FTC Commissioner Takes Issue With Schmidt, Buzz

FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour will leave the agency next month, but that’s almost surely not soon enough for Google.  Today, Harbour criticized Eric Schmidt and the rollout of Buzz, and also asked her colleagues to adopt a tougher stance on some privacy-related offenses.

Yahoo Buys Citizens Sports

Yahoo said today it is acquiring social sports site Citizen Sports in an effort to strengthen its strategy of aggregating and distributing social content online. Terms of the acquisition were not released.

Google Sponsors New Computer Science Prize

Australians who study computer science now have an added incentive to accomplish impressive things.  Today, it was announced that a certain search company will give away $10,000 once per year in the form of the Google Australia Eureka Prize for Innovation in Computer Science.

Google Re-Imagined As World’s Third-Biggest ISP

It’s common knowledge in the U.S. search industry that Google has a market share of about 65 percent.  Lots of people know (or at least know how to check) the search giant’s market cap, too (it’s currently at $180 billion).  But another measure of Google’s size was presented yesterday, and it turns out that Google is on par with all but the biggest ISPs.

Facebook Unseats Google As Most-Visited Site

Although the "thud" wasn’t verified until this afternoon, it seems that an online giant fell a couple of days ago.  According to new data from Hitwise, Facebook managed to beat Google in terms of visits between March 7th and March 13th, becoming the most visited website in the U.S. for the week.

The graph visible below makes the changeup pretty clear (blame the sloppy enlarged bit on us, not Hitwise).  What’s more, it doesn’t look like Facebook’s going to relinquish its lead anytime soon.

Facebook Tweaks Search Suggestions For Relevancy

Facebook’s search suggestions are about to get significantly better.  Rather than just suggest the names of people, events, groups, and Pages a person’s already connected with, suggestions are going to draw from users’ networks of friends and the entire site.

Google Hopes Mobile Ad Rates Beat Desktop Standard

Investors and online advertising experts may want to consider for a moment what, exactly, has contributed to Google’s stupendous financial success (current market cap: $180 billion).  Now consider this: Google thinks mobile ad rates might surpass what’s come to be deemed the industry standard.

Google China Shows “Tank Man,” Tibet Search Results

The clash between Google and the Chinese government appears to be coming to a head.  Various sources have reported that Google ignored a cut-off date to reregister as an Internet content provider in China, and more importantly, that the company has stopped censoring search results.

Google, China Edge Closer To Face-Off

The odds of Google keeping its Chinese search operation running are starting to seem quite small.  The Chinese government has started advising Google’s partners to prepare contingency plans, and one anonymous person who’s supposed to be close to Google even said the company is 99.9 percent likely to shut things down.

Microsoft Talks Google’s Privacy “Fails” at SXSW

At the keynote today at SXSW, Microsoft‘s Danah Boyd placed a lot of emphasis on Google’s privacy "fails" with Buzz.