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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!

Mobile Accessory Market To Reach $63 Billion
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The average U.S. owner of a mobile phone spends about $60 on accessories over the life of the phone, according to a new survey from ABI Research.

Related market research indicates that the worldwide wireless handset accessories market is worth about $63 billion in 2009.

Australian Twitterers Can Now Easily Find Locals
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Twitterers in Australia will be happy to know that TwellowHood, the Twellow feature that allows Twitterers to connect with people in their own area, is now available in Australia. Previously, it has been available in the US and Canada, and will continued to be expanded to other parts of the world.

Study: Twitter At Least 40 Percent Pointless
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People who believe that Twitter’s useful and important are not going to be pleased with the results of a new study.  Pear Analytics tried to categorize 2,000 tweets, and found that 40.55 percent of them fell into the "pointless babble" bucket.

Amazon Now Allowing Customers To Rate Its Packaging
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Last November Amazon.com announced its initiative called "Frustration-Free Packaging" aimed at reducing the amount of packaging materials and making them easier for customers to open.

Now the company has added two new features allowing customers to provide feedback on both Amazon’s and manufacturer’s packaging. Customers can now rate Amazon’s packaging on a four-point scale ranging from "too small" to "way too big."

Ushering In a Whole New Era of Linking Questions
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Update: Tr.im has apparently had a change of heart, and decided to remain functional. On the company blog, Tr.im’s founder says:

We have restored tr.im, and re-opened its website. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the popular response, and the countless public and private appeals I have received to keep tr.im alive.

Google China May Let Fate Rest On Mobile
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Google China’s about four years old, and to be fair, deserves a bit of recognition for surviving so long under inhospitable conditions.  But it’s still floundering in terms of market share and profitability, and its president, Kai-Fu Lee, now seems ready to switch focus in response.

Social Network Users More Vulnerable To Security Risks
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The majority of social networking users are vulnerable to online security problems with less than one third taking actions to protect themselves, according to a new survey by AVG and the CMO Council.

According to the poll results most social network users fail to perform the following basic security measures on a regular basis:

Reuters Happy to Take Traffic the AP Doesn’t Want
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Update: Google evidently likes the Reuters philosophy on this matter. The company recently tweeted the following message:

Bing Indexing NoIndex/Nofollow Content
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Bing’s webmaster forum has a number of posts where people are complaining that Bing will not index their content. Some people, however, are having the opposite problem. Content that they do not want indexed by Bing is being indexed by Bing, despite the webmaster’s efforts to keep it out of the search engine.

Latest eBay Changes Go Over Better With Sellers
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eBay upset a lot of its sellers over the last year and a half or so with various announcements and policy changes. Evidence of this is all over the web on message boards, blog comments, and social networks.

Motorola Building Buzz Around Android, Sept. 10th
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Motorola’s not yet spilling many details, but the telecommunications company has something big planned for September 10th.  What’s more, unless the company’s representatives have just developed a love of little robots, the announcement is related to Google’s Android operating system.

You can see the invitation that Motorola’s been sending around – complete with Android figure – below for yourself.  All we’ve removed from the image is one email address for the sake of saving somebody from spam.

YouTube Reaches Out With Revenue-Sharing Program

YouTube’s Partner Program has, as a general rule, allowed in only content creators who produce original and heavily viewed clips on a consistent basis.  This was a smart and safe approach.  But it’s an approach that also excluded a lot of very popular one-off videos, and YouTube’s now seeking to correct the problem.

Short URL Spam a Big Threat in August

Spammers are taking particular advantage of the heightened interest in health-related issues like swine flu and healthcare reform to distribute large shortened-URL spam runs using the Donbot botnet, according to Symantec’s MessageLabs.

eBay Unleashes Latest Changes for Sellers
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Update: eBay is starting to test the badges. The company made the following announcement:

Over the next few weeks you may see a new seller badge appearing on some item pages and in search results. This badge is part of the new eBay Top-rated seller status announced last week and launching in October. Starting this week and over the next few weeks, we’ll be testing the badge in search results and item pages for a small percentage of eBay traffic.