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Google Gives $100,000 Toward Bid For Turing Papers
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Google has a habit of decorating its corporate offices with interesting, science-oriented objects.  Its headquarters in Mountain View sport a model T-Rex skeleton and a SpaceShipOne replica, for example.  But when it came to some papers authored by Alan Turing, Google offered to give $100,000 to support another entity’s bid for ownership today.

Retailers Increasing Paid Search Ads Ahead Of Black Friday
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U.S. paid search spend from retailers has increased nearly 37 percent ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, compared to last year, according to a new report from SearchIgnite.

The increase in retailers’ online PPC spend appears to be paying off as the economy bounces back from the recession; the rate at which consumers converted after clicking on a paid search advertisement was up 28.7% and their Average Order Values from online shopping were up 20.7% YoY.

Hilton Launches Facebook Sweepstakes For Free Holiday Weekend
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Hilton Garden Inn has launched a Facebook sweepstakes for a chance to win a free weekend getaway aimed  at helping people recover from the holidays.

 Facebook users can enter the sweepstakes at Facebook.com/HiltonGardenInn and five people will be chosen at random to receive a free-two-night weekend stay at their choice of more than 510 locations globally.

 

Businesses Can Offer Customers Deals for Checking In with Yelp

Yelp has announced check-in offers for businesses, meaning that businesses can offer Yelp users special deals for checking in at their place of business. Check-ins are tied to Twitter and Faecbook (for Android and iPhone users), so when a user checks in, they are potentially sharing it with a lot of their friends. 

The feature is part of the business owner dashboard on Yelp, and the company says it gives businesses a measurable way to reward their loyal customers while attracting new ones. 

One Out Of Five Facebook Users May Be Exposed To Malware
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However careful you’ve been when using Facebook up until now, it may be time to grow even more cautious.  New stats from BitDefender indicate that at least one out of five Facebook users have been exposed to threats via their news feeds.

Location-Based Services Too New to Know How They’ll Be Abused
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Last week, Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence Sr. Analyst Paul Wood shared some predictions for online threats in the coming year with us. With the increasing emergence of location-based services, we wondered what kind of threats (beyond the obvious) come with this new territory. 

Twitter To Add European Employees Next Year

It looks like a whole new push to gain users, attract advertisers, or do both will soon get underway at Twitter.  The company’s confirmed that it’ll have employees based in Europe starting sometime next year.

eBay Releases Updated iPhone Application

eBay has released a new version of its iPhone app that adds selling functionality and RedLaser barcode-scanning technology.

The updated iPhone app allows users to comparison shop by scanning barcodes and accessing a wider a variety of merchandise including electronics, movies and videogames.

Should Gmail Be Worried About Facebook?
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You’ve no doubt heard or read about Facebook’s new messaging announcement this week. If not, the company announced a new messaging system to combine email, SMS, IM, Chat, and other forms of online communication, bringing them into one inbox. Along with this comes @facebook.com email addresses. CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the system as "starting from scratch" as opposed to being a Facebook email product. 

Google Cloud Connect May Be Important Piece in Google’s Overall Strategy
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Google announced a new feature of Google Docs today, called Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office. The feature comes from Google’s acquisition of DocVese, a company that specialized in the real-time sharing and editing of documents, earlier this year. They paid $25 million for it, and it could turn out to be a huge piece of the puzzle in winning over Microsoft Office users. 

Web’s Inventor “Disturbed” By Current State of Creation
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The inventor of the web is not thrilled with the current state of his creation or the direction it’s taking. Tim Berners-Lee has released a new report at Scientific American, entitled Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality, with the subtitle: "The Web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity—and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending."

Amazon Launches Price Check App For iPhone
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Amazon.com has introduced a new free price comparison app for iPhone that lets people compare in-store prices with prices from Amazon and other online retailers.

The app called “Price Check,” allows iPhone users to scan a barcode, take a picture, or say or type a product name to receive prices for an item from Amazon and other online retailers.

“This app makes it incredibly easy to quickly compare prices on millions of items before making a purchase,” said Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile.

 

Skippable Ads On Deck At YouTube
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However much marketers might like to think otherwise, trying to force a person to watch an ad online does little good.  The average person will open a different tab, run to the bathroom, or perhaps just stare at the nearest wall.  So YouTube may be onto something as it prepares to give users the option of skipping certain ads.

Growing Amount of Users Turning to People Search When Social Networks Fall Short
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While Facebook’s numbers continue to grow, it remains a reality that not everyone is on Facebook. So where do you turn to find people that you’re looking for online when they don’t have a Facebook account, or even if they do, but Facebook’s search results don’t do the best job of providing the result you’re looking for? An increasing number of people are turning to sites that are dedicated to this type of activity – people search. 

Jobs: iOS 4.2 Makes iPad a Completely New Product
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Apple made the latest version of its iOS operating system (4.2) available today. The OS, which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices includes some important updates for the iPad with features like multitasking, folders, a unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay and AirPrint. 

Netflix Launches Streaming-Only In U.S.

Netflix said today it is introducing a $7.99 streaming-only subscription plan in the United States, the first time it is offering a full streaming-only  option in the U.S.

"We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO.  

Google Gets OK To Delete UK Street View WiFi Data
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At least in the UK, Google may finally be able to put its recent Street View privacy gaffe behind it.  The company’s signed a commitment to improve its handling of data, and as a result, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has given Google permission to delete the sensitive information it collected by accident.

Matt Cutts Calls For “CEO Of Google” Ideas
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If you’ve ever wanted to have a say in what Google does next, a visit to Matt Cutts’s blog may be in order.  This afternoon, Cutts published a post asking readers what actions they’d take as Google’s CEO, and although no official contest is in effect (and Eric Schmidt’s definitely not stepping aside), the question may be more than random link bait.

Google Aids Borders With Local Availability Tool

Early this week, Borders announced a new version of its website on which users could (sometimes) employ Google Books to preview a novel.  Now, the two organizations are building on that relationship, as would-be Borders shoppers should be able use Google Product Search to determine whether a local store has a given piece of merchandise in stock.

Give Kindle Books As A Gift Via Email
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Amazon.com said today people can now give Kindle Books as gifts to anyone with an email address even if they don’t own a Kindle.

"We’re making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone – not just Kindle owners,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle.

 

Kindle-Gift

 

Make Yahoo Your Homepage To Help Schools

Yahoo has launched Yahoo Homepages for Homerooms, a program aimed at helping teachers and classrooms get funding for projects.

 

Retailers Promoting Black Friday Via Twitter, Facebook And Email
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Up to 138 million Americans plan to shop Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), more than the 134 million people who planned to do so last year, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch.

Open Positions At Google Top 2,000 In Number
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As of September 30th, Google had 23,331 full-time employees, and that’s an impressive number, considering the company had just 21,805 full-time workers three months earlier.  But now the number’s set to jump again, as Google is looking to hire an additional 2,000 or so new employees.

Amazon Introduces Shape Search For Shoes
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Amazon.com today introduced a new visual search feature for shoppers looking to purchase men’s and women’s shoes.

The new visual search feature allows people to browse for shoes based on how they look with the aim of helping them find the styles they want more quickly.

“With the launch of this new search feature, finding the right pair of shoes becomes even easier for customers,” said Bill Stasior, president of A9.