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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:

Google Apps Wins Over Another Corporation
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Whether or not you’ve heard of a corporation called MWV, you’re probably familiar with its products – MWV puts out everything from Coca-Cola packaging to Mead notebooks to asphalt for roads.  And now, this giant has entrusted some of the technical aspects of its operation to Google Apps.

Given that MWV has a market cap of roughly $4.75 billion and employs about 12,000 people, this counts as a big – and tough – job.  Moreover, those employees are spread out over 34 countries, and as you might expect, English isn’t every individual’s preferred language.

Most Influential Twitter Users Named

It’s an odd little ecosystem in which a Scottish fellow most people haven’t heard of ranks above the President of the United States, celebrities worth gazillions of dollars, and, well, everybody.  But that’s the state of things on Twitter, according to a new report from INQ that named Mashable’s CEO, Pete Cashmore, the "top international influencer."

Wikipedia Shatters Fundraising Record for Single Day
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Wikipedia had a record-shattering day this week. On Tuesday afternoon, the Wikimedia Foundation posted a personal appeal from its founder, Jimmy Wales. In that, Wales said:

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization I created in 2003 to operate, grow, nurture, and protect Wikipedia. For ten million US dollars a year and with a staff of fewer than 35 people, it runs the fifth most-read website in the entire world. I’m asking for your help so we can continue our work.

Sony E-Reader In Content Deal With WSJ
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Sony said today it will begin offering subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch on its new electronic reader.

In addition, Sony will also offer subscriptions to the digital version of the New York Post on its e-reader.

Facebook Releases User Diversity Data
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What with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays falling so close together, December is perhaps a month during which questions about diversity come up more than usual.  Facebook, for its part, wants the world to know that its user base is appropriately multicolored, and the social network’s released statistics to that effect.

Google’s Blogger Adds Amazon Affiliate Monetization Option
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Google-owned Blogger has added a new revenue generation option: direct integration with Amazon Associates to search Amazon’s product catalog and add links to products where Bloggers can earn commissions when their readers buy products they recommend.

Google Earth Makes Leap To Automobiles
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The 2010 Audi A8 is a big, expensive car, starting at 4,409 pounds and $74,550.  And the 2011 models aren’t likely to be any lighter or cheaper.  But the 2011 models will offer something that no other car’s ever had: from-the-factory integration of Google Earth.

Hulu Partners With

Simon Fuller, creator of "American Idol," is partnering with Hulu on an online reality program that follows the lives of five people hoping to make it in Hollywood.

The new online program called "If I Can Dream" will launch in early 2010 with each episode streaming exclusively on Hulu. Hulu says "If I Can Dream" will be the first recurring show to be available to international audiences.

Hulu Partners With

Simon Fuller, creator of "American Idol," is partnering with Hulu on an online reality program that follows the lives of five people hoping to make it in Hollywood.

The new online program called "If I Can Dream" will launch in early 2010 with each episode streaming exclusively on Hulu. Hulu says "If I Can Dream" will be the first recurring show to be available to international audiences.

Hulu Partners With

Simon Fuller, creator of "American Idol," is partnering with Hulu on an online reality program that follows the lives of five people hoping to make it in Hollywood.

The new online program called "If I Can Dream" will launch in early 2010 with each episode streaming exclusively on Hulu. Hulu says "If I Can Dream" will be the first recurring show to be available to international audiences.

Hulu Partners With

Simon Fuller, creator of "American Idol," is partnering with Hulu on an online reality program that follows the lives of five people hoping to make it in Hollywood.

The new online program called "If I Can Dream" will launch in early 2010 with each episode streaming exclusively on Hulu. Hulu says "If I Can Dream" will be the first recurring show to be available to international audiences.

Google Tool Shows Where the Eyeballs Go on Your Site
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Google has launched a new Google Labs experiment called Browser Size, which is a tool aimed at helping webmasters see how others view their site. Google’s official description of the tool says:

Ever wondered what parts of your site can’t be seen without scrolling? Browser Size shows you what portion of users can see a give spot on the screen. This is not screen resolution but the area available to the browser – as gathered from www.google.com users.

Here is what it looks like: