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China Finally Gets Official PlayStations, Minus some Games

Japanese electronics giant Sony on Friday launched its PlayStation gaming console in China, where authorities impose strict controls on content, but some popular titles including "Grand Theft Auto" and "Call of Duty" were not available.

China last year authorized the domestic sale of game consoles through its first free-trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai, ending a 2000 ban that authorities argued was aimed at protecting the country's youth.

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As Explorer Loses Ground, Microsoft Readies New Web Browser

Look out, Internet Explorer. After 20 years of competing against rival web browsers, Microsoft is gearing up to launch its own alternative to its once-dominant Internet surfing program.

Microsoft has built a new web browser designed for the modern web and mobile devices to go with its new Windows 10 operating system that's coming later this year. Explorer will still be available, but Microsoft hinted this week that its new — and as-yet unnamed — browser will get top billing in the future.

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Sony Launches U.S. Subscription TV, Competing with Cable

Sony announced Wednesday it was launching an Internet subscription television service that includes live feeds from major broadcast networks, mounting a challenge to the cable TV model.

PlayStation Vue, a cloud-based TV service, will initially be available in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia to customers with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 game consoles, and later to customers with Apple iPads.

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Google Chief: Tech Firms 'Will Win' Encryption Battle

Technology firms will ultimately prevail in their efforts to use strong encryption on devices that cannot be accessed by the government, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said Wednesday.

Schmidt, speaking at a Washington think-tank, said he was "sympathetic" to the arguments of law enforcement and intelligence agencies seeking to thwart crime and terrorism, but that it is not feasible to create access only for "the good guys."

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Facebook Launches Brazil Favela Business Program

Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) launched a new initiative Tuesday to offer entrepreneurial and technology skills to small businesses in Sao Paulo's biggest slum, a trial program eyeing Brazil's huge and increasingly lucrative favelas.

Under the program, computer use and classes will be offered to entrepreneurs in the poorer slum district of Heliopolis to help them reach more consumers.

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Design your World – Online Robots, 3D Printers at CeBIT

Need a copy of your wedding ring, a new name tag for the dog, or a spare part for the washing machine? Just print it, is the message at the CeBIT IT fair in Germany.

A host of companies are showcasing new tech marvels, from web-connected robots to 3D printers, that can turn homes, schools and offices into design labs and mini factories.

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Nintendo Steps into Smartphone Games Market

Nintendo said Tuesday it was teaming up with a mobile gaming company to develop games for smartphones in what could be a turning point for the Japanese giant which has long refused to enter the soaring market.

The maker of the iconic Super Mario and Pokemon franchises plans to buy 10 percent of Tokyo-based DeNA for 22 billion yen ($181 million) with the pair set to create games based on Nintendo's host of popular characters.

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Facebook Moves to Curb Spread of Terror, Hate Speech

Facebook said Monday it won't allow the social network to be used to promote terrorism or hate speech as it unveiled a wide-ranging update of its "community standards."

The new guidelines give more clarity on acceptable posts relating to violence, hate speech nudity and other contentious topics.

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Pinterest Valued at $11 bn after Latest Capital Round

The online bulletin-board style social network Pinterest announced Monday it had raised $367 million in new capital, pushing its valuation to $11 billion.

The new funds will help fuel global expansion plans for the fast-growing social network which calls itself a "visual bookmarking tool."

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IT Firm Baits Hackers with Online Model Train Set

Somewhere on Earth a computer hacker types a malicious command and hits enter. Half a world away, an urban commuter train speeds out of control, derails and crashes into a building.

Happily the kind of scenario that makes for Hollywood blockbusters and keeps public security officials awake at night would, in this case, only damage a model train set at a German IT industry fair.

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