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Things seem to be humming along in the Facebook game market: Zynga, the leading Facebook game company, with popular apps such as Mafia Wars and Farmville (whose users recently sent half a billion valentines to each other in 48 hours), has agreed to acquire fellow game […] Read more »

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has launched a micropayment service called Flattr. The service, which is now in beta, is designed to help users and fans pay programmers, software designers, musicians and other artists for their work easily. But micropayments are a tough problem to solve. Read more »

Music bloggers are upset because they say Google deleted their blogs without warning as a result of DMCA claims about songs they posted. But some of the bloggers say they were given the tracks they posted by record labels themselves as a promotional effort. Read more »

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Google Buzz is a bit like Twitter, a bit like Facebook, and a bit like Foursquare, but the one thing that makes it different from all of these services is that it is integrated with email. But is that a good thing or a bad thing? Read more »

According to Zynga, the creator of Farmville and other popular Flash-based interactive games on Facebook, over the past two days alone, players with Farmville accounts have sent close to half a billion virtual Valentine’s Day gifts to each other. Read more »

YouTube has launched a violence, profanity and porn filter for the video-sharing site that it is calling “Safety Mode.” When the setting is clicked, searches for certain terms will return no results, and comments on videos are hidden by default, and have profanity replaced by asterisks. Read more »

A new survey shows that identity theft is on the rise, with the number of cases up 12 per cent last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. On the bright side, consumers are reporting more fraud cases, and there have been more successful prosecutions. Read more »

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr and founder of game developer Tiny Speck, talks about his newly launched, massively multiplayer online game Glitch, why he chose 2-D instead of 3-D, and how he thought about starting a bank instead of a game company. Read more »

TweepML, which launched a Twitter-based service offering list management just a couple of months before Twitter launched something almost identical, is now up for sale. The demise of the service is a graphic reminder of the risks of building a startup on someone else’s platform. Read more »

Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield’s new startup, Tiny Speck, has announced its first product, a massively multiplayer online game called Glitch. The 2D Flash-based game will start alpha testing soon and launch in late 2010, Butterfield says, and includes social elements such as collaborative puzzle-solving. Read more »

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Peter Warden analyzed the user profile data and friend settings from more than 200 million Facebook profiles, and found that they naturally segmented themselves into seven regional groups, based on the number of connections between users and those from other states. Read more »

A growing number of authors are signing exclusive e-book deals with Amazon for the Kindle, attracted in part by the higher royalty rates the electronic retailer is offering. In the latest deal, author Gavin de Becker gave Amazon rights to two e-books for a year. Read more »

PayPal says it has suspended personal payments to and from India, as well as transfers to local banks in India. The changes may be in response to new rules in India intended to restrict money laundering. Read more »

Forrester Research touched off a bit of a brush fire this past weekend when it said it would limit its analysts to blogging about research-related topics on Forrester.com and decreed that any personal blogs maintained on other domains must be strictly about personal matters. Read more »

For the first time in 23 years, Pepsico isn’t spending millions on a Superbowl ad, but instead is funding a series of social-media powered community renewal projects to the tune of $20 million, a campaign that appears to have already paid off. Read more »

If you find you just can’t get a fast enough Internet connection, you might want to look for an apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia — a local ISP there named Novus says it will soon launch the continent’s fastest Internet service, offering 200 megabits per second. Read more »

Wikileaks, the non-profit web site devoted to exposing government and corporate secrets, says that it has raised enough money to continue operating, but not enough to pay its staff. The site suspended operations recently to try and raise enough funds to continue publishing. Read more »

According to statistics from Hitwise, an increasing number of visits to news and media web sites are coming from Facebook, which has been promoting itself as a place where users can share news links. Traffic from Facebook has more than doubled in the past year. Read more »

Billionaire sports-team owner Mark Cuban told a media industry conference in New York Tuesday that Google and other aggregators are “vampires” and that newspapers and magazines should remove themselves from Google’s index because there are no benefits to showing up in a Google search. Read more »

If you can get past the salty language, David “Master of 500 Hats” McClure has a good point to make about how the future of web services is likely subscription and transaction-based, and the fact that this model favors Facebook, Google and Apple. Read more »

Amazon has given in to book publisher Macmillan in a fight over e-book prices, in part because of the threat of competition from Apple’s iPad, but will actually make more money from e-books in the short term – even as it loses in the longer term. Read more »

A battle is raging in the blogosphere about whether Apple’s new iPad is good or evil, since it is a closed and proprietary platform with a locked-down content system built in. But the iPad is unlikely to mean the end of hacker culture. Read more »

Wikileaks, the crusading non-profit web service that exposes government secrets and corporate corruption by publicizing secret documents, says it has been forced to suspend operations while it looks for financing. The site says that it needs between $200,000 and $600,000 to continue operating. Read more »

Saul Hansell, who left the New York Times to help run AOL’s new Seed project, says his first big project is finding writers who will interview every single one of the 2,000 artists and bands that are appearing at the SXSW festival. Read more »

Everyone seems prepared to declare the Kindle e-reader dead now that Apple has released the iPad, but Amazon can still put up a fight. Here are five simple ways that the Kindle can compete with the Apple tablet. Read more »

The Apple iPad looks like a beautiful device for consuming all kinds of media, including print. But will that help newspapers and magazines? Not unless they fundamentally rethink their businesses. If anything, it will only accelerate the disruption they are already experiencing. Read more »

A survey done by Microsoft in conjunction with Data Privacy Day on Thursday found that 70 percent of HR professionals have rejected a job candidate because of information they found about that person by doing an online search. Read more »

Google has put together an official “Social Web” team that consists of some of the most prominent advocates of open standards for social networks. But will that help the company “get” the social web, or will it just be seen as a power grab? Read more »

In one of the first marriages of news content and location-based services, the Canadian arm of the free paper Metro International has announced a content deal with Foursquare, the popular mobile location-based service, that will give users the ability to see local news and reviews. Read more »

AOL continues its expansion in the content-creation business with the acquisition of video-production house StudioNow for $36.5 million, and the hiring of a former Google engineer as the head of technology for its New York media center. Read more »

What could a world of tablets bring? Not just better e-book readers or game machines, but an explosion of personally produced content, distributed by individual apps. But will Apple and Amazon seize that opportunity? Read more »

Yelp is stepping up its game against Foursquare and Gowalla by adding “check-ins” by users to its reviews. But will be enough? Or will Foursquare and/or Gowalla make for a simpler user experience and therefore a significant competitive threat? Read more »

A group of journalists has agreed to “prove” how useless Twitter and Facebook are by reporting only news they receive through those services for five days. But this is a farce that only proves these journalists don’t understand the role social media plays in the news. Read more »

The New York Times announced yesterday that it is planning to launch a “metered access” system for its web site next year. Here are a few of the smart people writing about the topic that you should read (apart from us). Read more »

Hopes are riding high that the upcoming iTablet will rescue newspapers and other traditional publishers from their digital woes, but regardless of how magical the Apple device is, there is virtually zero chance that it will be the savior of the media industry. Read more »

Does owning a Kindle or a Nook make you more likely to buy and read books? According to a new survey, while e-reader owners are still a relatively small proportion of the population, almost half of them say they are reading more books. Read more »

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