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Facebook Launches Video Calls, Group Chat Features

Quick on the heels of Google's launch of its latest social-networking venture, Facebook said Wednesday that its 750 million users will now be able to make video calls on the site.

The feature will be powered by the Internet phone service Skype. Facebook also redesigned its chat feature, so that the people a user messages the most often show up first.

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Nokia Abandons Japan Market

Nokia Corp., battered by the popularity of smartphones, is abandoning the Japanese market, after a brief foray with luxury cell phones costing as much as 20 million yen ($250,000).

The Finnish handset maker is closing by the end of July its last store selling high-end Vertu cell phones in Ginza. Previously, it had three such stores in Japan, although when the decision to leave Japan was made or how many Vertu phones Nokia had sold in Japan have not been disclosed.

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Restaurant Puts Virtual Food Onto Diners' Plates

Want a virtual bite of what you'll eat before ordering from the menu?

An Asian-themed restaurant in London's theater district is giving its customers just that, projecting images of dragon rolls, black cod, and other dishes directly onto diners' plates.

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Iconic Computer Game 'Civilization' Joins Facebook

Long before "FarmVille" there was "Civilization," the iconic computer game in which players build a civilized world over thousands of years. Now, the game's designer, Sid Meier, is bringing his creation to Facebook.

Available Wednesday, "Civ World" is a lighter, social version of the classic PC strategy game, which launched in 1991 and migrated to video game consoles in 2008. In the Facebook adaptation, players cooperate to build cities and engage in diplomacy, scientific discovery and economics as they advance civilization throughout the ages.

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ComScore Says iPhone Passes Blackberry in U.S.

Apple's iPhone has leapfrogged Research In Motion's Blackberry to grab fourth-place among handset manufacturers in the United States, tracking firm ComScore said Tuesday.

The iPhone's share of U.S. mobile subscribers rose to 8.7 percent in the three months ending in May from 7.5 percent three months earlier, while RIM's share fell to 8.1 percent from 8.6 percent, ComScore said.

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Netflix to Stream Movies, TV Shows to Latin America

U.S. video giant Netflix, which has more than 23 million subscribers in the United States and Canada, announced plans Tuesday to expand to Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Los Gatos, California-based company said it would begin streaming television shows and movies over the Internet to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean later this year.

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Google Temporarily Disables Realtime Search

Google has temporarily disabled its Realtime Search feature following the expiration of a deal with Twitter.

"Since October of 2009, we have had an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results through a special feed, and that agreement expired on July 2," a Google spokesman said in a statement.

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Japanese Man Takes Robot Piggyback on French Landmark

A robotic outfit that bestows superhuman strength allowed a paralyzed Japanese man to tour the steep lanes of France's Mont-Saint-Michel landmark Tuesday -- on a friend's back.

Seiji Uchida, 49, said he had dreamed of visiting the medieval site, a warren of steep steps on a sea-lapped mound off northwestern France, but could not because a motorbike accident in his twenties left him unable to walk.

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China's Baidu, Microsoft to Cooperate in Search

Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. will use Microsoft's Bing for some English-language results as the software giant tries to expand its small share of China's search market.

China has the world's biggest population of Internet users, with more than 450 million people online. Global e-commerce, search and other Internet brands have struggled to gain a foothold against aggressive local competitors in a heavily regulated market.

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Alcatel Announces Contract with China Telecom

Telecommunications group Alcatel-Lucent said on Monday it had been selected by China Telecom to supply multimedia services to 120 million Chinese consumers in six provinces.

China Telecom had selected Alcatel-Lucent "to deliver multimedia services to subscribers in Shanghai, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Xinjiang and Sichuan provinces," Alcatel said.

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