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Apple clears 10-billionth iTunes song download mark

The California-based computer maker, Apple Computers, just revealed that the 10-billionth song from its popular music download service, iTunes, has been reached.

Apple, the maker of the iPhone and iPod, firstly launched iTunes seven years ago back in 2003. Today, iTunes has grown to become the world’s largest online media store, allowing consumers to purchase TV program episodes, podcasts, movies, and of course, music.

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Twitter product manager says ad platform “imminent”

Twitter advertising platform could launch in March, seems to be first real attempt at generating revenue

According to a new report today by MediaPost, Twitter product manager Anamitra Banerji made interesting comments that confirmed the company is working on it’s own advertising platform. He declined to give a specific time frame relating to when the platform could launch, but confirmed the product is in a test-phase.

Rumors speculate Twitter could officially launch the product at the Southwest Interactive Festival that is scheduled to take place in March in Austin, Texas. Twitter co-founder and CEO Evan Williams is scheduled to deliver a keynote at the festival on March 16. Twitter firstly used the same festival to launch in 2007.

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Iranian government bans Google’s gmail amid expected protests

Iranian protest at UN Plaza in San Francisco June 2009

Iranian protest at UN Plaza in San Francisco June 2009

The Iranian Communications Agency has formally announced it has banned Google’s popular email service Gmail.

The Iranian government said the ban would be “permanent”. The agency said the country would develop its own national email service for citizens to use.

During the botched Iranian elections last summer, the government blocked a number of social networking websites, including Facebook. The government later banned Twitter as protesters organized rallies through Twitter and published tweets including video of events amid the government crackdown on the protests.

The latest Gmail ban comes as the government warns people to refrain from participating in anti-government protests, one of which is scheduled tomorrow. More protests are scheduled on February 11, the day marking Islamic Revolution celebrations.

Update: Reports are coming in that there are SMS interruptions

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Google to create ultra-speed 1gbps network in U.S.

The world’s top Internet search and online advertising company, Google, today announced an experiment project to develop and build ultra-speed Internet fiber optic networks capable of downloading at 1 gigabits per second.

Google says the purpose of the network is to “make Internet access better and faster for everyone,” and to give developers the necessary tools to create highly innovative technologies yet to be developed. Google’s ultimate goal for the networks is to lead to next generation apps, new deployment technologies, and more openness when it comes to selecting providers.

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Apple to create virtual social app store environment

Figure 9 from U.S. PatentNo US007660749

Figure 9 from U.S. PatentNo US007660749

Apple Inc. today has been awarded a new virtual store patent (Patent No. US007660749) by the U.S. Patent Office, indicating the company could roll out a virtual app store environment where users could customize their own virtual characters.

The patent application also gives hints at the environment, suggesting there would be far more outside of the actual store. The entire virtual world, including the environment outside of the store, would dynamically change according to various factors such as the time of day, weather, and possibly even to yearly seasons such as summer and winter – think Rockstar’s GTA.

We’ve already seen virtual interactive environments such as Sony’s PlayStation Home (wikipedia) realm, and SecondLife.

The Apple patent figures do not provide much insight as to what the end-product would really look like, except minor details that show users could purchase music, books, electronics, and likely an excessive assortment of other goods. So, Apple once again has us guessing as to what Apple CEO Steve Jobs could possibly unveil in the future.

The patent was originally filed back in mid-2006, but was published as approved today.

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Facebook ends Microsoft ad deal, shows off site redesign

The world’s largest online social network, with over 400 million registered members, has announced it would end its advertising partnership with Microsoft.

Microsoft has been serving cost-per-click advertising on Facebook to users located in the United States for the past three-years. During the partnership, Facebook would sell its own advertising from it’s in house advertising division to users outside of the U.S.

The Microsoft deal was scheduled for renegotiation this past week, prompting Facebook to drop the software giant in order to sell advertising directly to advertisers.

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Google Voice now available on iPhone through web-based app

Apple recently decided not to approve Google’s Voice application, citing the application altered the main functions of the iPhone.

Today, Google has released an enhanced mobile version of Voice at http://m.google.com/voice, which is powered by HTML5 that now brings new premium features to the iPhone.

Most people who use Google Voice want to use it to consolidate all their telephone numbers into one primary one. One of the best features is now the ability to set your outgoing calling number to your Google Voice number on your iPhone. It will now be easier for your friends to adopt your Google Voice number, as they’ll always see your Google Voice number. You can also send and receive free text messages from Google Voice.

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YouTube to launch paid movie rentals service

Google has announced that YouTube will make popular movies from the Sundance Film Festival available for rental through its website starting January 22 until the end of the month for $3.99 each movie accessible for 48-hours. Movies include “Homewrecker”, “One Too Many Mornings”, among other popular films.

This marks the first time YouTube offering paid movie rentals. Google plans to expand the program, making more movies available, especially from smaller scale filmmakers.

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Microsoft updates Bing privacy policy

Microsoft today announced the company would alter its privacy settings for its Bing search engine. Specifically, Microsoft will purge all (including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses) identifiable information to users search queries after 6-months.

Microsoft’s existing privacy policy already automatically unlinks search queries from Microsoft accounts (such as Hotmail), therefore removing any link between a users search query and an associated Microsoft account.

Yahoo currently most quickly purges identifiable information related to its users and their search queries to only 90-days. Google removes its data in about 10 months.

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Time buys shopping recommendation engine StyleFeeder

Time Inc. has announced today that it would buy StyleFeeder, an online shopping recommendation engine. StyleFeeder aggregates apparel information from thousands of online retailers and has a catalog of more than 14-million products in its database.

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