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FTC Shutters Web Services Company

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission a U.S. district court has shut down the illegal operations of a company that placed false charges on the telephone bills of thousands of small businesses and people for Internet related services they never agreed to buy.

Google Renews Focus On Growth In China

Since the Chinese government hasn’t decided to force it out, Google’s going to move forward in the country, according to a high-ranking exec.  David Drummond said this week that Google is making an effort to hire more workers and attract new advertisers.

Samsung Reportedly Dropping Symbian Support By End of the Year

Samsung is reportedly dropping support for the Symbian operating system. According to Engadget, the company sent an email to Symbian developers saying they are closing its Symbian forum and removing all Symbian content before the year is over. 

While perhaps not entirely unexpected, as Engadget points out Samsung hinted at such a move last year, it is interesting timing. Symbian has recently revamped its OS. 

Facebook Launches New Features for Photos
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Facebook has introduced 3 new features for Photos. These include high resolution images (storing bigger pictures), a new viewer for browsing photos, and a new uploader with better tagging. 

Facebook is rolling out support for print-quality, hi-res photos. They’re increasing the size of the photos stored from 720 pixels to 2048 pixels on the largest side or 8 times bigger overall. 

YouTube Promotion Tools Pass Field Test
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There was big news earlier today in the online video world, with comScore announcing that Facebook had passed Yahoo in terms of monthly unique visitors.  Only YouTube/"Google sites" of course remains in first place, and this afternoon a YouTube product manager took a moment to discuss the effectiveness of the site’s promotion tools.

Signs That Blogging is Not Only Alive, But More Critical Than Ever
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Every so often, one of those "social media vs. blogs" discussions comes up. Questions like "is social media killing blogging?" gets asked. Time and time again, the answer is a resounding "no", but various pieces of news released this week seem to really drive that point home. 

HP Taps SAP for CEO Position
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HP named Léo Apotheker, formerly CEO of SAP, as its new CEO to replace the recently ousted Mark Hurd. Apotheker will also join HP’s Board of Directors. 

Google Makes URL Shortener Available at Goo.gl
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Google has had its own URL shortener for some time. It just didn’t make it available for general use. It was always attached to various Google products. That changes now, as Google has given it is own site at goo.gl. It’s called simply, Google URL Shortener. 

Zeus Trojan Arrests Show Cybercriminals Getting More Vulnerable
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Federal and state authorities have reportedly charged over 60 people in connection with a global cybercrime scheme using the Zeus Trojan to steal millions of dollars from U.S. bank accounts. Trusteer, a secure browsing service, which claims to be in use by over 12 million online banking customers and protects over 70 banks, shared some commentary on the news with WebProNews. The company says it has deep visibility into criminal activity and the Zeus trojan. 

Influence Isn’t Just About Popularity, It’s About Controlling the Conversation
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Vocus and Brian Solis partnered to conducted a survey about "What makes an influencer" and how brands can increase their influence. 50% indicated that that the most important action for increasing influence  was to create, post or share compelling content. I posted an article about blogging that pretty fmuch falls in line with this sentiment. 

Facebook Second Only To YouTube For Video Viewing
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comScore said today that 178 million U.S. Internet users watched online video in August for an average of 14.3 hours per viewer.

Facebook Reveals Interesting Info About People Who “Like” Content

Facebook posted a note sharing some insights into who are the biggest "likers" of content on Facebook, and how engaged they are compared to other Facebook users. 

Variety Partners With Fizziology On Popular Movies In Social Media

Social media  research company Fizziology, has partnered with Variety to create a weekly chart of the most popular movies in social media.

The Weekly Fizz10, Fizziology’s proprietary chart of the 10 ten movies in social media, will appear every Wednesday on Variety.com. The partnership also includes the use of additional Fizziology social media data.

More Execs Thought To Be Leaving Yahoo
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Never mind talk of Yahoo employees finding the door marked "exit"; it’s almost starting to seem like they’re willing to jump out the nearest window, instead.  And the next people to depart will be high-ranking execs whose departures could affect Carol Bartz’s stay, according to a new report.

Seesmic Updates iPhone App with New Features and Ads

Popular social media client Seesmic has launched some new updates for its iPhone app. It now supports Retina Display, creating and adding users to Twitter lists, in-reply-to-converation and direct messages in threads, checking private Facebook messages, pull-down to refresh, and Instapaper & Read it Later integration. 

Street View Set To Cover All Seven Continents
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Sometime today, Street View fans should be able to take in sights on all seven continents for the first time ever.  Coverage of Brazil and Antarctica will make this possible, and images of Ireland are supposed to become available, to boot.

CareerBuilder Launches Facebook Referral App

CareerBuilder has launched a new application called “Work@” that allows employees to share their company’s job openings on their Facebook page.

Work@ pulls open jobs housed on a company’s website or in their Applicant Tracking System.  After an employee adds the Work@ application to their Facebook account, CareerBuilder’s job recommendation engine identifies matches in that employee’s network to the company’s available jobs.

Forecast Puts Facebook’s 2010 Ad Revenue At $1.6 Billion
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An investment bank that’s been around for over 90 years believes Facebook ads are going to make the social network a whole lot of money in 2010.  In fact, Cowen and Company predicted that the sum will exceed $1.6 billion.

That’s significantly larger than the last credible estimate to cross anyone’s desk.  Joseph Tartakoff recalled late yesterday, "It was only last month that eMarketer said Facebook’s ad sales for the year would likely total $1.2 billion."

Google Turns Failed Phone Store Into Android Gallery
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Google has launched a phone gallery to display Android devices that "deliver the best Google experience today". The gallery can be found at google.com/phone. You may recognize the URL as the former destination of Google’s failed phone store. 

Google Adds Instant to More Search Types, Countries

Google announced some new features for Google Instant. They haven’t released it for the browser or for mobile yet, but they have added some desktop functionality. 

First off, they have added keyboard navigation, so you can use Google Instant without touching your mouse, should you choose to do so. The navigation lets you scroll through Google’s search suggestions to bring up more instant results. 

Facebook Likes Just Officially Became More Important to Search
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Facebook announced a few Platform updates, including updates to the Live Stream Plugin, "liked" articles appearing in search results, and improvements to real-time updates.

2 Million Sites Have Added Facebook’s Social Plugins Since f8
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Today at the Web 2.0 Expo, Facebook announced that in the five months since f8, the company’s developer conference where it unleashed its Open Graph initiative and social plugins, nearly 2 million websites have added social plugins. Facebook tells WebProNews, major sites in the media, sports, entertainment and commerce industries that have added social plugins, include:

- Media: WSJ.com, WashingtonPost.com, Gawker blogs, CNN, Bloomberg, FORTUNE, Fox News Channel, and Daily Beast

Microsoft Joins Yahoo In Criticizing Google Instant
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Many people laughed when Microsoft chose to call Bing a "decision engine," but the logic behind that name was apparent today when Microsoft exec Yusuf Mehdi spoke at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.  Mehdi indicated that he thinks Google Instant represents a step in the wrong direction.

Brick and Mortar Retailers Will Benefit from Online Inventory Listing
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Earlier this month, Google announced that it was making public its documentation for Local Shopping inventory for Google Merchant Center. This is a feature that lets retailers let consumers know about what they have in stock. Milo.com is another site that based upon a similar principle, and it’s doing pretty well.