Facebook/Twitter Use May Now Mean More for Google/Bing Rankings
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Disclaimer: This article was originally written before Google made its announcement, and has been updated to reflect that.

Google and Microsoft have both inked deals with Twitter and Microsoft has also inked one with Facebook to integrate Twitter and Facebook updates into Bing search results. Google will be adding tweets to search results.

Yelp Not Being Acquired by Google

Update: Reports now say that Yelp has backed out of the deal.

Original Article: Multiple reports say that Google is in negotiations to acquire Yelp, a site that caters to reviews of local businesses. Mike Arrington claims to have confirmed this with "multiple sources," and says the price is at least $500 million.

How Does Bing Rank Tweets?
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As previously reported, Microsoft has made deals with both Facebook and Twitter, which will see Bing feature updates from both networks in real-time search efforts. To me, this says that social media just became an even bigger part of search engine marketing, particularly with Google also on board with Twitter and rumored to be talking to Facebook.

The Internet is All Over Climategate While the MSM Sleeps
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The mainstream media has its head in the sand again while one of the largest conspiracies the world has ever seen is exposed via Internet media. As most readers have heard by now, years of emails and programming code have been uncovered from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, which is run by the scientists whose research is the basis for the world’s belief in man-caused global warming.

Jon Stewart: Poor Al Gore, global warming completely debunked by the very Internet you invented!
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Quote from Jon Stewart of Comedy Central: "Poor Al Gore, global warming completely debunked by the very Internet you invented".

Stewart continued, "It’s nothing, he was just using a trick .. to hide the decline. It’s just scientist speak for using a standard statistical technique recalibrating data in order to … trick you … into not knowing about  … the decline.

Nielsen Shares Predictions for Advertising Trends in 2010

It’s the time of year when not only does everybody reflect upon trends and happenings from the year past, but they also look forward and make predictions for the coming year. Nielsen has shared its projections for the top advertising trends for 2010. These are:

YouTube Partner Program Turns Two
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It’s no secret that people work harder when given a financial incentive, and that companies also like to make a little money.  Now, the program that YouTube created to capitalize on these facts has turned two years old, and YouTube’s having a little celebration.

Wolfram Alpha Open to Other Bing-Like Conversations
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As I’ve noted in the past, Wolfram Alpha, the much-hyped search computation engine that was supposed to be the future of search hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. As of November, Compete data indicates it was receiving under 300 thousand unique visitors in the US. To put that into perspective, Ask.com had over 41 million.

Opera Turbo Sees 60% User Growth in One Month

Opera announced that five million people are using Opera Turbo, its compression technology, which is present in both Opera 10 and Opera Mobile. Opera Turbo reduces the size of Web pages by up to 80%, according to the company, dramatically improving browsing speeds over slow networks and saving money on "pay as you go" connections.

Google Maps Learns To Acknowledge Landmarks

A good drive can be one of life’s most enjoyable experiences.  But a bad one is, of course, no fun at all, and poor directions are often responsible for making things take a turn for the worse.  So Google appears to be overhauling the way in which it tells people to get from one point to another.

November Showed Significant Growth for Android

AdMob, which is in the process of being acquired by Google (regulators are still eyeing the deal), has released its Novemeber Mobile Metrics report. The themes for this one are that the Launch of new devices drove Android growth and the rise of smartphones resulted in a sharp increase in WiFi usage.

Cisco Completes $3 Billion Starent Networks Acquisition

Update: Cisco announced that the acquisition of Starent Networks has been completed.

Original Article: Cisco announced today that it is acquiring Starent Networks for $35 per share in cash, bringing the total to about $2.9 billion. Starent Networks is a supplier of IP-based mobile infrastructure solutions.

Google Joins the IPSO Alliance

Google has joined the IPSO Alliance, which is a group of technology companies aimed at promoting the Internet Protocol for "smart object communications." The idea is that items ranging from appliances to cars, and even factories, can communicate as individuals do on the web.

A New Google Answers Site on the Way?

Some Google users have had a mysterious link appear in their accounts when they visit Google’s product page. The link is for "Google Guru", and is accompanied by the text, "Ask questions and get answers from online users." Its icon is a question mark.

If it is showing up for you, it is located between Groups and Knol on Google’s "More Google Products" page:

MySpace And WSJ Sending One User To Davos
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MySpace, The Wall Street Journal, and the World Economic Forum, are giving a MySpace user the chance to be a citizen journalist at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

The MySpace Citizen Journalist winner will be chosen by a panel of experts and will join the Davos press corps using MySpace to report on the conference news and interview world leaders about relevant issues. This year the contest is expanding to include entries from users in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Microsoft Launches Bing iPhone App, Addresses Issues

Update: Microsoft has addressed a few issues with the iPhone app that have been discovered. On the Bing Search Blog, Justin Jed of Bing for Mobile talks about three known issues:

Google Books Suffers Defeat In French Court
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The Google Books project suffered a significant blow today in France as a Paris court found Google guilty of copyright violations.  The search giant’s been ordered to stop scanning books, remove information from its database, and pay some hefty fines.

Twitter Gets Hacked by “Iranian Cyber Army”
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Twitter was hacked last night, and when users went to Twitter.com, they were presented with a message from someone claiming to be the Iranian Cyber Army. TutorialsTips has posted a video on YouTube showing what Twitter looked like as it was compromised.

Amazon Kindle Breaks Monthly Sales Record

Amazon.com has announced that December has been the best month for sales of its Kindle electronic book reader.

The company did not provide any sales figures or comparisons for its Kindle, but did say it is the most wished for, and most gifted item across all of Amazon.

Twitterers in the UK Can Now Easily Find Locals
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Twitterers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands will be happy to know that TwellowHood, the Twellow feature that allows Twitterers to connect with people in their own area, is now available in these areas. Until now, it has only been available in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Android Crowds iPhone In New comScore Report
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In several key respects, the Android platform has almost caught up to the iPhone, according to new statistics from comScore.  There are still a lot more iPhones floating around in the great, wide world, of course, but otherwise, Android’s doing extremely well.

Let’s start with the table below.  It illustrates that, more than the average smartphone user, Android users do a lot of things other than talk.  This is important since it could mean that Android devices aren’t becoming buy-and-forget paperweights; owners actually enjoy using them.

Privacy Group Files FTC Complaint About Facebook
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The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), along with nine other privacy and consumer organizations, has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charging that Facebook’s recent changes to user privacy settings violate federal consumer protection law.

The EPIC complaint wants the FTC to open an investigation into the changes made by Facebook to the privacy setting of its users and require the social network to restore privacy safeguards.

IAB Updates Video Ad Guidelines

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has announced an update to its Digital Video Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines. The update addresses digital video content and ads that play automatically when a web page loads, which the IAB says is an increasingly common occurrence.

Google Launches New Transliteration Tool

Google has launched a "new and improved" version of Google Transliteration as a Google Labs experiment. Users can simply go to google.com/transliterate and type in the box to have their words converted to the proper language. There are 17 that are currently supported. Google explains: