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8 Firefox Add-Ons to Boost Productivity
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If you use Firefox, you are no doubt aware that there are many add-ons that can enhance your browsing experience. Many of these can make your online life a whole lot easier and save you time. Following are some that I have found particularly useful. Which do you like? Tell us.

1. Fire Gestures

Content Sites More Popular Than Social Networks
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The majority (53.1%) of Internet users belong to at least one social networking site, but the amount of time spent on the sites is somewhat short, compared to overall time spent online, according to a new report from Burst Media.

Among 18-34 year olds, 40 percent spend less than 30 minutes per day on sites like Facebook and MySpace. The top content categories for that demographic actively seek out entertainment news (48.6%), gaming (40.5%), local/national news (37.3%) and social media (35.5%).

Search as Navigation On the Rise
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Compete has shared some interesting data indicating that web users are increasingly using search engines to simply navigate to the sites they want to visit. For example, they are typing "facebook" in Google rather than just going to facebook.com from their address bar.

Following is a look at the fastest growing search terms according to Compete, for the top five search engines. You’ll notice that this list is largely dominated by brand names.

Google UK Office Had a Fire

Daily Telegraph reporter Jon Swaine has uploaded a picture to Twitpic, which he says shows the roof terrace at Google’s UK headquarters on FIRE! That image is below:

News of this is spreading (like…I will omit the inappropriate pun here) on Twitter at a rapid pace:

Matt Cutts Talks Video Universal Search Ranking
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As you may know, Google’s Matt Cutts frequently answers user questions by posting videos to the Google Webmaster Central YouTube channel, and the latest one he tackled has to do with videos ranking for universal search on Google. Here is the question that Cutts received:

LendingTree Says Google’s Getting Into Mortgage Quotes
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The company that provides a mortgage product and pricing engine to LendingTree is ready to do the same thing for Google, according to a new lawsuit.  Indeed, LendingTree claims to have screenshots proving that Google is about to get into the mortgage quote business. 

AOL Taps Arthur Minson As CFO
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AOL has named Arthur Minson as the company’s new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Minson replaces Nisha Kumar, who left AOL earlier this summer. Minson was previously with Time Warner Cable, where he served as Executive Vice President and Deputy CFO and had a hand in helping manage that division’s separation from Time Warner. Prior to his role at Time Warner Cable, Minson led AOL’s Corporate Finance and Development activities.

App Store Gets Twice the Downloads of Android Market

New findings from AdMob indicate that twice as many paid apps are downloaded per user on Apple App Store compared to the Android Market. This information comes from AdMob’s Metrics Report for the month of July.

7 Steps for Creating a Web Analytics Culture
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You may recall Feras Alhlou, who chatted with WebProNews earlier this year after contributing a guest post to Google’s Analytics Blog about using advanced segments in Google Analytics. Alhlou is the president of E-Nor, and he presented at an analytics session at SES this week.

Rank in Image Searches and Get Valuable, Untapped Traffic
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One aspect of search that doesn’t get discussed often enough is image search. It’s such a huge part of search and the daily habits of web surfers all over the world, it’s amazing how little attention is actually paid to it when it comes to marketing and optimization. Have tips for optimizing for image search? Share them here.

Search Engine and Social Traffic from Press Releases
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Press releases are a form of online marketing that we don’t discuss very often. They don’t have the new and exciting appeal of social media or even search engine marketing, but they’ve been around a lot longer and are still working. In fact, they can play right into those other forms.

More Companies Firing People Over Social Media (Mis)use
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Employees should be more careful than ever about what sort of work-related information they post online.  A new report indicates that companies are growing increasingly aware of inappropriate sharing, with many incidents resulting in someone getting fired.

Need More Examples of Twitter’s Usefulness to Business?
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A recent study from LinkedIn and Harris Interactive showed that only 8% of advertisers and consumers think Twitter is a "very effective" promotion tool. Still, it is the most linked to social network in email marketing campaigns.

The Biggest Security Hole on the Web?
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Two weeks ago, Adobe released a critical patch for Flash Player and Acrobat Reader. According to online security company Trusteer, about 80% of users are still vulnerable, and perhaps more startling, the company views this as being possibly the biggest security hole on the Internet today.

That 80% figure is based on Trusteer’s installed base of over 2.5 million online banking users of the company’s security service.

IBM Calls Internet Wild West
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There has been a 508 percent increase in the number of new malicious Web links discovered in the first half of 2009, according to IBM’s X-Force 2009 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report.

The report found an increase in the presence of malicious content on trusted sites, including search engines, blogs, bulletin boards, personal websites, online magazines and mainstream news sites.

Google Shares Interesting Malware Stats
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Google is sharing some interesting statistics on malware, such as the number of entries on the Google Safe Browsing Malware List that have occurred over the last twelve months, and search results containing a URL labeled as harmful.

"We’re glad to share this sort of data because we believe that collaboration and information sharing are crucial in driving anti-malware efforts forward," says Niels Provos of Google’s Security Team.

Sticking an Ad Where Users Are Already Engaging
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There’s one area of your site that if you include it, users have no choice but to engage, if they wish to continue with the task they’re trying to complete. That would be the CAPTCHA, other wise known as that annoying, (often times barely legible) word you have to recreate in a box, so that the site knows you’re human.

Another Google Summer Of Code Concludes
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Google’s fifth Summer of Code has ended, and by all accounts, it was quite a success.  Indeed, the students’ official success rate this year was judged to be the highest ever, and with 2,000 mentors and 1,000 students participating, that’s no statistical fluke.

The Summer of Code is, in case you didn’t know, a program Google runs to bring young people into contact with free and open source projects.  Accepted students are given a choice between many different projects (there were 150 options this year), along with mentors and stipends.

New Gmail Feature Makes Contact Choosing Easier
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Google has added a "contact chooser" to Gmail, which allows users to simply click the "To:" link (or Cc/Bcc:) when composing a message to get a list of contacts from which to choose recipients. Previously, users just had to type the names/addresses in, although there has been an auto-complete feature, which made the process more convenient.

Google Book Downloads Compatible on More Devices
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Google is now offering downloads of public domain books in Google Books in the EPUB format, which is an open and free industry standard for electronic books. This format is supported by a wide variety of different applications, so it should be easy for many people to access literature this way.

Users can download the public domain books by simply clicking the "download" button in the Google Books Toolbar, which provides a drop-down menu to choose the file format.

YouTube Relaxing Its Partnership Program Limits

This week, Google announced that YouTube is extending its Partnership Program.

Google Lets Businesses Speed Up Videos
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Google has introduced a feature for Google Video for Business that allows viewers to adjust the playback speed. There is a speed control button/slider on the video player that can be used to speed up or slow down a clip.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Video for Business, it’s part of Google Apps Premiere and Education editions, and lets users share rich video information, keep videos secure and private, and collaborate on videos.

Teens: Tweeting Or Not?

While the subject is often debated, there is mounting evidence that the Internet community’s desire to pin the label of ‘early adopter’ for new technology advances on the youngest users may be misguided. Earlier this month we asked the question as to whether teens use Twitter and it looks like the answer is, for the most part, not so much.

Twitter Has Evil Pop-Up That Could Hack Your Account

If you ever see a Twitter pop-up message that looks like the following:

RUN! Close down your browser, turn off your computer, do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200!