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Assange: Internet is World's 'Greatest Spying Machine'

Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, Tuesday warned that the Internet was the "greatest spying machine the world has ever seen" and an obstacle to free speech.

Speaking to students at Britain's prestigious Cambridge University, the former computer hacker claimed that the Internet, particularly social networking sites such as Facebook, gave governments greater scope for snooping.

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YouTube Buys Green Parrot Pictures

Google-owned YouTube said Tuesday that it has bought an Irish digital video company whose technology can help improve the quality of amateur footage submitted to the video-sharing site.

Financial details of the acquisition of Green Parrot Pictures, which was founded by Anil Kokaram, an associate professor at the engineering school of Trinity College in Dublin, were not disclosed.

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Online Anonymity Icon Dislikes Facebook Model

The founder of Internet anonymity haven 4chan thinks Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is mistaken when it comes to online identities.

Remaining unknown online frees people to blaze ahead with creative endeavors they might otherwise shy away from for fear of being embarrassed, Christopher "moot" Poole said at the South By Southwest festival ending Tuesday in Texas.

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HP Looks to the 'Cloud'

Hewlett-Packard plans to offer a complete range of cloud computing services, HP chief executive Leo Apotheker said Monday as he outlined his strategy for the U.S. computer giant.

Apotheker, speaking in San Francisco at an event that was streamed over the Internet, also said that HP plans to release its touchscreen tablet computer, the TouchPad, in June.

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Microsoft Releases New Internet Explorer 9 Browser

Microsoft has released the latest version of its Internet Explorer Web browsing software free online, hoping to fend off recent challenges by Firefox and Google Chrome.

"IE9 has just released around the world," a booming voice told a cheering crowd at 11:00 pm Monday (0400 GMT Tuesday) in the Austin City Limits Live concert hall where a launch party was being held.

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Internet Usage Transforming News Industry

The rapid growth of smartphones and electronic tablets is making the Internet the destination of choice for consumers looking for news, a report released Monday said.

Local, network and cable television news, newspapers, radio and magazines all lost audience last year, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research organization that evaluates and studies the performance of the press. News consumption online increased 17 percent last year from the year before, the project said in its eighth annual State of the News Media survey.

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John Paul II Gets Facebook Page

The Vatican will unveil the latest installment in its social media transformation next week — a Facebook page dedicated to the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II, officials said.

The site, which will link to video highlights of John Paul's 27-year papacy, is designed to promote the May 1 beatification. But it may well continue beyond given the global and enduring interest in the late pontiff, Vatican officials told The Associated Press.

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Web Helps People Locate Loved Ones in Japan Quake

Searching the Internet on sites such as Google and Twitter and their local variants has become more effective in finding loved ones than sifting through wreckage following Japan's devastating tsunami.

As the floodwaters subsided Saturday, worried friends and relatives leapt onto their computers to find information about people who had not been heard from since the mighty wave crashed ashore.

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Apple's iPad 2 Hits Stores

Apple's new iPad goes on sale across the United States on Friday as the gadget-maker seeks to stay a step ahead of its rivals in the booming market for sleek touchscreen tablet computers.

Apple was to begin taking online orders for the iPad 2, which was unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs last week, at 4:00 am (0900 GMT), but as of 5:00 am it did not yet appear to be available.

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Google Alerts Users to Tsunami Risk After Japan Quake

Internet search giant Google is warning users on its search page about the tsunami danger across the Pacific following the earthquake off the coast of Japan.

Google has in the past set up a crisis response service following quakes in New Zealand and Chile but so far has apparently begun its response with an alert underneath the search bar of its main page.

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