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Spain OKs 'Google Tax' Demanded by News Publishers

Spain's parliament has approved new intellectual property laws that allow news publishers to charge aggregators each time they display news content in search results.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1 but does not specify how much aggregators like Google News could be charged. Spain's AEDE group of news publishers had lobbied for what is known as the "Google Tax" but has not provided specifics.

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Microsoft Unveils Fitness Gadget, Health Tracking

Microsoft is releasing a $199 fitness band that also checks your email and even pay for coffee as the software company seeks to challenge Apple and others in the still-infant market for wearable devices.

The Microsoft Band will work with the company's new Microsoft Health system for consolidating health and fitness data from various gadgets and mobile apps. Unlike rival health systems, Microsoft Health will work with competing phones, not just those running Windows.

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Co-Creator of Android Mobile Software Leaves Google

Google on Thursday confirmed that an executive behind leading mobile device software Android is leaving the company to create an incubator for hardware startups.

Andy Rubin became a Google executive in 2005 when the Internet titan bought Android Inc., which was then a small startup that Rubin co-founded two years earlier.

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China Web Users Laud Apple Boss for Coming Out

Apple chief Tim Cook's announcement of his homosexuality was the top topic on Chinese Internet forums Friday, with many users lauding him as a hero -- and some joking about his declaration.

Cook wrote in an essay for Bloomberg Businessweek that he was "proud to be gay" and considered his orientation among "the greatest gifts God has given me".

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Report: Apple in Talks to Sell iPhone in Iran

Apple is in preliminary talks to sell the iPhone in Iran, if sanctions are eased on the Middle East nation, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said Apple had begun talks with distributors to open official sales channels in Iran if authorized.

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WhatsApp Founders Own Nearly $9B in Facebook Stock

WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton received 116 million shares of Facebook stock currently worth nearly $9 billion when they sold their unprofitable messaging service to the social networking leader earlier this month.

The breakdown of the big winners in Facebook Inc.'s $22 billion acquisition emerged Wednesday in a regulatory filing.

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Samsung Vows Changes after Mobile Profit Plunges

Samsung Electronics Co. admitted erring in its smartphone strategy and vowed Thursday to overhaul its handset lineup after profit from those devices tumbled last quarter to the lowest in more than three years.

The South Korean company, which climbed from smartphone laggard to top seller in the past three years, had prided itself on responding quickly to market demand and ability to tailor handsets to the needs of users and mobile carriers around the world.

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U.S. Theaters Advised to Ban 'Smart' Watches and Glasses

A pair of influential U.S. film industry organizations on Wednesday put out word that movie theaters should ban smart watches or eyewear that could be used to record movies.

The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners updated a film-theft prevention policy to recommend zero-tolerance when it comes to movie goers wearing "intelligent" devices with video-recording capabilities.

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Google Seeks Way to Search Bodies for Disease

Google is exploring a way to search inside people's bodies for early signs of deadly illnesses such as cancer or heart disease.

A Life Sciences team at the special projects Google X Lab are experimenting with having "nanoparticles" hunt for signs of medical trouble in bloodstreams and then essentially report findings to sensors people could wear.

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S. Korea Spy Agency Says North Hacking Smartphones

North Korea attempted to hack tens of thousands of South Korean smartphones this year, using malware disguised in mobile gaming apps, the South's spy agency said in a report submitted to parliament this week.

The National Intelligence Service said more than 20,000 smartphones may have been infected by the apps that were posted on South Korean websites between May and September, an aide to lawmaker Lee Cheol-Woo of the ruling Saenuri Party told AFP on Wednesday.

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