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Voice Actions Come to Android
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Google has launched a new Android app for version 2.2 (FroYo), called Voice Actions. The app lets you speak various commands to engage various functionalities of the phone.

With Voice Action, you can initiate the sending of text messages, listening to songs, calls to businesses or contacts, emails, web surfing, and more.

Google Launches Chrome to Phone Browser Extension and Android App

Google has launched a new Chrome extension for Android users called "Chrome to Phone". What it does is allow you to easily send a link from your desktop to your Android phone.

So, for example, if you wanted to look up driving directions on Google Maps on your computer and then take them with you via your Android phone, you could use this extension to do so. You could also get a phone number from the web and send that to your phone.

Twitter Launches its Official Tweet Button
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Twitter has launched its official Tweet button for publishers to place on their content. There are numerous unofficial buttons out there that publishers have been taking advantage of for quite a while, but now there’s one right from the company that counts tweets no matter how they were tweeted.

Actually, Twitter is working with TweetMeme on this one. TweetMeme has been offering probably the most popular version of the tweet button for publishers. Twitter says TweetMeme will be switching over to the official Twitter button anyway.

Starbucks Adds More Partners For Digital Network

Starbucks today released more details about its digital network launching this fall in the U.S. in partnership with Yahoo.

The company said Rodale, Nick Jr. Boost and DonorsChoose.org will join the previously announced content providers iTunes, The New York Times, Patch, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo and Zagat.

Google Sites Users Can Now Integrate Google Moderator

Google has added the ability for Google Sites users to use Google Moderator.

"For example, if you have a restaurant site, you can embed Google Moderator on your suggestions page to get input from your restaurant patrons," explains Google Software Engineering Intern Eric Hysen.

Google provides steps for how to implement this here.

Ex-Googler Discusses Life At Facebook
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More and more, experts are starting to anticipate a war between Facebook and Google as the second company makes moves in the social networking space.  Especially timely, then, is a blog post by a former Google employee who’s now celebrating three years spent working for Facebook.

Twitter Use Taking Off In Many Foreign Markets

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) has just released a report on Twitter’s explosive growth worldwide. The comScore study found that in June 2010, about 93 million Internet users visited Twitter.com. This is an overall increase of 109 percent over last year. Indonesia reported the highest number of users, with 20.8 percent of Internet users in Indonesia visiting Twitter.com in June of 2010, followed by Brazil and Venezuela.

Viacom Not Done with YouTube Yet
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In late June, Google announced that it had won its long legal battle with Viacom. The court decided that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of  the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against claims of copyright infringement.

Gartner Finds Android Outsells iOS Worldwide

There’s more good news for Google and the specific teams that support Android this morning.  Gartner’s released some stats concerning the sales of smartphones in the second quarter of this year, and it looks like Android has become the number three mobile operating system in that respect.

Gartner explained in an official statement, "In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android expanded rapidly in the second quarter of 2010, overtaking Apple’s iPhone OS to become the third-most-popular OS in the world."

Delta Launches Ticket Window On Facebook

Delta Air Lines has launched a "Ticket Window" that allows users to book flights directly from its Facebook page.

"Our customers are spending more time online and are looking for new ways to connect with us. We’re now delivering technology where our customers are – from our own website to our Facebook page to Internet news sites and beyond," said Bob Kupbens, Delta’s vice president – eCommerce.

Major News Organizations Aim to Establish Syndication Guidelines

Some major news organizations that make up the Internet Content Syndication Council are reportedly working on some guidelines for content syndication for their own collective membership, while providing an example for others to go by.

The council includes the Associated Press, Reuters, CBS, The Tribune Company, and many others. Here’s the full list of companies represented:

Google Updates Gesture Search for Android

Google has announced a new version of its Gesture Search Android app, which has been available in Google Labs. This would be version 1.2, and includes a new motion gesture.

"By doing a ‘double flip’, or flipping your phone away and then back, you can start Gesture Search at any time," explains Yang Li, a research scientist on Google’s Gesture Search team. "This eliminates the need to activate Gesture Search from a home screen shortcut. "

Google Ventures Reportedly Investing Over $100 Million in ngmoco

It’s no secret that Google has taken an interest in games lately. The company has been reported to have invested in Zynga, which is responsible for games like Farmville and Mafia Wars.

Ad Spending On Social Games Predicted To Rise

The stock market crashed again today, with the Dow falling 2.49 percent and the Nasdaq losing an even more worrisome 3.01 percent.  But a new report predicts that lots of money will still be spent on ads in social games, with marketers pumping in bigger sums this year and in 2011.

Apple TV to Be Called iTV, Could Google TV Eventually Expand to DirecTV?
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Apple’s TV project has been renamed iTV, according to a report from Engadget, and it will run apps, much like the iPhone/iPad. Joshua Topolsky says, "it’s unclear if there will be cross-pollination between iPad and iPhone / iPod touch offerings and new Apple TV applications." It will apparently cost $99, but it reportedly won’t be able to handle 1080i or 1080p video.

Google Releases New Chrome Beta
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Google has a new beta release available for the Chrome browser with some new features. Among these, is a new user interface, which was previewed on the developer channel in June, including changes to the toolbar and omnibox. 

Facebook Adopts Single-Page Approach To Displaying Photos

People who adhere to the philosophy of "more is better" when it comes to photographs are almost sure to appreciate a change Facebook’s announced.  This afternoon, the company altered the way it displays photo albums so that many, many pictures can be seen on a single page.

Fairmont Hotels Offering Kobo eReaders

Fairmont Hotels said today it will offer its customers access to Kobo eReaders featuring content from new and bestselling Random House books.

mSpot: That Netflix/Epix Deal? We Get Those Movies 6 Months Earlier

You may have read that Netflix announced a new deal with Epix worth $1 billion. mSpot has taken the opportunity to point out that they get movies much sooner than Netflix’s streaming service does, most likely including many of the same titles.

Will a Redesign Provide MySpace With a Fresh Spark?
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MySpace has a new design for the user home page, which is available today on an opt-in basis, but should be rolled out completely by August 19th.

MySpace tells WebProNews, "The new user homepage prominently displays the activity stream and simplifies the content discovery experience.  As users log-in to MySpace, there is a prompt to opt-in for an early look at the new homepage."

Broadband Adoption In The U.S. Slows

The adoption of broadband Internet access slowed significantly over the last year, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Two-thirds of Americans (66%) now have a broadband connection at home, a number that is little changed from the 63 percent with a high-speed home connection at a similar point in 2009.

 

Pew-Broadband

 

Twitter.com Usage Grows 109% YoY

comScore has released some interesting research on Twitter usage in different countries. The firm found that in June, about 93 million people visited Twitter.com, up 109% from the previous year.

Of course this doesn’t even take into account all of the third-party Twitter apps, which many users access Twitter regularly from. A lot of users rarely go to Twitter.com.

Spotify Lead Designer Heads To Facebook

Spotify, the popular-in-Europe music streaming service that hasn’t quite made it to the U.S., will soon be down a lead designer.  Rasmus Andersson announced today that he’ll be leaving the company in order to join Facebook.

We’ll note right here that this development doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook intends to launch a new music service.  Andersson indicated on his blog that he’ll be a product designer, not Head of Music Initiatives or something quite so grand.

Google In Ad Deal with DirecTV
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DirecTV and Google have entered into an ad sales partnership involving Google TV ads, the companies said today.

Under the deal, Google will become the sales representative for a broad selection of advertising inventory on several networks carried on DirecTV.