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The Marketing Worth Of Twitter and Facebook

As marketing professionals, we usually have to justify ourselves to our bosses, our clients and everyone in between—especially in the less-tested, sometimes-hit-or-miss arena of social media.

AOL’s 1000+ Employee Layoffs Looming

Back in November we talked about AOL’s need to trim their headcount by some 2,500 people. At the time the hope was that enough would walk away from their positions to avert the need for playing the bad guy and actually firing anyone.

Online Tax Programs Gaining Popularity

More than one in five taxpayers say they will go online to prepare their taxes according to a new survey by Opinion Research, conducted for CompleteTax.

The survey found sixty percent of taxpayers plan to use an accountant or professional tax preparer. The number of taxpayers turning to online tax programs now slightly surpasses those planning to use packaged software with 11 percent saying they will go online compared to 10 percent saying they will buy a packaged program.

News Corp. Blocks Content from News Aggregation Site
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As you may recall, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch began talking about blocking search engines and news aggregators a couple months ago. This escalated discussions that have essentially been going on for over a decade about the online news industry and fair use.

“Google” Declared Word Of The Decade

It looks like a certain search giant’s scored another victory in terms of its influence on society.  Or it’s at least half a win, as the American Dialect Society has declared "google" the word of the decade.

Google Bows to Chinese Authors on Book Scanning

Google is used to coming under fire from different groups when it comes to its Google Books project. Most recently, the fire has come from the China Writers Association, which has over 8,000 members.

The group complained that Google was scanning and uploading its books without permission from authors. According to a Bloomberg report:

A Print Shop for a New Decade

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Encore unveiled a new version of The Print Shop. Yep, that’s right – The Print Shop, a time time-honored desktop publishing software that’s been around for decades. The company has completely redone it this time around.

Google Tries to Carve Out its Place in Mobile

Arguably the biggest news in the tech industry so far this year, has been Google’s launch of the Nexus One smartphone. The company rocked the mobile space when it announced that it would be selling the device on its own without the need of a carrier contract (although such contracts are available).

Enterprises Seeing Increased Complexity at Data Centers

Symantec has put together its "State of the Data Center" report, which is the product of a survey of 573 businesses in 26 countries.

BetOnSports CEO Sentenced To Prison
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David Carruthers, the former director and CEO of online sports wagering firm BetOnSports, was sentenced to 33 months in prison on Friday, the Justice Department announced.

David-Carruthers Carruthers, a citizen of the United Kingdom, was hired by BetOnSports founder, Gary Kaplan, in 2000 as CEO of the online wagering company, which was based in Costa Rica.

German Justice Minister Likens Google To “Giant Monopoly”
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Germany’s justice minister is less than happy about the direction Google’s headed.  Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger thinks the search giant may become a monopoly, and she’s not of a mind to sit by while that happens behind closed doors.

Google Shows How People Have Been Searching

Before 2009 came to a close, Google provided a look (as always) at the most searched for terms of the year. It showed the top ten fastest rising and fastest falling terms on both a global scale, and in the U.S. Globally, "Michael Jackson" was the fastest rising, while "Beijing 2008" was the fastest falling. In the U.S., "Twitter" was the fastest rising (just above "Michael Jackson", and "John McCain" was the fastest falling (just over the Olympics).

Google Fast Flip Goes Mainstream
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Update 2: Google has now placed Fast Flip at the bottom of Google News.

National Weather Service Asks For Twitter Storm Reports
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It seems that a lot of government scientists are betting people will turn to Twitter when Mother Nature lets loose.  Earlier, we wrote about the USGS’s Twitter Earthquake Detector, and it turns out that the National Weather Service has cooked up something similar for storms.

Consumer Technology Holiday Sales Hit $10.8 Billion
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U.S. consumer technology retail sales fell less than one percent for the 2009 holiday season, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

The report found sales for the five-week holiday period reached $10.8 billion, a big improvement from the 6 percent decline during the 2008 holiday season.

A Glimpse of This Year’s Upcoming Gadgets
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As you are probably aware, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been going on this week, and will continue to do so through Sunday January, 10. WebProNews is in attendance, and will be periodically posting exclusive video interviews and looks at new products, continuing after the show is over.

Baidu’s COO Resigns

Several changes in Baidu’s executive lineup occurred today, and fans can take heart in the fact that two of them came about as the result of promotions.  The third is a little more troubling, insofar as Baidu’s chief operating officer resigned "for personal reasons."

Facebook Launches Fellowship Program For Ph.D. Students
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Facebook said today it is launching the Facebook Fellowship Program aimed at Ph.D. students in the 2010-2011 school year.

The goal of the Facebook Fellowship Program is to find candidates who can help solve problems surrounding the social web and Internet technology.
Facebook

Analysts Give Google Thumbs Up For Diversifying
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Once upon a time, Google was a company that specialized in search and advertising.  Now, it’s tossing out advanced mobile phones and requesting the right to buy and sell energy.  Still, several financial analysts think these not-entirely-conventional moves are a good idea.

Yahoo Partners With Electus On Original Content
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Yahoo has partnered with Ben Silverman’s production company Electus, in which Electus will develop and produce premium content for Yahoo and its advertisers.

The partnership is aimed at driving creativity in online programming. Electus will develop a number of original video concepts for Yahoo in partnership with advertisers.  The specific types of projects were not announced.

Ben-Silverman

Google Could Sell Energy
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Remember when Google was just a search engine? We often still think about it that way, yet we are frequently reminded of the breadth of product offerings and ultimately the power the company possesses. Power, or energy rather, is actually something Google could end up selling in the future.

Gov’t Agency Turns To Twitter For Earthquake-Tracking

The fact that reports of earthquakes (or at least messages reading "EARTHQUAKE!!!") are quick to surface on Twitter is a key reason many people first recognized the site as useful.  Now, the U.S. Geological Survey has decided to have a closer look, unveiling the Twitter Earthquake Detector.

Cell Phone Use May Protect Against Alzheimer

Talking on a cell phone may actually help to protect against and even reverse Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study by researchers at the University of South Florida.

The study involved exposing mice over long periods of time to electromagnetic waves associated with cell phone use.
Gary-Arendash

Cell Phone Use May Protect Against Alzheimer

Talking on a cell phone may actually help to protect against and even reverse Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study by researchers at the University of South Florida.

The study involved exposing mice over long periods of time to electromagnetic waves associated with cell phone use.
Gary-Arendash