow users to stream media files from any computer connected to a wireless network to any USB enabled device (TV, gaming console, or stereo).

Setup:

All-in-One Keyboard, Mouse and Remote Control
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"Simple is better" seems to be the way of thinking with much of the new technology that is approaching us all so quickly.

At CES 2010, WebProNews  took a look at the all-in-one device that Cideko is offering. Combining the keyboard, mouse and remote control the new Air Keyboard has an 80 key mini keyboard that includes function keys along with many other cool features.

Blockbuster Partners With T-Mobile On Movie Download Service
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Blockbuster is trying to make some gains in the mobile space by being the exclusive movie download service for T-Mobile’s upcoming HTC HD2 smartphone.

"Available exclusively from T-Mobile, the HTC HD2 is like putting Blockbuster in your pocket," said Kevin Lewis, senior vice president of digital entertainment at Blockbuster.

"T-Mobile and HTC have a long history of partnering to deliver innovative, cutting-edge products – and we’re glad to provide customers the latest way to enjoy entertainment from Blockbuster."

Twitter Reaches 140-Employee Milestone
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Twitter’s long been associated with the number 140; it is, of course, this number that defines how the site’s users communicate with each other.  And the number now represents the size of the company’s payroll, too, as Twitter’s hired its 140th employee.

Biz Stone announced the milestone late yesterday by simply tweeting, "Today we are celebrating our 140th employee at Twitter!"  No details about whether the newest staff member is a janitor, programming whiz, or high-ranking exec then followed.

Google Gives Life to the Online News Story

Update: Google has now open sourced Living Stories, giving all developers the code to build their own living stories pages. This means anyone can participate now.

Consumers Getting More Comfortable with Mobile Shopping
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As you know, smartphone usage is on the rise, and that means more opportunities for businesses to sell to customers via their mobile devices. We often hear about how important mobile is to the marketing strategy and especially future strategies, but how much are consumers really into shopping from their phones?