Google Celebrates the Barcode

Google is celebrating the invention of the bar code today, with its latest doodle. There is an interesting history of the barcode available on Wikipedia, which of course is the top natural result in Google’s search results for barcode (which you are taken to upon clicking the doodle).

Marketers Ignoring Customer Feedback from Social Media
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A Social Media Survey conducted on behalf of PRWeek and MS&L by PRWeek and CA Walker found that marketers don’t make changes to their products based on customer feedback, despite monitoring feedback being one of the most common business uses of social media in the first place.

The survey found that 70% of marketers say they’ve never made a change to a product or marketing efforts based on feedback from consumers on social media sites.

Why Your Robots.txt Blocked URLs May Show up in Google
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Matt Cutts has appeared in yet another Google Webmaster Video, and this time he has a whiteboard with him so he can illustrate what he’s talking about. What he’s talking about this time are uncrawled URLs in search results.

Cutts says Google gets a lot of complaints from webmasters who say the search engine is violating their robots.txt files, with which they intend to keep Google from crawling certain pages. Sometimes those URLs still end up in search results.

MLB.com To Offer Entire Playoffs Online
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MLB.com has partnered with Fox Sports and Turner Sports, the rights holders to postseason baseball games, to allow fans to watch all of the playoffs online at Postseason.TV.

Postseason.TV will launch Wednesday, October 7, when the Division Series begins on TBS. It will be accessible from MLB.com, FoxSports.com, MSN and MLB.com/TBSHotCorner.

Google Goes Back To Browser Basics

Leave it to Google to (try to) plug an odd little knowledge gap.  Even as people can’t find Iraq on a map and push the limits of irony by misspelling "embarrassed," the search company has, for some reason, created a site to teach what a Web browser is.

WhatBrowser.org is a very simple site that is able to tell visitors what browser they’re using.  A 69-second video also defines the term, while other sections talk about useful tweaks and offer speed tests.

Facebook Tries to Monitor Happiness
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Facebook has revealed the United States "Gross National Happiness," the results of a study on the collective mood of Facebook users. Facebook "data scientists" started a project earlier in the year to measure the overall mood of people from the US on the social network, based on what they said in status updates.

54% of Businesses Prohibit Employee Social Media Use
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New research from Robert Half Technology indicates that over half of chief information officers (CIOs) do not allow employees to visit social networking sites for any reason while they’re at work. This information comes from a survey of 1,400 CIOs from companies around the US with 100 or more employees.

Bloggers Can (Not?) Be Fined Up to 11K Per Post for Non-Disclosure
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Update 2: The FTC is now saying that the $11,000 fine is not accurate, at least for the first violation. Fast company got some responses from Richard Cleland, assistant director, division of advertising practices at the FTC, who says:

Google, Bing Reps Talk Best Practices
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Google and Bing employees know tons of useful stuff about search engines, and many people find their tips useful.  But let’s admit: a lot of SEO experts have seen the same pieces of advice repeated at conference after conference for years, and so at SMX East, two speakers went a little bit off the beaten path into the subjects of speed and security.

Mobile Subscriptions To Reach 4.6 Billion

Global mobile subscriptions are on track to reach 4.6 billion by the end of the year, and mobile broadband subscriptions are set to surpass 600 million in 2009, according to a new report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

More than a quarter of the world’s population is online and using the Internet, as of 2009. Increasing numbers are opting for high-speed Internet access, with fixed broadband subscriber numbers more than tripling from 150 million in 2004 to a projected 500 million by the end of 2009.

The Most Loyal Traffic Comes from Facebook
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There’s no question that search engines can be a tremendous source of traffic. Social networks are also proving to be big traffic generators for a lot of content producers, and Twitter is one of the big ones.

However, it is Facebook and Digg that are driving the most repeat readers according to a study conducted by online ad network Chitika. Traffic is great, but traffic that returns is even better.

Yahoo’s Twitter Releases an API
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Yahoo has released an API for Meme, the company’s microblogging service, which is still in beta. If you’re not familiar with Meme, it’s kind of like Yahoo’s version of Twitter, minus the enormous amount of hype.

