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Australia Articles

Google Found In Violation Of Australian Privacy Act
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Google’s indiscretions with regards to WiFi data collection have earned it – for now – three years of close supervision in Australia.  That appears to be about the maximum penalty Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis can impose after determining the company violated a privacy law.

Visa Launches its PayPal Competitor in Australia

Last month we saw MasterCard make a move to start gunning for PayPal. Now it’s Visa. Visa has launched a new payments service called PayClick in Australia, but reportedly has "a view" for global markets.

Google, Twitter Document Political History In Australia

This week, Australia got its first female prime minister (Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd following a surprise challenge for the leadership of the Labor Party), and throughout all of the excitement, it seems that Google and perhaps Twitter provided two significant ways for people to keep up with events.

Australia Initiates Google WiFi Data Investigation

Google’s attempts to appease the international community with regards to its collection of sensitive WiFi data don’t seem to have paid off.  Instead, the Attorney-General of Australia, Robert McClelland, announced this weekend that a new investigation has begun.

Google’s Taxpaying Habits Scrutinized In Australia

Google’s practice of channeling its revenues through Ireland is getting the company into trouble yet again.  This time, onlookers in Australia have taken note, and although no government officials have become involved, people are definitely unhappy that Google may be shirking its tax obligations.

Google’s Aussie Filter Protest Makes More Waves

About one month ago, Google and Yahoo joined the Australian Library and Information Association and the Inspire Foundation in protesting an Internet filter that’s meant to affect all of Australia.  Now, the country’s government has processed their submissions, and the situation has started to receive a lot more attention.

Google, Yahoo Protest Australian Internet Filter
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Google and Yahoo have stepped up their opposition to a proposed Internet filter meant to protect children in Australia.  Together, the two companies joined the Australian Library and Information Association and the Inspire Foundation, and set out some "Core Principles for Effective Action for a Safer Internet."

Google Again Linked To Australian Data Center Plans
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The rumor that Google might build a data center in Australia has been circulating for some time; our first report on the subject was written in October of 2008.  Now, although construction crews haven’t exactly been mobilized, there’s at least been a sign that Google hasn’t given up on the idea.

Hitwise: Social Networks Neck And Neck With Search Engines
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As a group, search engines appear to be in the process of losing bragging rights in Australia.  Social networking sites and forums (also taken as a group) topped search engines in terms of market share over Christmas and are poised to assume the lead on a permanent basis.

Twitter Takes SMS Tweeting to Australia
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Twitter has partnered with Telstra to launch Twitter SMS in Australia.

"As always, it is free to receive notifications and standard text messaging rates apply to sending," says Twitter’s Kevin Thau. "It’s the same pricing as sending and receiving text messages from friends."

Australia, Canada Approve Microsoft-Yahoo Deal
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We’ll admit it: so far, most conversations concerning the Microsoft-Yahoo deal and antitrust issues have related to the U.S. and Europe.  Still, two potential roadblocks were eliminated yesterday when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau signaled their intent not to oppose the partnership.

Bebo May Beat Retreat From Australia
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Sometimes you just have to know when to call it quits, and a new report indicates that Bebo has decided now’s the time to cut its losses in Australia.  Bebo is supposed to end its operations in the country before the end of the year.

YouTube Launches Promoted Videos In Australia, Japan
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YouTube’s Promoted Videos program has spread again.  In addition to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S., promoted videos are now available in Australia and Japan.

If you’re not familiar with the Promoted Videos program, the following video does a pretty good job of explaining its purpose (odd motorcycle accident metaphor aside):

MySpace Music Goes Down Under

Today MySpace announced the launch of MySpace Music in Australia and New Zealand. This release represents the first for MySpace Music outside of the United States.

The launch brings a new e-commerce partnership to MySpace Music with iTunes providing the music downloads locally, a MySpace spokesperson tells WebProNews. She also shares the following stats for the US version of MySpace Music:

Source: Nielsen Netview / August 2009

Yahoo7 Acquires Major Travel Site
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The company that represents a 50-50 partnership between Yahoo and the Seven Network Limited, which is one of Australia’s largest media groups, is on the move.  Yahoo7 acquired Totaltravel.com for perhaps about $17 million.

Twitter Performing Well In Australia
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Twitter fans should be pleased to hear that it’s almost definitely taking over the world.  U.S. stats have long indicated a strong growth pattern, data from the U.K. has done the same, and now, Hitwise has presented a report on Twitter’s increasing influence on Australia.

Australian Twitterers Can Now Easily Find Locals
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Twitterers in Australia 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 Australia. Previously, it has been available in the US and Canada, and will continued to be expanded to other parts of the world.

Facebook Most Popular Social Site In Australia
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More than 70 percent of Internet users in Australia visited a social networking site in June, up 29 percent from the previous year, according to a new study from comScore.

"Social networking continues to grow in popularity both across Australia and throughout the world," said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region.

iGoogle Introduces Social Gadgets
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It looks like the term "iGoogle" is about to grow a little less apt.  Starting this week, social gadgets will debut for iGoogle, allowing and encouraging some users to connect and interact with each other.

Initially, people in Australia are the only ones who will gain access to the new gadgets.  There are twelve of them (more should come out later), and they provide gateways to things including News.com.au, YouTube, GoComics, and chess.

Google Strikes Record-Breaking NZ/AUS Deal

For at least the next three years, Google will play a significant role in the delivery of New Zealanders’ mail.  The Postal Services Group of New Zealand Post has entered an agreement that’ll have it putting Google Apps in front of 2,100 employees.

This counts as Google’s largest commercial deal yet in New Zealand or Australia.  It’s supposed to save New Zealand Post (which is a state-owned enterprise) in the neighborhood of $2 million over the course of three years.

Google Adds Real Estate to Australian Maps
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Over a year ago, Google started incorporating real estate search into Google Maps in the US. Now Australia gets the feature.