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Facebook Acquires Mobile App Maker Acrylic

The engineer behind Canadian startup Acrylic said Friday that he was closing up his one-man shop and joining the design team at leading social network Facebook.

Facebook confirmed that it has bought Acrylic in an "acqui-hire" that brings on board founder Dustin MacDonald, the creator of mobile gadget applications for newsfeeds and digital wallets.

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Google Grabs Startup Devoted to Apple Gadget Email

A French startup behind email applications for Apple gadgets has been bought by Google as the Internet titan increasingly tailors hit software to run on its rival's hardware.

Sparrow co-founder and chief executive Dominique Leca announced on Friday that the Paris-based startup's team will go to work on Gmail, Google's free Web-based email service.

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New iPad goes On Sale in China after Suit Settled

Apple released its newest iPad in China on Friday after settling a lawsuit over ownership of its name and requiring buyers to place orders in advance to control crowds.

Watched by security guards, a few dozen shoppers waited outside stores in Beijing and Shanghai, which opened on time at 8 a.m. That was in contrast to the chaotic scene outside Apple's main Beijing store in January, when some customers who wanted to buy a new iPhone shouted and threw eggs after managers delayed the opening due to safety concerns about the hundreds of people waiting.

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Google Profits Surge on Growing Ad Revenue

Google on Thursday reported a surge in quarterly profit to $2.79 billion on the back of rising online advertising revenue, beating Wall Street expectations.

The California-based online search titan's profit rose 11 percent in the quarter ended June 30 as consolidated revenue climbed 35 percent to $12.21 billion compared with the same fiscal quarter last year.

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Twitter Appeals Order To Hand over Protester Data

Twitter said Thursday it was appealing a court ruling ordering it to turn over data on one of its users involved in the Occupy Wall Street protest movement.

In a case watched closely as a test of online freedom of speech, Twitter's attorney Benjamin Lee said in a tweet: "We're appealing the Harris decision. It doesn't strike the right balance between the rights of users and the interests of law enforcement."

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Online Woes Spark First Microsoft Loss Ever

Microsoft posted its first ever loss on Thursday, shedding $492 million in the fourth quarter due to a massive $6.2 billion write-down to reflect the slump in value of its online operations.

Microsoft still posted an annual profit of $16.98 billion and said the results reflected "solid revenue growth and rigorous cost discipline."

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YouTube Lets People Blur Faces in Videos

YouTube on Wednesday began letting people blur faces in videos they upload to the website, which has become a major platform for sharing clips of dramatic news events.

"Today we're launching face blurring -- a new tool that allows you to obscure faces within videos with the click of a button," said Amanda Conway, policy associate at the Google-owned video-sharing service.

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Ebook Sales Skyrocketed In 2011

Sales of ebooks more than doubled in 2011 to bring in some $2.07 billion for the U.S. publishing industry, a survey showed Wednesday.

The data from the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group said ebooks grew from $869 million in 2010. Last year, ebooks accounted for some six percent of overall publishing revenues.

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Mexican Minister Suggests Mobile App to Fight Crime

Mexico's interior minister suggested Wednesday that a mobile software app could help crack down on the country's crippling drug-related crime.

Speaking at a conference hosted by search giant Google in California, Alejandro Poire said the new government was determined to get a grip on the violence wracking Mexico, and technology could help.

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Dotcom Judge Steps Down after Joking U.S. is 'Enemy'

A New Zealand judge has stepped down from overseeing the extradition case of Mega upload founder Kim Dotcom after jokingly referring to the United States as "the enemy."

The comment by Auckland District Court Judge David Harvey raised questions about his impartiality. He was discussing Internet copyright at a conference last week when he told an audience, "We have met the enemy, and he is U.S."

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