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European Commission Clears Joint Venture To Fight Google
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For some time now, a sort of "Google vs. Everybody" situation has been developing in Germany.  The bad news for the search giant is that, as four online marketing agencies have prepared to team up, the situation’s continuing to take shape, and the European Commission is fine with it.

Google Still Rules The Global Search Market
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The U.S. remains the largest search market worldwide, while Google holds on to a commanding position in the global search market, according to a new study from comScore.

"The global search market continues to grow at an extraordinary rate, with both highly developed and emerging markets contributing to the strong growth worldwide," said Jack Flanagan, comScore executive vice president.

NASA Astronaut Sends First Real Tweet From Space
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NASA said today astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have received a special software upgrade that allows access to the Internet and the World Wide Web via the "ultimate wireless connection."

Motorola Offers Baidu Search To China Mobile Users

Motorola is allowing Internet users in China to use Baidu or other search engines on its handsets with Google’s Android operating system.

Baidu is Google’s chief rival in the search market in China. "Users will be able to select their search experience from a number of providers including Baidu and others, with whom Motorola has signed strategic agreements," the company said.

Hitwise: Social Networks Neck And Neck With Search Engines
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As a group, search engines appear to be in the process of losing bragging rights in Australia.  Social networking sites and forums (also taken as a group) topped search engines in terms of market share over Christmas and are poised to assume the lead on a permanent basis.

Twitter’s Suggested Users Now More Personalized
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We knew it was coming. It was only a matter of when. Back in November, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told a crowd at a conference in Malaysia that the current suggested users list would be going away, and that it would be replaced by something "more programmatically chosen, something that actually delivers more relevant suggestions." Twitter has now announced the reality of that new kind of suggested users list.

Wall Street Turns Nose Up At Google Earnings Report
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Google’s latest earnings report is out, and the search giant did well during the fourth quarter of 2009, beating analysts’ expectations.  The unfortunate thing (at least for shareholders) is that a lot of people must have wanted it to do better still, because the stock has taken a bit of a plunge in after-hours trading.

Shipping Sites See Surge In Traffic In December

Retail sites, shipping sites, and greeting cards sites all saw surges in traffic in December due to the holiday season, according to a new report from comScore.

"December proved to be a strong month for the retail category with Tuesday, Dec. 15 ranking as the heaviest online spending day of the year – and of all time – at $913 million," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix.

Get Your Breadcrumbs in Google for More Links in Results
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Last summer it was discovered that Google was testing breadcrumbs in search results (breadcrumbs being the hierarchical display commonly used in site navigation. For example: Home Page>Product Page>Product A Page). Then in mid-November, Google announced that it was rolling out the use of breadcrumbs in search results on a global basis. What this means for webmasters is that if you can get your breadcrumbs into Google’s results, you essentially have more links on the results page. You have a separate link for each page in the breadcrumb trail.

Watch This: Flexible Notebooks, TVs, and Smartphones
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One of the coolest things the WebProNews crew saw at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas was the proof of concept display set up by tech company ASUS. On display was what is being referred to as Waveface technology.

Facebook’s 2009 Scorecard Shows Huge Gains

Simply put, Facebook had a terrific 2009.  This afternoon, comScore provided some statistics that cover the entire year, and the easiest way to sum them up is by saying that double- or triple-digit growth occurred in an impressive eight out of ten categories.

Street View Spreads To Denmark, Sweden
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Google Street View has taken in a couple more countries.  Today, coverage of Denmark and Sweden was introduced, and there are new photos of many especially interesting places in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and other areas, as well.

Coca Cola Teaming Up With Posterous For NCAA B-Ball Tournament Event

When I saw this ‘announcement’ I really wanted to check into what was going on because it involved a brand I have been a lifelong fanatic of (Coca Cola) and one that I have recently started to really enjoy, Posterous.

Twitter Not Ready For IPO Fortunes

"We’ve raised all this money. We’ve created this global brand…Now we have to go build the business that lives up to that valuation."

Twitter COO, Dick Costolo, January 20, 2010

And that, my friend, is why we won’t see a Twitter IPO this year. That, and this really obscure New Yorker reference:

New York Times Releases Details Of Online Payment Model

After a long debate, the New York Times has officially settled on an online pay model and and implementation timeline. The meter system will be introduced at the beginning of next year.

Mozilla Says New Firefox 20% Faster Than Last Version
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Mozilla has launched the latest version of its popular Firefox web browser – version 3.6. They say this version is a whopping 20% faster than version 3.5. New features in Firefox 3.6  include:

Star Trek Online Has People Tweeting In Klingon

Twitter…the final frontier. These are the voyages of game-maker Atari. Its 2-month mission: to explore strange new social networks, to seek out new geeks and new game players, to boldly go where no ad campaign has gone before!

[Cue intro]

YouTube Renting Sundance Film Festival Movies
According to the YouTube blog, YouTube has partnered with the Sundance Film Festival to make five films from the 2010 and 2009 festivals available for rent for U.S. users on YouTube starting this Friday and running through Sunday, January 31.

ICANN Urges Adoption Of IPv6
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The available number of unallocated Internet addresses using the older IPv4 protocol has dropped below 10 percent, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ICANN says there are just 24 address blocks (each block is about 16-million IP addresses) that it has not yet allocated to the Regional Internet Registries around the globe.
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Facebook Page Owners Getting More Stats
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If you run a Facebook Page, you may be very interested in some new features that are rolling out for admins. Eric Eldon at Inside Facebook has discovered that some admins are starting to see impression counts for each post, as well as the number of likes and comments for each impression.

Amazon Opens Kindle to Third-Party Apps

Amazon announced that it is inviting software developers to build and upload "active content" that will be available in the Kindle Store. In other words, look for something like an app store for the Kindle in the future.

Hulu (Again) Considers Monthly Fee
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How much is the experience of watching certain old shows online worth to the average person?  Well, Hulu’s hoping the answer is "at least $5 per month."  A new report indicates that the site might try to charge a monthly fee for access to episodes that aired a while ago.

Nokia Now Offering Free Map Navigation
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Nokia said today it’s releasing a new version of Ovi Maps for its smartphones that includes walking and driving navigation for free.

The move by Nokia to offer free navigation on its smartphones is widely seen as a way for the handset giant to boost sales and better compete with the likes of Google, which already offers free Google Maps Navigation in the 2.0 version of the Android operating system.

Google Turns to Your Past Emails to Make Ads More Relevant
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Google has made some changes to the way ads shown to Gmail users are selected. If you use the service, you have probably noticed that Google often shows ads that are somehow related to the content of whatever piece of email you are currently reading. If you have noticed this, you have probably also noticed that sometimes the ads don’t seem to have anything to do with your conversation whatsoever.

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