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Google Now Encrypting Searches in China
March 14, 2014
Google's years-long spat with Beijing just began a new chapter. The company has begun encrypting searches made by people in China, where Google has long run afoul of regulations designed to keep a tight lid on searches deemed inappropriate. Google's encryption of searches in China reportedly will prevent the "Great Firewall of China" from detecting when users search for certain terms.
Yahoo Plugs Yelp Reviews Into Search
March 13, 2014
Yahoo and Yelp on Wednesday announced a new partnership to display Yelp ratings with Yahoo's search results, a move designed to snag some market share from Yahoo's larger search competitors. Now, when someone uses Yahoo to search for a local business, that business' Yelp rating will pop up in the right-hand panel of the search results. Users will see its star ratings, photos and more.
China Risks Another State-Run Search Engine Faceplant
March 04, 2014
The Chinese government is taking another stab at the domestic search market with a new service called "ChinaSo." ChinaSo was formed by merging two already-failed search engines: Jike, launched three years ago by state-run newspaper/propaganda pusher The People's Daily; and Panguso, launched by fellow state-run media outlet Xinhua.
WhatsApp Gives BlackBerry a Bounce
February 20, 2014
Facebook's $19 billion purchase of mobile-messaging service WhatsApp appears to have buoyed the value of BlackBerry Messenger -- and by extension, BlackBerry. BlackBerry shares went up nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading because, in the words of Reuters, Facebook's purchase "put a rough valuation metric around the smartphone maker's own BlackBerry Messaging service," also known as "BBM."
High-Tech Suits a Suspect in Weak US Speedskating Performance
February 14, 2014
The U.S. speedskating team's high-tech suits -- which theoretically are supposed to help shave seconds and accrue medals -- have been identified as a suspect in the team's stunning faceplant at the Sochi Games. Before the Games, the suits, designed by U.S.-based sportswear giant Under Armour, were deemed to be on the cutting edge of racing technology.
Mayer Moves Search Higher on Yahoo's To-Do List
February 12, 2014
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been more active than a kid on a sugar high. The company on Wednesday announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to advance personalization and mobile technologies. On the same day, Mayer told employees that Yahoo would be partnering with Yelp. Mayer on Tuesday said she was keen on contextual search, speaking at a conference in San Francisco.
Google's Long European Antitrust Nightmare May Be Over
February 06, 2014
It looks like Google and European regulators have, at long last, reached a settlement to allay antitrust concerns. Google has struck a deal with EC competition regulators, which now awaits formal approval. Under the terms laid out, Google would have to swallow its stiffest-ever antitrust penalties, but it would nonetheless avoid a finding of wrongdoing and a potentially massive fine.
Google Dodges EU Antitrust Bullet
February 05, 2014
The European Commission has accepted Google's latest proposal to settle a probe of its practices pending agreement with the 125 companies and organizations that filed complaints against the Internet giant. Google last week made its third settlement offer, following a warning from the Commission on Jan. 15 that it would take action if the issue were not resolved soon.
Google, EC Antitrust Settlement in the Wind
January 29, 2014
Google reportedly is close to settling the antitrust case the EC brought against it more than three years ago. This is its third offer to the EC so far, and it reportedly includes commitments from Google on how it will treat rivals and how it will use content from other providers. "We are ... at a critical point in the Google investigation," said Antoine Colombani, EC spokesperson for competition.
Yahoo Buys SkyPhrase in Surprising Search Play
December 04, 2013
Yahoo has purchased SkyPhrase with the intention of enabling computers to deeply understand natural language and intentions. SkyPhrase will be joining Yahoo Labs. "Yahoo uses Bing for their search engine, so it's unclear why they would buy a natural language technology for search because they can use Microsoft's technology," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
Google May Be Barking Up Wrong Tree With EU Watchdog Plan
November 08, 2013
Google and the European Commission's delicate negotiations on a settlement regarding the search engine giant's alleged antitrust violations this week hit an unusual snag: The terms of Google's second offer were outed on Wednesday, opening them up to unexpected public scrutiny. The new offer -- including the proposed appointment of a monitor to oversee Google's antitrust compliance -- is inadequate, Consumer Watchdog said.
Google Rivals Get Another Shot at EU Antitrust Deal-Busting
October 28, 2013
EU regulators are seeking feedback from Google's rivals and other third parties on the company's latest attempt to settle antitrust allegations against it in Europe. If the company can come to a settlement, it will avoid the expense of a messy trial as well as a possible $5 billion fine. Google has offered to reduce what it would charge rivals to show their links in specialized search queries.
Solid Q3 Sends Google to Stratosphere
October 18, 2013
Investors sent Google's shares soaring past the $1,000 mark Friday following its stellar third-quarter earnings report. Google reported $14.89 billion in revenue, a 12 percent increase compared with the same time a year ago, beating Wall Street expectations. It posted net income of $2.97 billion, up from the $2.18 billion a year earlier. Google shares hit an all-time high of $1,015 on Friday.
Google's New Rules: You're in the Ad Game Now
October 12, 2013
Google has announced changes to its Terms of Service that will take effect Nov. 13. In short, users' profile names and photos will be served up together with content such as reviews they share, ads they +1, comments they post, or who and what they follow. Only people users choose to share content with will see their profile names and photos. Users under 18 will not be affected by the ToS change.
Google's New EU Deal - Same as the Old Deal?
October 03, 2013
After three years of wrangling with Google over its alleged anticompetitive business practices, the EU hinted there may be light at the end of the tunnel. "We have reached a key moment in this case," EC Vice President Joaquin Almunia, who is responsible for competition policy, said at a Parliament hearing Tuesday. Almunia previously had serious doubts that a settlement could be reached with Google.
Facebook Offers New Ways to Plumb Its Depths
October 02, 2013
Facebook announced Monday it was expanding its Graph Search to give users a more complete experience, allowing searches of status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments. Graph Search rolled out to a limited number of customers earlier this year. At first, it limited searches to individual or brand profiles. The new functionality gives users quicker access to a wider range of information.
Google's Little Hummingbird Can Tell You More
September 27, 2013
Google on Thursday introduced a new search algorithm called "Hummingbird." The company actually started rolling out the algorithm about a month ago, but it formally unveiled it on Thursday, the 15-year anniversary of Google Search's launch. At the heart of the new algorithm is a new, better ranking system that makes results more useful and relevant, according to Google.
Google's AdID Could Crush Cookies
September 25, 2013
Google reportedly is developing its own anonymous identifier for advertising, AdID, that will replace third-party cookies as a way for advertisers to track consumers' online browsing activity. Its aim is to give consumers more privacy and control over their Web browsing. Google's AdID apparently will let users limit ad tracking through browser settings.
Facebook Wants to Be Heard Above the Roar of the Tweets
September 10, 2013
Facebook on Monday began rolling out new tools designed to help news organizations uncover the real-time conversations people are having across the social network. The company released two APIs to a handful of online publications. The Public Feed allows news organizations to integrate Facebook conversations about trending topics into their own coverage.
Google's $8.5M Data Privacy Dodge
September 06, 2013
An October 2010 class action lawsuit against Google included allegations that "Google transmitted user search queries to third parties without knowledge or consent in order to enhance advertising revenue and profitability." Google and the plaintiff users this June presented a settlement proposal to the federal court. However, Google is not proposing to change its privacy policies.

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