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New business deals and acquisitions lead the news in technology this week with Yahoo, Oracle, Google and Facebook making headlines. Also in the news, smartphone updates, new research and action in Washington.

10. The World’s Hottest Smartphone
With the release of the iPhone 5 and Apple’s stock hitting a record high, the battle of the smartphones has intensified. Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others fight to win mobile users; but what is the hottest phone on the market? You be the judge.

9. Data Points: Wired Child
A study by Ipsos MediaCT found that kids are getting exposed to laptops, electronic games and mobile phones at an earlier age.  The results show that 28% of kids, ages 6-12, prefer playing with electronics and 52% have a social networking page by age 10. It will be interesting to see what long term effect the technology as toys will have on this generation of children.

8. BRAINS Act Would Free Up Green Cards For Tech Startups To Hire Foreign-Born Students
Between 1995 and 2005 an estimated 52% of Silicon Valley tech companies were founded by immigrants. Due to fierce competition for green cards, these entrepreneurs were ultimately sent home. Now, two Democratic senators have introduced the BRAINS Act to make 55,000 new green cards available each year to foreign students who graduate with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. Will this bill ensure that America keeps its tech leadership?

7. Apple Maps Is An Epic Fail
Apple’s new mapping software, no longer Google Maps, was released through the iOS6 update; but something horrible has gone wrong. With highways ending in the middle of nowhere and entire cities found under water, Apple Maps has been universally labeled as a disaster.  Was declaring war against Google the right move?

6. Reality Check: 10-15% Of Brand’s Social Media Fans, Likes And Reviews Will be Fake by 2014, Says Gartner
With over half of the Internet’s population on social networks, many marketers have turned to paying for positive reviews with cash, coupons and promotions. As consumers increase their reliance on social media ratings and reviews, Gartner says 10 to 15 percent of all reviews will be fake by 2014 and at least two Fortune 500 brands will face litigation because of it.

5. Mark Zuckerberg Partners Up with Marc Benioff To Sell Facebook Ads
Facebook and Salesforce have come up with a new way to help businesses target just the right ads to just the right people on Facebook. Salesforce announced their new “Salesforce Marketing Cloud” at its annual Dreamforce conference San Francisco. Salesforce Marketing Cloud will utilize newly acquired Radian6 and Buddy Media to allow companies to launch specific ad campaigns on social networking sites, primarily Facebook.

4. Google Buys Instagram Rival
On Monday, Google announced their purchase of Instagram rival, Nik Software, an award-winning photo editing application. This acquisition is intended to help Google create social networking applications and compete against Facebook.

3. Oracle Buys SelectMinds To Bolster Earlier Taleo Deal
Oracle released big information this week.  On Monday, they announced their acquisition of SelectMinds, a social networking company that focuses on corporate recruiting. This will be the eighth deal Oracle has made this year.  In addition to the new acquisition, Oracle announced their quarterly earnings on Thursday which matched expectations, but fell short in sales.

2. U.S. Internet Giants, Including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Yahoo, Form New Lobbying Association
14 Internet giants have formed a new lobbying group in the United States called The Internet Association. Facebook, Google, eBay, Yahoo and others come together as the “unified voice of the Internet economy in Washington.” The Internet Association will fight to protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth, and empower users.

1. One Business Decision Yahoo Can Actually Brag About
On Tuesday, the Chinese internet giant Alibaba bought back its shares from Yahoo for a reported $7.6 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Alibaba has the right to repurchase another half of Yahoo’s remaining stake if Alibaba goes public. Now that Yahoo is in the money, what will Marissa Mayer do with the cash?

Disclosure: Motorola and Samsung are Weber Shandwick clients

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