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Hackers Charged with Fraud, Conspiracy Regarding 120,000 iPad Users’ Info

Two men have reportedly been charged after allegedly hacking into AT&T’s servers and accessing email addresses and other information from 120,000 iPad users last June. The two, Daniel Spitler and Andrew Auernheimer, have been brought up on fraud and conspiracy charges, according to Reuters, which reports:

U.S. Paid Search Rebounded In 2010
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U.S. paid search made solid gains in 2010 with 18.5 percent growth year-over-year, according to a new report from SearchIgnite.

The fourth quarter (Q4) showed strong growth, increasing 35.5 percent YoY with December leading the quarter at 44.8 percent YoY growth. The Q4 holiday season indicated improved consumer sentiment, with the average order value (AOV) up 31.3 percent YoY compared to a 13 percent decrease in 2009.

 

iPhone Users Found To Be Most Loyal

Whether it’s been accomplished by the hardware, the software, or the marketing department, Apple has done something right when it comes to creating user loyalty.  New data from Zokem indicates that iOS users are more loyal than the users of other mobile operating systems by a wide margin.

Zokem surveyed over 1,500 smartphones users and found that, on a loyalty scale ranging from negative 100 to 100 percent, the iPhone scored an impressive 73 percent.  That puts it far ahead of the competition, as the chart below shows.

Will Apps Unravel the World Wide Web?
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The title we went with on this article may come off as a bit sensational, but some pretty high profile web veterans might not think so. 

Speaking at Bristol University in the UK, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, had some less than positive things to say this week about the direction the web is taking – the app direction. As quoted by computing.co.uk:

LinkedIn’s Board Of Directors Gets New Member

Boards of directors tend to stay in the background at most companies; when it comes to people, you’re much more likely to hear about the CEO, a VP of something or other, or even some hotshot engineer.  But LinkedIn’s board has a new member this morning, and Michael Moritz brings a lot to the table.

Educated at Oxford, Moritz has previously served on the boards of directors at Google, PayPal, and Yahoo.  He’s on five other boards right now, too, and also acts as a managing partner at Sequoia Capital.

Facebook And Twitter Users Are More Active In Groups
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The majority (80%) of American Internet users participate in groups, compared with 56 percent of non-Internet users, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants. 

 

Internet-Users-Groups

 

Number Of Tablet Users Growing Rapidly, And They Like Free Content

According to a new report from IDC, the worldwide market for tablets grew by 45.1% in the third quarter of 2010, driven mainly by iPad demand. Now, the iPad faces a great deal of competition from various manufacturers (many showcased at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas). 

Social Media – A Unicorn or Just a Horse?

People say social media is unicorn, but it’s really just a horse.

Sure, social media empowers customers like nothing before it. And of course, social media creates a new level of real-time accountability for companies previously accustomed to asynchronous communication. These are the ways social media is different. But in other ways, it’s largely the same.

Let’s compare email marketing and social media.

ShopVisible Launches Social Commerce Platform On Facebook

Ecommerce company ShopVisible has launched a new platform called ShopVisible Social Commerce which allows people to research and browse retailers products on Facebook and then purchase items without having to leave the social network.

118% Increase In Facebook Ad Revenue Expected This Year
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If and when Goldman Sachs begins selling shares of Facebook, the banking and securities firm is almost guaranteed to have no trouble finding buyers.  Adding to the existing hype, a new report from eMarketer predicts that Facebook’s ad revenue will soar from $1.86 billion in 2010 to $4.05 billion this year.

OpenStack Open Source Cloud Project Sees Rapid Growth

Rackspace Hosting just announced the six-month anniversary of OpenStack, the open source cloud project started by Rackspace and NASA, and that it has already grown to include 40 companies working on fighting against the emergence of proprietary cloud stacks and creating a standard way to deploy applications and connect clouds. 

Facebook Decides to Rethink Phone Number/Address Sharing
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A few days ago, Facebook updated its developer blog with a post called, "Platform Updates: New User Object fields, Edge.remove Event and more," which explained that the company would start granting access to users’ mobile phone numbers and home addresses to third-party developers.  

