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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.

Where Facebook Stands on the Net Neutrality Debate
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Google and Verizon have the tech web talking a lot with their controversial net neutrality proposal. One of the biggest criticisms about it is how wireless is treated differently than the non-wireless Internet.

eBay Impressed By Facebook’s “Like” Buttons
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A confirmation of Facebook’s power has come courtesy of the online auction company that itself earned $2.2 billion in revenue last quarter.  eBay thinks Facebook’s "Like" buttons represent a good way to increase sales.

Maybe you’ve noticed a "Like" button attached to one of eBay’s Daily Deals, or its Fashion Vault.  Those didn’t appear by mistake, and it’s possible they’ll spread.

Facebook And AOL Consider Online Ad Deal
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Facebook and AOL are reportedly in discussions about a strategic alliance to improve their online advertising business.

The two companies have been in talks for a number of months that would allow Facebook to team with AOL in selling online advertisements, the New York Post said, citing three separate sources.

Zynga Reportedly Pulls Farmville From MSN

Zynga has apparently removed its massively popular game Farmville from Microsoft’s MSN Games, and nobody seems to know why. The timing of this is interesting as Google has reportedly been in investment talks with Zynga, while it has been acquiring other social game-related properties.

Dell Streak Android Tablet Available This Week

Dell has officially announced that orders for its new Dell Streak Tablet open up in the U.S. on August 12 for pre-sale registrants, and then it becomes generally available on Friday, August 13.

Twitter Gets More SMS-Friendly
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Twitter users in the U.S. can now follow Twitter accounts via SMS without actually signing up for Twitter. You can also now sign up for Twitter via SMS . To follow someone this way, text "follow UserNameHere" to 40404. To Sign up, text "Signup".

Google To Move Ahead With Street View In Germany
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Various complaints and privacy laws have in one sense failed to deter Google.  Today, the company made known that it will still roll out Street View in Germany, but it will also make an extra blurring option available to citizens who don’t want their homes or businesses to be visible.

Coming Soon: More Amazon Hardware Products, Facebook Check-Ins?
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According to the New York Times, Amazon is looking into building more hardware products beyond the Kindle, citing "people with direct knowledge of the company’s plans". These products would be aimed at making it easier to purchase Amazon content, such as ebooks, music, and/or movie rentals.

Why Amazon, Google and Facebook Will Drive More Online Sales for Businesses
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A couple weeks ago, Amazon launched a new feature that lets users tap into their Facebook network. Users can find recommendations from friends, see upcoming birthdays and their friends’ wishlists, find gift ideas based on Facebook profiles or get purchase ideas from profiles based on friends with similar interests. This has the potential to be very powerful, and might in fact be indicative of how social media will drive e-commerce going forward. 

Digg Talks About Improving Its Mobile Site
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Digg has posted an update about its mobile strategy. The company says its mobile site accounts for millions of page views per month.

"The use case of ‘I have a few minutes to kill, inform me.’ fits Digg well," says Digg’s Andrew Hedges. "Mobile is a high priority for us and, personally, I’d love for us to increase our traffic to m.digg.com by a factor of 10."

Nine New Apps Join Google Apps Marketplace
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Today, Google Apps users have as many as nine new reasons to be glad they’re hooked into the service.  That’s because nine new apps have been introduced to the Google Apps Marketplace, making for a substantial number of ways people can save time and streamline their work routine.

Cleveland Browns Player Shows How Not to Use Twitter

Social media is still a hot button issue within some organizations, because it only takes one tweet in a moment of poor judgment to bring a round of a round of negative attention upon a brand. That goes for sports organizations too.

Using Social Media To Help Those In Need

One of the greatest aspects of social media is how it’s been adapted to helping charitable causes and non-profits.

From reacting to the Haiti disaster to raising funds for a kids school in Tanzania, social media continues to show just how much we can make a change where before we may have thought there was nothing we could do.

Online Retail Spending Up 9%
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Online retail spending in the U.S. reached $32.9 billion in the second quarter, up 9 percent over a year ago, according to a new report from comScore.

The growth rate represented the third consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth following a year of flat or negative growth rates.

"The second quarter’s continuation of the first quarter’s strong retail e-commerce growth rates is encouraging," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

Seesmic Opens Up Public Beta of Desktop Version 2
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Seesmic says that changes to Twitter’s User Streams API may "dramatically change" the Twitter experience on Seesmic Desktop. The company announced that it’s working with Twitter on testing the beta version of Seesmic Desktop 2.

Google Makes Some Adjustments to Gmail
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Google has made some updates to the Gmail experience with a heavy focus on contacts. The company says that out of all of the feedback it gets about Gmail, most of it is about improving the contacts experience.

New contacts features include:

Google/Verizon “Open Internet” Proposal Draws Mixed Reviews
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Update: Eric Schmidt and Ivan Seidenberg added some commentary in a Washington Post article today.

Original Article: Today Google and Verizon held a joint press conference, and issued a joint policy proposal for an Open Internet, as they say. The companies appear to be promoting an Open Internet indeed, but there remains a great deal of skepticism about the policy proposal. Really, could it have gone any other way?

NASA To Hold Tweetup For Next Shuttle Launch

NASA said today it will give 150 of its Twitter followers an inside look at its space program and the chance to view a space shuttle launch in person.

Stephanie-Schierholz The third shuttle launch Tweetup, scheduled for October 31 through November 1, will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Twitter Establishes Deceased User Policy
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Whether the relatives of a deceased person would prefer to clean up his (or her) online presence or save his (or her) tweets for eternity, Twitter’s now prepared to help them act.  A new "How to Contact Twitter About a Deceased User" protocol has been established.

Many people are sure to welcome this move.  Certain dead users’ tweets might be a little on the embarrassing side, after all; imagine if someone wandered in front of a bus minutes after telling the world he’d set a new personal best in terms of downing vodka.

Korean Police Raid Google’s Offices Over Street View
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In spite of the apologies Google’s issued and the corrective actions the company’s taken, Google’s Street View-related problems appear to be growing worse, not going away.  Earlier today, Korean authorities raided its local offices in connection with the case.

Malware Reaches An All-Time High

Malware reached its highest levels ever in the first six months of 2010, according to a new report from McAfee.

McAfee found 6 million malicious files in the second quarter, compared to 4 million in the first quarter.  Threats on portable storage devices were the most popular malware, followed by fake anti-virus software and social media specific malware. With 55,000 new pieces of malware that appear everyday, globally AutoRun malware and password-stealing Trojans round out the top two malware threats.

Blockbuster Adds Xbox, Playstation, Wii Games to Subscription Rental Service
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Blockbuster has announced that it’s adding games to its mail rental service. Customers now have access to over 3,000 titles for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 and Wii through the company’s mail subscriptions service.

Blockbuster says the move makes them the only entertainment company to offer rentals of games, movies, and TV shows for home delivery through a single subscription service.