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FBI Takes Down Cable Modem Hacker
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The FBI has announced it arrested a man on Thursday for allegedly selling hacked cable modems that provided free Internet access.

Matthew Delorey, 26, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence on each count of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

YouTube Getting Serious About This Video Rental Thing
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YouTube recently started experimenting with renting video content as a potential new way for content producers to make money, which led to the question: will YouTube be the place to rent movies in the future?

Online Gaming Revenue To Hit $5 Billion
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Americans who play online games like "World of Warcraft" and "EverQuest" generated $2.8 billion in subscription revenue in 2009, and are on track to pay an annual $5 billion in game subscriptions by 2015, according to a new report by market research firm Pike & Fischer.

Google Introduces Click-To-Call Numbers In Ads
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The best ad – from the perspective of both users and advertisers – is often something that will immediately let the two sides connect.  Google’s taken an intelligent step forward, then, by allowing businesses to include clickable phone numbers in their mobile ads.

This should save people who want to call companies a fair amount of time they might otherwise have to spend navigating a site.  It’ll also spare some smartphone owners the slight embarrassment of having to copy down a phone number on paper while using their multi-hundred dollar devices.

Google Gives Mobile Users a Link to Popular Images
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Google has introduced a new feature for its mobile Image Search offering. The feature is "Popular Images," and lets Android and iPhone users browse popular images (go figure).

The Popular Images feature comes in the form of a link just under the search box on the Google Image Search page. When clicked, it brings up a categorized list of image searches and corresponding images.

Google Analytics Annotations Now Available to All

Update: Google has announced that annotations are now available for all accounts after a phased roll-out.

Original Articles: Google announced a new set of features for Google Analytics at SES Chicago. New features include annotations, custom variables in advanced segments, custom variables in custom reports, a new analytics tracking code setup wizard, and a new version of the analytics API.

The Latest Revolution From Apple, The iPad
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Award winning BBC comedy personality, Peter Serafinowicz, has released a video in which he shows the “latest revolution from Apple, the iPad”.

Microsoft Reports Great Quarter, Credits Windows 7

Don’t be shocked if one or more shrines to Windows 7 are erected in Redmond today.  Microsoft released its quarterly earnings report this afternoon, and thanks in large part to the new operating system, the company’s numbers look quite good.

Is The Viral Video
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We’re sure you’ve either seen or heard about “General” Larry Platt’s American Idol audition, Pants On The Ground. Not sure how you could’ve missed it, as it’s been everywhere… it was even sung by the Minnesota Vikings after they defeated the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL playoffs.

Amazon Posts Strong Q4 Results
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Amazon.com today reported strong fourth quarter profits that beat Wall Street analyst’s estimates.

The online retailer said its net income increased 71 percent to $384 million in the fourth quarter, or 85 cents per share, compared with $225 million, or 52 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Net sales increased 42 percent to $9.5 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $ 6.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Facebook Relays Politicians’ Views On Privacy

Politicians are perhaps not the best people to talk to about privacy; they intentionally thrust themselves into the spotlight, and can be responsible for annoying commercials and phone calls that bother the rest of us at home.  Still, Facebook arguably accomplished something today by discussing privacy with six politicians and the CEO and of the Family Online Safety Institute.

Google Announces Unicode Progress

Google’s made an announcement regarding Unicode, and believe it or not, there’s something for everyone here.  Programmers should be interested to know that Unicode is becoming more popular at a rapid pace.  Normal Google users, meanwhile, will be happy to learn that searches should now turn up additional useful results.

Bing Now Offering More Finance Information

Bing said today it has added new features to make it easier for users to search for and find financial information.

Bing says it has developed a "stock and funds pages" which covers most U.S. stocks and funds.

Motorola Making Another Direct-From-Google Phone

Although Nexus One sales estimates haven’t exactly blown everybody’s minds so far, it seems that the cell-phone-you-can-only-buy-from-Google experiment is going to continue.  Motorola’s co-CEO announced today that his company is working on device for it.

Privacy Search Engine Offers Anonymous Web Browsing
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Search engine firm Startpage, and its E.U. brand, Ixquick, has released a new proxy service that allows Internet users to surf the web in privacy.

The proxy lets users browse websites anonymously, without sharing any private, personally identifiable information to the websites they view.

When users conduct a search on Startpage they will see a clickable "proxy" option below each search result. When this option is selected, Startpage acts as a go-between to retrieve the page and display it in a privacy- protected window.

Yahoo Search Launches On Arabic-Language Site

Maktoob may not be a site with which many American search experts are familiar, and similarly, Yahoo’s name probably isn’t something Arabic-speaking individuals are used to seeing on a daily basis.  But an introduction of sorts has occurred, as Yahoo Search is now powering Maktoob, which is the largest online Arabic-language community.

Online Shoppers Have Little Patience For Slow Websites
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Online shoppers experience more website slow downs and other problems completing transactions during popular shopping periods when traffic to retail websites peaks, according to a new survey by Equation Research conducted on behalf of web performance firm Gomez.

At stake is the $1,050 that each online shopper spends annually, according to the survey, with a significant amount of spending done during these peak times.

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Probes Facebook Again
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Last year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada investigated Facebook as a result of several complaints.  Then the Privacy Commissioner made some recommendations, Facebook followed them, and all in all, both sides remained quite friendly.  Only now another probe’s been launched, and the privacy advocate sounds less patient this time.

Barnes & Noble Says It Does Not Share Data With Discount Clubs
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Barnes & Noble has acknowledged it has received a subpoena from New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for information concerning an investigation into online retailers who link customers to discount clubs that charge hidden fees.

The world’s largest bookseller said it wants to stress to customers it is not one of the retailers who turns over personal or credit or debit card information to discount clubs.

Google Celebrates Data Privacy Day

Today, January 28th, is variously recognized as the Feast Day of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Julian’s Day.  It’s Data Privacy Day, too (or Data Protection Day in Europe), and to celebrate this last occasion, Google has published its Privacy Principles.

Ford Shows You Can Have Your Office in Your Truck
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As we discussed before, Internet-ready vehicles were one of the more interesting themes throughout the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. One vehicle in particular that WebProNews got an up-close look at was the 2011 Ford Super Duty, which the company refers to as a "contractor’s dream."

Twitter Excited About Ducking Censors
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Twitter claims not to be taking an active role in the dispute, but it’s definitely applauding developers who try to make Twitter.com available in China and Iran.  Ev Williams endorsed workarounds and rejected compromises while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

A Markup That Could Have Big Implications for SEO
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RDFa, which stands for Resource Description Framework in attributes, is a W3C recommendation, which adds a set of attribute level extensions to XHTML for embedding rich metadata within web documents. While not everyone believes that W3C standards are incredibly necessary to operate a successful site, some see a great deal of potential for search engine optimization in RDFa.

NY AG Investigating Online Discount Clubs

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said today his office is investigating 22 online businesses that deceptively link consumers to fee-based membership programs that charge unauthorized fees for discount offers.