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Facebook Delves Deeper Into Search (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Searching the social network could get a lot better in the near future. About two dozen Facebook engineers, led by a former Google engineer named Lars Rasmussen, are working on an improved search engine, say two people familiar with the project who did not want to be named because the company is in a quiet period ahead of its IPO. AllFacebook Speaking of the IPO, speculation about Facebook’s search initiatives heated up when the social network announced its intentions to go public February 1. That week co-founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg posted a picture of his desk, in which a MacBook displaying what looked like a Facebook page with a large search box was visible. SocialTimes Google, which owns 67 percent of the search market in the U.S., has a clear advantage in being able to index sites from across the Web, while Facebook appears to be working internally with pages and profiles. Mashable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has consistently downplayed the level of direct competition between Facebook and Google. “I don’t think that this is going to be the type of situation when one company wins all this stuff,” he told Charlie Rose of PBS last fall. Tom’s Guide So how will this new search engine affect Facebook’s relationship with Microsoft? Zuckerberg still meets every few months with Qi Lu, president of Microsoft’s online services division, sources claim. There may be no ruffling of feathers at all, but rather a huge opportunity for two separate types of search engines to work together in harmony to create a huge Google rival, loaded with data Google probably still covets.

Creepy Girl-Stalking App ‘Girls Around Me’ Has Been Yanked From The App Store (Cult of Mac)
“Girls Around Me” — the creepy geo-location app that allowed you to stalk and find personal information about girls in your neighborhood without their knowledge — has been pulled from the iOS App Store. It’s unknown at this point whether Apple yanked the controversial app in direct response to the controversy sparked by our original report on the app, or whether the developers pulled it because Foursquare had revoked the app’s API access — again in response to our report — effectively making the app useless. The Wall Street Journal / Digits The developer said it pulled “Girls Around Me” from Apple’s iTunes store since Foursquare’s decision Saturday rendered the app useless, but it said it will continue development and “limit it to showing only public places and venues.” The app has been downloaded more than 70,000 times. AllThingsD Developer i-Free insists that it wasn’t doing anything wrong — all of the data it was serving up to its users was publicly available stuff, provided voluntarily by Facebook and Foursquare users. Whether those users really understood that this data is publicly available is debatable, and it’s stories like these that are going to make that debate more urgent.

The Voice Introduces Voting Via New Facebook App (THR)
As NBC’s The Voice hits its live shows on Monday, the competition will be introducing a new way for viewers to interact with the show in a partnership with Facebook. The network announced on Friday that it’s introducing a new Facebook app, which allows viewers to cast their vote for the performers and share it with their friends and other viewers on a timeline. It will also be compatible with the Facebook app on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.