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Google Best Company to Work For; Mozilla Blacks Out Firefox to Protest SOPA

A look at the ways Mountain View tech companies made the news this week.

Every week, Mountain View makes news with technology developments, discoveries and sometimes controversies.

In the weekly “Bits and Bytes” column we’ll relay the past week’s news highlights from our backyard giants, start-ups and small businesses alike.

Google snagged first place in Fortune’s 2012 list of the ‘100 best companies to work for.’ The ranking was due in large part to the company’s growing revenue and stock price, but also the on-site work perks—namely the “well-stocked” cafes with free food.

In protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Mozilla blacked out its default Firefox page on Wednesday night, and redirected visitors of Mozilla sites to a special action page. In doing so, they reached 40 million people, and were responsible for 360,000 emails sent to Senators and Representatives in Congress, according to the official Mozilla blog.

For the first time, Google shares exceeded over $10 billion in quarterly revenue. Yet its fourth quarter earnings were still less than what analysts anticipated. It stood at $9.50 a share, up from $8.75 a year ago, but not quite the $10.49 analysts expected. This miscalculation, among others, caused shares to drop more than 8 percent on Friday morning.

LinkedIn use is growing among our neighbors to the north: one in six Canadians now use LinkedIn, up 66 percent from June of last year. All in all, the company’s user base encompasses 135 million users in more than 200 countries.

Intuit was the other Mountain View company to make Fortune’s list, coming in at number 19 for top companies to work at. The TurboTax maker scored high because of its “idea jams” to generate new insights, and four hours of unstructured time that employees receive every week to work on their own projects.

Nexeta, a data storage company, secured $21 million in series C funding. The company, which offers unlimited file size and service, counts the U.S. Army and Korea Telecom among its service base.

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