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Sony Seeks Personal Information from Twitter, YouTube Users In PlayStation 3 Hack Case

The notorious 21-year old computer programmer from New Jersey, George Hotz, best known for being the first to crack Apple’s iOS iPhone to run homebrewed applications, is facing legal troubles after releasing a hack variation for Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system.

At first believed to be un-crackable, programmers were finally able to crack the firmware of the four-year-old gaming console, allowing gamers to play pirated games, and to run homebrewed third party applications.

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Google adds three new features to Realtime search

googleIn 2009, we firstly reported that Google finalized an agreement with Twitter to allow the search giant to index tweets to display them in search results as part of a push to make search results more timely and relevant.

The deal was worth about $15-million, and at the same time, Twitter made a similar deal with Microsoft’s Bing search engine at a reported cost of $10-million.

Today, Google made the “most significant” enhancements to its Google Realtime search, adding a few new features.

Google added a new tool to filter search results based on geographic location, allowing users to see results such as tweets only from specified regions.

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Google Twitter Replay: A chronological archive of every tweet

Google Corp. has unveiled a new search tool, dubbed Google Twitter Replay, that aims to make tweets from Twitter more useful in that people could search for past events and find all related tweets and conversations from that specific time period on the social networking website.

We firstly reported that Google initially signed an indexing deal with Twitter worth $15-million to allow the company to index tweets in real-time. At that time, Twitter also inked a deal with Microsoft Corp worth $10-million.

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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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BusinessWeek report says Twitter to record first profit this year

Twitter founders, Biz Stone (left), and Evan Williams (right)

Twitter founders, Biz Stone (right), and Evan Williams (left)

BusinessWeek has published a report that says the popular microblogging website Twitter will earn a profit in 2009.

The report says deals to make tweets available for indexing by Google and Microsoft worth $25 million in 2009 ($15 million and $10 million respectively) contributed to the profit along with new cost cutting measures.

The report cites people familiar with Twitter’s finances who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Dell earning $6.5M from Twitter presence

Dell today has released new numbers relating to sales generated from online social media.

The company said today that it has generated $6.5 million in sales as a direct result from being on Twitter. The company says sales from Twitter have tripped from the last report.

Dell currently has 1.469 million followers on its @delloutlet Twitter account.

With companies such as Dell generating all of this revenue, the question remains how will Twitter generate revenue with basically no business model at this time.

Twitter is expected to monetize the service by adding premium features to accounts for a small price tag. No other information is really being disclosed right now as to availability and possible other features.

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Microsoft, Sony set to launch new features to consoles

Microsoft and Sony are set to add new features to their respective gaming consoles, the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.

On November 17, Microsoft will let users update their firmware via Xbox Live that will include many useful and much anticipated new features.

The most important Xbox updates include new Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm (with support for only the U.S. and the U.K. users for Last.fm) integration, on demand 1080p 5.1-channel HD video streaming via Zune Video, and a new News section that streams content from various content partners including MSNBC.

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Twitter now valued at $1B with new investments

Twitter has raised a new round of financing at a $100 million dollar valuation.

Benchmark Capital, Spark Capital, Institutional Venture Partners are returning investors and were involved in the new offering. There were also two new shareholders added to the mix, T. Rowe Price and Insight Venture Partners.

The terms of the deal will not be disclosed, including neither the total amount Twitter has raised (except to say it was a significant sum) nor any indication as to the investment weights from each investor.

We just know that Twitter was valued at $1 billion after internal people familiar with the matter confirmed the valuation to the AP.

The new funds will be used to fund company operations, and could include purchasing new equipment to grow the service and even expand the current 60-strong workforce.

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Twitter adding native geo-location support

According to a new blog post by Twitter founder Biz Stone, Twitter will begin to include native support for geo-location based information via a new API. The new feature will now give users the option to include their GPS location from each tweet.

The feature will be available directly from Twitter and it’s mobile site. Third party applications will also begin to add the GPS support from the API.

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The push for real-time: Digg to open API, Delicious redesigns

The popular social news community Digg is set to reportedly open up more by restructuring its API to allow both read/write access.

Digg developer Jeff Hodson noted in a recent post, “In forth coming versions of the API, people will be able to not only read data, but also contribute data too.”

Digg was once the top social media site where people would go to find and share news and interesting content. The problem with Digg remains that content that hits the front page of the site could take hours to go through the ranks of other user-submitted stories, and of course, the problem with that is people don’t want old news, they want news in real-time as it breaks.

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