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MTV Gets Into Social Gaming
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MTV Networks said today it has purchased Social Express, a social gaming development company.

The move by MTV marks its first entry in the social gaming space, the company said it will develop social games based on original IP (intellectual property) as well as shows and characters from Nickelodeon and its other brands, with the first game to launch in the third quarter.  MTV will also use Social Express to launch a publishing platform for independent game developers.

“The Social Network” Gets A Second Teaser Trailer
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A second teaser trailer for David Fincher’s "The Social Network" has hit the web. Don’t get your hopes up though; no actual film footage was used.

Check it out for yourself below and tell us what you think.

U.S. Launching Program To Detect Cyberattacks On Critical Infrastructure
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The U.S. National Security Agency is launching a program called "Perfect Citizen" aimed at detecting cyberattacks on private companies and government agencies running critical infrastructure such as the electricity grid and nuclear power plants.

Perfect Citizen would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would flag "unusual activity" signaling an impending cyberattack, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Google Expands Its Reach With YouTube Leanback
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Forget scooting forward, typing a fresh search query, playing with the mouse, and then pushing back again between clips.  YouTube Leanback has debuted, and it’s meant to make watching consecutive YouTube videos a more relaxed and uninterrupted experience.

Yahoo Partners With Offerpal Media
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The Yahoo Application Platform (or Y!AP, if you shorten it and embrace the company’s use of exclamation points) grew significantly more appealing today.  A deal between Yahoo and Offerpal Media ensures that developers and users will have more payment options.

More Businesses Using Social Media To Gain Customers
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More than one-third (35%) of U.S. businesses have had success using social media to attract new business, according to a new survey from Regus.

The U.S. lags slightly behind the global average, with 40 percent of businesses globally having successfully used social media for business development.

Hitwise Predicts Move Into Gaming For Google

Google’s never been a predictable sort of company.  Its focus on green energy, support for the Klingon language, and decision to set up beehives on corporate property are just a few examples of unusual behavior.  But if Google acts in a rational manner, Hitwise believes the company will enter the gaming sector.

Amazon Launches Grocery Service In The UK
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Amazon.com said today it has begun to sell groceries in the UK and will offer brands such as Kraft, Nestle, Pepsi and Proctor & Gamble.

Amazon said it will offer over 22,000 products including Pampers, Ariel, Uncle Ben’s, Dolmio, Schwartz, Kenco, Carte Noir, Walkers, and Oreo as well as pet products from Bakers and Purina One. Amazon will be competing with Tesco, J Sainsbury, and Ocado.

MySpace Upgrades Global Music Offerings

MySpace users all over the world should have a much easier time discovering music thanks to some new changes.  This afternoon, MySpace overhauled its approach to playlists, eliminating (or at least cutting back) limitations that might have affected the way people shared songs.

Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 1 Has Been Released
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Recently Mozilla unleashed Firefox 4 Beta upon the world, and most of us couldn’t be happier. The latest edition, of the world’s second most popular browser, has been in discussion for well over a year now… but the wait is finally over, you can download it here.

Are you downloading the Beta version? Let us know.

Wireless Internet Access Becoming More Widespread
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Cell phone and wireless laptop Internet use have each grown more widespread over the last year, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Nearly half of all adults (47%) go online with a laptop using a Wi-Fi connection or mobile broadband card (up from the 39% who did so as of April 2009) while 40% of adults use the Internet, email or instant messaging on a mobile phone (up from the 32% of Americans who did this in 2009)

German Official Cites Privacy Problems At Facebook
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Facebook might soon suffer a hit to its bank account – and more importantly, to its reputation – in Germany.  A data protection commissioner has begun formal proceedings, accusing the company of illegally obtaining and storing non-users’ email addresses.

J.P. Morgan Cuts Google Price Target By $73
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In eight days, Google will give its second quarter financial report, and at least one group of analysts seems to think bad news is inevitable.  J.P. Morgan cut its forecasts in several respects this morning, with the most dramatic reduction being a $73 chop in Google’s price target.

Twitter Launches @earlybird Deals Feed
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Twitter has introduced a new ecommerce feature called @earlybird which offers "special time-bound deals, sneak-peeks, and events."

"We partner with select advertisers and retweet offers that they have crafted only for the Twitter community," the company said.

Borders Rolls Out eBook Store

Borders has launched its own branded eBook store, powered by eReading service Kobo.

The company says its goal is to capture 17 percent of the eBook market by July of 2011. Borders’ eBook store launches with more than 1.5 million titles, available in a number of formats, including ePub, mobile and PDF.

"The race to emerge as a retail leader within the digital category is just starting," said Mike Edwards, Chief Executive Officer for Borders, Inc.

Massive YouTube Film Experiment Announced

A project that should entirely live up to the billing "historic cinematic experiment" has begun.  Ridley Scott, Kevin Macdonald, YouTube, and LG have asked people all over the world to record (part of) their lives on July 24th, and then much of the footage will be used to create a single film that’ll premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Analyst Pushes eBay To Launch Fulfillment Program
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In the past year, eBay’s stock has risen by 17.57 percent.  Amazon’s stock has risen by 40.92 percent.  It’s possible to argue that eBay might learn a thing or two from Amazon, then, and an analyst at RBC Capital has done so by suggesting that eBay launch a program similar to Fulfillment by Amazon.

Database Administrator Sentenced To One Year For Hacking
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A former senior database administrator for electric provider GEXA Energy in Houston was sentenced today to one year in prison for hacking into his former employer’s computer network, the U.S. Department of Justice said today.

Report: Tough Review Of Google-ITA Deal Likely
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Five days ago, Google and ITA Software announced that they’d reached a "definitive agreement" covering an acquisition.  Only – if you hadn’t already guessed – it looks like a government agency may have a thing or two to say, as a new report indicates that antitrust regulators will take a close look at the transaction.

The main concern is that Google might eventually withhold flight data (which ITA provides) from its search rivals (Bing is one ITA customer).  The search giant’s only promised to honor existing agreements so far.

More Smartphone Owners Using Local Search And Social Networking
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More people are increasingly using their smartphones for local search, social networking and gaming, according to a new survey from Compete.

Nearly one in three smartphone owners has called or stopped into a local business after finding it using a local search application. In the first quarter, close to a third of Android and iPhone users found at least two new businesses that they previously were not aware after using local search applications.

Yahoo Loses VP Of Engineering To Skype

Considering that laws prevent kids from working much, and that many people try to retire by age 65, it’s a big deal when a person spends 10 years with a company.  Unfortunately for Yahoo, that means it’s also a big deal that Madhu Yarlagadda, a vice president of engineering, is leaving for Skype after more than 11 years.

NASA Launches Free Online Moon Game
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NASA has released a new free online video game called Moonbase Alpha.

Moonbase Alpha has single and multiplayer options that allow users to play the role of an exploration team member in a futuristic 3-D lunar settlement.  Players must work to repair systems and oxygen flow after a meteor strike damages a solar array and life support equipment.  Resoruces include an interactive command center, a lunar rover, mobile robotic repair units and an equipment shed.

 

Google Sets Forum-Like Goals For Wave
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Google Wave may soon make some significant strides towards winning over people who don’t see the need for a new form of communication.  This week, Google semi-officially endorsed an open source project that would see Wave imitate several aspects of traditional online forums.

LeBron James Has Joined Twitter, Will Soon Break It
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UPDATE: Lebron James has now joined Twitter:  @KingJames.

Twitter hasn’t verified the account yet, but both Chris Paul and CNBC’s Darren Rovell has confirmed it is indeed him. One has to ask the question, will LeBron announce his decision via Twitter?