- The Search Agents - http://www.thesearchagents.com -

The Week We Searched For- December 18, 2009

Facebook’s Security Controversy

The controversy that started last week over the launch of Facebook’s new security settings has developed into a legal issue.  The Electronic Privacy Information Center [1], a private organization, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, on Thursday, against the social networking site, asserting that Facebook’s new privacy policies represent “unfair and deceptive trade practices [1].” Ten other organizations have joined EPIC’s efforts, which assert that Facebook’s new privacy policy too readily exposes highly personal user information. To read more about the group’s criticism of Facebook and Facebook’s official response, check out Brad Stone’s article in the NYTimes Blog. [2]

URL Shortening Heats up This Week with Bit.ly and Google

Google announced on Monday their plans to enter the URL shortening industry with their new product Goo.gl. [3] The announcement comes as no surprise, after months of Google praising the relevance of microblogging sites, like Twitter, to search. Well, it didn’t take long for Bit.ly [4], a popular URL shortnieng site, to respond with a new product. Later that same day, Bit.ly announced their new ‘Pro’ service [5], which will create custom URLs for a set of a thousand online publishers.  But they didn’t stop there. Bit.ly unveiled two more new services on Thursday [6]: Bit.ly Labs [7] and Bitly.tv [8]. Bit.ly Labs will offer the site’s newest services, like j.mp- their new URL shrinker. Bitly.tv will aggregate the most frequently shortened YouTube video URLs.

Google in Talks with Yelp

Google and Yelp [9] began acquisition discussions this week. According to Comscore, the local-business focused, user-review-based platform attracts nearly 9 million unique users monthly. The rumored price for the deal is $500 million, however, the negotiations are still in their beginning stages. [10]

“Bing” Trademark Challenged

Bing! Information Design, a small tech firm, filed a law suit against Microsoft, accusing them of trademark infringement on the name “Bing.” Bing! Information Design contests that since they advertise primarily online they have a case against Microsoft, which has spent millions over the last six months to promote their new search engine.  In response, Microsoft does not seemed to be worried: “We believe this suit to be without merit and we do not believe there is any confusion in the marketplace with regard to the complainant’s offerings and Microsoft’s Bing.” [11]

Become a Seismologist through Twitter

The U.S. Geological Survey introduced the Twitter Earthquake Detection program this week, which seeks to use clues hidden in Twitter messages to locate how widely an earthquake was felt across various areas. In contrast to the survey’s scientific analysis, which suffers a fifteen minute or more delay, Twitter messages are immediately read and analyzed by the detection software. [12]

EU Files in Microsoft Case

The European Union finally reached a conclusion in their long anti-trust case [13] with Microsoft. The ruling requires Microsoft to provide equal access to Internet browsers within the EU from both new and old Microsoft computers. Analysts do not expect this change to impact Microsoft’s European market share. [14]

FTC on Intel

The Federal Trade Commission filed a suit against Intel Corp., on Wednesday, accusing the company of having monopolized the chip industry for the past decade. According to the FTC, Intel has actively blocked competitors, allegedly threatening larger computer companies against installing non-Intel microchips in their PCs. For further information, check out Isabel Concalves article in the International Business Times. [15]

Google’s New Chrome Ad

If you haven’t seen it yet, I would highly suggest checking out Google’s new video advertisement for Chrome. [16]

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon + [22]