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Smartphone Sales Up 47% In Q2
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In terms of sales of mobile phones in the U.S. feature phones still account for a considerable share of the market, even as smartphone sales continue to increase their share of overall handset sales, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

Sales of new feature phones decreased 5 percent to 72 percent of new handset sales in the second quarter, while sales of new smartphones reached 28 percent of overall purchases, a 47 percent increase year-over-year.

MySpace Stops Startling Users With Bad Music
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In one particular way, MySpace has long been a dangerous place to visit: when browsing profiles with your speakers on, you never know if you’ll deafen yourself (and/or your coworkers) with death metal, or worse yet, expose everyone to emo.  Fortunately, MySpace has now fixed the problem. 

TwitVid Delivers First Twitter Video Upload App for Blackberry
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TwitVid has just released what it calls "the first Twitter Video uploading application for the Blackberry." Blackberry-using Twitterers with a love for sharing video can now rejoice.

AOL Files Suit Against Advertise.com
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It seems that AOL doesn’t have much faith in the public’s reading comprehension skills.  This week, it filed suit against Advertise.com on the basis that "Advertise.com" is too similar to a couple of terms AOL has used for years.

The official complaint (obtained by Domain Name Wire) stated, "Plaintiffs and their predecessors have continuously used and extensively promoted the ADVERTISING.COM and AD.COM names and marks in connection with the provision of a variety of services."

Cable Companies Take Advertisers’ Ads Online

National Cable Communications (NCC) and Mixpo have launched an initiative to let cable advertisers extend their TV commercials to the web. This is not aimed at creating pre/post roll video ads like you might think, but videos as display ads in place of traditional banners.

NCC is jointly owned by three of the largest cable companies – Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable. This makes up a good-sized chunk of television advertising in the US.

Bing Sees Modest Search Gains In July
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Microsoft’s Bing managed to make a slight gain in July while Google and Yahoo saw miniscule declines in search, according to comScore.

Google led the U.S. search market in July with 64.7 percent of the searches conducted, followed by Yahoo (19.3%), and Bing (8.9%). Ask grabbed 3.9 percent of the search market, followed by AOL with 3.1 percent.

Teens Want More Technology At School
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More teens are using technology to access their grades and class assignments online as well as using the Internet to help with homework, according to a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

"Teens today are using more than just a calculator to help them with their studies," said Jessica Boothe, research analyst at CEA.

Businesses Can Submit Their Property to Google Street View
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Google introduced its Street View Partner Program today. This lets organizations and businesses apply to have their property featured in Street View on Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Maps for Mobile.

FCC Creates Blog, Twitter Account

A little more than one month ago, we discussed how Google was asking regular people to give their thoughts about the National Broadband Plan.  Now, the FCC’s doing something similar, with a fresh blog and Twitter account apparently intended to reach out to the public.

YouTube Goes Retail
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Ordinarily, we’d be in no rush to tell you that one arm of gigantic corporation’s come up with another way for you to throw away your money.  But a lot of people love YouTube, and the new YouTube Store is getting some rather positive reactions.

To explain: folks often use the comments section of the YouTube Blog as a place to air their personal complaints and make feature requests.  When the YouTube Store was announced, the first six responses were all on-topic and complimentary.

Google and Predicting Search Trends
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Update: Google has a fascinating research paper available about how it predicts search trends. Some of the key findings from this research are highlighted in this post at Google’s Research Blog.

Facebook Privacy Concerns Make Their Way To Canada

Facebook is gearing up to face off with the government again—this time over privacy concerns in two different venues: the California courts and a Canadian commission.

Google: Conversion Rates Hardly Vary by Ad Position
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Ever wondered if your AdWords conversion rates would be better if your ads were just positioned differently? According to Google, it doesn’t matter a whole lot where they are positioned.

Google Chief Economist Hal Varian and his team claim to have done some research into the subject and has concluded that conversion rates just don’t vary much by position.

Microsoft Partners With Advance Internet On Local Ad Deal

Advance Internet, which runs news and information websites in alliance with more than 30 newspapers has entered into an agreement with Microsoft that will allow its sales staff to sell ads on the Microsoft Media Network on the local level.

Under the agreement Advance Internet’s sales force will offer behavioral targeting and audience extension capabilities to its local advertisers on the Microsoft Media Network.

Google Close To Deal With National Library Of France
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Google Books may get much, much bigger in the very near future.  Although the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BNF, or the National Library of France) criticized the project in the past, reports indicate that it should soon seal a deal, open its doors, and become an ally, instead.

The Top 50 Websites in the US
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Compete puts together a monthly ranking of the top 250 Web sites in the US, based on unique visitors, and breaks up the data by relevant categories and behavioral segments. In its latest report, Compete found that the top performers for July fell into four main categories: auto manufacturers that were part of the "Cash for Clunkers" deal, summer blockbuster movie sites, back-to-school shopping sites and social media news aggregates (like Digg or Tweetmeme).

Digital Music Sales Closing In On CDs
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The majority of music sales still come from CDs, but digital music sales are making up an ever- greater share of the U.S. market, according to NPD MusicWatch.

CDs accounted for 65 percent of all music sold in the first half of 2009 compared to paid digital downloads, which comprised 35 percent of music sales. By comparison, paid digital music made up 20 percent of sales in 2007 growing to 30 percent of the music market last year.

Google Adds Bookmark Sync to Chrome Browser
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Google has added a bookmark sync feature to its Chrome browser. Essentially, this lets users sync their bookmarks between their Chrome browser on different machines.

"This new feature makes it easy to keep the same set of bookmarks on all your machines, and stores them alongside your Google Docs for easy web access," says Google’s Tim Steele.

API Released for Second Life Plug-Ins

You don’t hear as much about Second Life these days as you did several years ago. For a while, articles were being written left and right about how to leverage this virtual world from Linden Lab as a business tool. Lately, not so much.

Google Tweaks AdSense Fonts for Better Performance
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Google is updating the default font faces associated with specific AdSense ad formats. The decision to do so is based on findings that different fonts perform better with different formats.

EU Investing $25 Million In High-Speed Mobile Internet
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The European Union said Tuesday it will invest $25 million into research that will underpin the next generation of 4G mobile networks.

The EU says the funding will go towards research on Long Term Evolution (LTE) Advanced technology, that will offer mobile Internet speeds up to a hundred times faster than current 3G networks. The funding will be released on January 1, 2010.

Street View Adds Images From Switzerland, Taiwan, Portugal
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Fans of Street View may not get a lot of work done today.  Google’s seen fit to release images covering three new countries, and pictures documenting some special points of interest within America’s borders have become available, as well.

Switzerland, Taiwan, and Portual are the three main attractions (as you probably gathered from this piece’s title).  Interesting and even stunning views are available of each, with the image below showing off Grindelwald, Switzerland.

Google Continues to Satisfy, News Publishers Don’t

The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows that Google reigns supreme in the search engines and portal industry when it comes to customer satisfaction. This isn’t hard to believe considering Google’s share of the search market.

There’s a reason why Google dominates the arena. Users are generally satisfied with the results they get, and see no reason to switch engines. That is why Microsoft has its work cut out for it with making Bing a true competitor.

UPS Adds New Feature For eBay Sellers
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UPS said Monday that all U.S. based eBay sellers now have a direct, free connection from within eBay to the shipping system UPS WorldShip.

eBay sellers can now import their information into WorldShip without having to manually enter data. Sellers can export shipping data from WorldShip and automatically update their orders with UPS tracking numbers.