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A few weeks ago, word of a new translation-focused project by reCAPTCHA’s creator and CMU professor Luis von Ahn made the rounds on the Internet, but details about the project have remained sparse. Now, during a TEDx talk at CMU, von Ahn revealed more details about the Duolingo project. The site has not launched yet, but a private beta...

A third of smartphone owners would rather give up chocolate than their devices and 39% of U.S. consumers with smartphones have used their phones in the bathroom. These are some of the more interesting results of a survey that Google just released. It’s no secret that we tend to use our phones to get online (81%) while watching TV (33%), but in this survey Google was more interested in the role these devices play while were are out shopping and looking for local information.

The default search engine for self-hosted WordPress installs is generally not very good and mostly organizes search results by chronology and not relevance. Over time, a number of companies like Lijit and others have tried to improve this and many WordPress users also resort to custom Google search engines to offer their readers acceptable search results. For the most part, though, WordPress search remains an unsolved problem. Yolink's Wordpress plugin, which is officially launching tonight, aims to change this by offering bloggers a good search engine that is easily customizable and deeply integrated into WordPress.

Instant Previews made their debut on Google's search results pages since last November, but today, Google is taking this concept one step further by introducing Instant Previews for ads as well. With Instant Previews for Ads, you can now get a preview of the site that lurks behind text ads on Google Search. For advertisers, who generally pay Google per click on a text link, this should be a welcome new feature, as it will allow potential customers to see a preview of the site's landing page without having to click on an ad (and hence costing the advertiser money). Advertisers won't have to pay for clicks on the Instant Preview button.

Google just announced a new experimental feature for Gmail: background send. Thanks to this new feature, which you can activate in the Gmail Labs section of the Settings menu, Gmail can now send emails in the background. This will save Gmail users a few seconds every time they send an email.

Facebook today announced a number of new features for Facebook Groups. Group admins, for example, can now pre-approve members and Groups now also feature a Q&A and photo-sharing section. More importantly, though, Facebook also introduced a new new button that publishers can put on their site: the Send button. This button is a close relative to the Like button, but with the added twist that it allows users to selectively share a webpage with one of their Facebook Groups or email it to their friends.

Google, Bing and Co. have long worked hard on making search as easy and fast as possible. Thanks to instant search, previews, smart snippets and other tools, getting to your search results has never been faster. The Germany-based developers behind Slashtag.it weren't satisfied with this though, as they realized that most users still spend a lot of time on...

In a post on his blog Venture Level today, entrepreneur Romil Patel describes his experiences with running Groupon and LivingSocial deals. Overall, his experience with Groupon was not exactly positive, but what struck me while reading his account was that the Groupon representative he worked with asked him to create positive Yelp reviews for his own business.

Just a few months ago, it looked as if Google was going to buy Groupon. When that sale fell through, though, Google doubled down and decided to create its own Groupon clone instead. While we heard various rumors about this service in the past, it wasn't until today that Google Offers, as the service will be known, made its...

As more information about the “secret” location-data file on Apple’s iPhone 4s and iPad 3Gs becomes available, the story surrounding this discovery is becoming more about the people involved than the location data itself. As it turn out, Alex Levinson, a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, had long discovered this file in his research and work with forensic firm Katana Forensics. Katana Forensics produces a tool called Lantern, which can extract this data and map it in Google Earth’s KMZ format.

The iPhone location scandal dominated the tech news today. While early reports seemed to indicate that all iPhone 4s and 3G-enabled iPads were keeping precise logs of everybody’s location over time, the reality that emerged over the course of the day is a bit more complicated. Atlanta-based tech blogger Will Clarke took a closer look at the data tonight and argues that Apple is decidedly not keeping a log of the phone’s location in this secret file, but is only storing the location of cell towers.

Google just announced an update to its automcomplete feature, which speeds up the search process by showing predicted searches while you type. Until now, Google mostly based its predictions by looking at the most popular searches. The problem with this, Google points out, is that the majority of search queries have never been typed in before and hence didn’t show any predictions. Now, however, Google is expanding this feature by “improving the predictive powers of autocomplete” for these seldom used queries as well by just looking at the last part of the query.

According to a report by ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley, Microsoft is working on an HTML5-enabled version of Hotmail, which could launch around the same time the next wave of its consumer-focused Windows Live tools debuts in a year or two. One of the main aspects of this move is that Hotmail could get support for offline storage before Gmail, as...

This is going to be a major PR nightmare for Apple. Security researchers Pete Warden and Alasdair Allen today announced that they have discovered that all iPhones and 3G-enabled iPads keep a log of your every move in an unencrypted file that is hidden inside the iOS filesystem. The files are backed up and restored every time you sync...

We already know that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, is not a big fan of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. It turns out, though, that he isn’t a big fan of Twitter either. Indeed, he argues that Twitter does little to create a civil debate and instead just amplifies the most extreme positions and messages. Berners-Lee’s...