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Google Announces Winners Of Street View Trike Contest
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About five months ago, Google started a contest to determine where its Street View trike would take pictures in the U.S.  Today, Google released some impressive stats concerning participation, and also announced the winning locations.

Google Buys Cloud Photo Editing Service
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Google announced today it has acquired Picnik, a cloud-based photo editing service. The company consists of about 20 employees.

"Google processes petabytes of data every day, and with their worldwide infrastructure and world-class team, it is truly the best home we could have found. Under the Google roof we’ll reach more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more awesome," says Picnik in its announcement.

CBS Upgrades March Madness Video Player

CBSSports.com said today it has upgraded its NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) video player.

CBS said it will again offer a standard video player in addition to providing viewers with the ability to upgrade to a high-quality player delivering an improved video stream. Upgrades to the player include the ability of viewers of the high-quality player to watch picture-in-picture highlights of ongoing action inside a live video stream from the tournament.

New Twitterers and Tweets Slow in February

Each month, we look at Twitter’s growth based on total tweets and new user registrations. This data is supplied by Matthew Daines, the lead developer for our own Twitter app Twellow.

Most Businesses Still Only “Experiment” with Social Media
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Social media use among businesses has grown significantly over the past year or two, but new research from E-Consultancy, in association with the Online Marketing Summit (where WebProNews is conducting exclusive interviews this week), indicates that most businesses are largely still in the experimental stage when it comes to their efforts.

Google Makes Facebook Pages a Higher Priority for Businesses
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Google announced via Twitter this week, that public status updates from Facebook are now included in the search engine’s real-time search feature. That means the largest social network in the world is getting play in Google’s real-time search alongside Twitter, MySpace, and others, and these real-time results are often featured prominently on the first page of search results for the hottest queries.

EU Caps Mobile Roaming Fees

European mobile phone operators are now required by the European Union to offer their customers limits on roaming fees.

Under the new regulation, mobile operators must offer their customers a monthly cut-off limit of 50 euros ($65) while they are surfing the Internet in other European nations. They can also offer their customers any other limit. Mobile users will now receive a warning when they hit 80 percent of the chosen limit.

Chrome Gains More Market Share
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Most major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera, didn’t fare well in February, losing market share.  Net Applications found that Chrome managed to attract more than a few new users, however, increasing its market share by 0.39 percent on a month-over-month basis.

Bing Suggests Queries Based on Search History
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Microsoft announced today that Bing is just now supporting query history in its Autosuggest feature. In other words, if you have your search history enabled, Bing will incorporate past queries you’ve made into the suggestions.

Look for Ways to Manage Your Social Media Time Better
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Time is a valuable resource, and that’s why it is more important than ever to manage your time wisely.

"Typically in the SMB space, people have very little resource[s], so you see people trying to get a lot done with a very small staff – maybe one person in their marketing department trying to do it all," Kim Albee, CEO of Genoo told WebProNews in a discussion at the Online Marketing Summit. "And then you look at the world today…" You’ve got social media, your website, search engine rankings, lead capturing, and all kinds of stuff to worry about.

Americans Favor Online News Over Newspapers
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The Internet is now the third most-popular news platform, behind local and national television news and ahead of national print newspapers, local print newspapers and radio, according to a new survey out today.

The survey of 2,259 U.S. adults, conducted jointly by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, found 59 percent of respondents gets news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day.

Report: Rupert Murdoch “Ready To Sue” Google
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Although a few months have passed since the last big flareup, News Corp. may still be willing to go to war with Google.  A fresh report indicates that Rupert Murdoch is indeed prepared to take the search giant to court, and has been talking to Microsoft about an exclusive deal, too.

Twitter to Get More Useful in Time for Monetization?
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Twitter engineer Alex Payne tweeted over the weekend, "If you had some of the nifty site features that we Twitter employees have, you might not want to use a desktop client. (You will soon.)" Some took that to mean that Twitter was working on some new features for its own site, that would essentially render some popular third-party clients all but obsolete. The question is whether this is a legitimate concern for developers, or it has just been blown out of proportion. It could possibly be a combination of the two.

eBay-PayPal Tie-Up Draws Complaints In Germany
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This has not been a great week for American tech companies trying to do business in Europe.  First, Google got in trouble over allegedly anticompetitive search practices and its policy on Street View data retention.  Now, German antitrust authorities are looking at the way in which eBay has supported PayPal.

eBay

Google Buzz Draws New Content-Scraping Controversy
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Update 2:  Google offered the following statement: "Buzz can only expand to show whatever was in the underlying feed. For example, if an item is truncated in the feed to only include 200 characters, then Buzz will only show 200 characters."

Stats Put Android Ahead Of iPhone In Eight States
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There’s encouraging news for Google in the Android vs. iPhone war.  A company that’s delivered more than one billion applications, games, ringtones, videos, and wallpapers to mobile users claims Android has topped the iPhone in terms of user concentration in eight states.

As the map below shows, these eight states are Arizona, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.  Then another five states are considered swing states, leaving the last 37 under Apple’s control.

Will Bing Powering Yahoo Make SEO Easier?
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There is an interesting discussion going on in our WebProWorld forum about search engine optimization post Microsoft-Yahoo deal. For those unfamiliar with the topic, Microsoft and Yahoo recently gained regulatory approval on a search and advertising deal announced last year, which will see Yahoo using Bing’s algorithm in its search results.

Is Apple Displaying a “Puritan” Double Standard?
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Update: According to reports, Apple has "quietly reinstated a shopping app from a beachwear retailer that sells bikinis."

Global Internet Use Not Yet Universal
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Going online in many countries, including developed ones is far from universal according to a new report by the World Internet Project (WIP).

The report was carried out by the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, it found only half of the 10 reporting countries had more than a majority of Internet users.

Does Google Buzz Deserve All the Criticism It’s Gotten?
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Google Buzz has been a magnet for skepticism, controversy, and criticism since it launched earlier this month. The skepticism is a result of past Google social media efforts not having the greatest track record. Much of the controversy and criticism has been the result of privacy, and more recently copyright concerns from users.

AP Extends Digital Strategy With Gateway Unit

A news organization that was founded in 1846 is making another attempt to transition to the digital age.  The Associated Press has announced the creation of a unit called AP Gateway, and with the unit, the agency intends to "facilitate development of fresh news consumer experiences for the Web as well as mobile phones, tablets and e-readers."

Expedia Launches New iPhone App For Travelers
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Expedia has launched a new free iPhone application, TripAssist, that links to its mobile website to allow users to mange their travel itineraries.

TripAssist allows users to research flights, destinations, hotels, cars and activities. Once they make a reservation, they can manage and update their itineraries, find an alternative flight, research their seats and access real-time flight information.  The app also offers real-time SMS and email updates for free.

State Farm Launches iPhone App For Teen Drivers

State Farm has introduced a new free iPhone and iPod touch application aimed at helping young drivers stay safe on the road.

The "Steer Clear" application is part of State Farm’s safe drivers discount program. The app gives young drivers a way to complete the Steer Clear discount program and encourages supervised driver education.

Google Lets Users Find Results Based on Location
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Google has added the ability to search by location to its list of search options. The option is called "nearby".

"Location has become an important part of the way we search. If you’re a foodie looking for restaurant details, food blogs or the closest farmer’s market, location can be vital to helping you find the right information," says Google Product Manager Jackie Bavaro.