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Can't Ban Violent Video Sales to Kids, U.S. Court Says

States cannot ban the sale or rental of ultraviolent video games to children, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, rejecting such limits as a violation of young people's First Amendment rights and leaving it up to parents and the multibillion-dollar gaming industry to decide what kids can buy.

The high court, on a 7-2 vote, threw out California's 2005 law covering games sold or rented to those under 18, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free-speech rights. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia, said, "Even where the protection of children is the object, the constitutional limits on governmental action apply."

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Social Gaming a Big Winner in Smartphone Boom

More virtual livestock looks set to be traded and petulant fowl hurled at targets as social gaming takes hold in the booming mobile phone market, industry experts say.

Social gaming, made popular by titles such as "Farmville" and "Angry Birds", was one of the closely followed topics at last week's CommunicAsia trade fair in Singapore, where telecom executives meet annually to check on new trends.

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Google Fears Web Crackdown After Arab Uprisings

Google chairman Eric Schmidt on Monday warned that the ongoing Arab uprisings could lead to an upsurge in internet censorship and an increased risk of arrest for colleagues working in restive nations.

Speaking at the Summit Against Violent Extremism in Dublin, Schmidt claimed regimes were keen to clamp down on internet freedoms after the web was widely used by dissidents to organize anti-government movements in the Arab world.

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Guns, Grenades and iPads for Singapore Soldiers

New recruits to Singapore's military, air force and navy are to get a new standard-issue item of equipment besides their rifle -- the iPad.

The defense ministry said Monday it will be issuing "about 8,000" of the sleek, touch-screen tablet computers -- already wildly popular with the city-state's tech-savvy youth -- to recruits from November.

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Pope May Launch Internet News Portal Next Week

The Vatican, whose communications problems are no secret, is taking a leap into the world of new media next week with the launch of a news information portal that Pope Benedict XVI himself may put online with a papal click.

Vatican officials said Saturday that Benedict has been following the development of the portal, which will for the first time aggregate information from the Vatican's various print, online, radio and television media in a one-stop-shop for Holy See news.

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Hackers Hit Videogame Giant Electronic Arts

U.S. videogame giant Electronic Arts (EA) on Friday revealed that hackers had looted user data in "a highly sophisticated" attack.

A computer network hosting BioWare Edmonton's "Neverwinter Nights" game forums was hit by hackers who made off with users' names, passwords, email addresses, birth dates and other personal information, EA said at its website.

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Google Pulling Plug on PowerMeter, Health Services

Google on Friday announced that it is pulling the plugs on free Health and PowerMeter services that haven't won legions of users.

"We're going to retire two products that didn't catch on the way we would have hoped, but did serve as influential models," Google Health senior product manager Aaron Brown and Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl said in a blog post.

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China's Baidu Invests $306 Million in Travel Website

Chinese search engine Baidu has agreed to invest $306 million in domestic travel website Qunar as it seeks to cash in on the booming tourism market in China.

Baidu, which dominates the Chinese search market after Google retreated following a spat with Beijing over censorship and cyberattacks last year, will take a majority stake in the travel search engine, Baidu said late Friday.

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Power Grid Change May Disrupt Clocks

A yearlong experiment with the nation's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers — and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast.

"A lot of people are going to have things break and they're not going to know why," said Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the U.S. Naval Observatory, one of two official timekeeping agencies in the federal government.

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BlackBerry Maker Upbeat on Asian Growth Markets

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) is banking on Indonesia and other populous markets for growth in Asia, while it faces intensifying competition worldwide from rivals like the iPhone.

The Canadian firm had one of the most prominent stands at the CommunicAsia telecom fair that ended Friday in Singapore, where industry executives gather annually to check out new technology and seal deals.

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