May 22, 2007 in Business

Google plan shares search request trends

From Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Google Inc. is going to start sharing more insights about what’s on its users’ minds by showing a daily list of the 100 hottest topics on its Internet-leading search engine.

The new rankings were unveiled late Monday in an upgrade of Google’s “trends” service. The breakdown will consist of the fastest-rising search requests on any given day.

The list won’t include all of the top queries because it will be edited to exclude pornography and other requests about the weather, popular Web sites like MySpace.com or prominent celebrities that consistently generate lots of searches.

Trying to figure out why certain terms are popping up is part of the fun underlying the list, said Amit Patel, a Google software engineer who oversaw the project. To help provide context, the Mountain View-based company will provide links to news stories and blogs containing the search terms.

Vodafone Group PLC, the world’s largest mobile phone perator, Monday unveiled two ultra-low-cost handsets to target emerging markets, such as India and Africa.

Building on its recent $10.9 billion acquisition of India’s fourth-largest operator Hutchison Essar Ltd., the Great Britain-based company furthered its push into high-growth emerging markets with a “no frills” Vodafone-branded phone, manufactured by China’s ZTE Corp, that will sell for less than $45.

Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone’s global director of terminals, said the company expects to sell one to two million of the Vodafone 125 and 225 models in the first year of launch, and potentially tens of millions over the lifetime of the device.

Earlier this month, Nokia launched seven new handsets aimed at the emerging markets, including its thin Barracuda phone, all priced below about $135.

Tracinda Corp., the investment arm of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, said Monday that it plans to enter into negotiations with MGM Mirage to buy its Bellagio Hotel and Casino and City Center properties.

Shares of MGM Mirage soared in aftermarket trading.

Tracinda also said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it wants to pursue “strategic alternatives” related to its investment in MGM Mirage.

Those alternatives may include a financial restructuring involving all or significant part of the rest of the company, Tracinda said.

MGM shares jumped 11.2 percent, or $7.22, to $70.40 in aftermarket trading. In the regular session the shares closed at $62.95.

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