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Google Takes Aim at Microsoft Exchange with “Message Continuity”
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Today Google introduced a new service called Google Message Continuity, which Microsoft must be incredibly thrilled about. The service, powered by Postini, is described as a way to bring "Gmail’s reliability to Microsoft Exchange". 

E-Reader Sales Set To Double This Year
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E-reader sales are on track to total 6.6 million units in 2010, up 79.8 percent from 2009 sales of 3.6 million units, according to a new report from Gartner.

Hugues-De-La-Vergne In 2011, global e-reader sales are forecast to surpass 11 million units, a 68.3 percent increase from 2010.

YouTube Nixes Video Time Limit For Some Users
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Some YouTube content creators will soon get the opportunity to test their artistic abilities – and their audiences’ patience – more than ever before.  YouTube announced today that it will let select guideline-abiding users upload videos of any length.

The previous limit, which will still apply in many cases, was 15 minutes, so this represents a big adjustment.  YouTube credited advances in its Content ID system, since it now has to worry less about people uploading entire movies divided into multiple clips.

Social Media Has Been Around for Centuries. It’s Not About the Tech.
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Connecting with people shouldn’t be about what social networks you’re using. It should be about connecting with people. Yes, you need to look at where your audience is at, but you shouldn’t be using Twitter just for the sake of using Twitter if you’re not using it to communicate to the right people. 

Microsoft Admits Facebook Acquisition Attempt
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Last month, Groupon reportedly demonstrated to Google that not everything’s for sale, and it’s now more certain than ever that Facebook did the same thing to Microsoft a few years ago.  A Microsoft exec confirmed this morning that his company once tried to acquire Facebook.

Amazon Offers Nielsen BookScan To Authors

Amazon.com said today that authors who use its Author Central service can now view Nielsen BookScan’s weekly geographic sales data for their print books for free.

Author Central is a free service that helps authors promote their books and reach more readers. Also announced today, Author Central has added a feature that shows authors past history on the Amazon bestsellers rank for their books.

Amazon UK Listing Wikileaks Cables for Sale on Kindle
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Update: See comments section.

The Next Web discovered that someone is selling the infamous Wikileaks cables at Amazon UK to be read on the Kindle. This is interesting for a variety of reasons. 

Reason 1 

Google Releases End-Of-Year Zeitgeist
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Around the end of November and start of December, Bing and Yahoo released lists summing up the top searches of 2010.  Now, a little closer to the end of the year, Google’s followed suit, and there’s plenty of data for people who are interested in that sort of thing.

Treating Information Architecture Like Social Media Can Help You in Search
Scammers Targeting Amazon Retailers With Fake Receipts
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Cyber criminals are using a hacking program to create fake receipts for items sold through Amazon.com and its retail partners, in an effort to receive refunds or new products, according to security firm GFI Software.

“The free program available online allows scammers to create an HTML ‘receipt’ for phantom Amazon.com purchases,” said Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher, GFI Software

 

Mark Zuckerberg Pledges Majority Of Wealth To Charity
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Critics of Mark Zuckerberg should consider taking the day, week, month, year, or even decade off.  Zuckerberg, whose net worth was calculated to be $6.9 billion as of September, has pledged to donate the majority of his fortune to charity.

Report: 6% of American Adults Using Twitter

Twitter mentioned in a blog post about how its Trending Topics work that its users are sending over 95 million tweets a day. A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals some more interesting information about Twitter usage in America. 

Twitter Explains How Trending Topics Work
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Twitter has taken the time to explain a bit about how its Trending Topics work, following accusations from the Blogosphere that the company was blocking terms like #wikileaks and #cablegate, which Twitter says it was not and is not. 

MasterCard.com (and Visa.com) Taken Down By Wikileaks-Supporting Hackers?
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Update 3. MasterCard is back, and Anonymous (those behind Operation Payback) have issues a press release.

Update 2: The group (Operation Payback) credited with bringing down both MasterCard.com and Visa.com has had its Facebook Page removed for violating terms of service. It’s Twitter account was also suspended.

Update: Visa.com is now down as well. MasterCard.com is still down. (As of 4:30pm Eastern)

Yahoo Tests New Local Site for Mobile Users
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Yahoo has launched the new Yahoo Local for Mobile experience in beta. 

Facebook Adds More Privacy Controls to Mobile
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In August, Facebook brought its privacy controls to browser-enabled mobile devices. In October, the company added a dashboard to give users a way to see and control the ways applications use their information. Now, Facebook is making these same controls available on mobile phones, so users can update and manage the info they share from wherever they’re at. 

Did Groupon Make the Right Decision? What’s Google’s Next Move?
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As you probably know, Groupon recently turned down Google’s $6 billion acquisition offer. CEO Andrew Mason was reportedly concerned about the direction Google may have taken it in, as well as what would happen to its employees. 

Google Street View Adds Images Of Romania
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Armchair explorers with nice monitors should be glad to know that another portion of central Europe is now accessible through Street View.  This afternoon, Google announced that photos of Romania have gone live, and there are definitely some impressive sights to see.

Twitter Should Be Getting More Useful at the Geographical Level

Twitter is making it easier for developers to tap into Places data, which should fuel more interesting functionalities around locations in a lot of apps.

Online Holiday Spending Tops $17 Billion
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U.S. online holiday spending has surpassed $17.5 billion in the first 35 days of the November -December shopping season, up 12 percent, according to a new report from comScore.

Google’s Social Layer May Be a Toolbar
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Update: A screenshot of what this toolbar might look like has appeared. Google of course says it is always testing features, and has nothing new to announce. 

More Than Half Of Americans Say Best Deals Are Online
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Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans feel that the easiest way to complete their holiday gift purchases is online, while 87 percent favor brick-and-mortar stores, according to research firm StrategyOne.

When it comes to finding the best deals overall, Americans are divided — with 52% stating they found the best deals online, while 48% say they could find the best deals in retail stores.

South Korean Regulators Go After Facebook

A person might imagine that South Korean authorities would have better things to worry about right now, what with North Korea on the (maybe literal) warpath.  Nonetheless, the Korea Communications Commission has found the time to declare Facebook in violation of data privacy laws.

Americans Ignoring Internet Banner Ads
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Online advertising is considered a good way to target and reach consumers, but nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans say they tend to ignore Internet ads, according to a new survey from Adweek Media and Harris Interactive.

Among those who ignore Internet ads, 43 percent say they ignore banner ads the most and 20 percent say they ignore search engine ads the most. Smaller percentages say they ignore television ads (14%), radio ads (7%) and newspaper ads (6%); just 9% of Americans say they don’t ignore any of the listed types of ads.