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Connecticut AG Probing Amazon And Apple Over E-Book Pricing

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating Apple and Amazon.com over potentially anticompetitive e-book deals.

Microsoft Launches Online Circular Ads for MSN Local

Microsoft Advertising has unveiled new localized deals through interactive online circulars (like those ads that fall out of your newspaper, the company notes) as part of MSN Local Edition.

The site is geo-targeted, so only location-relevant circulars will be shown to consumers.

IBM Closes Coremetrics Acquisition

IBM has announced the closing of its acquisition of web analytics firm Coremetrics, based in San Mateo, CA. The acquisition will boost IBM’s business analytics offerings through cloud services.

Android Shipments Off the Charts

The smartphone market grew by 64% during the second quarter by Canalys‘ calculations. BlackBerry shipments grew by 41% and Apple’s share grew by 61% thanks to the iPhone 4′s release. However, it is Android that is getting the most attention from this report. According to Canalys, Android shipments grew by 886%.

Toyota Launches Facebook Contest For Prius Anniversary

Toyota has launched a Facebook contest to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Prius.

Toyota is inviting people to submit a video or several photos that show their enthusiasm for the Prius for a chance to host the 10 Years of Toyota Prius Anniversary Celebration in their hometown.

Toyota will select the top 10 finalists and then let the Facebook Prius community decide who should names the most passionate fan.

 

Funny or Die Launches Redesign, New Ad Opportunities
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Popular comedy site Funny or Die has launched a new redesign, adding adds new content and features. The site now provides new themed photo galleries, top 10 lists, and special guest blogs. It also gives advertisers a larger presence on the homepage and more in-video opportunities across the site.

Indian Police Use Facebook To Issue 665 Tickets
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India is often considered a place of car guys’ nightmares, where the roads are packed with vehicles and anything from a motorcycle to a bus is likely to swerve across lanes and run red lights.  But Indian police are now addressing the problem in an innovative fashion, using Facebook as a sort of crowdsourced traffic camera.

The Hotlist Comes to the iPhone

Geo-social aggregator The Hotlist has launched a new iPhone app aimed at letting users see the latest on their friends’ present and future social destinations, as well as venues and activities near the user’s current location.

The Hotlist launched last year, claiming to be the first geo-social aggregator. Its platform calculates the popularity of events and venues, offering analytics and ratings for social planning.

Major Mobile Carriers Teaming Up to Eliminate Credit Cards?
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Will the mobile phone replace the credit card? It sounds a bit like science fiction, but it appears that mobile carriers are trying to make it a reality.

Bloomberg reports that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile USA are "planning a venture to displace credit and debit cards with smartphones". The companies would work with Discover Financial Services and Barclays Plc to test a system starting in Atlanta and three other unnamed U.S. cities.

Americans Spending More Time On Facebook And Twitter

Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and blogs, up 15.8 percent from a year ago (43% increase) according to new research from Nielsen.

The report called "What Americans Do Online," found that Americans spend a third of their online time (36%) communicating across social networks, blogs, email and instant messaging.

Roger Ebert Finds Many People Would Pay For Twitter

Last month, Twitter fans received a shock when a study revealed that exactly zero percent of its 1,900 participants would consider paying for the service.  Last night, film critic Roger Ebert challenged those findings, showing that a significant number of his followers feel differently.

About 4,000 of Ebert’s followers responded to a one-question survey he created, and out of that group, 19.4 percent indicated they’d be willing to pay for Twitter.  That’s a pretty huge number compared to zero.

“King of Bing Maps” Soon To Be Determined

Update: Microsoft announced that the "King of Bing Maps" contest is now closed. They will determine the winner soon.

Original Article: Bing has announced that it’s searching for "someone to worship." By this, they mean lead the way in Bing Map App development. So naturally, they’ve launched a contest.

Guy Who Claims to Own Facebook Says His Arrest Made Him Remember Alleged Contract
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Bloomberg has published a fascinating interview with Paul Ceglia, the guy who is currently suing Facebook, claiming that he owns 84% of the company. For more background on the story, go here.

Microsoft Juggles Privacy, Advertising Priorities with Internet Explorer
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The Wall Street Journal has interesting article about Microsoft’s internal dilemma about privacy settings in Internet Explorer. It’s basically a matter of privacy vs. advertising, both of which Microsoft has an interest in. WSJ’s Nick Winfield reports:

iPhone Users Flock to JailbreakMe
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Comex has launched a site called Jailbreakme.com, that when visited from an iOS device, allows you to jailbreak it. This is the first jailbreak for iOS 4, and can be accessed via the mobile version of Safari. The point is to make jailbreaking easier for the average joe, I presume.

BlackBerry Use Limited in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

BBC News reports that two Gulf states have announced bans on some BlackBerry functions based on security concerns. The United Arab Emirates will block sending emails, accessing the Internet, and delivering instant messages to other Blackberry handsets, while Saudi Arabia will prevent the use of Blackberry to Blackberry instant messaging.

Google Testing New Tweaks for Gmail?
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Alex Chitu at Google Operating System has spotted some changes in Gmail that Google appears to be testing with some users. Google constantly tests new features in its products, and while some of them go on to become actual features, some of them fade away and never get integrated on a mass scale.

Internet Explorer Gains Share in Worldwide Browser Usage
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According to data from NetMarketShare, Internet Explorer extended its usage share gains by another .42% in July, gaining about 1% global share since May. 

The firm says, "This is the second month in a row of global gains for Internet Explorer and the third straight month of gains for Internet Explorer 8 in the United States. The gain comes at the expense of Firefox (-.9%) and Chrome (-.08%)."

100,000 Submissions To Android Market Tallied

In late 2008, the Android Market launched, and ever since, it’s apparently been growing at faster and faster rates.  New research depicts the number of submitted apps as an ever-rising curve, and more importantly, shows that the number has topped 100,000.

AndroLib, which put the graph together, believes that figure’s accurate.  Or that if it is off the mark, it’s too low.  Google hasn’t confirmed or denied anything, as usual.

WebProNews IT Team Confirms Facebook “Leak” Not Much of a Story
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Facebook has put a lot of people on edge about privacy in recent months, and while some of it may be legitimate concern, a lot of the discussion is simply getting blown out of proportion.

News “Game Changers” Coming Out of the Woodwork

News Corp. is reportedly considering working on some new app-based news product that would be separate from any of its existing print or web publications. An experiment in the future of news? Perhaps. A game changer? We’ll see. CNBC seems to think it might be.

fbFund No More?

Things have been a little slow on the fbFund front this year. The site hasn’t posed an update since January, and you probably won’t be hearing about new ventures anytime soon.

Inside Facebook reports that fbFund appears to be "mothballed". fbFund is a seed fund and joint venture run by Facebook Founders Fund and Accel Partners. Investment capital for the fund was provided by these entities.

RIM Reportedly to Have iPad Competitor Ready Before Holidays

Everybody’s scrambling to get their iPad competitors out. Most recently, we heard what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had to say about his comany’s plans. Research in Motion (RIM) will apparently have its iPad competitor out in a few short months.

Twitter Launches New User Suggestion Features

Twitter has begun rolling out a "Suggestions for You" feature that helps users find people to follow. You may be familiar with a similar feature on Facebook.

"With more than a hundred million users on Twitter, there are sure to be at least dozens of accounts out there that will reflect your interests. The trouble is finding all of them," the company says.