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Posted at 9:48 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

The Circuit: Google helps Egyptians tweet, tech CEOs head to the White House, Android takes lead in smartphones

By Hayley Tsukayama

LEADING THE DAY: Social media has mobilized in a big way in support of the protesters in Egypt. Google, Twitter and SayNow teamed up over the weekend to create a way for those in Egypt to call in tweets to be transcribed. Google acquired SayNow, a voice-messaging platform, last week. It went live yesterday, Google announced in a blog post.

Check out this video from the Next Web of transcriptions happening via Google Spreadsheet. According to the Next Web, volunteers transcribed about 200 messages in five hours:

Volunteers translate Egyptian protesters' phone messages into tweets from The Next Web on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, more than 20,000 people have joined "A Virtual March of Millions" to express their support for protesters in Egypt. More are joining every second.

Tech CEOs to the White House: President Obama will meet with members of the Technology CEO Council today at closed meeting, according to the White House daily agenda. They will discuss "competitiveness, education, innovation, and the need for strategic investments to create jobs, grow the economy and win the future," according to the White House.

Android leads smartphone market: A report from the research firm Canalys on Monday found that the Android platform leads the smartphone market, passing Nokia's Symbian as the main platform for smartphones. Nokia did maintain its lead as the top smartphone vendor.

The report also showed that smartphone use is way, way up: Fourth quarter shipments of 101.2 million units make for a year-on-year growth of 89 percent.

Firefox adds opt-out bar to pre-beta: Firefox released the first version of its do-not-track header in the daily releases of Firefox. Daily releases are even less stable than beta releases -- and therefore mostly for developers and the very brave. Mozilla security and privacy engineer Sid Stamm has screenshots of the opt-out menu on his blog, extreme geekboy. To activate the header, users simply have to select a checkbox and the header will let advertisers know the users do not wish to be tracked.

Google spent $5 million on lobbying in 2010: TechCrunch did some digging in the Lobbying Disclosure Act Database and found that Google has dropped $5.2 million in lobbying dollars, a 29 percent increase from last year. The company continues to put those resources toward lobbying for “openness and competition in the online services market,” which TechCrunch speculates involves Google's acquisition of the travel information Web site ITA.

In comparison, Facebook spent $351,390 on lobbying in 2010, focusing on "global regulation of software companies and restrictions on internet access by foreign governments; internet privacy regulations, cyber security, and FCC regulations on net neutrality."

Skype to add 350 jobs in 2011: On its Big Blog, Skype announced that it would be hiring 350 new people in 2011. Most of the positions will be in its Palo Alto offices. Jennifer Caukin, Skype's PR head for the Americas, wrote that "our focus is to add superstar engineers to our already super-talented team of engineers who are based all over the globe."

By Hayley Tsukayama  | February 1, 2011; 9:48 AM ET
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Next: The Circuit: Egypt back online, Google vs. Microsoft, Intel's expensive chip error

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