theEweekly Wrap: Firefox, fakers and festivities

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Manchester
Foxy searchers It was announced this week that the search deal between Mozilla and Google has been renewed for at least another three years. The original three-year deal expired at the end of November 2011. As Mozilla announced in an official blog post, "Google Search will continue to be the default search provider for hundreds of millions of Firefox users around the world". The financial terms of this "mutually beneficial revenue agreement" were not revealed. However, Mozilla revealed in October 2011 that 98 per cent of its total 2010 revenue came from search partners, and 84 per cent (£64.8 million) came from Google alone.

Firefox and Chrome boast a combined global browser market share of 50.9 per cent. This gives Google an advantage over Bing, which is the default search engine for Internet Explorer, with 40.6 per cent market share. To add insult to injury, a recent study found that there are 117 million Bing searches per month for the term 'Google', suggesting many users are bypassing their default search engine.

A tale of two Zuckerbergs Mark Zuckerberg has been selling Likes through a company called Like Store, prompting Facebook to threaten legal action. This is not, of course, the founder of the social network; rather an Israeli entrepreneur who has changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg. The pretender formerly known as Rotem Guez was sent a cease and desist notice in September 2011 for selling Likes, which violates Facebook's terms of service. On December 7th, he officially changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg; the name now appears on his ID and passport, and according to his website, "will likely be his legal name for the rest of his natural life".

The 32-year-old father of two seems to have changed his name as a publicity stunt. He told ABC news: "I just thought it would be funny when they sue Mark Zuckerberg [...] The hope is to grow the company, we like to do funny things". He has also set up a Twitter account and Facebook fan page (with around 5,000 likes) with the title 'I'm Mark Zuckerberg'. All the trouble seems to have started back in January 2011, when Facebook shut down an account belonging to Guez and he sued them in return. However, it's hard to see where his antagonism stems from as the original account was reportedly under the name - you've guessed it - Mark Zuckerberg.

Deck the SERPs Google has been getting into the festive spirit this week with a new Easter egg. Google Easter eggs are effects that appear on the SERPs when a certain search term is entered, as popularised by Do A Barrel Roll in November 2011. Currently, entering 'let it snow' will cause snow to fall from the top of the screen, while the results are gradually obscured by frost. Furthermore, any search term that includes 'Christmas', 'Xmas' or 'Santa' causes a row of Google-coloured baubles to appear just under the search box.

Google has also launched the Ho Ho Hotline, allowing Gmail users to send each other personalised video messages delivered by a cartoon Santa. Meanwhile, on the big night you can track Santa's journey using Google Maps and Google World. The project is the unlikely brainchild of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), and lets children see the sleigh flying across the world in real time, with 3D images collected by "radar, satellites, Santa cams and fighter jets". NORAD Santa began over 50 years ago, when a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Children were accidentally put through to NORAD Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, who began giving them Santa's current location on the radar.