Week in review: Of Twitter and taxes

Twitter and the tax man find bold, new ways to make money off the Net. Also: Microsoft unveils the socially oriented Kin phone.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
3 min read

Twitter and the tax man have at least one thing in common: bold, new ideas for making more money off the Internet.

This week, microblogging site unveiled a search ad program that will put brands' messages into users' Twitter streams. The essence of Twitter's new business model is giving businesses the opportunity to push their Twitter accounts further into the site's massive audience.

The company insists that "promoted tweets" aren't ads, but tweets, which in one sense is just Silicon Valley futurist-speak. But in another sense, the company is right: in choosing to promote a tweet in search, a company selects keywords and then chooses the existing tweets from its account that it wants to promote. Users can reply to them, retweet them, and add them as favorites. And there will be real-time analytics attached.
•  Twitter execs: Come fly away with us!
•  Twitter to developers: Make those apps better
•  Bing rolls out real-time Twitter feed
•  Google launches Twitter timeline search
•  Google helps sleuth out Twitter accounts

More headlines

Turning Web retailers into tax tattlers

Tax collectors want to force Amazon.com and other e-tailers to disclose how much you owe in unpaid sales taxes. And that could come back to haunt you.
•  Anti-fraud tips and tools for tax season

Watch this: With new phone, Microsoft, Verizon become Kin

Microsoft launches Kin phones

Software maker teams up with Verizon on a pair of feature phones dubbed the Kin One and Kin Two, with a Zune music tie-in.
•  Microsoft's Kin: What it is--and isn't
•  The 411 on Microsoft's Kin (FAQ)
•  Drilling down on the Kin
•  Kin sometimes out of the loop

Feds raise questions about big media's piracy claims

Piracy appears to be a drain on industry and tax revenue, but GAO says the data is unreliable. Report raises questions about film, music sectors' piracy claims.
•  GAO piracy report: A deeper look

Google backs Yahoo in privacy fight with DOJ

In court fight against Justice Department, Yahoo finds ally in Google and privacy groups, who say police need warrant to read private e-mail.

PC shipments back on track in first quarter

Desktops and commercial customers are helping PC makers bounce back earlier in 2010 than previously expected.
•  Intel first quarter profit jumps 400-plus percent
•  Google earnings show continued ad growth

Apple refreshes its MacBook Pro notebooks

A new set of MacBook Pros feature Intel's i5 and i7 processors, as well as faster Nvidia graphics.

Apple delays global rollout of iPad

Faced with more demand than supply, Apple is pushing back the international debut of the iPad from the end of April to the end of May.
•  Israel says U.S. iPads not welcome for now

Microsoft sending inspectors to Chinese contractor

Auditors head to a facility that makes mice and other Microsoft hardware and that's accused of requiring teenage workers to toil long hours in bad conditions.
•  Report: Microsoft gear made under harsh conditions

Kids on YouTube: How much is too much?

From a manic cooking show hosted by a 3-year-old to tykes parodying a "Scarface" scene, online videos of kids toe a fine line between adorable and digital-age stage parenting.

Also of note

•  Hitting the road with Bill Gates
•  Meet Russian President Medvedev, Internet geek
•  Newspaper gambles on online gambling