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Yahoo AOL Merger Rumors Resurface
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Those old Yahoo-AOL rumors are persistent, if anything. Surfacing again are details related to a deal that could thwart a Microsoft takeover forever. But at the same time, it would seem damaging to an already heavily-scrutinized search ad deal with Google.

Salad Days Over In The Valley
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Things aren’t looking so good in Silicon Valley these days. As the US economy adjusts to recession, funding for ventures is down, stock prices are falling, and online tabloids have to let go even their decadent Valley prostitution reporters.

eBay Purchases More Companies

When auction revenue falls, eBay decides to bank on payment processing and online classifieds. eBay is buying online bill pay service Bill Me Later and two other companies which are based in Denmark.

Yahoo Exec Moves To MySpace
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Valeh Vakili joined Yahoo after graduating from Harvard, and over the course of eight years, climbed quite high up its corporate ladder.  Now, she’s moved from her position as the director of media sales operations to join MySpace in a similar capacity.

27-Month-Old GigaOM Raises Another $4.5 Million

Giga Omni Media has raised another $4.5 million to help it continue expanding. This is quite the contrast to Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton’s announcement of cutbacks due to economic "doom" planned for January.

Om Malik has now raised $5.8 million since his firms inception. The latest funding round was led by  Alloy Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm.

MySpace, Facebook Top Mobile Social Networks

Close to half (46%) of those who use social networks have visited a social network by using their mobile phone, according to ABI Research.

The majority (70%) have visited MySpace and another 67 percent have visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15 percent mobile adoption.

SMX East: Search And Branding

In the session "Search and Branding", Noah Elkin, VP of Corporate Strategy, Steak spoke about why brands matter in search.

Coverage of the SMX East conference will continue at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Matt Cutts, Hitwise Check In On Google Chrome
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Like its metallic namesake, Google’s browser named Chrome attracted a lot of attention at first, then seemed to lose its shine and fall out of favor.  Still, Hitwise found a surprising side effect of Chrome’s introduction, and Matt Cutts believes that it’s solid in most fundamental senses.

Moller Puts Flying Car Up On eBay
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If you’re a pup like I am—31’s still a pup, right?—you might remember reading about Moller’s flying car of the future in the Weekly Reader back in 1989-ish. By the year 2000, so the story went (I remember it vividly—the excitement was overwhelming), millionaires would be buzzing around in these Jetson-esque flying cars, and by 2010 or so an average schmuck like me could grab one for probably around $40,000.

SMX East: The iPhone’s Effect On Search
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Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL are all at very different stages of corporate life, and often don’t focus on the same things.  All of the companies have expressed an interest in the mobile market, however, and so as marketers consider matching this, a session at SMX East was called "Search and the iPhone."

Nokia ‘Comes With Music’ Is Very Restricted

 Music Ally blogger Stuart Dredge pointed me toward the Terms & Condit

Watch Sports And Stocks Through OneSeason

 If you enjoy investing in the stock market and are also a big sports buff then you might get a kick out of a new service by OneSeason which allows users to purchase shares in their favorite professional athletes and ma

eBay Cuts Staff, Buys Bill Me Later

eBay said today it is purchasing U.S. based online payments business Bill Me Later for approximately $820 million in cash and $125 million in outstanding options.

The company is also buying Denmark based online classified site dba.dk and vehicles site bilbasen.dk for $390 million in cash.

Ask Unveils Rebuilt Site
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Ask’s share of the search market is lacking, to say the least; deficiencies in both the tech and PR departments have long kept it fundamentally distinct from Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.  But an overhaul and ad campaign seek to fix all that.

Google, Yahoo Put Ad Deal On Hold

Google and Yahoo have agreed to put their search advertising deal on hold while Justice Department regulators continue their antitrust review of the controversial partnership.

"The companies have agreed to a brief delay in implementing this agreement to continue our ongoing discussions with the (U.S.) Department of Justice," Yahoo said in a statement. "We have had discussions with regulators and look forward to responding to their questions about this agreement."

Google also issued a statement on the delay.

Interview with the $15 Million Blogger
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BankaholicFriday, we reported on  Bankaholic, a blog written by Johns Wu, being sold for $15 million to BankRate.

Google Shoping for an Ad Agency?
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You don’t see a lot of traditional advertising from Google. Their philosophy is to build great products and develop amazing technology and let it sell (and support) itself. Their marketing strategy has relied mostly on word of mouth – and its worked well. It just may not be enough for a company their size.

Amazon’s Latest Patent
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Amazon has been awarded a patent for the concept behind its "Top Reviewers" program. The company apparently filed for this patent back in April of 2001. The abstract goes:

Blogger Hits Jackpot with Sweet Deal from Bankrate
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Reports have surfaced that Bankaholic.com, a WordPress blog run by Johns Wu (alone) is selling for $15 million to BankRate. That’s quite a deal for Wu, I’d say. According to paidContent.org, Wu gets $12.4 million up front, with another $2.5 million possible earnout over the next 12 months.

Facebook Cofounder Finds The Door

Given the documented-to-death problems with our economy, now’s not the best time for companies to show signs of weakness.  Unfortunately for Facebook, two key employees are leaving to start their own enterprise.

Should You Buy Links?

This old chestnut.

There is a post over at Search Engine Land by Danny Sullivan entitled "Conversation With An Idiot Link Broker". To cut a long story short, some guy tries to broker a link deal with Danny, seemingly not knowing who Danny is, and Danny plays him along. Danny reports him to the Google spam team.

For the sake of furthering discussion, I’ll play devils advocate :)

Does Steve Jobs Have Nine Lives?

Although I have ruthlessly defended new media’s potential for legitimacy as a news source, nobody said citizen journalism was a flawless concept. Today a story was posted at iReport.com claiming that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a severe heart attack. He did not.

Gawker Lays Off Staff & Brags About It!
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I’m going to be blunt here. The press coverage of the Gawker layoff memo is facinating in that they believe everything they are told and then proudly write about it! Isn’t it a bit curious that Nick is predicting doom and gloom while his sales are way up from last year and then encourages his writers to write articles on this news?

Friendster Gets Friendly with Facebook
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Friendster announced today that it is now supporting both Facebook and Opensocial apps. Integration with these has now become part of the Friendster Developer Program, though they’ve been supporting OpenSocial since August.