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Gifting on eBay, Amazon through FacebookApple lengthens song sampling to 90 seconds, Google settles its class action suit regarding Buzz, and Amazon and eBay enable gift-giving over Facebook.
-It's Wednesday, November 3rd. I'm Natalie Del Conte and it's time to get Loaded. eBay launched something called Group Gifts. It's designed to let you buy expensive things for someone by having several friends pitch in. This is much better than collecting contributions for someone's going away gift at the office. Instead, you hook up with your friends, Facebook or otherwise, and contribute to the amount of the gift. You won't be charged until you've collected enough money in the pool. Once the gift is fully funded, you choose to send it along with all normal gifting options. You can find out more at groupgifts.ebay.com. And we could see Google's Chrome Operating System as early as this month. DigiTimes reports that smartbooks may come out in November with Google's Windows and OS X competitor. But Google might also announce their own Google-branded smartbook with Chrome OS. We didn't think we'd see this in time for the holiday season, but I'm anxious to give it a spin. We'll let you know when we know more. Apple is increasing the time it lets you sample a song from 32 to 90 seconds. Apple notified the music industry of its intentions to do this for songs that are at least 2-1/2 minutes long. There was some licensing hurdles for them to go through, but they did it. So now, you can sample your music a bit more thoroughly. And you can now buy your Facebook friends an Amazon gift card. Amazon announced that customers can connect to their Facebook account on Amazon.com and create a personalized gift card that will be delivered to someone's Facebook wall. You can specify up to $5,000 and even set a delivery date of up to a year in advance. To learn more, go to Amazon.com/giftcards-facebook. Microsoft is removing the 3D layer to Bing Maps in favor of the 45-degree angle viewing of maps called Birdseye. The 3D and Birdseye angle use to necessitate a Silverlight plug-in, but no more. Birdseye is the new default view. Maps that used to be in 3D will be updated quickly so that any links to those locations will not be broken. Google is cross-sourcing its security efforts. They're offering cash rewards for anyone who finds vulnerabilities in any Google web property, including YouTube, Blogger, and Orkut. They're looking for serious bugs that could attack Google's corporate servers. If you identify one that the Google team had previously not known about, you could be compensated over $3,000. And Google has also settled the suit that accused the company of privacy violation with Google Buzz. The class action suit was by Gmail users who sued over privacy violation when Google Buzz auto-accessed a lot of sensitive information. The settlement calls for Google to pay $8.5 million towards a fund for organizations focusing on internet privacy and education. Those are your headlines for today. I'll see you tomorrow. I'm Natalie Del Conte for CNET.com, and you've just been Loaded.