• Microsoft Shows Twitter How It's Done
    Microsoft's Future Social Experiences Labs has launched a project aimed at social-networking neophytes, and anyone else who doesn't quite "get" Twitter. Dubbed Project Emporia, the service is essentially a "recommender system" trained on like/dislike feedback, and provides users with a "lens" on their areas of interest, explains ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foly. In development since March, Microsoft describes Emporia as a way to "enable a personalized search experience over publically available social network data." Unlike other Twitter/Facebook aggregators, Emporia lets users with no Twitter account browse and find relevant tweets, according to Microsoft. In addition, "Emporia enables a crowd-sourced web search scenario ...
  • Motorola Betting Farm On Google, Verizon
    Motorola -- arguably the first company to make mobile cool -- is betting on partnerships with Google and Verizon to reclaim its edge. Motorola's upcoming Android-powered smartphones will be "heavily" promoted by Verizon -- the largest U.S. mobile carrier -- according to The Wall Street Journal. To date, Verizon Wireless has spent $100 million marketing Motorola's original Droid phone, and it now plans to add two Motorola smartphones to the mix in July. According to the Journal, however, Motorola co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha's strategy leaves Motorola dependent on larger partners who are also working with Motorola's rivals. ...
  • Google-AdMob Finally Final, Now Comes The Hard Part
    Overcoming regulatory hurdles, Google on Thursday succeeded in acquiring mobile ad network AdMob. Now the real challenges begin. Indeed, among the deal's many implications, Google has succeeded in "setting up a battle with Apple for digital ads served in applications on smartphones," notes eWeek. "The battle between Google and Apple in mobile ads should begin in earnest when Apple starts serving ads through iAd on new iPhones this summer." Likely sensing the impending storm, Susan Wojcicki, Google's VP of Product Management, said in a blog post that the company was moving ...
  • Google Lists Top Ad-Friendly Sites
    Google has publicly released a list of the top 1,000 sites by unique users as measured by its Ad Planner service. The list ranks sites based on category, unique visitors, reach and page views. Google is also allowing advertisers to specify that they only want their content ads to show on these top 1,000 sites, according to Search Engine Land. Facebook.com is presently the number one ranked site globally with 570,000,000,000 page views and 540,000,000 unique visitors. The list is expected to be updated monthly, and excludes porn sites, ad networks, domains that don't have publicly visible ...
  • Google, Day Trader
    Bloomberg BusinessWeek takes a look at the trading floor that Google recently set up to manage its $26.5 billion in cash and short-term investments. "One of the company's goals is to improve the returns on its money, which until now has been managed conservatively," it writes. While Google doesn't disclose its rate of return on investments, analyst Aaron Kessler of ThinkEquity estimates the company's 2010 return -- including interest income and realized and unrealized gains before tax -- at around 2.5%. That return, Kessler tells Bloomberg, is actually higher the other large internet company, including Yahoo and ...
  • Apple TV Still Shooting For Living Rooms
    Despite its first foray's cool reception, Apple is hard at work on a new version of Apple TV, and, as sources tell Engadget, "it's a doozy." "According to our sources, this project has been in the works long before Google announced its TV solution, and it ties much more closely into Apple's mobile offerings," writes the tech blog. The new architecture of the device will be based directly on the iPhone 4, "meaning it will get the same internals, down to that A4 CPU and a limited amount of flash storage -- 16GB to be exact -- ...
  • Still Unhappy Facebook Campers Out There
    A day after Facebook detailed its forthcoming privacy amendments, the industry is asking whether the social net went far enough, if the changes will quiet the most vocal critics, and for how long. "Overall, the new settings should be much easier as they only require a single click rather than configuring 50 different things," writes All Facebook. "For those users what [sic] granular control, it still exists, but the redesigned privacy settings were built for the masses and that means they should be much more simple." Still, "It's a given that ...
  • Top Web Co.'s Come To YouTube's Legal Defense
    Yahoo, IAC/InterActiveCorp, EBay and Facebook are urging a judge to dismiss Viacom's copyright-infringement lawsuit against YouTube, reports Bloomberg. The top Internet companies filed "friend-of-the-court" legal briefs on behalf of YouTube on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court, where a judge is weighing YouTube's and Viacom's legal motions in the 2007 lawsuit, according to Bloomberg. Why are they coming to YouTube's rescue? "Plaintiffs' legal arguments, if accepted, would retard the development of the Internet and electronic commerce," Asim Bhansali, an attorney representing the four companies, said in the brief. According to Bloomberg, the Web companies' brief was also filed ...
  • Google Buzz Adds Retweet, Er, 'Reshare' Button
    Trying to keep up with Joneses, Google Buzz just added what ReadWebWeb jokingly calls a "retweet" button. Google actually calls it a "reshare" button (thank you very much), and, similar to a retweet button, it lets users share posts they find on Buzz with "followers." Posts can be shared both publicly and privately, which, according to Google, was one of the top user requests for Buzz. "It is also a good example of the incremental updates the Buzz team has made over the last three months," notes ReadWriteWeb. In ReadWriteWeb's words, Todd Jackson, Google's product manager for ...
  • Mobile Payment Upstart Boku Gets 'Legendary' Backing
    Mobile payments startup Boku has raised a new round of funding from Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz's VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Ron Hirson, SVP of product and marketing, tells Mobile Beat that the round was strategic, and the company is happy to get advice from what the blog calls Andreessen Horowitz's "legendary founders." San Francisco-based Boku lets you use your mobile phone number to pay bills in online applications such as Facebook games. When you want to buy a virtual good, you enter your phone number. You get a confirmation text message, then you hit "y" to ...
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