AP Technology NewsBrief at 5:21 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Facebook tests charging to route messages to inboxSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Facebook says it is testing a service that will charge users $1 to guarantee that messages they send to people they are not connected to arrive in users' inboxes, rather than in an often-ignored folder called "other." The "other" folder is where Facebook routes messages it deems less relevant. Not quite spam, these include messages from people you most likely don't know, based on Facebook's reading of your social connections. Many users ignore this folder.
RIM loses BlackBerry subscribers for first timeTORONTO (AP) _ BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, which is already struggling with plunging sales, said Thursday it lost subscribers for the first time in the latest quarter, as the global number of BlackBerry users dipped to 79 million. But the Canadian company added to its cash position as it prepares to launch new smartphones on Jan. 30 that are deemed critical to the company's survival.
Oracle buying software co. Eloqua for about $811MREDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (AP) _ Business-software maker Oracle is adding to its cloud-computing capabilities with an $810.8 million purchase of software maker Eloqua. Oracle said Thursday that buying Eloqua will bolster its "cloud" technology for helping companies make decisions on their marketing, sales and customer support. Cloud computing refers to the concept of making software available for anyone with an Internet-connected device, rather than installing it on company computers.
Spain fines top 3 telecoms companies $159 millionMADRID (AP) _ Spain's National Competition Commission has fined top telecommunications operators Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange a total of (EURO)120 million ($159 million) for abusing their dominant position and charging excessively high prices for texts and multimedia messages. The commission said Thursday that between 2000 and 20009 the three companies exploited the absence of regulation to maintain artificially high wholesale prices for operators without their own networks. It said this led to higher retail prices for short messages and created barriers for companies wishing to enter or expand in the market.
Shooting renews argument over video-game violenceWASHINGTON (AP) _ In the days since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a shell-shocked nation has looked for reasons. The list of culprits cited include easy access to guns, a strained mental-health system and the "culture of violence" _ the entertainment industry's embrace of violence in movies, TV shows and, especially, video games. "The violence in the entertainment culture _ particularly, with the extraordinary realism to video games, movies now, et cetera _ does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent," Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said.
Changes in law aim to protect kids' online dataWASHINGTON (AP) _ Aiming to prevent companies from exploiting online information about children under 13, the Obama administration on Wednesday imposed sweeping changes in regulations designed to protect a young generation with easy access to the Internet. Two years in the making, the amended rules to the decade-old Children's Online Privacy Protection Act go into effect in July. Privacy advocates said the changes were long overdue in an era of cellphones, tablets, social networking services and online stores with cellphone apps aimed at kids for as little as 99 cents.
Google to sell part of Motorola for $2.35 billionSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google is selling Motorola Mobility's TV set-top business for $2.35 billion, lightening the load that the Internet search leader took on earlier this year when it completed the biggest acquisition in its history. The cash-and-stock deal announced late Wednesday will turn over Motorola's set-top division to Arris Group Inc., a relatively small provider of high-speed Internet equipment that is looking to become a bigger player in the delivery of video. Investors applauded the move, driving up Arris' stock by nearly 17 percent.
Google launches 'scan and match' music serviceLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Google is turning on a "scan and match" service for Google Music users to store copies of their songs online, offering for free what Apple charges $25 a year for. The service, which launched Tuesday, cuts uploading time for those who want to save their music libraries online. It scans a user's computer and gives them online access to the songs it finds, as long as they match the songs on its servers. Otherwise, it will upload songs to a user's online locker.
Twitter offers users scrapbook of past tweetsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Twitter is offering its more than 200 million users a chance to keep a digital scrapbook of all their tweets. The tool, announced this week, is designed to make it easier for people to review all their activity on Twitter's trend-setting messaging service.
Kodak sells digital imaging patents for $525MROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Eastman Kodak is selling its digital imaging patents for about $525 million, money the struggling photo pioneer says will help it emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year. Apple Inc., Google Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Research In Motion Ltd., Microsoft Corp., China's Huawei Technologies, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are among the 12 companies paying to license the 1,100 patents, according to court filings. Patents have become very valuable to digital device makers, who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits. But Kodak, which has been trying to make the sale happen for more than a year, wound up receiving substantially less money than had been expected.
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