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Buzz about Google Buzz

Google has given Gmail a social-networking component with its introduction of Buzz, a service built inside of the webmail product that lets users post and share content in similar ways as they do in sites like Facebook and Twitter. How successful Google will be in convincing Gmail users to shift their social-networking tasks over to Buzz remains to be seen. Google believes Buzz offers enough improvements over existing social networks. Specifically, Buzz has been designed to help users deal with the often massive amount of information they receive through their social-networking sites.

PayPal India ban will last for months

PayPal said a ban on personal transactions to and from India will continue for “at least a few months” while the online payment service tries to resolve a problem with local regulators. The ban, which began Saturday and caught PayPal users in the country by surprise, relates to whether personal payments constitute “remittances,” or money sent home by people working abroad. The company is working with regulators and bank processing companies to resolve the problem as soon as possible. But personal payments to and from India will be suspended for at least a few months until the company fully resolves questions from the Indian regulators, it said.

Advertisers leave Google China

After Google’s threat last month to exit China, advertisers have become more confident in the search engine’s main local rival Baidu.com, Baidu said Tuesday. Baidu reported big rises in revenue and net income for the final three months of last year when compared to the period a year earlier. But the revenue figure was down slightly from the preceding quarter, and it forecast that revenue growth would remain almost flat in the first quarter of this year. The company did not factor in changes that may send more business their way, such as Google’s plan to stop censoring search in China.

Unix servers get processor boost

The announcement of high-end servers by IBM and Hewlett-Packard this week won’t halt declining Unix server sales as the onslaught of x86 servers continues, analysts said on Tuesday. IBM this week launched four Power servers that are based on its latest Power7 processor, which will support the Unix and Linux operating systems. Hewlett-Packard said it would incorporate Intel’s latest Itanium chip into its Integrity servers, which will also support the Unix OS. Both the chips offer twice the performance of their predecessors, But even the new chips will have little effect on reviving the declining sales of Unix servers, analysts said. Customers are increasingly opting for servers based on x86 chips, which are getting more powerful and entering markets traditionally dominated by Unix servers.

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