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Blog

Wal-Mart dumps social networking site

Wal-Mart’s brief fling with online networking appears to have come to an end, with several blogs saying the retailer has closed its teen-oriented social networking site - called ‘ The Hub ’, among other things.

The site, temporarily launched this summer as a promotion for the start of the school year, aimed to copy Myspace et al by encouraging ‘hubsters’ to set up their own personalised web pages.

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Tesco boosts web sales by 30%

Tesco has posted a 28.7% rise in sales at its online division, with revenues coming in at £554m in the first half of this year.

The supermarket giant, which dominates the UK’s online grocery sector, said profit at Tesco.com increased 43.1% to £33.8m, excluding the launch costs of its non-food operation Tesco Direct.

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SMEs failing to exploit blogs, says study

Only 3% of SMEs are planning to start a corporate blog, according to a survey by hosting provider Fasthosts.

The firm, which questioned 2,000 small businesses, found nearly half would use a blog to drive traffic and interact with their customers, but far fewer were actually preparing to launch one.

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News Corp targets graduates with Milkround purchase

News Corp has continued its internet shopping spree with the purchase of UK graduate recruitment site Milkround.com.

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Amazon gives search engine a facelift

Amazon has scaled back its A9 search engine by canning personalised features and no longer requiring users to log in.

The etailer removed the functions late last week, with a spokesperson telling the Associated Press it was "shifting its priorities to areas where it can provide the greatest benefit for customers."

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Yahoo! aims to foster Mail mash-ups

Yahoo! is planning to give free access to code for its Mail service in a bid to encourage mash-ups and independent application development.

The move, which will happen later this year, was announced as part of a ‘Yahoo! Hack Day’ aimed at helping programmers to build apps using the portal’s various services.

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Online gambling sector in crisis after US ban

Shockwaves have been sent through the online gaming industry after the unexpected approval of anti-gambling legislation late on Friday in the US.

The laws – the first in the States to deal specifically with internet gaming - ban banks and credit card companies from processing payments for bets placed over the web.

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Big brands fail in a world without www

I often browse the web by grabbing text and dragging it into my Google Toolbar, which will open a new search page. It will open up a website for me, in the event that I drag a domain name into the search window.

I don’t expect I’m alone in exhibiting this kind of search behaviour, but there is a problem. Many firms, including some big brands, do not cater for a www-less version of their domain name.

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Local search gains momentum, says study

A study by ComScore , focusing on the US, has shown an increase of over 40% in the number of users performing local searches online in the last year.

According to the research, 63% of US internet users (around 109 million people) performed a local search during July, a 43% increase over the same month in 2005.

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Mike Rundle throws stones at Luddite VCs, Arrington and Godin

Mike Rundle has written a post called The Catch-22 of Web 2.0 in which he says he feels like “the only person seeing certain things happen – like watching a train wreck in slow motion”.

Mike is a top web designer who makes some cynical points that don’t make too much sense from where I’m sitting.

So let’s go through them one by one…

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Operators in talks over ‘Mobile Bebo’

Bebo is in discussions with mobile operators over the launch of a range of text messaging services in the first quarter of next year.

The companies plan to use SMS to extend Bebo’s functionality onto mobiles, unlike the WAP-based services being developed by some of its rivals.

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Mark Cuban: only a 'moron' would buy YouTube

Dotcom billionaire Mark Cuban is one person that can be ruled out of the bidding for YouTube  – he has reportedly said that only a “moron” would purchase the video-sharing site.

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