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eBay Beats Forecasts, Sees Stock Jump
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This afternoon, eBay delivered its third quarter earnings report, and it’s a good bet that the company was eager to do so.  eBay beat analysts’ forecasts for the third quarter, gave better-than-expected guidance regarding the fourth quarter, and also discussed an interesting stock buyback program.

Let’s start with the third quarter results.  eBay managed to report earnings per share of $0.40, which is a significant improvement compared to the $0.37 analysts predicted.  It also earned $2.25 billion in revenue rather than the expected $2.18 billion.

Apple Fans Get All Kinds of Good News Today
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Apple made a series of announcements today, including a new MacBook Air, a sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion, the Mac App Store, a public beta of FaceTime for Mac, and the introduction of iLife ’11 with upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.

The New MacBook Air

Facebook Photos Goes Drag-And-Drop
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Three weeks ago, Facebook took several steps to improve its handling of photos, introducing a streamlined tagging and uploading process, a better photo viewer, and support for high-resolution pics.  Now the company’s at it again with a drag-and-drop option.

Microsoft Lands Huge NYC Cloud Computing Deal
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The most populous city in America has decided to turn for Microsoft for a cloud computing solution.  New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met in person to announce a partnership-in-the-making earlier today.

Watch: Live at Facebook HQ – How Businesses Can Best Use Facebook
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Facebook has been running a series called "Building Social for Business". Past entries can be viewed here.

Today, Kevin Barenblat, CEO of Context Optional, will be at Facebook’s headquarters at 3:30 Eastern (12:30 PT) to talk about how businesses can best use Facebook, and answer questions from the audience. 

You can actually submit questions as well. 

When Tweeting with URL Shorteners Goes Wrong
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Former eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman is of course running for Governor of California. A spokesperson working for her has provided us all with a lesson about being careful with our social media content, and to always check our links before we share them with the world. 

Keeping Your Brand Relevant
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What do you do when your brand is on the verge of losing relevance? Former Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett had to take on that challenge.

The Intersection Of Marketing And Real-Time Search

Thanks to Bing and Google, the concept of real-time search is going mainstream, with content created just seconds ago showing up in search results on a regular basis.  A session at SES Chicago titled "Update on Real Time Search: I Want it Now!" tackled how marketers can address this phenomenon.

Coverage of SES Chicago will continue.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes from the event this week.

RIM: Customers Tired of Being Told What to Think by Apple

Apple and Google have become known for taking shots at one another during announcements and presentations. We talked about this at length here. However, Google’s not the only target of Steve Jobs these days. BlackBerry maker RIM was on the receiving end of some other harsh comments from Apple’s CEO this week when the company reported its financial results for the last quarter. 

Yahoo Delivers Passable Earnings Report
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The third quarter was not unkind to Yahoo, judging from a just-released earnings report.  Yahoo managed to meet or beat analysts’ forecasts in most respects, and its stock is now heading up in after-hours trading as a result.

To hit the highest notes first: Yahoo reported earnings per share of $0.29, which is great compared to the $0.13 it reported in the third quarter of 2009 and compared to predictions of $0.15.  (This was possible because the sale of HotJobs contributed $0.13 to the Q3 2010 total.)

The Future of Search Looks a Lot Like the Present (on Steroids)
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Another Search Engine Strategies conference, another conversation about the future of search. It’s a regular topic, but one that never loses relevance, as the search landscape continues to change dramatically, even between conferences. Look at all Google has done this year, for example. Not only did we get the left panel navigation, but Instant search. Those are probably the biggest changes to the interface, but there are plenty of other things going on.

Commissioner: “Google Contravened Canadian Privacy Law”

This isn’t at all Google’s week when it comes to international regulations and the company’s collection of sensitive WiFi data.  First came the news it might be fined $3.3 million in Spain.  Now there’s been an official declaration that Google broke Canadian privacy laws.

Chrome Gets a New Stable Version (No Instant Yet)
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Google, in keeping with its strategy of releasing a new stable version of its Chrome browser every six weeks, has released a new one today. 

Spain Weighs $3.3M Fine For Street View Data Gaffe
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For better or for worse, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection isn’t ready to forgive Google for collecting sensitive WiFi data along with Street View photos.  Indeed, it’s moved its investigation forward in a big way, starting a process that might result in fines totaling $3.3 million.

Avinash Kaushik Delivers SEM Advice
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Earlier today, SES Chicago 2010 kicked off, and Avinash Kaushik, Market Motive‘s cofounder and Google’s analytics evangelist, got it off to a good start by delivering the keynote.  The main topic was search engine marketing.

Coverage of SES Chicago will continue.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes from the event this week.

Microsoft Unveils Office 365 Cloud Suite

Microsoft has unveiled Office 365, a new cloud-based service that brings together Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync for organizations. The company is opening a limited beta program for it in 13 countries and regions.  

Congressmen Write Zuckerberg Over Privacy Flap
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Any hope that Mark Zuckerberg had of the latest Facebook privacy flap blowing over must be fading fast.  Late yesterday, two members of the House of Representatives wrote an open letter to him complaining about the problem and asking for further details.

Android Passes iPhone in Revenue on Major Ad Network

Millennial Media, which claims to have the largest data set of any third-party U.S. mobile ad network,  reports that Android revenue exceeded iPhone-only revenue for its network. Android requests grew by 26% from the previous month,and 1283% since January. 

Apple Posts Highest Revenue of All Time
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Apple released its financial results today, for its fiscal 2010 fourth quarter (ending 09/25). As you might’ve guessed, they weren’t bad. The company posted record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales, and its highest revneue and earnings ever. 

Apple posted $20.34 billion in revenue and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion ($4.64 per diluted share). This is compared to revenue of $12.21 billion and net quarterly profit of $2.53 billion for the same period last year. Gross margin was 36.9% compared to 41.8% last year. 

LinkedIn Lets Users Add More Sections to Their Profiles
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LinkedIn announced today that users can now customize their profiles with five new profile sections: publications, languages, skills, certifications, and patents. If you just click on "Add Sections" on you "Edit Profile" page, you can see the whole list of available options. 

Can Yahoo Pull Off a Facebook-Like Invasion of the Web?
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According to sources unnamed by the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo is going to introduce something called Y Connect, which would essentially be copying Facebook, not only in name, but in concept. This would be a Facebook Connect-like product that allows third party sites to let users access their Yahoo contacts info, much like you can do with your Facebook friends on a growing number of sites on the web. 

Google Adds Emphasis On Location Setting
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The next time you Google something with a local angle, a slightly different page of search results may appear.  Google’s decided to update its approach to presenting local results by making individuals’ location settings clear.

Consumer Reports Introduces iPhone App

Consumer Reports has introduced a new app for iPhone users,which provides access to ratings, recommendations, brand reliability,  and buying advice for appliances, electronics, children’s products, car care, and home products.

The app, called Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper, is available for download for $9.99

Google Search Appliance Connects To Cloud
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The odd-looking yellow box that Google markets as the Google Search Appliance is now better than ever.  Google’s announced several new features, including improved cloud connectivity and a people search option.

Cloud Connect is definitely the main attraction here.  It introduces the ability to search content stored within Google Docs and Google Sites, along with Twitter and other sites.