Flickr Updates iPhone App to Utilize iOS 4 Capabilities, Adds Twitter Sharing

Flickr has released an updated version of its iPhone app, specifically targeting new features of the iPhone 4 like multi-tasking and support for HD-video uploads.

AOL Launches New Mobile Portal and Android Apps
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AOL has launched a new smartphone portal at m.aol.com and 2 new Android apps. In fact, AOL specifically says that it’s increasing its focus on Android.

The smartphone portal is for HTML5-supporting smartphones, providing a touch-driven interface that allows for easy scrolling through articles and content, as well as location-based services for weather, movies, traffic, etc. There is also an app directory for users to find mobile apps, and it supports video content.

Finding Alternatives To Facebook
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With the news confirmed that Facebook membership now exceeds 500 million people worldwide – that’s nearly 10 percent of the world’s total population – it’s a worthy reminder to note that, never mind its size or seeming monolithic ubiquity, there are other social networking places to complement Facebook.

Baidu Reports 118 Percent Rise In Profits

Baidu’s second quarter was in many (positive) respects a doozy.  The company released its earnings report last night, and posted some very interesting numbers as it beat analysts’ estimates.  One key stat: profits rose 118 percent on a year-over-year basis.

AOL Launches Advertising Hub For Politics
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AOL has launched AOL Advertising Politics hub aimed at campaigns, advocacy groups and companies looking to target audiences online.

Online display advertising has become a key factor for political campaigns. With the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year lifting the restrictions on political ad spending from corporations, companies can now join campaign and issue advocacy groups in influencing voters online. AOL hopes to capitalize on the upcoming November elections.

YouTube Launches New Version of Music Page

YouTube has launched a revamped version of its Music page, following in the footsteps of its shows and movies pages. The new page showcases the most viewed music videos, as well as special promotions, curated playlists, and unsigned talent.

70,000 Blogs Shut Down After FBI Finds Terrorist Materials, Blogs May Come Back
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Update 2: CNET’s Greg Sandoval now reports that users could see their blogs again, but Blogetery likely won’t be hosted by Burst.net in the future.

Burst.net CTO says that the service has not resopnded quickly enough to abuse claims in the past, which appears to be the reason the whole service was shut down in the first place. More on the story here.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Talks Legal Battle, Won’t See “The Social Network”

This week Facebook surpassed 500 million users, but that’s not the only reason the world’s largest social network is making headlines.

This post from O’Reilly Radar breaks down where Facebook’s half a billion users reside by region. Asia appears to be the fastest-rising region for Facebook users, currently sitting at 17% of the social network’s user base.

Salesforce.com Provides Its Own Example of an Employee Social Media Policy
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This week has been a big week for social media as the world’s most popular social network announced that it reached 500 million users. Salesforce.com is just as excited about it as anybody.

Barnes & Noble Launches Nook Android App
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Barnes & Noble has introduced Nook for Android. This comes in the form of a free app that lets users read eBooks with customizable font styles. The company says this is the first Android eReader app that lets users share eBooks with friends.

The company also points out that this is the first eReader software to feature its new "NOOK-centric" branding. The app will soon be followed up with updated apps for the iPhone, iPad, and other devices.

Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Internet Gambling

The House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing Wednesday to discuss regulating Internet gambling in the U.S. and establish safeguards for licensed operators to put in place to protect against underage and problem gambling.

Bing To Be Sole Default Windows Phone 7 Search Option
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Consumers shouldn’t expect to be overwhelmed with search options if they decide to buy Windows Phone 7 devices.  A high-ranking Microsoft employee has revealed that there will be only one default search engine: Bing.

Twitter Talks About Its Mission to Be More Reliable
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Facebook announced its 500 million user milestone yesterday, and along with that announced some other stats like how it gets over 100 billion hits per day. This was revealed in a post in which the company talked about how it scales with its massive growth.

eBay Financial Report Tops Forecasts
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Believe it or not, this is a good – or even great – day to be an eBay shareholder.  Although Google and Yahoo’s stocks basically fell off cliffs following iffy earnings reports earlier this week, eBay managed to publish some positive numbers this afternoon and has seen its stock jump in after-hours trading as a result.

Consumer Watchdog: Google Spent $1.34 Million Lobbying in Q2
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Consumer Watchdog issued a press release saying that Google spent $1.34 million trying to influence federal lawmakers and regulators in the second quarter of 2010, a 41% increase over $950,000 in the same period a year ago.

Pandora Reaches 60 Million User Milestone
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Facebook isn’t the only one announcing impressive milestones today. Pandora announced at the New Music Seminar that it has 60 million registered users. That’s not exactly Facebook’s 500 million, but pretty impressive nonetheless.

It wasn’t that long ago that Pandora’s obituary was all but written, but things are looking bright for the company now.

Facebook Gets 100 Billion Hits Per Day
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Facebook of course announced today that it surpassed 500 million users, but the company has shared a few more stats today as well.

Facebook gets 100 billion hits per day. It has 50 billion photos. It has 2 trillion objects cached, with hundreds of millions of requests per second and has 130TB of logs every day. This is all according to a post in Facebook’s Engineering Notes.

“Google Tags For Free” Offer Presented

Talk of free 30-day trials may not "wow" a lot of folks.  Some people, for example, will wonder whether a company won’t find an excuse not to take a product back, and other individuals realize just returning a product with a receipt can accomplish the same thing.  But local business owners should definitely take advantage of an opportunity to try Google Tags for a month.

If you’re ready to jump right in, here‘s a link to a signup page.  Enjoy.

Connecticut AG Presses Google Over Street View
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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a letter today on behalf of 38 states to Google asking it if it had tested its Street View software before using it.

Determining the Nation’s Happiness with Twitter
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You may recall Facebook’s Gross National Happiness project, in which status updates throughout the social network are monitored for positive words to give an idea of how happy people are in general.

Facebook Hits its 500 Million Mark, Launches Stories App
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Facebook was expected to announce that it reached 500 million users this week, and sure enough, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced it today.

Facebook has also launched a new app called Facebook Stories. This lets users share and read hundreds of stories about how they’ve used Facebook, categorized by themes and locations around the world.

Borders Launches Online Textbook Marketplace

Borders has launched a new "Textbook Marketplace" that allows users to buy and sell new and used textbooks.

The Marketplace features more than 1.4 million titles including a selection of used textbooks at a savings of up to 90 percent. Users can also earn cash via the site’s used textbook buyback option.

"College students spend nearly $1,000 each year on textbooks according to some estimates. That’s a sizable financial burden for students and families, especially in this challenging economic climate," said Borders CEO Mike Edwards.

Google Improves Border Accuracy in Google Maps
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Google has launched some improvements to its borders for over 60 countries and regions in Google Maps (coming to Google Earth soon).

Webmasters Complain About New Google Image Search
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It’s very rare that a major website launches any kind of redesign without any complaints from users. Google is no stranger to this itself, and it should come as no surprise that this week’s launch of the new Google Image Search has come with its own share of complaints (although I’d be surprised if the complaints outweighed the positive opinions).