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TMCNet:  AP Technology NewsBrief at 1:13 a.m. EST

[February 06, 2013]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 1:13 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dell's founder strikes deal to turn it aroundNEW YORK (AP) _ It's easy to forget now, but Michael Dell was the Mark Zuckerberg of his day. Hailed as a young genius, he created the inexpensive, made-to-order personal computer in his University of Texas dorm room and sold it straight to the public. In the 1980s and `90s, his face appeared on magazine covers, and well before he turned 40, he was a college dropout-turned-billionaire CEO, ranked alongside Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.


Dell to go private in $24.4B deal led by founderSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Slumping personal computer maker Dell is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers. The complex agreement announced Tuesday will allow Dell Inc.'s management, including eponymous founder Michael Dell, to attempt a company turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.

Zynga 4Q loss narrows as game maker cuts costsNEW YORK (AP) _ Online games company Zynga said its loss narrowed in the latest quarter even though revenue was largely unchanged as the company cut expenses by laying off workers, closing offices and shutting down poorly performing games. The results exceeded Wall Street's muted expectations, and Zynga Inc.'s battered shares increased nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading after the release of the results. After a difficult 2012 in which Zynga saw its stock price decline by 75 percent, CEO Mark Pincus called 2013 a "pivotal transition year" for the company as it seeks to cut costs further and broaden revenue sources, especially from mobile games.

Aussie court clears Google in deceptive ad caseSYDNEY (AP) _ Australia's highest court on Wednesday threw out a ruling against Google Inc. that had found the Internet giant guilty of breaching trade law by hosting deceptive advertisements. The High Court's decision overturned a federal court ruling from April that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct with four ads that appeared on its Google Australia website. The advertisers used the names of competitors as keywords to trigger their own ads appearing.

New keyboard BlackBerry in US could take monthsTORONTO (AP) _ A modern BlackBerry with a physical keyboard might not arrive in the U.S. until May or June, a month or two behind other parts of the world, the chief executive of the smartphone maker suggested in an interview. Although Research in Motion Ltd. CEO Thorsten Heins said the exact release date will depend on each wireless provider, he said the physical keyboard version, the BlackBerry Q10, will likely come out eight to 10 weeks after a carrier releases a model with only a touch screen, the BlackBerry Z10. The Z10 is expected in the U.S. in mid-March, so eight to 10 weeks brings the U.S. date for the Q10 to mid-May to early June.

A record 3 million stream Super Bowl onlineNEW YORK (AP) _ The Super Bowl was streamed online by 3 million people, an increase from the 2.1 million who watched the big game online last year, according to CBS. Sunday's game was streamed for free by both CBSSports.com and NFL.com, as well as via Verizon on mobile. The 3 million unique viewers showed that while the televised broadcast is emphatically more desirable to viewers, increasing numbers are following the Super Bowl online.

Internet cat stars scratch the surface for fameNEW YORK (AP) _ They frolic in empty boxes and stick their heads under faucet streams of water. They dance on tippy toes and fly through the air with Pop-Tarts. They play piano wearing little frocks and get tickled to distraction to the delight of millions on YouTube. I speak, of course, of the cat stars of the Internet, a place filled with felines and their wacky uploading humans since the dawn of bandwidth. Now, after years of viral viewing, they're coming into their own in lucrative and altruistic ways.

Pew: Most Facebook users take a breakNEW YORK (AP) _ Too much drama, boredom and scads of irrelevant information are just some of the reasons Facebook users give for taking a break from the world's biggest social networking site for weeks at a time, according to a new study. A report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found that some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus of at least several weeks for myriad reasons, whether they were weary from an onslaught of gossip, or for the more pious, the arrival of Lent.

Viewer addiction to new Kevin Spacey drama seriesNEW YORK (AP) _ I binged. There was much anticipation for "House of Cards," a new original series from Netflix starring Kevin Spacey that arrived in one big helping _ all 13 episodes of its first season _ on the subscription streaming service last Friday for viewers to enjoy, at their leisure, in the weeks, months or even years to come.

UK: Surveillance devices to monitor Web trafficLONDON (AP) _ The U.K. plans to install an unspecified number of spy devices along the country's telecommunications network to monitor Britons' use of overseas services such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a report published Tuesday by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee. The devices _ referred to as "probes" in the report _ are meant to underpin a nationwide surveillance regime aimed at logging nearly everything Britons do online, from Skype calls with family members to visits to pornographic websites. The government argues that swift access to communications data is critical to the fight against terrorism and other high-level crime.

(c) 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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