Elizabeth Taylor Twitters Her HEART Out
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 In what is becoming not so unusual, a celebrity announces news on Twitter in order to beat the mainstream media. Late today actress Elizabeth Taylor announced to her 156,673 Twitter followers, "I am going into the hospital to have a procedure on my heart".

Read from the bottom…


Four U.S. States Receive Broadband Mapping Grants

Four U.S. states are among the first to receive grants from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to map broadband use in homes.

California received $2.8 million, Indiana $1.3 million, North Carolina $2.035 million and Vermont $1.2 milliamp.

Google Gives Local Businesses New Way to Advertise
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Google has introduced a new type of ad for local businesses called Local Listing Ads. They are designed to display when users search for a business in its local area. Google says it’s the easiest way to advertise your business to local customers on Google, because they require no maintenance. 

Report: Emails May Make Viacom’s Case In YouTube Suit
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This morning, YouTube appears to be a touch closer to losing a lawsuit and owing Viacom $1 billion dollars.  A report indicates that some new evidence has surfaced in a 31-month-old case, and the evidence supposedly shows that YouTube employees didn’t quite do their best to keep copyrighted content off the site. 

Majority Of Consumers Will Shop Online During The Holidays
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More than half (62.8%) of consumers plans to spend the same or cut back on their holiday purchases compared to 2008, according to a new survey by Burst Media.

Although consumers plan to be thrifty with their spending this holiday season, the majority (85.3%) will shop online.

With the current economic concerns, the survey found only 14.6 percent of respondents plan to spend more this holiday season than they did in 2008, while one third (32.7%) expect to spend less and 30.1 percent plan to spend about the same as they did last year.

Google, Verizon Partner Over Android

The company that operates America’s largest wireless telecommunications network now considers itself a friend of Android.  Google and Verizon Wireless have sealed a deal that’ll see the two working together on mobile products and services.

Ask Introduces New Deal Feature
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Ask.com has added a new feature to its search engine homepage designed to help online shoppers find the best deals on the Web.

The IAC owned property has introduced "Ask Deals," a proprietary database of more than 1 million savings offers from national and local retailers across hundreds of product categories.

The Ask homepage now features a new tab labeled "Deals" for users who only want to view the best offers online. The Ask Deals database is continuously updated to provide users with the most current savings offers.

Only Video Footage of Anne Frank Appears on YouTube
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The only known video footage of Anne Frank has been posted on YouTube by The Anne Frank House museum of Amsterdam. This is a fascinating look at how new media can preserve history.

The footage shows the wedding of Anne Frank’s neighbor on July 22, 1941. Take a look:

Amazon Introduces Mobile Payment Service

Amazon.com has launched Amazon Mobile Payments Service (MPS) which provides developers, merchants and distributors of mobile applications a way to process payments from mobile devices.

Amazon Mobile Payments

Amazon MPS allows customers to use their current payment and shipping information from their accounts to make purchases from their mobile device.

MySpace Names First Chief Financial Officer

When News Corp. acquired MySpace in 2005, it paid $580 million, and all sorts of large figures (the $900 million Google ad deal, for example) have been attached to the social network since.  However, it’s never had a chief financial officer, and this morning, MySpace changed that.

Nobel Prize Announcements: Watch Videos on YouTube

Today through October 12, anybody interested in finding out who wins the Nobel Prizes can do so by tuning into YouTube. Throughout the week, Nobel Prizes will be announced live on the popular video site.

There is a Nobel Prize YouTube channel set up, which streams announcements for each prize live in real-time. Of course once they have been announced, you can still go back and watch them. For example, here is a clip for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or medicine:

AdSense Gets Optimized for Smartphones
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Google has announced a new feature for AdSense mobile publishers, which lets them serve text and image ads on their sites, specifically optimized for high-end smartphones like the iPhone, Android devices, and the Palm Pre.

With the launch of the feature, publishers can run larger AdSense ads on these phones, whereas before, they could only serve smaller ads.