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Local Video Display Ads On the Rise

Online video advertising platform Mixpo is sharing some stats regarding the growth of local video and interactive display ads.

"Year-over-year, Mixpo has seen, primarily, local TV advertisers, extend their broadcast strategy and campaigns to the Web by more than 300 percent," a Mixpo spokesperson tells WebProNews. During that time, according to Mixpo, over 1.2 million minutes of video display advertising have been watched. That translates to over two years of 24/7 non-stop TV viewing.

U.S. Broadband Speeds Still Lacking
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The average download Internet speed in the United States between 2007 and 2009 increased by only 1.6 megabits per second (mbps), from 3.5 mbps in 2007 to 5.1 mbps in 2009, according to a new report by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Google Wants Your Location for Live Traffic Reports
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Google is expanding its traffic layers in Google Maps. They’re now showing traffic conditions on arterial roads in selected cities, but is working on doing this to cover all U.S. highways and arterials when data is available.

Survey Finds 30% of College Faculty Use Twitter
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Faculty Focus released some interesting findings from a survey about Twitter usage and trends among college faculty. They surveyed about 2,000 faculty members and found that about a third of the respondents say they use Twitter. Over half say they have never used Twitter at all.

Opera Reports Global Mobile Browsing Trends
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Opera released its monthly report on the state of the mobile web. The report looks at the link between downloads and usage by Opera Mini users. Reports say that Opera Mini is the most widely downloaded mobile app, so this is quite significant.

Opera Announces Release Candidate for New Browser Version
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Today Opera released the first release candidate for Opera 10. The final release should be launching on September 1.

Music Publishers Sue Websites Over Lyrics

National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) members have filed copyright infringement lawsuits against two businesses for publishing unlicensed lyrics on four websites.

Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music filed an action against LiveUniverse, and its owner Brad Greenspan, co-founder of MySpace, in the Federal Court of the Central District of California for willful copyright infringement on a vast scale.

The Ups and Downs of Paid Tweeting
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Update: Izea has launched thier paid tweeting service (discussed in the original article) on its own site at SponsoredTweets.com.

Acquisition Rumors (Re)surround Facebook
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Facebook might soon be involved in another acquisition.  New analyses/rumors are swirling, anyway, with one person suggesting that Facebook should be bought, and another indicating that the social networking company could extend an offer to a smaller firm.

Forbes.com CEO Thinks Publishers are Killing Web Ad Potential
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Jim Spanfeller, President and CEO of Forbes.com, who also happens to be treasurer of the Online Publishers Association and Chairman Emeritus of the Interactive Advertising Bureau spoke his mind on the state of the online advertising industry in a guest post at PaidContent.org.

Searching For Jessica Biel Puts Users At Risk
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Jessica Biel is now the most dangerous celebrity to search for on the Web, according to a new report from McAfee.

Fans searching for "Jessica Biel" or Jessica Biel downloads," Jessica Biel wallpaper," "Jessica Biel screensavers," Jessica Biel photos" and "Jessica Biel videos" have a one in five chance of visiting a website that’s tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.

Yahoo to Launch Arabic Versions of its Properties
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Yahoo has announced its intent to acquire Maktoob.com, an Arab portal that reaches one in every three people online in its region. That accounts for about 16.5 million people. Yahoo says this is its largest geographic expansion in years.

Yahoo Unveils New Search Design
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Yahoo discussed the future of Yahoo Search today. They are launching a new search design that goes along with the new look of the Yahoo Home Page, which was recently launched itself.

The new search has a three-column layout (Search Engine Land has a bunch of screenshots), with most of the changes occurring in the left-hand column. This is where filters and search applications reside.

Google on Online Ads Boosting Offline Sales
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Google is talking about how online ads can boost in-store sales at a couple of its different blogs today. The first one looks at the relationship between POS (point of sale) and O2S (online to store).

MTV Launches New Online Video Ad Unit
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Target and MTV Networks have partnered to launch a new online video ad unit called "The Scrubber."

The Scrubber is a custom video player that allows advertisers to insert product icons into the playback timer and highlight various items as the video plays. The unit is designed to be interactive, relevant and non-interruptive to the user.

Hulu’s UK Launch Now Expected In January
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It may be a while yet before people in the UK get a chance to watch Hulu.  Although the wheels are still in motion to take Hulu across the Atlantic, no content deals have been struck, and so what was supposed to be a pre-September launch now appears to be penciled in for January. 

Google Brings Video/Voice Chat to Your Home Page
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Google now has a video chat application that can be used from your iGoogle home page. This is just the latest feature Google has added to its ever-growing list of products/features that make it more like a giant social network.

Facebook Expanding Staff By Around 50%

While we continue to slog our way through the economy (is it getting better, staying the same or worse?) there are a few companies that are defying the general downward trends. Apple’s iPhone has let them weather the storm quite nicely. Apparently, Facebook is doing quite fine as well.

Yahoo Signs On PointRoll To Smart Ads Program
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Gannett’s PointRoll announced today it has joined the Yahoo Smart Ads program to help marketers focus on creating rich media ads and improve campaign performance.

 As a member of Yahoo’s Smart Ads program, PointRoll will use Yahoo’s reach and targeting capabilities to provide more customized, relevant and scalable rich media campaigns. PointRoll will also use its ShopLocal retail ad program to offer improved Smart Ads for retail advertisers.

Toshiba Launches Social Network for Employees
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Toshiba announced today it is launching a social business network called eXCHANGE, aimed at connecting its sales, service, administrative and corporate employees in the U.S.

Toshiba says eXCHANGE is similar to other social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIN or MySpace and it will offer members an online forum to share and seek information, including best sales practices, user generated information and product tips.

Swiss Privacy Commissioner Requests Street View Takedown

The Swiss gave Street View a chance.  But, following the release of some imagery on Tuesday, Switzerland’s Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner asked Google late last week to withdraw its offering.

Google May Face $15M Suit Over Blogger’s Outing
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Obeying a court order and revealing the identity of a formerly anonymous blogger might not work out so well for Google.  Rosemary Port, who was exposed as the author of the now infamous "Skanks in NYC" blog, has said that she intends to sue the search giant for $15 million.

MapQuest Launches Missing Children Widget
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AOL’s MapQuest has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to launch a new widget on MapQuest Local that includes missing child alerts and information from NCMEC.

Is the Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Anti-competitive?
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That Microsoft-Yahoo deal that has been so heavily anticipated since even way before it was announced may not go through as planned. At least that’s what one antitrust lawyer thinks.

Matthew Cantor, a partner with the firm Constantine Cannon LLP, told ComputerWorld that he believes the deal will not get past regulators – at least not as is.