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AdMob Determines Android Is Growing Faster Than Ever
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Google took the wraps off its Nexus One phone today, and by all accounts, this device will help spread Android further and faster than ever.  But new data from AdMob shows that the mobile operating system was already on quite a roll.

A post on the official AdMob blog began by stating that growth has been occurring at an impressive rate in recent months, noting, "Worldwide requests from Android devices increased 97% from October to December."

USA Today Rolls Out New Homepage
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USA TODAY has introduced a newly designed homepage, the first major redesign for the site since 2007.

The new site offers improved navigation and a cleaner feel with the aim of making it easier for users to find content. The new homepage loads 25 to 35 percent faster allowing users to get to news content quickly. Initially the redesign is launching just on the homepage and more changes will be visible over the rest of the site in the coming weeks.

Across-the-Board Growth Expected In Internet Industry

The U.S. online advertising industry will shake off the recession’s effects and have an excellent time of it in 2010, according to one expert.  J.P. Morgan’s Imran Khan has predicted that just about every aspect of the sphere should experience significant growth this year.

Apple Acquiring AdMob Competitor Quattro Wireless

Update: The acquisition has been confirmed, and competitor AdMob issued the following statement:

"We believe that Apple’s proposed acquisition of Quattro serves as yet another validation of the vibrant mobile advertising industry and can help accelerate the pace of innovation and competition in this space."

Microsoft Releases Pricing Details For Office 2010

Microsoft said today it is releasing pricing details for its Office 2010 editions launching later this year.

"Office 2010 will be offered in four versions, to make it easier to choose a version of Office that’s best for you – Office Home and Business, Office Professional, Office Home and Student, and Office Professional Academic," Microsoft said in a blog post.

Top 15 Things You Loved to Talk About in 2009
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Just as we did at the end of 2008, we have gone back through our entire archive for the year 2009 and picked out the articles that received the most conversation from our readers. As we approach the new year, we thought it would be fun to go back and reflect on some of the things that got people talking in the one that’s wrapping up.

PandaLabs Detects 25 Million New Malware Strains

The past year set a new record for malware creation with 25 million new strains, according to a new report by PandaLabs.

The latest surge of activity included new examples of banker Trojans, which accounted for 66 percent of all new samples, as well as a number of fake antivirus programs.

During 2009, spam was also highly active, accounting for 92 percent of all email traffic. The tactics used to dupe potential victims into opening these spam emails have focused on exploiting current events and dramatic news stories.

Google Phone Excitement Builds Ahead Of Jan. 5 Event
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The cat has at least started to come out of the bag with regards to the long-rumored "Google phone"; details about the Nexus One have been leaking for weeks.  It looks like the rest of the figurative feline will soon appear, too, as a T-Mobile announcement and invitation to a Google event were issued today.

Google Gives Alex Over a Million Books

Spring Design, the makers of the Alex eReader device, announced it has entered into an agreement with Google, which will see it gaining access to over a million Google Books. Alex users will be able to read these books online or download them using the Android-integrated browser and search applications.

Opera CEO Steps Down, Immediately Replaced

Jon von Tetzchner has stepped down as CEO of Opera, though he will remain with the company full-time in a "strategic and independent" capacity. Opera has appointed Lars Boilesen to take his place as CEO.

Zillow Grows More Than 50% In 2009
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Real estate website Zillow.com said today it broke multiple records for site traffic and user activity in 2009.

An average of 8.2 million unique users visited Zillow each month during 2009, which is an increase of 57 percent year-over-year.

"2009 was a wild year for real estate, with continued home value declines, government intervention, record low mortgage rates, and an enormous amount of consumer uncertainty about what the future holds," said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s chief operating officer.

Hulu Investor May Help Launch Similar Site In China

An investment group with significant ties to Hulu may now be ready to help a similar site launch in China.  A report’s connected Providence Equity Partners to both Baidu and a new online video destination.

More Media/Ad Trend Predictions for 2010
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In a recent article, we looked at some predictions from Nielsen for advertising trends in 2010. These included optimizing media convergence being a top priority, new models emerging to take advantage of smartphones, more cross-media ad campaigns, an increase in commercialization of social networking hubs, and more interesting and interactive online ads.

Hitwise: Facebook Beat Google On New Year’s Day
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As Facebook employees went back to work this week, they may have been smiling more (or at least less frowning less) than most other people returning from vacation.  Their site performed admirably over the holidays, actually attracting record-breaking amounts of traffic.

On Tuesday, we documented the fact that Facebook received more traffic than Google on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  That made it the most visited U.S. site for the first time ever.

Consumer Groups Want Antitrust Probe Of TV Everywhere
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Free Press and a number of other consumer groups are calling on federal antitrust authorities and Congress to investigate agreements among large media companies to stifle competition for online television programming.

Yahoo Sale Of Zimbra To VMware Rumored

At the moment, the Zimbra homepage bears a "BUY ZIMBRA" button and a stamp reading "a Yahoo division."  But according to a new report, a sale of Zimbra (and not just a Zimbra product) may soon take place, making "a VMware division" a more accurate statement.

ChaCha Closes $7 Million Round of Funding

Answers service ChaCha announced today that it has closed a $7 million E round of funding. The service lets users go online, call, or text questions on mobile phones and receive answers "within minutes" for free. The service has an iPhone app and lets people ask questions via Twitter as well.

This round of funding might be particularly significant for the company. "We believe this latest round provides ChaCha the cash required to reach profitability," says CEO Scott A. Jones.

Flixster Buys Film Rating Site
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Movie social networking site, Flixster, said today it has acquired movie review site Rotten Tomatoes from IGN Entertainment, a division of News Corp.

News Corp will receive a minority equity stake in Flixster as part of the deal, financial terms were not disclosed.

Ping.fm Acquired by Seesmic
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Seesmic announced today that it has acquired Ping.fm. This is a service that has half a million active users posting daily from various devices by sending email, text messages, and chat.

Some Facebook Users Get New Design
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Update: Some Facebook users are reportedly now seeing a new Facebook design that looks like the screenshots here. The design is similiar to the one below, with some slight differences.

Smartphone Owners Frustrated By Poor Mobile Site Functionality

Smartphone owners are more comfortable making purchases from their handsets, but poor mobile site functionality is still a frustration for many, according to a new survey by Compete. 

While m-commerce is set for strong growth in 2010, consumers are still more likely to abandon mobile purchasing on sites that are not optimized for the on-the-go experience, similar to shopping cart abandonment in the early days of ecommerce.

Chrome Cruises By Safari
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Last month, Google acknowledged Apple’s importance by releasing a beta version of Chrome for Mac.  New statistics show that Google sort of put Apple to shame, too, however, as Chrome passed Safari in terms of market share.

Will Google Phone Bring Spotify to the US?

Even if you haven’t used Spotify, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it. The service’s description goes: "A world of music. Millions of songs on your computer, on your mobile and available offline. Brought to you ad free."

Googler Could Become Vermont Governor
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Vermont residents may want to start giving a little extra thought to whether or not they like the way Google does things.  It seems that Matt Dunne, the Manager of Community Affairs at Google, is trying to become the state’s governor.

An important note: Dunne hasn’t sworn to turn Vermont into one giant Googleplex.  There’s been no fanatical talk of data collection.  And the words "Google" and "search" don’t even appear on Dunne’s homepage (part of which you can see below).