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Google Wants You to Be Able to Leave if You Want
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Data portability is an important issue for users and businesses alike. In this age of cloud computing, where so many web users have valuable data hosted by web services, we can sometimes find ourselves vulnerable to the will and occurrences of these services. Let’s say for example, Twitter is one of the key components to your marketing strategy, and one of your main sources of traffic. When Twitter goes down, as it frequently does, this can present quite a problem.

Google Trying to Differentiate Between Blogs and News?
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Google News is now labeling certain publications as blogs in search results. I’m not sure exactly how long it has been like this, but I noticed it for the first time today. In the past they have separated "news" and "blogs" on some results pages, but in what I’m talking about now, the results are mixed together, but some publications have "(blog)" written beside their names.

You can see a few examples here:

Twitter Raising Funds At $1 Billion Valuation

In February, Twitter turned more than a few heads by raising $35 million at a $250 million valuation.  Now, people should be careful that they don’t break their figurative necks, since the company’s reportedly upped the ante by raising around $50 million at a $1 billion valuation.

Internet Users Spend Majority Of Time With Content Sites
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Content sites continue to grab the attention of the majority of Internet users, up from 34 percent of total time spent in 2003 to 42 percent in 2009, a 24 percent increase, according to a new report by the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

Google Acquires CAPTCHA Company
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Google announced today that it has acquired reCAPTCHA, a company that provides CAPTCHAs to over 100,000 sites around the web.

Perhaps you’re thinking that Google was inspired by a patent recently granted to Microsoft for advertising via the CAPTCHA. Maybe Google will be the first to offer AdWords in CAPTCHAs. Maybe "relevant" CAPTCHA text.

Google Introduces Web Elements to AdSense Publishers
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Google has introduced what they call "Web Elements," which let users add their favorite Google products to their website. The company spins it as a way for AdSense publishers to "spice up their site" and help increase their revenue. This was first announced back at the Google Developer Conference.

Bonanzle Standing Out Among eBay Competitors
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Bonanzle has been around for a year now (out of beta). We’ve been watching it grow for the better part of this year at least. 

Sharing Emails Via Social Networks

A third of Internet users visit social networking sites at least monthly, and 40 percent of email users visit social sites to gather product information and recommendations, according to a new study by Silverpop.

 The study "Emails Gone Viral: Measuring ‘Share-to-Social’ Performance," found that shared emails delivered an average increase in reach of 24.3 percent and this is set to increase as sharing becomes more mainstream.  On average, social sharing leads to an additional 1 percent of opens.

YouTube’s Content ID System Hits Milestone
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YouTube’s Content ID system appears to have caught on in a big way.  This afternoon, a senior product manager stated that over 1,000 content owners now make use of it, and that they’ve provided more than 1 million reference files containing about 100,000 hours’ worth of material.

Google May Buy Brightcove For $700 Million

Google’s getting grabby.  The evidence: on his blog last night, Matt Cutts invited Yahoo engineers to come work for the search giant.  This afternoon, Google announced its acquisition of reCAPTCHA.  And now, there’s word that Google is attempting to buy Brightcove, too.

Brightcove is an online video platform with over 200 partners.  The companies it has ties to include powerful ones like Adobe, AOL, comScore, Nielsen, and OgilvyInteractive.  Plus Google.

Online Banking Threat Bypassing Up-to-Date Anti-Viruses
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There is an online banking Trojan out there that is bypassing up-to-date anti-virus programs as much as 77% of the time, according to security company Trusteer. The Zeus Trojan is also known as Zbot, WSNPOEM, NTOS and PRG. It is the most prevalent financial malware on the web, Trusteer says.

Moms Are Fans Of Facebook And Twitter

Retailers trying to influence moms should pay attention to social media, according to a new Retail Advertising and Marketing Association survey conducted by BIGresearch.

Women with children at home are more likely to use Facebook (60.3%), MySpace (42.4%) and Twitter (16.5%) than average adults (50.2%, 34.4%, 15%, respectively), according to the survey. Additionally, 15.3 percent maintain their own blog.

Microsoft Mobilizes its Behavioral Targeting

Today Microsoft launched a mobile behavioral targeting solution. This means the same behavioral targeting elements used on Microsoft’s online properties are available to buyers of the company’s mobile display ad inventory.

Dell Settles New York Fraud Case For $4 Million

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced that Dell and its subsidiary, Dell Financial Services (DFS), have agreed to pay his office $4 million in restitution, penalties and costs to settle charges of fraudulent and deceptive business practices that scammed consumers in the state.

Redbeacon from Former Googlers Takes Top Prize at Tech Conference
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The 2009 TechCrunch 50 conference was held this week, and 50 start-ups each had a chance to make a presentation, and then the judges picked one grand-prize winner at the end of the whole thing to win $50,000.

The winner this year, was a company called Redbeacon, which just happens to have been founded by three ex-Googlers – Ethan Anderson, Yaron Binur, and Aaron Lee, who were product managers and engineers with the Internet giant.

Android 1.6 SDK Arrives, Should Reach Consumers Soon

Android 1.6 SDK – which is perhaps better known by the codename "Donut" – has at last been made available for developers to download.  Upgrades and new features are evident left and right, and if Google’s estimates are correct, not much more time will pass before Android 1.6 reaches consumers.

Opera Releases Latest Version of Popular Mobile Browser

Opera has announced the release of the beta version of its latest mobile browser – Opera Mini 5. Opera Mini is the most popular mobile web browser in the world, the company claims.

More Marketers Focused On Digital Spending

More marketers are planning on shifting their media spending budgets to digital during the economic downturn, according to a second quarter survey by Round2 Communications.

Email marketing is one area where spending is set to increase with 40 percent of respondents planning to do so, while half expect their amount of spending to remain the same and just 10 percent plan a decrease.

Nearly a third (31.3%) of marketers plan to increase spending on interactive advertising while 52.1 percent say their investment will remain the same and 16.7 percent plan a decrease.

Adobe Seeks to Expand its Analytics Horizons
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Omniture, one of the biggest names in web analytics, is being acquired by Adobe, in a transaction valued at $1.8 billion. Adobe will commence a tender offer to acquire all Ominture outstanding stock for $21.50 per share in cash.

Matt Cutts Extends Offer To Yahoo Engineers
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In some areas and industries, non-compete clauses are a way of life; companies don’t want their best and brightest working for competitors soon, if ever.  California law isn’t too keen on non-compete clauses, however, and it looks like Google wants to accelerate the rate at which Yahoo employees jump ship.

Google Huge in Brazil and India
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Numbers from comScore this week, revealed that Google sites account for nearly 30% of all time spent online in India and Brazil. That is three times higher than the average.

MySpace Opens Up Recommendation Engine

MySpace has announced an open source framework for "distributed computation," which is ultimately a recommendation engine. It’s called Qizmt, and it’s the feature the social network currently uses for its "People you may Know" feature.

"Qizmt can be used for many operations that require processing large amounts of data such as collaborative filtering for recommendations and analytics," explains MySpace COO Mike Jones.

Facebook Has Nearly Same Amount of People as US
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Update: Ok, they’ve officially announced the testing of the prototypes directory now. From the company blog:

Metacafe Rolls Out Video Game Hub
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Video site Metacafe has launched a new video games hub featuring trailers, reviews, news, interviews and walkthroughs for popular video game releases.

"Online video is increasingly a primary source of entertainment for today’s consumers, so it’s important we showcase content in key entertainment categories – such as video games – about which people are passionate," said Erick Hachenburg, CEO of Metacafe.