Granted, users would have had to provide Facebook with this information in the first place, and they would have also had to grant permission to any app or website trying to access it via the familiar permission box:

The Ecosystems Will Determine the Gadgets We Buy
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In 2001 Apple launched what would be one of the most iconic products of the 21st century’s first decade. The iPod changed music and consumer electronics – but it also led to one of the most counterintuitive marketing strategies of the modern age as well. As the iPod grew in popularity, Apple began to sell $1000 computers as accessories for a $200 gadget. The ecosystem of the iTunes store and the ability to manage your music easily and seamlessly with your iPod started a revolution that led millions to consider (or reconsider) getting a Mac as their primary home computer.

Google Dominance In Czech Republic Disputed
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Last week, reports indicated that Google had become the top search engine in the Czech Republic, leaving it not number one in just five countries.  Jaws dropped and people applauded in response.  Only now, Seznam.cz – a competitor in the Czech Republic – has claimed that everyone was far too quick to believe the initial assertion.

Hyperlocal News: How Big is the Demand?

Would you read a publication dedicated to news about the neighborhood you live in? The web has made an infinite amount of information from all over the world available to you in realtime at a non-stop pace. We now have nearly every piece of news about everything we care about either coming directly to us via social media sites and/or news readers, and the rest is available in seconds via a quick search. 

Private Facebook Offering Closed To Americans

Often enough, products, services, and contests that originate in the U.S. are just available and/or open to American citizens.  Now, in an unusual reversal of that custom, Goldman Sachs has announced that only clients who aren’t based in the U.S. will be allowed to buy shares of Facebook’s private stock through the firm.

BankSimple Makes Mysterious “Key Hire”
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BankSimple, the startup that’s supposed to disrupt the banking industry, has apparently made an important hire that may or may not have a direct impact on whether that actually happens. 

Online Retail Websites Performed Above Average During Holidays
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Williams-Sonoma was named as the best online retailer during the 2010 holiday season, with an availability of 99.98 percent and an average response time of 11.58 seconds, according to a new report from web performance monitoring company AlertSite.

 Sam’s Club and QVC tied for second place, with 99.95 percent availability and a 13.46 second average response time.

 

AlertSite

 

Skype Hits 28 Million Users Online Just a Week After Hitting 27 Million
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Skype announced a new record today, and one that is even more interesting, considering the timing. 

"Almost exactly a week after we broke the 27 million barrier, we’ve done it again," says Skype’s Peter Parkes. "At approximately 1800 GMT today, there were over 28 million people online on Skype at the same time – a new record."

Microsoft Launches Cloud-Based CRM Service

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the worldwide availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online today at an event in Redmond.  This is the cloud-based version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, which will go head to head with other cloud-based CRM products from companies like Salesforce.com and Oracle. 

Travelocity Making Its Website More Accessible To Blind Users

The National Federation of the Blind, an advocate for Internet access for blind Americans, announced an agreement with Travelocity to make its website more accessible to the blind.

Under the agreement, Travelocity Under today’s agreement, Travelocity will make accessible by July 1, 2011, its home page and each initial Web page used for searching flights, hotels,  and vacation packages .

Groupon Talks Managing Capacity, Following Japan Apology

As previously reported, Groupon has apologized for a recent deal gone bad in Tokyo. In the apology, CEO Andrew Mason mentioned that Groupon has "capacity planning formulas" to help merchants figure out the number of customers they can handle from a Groupon deal. As you may know, a common complaint about Groupon is that it can send too many people to a business, which does not have the means to meet customer demand.

Italy Concludes Google Antitrust Probe

An antitrust probe that began way back in August of 2008 has at last concluded, and the outcome tends to favor Google.  Italian authorities have decided not fine the company or subject it to any additional regulation.

Twitterers Launch Hashtag Wishing Steve Jobs Well
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As reported earlier, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence from the company. In an email to Apple employees, he said:

"At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company."