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WikiLeaks Afghanistan Documents Show Internet’s True Power in News

The big news of the moment is that the site WikiLeaks has published over 90,000 secret military documents related to the war in Afghanistan. Posted on Sunday, the documents had previously been shared with three publications (under embargo): The New York Times, The Guardian, and Germany’s Der Spiegel.

Dell Settles with SEC for $100 Million
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Dell announced that it’s reached a settlement with the SEC, resolving an investigation into Dell’s disclosures and alleged omissions from before Fiscal Year 2008, regarding its relationship to Intel, as well as other accounting and financial reporting issues.

70,000 Blogs Shut Down After FBI Finds Terrorist Materials, Blogs May Come Back
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Update 2: CNET’s Greg Sandoval now reports that users could see their blogs again, but Blogetery likely won’t be hosted by Burst.net in the future.

Burst.net CTO says that the service has not resopnded quickly enough to abuse claims in the past, which appears to be the reason the whole service was shut down in the first place. More on the story here.

Consumer Watchdog: Google Spent $1.34 Million Lobbying in Q2
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Consumer Watchdog issued a press release saying that Google spent $1.34 million trying to influence federal lawmakers and regulators in the second quarter of 2010, a 41% increase over $950,000 in the same period a year ago.

Who Would Benefit from the Government Regulating Google Search Results?
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There’s a very interesting discussion going on about whether or not the government should regulate search results. This began last week, when the New York Times ran an editorial titled, "The Google Algorithm", which suggests one way "to ensure the editorial policy guiding Google’s tweaks is solely intended to improve the quality of the results and not to help Google’s other businesses," is to "give some government commission the power to look at those tweaks."

Google Explains Cloud Computing Benefits to Washington
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Mike Bradshaw, Director of Google Federal, is delivering a testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today. This will take place during a hearing on federal IT and cloud computing.

On the Google Public Policy Blog, Google has listed the three main points that Bradshaw will make:

Twitter Reaches Agreement With FTC

Twitter just announced it has reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that resolves some concerns the organization had with Twitter’s security practices.

The concerns at hand involve some compromises made last year, which Twitter had already addressed, and most people had probably forgotten about by now. Twitter’s A. Macgillivray explains on the Official Twitter Blog:

USPTO Lets Google Host 10 TB of Patent Info
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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has entered an agreement with Google, which will see Google hosting unmodified patent and trademark public data.

The USPTO says it doesn’t have the technical capability to provide the information in a bulk machine readable format, and that the arrangement is to serve as a bridge as the USPTO develops an acquisition strategy for this.

Facebook Becoming Too Big For Anyone To Question

I’ve seen a lot of angst over the past week about Facebook’s moves to open up your data to other applications.

To really understand how huge these changes are I had to get away from Silicon Valley and come and hang out with the geeks in Kinneret, Israel where famous VC Yossi Vardi is throwing an exclusive camp for geeks and successful business innovators.

Another Piece of Chinese Google Attack Puzzle Falls into Place
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Update: The Financial Times is reporting that the writer of the code used in the infamous attacks on Google and other companies has allegedly been identified. The publication’s Joseph Menn writes:

China Won’t Stand in the Way of Google’s Android Business

Since the widely publicized turbulence between Google and the Chinese government erupted, there has been a lot of speculation about whether or not Google would continue to do business in China in any capacity whatsoever. The company stopped censoring search results in its Chinese search engine, and threatened to pull out of China before it would again do so. Talks between Google and China are expected in the near future.

White House Releases iPhone App, Mobile Site on the Way
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The White House has announced the release of the official White House iPhone app, as well as a plan to launch a mobile version of WhiteHouse.gov. With the app, iPhone and iPod touch users can access content from WhiteHouse.gov.

66% of Government Agencies Use Social Networking

A recent study came out this week from the Human Capital Institute and Saba about government organizations’ use of social networking and collaboration tools. The study looked at the effectiveness of social networking in conducting government work, how agency type affects the use, and perception of social networking, and the future expectations and barriers for its use.

Google Talks Open Internet Goals, Files FCC Submission
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Google filed a submission on its own and one jointly with Verizon to the FCC for its proposed rulemaking docket. Google says its goal is "to keep the Internet awesome for everybody."

China Responds to Google Situation

Update:  Chinese government officials have responded to Google’s proposed actions. As reported by Bloomberg:

Controversial Gambling Domain Seizure Ruling Expected This Month

Back in 2008, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that he wanted to shut down 141 Internet gambling sites in the state in an effort to stop unregulated online gaming. He filed a civil suit against the domain names and asked the court to force the sites to block access to Kentucky users or give up control of their domain names.

Google Shares Proposal for White Spaces Database
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Last night, Google announced that it filed a submission to the FCC, asking it to designate Google as one of potentially several administrators of a "white spaces" geolocation database. Back in November of 2008, the FCC approved the use of these White Spaces, or unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels, for public wireless broadband service.

On Google’s Public Policy Blog, Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, writes:

FTC Guidelines Raise Big Blogging Questions
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Update 3: The new FTC Guidelines went into effect this week. A recent WebProNews interview with Wendy Piersall, Founder of the Woo! Jr. Network, looks at some interesting points about them that you may not have considered – some "gray areas" if you will.

Google Provides an Update on the AdMob Acquisition
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Google has issued a statement regarding the company’s pending acquisition of AdMob. Google’s intent to acquire the company was announced back in early November. The deal was for $750 million in stock.

Since then, the Federal Trade Commission has vowed to closely scrutinize the deal. Google had this to say today:

FTC Sues Intel, Intel Says “Misguided”
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The Federal Trade Commission has sued Intel, saying it has "abused its market dominance" according to the LA Times. Richard A. Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition is quoted as saying:

"Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It’s been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits."

Talks Surface of a Newspaper Industry Bailout

“You gotta be freakin’ kidding me!”