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Google Shares Proposal for White Spaces Database
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Last night, Google announced that it filed a submission to the FCC, asking it to designate Google as one of potentially several administrators of a "white spaces" geolocation database. Back in November of 2008, the FCC approved the use of these White Spaces, or unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels, for public wireless broadband service.

On Google’s Public Policy Blog, Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, writes:

Are Google’s Ads So Relevant That People Won’t Block Them?
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A while back, Google launched an extensions gallery for its Chrome web browser. Ad-blocking add-ons are among the most popular for Mozilla’s Firefox, so it stands to reason that they will be for Chrome as well. With Google’s primary source of revenue being its ads, a lot of talk has surfaced about Google letting people block its own ads with its own product.

Google Increases Lead In Online Video

There may come a point at which Google’s popularity maxes out, but we haven’t reached it yet.  A new report from comScore concerning online video sites indicates that the search giant’s properties attracted considerably more eyeballs in November than the previous month.

Online Music Most Popular Digital Content Among Kids

The majority (79%) of kids age 2-14 have purchased some form of physical or digital content in the past year, with 31 percent acquiring both physical and digital content, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

Google’s One-Minute Guide to Search-Based Keywords
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Google has put together a one-minute guide to using its Search-based Keyword tool. The tool was launched just over a year ago in beta. It lets paid search advertisers see what keywords they may be missing out on based on searches on their site.

Google Unveils Nexus One “Super Phone”
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Update 3: Google is now advertising the Nexus One on its homepage.

Update 2: They have also posted a video showing Google Maps on the Nexus One:

AdMob Determines Android Is Growing Faster Than Ever
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Google took the wraps off its Nexus One phone today, and by all accounts, this device will help spread Android further and faster than ever.  But new data from AdMob shows that the mobile operating system was already on quite a roll.

A post on the official AdMob blog began by stating that growth has been occurring at an impressive rate in recent months, noting, "Worldwide requests from Android devices increased 97% from October to December."

USA Today Rolls Out New Homepage
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USA TODAY has introduced a newly designed homepage, the first major redesign for the site since 2007.

The new site offers improved navigation and a cleaner feel with the aim of making it easier for users to find content. The new homepage loads 25 to 35 percent faster allowing users to get to news content quickly. Initially the redesign is launching just on the homepage and more changes will be visible over the rest of the site in the coming weeks.

Across-the-Board Growth Expected In Internet Industry

The U.S. online advertising industry will shake off the recession’s effects and have an excellent time of it in 2010, according to one expert.  J.P. Morgan’s Imran Khan has predicted that just about every aspect of the sphere should experience significant growth this year.

Apple Acquiring AdMob Competitor Quattro Wireless

Update: The acquisition has been confirmed, and competitor AdMob issued the following statement:

"We believe that Apple’s proposed acquisition of Quattro serves as yet another validation of the vibrant mobile advertising industry and can help accelerate the pace of innovation and competition in this space."

Microsoft Releases Pricing Details For Office 2010

Microsoft said today it is releasing pricing details for its Office 2010 editions launching later this year.

"Office 2010 will be offered in four versions, to make it easier to choose a version of Office that’s best for you – Office Home and Business, Office Professional, Office Home and Student, and Office Professional Academic," Microsoft said in a blog post.

Top 15 Things You Loved to Talk About in 2009
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Just as we did at the end of 2008, we have gone back through our entire archive for the year 2009 and picked out the articles that received the most conversation from our readers. As we approach the new year, we thought it would be fun to go back and reflect on some of the things that got people talking in the one that’s wrapping up.

PandaLabs Detects 25 Million New Malware Strains

The past year set a new record for malware creation with 25 million new strains, according to a new report by PandaLabs.

The latest surge of activity included new examples of banker Trojans, which accounted for 66 percent of all new samples, as well as a number of fake antivirus programs.

During 2009, spam was also highly active, accounting for 92 percent of all email traffic. The tactics used to dupe potential victims into opening these spam emails have focused on exploiting current events and dramatic news stories.

Google Phone Excitement Builds Ahead Of Jan. 5 Event
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The cat has at least started to come out of the bag with regards to the long-rumored "Google phone"; details about the Nexus One have been leaking for weeks.  It looks like the rest of the figurative feline will soon appear, too, as a T-Mobile announcement and invitation to a Google event were issued today.

Google Gives Alex Over a Million Books

Spring Design, the makers of the Alex eReader device, announced it has entered into an agreement with Google, which will see it gaining access to over a million Google Books. Alex users will be able to read these books online or download them using the Android-integrated browser and search applications.

Opera CEO Steps Down, Immediately Replaced

Jon von Tetzchner has stepped down as CEO of Opera, though he will remain with the company full-time in a "strategic and independent" capacity. Opera has appointed Lars Boilesen to take his place as CEO.

Zillow Grows More Than 50% In 2009
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Real estate website Zillow.com said today it broke multiple records for site traffic and user activity in 2009.

An average of 8.2 million unique users visited Zillow each month during 2009, which is an increase of 57 percent year-over-year.

"2009 was a wild year for real estate, with continued home value declines, government intervention, record low mortgage rates, and an enormous amount of consumer uncertainty about what the future holds," said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s chief operating officer.

Hulu Investor May Help Launch Similar Site In China

An investment group with significant ties to Hulu may now be ready to help a similar site launch in China.  A report’s connected Providence Equity Partners to both Baidu and a new online video destination.

More Media/Ad Trend Predictions for 2010
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In a recent article, we looked at some predictions from Nielsen for advertising trends in 2010. These included optimizing media convergence being a top priority, new models emerging to take advantage of smartphones, more cross-media ad campaigns, an increase in commercialization of social networking hubs, and more interesting and interactive online ads.

Hitwise: Facebook Beat Google On New Year’s Day
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As Facebook employees went back to work this week, they may have been smiling more (or at least less frowning less) than most other people returning from vacation.  Their site performed admirably over the holidays, actually attracting record-breaking amounts of traffic.

On Tuesday, we documented the fact that Facebook received more traffic than Google on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  That made it the most visited U.S. site for the first time ever.

Consumer Groups Want Antitrust Probe Of TV Everywhere
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Free Press and a number of other consumer groups are calling on federal antitrust authorities and Congress to investigate agreements among large media companies to stifle competition for online television programming.

Yahoo Sale Of Zimbra To VMware Rumored

At the moment, the Zimbra homepage bears a "BUY ZIMBRA" button and a stamp reading "a Yahoo division."  But according to a new report, a sale of Zimbra (and not just a Zimbra product) may soon take place, making "a VMware division" a more accurate statement.

ChaCha Closes $7 Million Round of Funding

Answers service ChaCha announced today that it has closed a $7 million E round of funding. The service lets users go online, call, or text questions on mobile phones and receive answers "within minutes" for free. The service has an iPhone app and lets people ask questions via Twitter as well.

This round of funding might be particularly significant for the company. "We believe this latest round provides ChaCha the cash required to reach profitability," says CEO Scott A. Jones.

Flixster Buys Film Rating Site
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Movie social networking site, Flixster, said today it has acquired movie review site Rotten Tomatoes from IGN Entertainment, a division of News Corp.

News Corp will receive a minority equity stake in Flixster as part of the deal, financial terms were not disclosed.