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Here’s our rundown of the week’s business and tech news. First, the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:
Ad expert: Google’s Super Bowl spot was a live traffic test — Google CEO Eric Schmidt wants you to believe that Google’s 52-second “Parisian Love” ad that ran in the third quarter of this week’s Super Bowl was a spontaneous decision to take a popular YouTube video and “share it with a wider audience.” But Martin McNulty, director of online ad agency Forward3D, said the search giant wanted to test the effect of a SuperBowl TV ad on its own traffic.
Eric Schmidt explains Google’s accidental first-ever SuperBowl ad — And here’s our summary of the Google CEO’s own rationale for the ad.
Minnesota’s frozen turbines raise new doubts about wind power — In Minnesota, the wind is blowing but turbines aren’t turning. The machines, bought used from California and installed last fall, are completely frozen in place. The problem highlights some of the less intuitive challenges associated with wind power — long considered to be the most feasible and cost effective source of renewable energy.
How Apple’s A4 chip lets iPad run cooler, save battery life — Apple broke with the consumer electronics industry’s accepted wisdom by designing its own processor chips for the upcoming iPad tablet computer. We look at some of our readers’ explanations for how Apple’s chip allows the computer to deliver the claimed 10-hour battery life and avoids burning users’ hands.
Microsoft shows off a grand game line up at its X10 event — A look at some of the cool games coming to the Xbox 360 this year, including Halo: Reach, Alan Wake, and Final Fantasy XIII.
And here are five more stories we thought were important, thought-provoking, or fun:
Google socializes Gmail with Google Buzz — Google announced a new product this week called Google Buzz, bringing credence to previous rumors that social networking features would be added to Gmail. In addition to the sharing tools in Gmail, Buzz also includes a compelling location-based component.
Facebook cheating + Valentine’s Day = 242% spike in surveillance tool sales — “Facebook gives people who would cheat, or who might be on the fence about cheating, more opportunities,” said TV’s Dr. Lisa. One in five of 5,000 American divorce filings studied by the British company Divorce Online listed Facebook behavior as a cause. Yet it’s still surprising that BrickHouse Security says sales of surveillance tools have spiked nearly 2.5 times in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Toyota loses green cred, recalls hybrids over faulty brakes — Toyota announced that it will recall about 150,000 of its hybrid vehicles due to problems in the software controlling the anti-lock brake systems in its 2010 Prius and 2010 Lexus HS 250h models. The majority of the recalled cars, 133,000 to be exact, are Priuses. Will this knock Toyota off its green automotive throne?
Facebook case study: Ohai’s City of Eternals social game launches — Susan Wu, chief executive of San Francisco-based Ohai, said in an interview this week that the company tested the game in a private alpha test of 40,000 users. The results of the casual massively multiplayer online game have been illuminating, and Wu took the unusual step of sharing them with us.
Flickr founder launches Glitch, makes the world a game — Tiny Speck, a company started by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, has just opened a massively-multiplayer, browser-based game called Glitch to alpha testers, giving the world a taste of what Glitch might look like.