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eBay Rolls Out Icons To Address Ad/Privacy Issues
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People who get spooked when online advertisements seem relevant – along with people who prefer it when ads actually relate to their interests – may appreciate a new step eBay’s taking.  The auction company will attach icons to a number of ads, and these icons will allow individuals to express their wishes.

Tagged.com Hit With $650,000 Fine
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San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has announced, social network Tagged, has agreed to pay a fine of $650,000 for sending millions of deceptive emails in a 2009 campaign to boost its membership.

Kamala-Harris-DA "Whether you’re doing business on Main Street or in cyber space, you can’t deceive the customer," said District Attorney Harris.

Journalism Doesn’t Need Saving, Maybe Delivery Just Needs Tweaking

The state of the news industry continues to be brought up on a frequent basis. Is journalism dying? Should publications put up paywalls? Should they block search engines and news aggregators. These are all questions that continue to be brought up repeatedly.

Google Takes Second Crack At Mobile App For iPad
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The day before the iPad went on sale, Google showed its support for the device by announcing five different ways in which it would accommodate iPad users.  Now, the search giant’s sort of unveiled a sixth: what it’s calling an iPad-friendly version of the Google Mobile App.

Facebook Redesigns Its Safety Center

Facebook said today it has introduced a new redesigned Safety Center with new resources aimed at informing parents, educators, teens and members of law enforcement about tools for staying safe on the popular social network.

The new Safety Center now has four times the number of pages focused on safety topics than was previously available.

Google Does Some Overdue Buzz Branding with New Buttons

Google has introduced some new Buzz buttons for content providers to use. There are buttons to allow users to share content through Buzz without leaving the site they’re on, and buttons that easily allow a reader to follow a publication on Buzz.

So far, sites have had to make their own buttons, which have been tied to Google Reader, but now anyone can go here and simply create their own Buzz Buttons that Buzz user can use (even if they don’t use Google Reader).

Google And Hulu Top Video Properties In February

U.S. Internet users watched 28.1 billion videos in February, with Google sites leading the way as the top video property wit 11.9 billion videos, accounting for 42.5 percent of all videos viewed online, according to the latest report from comScore.

Intel Makes Android-Atom Pairing Possible
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Smartphones based on Intel’s Atom processor – which is the company’s smallest and least power-hungry chip – will now be able to run Android.  An Intel official announced the step forward this morning, and hinted that some new devices will be developed as a result of this move, too.

Google Working on New News Content/Ad Models?
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Update: Google has now released video of Schmidt’s speech. Watch it and hear what Schmidt has to say right from him.

 

Google’s Schmidt Endorses “Mobile First” Approach
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Google’s CEO is no doubt interested in search and advertising.  He’s recently talked about journalism and copyright law, too, along with a number of other topics.  But mobile is the subject Eric Schmidt claimed to most interested in last night, and he’s getting Google to focus on it, as well.

Facebook App On GetJar Surpasses 50 Million Downloads
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The world’s second largest app store behind Apple iTunes, GetJar, said today that more than 50 million people have downloaded the Facebook mobile app in the past six months.

With GetJar’s App Download Page (ADP) and Mobile Site Shortcut (MSS) users are able to download the app, which gives them a shortcut to access Facebook’s mobile website from their phone with a single click.

MerchantCircle, Demand Media Provide New Local Search Opportunities
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MerchantCircle, a social network for local businesses, which boasts over a million businesses, announced an expanded partnership with Demand Media. I spoke with Darren Waddell, VP of marketing for MerchantCircle and Sean Pate, the company’s Director of PR about this and some other news.

Google, Microsoft, Amazon Protest Data Center Standard
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Some of the world’s top tech companies are concerned that their ability to build cost-effective and energy-efficient data centers may be compromised.  Representatives from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and several other outfits have signed a letter protesting a standard established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

Google Makes Site Speed A Ranking Factor
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Website owners and bloggers, take heed: you don’t need to stop whatever you’re doing and eliminate all tools, videos, and pictures from your properties.  But as soon as it’s convenient, you may want to (re)check how quickly things load, because Google announced this afternoon that it’s begun to factor site speed into its search rankings.

Google Improves Matching for AdSense Link Units
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Google has rewritten its link unit matching system for AdSense. Link units in AdSense ads display a list of topics that are relevant to the content of the publisher’s page. When a user clicks a topic, Google shows a page of related ads. AdSense publishers can earn from valid user clicks on the ads on this resulting page.

Google Docs Getting A Little More Wave-Like

Google has announced a number of significant changes to Google Docs. In fact, they’re so significant, Google is referring to them as the "next generation of Google Docs." Included, are some Google Wave-like characteristics.

Some new features:

Discovering What Web 2.0 Really Means
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Many people who use the internet daily run into the term web 2.0 and many of those people don’t know what it means. This is actually very understandable considering that for most people the internet does not seem any different than when they were first exposed to it.

Fifty Percent Of The US Population Have A Social Media Profile(s)

A new study released today shows that consumer use of social networking web sites is not a youth phenomenon. Apparently now at least half of those living in the United States have social media profiles. While nearly eight in ten teens (78 percent) and 18 to 24s (77 percent) have personal profile pages, almost two-thirds of 25 to 34s (65 percent) and half of 35 to 44s (51 percent) also now have personal profile pages.

Google Faces Tax Protest Again In The UK

On at least two previous occasions, UK politicians have argued that Google’s accounting is a little too creative when it comes to taxes, and this weekend, the search giant was called out again.  Lord David Puttnam even used the word "outrageous" to describe Google’s habits.

Demand Media’s Strategy of Penetrating Major Media Outlets
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Late last week, reports surfaced of Demand Media and USA Today reaching a deal in which Demand would contribute content to USA Today’s website. This is interesting because it’s an example of the controversial Demand Media penetrating mainstream news media. I spoke with Demand about the partnership and the prospect of similar partnerships in the future.

Twitter Acquires Tweetie For iPhone Move

Twitter’s made another acquisition, and although this was a small move in some respects – just one man’s responsible for Tweetie – it’s had some significant effects, with an app called Twitter for iPhone coming into being and members of the developer community getting rather upset.

Google to Bolster Google Goggles with Plink Acquisition

Google has acquired the UK-based visual search engine company Plink, which makes PlinkArt, a mobile app that lets users take a picture with their phone and identify paintings and artworks. Google is adding Plink to work on its Google Goggles project.

Consumers Turn To Social Media For Health Support
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Among Internet users looking for health information, product/health websites are as important as health care provider interaction, according to a new study from Epsilon.

Forty percent of online consumers use social media for health information (reading or posting content).

Bing, Yahoo Nibble At Google
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March was an interesting month for the search market, according to new statistics from comScore.  Not so interesting that Google isn’t still on top by a huge margin, of course, but interesting insofar as the search giant lost a bit of market share, even as Bing and Yahoo improved their standing.

Let’s start with Google’s story.  In February, comScore puts its market share at 65.5 percent.  That declined to 65.1 percent in March, which is a moderately unusual turn of events.