Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

 

On Microsoft and ‘Contributory Cybersquatting’

A federal judge in Seattle on Wednesday issued an interesting decision concerning cybersquatting, the act of setting up sites with the intent of selling the domain names, or, more pertinently, setting up sites with URLs that are a typo or two away from those of popular sites.

Augmented Reality Ads on the Rise Around Europe

A growing number of European startups have taken to creating virtual experiences that double as commercials. But as this sector is rapidly expanding, challenges remain.

Augmented Hype? Mobile’s Next Big Thing

Some executives in the mobile industry think AR will be huge. While revenues from AR alone amount to no more than a few tens of millions of dollars, that number is set to double annually to reach USD 350 million in 2014, according to New York-based ABI Research. The impact across the broader mobile and computer industry could be much bigger, convincing consumers to use their mobile devices even more than they already do.

Google to Launch Groupon Competitor

One of our sources has sent us a confidential fact sheet straight from the Googleplex about the company’s new group buying service. “Google Offers is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email,” the fact sheet says.

U.S. Army Launches Social Media Handbook

The United States Army has officially announced the release of the 2011 Army Social Media Handbook, a document that’s meant to offer social media guidance for soldiers,
personnel and families alike.

Verizon Makes First Legal Challenge to FCC’s New Net Neutrality Rules

Verizon has filed an appeal challenging the net neutrality rules that the FCC adopted last month, which aim to prevent Internet providers from blocking or slowing legal content.

Zynga Rolls Out RewardVille Virtual Currency Program

RewardVille, which went live in beta today, will “slowly roll out” to a small group of users in coming weeks. According to Zynga, the program works like this: Each time you play a participating Zynga game, you’ll earn Zynga Points (zPoints) and increase your Zynga Level (zLevel). At every zLevel, you’ll earn Zynga Coins (zCoins) to use on free, exclusive in-game items in RewardVille.