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theEweekly Wrap: Patents, PayPal and pretenders

Patent spending Google has acquired more IBM patents in a continuing purchasing drive. Around 200 patents have been bought by the search giant, in addition to the 2,000 it has reportedly acquired from IBM over the past few months. The spending spree will allow Google to use the patented ideas to develop new innovations (the traditional use of patents), but could also relate to existing Google technologies. This would help the company withstand the current barrage of copyright infringement accusations blighting the smartphone and tablet market.

One particularly interesting patent that has changed hands involves “Using semantic networks to develop a social network”; it remains to be seen what this is, and what it means for Google’s social network Google+.

Google’s patent grab made tech headlines in August 2011, when the company failed to buy a cache of old Novell and Nortel patents and accused Apple and Microsoft of joining forces to outbid Google. However, less than a fortnight later it acquired Motorola Mobility, along with several thousand Motorola patents.

Yahoo’s new Pal Yahoo confirmed on Wednesday that it had appointed a new CEO – Scott Thompson, former president at PayPal. Prior to his presidency, he was PayPal’s senior vice-president and chief technology officer, so was instrumental in the company’s rapid growth. Yahoo has been without a chief executive since Carol Bartz was fired over the phone in September, after failing to turn around the ailing company’s fortunes.

Chairman of the Yahoo board Roy Bostock commented: “Scott brings to Yahoo a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo. The search committee and the entire board concluded that he is the right leader to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders.” The company is clearly hoping Thompson can bring his golden touch to Yahoo; its 2011 UK search engine market share dropped to just 2.44 per cent.

Wendi woes Twitter has unverified a spoof account that claimed to be that of Wendi Deng Murdoch. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch started an account on 31 December 2011, so when someone claiming to be his wife Wendi began tweeting the next day, it seemed plausible. The @wendi_deng account was verified on Monday night, while a News International spokesperson reportedly told the BBC that the account was genuine.

The account was officially verified with a blue tick for over 24 hours. After it was unverified, the account admitted: “Hello Twitter. As News International has finally come to their senses, it’s time to confirm that yes, this is a fake account. I’m not Wendi.” Verification was launched over two years ago to help celebrities who use the service create official accounts; however, the mistake suggests a rather lax process, while the account owner has claimed that Twitter never made contact with them before or after the blue tick appeared. The anonymous individual – who has said only that they are not a comedy writer, not a journalist and not Jonnie Marbles of the pie-throwing incident – still has over 8,000 followers. The real Rupert Murdoch has not commented on the incident.

Written by rachel_hand_swapRachel Hand
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Yahoo acquires BrightRoll for $640 million Wednesday 12th of November, 2014by James Riches Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has announced that the company has purchased video advertising platform BrightRoll for $640 million, its biggest deal since the acquisition of Tumblr in 2013.

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Spotify and Uber join forces Tuesday 18th of November, 2014by Andy Williams Spotify and Uber have announced a collaboration which will let Uber users ‘become the DJ’ when making a journey by using the music streaming service.

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Google to start labelling mobile-friendly sites Wednesday 19th of November, 2014by Dan Moores Google has announced that it will add the label 'mobile-friendly' to sites that are easily navigable on smartphones, in an effort to further improve the search experience for mobile users.

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theEword - 2 days ago

Thanks again to everyone who came to #LightAFire14 this week. Read all about the event in this blog post: http://t.co/ka7Nnu4rsx

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theEword - 4 days ago

Nothing like a nice cosy fire and a hot chocolate to warm up your Wednesday #LightAFire14

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theEweekly Wrap: 14 Nov Thursday 13th of November, 2014by Dan Moores This week: Instagram introduces typeahead search, Spotify says it does fight piracy, and Sainsbury's Xmas ad is a YouTube hit.

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theEweekly Wrap: 21 Nov Friday 21st of November, 2014by Martin Lindley This week: Google uses giant billboard, Facebook launches groups app, and Couple get TripAdvisor fine.

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The final Light a Fire of 2014 Friday 21st of November, 2014by Dan Moores For the fifth and final Light a Fire of 2014, Liane Grimshaw joined Dan Nolan in the cosy Library room at the Great John Street Hotel, sharing career anecdotes and wise advice.

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