Google Unveils $179 Nexus One Android Smartphone


Mountain View, Calif. – Google (NASD:  GOOG) on Tuesday introduced its anticipated
Nexus One smartphone, designed in close partnership with manufacturer HTC, at a
media event at its headquarters in Mountain
View, Calif. The
handset is available from today on Google’s website for $179 with a two-year
T-Mobile (NYSE:  DT) contract, or on its own for $529; the Nexus One will also be available
from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:  VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:  VOD) sometime in the spring.

The Nexus One
features a 3.7-inch OLED display; a trackball with multi-colored LED that will
be used for notifications; a 5-megapixel camera; stereo Bluetooth; and active
noise cancellation.

It will offer voice activation for all text fields on the
phone, including for creating email and Twitter status updates.

Multiple home
screens, a la the iPhone, will let users populate the device with icons for applications
they download from the Android Market.

Along with the Nexus, there are
currently some 20 Google Android-powered mobile devices, including the Droid
and MyTouch, available from 59 carriers in 48 countries.


Poll: Will The New Google Phone Be An iPhone Killer?


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App Store


Apple: iPhone App Store Downloads Top 3 Billion


– Apple (NASD:  AAPL) announced on
Tuesday that downloads of applications for its iPhone and iPod touch from the
company’s App Store have surpassed three billion. "Three billion
applications downloaded in less than 18 months — this is like nothing we’ve
ever seen before," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

"The revolutionary App Store
offers iPhone and iPod touch users an experience unlike anything else available
on other mobile devices, and we see no signs of the competition catching up
anytime soon."

The App Store, which launched in July 2008 and is now
available in 77 countries, reached 2 billion downloads just two months ago.


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Providence Backs Baidu's Hulu-like Video Portal Venture


Shanghai – Baidu (NASD:  BIDU), the top search engine in China, has partnered with Hulu investor
Providence Equity Partners to create a similar video portal in China that will
feature licensed professional content, Reuters reported.

Providence reportedly invested $60 million in
the joint venture, while Baidu will inject $10 million into a fund that will be
used to secure content licenses, sources told Reuters.

The U.S.-based
investment firm is also a backer of Hulu, the video portal joint venture between
News Corp., NBC Universal and Disney.

Reuters noted that Baidu is also a
financial backer of PPLive, another licensed video site in China.


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Market Research Firm Gartner Buys Burton Group for $56 Million


– Gartner (NYSE: IT) announced on
Tuesday that it has acquired fellow information technology market research firm
Burton Group for $56 million in cash.

Utah-based Burton Group counts 41
research analysts and will see projected 2009 revenue of $30 million.

Gartner said the deal will expand its product and service offerings, and
increase its IT research market opportunity, while also providing operational efficiencies
and cost savings.

"Gartner has traditionally focused on providing
strategic insight to CIOs and senior IT executives, while Burton Group has
built a leading niche providing practical, how-to advice to front-line IT
professionals," said Gartner CEO Gene Hall.

"Thus, Burton Group is a
great strategic fit for Gartner and should enable us to offer a more complete
solution to every level and functional expert within an IT organization."


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Quattro Wireless


Apple Acquires Mobile Ad Firm Quattro Wireless


– Quattro Wireless, a
provider of mobile advertising services, announced on Monday in a blog post that
it has been acquired by Apple (NASD:  AAPL). While financial terms of the transaction were
not disclosed, PaidContent’s source pegged the purchase price at $270 million.

Founded in 2006, Quattro offers a mobile Web and in-application ad network
utilized by clients including Netflix, CBS Interactive, Disney and Microsoft.

The company’s network partners include Gawker, NFL, NHL, Hachette, Time, imeem
and Slacker.

"We remain focused on delivering more engaging, relevant and
useful ads to mobile devices, and improving the measurement and execution of
digital campaigns," said Quattro co-founder and CEO Andrew Miller — who was
named a vice president of mobile advertising at Apple.

"Together with
Apple, we look forward to developing exciting new opportunities in the future
that will benefit our customers."

Quattro raised over $28 million in
funding, from backers including Highland Capital Partners and Globespan Capital


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PowerReviews Secures $4.9 Million for User Product Reviews


San Francisco
– PowerReviews, a site that aggregates user-generated product reviews and makes
them available to online retailers, has raised $4.9 million of an anticipated
$9 million round of new funding, PaidContent reported, citing a regulatory

Founded in 2005, San Francisco-based PowerReviews provides
user-generated product reviews to more than 3,000 online retail clients,
including Orbitz, Staples, REI and Warner Home Video.

The company’s last round
of funding in 2007 was led by Lehman Brothers Venture Partners.


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U2's Bono Decries File-Sharing, "Rich Service Providers"


New York
– U2 frontman Bono took to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times over the
weekend, in part to rail against the sharing of music on peer-to-peer networks,
and ISPs — the "rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly
mirror the lost receipts of the music business." "A decade’s worth of
music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the
creators — in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off
ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us," Bono wrote.
The band’s manager, Paul McGuinness, has taken a vocal stance against
file-sharing, and in particular called on ISPs to do more to police the


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Redbox Rents Record 2 Million DVDs on New Year's Eve


Oakbrook Terrace,
– Redbox, a unit of
Coinstar (NASD: CSTR) that operates automated DVD rental kiosks, announced on Mondy that
consumers rented more than two million DVDs on New Year’s Eve from the
company’s kiosks, breaking its previous one-day rental record by more than
170,000 rentals. The company, which operates more than 19,000 locations
nationwide, reported more than 350 million rentals in 2009.


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