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Google Launches New Image Search Ads

Google began rolling out a new design for its image search today, and along with that came a new ad format. The format is called (appropriately) Image Search Ads.

Google Apps Gets User Policy Management Feature
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After launching multi-domain support a couple weeks ago, Google has now launched user policy management for Google Apps. These features are designed to give IT administrators greater control and flexibility within Google Apps, the company says.

Google Tells FTC a Hot News Doctrine Would Hurt Journalism
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Last month the Federal Trade Commission published its staff discussion draft of potential policy recommendations to "support the reinvention of journalism." Those potential recommendations have been the subject of a fair amount of controversy throughout the industry.

Google Enters 20-Year Wind Power Agreement
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Two months ago, Google invested $38.8 million in two wind farms, and as out-of-the-blue as that development may have appeared to some people, it wasn’t an isolated event.  This morning, Google followed up with what it’s calling a "20-year Power Purchase Agreement" involving another wind farm.

MovieTickets.com Partners With Xbox Live

MovieTickets.com said today it has been selected to provide an online movie ticketing service via the Microsoft Xbox 360.

MovieTickets

MapQuest Greatly Expands Coverage of Live Traffic

MapQuest announced that it has expanded its live traffic coverage. It now includes over a quarter-million miles of roads in major North American cities.

MapQuest is now including "key" arterials and city streets. The goal of this is to provide users with more information to make better decisions about alternate cross-town routes.

Google Readies Hong Kong-Based Q&A Site

Although many human rights and free speech advocates may not approve of the concessions the company’s made, it looks like Google’s attempt to stand up to the Chinese government is continuing.  Google is supposed to launch a new Q&A service to compete with other products it will stop supporting.

Facebook Scores Low In User Satisfaction

While Facebook is the most popular website in America, users indicate they are not enthusiastic fans of the social network, according to the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction (ACSI) Index E-Business Report, released in partnership with ForeSee Results.

Google Buzz Just Became a Great Deal More Useful
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Google has introduced some new features to the Google Buzz API, which launched at Google I/O back in May. This includes the much-requested firehose, which makes available all public activities on Buzz as they are published, with one subscription.

Study: Virtual Goods Increase Brand Awareness, Purchase Intent

A new report from Appssavvy claims that "virtual goods may be bringing the largest disruption entertainment, communication and e-commerce infrastructure companies have seen for a long time." The company’s research found that leveraging social activity around virtual goods has been successful in building brand awareness, influencing positive opinion about products, and even driving purchase intent.

MySpace Rolling Out New Profile Pages
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MySpace is gradually introducing users to new profile pages in an effort to reduce the clutter of the old design.

Sean Percival, MySpace’s vice president of online marketing, tweeted his own "clean new" profile today.

"We’re testing a new look and feel of our site among users and the response so far has been positive," a MySpace representative told Mashable.

YouTube Users Already Part of Google’s Rumored “Google Me” Social Network?
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Over a year ago, Google announced that it would start requiring all people signing up for YouTube usernames to have a Google account. Now they’re going to start requiring all users of YouTube that signed up prior to that to connect their accounts to Google accounts as well.

Are you already part of Google’s new social network? Share your thouhts here.

Who Would Benefit from the Government Regulating Google Search Results?
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There’s a very interesting discussion going on about whether or not the government should regulate search results. This began last week, when the New York Times ran an editorial titled, "The Google Algorithm", which suggests one way "to ensure the editorial policy guiding Google’s tweaks is solely intended to improve the quality of the results and not to help Google’s other businesses," is to "give some government commission the power to look at those tweaks."

ThinkEquity Bestows “Buy” Rating On Yahoo

One day ahead of Yahoo’s second quarter earnings report, a financial firm has suggested that investors give the company their support – and their money.  ThinkEquity upgraded its rating on Yahoo from "Hold" to "Buy."

Adobe Soon to Enable Any Publisher to Easily Create Digital Magazines for Tablets

Content publishers are excited about the iPad and other tablet devices. Such devices provide readers with a new way of interacting with content. Print publishers, in particular, are hopeful that this kind of publishing can make up for some of the losses they have experienced on the print side.

Baidu to Compete with Google in the Mobile OS Space Too?

InformationWeek is reporting that Baidu may be looking at developing a mobile operating system, citing Chinese media reports. The project would be led by former Google employees. Meanwhile, TechCrunch says Android is poised to dominate in China.

The Approval Rating of BP and Obama, By Way of Twitter

This week BP successfully recapped its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. Test results are favorable and show that oil and gas are, for the time being, confined. This news inspires cautious optimism in the hearts of residents and spectators alike. Online, however, the social effect continues to flow across social networks and social graphs, echoing anger, hope, and the demand for resolution and prevention from BP and the Obama administration.

Yahoo-Bit.ly Acquisition Rumored Possible

Bit.ly, the URL shortener with a fish logo, might itself be snapped up in the not-too-distant future.  A new report indicates that Yahoo and several other (unidentified) companies are in talks to acquire the company, although it’s not time for business card shops to send out congratulatory notes/ads just yet.

Nokia Siemens to Acquire Motorola Wireless Network Infrastructure for $1.2 Billion
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Nokia Siemens Networks and Motorola today announced that Nokia Siemens  will acquire the majority of Motorola’s wireless network infrastructure assets. Said assets come at the price of $1.2 billion in cash.

Adap.tv Adds Dailymotion As A Partner

Online video advertising marketplace Adap.tv has added new publishers including Dailymotion, Redlasso, Blastro, Clipsyndicate, Mindjolt, Nabbr and Videojug.

Adap.tv’s onesource (ato) platform allows publishers to better optimize their online video inventory with video ad-trafficking, yield optimization and simple syndication management tools. Since its launch six months ago, the adapt.tv marketplace has had a 90 percent repeat buy rate, an increase in average campaign budgets by 15 times and more than 100 daily campaigns bidding on 900 market placements.

BusinessWire to Give Businesses More Ways to Increase Press Coverage

BusinessWire, the popular newswire service, is set to launch some new services for businesses and organizations next month. These are the NewsHQ online newsroom and the InvestorHQ investor center.

Redbox May Soon Look for its Slice of Netflix’s Online Pie
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Netflix appears to be facing increasing competition from all sides. In addition to long-time rival BlockBuster, retailer-based rental services and Hulu’s recently launched Hulu Plus paid service, Coinstar’s Redbox is reportedly looking to launch an online strategy.

Google Makes Google Search Appliance More Accessible with OpenSearch

Google announced today that it has integrated the Google Search Appliance with the OpenSearch protocol, which is a collection of formats for sharing search results. OpenSearch can be used to describe a search engine, so that it can be used by search client applications.

Video Viewing And Social Networking Continue To Grow

Consumers have been streaming more movies and TV shows than a year ago (12 percent and 5 percent more, respectively), according to new research from Interpret.

Netflix has significantly increased its share of the streaming video market, up 36 percent from the first quarter of 2009. Streaming continues to be the main way for viewing content online, as downloading TV and movies has remained flat.