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Medialets, a New York mobile ad company, is looking to make rich media mobile ads much more easier for advertisers and publishers to use by launching a new dashboard and toolkit called Muse, which simplifies the creation, management and analytics of rich media campaigns. Read more »

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ChoozOn, a start-up co-founded by a trio of former Yahoo executives, is launching a social network built around shopping and personalized deals that works hard to bring brands and consumers together. It will face tough odds going up against Groupon, Facebook, Google and others. Read more »

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Most start-ups are worried about winning business plan competitions. Shopify, an e-commerce platform, is getting good at hosting them. The compay is kicking off its second Build a Business competition, taking the contest international while upping the prize money and giveaways to half a million dollars. Read more »

Rob Bernard, Microsoft, at Green:Net 2011

With the world population booming and energy consumption growing, the challenge is on to counter the impacts with smart solutions, said Microsoft’s Rob Bernard. He said cloud-based software, creative uses of data and innovative interfaces will help create smart systems that can address the growing problems. Read more »

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Visa has been working with the Gap on a campaign that provides discounts and promotions via text message when users make certain transactions on their Visa card. The program shows how mobile offers and discounts are incorporating more intelligence, which will be key for success. Read more »

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Location-based app Loopt is looking beyond the check-in and trying to engage users by providing them information about what they should do they they arrive. Loopt is introducing Loopt Qs, a lightweight real-time question and answer feature that allows users to get answers to popular questions. Read more »

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NFC can be used for a lot of things, now including unlocking levels in Angry Birds. Rovio is partnering with Nokia to offer a Symbian version of its popular title, called Angry Birds Magic, in which most of the levels will be unlocked through NFC. Read more »

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Clearwire has resolved its wholesale agreement dispute with Sprint, signing a deal that calls for Sprint to pay Clearwire about $1 billion over the next two years. The deal removes some uncertainty for struggling Clearwire and helps forge a stronger bond with Sprint, its majority owner. Read more »

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After helping improve maps in 183 countries and regions with Google Map Maker, Google is turning the power of crowd-sourced mapping on in the United States, a move that highlights the work Google is doing to own the local market. Read more »

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Groupon is buying Pelago, maker of local discovery app Whrrl, signaling the end of the check-in service. But it could also mean a broader direction for Groupon as it looks to expand beyond daily deals to more localized and personalized discounts. Read more »

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Apple is apparently also tweaking its App Store rankings to factor in more than pure download numbers, a welcome sign if true. It could be an attempt to mimic what Google’s done with the Android Market, which now appears to take into account engagement data. Read more »

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Google — already facing heat on accusations that it is exerting more control over its Android platform and stymieing competition in some cases — is dealing with new antitrust complaints from two Korean Internet companies that claim Google is blocking operators and manufacturers from pre-installing their search engines. Read more »

techstars

TechStars, the pioneering start-up accelerator, just graduated its first New York class today, introducing a strong and polished class with a lot of promise. Here are some standouts from the class of 12, which introduced themselves at a demo day today. Read more »

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The pieces are falling into place for near field communications to take off over the next few years, according to a new forecast from Juniper Research, which estimated 1 in 5 smartphones will support the wireless technology by 2014 with 300 million NFC-capable devices available. Read more »

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Life360, a family safety app, has been on a six-month tear, hitting 2 million families using the service. The growth highlights the work done to drive daily engagement, but more importantly, underscores the rise of smartphones and their increasing use as family utility tools. Read more »

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GoldRun, a New York start-up that allows brands to use augmented reality to create innovative marketing campaigns that end in real-world rewards, just raised $1.1 million in an angel round. The company is showing the promise of augmented reality and the power of tangible rewards. Read more »

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Amazon already offers display advertising opportunities on its own website. But the company may be preparing to be a much bigger force across the web as it looks to become a major player in the online display advertising market, according to an analyst. Read more »

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Quixey, a new start-up backed by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, is looking to make the app discovery process easier by allowing users to say what they’re looking to do and then using that info to generate app recommendations for multiple platforms. Read more »

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Google’s VP of engineering Andy Rubin hit back at a recent Businessweek article suggesting that the company was exerting much more control over mobile operating system. But in defending Android’s openness, Rubin seems to be setting the company up for more stories questioning Android’s openness. Read more »

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