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Obama Calls for Tougher Internet Regulation

President Barack Obama on Monday embraced a radical change in how the government treats Internet service, coming down on the side of consumer activists who fear slower download speeds and higher costs but angering Republicans and the nation's cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.

Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to more heavily regulate Internet providers and treat broadband much as it would any other public utility. He said the FCC should explicitly prohibit Internet providers like Verizon and AT&T from charging data hogs like Netflix extra to move their content more quickly. The announcement sent cable stocks tumbling.

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Researcher: Hackers Could Trick Way into Apple Gadgets

Cybersecurity firm FireEye warned Monday that hackers could trick owners of Apple gadgets into installing applications that steal information.

US-based FireEye maintained that "masque attacks" made possible by a vulnerability in software running iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices posed "much bigger threats" than a recently disclosed WireLurker flaw patched by Apple.

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Japan's NEC Rolls out Counterfeit Spotting Technology

Japan's NEC on Monday unveiled a technology that sniffs out even the most convincing counterfeits by reading microscopic patterns on everything from a luxury purse to a metal bolt.

The technology can be also be used to trace the origin of mass-produced offerings by reading so-called "object fingerprints", or three-dimensional surface irregularities, the firm said.

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Twitter to Set Up Shop in Hong Kong

Twitter plans to set up shop in Hong Kong early next year, focusing on ad sales instead of the one-to-many messaging service banned in China.

The San Francisco-based service that has served as a platform for dissent and free speech wants to tap into booming growth in Greater China by selling ads to businesses such as exporters.

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Microsoft Makes Office Free to Rival Mobile Platforms

Microsoft announced Thursday it was making its Office software suite available for free to users of rival mobile operating systems from Apple and Google.

Users of Apple iPads and other devices and those with Android tablets will be able to use the apps to store documents without a subscription, Microsoft said.

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Spain Arrests 10 for 'Terrorist' Twitter, Facebook Posts

Spanish police arrested 10 people accused of glorifying terrorism and inciting attacks by the Basque group ETA in Twitter and Facebook messages, authorities said Thursday.

The suspects are accused of "using social networks to commit suspected crimes of glorifying terrorism by ETA and of humiliating the victims of terrorism", the interior ministry said in a statement.

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Amazon Debuts Siri-Style Virtual Assistant in Speaker

Internet retail titan Amazon on Thursday introduced a home virtual assistant always at the ready to answer questions, fetch news, play music or help with to-do lists.

The cloud-based brains referred to as "Alexa" are built into Echo speakers and seen as a challenge to "Siri" virtual assistants in Apple's coveted mobile devices.

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Video Game World Tensions Erupt in 'GamerGate'

The horrific misogynistic abuse of female figures within the video game industry has triggered debate over whether women are being accepted as equal partners in the sector.

Threats of rape, murder and mutilation have forced some women to flee their homes during the ugly two-month saga that has become known under its Twitter hashtag of "GamerGate."

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Google Guru Tells AFP the Search Engine Can be 'Personal Helper'

Google (Xetra: A0B7FY - news) search guru Amit Singhal believes the search-engine of the future will be "a perfect personal assistant" -- knowing what you want, when you want it.

Although people can travel to the moon's surface without leaving their armchairs, search-engine developments so far are just "baby steps" to "the holy grail of search", Singhal told AFP in a rare interview.

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Emojis May Expand Skin Color Options

A proposal to expand the skin color options for emojis may get the thumbs up from those calling for more diversity in the icons.

Emojis are cartoon-like pictograms — such as smiley faces or hearts — that have become popular in texts and online chats to express emotion.

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