Google Listening to Your Every Move

TechCrunch reports on a research product at Google which allows the company to use your computer microphone to “listen” to the TV shows you are watching and then serve targeted internet ads.

Ok, how many of you are creeped out about Google listening-in on your lives and how the heck are they gonna convince us that we’d be better off if we let them snoop?

I know it’s just a research project, but why?

Think Partnership Deal with IceRocket is Off

Scott Mitchell, interim CEO for Think Partnership (THK) just announced that the letter of intent to acquire IceRocket has expired and the company will not be moving forward with the deal.

No details were given as to why the deal collapsed.

UPDATE: IceRocket’s Blake Rhodes emailed me to let me know that, while the LOI is dead, the two companies are still working together.

“We are currently working with some of the THK companies and will continue to. We are also exploring other things. Scott and I talk often. The LOI has expired but we continue our discussions and think we can do a lot together,” said Rhodes in his email.

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Net Neutrality Backed by Google, Amazon, eBay and Many Others

The issue of “Net Neutrality” comes to a boil over the next week as phone and cable companies push Congress to allow them to set up preferred internet networks, while big internet businesses, including Google, are fighting back.

Yahoo Takes Best of Flickr, Launches Yahoo Photos

Lots of buzz this morning surrounding the launch of Yahoo Photos. While Yahoo already has the excellent Flickr, Yahoo Photos is expected to be a little more consumer-friendly.

Yahoo Photos offers a more visually appealing user welcome page, with a list of the user’s albums and albums of friends on the left, as well as larger images of recent photos. Users can drag and drop multiple photos at a time to rearrange them and easily rename them by pointing and clicking on the old name and typing in a new one.

I guess Yahoo beat Google to the punch. ;-)

OutSourced Search Marketing to Grow

Search marketers of the world can rejoice, companies are increasing their budgets and outsourcing more, according to a new JupiterResearch study.

Snippets include:

…the share of search marketers with annual revenues of $15 million or more has risen from 25 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2006.

…the number of marketers using bid management and Web analytics tools has risen from 19 percent last year to 26 percent this year.

…More than fifty percent of large marketers outsource at least one of their search marketing services.

…24 percent of search marketers spent more than $500,000 on SEM campaigns in 2005, compared with 12 percent in 2004.

…66 percent of marketers plan to increase search spending.

Thanks to MarketingVOX.

Searching for the Perfect Real Estate Resource

Greg Sterling has an in-depth summary of the growing real estate search vertical.

PubSub Facing Closure?

Looks like blog search engine PubSub is about to close, according to Michael Arrington.

Blog search engine PubSub had massive layoffs today after last minute merger discussions with knownow fell apart. It looks like a shutdown is imminent.

I would normally consider this pure speculation, but co-founder Bob Wyman commented on the post and didn’t actually deny the company is shutting down.

It’s a shame. Bob is a nice guy and was fantastic at promoting the company. Unfortunately, it never had the usability that other blog search engines offered.

Hat-tip to RMG.