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New York Times Could Announce Paid Model This Week

New York magazine is reporting that the New York Times could be announcing its own move to a paid subscription model as early as this week. If this is the case, we may see more of the dominoes fall in this tenuous conversation. It seems that whenever anyone discusses even the threat of paid content online, a hush comes over the room and people start to whisper like they do when your creepy uncle shows up at the family reunion.

Report Suggests More Revenue, but Less Advertisers for Google

AdGooroo, a competitive intelligence agency, has released a new report, which indicates that there as has been a decrease in active advertisers for Google, despite projected Q4 gains.

Internet Users Favor Google Over Newspaper websites

Declines in U.S. newspapers’ print circulation will continue as consumers increasingly gravitate toward the Internet for news, according to new research from Outsell.

The firm predicts a 3.5 percent annual drop in both daily and Sunday circulation, leading to a low of 43 million Sunday newspaper readers by 2012, compared to more than 62 million in the early 1990s.

Digg Launches New Extensions for Firefox and Chrome
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Digg has launched new extensions for the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers.

YouTube To Experiment With Live Sports Coverage
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Sorry, American sports fans – there are no signs that YouTube’s working with the NBA, NHL, or MLB.  But reports indicate that YouTube will soon start streaming cricket matches, and even as this should interest a lot of other people in the world, it might also lead to other experiments.

Twitter Earns Itself a Candy Heart Phrase
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You know those candy hearts everybody has around Valentine’s Day with the little sayings on them? Showing just how much of a stronghold Twitter actually has on pop culture, this year, one such saying that will appear on these candies is "Tweet me."

Kaboodle Adds Real-Time Product Search
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Online social shopping service Kaboodle said today it is re-launching its website to improve its product-discovery engine.

Kaboodle says it has improved its end-user experience by offering real-time product search, which provides the ability to see products that are the most popular based on user-set parameters, such as items from a specific store, within a specific category, and related items.

Microsoft Yahoo Deal Approval Gets Deadline in Europe

Remember that proposed Microsoft Yahoo search and advertising deal? It’s still awaiting regulatory approval, but it might be a step closer to its destiny soon, no matter which way it goes.

The European Commission has set a deadline for a decision on approval of Microsoft’s bid (via Reuters). The date is February 19, or exactly a month from today. The deadline was published yesterday within a list of other deadlines for other deals.

Consumers Expected to Spend $6.2 Billion on Mobile Apps in 2010

Gartner has released some research findings that indicate consumers will spend $6.2 billion in 2010 in mobile application stores. Meanwhile, advertising revenue is expected to generate $0.6 billion worldwide.

According to Gartner, mobile app stores will exceed 4.5 billion downloads in 2010, eight out of ten of which will be free. Gartner also forecasts worldwide downloads in mobile application stores to surpass 21.6 billion by 2013, and free downloads to account for 82% of all downloads in 2010 (87% in 2013).

Click Fraud Rate Spikes In Q4
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The average attempted click fraud rate increased from 18.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009, to 25.7 percent in the fourth quarter according to a new report from Anchor Intelligence.

The jump in the attempted click fraud rate in Q4 was due to more activity by click fraudsters looking to take advantage of the increase in holiday ad spend online. The spread of botnets, which are used for automating traffic and coordinating click fraud activity, spiked late in the quarter.

HubSpot Documents Decline In Twitter Growth Rate

This morning, HubSpot released a fresh "State of the Twittersphere" report, and in just about every respect, the news for the site is good, meaning growth has occurred since the last time HubSpot checked in.  The only potential problem relates to the rate of new user growth, which is rather slow.

Skype Sees Big Jump in International Calls

Skype announced that its share of international calling minutes has jumped by 50% year-over-year. This data comes from a new report released by research firm TeleGeography.

According to this report, Skype’s share of international calling minutes jumped to 12% from last year’s figure of 8%. Telegeography says that the volume of traffic routed via Skype is growing at an "astonishing" pace. The following graph shows the net increase in international phone and Skype traffic from 2005 to 2009.

Time Buys Personal Shopping Engine StyleFeeder
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Time Inc. said today it has purchased personal shopping engine StyleFeeder in an effort to expand its ecommerce presence.

StyleFeeder will become part of Time’s InStyle family of brands and its ecommerce technology will power shopping on InStyle.com. Financial details of the acquisition were not released.

Google Delays Launch Of Android Phones In China

This morning, Google gave another sign that it’s not kidding about cutting its ties with China.  The launch of two Android phones in the country – which had been scheduled to take place tomorrow – has been postponed indefinitely.

Microsoft Changes Bing User Privacy Methods

Microsoft is making some updates to Bing privacy. The company sent a letter to the Article 29 Working Party, notifying them of its intention to make a change to Bing’s data retention policy. The company is reducing the amount of time it stores IP addresses from searchers to 6 months from 18.

Avast Software Added To Google Pack
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At least in certain parts of the world, Google has revised its approach to connecting people with security products.  Avast Free Antivirus is now included in eight different versions of the Google Pack bundle of software.

New Jersey Considers Legalizing Online Gambling
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A newly proposed law in New Jersey would allow residents there to gamble online via websites run by the state’s casinos in Atlantic City.

The bill was introduced into the New Jersey senate by Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), who also introduced a separate bill which calls for New Jersey residents to vote on a constitutional amendment that would allow state-regulated sports wagering in Atlantic City casinos, and to state residents via an intra-state Internet gambling system.

Google Makes it Harder to Hide from a Bad Reputation
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Google is now including reviews from more sources on its Place Pages for businesses. They’re no longer coming from just review sites. They’re coming from news sites, blogs, and more.

Bing Makes Out Well In Search Spend Report

A little bit of data from the Efficient Frontier Q4 2009 Search Engine Performance Report has been made available, and it’s completely un-shocking in that it shows search marketers are still more than happy to spend their money with Google.  The interesting thing, though, is that Bing seems to have gained a little ground on the search giant.

Baidu CTO’s Resignation Announced

It appears that not all is well (or at least normal) at Baidu.  Last week, the company’s COO abruptly resigned, and today, its CTO followed suit.  Both men cited "personal reasons" for their departures, and Baidu’s made little other information available.

Employers Using Social Networks To Screen Employees
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As social networking becomes increasingly widespread, more employers are using these sites to screen potential employees.

More than half (53%) of employers reported in a recent CareerBuildere.co.uk survey that they use social networking sites to research job candidates. Another 12 percent plan to start using social networking sites for screening.

How Google Rates Links from Facebook and Twitter
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The first Matt Cutts Answers Questions About Google video of the year has been posted, and in it Matt addresses links from Twitter and Facebook, after talking about his shaved head again. Specifically, the submitted question he answers is:

Links from relevant and important sites have always been a great way to get traffic & acceptance for a website. How do you rate links from new platforms like Twitter, FB to a website?

Will Apple and Google Have Some Real Smartphone Competition?
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Back in November, Sony Ericsson announced its new smartphone the Xperia X10. It has been much anticipated by mobile enthusiasts, and is expected to give other popular phones (like the iPhone) some interesting competition.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sony Ericsson was of course demonstrating this device, and WebProNews dropped by the company’s booth to check it out first-hand. Check that out in the following clip.

Travel And Weather Websites See Big Gains In December
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During December 2009, winter weather hit the country driving holiday travelers online, according to Compete’s latest top 50 website rankings.

Six of the top 20 highest growth website categories in December were travel and weather related.  The airport travel category attracted 40 percent more unique visitors in December (2.1 million) than the previous month.  News sites related to weather and traffic also saw big growth, increasing visitors by 34.8 percent over November to reach 52.5 million unique visitors.