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Yahoo Plots Alliance with Facebook in New Search Deal (The Sunday Telegraph)
Sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, has held discussions with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, about how the two companies can work more closely together. The two Internet giants have already collaborated together on a number of small projects, for example to share Yahoo news on Facebook, and recently agreed to settle a number of long-standing lawsuits over patents. TechCrunch If the two companies did reach a deal, how significant would it be? The Sunday Telegraph argues that this could “reorder the hierarchy of the world’s biggest technology companies,” giving Yahoo a big selling point in its efforts to win over both Web searchers and engineers, while also making Facebook more useful for its members. The Next Web A potential search deal could see Facebook leave its deal with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The Bing and Yahoo deal sees Microsoft power the core search experience for the venerable Internet company, which sells ads against the traffic that it maintains, despite having effectively left the search market years past. CNET Mayer and Sandberg are former colleagues at Google and understand what search can do to super-charge a business. Mayer is looking for ways to revive Yahoo’s products and engineering focus since she took the CEO job in July. Business Insider A partnership could drive billions of dollars to both companies’ bottom lines. And it would finally allow the world to create a strong No. 2 to the Google search juggernaut, which would be excellent for consumers, marketers and third-party distribution partners alike.

iMessage and FaceTime Back Up, Apple Users Complain About Outage on Twitter (Mashable)
Apple users took to Twitter to vent their frustrations over iMessage and FaceTime service interruptions. iOS devices and Macs with OSX 10.6.6 or higher experienced a nearly five-hour outage, from 2:45 to 7:45 p.m. ET on Sunday after the Cupertino, Calif. company’s instant messenger service and video-calling app suffered from downtime. CNET This is the third disruption in recent weeks. Outages in October and September left many users with the same message-sending issues.

Rounding Up Volunteers, Via New Apps (The New York Times)
In many kinds of disasters, it can be hard to sift through the dozens, or hundreds, of images and messages to determine where help is most needed — and who needs what. Not long after Hurricane Sandy hit, the Rain Agency was among those that began organizing events known as hackathons, where programmers and engineers develop applications and services around a central need or theme.

Facebook News Feed Placement is All About Relevancy (AllFacebook)
During a meeting Friday with select members of the media, Facebook representatives explained that there’s no malicious intent with the changes in its algorithm. Based on how users have engaged with posts in the past, Facebook wants users to see what kinds of stories they’d be most willing to like, comment on and share.

Twitter Mourns Twinkies: 140 Cream-Filled Characters of Sadness (Mashable)
News of Hostess and its line of sweet cake treats’ demise had Twitter grieving the loss of an American food staple. In reaction to the tummyache-inducing news, some Twitter users lashed out at Michelle Obama for her healthy eating initiatives. Others dealt with their cream-filled blues by making jokes to hide their pain.

Google Maps to Make Triumphant Return to the iPhone (SocialTimes)
Apple fans who cursed in the street when Apple Maps gave them bad directions will be relieved to know that Google Maps will soon be back on the iPhone. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google plans to put a new version of the app on the iTunes store that will be even better than the last.

Israel and Hamas’ Social Media Battle Goes from Groundbreaking to Bizarre (Forbes)
Both Israel and Hamas have essentially live-tweeted the confrontation from its beginning, mixing military updates with threats, YouTube videos, graphic images and made-for-Twitter graphics. The Israeli Defense Forces has also been pushing its message on Tumblr and Instagram.

Trial By Twitter: Is Calling Someone a Pedophile Going Too Far? (AllTwitter)
Everyone knows pedophiles are horrible people – and Anonymous did an excellent job of “outing” some of them not too long ago. But unless you are 100 percent sure that someone deserves this label, tossing the word around is not only horribly mean, it can lead to defamation charges – as some folks in the United Kingdom are apparently about to find out.

Reddit Rising: U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren Intends to Tap the Social Site for Legislative Ideas (The Next Web)
U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren intends to mine Reddit’s collected intelligence to come up with new legislative ideas. According to The Hill’s Hillicon Valley blog: “Lofgren wants to craft a bill that would stop the government from shutting down a website accused of copyright violations until the owners are given notice and a chance to defend themselves.”

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