Google Launches Google+ Pages for Brands. Taking (yet another?) leaf out of Facebook’s and perhaps Twitter’s book, Google has just launched brand-centric Pages for Google+. The idea is to “give people a way to connect and build relationships with businesses, brands and other organizations” as well as letting firms “build a presence and share content with their customers and fans on Google+.” It’s aimed at firms large and small, non-corporate bodies, and entertainment or sports sectors. –KE
–Updated 2:05 p.m. EST
Former Myspace President Jason Hirschhorn Joins GetGlue Board. GetGlue is an unusual social network, and it has just pulled off an unusual coup: Jason Hirschhorn, formerly president of Myspace and Sling Media, has joined its board of directors. Currently on the board of MGM and Computers for Youth, Hirschhorn occupies a crucial skill intersection between social media and traditional media. –KE
–Updated 12:15 p.m. EST
Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership Winners Announced. The future of the news is… open-source. At the recent Mozilla Festival in London, five news fellows were announced who will generate ideas and work on open-source projects at Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, the BBC, Zeit Online, and the Boston Globe. Fellows will also train employees and work on cutting-edge technologies for use by the journalism community as a whole. Laurian Gridinoc, Nicola Hughes, Mark Boas, Cole Gillespie, and Dan Schultz are the lucky winners. –NU
–Updated 10:45 a.m. EST
Barnes And Noble Reveals Kindle Fire Response. B&N has just revealed its new hardware weapon in its ongoing war with Amazon over the e-reader market–the Nook Tablet. It’s a 7-inch tablet PC with a 1GHz CPU, an 11.5 hour battery life (for reading, videos take it down to 9), weighing under a pound and with 16GB of memory, an expandable SD storage solution and 1GB of RAM. Software-wise it’ll support TV apps, comes with free cloud storage, and Netflix and Hulu support will be built in on launch. The tablet costs $249 (half the iPad entry price, $50 more than the Fire) with preorders now and deliveries starting next week. Meanwhile, its existing Android Nook Color e-reader is having a price drop to $199, and earning 100 “enhancements” too. –KE
–Updated 10:10 a.m. EST
United Will Fly On Solazyme Biofuel. Algae-based biofuel maker Solazyme will be powering the first U.S. commercial airline to run an advanced biofuel. A Boeing 737-800 will fly from Houston to Chicago on 60% petroleum-based jet fuel and 40% biofuel, Reuters reports. —NS
Google’s Doodle celebrates Marie Curie’s birthday. Curie was born in 1867 in Warsaw.
Disney And YouTube To Make Original Video Series. The two media giants are investing $10 million (Disney) and $15 million (YoutTube) on a video series which will be showcased in a YouTube channel and run on Disney.com. The series will feature Swampy the crocodile from the app “Where’s My Water?” The partnership is mutually beneficial to both companies, the New York Times explains: Disney can hope to grow its web video following, and YouTube will be set to offer parents PG content for their kids. —NS
Netflix And MGM Announce Content Deal For U.K., Ireland. With the new deal in place, Netflix streamers in the U.K. and Ireland will have exclusive access to feature films from MGM via the web video service. Netflix’s streaming service is due to become open to U.K. and Ireland subscribers in early 2012. —NS
39 Chinese Companies Agree To Stricter Internet Censorship. Big Internet service providers in China including Baidu and Alibaba have agreed to monitor rumors and harmful information on the Internet, the BBC reports. Last week, the Chinese government indicated that stricter policy regarding the kinds of messages posted on microblogging websites were imminent, and so far, Chinese companies seem to be nodding. —NS
–Updated 6:15 a.m. EST
Friday’s Fast Feed:Hajj To Air On YouTube, Groupon Raises $700 Million IPO, CIA Team Analyzes Twitter For Real-Time Intelligence, and more.