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[December 10, 2012]
AP Technology NewsBrief at 4:34 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Government investigating makers of cellphone appsWASHINGTON (AP) _ The government is investigating whether software companies that make cellphone apps have violated the privacy rights of children by quietly collecting personal information from phones and sharing it with advertisers and data brokers, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. Such apps can capture a child's physical location, phone numbers of their friends and more. The FTC described the marketplace for mobile applications _ dominated by online stores operated by Apple and Google _ as a digital danger zone with inadequate oversight. In a report by the FTC's own experts, it said the industry has grown rapidly but failed to ensure the privacy of young consumers is adequately protected. The FTC did not say which or how many companies it was investigating.
Report: Kodak gets patent bid from Apple, GoogleNEW YORK (AP) _ Apple and Google, bitter rivals in smartphone technology, have joined up to make a combined bid for a bundle of patents offered by photography pioneer Kodak, according to a published report. Bloomberg News reported Saturday that Apple Inc. and Google Inc. have abandoned competing bids for the portfolio to offer a combined $500 million. The sum is the minimum Kodak can sell the patents for and still get an $830 million loan that's crucial to getting the company out of bankruptcy.
SKorea's porn fight 'like shoveling in a blizzard'SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Moon Tae-Hwa stares at his computer, dizzy and nauseous from the hours of porn he's viewed online while his wife and children slept. He feels no shame _ only a righteous sense of mission. "I feel like I'm cleaning up dirty things," the devout Christian and family counselor said.
Deep divides in Dubai at UN talks on InternetDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Talks over possible new U.N. regulations for the Internet were deeply divided Monday, with Russia and others advocating for more government control, while a U.S.-led bloc warned against rules that could restrict freedoms in cyberspace. The Dubai conference, which wraps up later this week, is not empowered to bring about any immediate changes on how the Internet operates. But the U.S. and its backers argue that sanctioning greater government roles in Internet oversight could allow governments that already heavily censor Web traffic, such as China or Iran, to justify more restrictions and monitoring.
STMicroelectronics to exit Ericsson joint ventureGENEVA (AP) _ Europe's largest chipmaker, STMicroelectronics NV, said Monday it plans to exit its money-losing joint venture ST-Ericsson, as it struggles to manage a downturn in global demand. Swiss-based STMicroelectronics said it is negotiating "exit options" from ST-Ericsson, its joint venture with Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson. It has already started working on leaving the venture, and expects the move to be complete during next year's third quarter.
Verizon moves pension obligations to PrudentialNEW YORK (AP) _ Phone company Verizon Communications Inc. on Monday said it has transferred $7.5 billion in pension obligations to Prudential Insurance after a retiree association failed to convince a court to stop the move. Members of the Association of BellTel Retirees sued in federal court in Dallas two weeks ago to stop the deal, saying it would weaken the legal protections for retirees. It effectively turns the company's defined-benefit pensions into annuities to be paid by Prudential. Annuities aren't covered by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
McAfee wants to return to US, 'normal life'BACALAR, Mexico (AP) _ Software company founder John McAfee said Sunday he wants to return to the United States and "settle down to whatever normal life" he can. In a live-stream Internet broadcast from the Guatemalan detention center where he is fighting a government order that he be returned to Belize, the 67-year-old said "I simply would like to live comfortably day by day, fish, swim, enjoy my declining years." UN climate talks in Qatar boost Gulf awarenessDOHA, Qatar (AP) _ Holding a high-profile U.N. climate change conference in Qatar, smack in the middle of the region that produces so much of the fossil fuel blamed for global warming, was a gamble. In the end, it displayed the hosts' drive for a leading place on the world stage and evoked a surprising new regional awareness of the environmental crisis. The two-week conference that ended Saturday challenged the tight control Qatar and other Gulf nations keep over their societies, and protesters took the brunt of that. It tested the ability of Qatar's ambitious effort to pilot an unwieldy gathering with divergent ideas to a successful conclusion as an example of its capabilities for future efforts, and the hosts got mixed grades.
Google teaming with Israeli high-tech startupsTEL AVIV, Israel (AP) _ Google is searching for promising Israeli high-tech companies. The international technology giant on Monday launched its "Campus Tel Aviv," a 1,500 square foot (140 square meter) space that will hold regular events for local entrepreneurs and offer access to Google staff and other industry experts.
'Walking Dead' wins game of the year at Spike VGAsLOS ANGELES (AP) _ "The Walking Dead: The Game" took a bite out of the Spike Video Game Awards. Telltale Games' interactive episodic series based on the zombie comic book franchise was selected as game of the year at Friday's extravaganza, which honors outstanding achievements in the video game industry over the past year.
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