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Yahoo spends $100 million on advertising

Yahoo will spend more than $100 million over the next 15 months to promote its brand and products globally with the message that it wants to be the center of people’s lives online. Although Yahoo Web sites and online services already attract massive amounts of Web visitors, the company sees the campaign as necessary to make sure people are aware of recent changes to key products such as the Yahoo home page, search engine and Webmail service.

Picasa updated to include face-recogntion, geo-tagging

The latest version of Google’s Picasa photo-management software adds face-recognition features and simplifies geotagging. With its new capacity to match faces, Picasa 3.5 can automatically group photos in which the same person appears. Google rolled out this face recognition and grouping feature last year to the product’s Web-hosted version, Picasa Web Albums. Upon launch Picasa 3.5 will scan stored photos and create groups of similar faces, putting them into an album titled “Unnamed People.” Then users can manually add name tags to the photos. Geolocation data can now be added using Google Maps, rather than requiring the separate installation of Google Earth.

Facebook accused of patent violation

Facebook has been sued by WhoGlue, a software company in Baltimore that claims the social-networking site is violating a two-year-old patent. WhoGlue’s patent covers a means for facilitating communications between user members of an online network, according to the patent description. WhoGlue’s court filings are vague about exactly how Facebook might violate the patent, but the company appears to have an issue with the privacy controls Facebook has instituted over the past two years to give its users greater control over who sees what on the social-networking site. The company is asking the court to award damages and attorney fees and to stop Facebook from further infringement.

Intel ahead-of-schedule on Xeon chips

Intel is set to start production of its next-generation Xeon quad-core server chips ahead of schedule. They could then appear in systems as early as the first quarter of next year. The chips will be manufactured using the 32-nanometer process and be part of the Xeon 5000 line of processors. They will be based on the Westmere microarchitecture, and will carry numerous upgrades over Xeon server chips available today which are made using the 45-nm process. Westmere adds a new instruction set for faster encryption and decryption of data using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm.

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