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News Picks: Adobe Search Patent; Microsoft vs Yahoogle Japan; iPad Rivals & More

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An overview of some of today's search, ad, tech news

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adobe logo.jpg Adobe has filed for a patent that would enable search engines to crawl rich media format through an annotation-based system.
"According to embodiments of the invention, a developer annotates portions of the procedural code of a rich Internet application to facilitate exposing particular content to a search engine," the patent filing reads. The patent would make Apple's war against flash technology more difficult.

Microsoft.JPG Speaking of war, Microsoft is also stepping up to block the Google-Yahoo Japan deal, the company told Business Insider. Yahoo Japan's choice to pick the Mountain View, CA-based company over Bing came as a surprise since Yahoo and Microsoft are currently integrating their respective search activities into the Search Alliance for an official launch expected in the fourth quarter of this year. "We plan to present evidence to the Japanese FTC explaining why we believe that this deal is substantially more harmful to competition than Google's deal with Yahoo in 2008 that the DOJ found to be illegal," the Microsoft representative said. Together, Google and Yahoo own 98% of the search market in Japan, according to Microsoft's estimates.


Scaling Up

zynga logo.JPG Zynga as well is "big in Japan" at the moment, as it is setting up a joint-venture with Softbank who has also completed its $150 million investment in the social gaming platform. The companies said in a blog post that the joint venture will "develop and distribute social games across Japan... to offer millions of new users the ability to play social games anytime and anywhere."

Twitter.JPG Twitter is growing fast too. According to the Gigatweet counter, the chirpy company now has exceeded 20 billion tweets since it was launched. At time of print, the counter stood at 20.121 billion tweets, which will probably grow to over 130 billion at the time you will be reading this. Check it out. It should reach 20.20 billion micro-messages in one day, according to Gigatweet. Twitter said it has "more than a hundred million users."


New products & features

In other news, Twitter launched a new feature that suggests users other people to follow. In a blog post, the company said the feature is underpinned by algorithms taking into account several factors, notably including "people you follow and the people they follow." The feature can be turned off if deemed undesirable, it said, while announcing that third-party suggestions would be allowed through an API. This new offering seems to be the concrete outcome of the rumored "you both follow" feature previously reported.

BlackBerry.JPG BlackBerry maker Reasearch In Motion (RIM) is mulling a November launch of the "Blackpad," an iPad rival, according to Bloomberg who quoted "two people familiar with the company's plans." Bloomberg said the device will integrate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. It will be approximately the same size as its Apple competitor and be priced the same too. Bluetooth will enable users to get online anywhere via their BlackBerry smartphones. Big plus: front- and back-facing cameras will allow videoconferencing, said Rodman & Renshaw analyst, Ashok Kumar, citing supplier sources in Asia. RIM declined to comment.

Google and Verizon, Microsoft and, finally HP, are all rumoured to be working on their own iPad rivals.


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