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Pingdom Documents Twitter’s Worldwide Growth

Another school year’s started, and (probably by coincidence) the Royal Pingdom blog has presented what might be considered a long-term report card on Twitter.  The data shows, as a blog post explains, "how Twitter has been taking over the world."

Yahoo Games Popular In Japan
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Japan’s online gaming population has increased 28 percent over the past year to 16.5 million visitors in July 2009, and reaching nearly one fourth of Japan’s online population, according to a new report from comScore.

"As a growing number of people turn to the Internet as an entertainment channel, many online gaming sites have seen their traffic levels swell to record numbers," said Maru Sato, managing director of comScore Japan.

Google Releases Latest Version of Chrome
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Not too long after the first birthday of the Google Chrome browser, a new stable version has been released. The release includes:

Google Gives Webmaster Advice for User-Generated Content Sites
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Google has made some recommendations for "best practices" for sites that allow users to create their own sites. They give the examples of their own Google Sites and Blogger. So in other words, if you run some type of site that allows users to make their own pages, you may want to pay attention.

Bing 2.0 Release Imminent?
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The next version of Bing is quite impressive and will be released in the near future, according to a couple of Microsoft employees.  In fact, two of the corporation’s employees have indicated on Twitter that Bing 2.0 should come out within the next 20 (or maybe even 7) days.

Who Really Owns Your Tweets?
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Twitter has made some revisions to its terms of service, to address issues like advertising, tweet ownership, APIs, and spam. There’s not as much news in this as one might expect, but there are some things worth noting, namely, Twitter’s stance on who owns tweets. Are your past tweets important to you? Tell us.

FTC Orders Sears To Destroy Tracking Data

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Sears to end a program that placed spyware on customers’ computers that would track their online browsing.

The company, which includes Sears and Kmart, offered online customers $10 in return for installing the tracking software.

Sears Security Issues

Don’t Lose Yahoo Traffic By Not Optimizing for Bing
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As you’re probably aware, the plan for the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo that dominated many of the headlines this summer, is for Bing to take over Yahoo search, in terms of algorithmic ranking. Basically, Bing will handle the back-end, while Yahoo will handle the front-end design of the new Yahoo Search. That should be happening next year sometime.

Google Reduces Restictions on Google Checkout

Google has made a change to its content restrictions for Google Checkout. Google Checkout now allows the sale of real estate rentals, timeshares, and day sight-seeing tours.

Facebook Protects User’s Data In Civil Case

Privacy advocates who are in the habit of protesting Facebook’s policies may owe the social network an apology.  When an airline subpoenaed a user’s data, and even after fines were later levied, Facebook refused to hand anything over. 

Get Your Videos Indexed in Google Results
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Google wants webmasters who offer video content to be able to get their videos displayed in search results more easily. The company has announced that that it now supports Facebook Share and Yahoo SearchMonkey RDFa, which are both markup formats that allow webmasters to specify information that is important to video indexing.

Google Russia Loses CTO To Mail.ru

Google seems to be having a hard time holding onto its overseas execs.  A little less than two weeks ago, Kai-Fu Lee, the president of Google China, announced his departure, and now, Jennifer Trelewicz, the (former) CTO of Google Russia, has also found another job.

Journalism Online Signs Up 1000 Affiliates
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Journalism Online, a venture aimed at generating revenue for news publishers by charging readers for online content, has announced it now has more than 1,000 affiliates who have signed on to its platform.

Journalism Online co-founder Steven Brill said that the results of a recent study released by the American Press Institute, found that nearly 60 percent of American newspapers are "actively considering" initiating some form of paid access for their online content.

Coupon Site Reports Big Growth for Online Sales
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Ebates, a site that many big-name brands offer rebates and coupons through, released its online retail report for August, finding that online sales through the site grew 57% during the month, compared to the same time period a year ago.

The categories that showed the biggest growth were: department stores, baby % kids, books & magazines, apparel & shoes, and health & beauty. In fact, only one category covered by Ebates showed decline – home décor.

Google Adding Some Visual Flare to News?

Update: Google’s Marissa Mayer has now announced the product officially, and named it Google Fast Flip.

Original Article: Google is reportedly launching a new lab in Google Labs called Flipper, which takes Google News to a much more visual place, by showing news stories as thumbnails of the actual pages they reside on.

Facebook Adds Tagging from the Status Update
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Update: The feature is now appears to be live for many users.

Original Article:
Facebook announced a new feature today, which allows users to tag their friends in their status updates and other posts from the publisher. Previously, you could only tag friends in photos, videos, and notes.

Google on Notification of Webmaster Guideline Violations
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One thing that Google is pretty good at is providing resources for webmasters to learn from. The regular videos from Matt Cutts in which he answers user-submitted questions are no different. It just happens to be this very topic that is addressed in the latest upload.

Question: Whenever Google detects a violation of its Webmaster Guidelines, can we expect a feature to be added in Google Webmaster Central where it could help the webmasters learn what the issue was?

Word Of Mouth Has The Most Influence On Gamers

Among gamers, 41 percent report that they rely on word of mouth to get information on video games, according to a new report from the NPD Group.

While this varies from one platform to another, all current platforms, including portables, rely on word of mouth above all other information sources. Followed by hands on play at friends or relatives friends homes at 31 percent. Magazines and online ads, along with incentives/coupons and social networking sites have the least influence on gamers at five percent.

A Year of Google’s Big Eye in the Sky
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A little over a year ago, the GeoEye-1 was launched. This is a satellite from the company Geo-Eye, which entered a deal with Google to provide it with imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth.

Google Wins uTest Bug Battle
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Google employees have been given yet another reason to pat themselves on the back.  uTest asked a rather large group of people to evaluate it, Bing, and Yahoo, and the Mountain View-based search giant came out on top by a significant margin. 

Windows Live Gets MySpace Activity Updates
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Microsoft and MySpace announced that Windows Live will now begin broadcasting MySpace user activity streams to the Windows Live Platform via MySpaceID. What this means is that users of Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, and Hotmail, who are also MySpace users, will be able to see their friends’:

Bing Introduces Visual Search Feature
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Late last week, Microsoft employees tweeted about "exciting" and "super impressive" features that would be introduced this month.  Today, one of those features debuted, and Visual Search, as it’s known, is living up to the hype.

TypePad Gets Real-Time Blog Updates
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Today Six Apart, the makers of TypePad, released a new TypePad PubSubHubub hub, which automatically promotes blog updates in real time. It’s a free feature for bloggers who use TypePad, and it automatically updates Google Reader, FriendFeed, SuperFeedr, and LiveDoor.

Google Adds Store Locator Feature to Product Search

Google has launched a feature in Google Product Search for users to find merchants who have store locations. This means that people searching with Google Product Search will be able to get more information about the nearest store locations for a particular merchant.