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Ten digital trends to watch out for in 2008

A new year wouldn’t be a new year without a vast number of websites making predictions about the future of the web, and 2008 proves to be no different. From a number of different sources, we have rounded up 10 key trends that we think are the ones to watch out for in 2008. 

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Google drops Adsense referral scheme

Google has ditched its Adsense referral scheme outside the Americas and Japan in a move that has not gone down well with some of its publishing partners.

The programme, which rewards sites that introduce new users to Adsense, will be “retired” in the last week of January, according to a post on the service’s blog. 

So what does this tell us...?

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Xmas etail stats round-up

Once again, online retailers have had a more successful Christmas than their high street counterparts, with early reports suggesting that internet sales continued to rise rapidly.

According to the British Retail Consortium, UK retailers suffered their worst December for three years.

Here's a round-up of Xmas-related sales figures in the UK and across the Atlantic...

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Apple finally cuts iTunes prices in the UK

Apple has said it will reduce the cost of iTunes song downloads in the UK following an EU antitrust investigation.

The long overdue move will see track prices fall from 79p to 67p within the next six months. UK consumers had previously been paying around 10% more than the rest of the EU.

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Second Life bans virtual banks

Second Life has announced a ban on virtual banking in the 3D online world in a bid to prevent the “destabilisation” of its economy.

Linden Lab, the virtual world’s creator, said it had been forced to intervene after receiving complaints about a string of dodgy in-world financial offerings that promised unfeasibly high interest rates for investors.

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Pandora forced to close in the UK

Music recommendation service Pandora says it is set to block UK users from 15th January as it is unable to afford new royalty rates.

The firm says that royalty collection agencies PPL and the MCPS/PRS alliance have demanded excessive fees.

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Q&A: Matthew Bottomley, Head of Strategy for Yell.com

Yell.com launched another revamped version of its website last month, just months after launching a new homepage (May 2007) and about a year since it last rolled out a new site. 

We caught up with Matthew Bottomley, Head of Strategy for Yell.com, to find out the reasons behind the relaunch, and what the future holds for Yell, and local search in general...

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Panasonic to develop internet TVs with Google

Panasonic has teamed up with Google to launch internet-ready TVs that allow users to access YouTube videos through their TV sets.

The new range of plasma Viera HDTVs will be launched in the Spring in the States, giving the web giant even greater reach for its YouTube ad offerings.

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Data concerns hold back Web 2.0 adoption

B2B uptake of Web 2.0 apps like wikis and blogs is still being thwarted by perceived risks to critical data, according to a new study.

KPMG and the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 472 executives worldwide and found security and governance issues were the main barrier to adoption of Web 2.0 tools.

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Virgin shuts novelty betting site

Virgin has closed Virgin Bets, its sports betting service, less than a year after it launched.

In a notice, Virgin says the site will be shut down for the short term and ultimately replaced by a "new and improved betting product".

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TV more engaging online - study

TV viewers are apparently much more ‘engaged’ when they watch content online, rather than on their TV sets, according to a study.

Researchers at Simmons found that respondents were 25% more involved in programmes they viewed on the web, rather than in the conventional way.

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A brief history of Poking

If you waited until Facebook launched and opened their doors wide before you started poking your pals and professional colleagues online then you may have waited longer than you needed to.

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