Google Lifts the Veil on Chrome
Google unveiled part of their Chrome operating system this week. Although the actual launch date isn’t until late next year, the Chrome OS code will soon be released to the public under an open source license. Google’s operating system has been much rumored about, as it will run almost entirely through Web applications, relying on Web-based cloud storage, rather than computer storage. As such, Chrome is expected to pose real competition for Windows and Apple’s computing systems. While Google promotes the benefits of the ‘cloud,’ many are still skeptical about how reliable and secure it will prove to be. To read more about Chrome, its critics and fans, check out Neil McAllister’s article in the SF Chronicle. 
Google Adds Captions to YouTube
Google and YouTube released an automated caption generating service to YouTube videos this week. Previously, users had to manually add caption to videos, but with the new automated service, users have the choice to insert machine-generated captions. According to Ken Harrenstien, Google hopes the captions will help the deaf and hearing impaired, as well as open up video content across 51 languages. This may end up being a major enhancement to SEO Best Practices for YouTube . To see YouTube’s demo video and for more information on the project, check out Austin Modine’s article on The Register. 
BigDeal Unveils Website
BigDealhas launched their website with the help of $4.5 million from Mayfield Fund, Foundation Capital and First Round Capital. BigDeal is a live auction site, enabling users to purchase $0.75 bids and bid on retail items, like digital cameras, DVDs, TVs. The catch is that, unlike with traditional auctions, BigDeal keeps all the bid money and users receive ‘credit’ from their bids which they can use to purchase retail items directly from BigDeal. To read more about BigDeal and other auctions sites like it, check out Brad Stone’s article in the New York Times. 
AOL Plans to Cut One-Third of Employees
AOL announced this week their plans to cut their staff by a third over the coming month. The company will conduct a “voluntary layoff program ,” allowing employees to choose to leave the company. If the target number of 2,500 layoffs is not met by December 11, then the company will conduct an involuntary layoff. The cuts come after an economically difficult year for AOL and a month after their spin off from Time Warner.
Bits and Bolts
- Twitter Changes Catch Phrase- Twitter made a slight change to its homepage this week, changing their opening greeting from “What are you doing” to “What’s Happening.” 
- Infoserve Group- Infoserve’s stock dropped  nearly 17% after last week’s announcement that they will no longer be an authorized Google AdWords reseller as of the New Year.
- Paul Allen Diagnosed with Cancer- Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen , disclosed this week that he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer affecting the body’s lymph node system.
- DirecTV Announces new CEO- DirectTV announced this week that Michael White,  former head of PepsiCo’s international business, will become their new chief executive.
- Facebook and Zynga Class Action Suit- Facebook and Zynga face a class action  suit for their alleged ‘scamming’ of Farmville and Mafia Wars users.