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U.N. Slams Nauru for Facebook Ban, Stifling Dissent

The United Nations on Monday criticized the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru for blocking access to the Internet, including Facebook, and urged it to reverse a clampdown on freedom of speech.

Nauru curbed Internet access in the nation of 10,000 people last month, saying it was barring pornography, although social media sites such as Facebook were caught in the dragnet.

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Google Aims to Patent Child Toy that Pays Attention

Google has filed a patent for toys that pay attention to who is in a room and can interact with other media devices.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shared diagrams Thursday depicting what resembled rabbit and bear toys with microphones in their ears, cameras in their eyes, speakers in their mouths and motors in their necks.

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PayPal's New Chief Promises New Services for a Mobile World

As PayPal prepares to split from its corporate parent, its new chief executive is promising to expand the popular online payment system, adding a variety of services for consumers to use when shopping on their phones or in traditional stores.

PayPal will be spinning off from parent company eBay later this year at a time when it's facing new competitive challenges. Alibaba, Amazon and even Facebook are promoting online payment systems, while Apple Pay and Google Wallet are competing to handle transactions in stores and on mobile devices.

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Aviation Agency Unveils Messaging System to Reduce Delays

A system that replaces verbal communication between pilots and air traffic controllers with computerized messages was unveiled Thursday by federal aviation officials, who said the system will reduce delays during weather events and cut down on errors that occur during routine voice transmissions.

The Federal Aviation Administration demonstrated the Data Communications system, called Data Comm, at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport. The system has been used on a trial basis since 2013 at the Newark and Memphis, Tennessee, airports.

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Toshiba Expands Accounting Probe to TV, Chip, and Computer Units

Toshiba said Friday it was expanding an accounting probe to its television, memory chip, and computer divisions, after earlier warning the investigation would take a toll on its balance sheet.

The huge conglomerate, which makes everything from batteries to nuclear reactors, said last week it was revoking its earnings forecast for the past fiscal year and would not pay a dividend.

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Report: U.S. Intelligence Planned Hack of App Stores to Plant Spyware on Phones

The U.S. National Security Agency developed plans to hack into data links to app stores operated by Google and Samsung to plant spyware on smartphones, a media report said Thursday.

The online news site The Intercept said U.S. intelligence developed the plan with allies in Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, a group known as the "Five Eyes" alliance.

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Internet Search Pioneer Lycos Selling Patents

Internet search pioneer Lycos on Wednesday said it is selling some of its technology patents as the company prepares to lauch "a suite of hard good products."

Patents being put on the block by the Internet enterprise spun out of Carnegie Mellon University in 1994 ranged from search engine technology to online advertising and gaming, according to Lycos.

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Racist Search Term Points to White House in Google Maps

Google Maps apologized Wednesday after it emerged that searches using racist language pinpointed the White House, home of President Barack Obama.

The offensive scenario was brought to light after it was noticed that searches combining a racial slur and the word "house" took people to the White House in Google's free online mapping service in some locations.

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Twitter-Google Deal Puts Tweets in Search Results

Google and Twitter announced a partnership Tuesday to display tweets in search results, renewing a tieup that ended in 2011.

The move will allow Google to get more real-time results in its search queries, and help Twitter boost engagement after a period of sluggish user growth which has weighed on its stock price.

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Gazans Reach beyond Blockade Through Start-up

Dozens of workers sit with their eyes glued to computer screens and fingers clicking away on keyboards writing code and tapping in data for clients around the globe.

It could be a scene at any software firm, but these programmers are Palestinians based in the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2006.

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