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What’s Amazon Up To?
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Amazon has stolen away Microsoft senior ad exec Lisa Ultzschneider leaving us all to wonder just what kind of advertising aspirations the company has.

Amazon has not commented on what kind of plans it has for Ultzschneider. Rick Aristotle Muarriz at Fool.com speculates that it won’t much involve Amazon.com, but likely the company’s other properties:

Big Expectations For MySpace Music
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From the sounds of it (no pun intended), MySpace Music should be beneficial for all parties involved – MySpace, record labels, artists, Users, advertisers and music e-Tailers. The service, which is due out any day now (sometime this month), will supposedly offer the entire catalogs of Universal, SonyBMG, and Warner Music (77% of all U.S. album sales come from these three according to Nielsen SoundScan as quoted by Fortune).

Jefferies Releases Global Online Ad Forecast

A firm has released new estimates regarding global online advertising, and – you guessed it – they’re lower than what was mentioned in its previous projection.  Things aren’t all bad, however, as Jefferies & Company believes the long-term outlook is positive and search is still going strong.

Public Searches For Gas Relief

It’s usually fun to see what’s on everybody’s mind by looking at Google Trends. Today, no so much, because gas is on their minds, and hurricanes, and not necessarily in that order, depending on where you live.

In Texas, or near Texas, or if people have loved ones in Texas, they’re searching for news of Hurricane Ike, which is destined for landfall in Galveston. The rest of the country, while no doubt very concerned for their countrymen are also concerned about spiking gas prices as the hurricane makes for oil refineries.

Japan Is Future Internet Ready
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It’s time for our periodic We-Suck-At-Internet rant, which entails comparing and despairing (thanks, Stewart Smalley) over how slow the Internet is in the US. Once again, Japan has us beat and is ready for next-generation applications like high-quality video streaming. But Slovenia? Lithuania? Latvia? They’re faster than us, too?

Politico.com Talks About Its New Ad Network
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Popular political Web site Politico.com has partnered with Adify to launch an ad network and WebProNews spoke to Roy Schwartz, VP of business development at Politico about the new ad network.

Google Caters to Lazy Texters
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Google has added the "My Location" feature to its mobile search, which previously had only been available on Google Maps for Mobile. My Location recognizes your location (go figure) and gives you relevant search results based on where you are.

Instead of having to enter your geographical information, you can just automatically receive geographically relevant results. This will be a lot easier than texting out more information. Google displays the concept in this silly video:

Scientists Ponder Galactic Internet
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If you believe aliens are using special types of stars to create a galactic internet and transfer data at about 180 bits per year then I have TONS of stuff I’d like you to consider for exclusive purchases: an invisible suit; a magic rock; a stick that will heal you.

Politicians Battle For Narrative Control On The Web
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There was a time, if your only source of information was the Internet, when it seemed Ron Paul was a shoe-in for the Republican nominee. Internet reality is not always true reality—then again, what’s reality matter in politics? What really matters is narrative, and in that sense, the Internet is a mirror of the brick-and-mortar world, and there are lessons in political campaigns for businesses about controlling your online story.

Tweets Of Remembering 9/11

 Today is the anniversary of 7 years since 9/11 and there are signs all over that it is happening with a new memorial in DC being dedicated today and radio shows and TV programs all talking about the same thing here in the US. One of the most powerful commemorations is a meme that started up on Twitter and has been happening all day where people are taking 140 characters to share their simple stories of where they were 7 years ago when 9/11 happened.

Yahoo! Opens Up
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Yahoo! kicked off Open Hack 2008 today at its headquarters in Sunnyvale. The company has already demonstrated new components of its "open strategy".  The below video is a teaser for the event.

Oops: Cuil’s Product VP Gone
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Anyone still holding his breath for Cuil to beat Google might want to cheat a little and start breathing through the nose.  The search company’s product vice president, Louis Monier, has quit.

Google Looking for A Larger Presence in Asia?
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Google has acquired Korean "blog specialty" company TNC (Tatter and Company). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TNC

Record Video Directly with MySpace
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As MySpace continues to lag behind Facebook in terms of market-share, the social network has finally decided to let users record videos directly via a webcam. YouTube and Facebook have already offered such options, and it is a little surprising that it has taken MySpace so long to do the same.

No Google Doodle For 911
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Google is known for its fun and interesting doodles celebrating various holidays and events. Yesterday they had a doodle of the Large Hadron Collider to recognize the launch of an experiment that aims to discover more information about the Big Bang.

Google Docs Launches New Features
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The Google Docs crew made their first stop on its "Apps to School" tour, on which they stop at colleges across the U.S. and hang out with students, show off how they can use Google Docs for their class assignments, and see how studnets are already using it.  They hung with some students at the University of Southern California. They also announced some new features that should help students do just that.

Yahoo’s Australian Arm Gets Leg Up In Mobile Market

Fair warning: American readers aren’t likely to know a lot of names here.  But Yahoo7 (the product of an Australian partnership between Yahoo and the Seven Network) and Telstra (an Australian telecommunications company) have been bound together by an important new mobile search agreement.

CBS Orders YouTube To Pull McCain “Lipstick” Ad
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CBS News has forced YouTube to remove an online ad by John McCain’s campaign that the network described as "misleading" in its use of Katie Couric.

The ad titled "Lipstick" says that Barack Obama implied McCain running mate Sarah Palin of being a lipstick-wearing pig. At the end of the ad it features a quote from Couric that laments the "continued and accepted role of sexism in American life." Couric at the time was referring to Democratic Primary coverage of Senator Hillary Clinton.

Money Spending Down, News Interest Up
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Visits to places where one can spend money are down or flat compared to this time last year, according to Hitwise. News, however, is hot.

Google Invests In The Other 3 Billion
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Today the company announced its investment in O3b Networks (O3b = Other 3 Billion), which holds as its mission to provide high-speed, low-cost Internet connectivity to the other 3 billion people on Earth—those finding their existences in remote parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Google Invests In The Other 3 Billion

Google To Get Graced With Queen’s Presence
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Loose pets and pieces of candy should be hard to find in Google’s UK headquarters next month.  Any employees who are accustomed to wearing sandals will probably put on real shoes, while "creative" desks may get a thorough cleaning.  And believe it or not, all of this will occur in preparation for a visit from the Queen.

Accepting The New Facebook Design
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Holy Fakes, Batman!
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Maybe it’s time to give stiffer penalties than fines to online deceivers—sounds like companies like Zango just consider them a cost of doing business. The company’s most recent attempt to put Adware on unsuspecting kids’ computers comes in the form of an online Batman game.

More Employers Using Social Networks To Screen Job Candidates

More employers are screening potential job candidates by looking at their social networking profiles.