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Twitter kills QuickBar from its iOS app

Twitter has just updated its iOS app, and the biggest change that version 3.3.3 brings is something many users have asked for -- the removal of the (in)famous dickQuickBar. First introduced in an update at the beginning of this month, this new feature has seen immense backlash from users of the app, who considered it had only one purpose -- to intrusively serve 'promoted trends' and help Twitter...

Gmail ads will start learning from your email habits

Google is preparing to make the ads in Gmail even more accurately predict your tastes and needs. While Google has been relying on the contents of each individual email to help it target the ads next to it, the coming overhaul will make ads learn from the entirety of your email correspondence. To become more relevant to you, Gmail ads will start using some of the same signals that are...

Skype rolling out ads in desktop app

Skype has announced a new change to its desktop app, but this particular feature addition isn't about functionality, it's about monetization. Yes, advertisements are coming to Skype. On the upside, they'll only appear on the Skype Home tab -- so they won't get in the way of your actual chat sessions. The blog post also states that only the U.S., U.K., and Germany will be seeing ads...

How to use Internet Explorer 9 Tracking Protection Lists

One of the more talked-about features in Internet Explorer 9 is the addition of Tracking Protection -- which is a bit of a re-tooling of IE8's InPrivate Filtering. Now that the IE9 RC is here, Tracking Protection is ready for you to test. All you need are some lists to subscribe to, and the know-how to plug them in to your browser. First, head over to the Tracking Protection Lists page from...

YouTube Ad Blitz 2011 lets you watch, share and rate Super Bowl ads

While I'm not a huge sports fan, I can appreciate a good ad when I see one; and the Super Bowl sometimes feels like it's as much about the ads as it is about the sport. YouTube Ad Blitz is an official YouTube channel going strong since 2007, with over 21 million channel views. It shows all Super Bowl commercials, uploaded instantly once they're broadcast in-game. Saw an ad you liked? Now you...

Facebook to let advertisers use your posts in Sponsored Stories

Can't stop gushing about your favorite new gadget or your latest album purchase? If you're posting about it on Facebook, there's a chance your words could wind up used by advertisers without your knowledge. Facebook has begun allowing companies to re-post endorsements from users as "Sponsored Stories," and there's no way for you to opt out at the moment. It's not all bad, though. Sponsored...

Adblock Plus for Chrome now available

We told you it was coming soon, but we didn't know precisely how soon: Wadlimir Palant has already pushed the first beta version of Adblock Plus for Google Chrome. It was just four days ago that TechCrunch reported that Palant had changed his mind about never releasing a Chrome port -- citing reasons like not wanting to maintain two unrelated projects and the availability of capable alternatives...

Google teams up with Coca-Cola for a festive Android treat

Adding to the magical wonder of Coke's 'Snow Globe Santa' Christmas commercial, Google's AdMob team has collaborated with the One True Soda Master to create a truly festive Android experience: a snow globe live wallpaper (QR code after the break). The live wallpaper -- which basically turns your Android phone into a very cute snow globe -- will be promoted via the AdMob network, which many...

Apple's iAd Producer is a Mac studio for creating iAds

Apple's aptly-named new iAd Producer for OS X is the Mac app behind the iOS ads. You can use iAd Producer to create and animate your own iAds using a graphical interface that automatically handles all the heavy HTML, CSS, and JavaScript lifting for you. You can also switch to Advanced Mode if you prefer to debug your own JavaScript, or if you want to take advantage of iAd Producer's extensions,...

Opera 11 downloaded 6.7 million times on day one -- thanks to the power of bacon

While Opera 11's warm reception had a lot to do with a greatly improved browser and a very loyal fan base, the boys in Oslo had one clever trick up their sleeve which they saved for launch day. And with nearly 7 million downloads in 24 hours, you've got to hand it to Opera: they know how to tempt a geek. How'd they do it? By dangling delicious bacon in front of Reddit users. You've got to...

ChromeBlock extension for Google Chrome puts the kibosh on third-party tracking

Third-party browser tracking -- and how to give users more control over it -- is a hot topic right now. Microsoft and the FCC have similar plans, one former Google employee recently took the wraps off his take, and now there's another Chrome extension which turns the tracking blocker knob up to eleven. It's called Do Not Track (DNT) ChromeBlock, and it gives you an easy way to shut down around...

YouTube's new TrueView Video Ads are skippable

As expected, YouTube has introduced a new ad format called TrueView Video Ads. The big novelties that this product brings is the viewers' ability to skip ads (after watching a minimum of 5 seconds, though) or even select which ad they would like to watch from a list. Advertisers are charged only when a viewer has chosen to watch an ad, and not per impression. Allowing people to choose the ads...

RockMelt's social web browser: out-Flocking Flock?

The blogosphere is abuzz this morning, and it's a new Web browser called RockMelt garnering a lot of the attention. While we here at Download Squad haven't been hand-picked to test the beta yet, we're not exactly in a hurry. Why? Because while it's new, we're not sure RockMelt is actually revolutionary. Over at Engadget, Joanna Stern did get to play with the browser. From the looks of her...

Switched over to Google Apps? Star in the next 'Go Google' ad campaign

Last year, big G launched its 'Go Google' ad campaign promoting its Google Apps service to both individuals and businesses. Using a community map, tweets, and photos, people around the world shared their Google Apps stories (sounds riveting). Over the year, the Google Apps user base has grown from two to three million businesses, servicing more than 30 million users. To continue the upward...

Website owners: Opera users are the most valuable, in terms of ad clicks

An interesting report, titled 'Are Opera Users the Most Valuable?' has been making the rounds this week. The commentary has been opinionated and fiery and, truth be told, we're still no closer to working out why Opera users click the most ads. If you don't want to click through, the basic gist is this: Opera users are 50% more likely to click ads than Chrome users. Internet Explorer are the...