AP Technology NewsBrief at 1:02 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dell in $24.4B founder-led deal to go privateSAN 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 founder Michael Dell, to attempt a company turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.
New BlackBerry to be released in US in mid-MarchTORONTO (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 be released 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.
Pew: Majority of Facebook users have taken breakNEW YORK (AP) _ A new report says about 61 percent of Facebook users have taken a break from the site for at least a few weeks for reasons that range from being busy to getting bombarded with "too much drama." A Pew survey released Tuesday says that of American adults who use the Internet, 67 percent are on Facebook, making it the dominant online social network in the country.
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.
Live action: Twitter grabs Super Bowl spotlightNEW YORK (AP) _ Beyonce's splashy show, a freak power outage, and _oh, yeah_ a captivating game of football combined to generate a record 24.1 million posts on Twitter during Sunday night's Super Bowl. That's up from 13.7 million last year _ and that doesn't even include chatter surrounding the ads.
Investors braced for decline in Disney earningsLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Walt Disney's quarterly earnings are expected to fall slightly, a rare stumble for the owner of some of the most successful TV networks, movie studios and theme parks in the world. The results, due out after the stock market closes Tuesday, will include higher programming costs for college football games on Disney's ESPN channel and a lineup of home entertainment video releases that didn't boast as much box-office appeal as in previous years. Those are two of the key factors that caused analysts surveyed by FactSet to predict Disney's fiscal first-quarter earnings will decline by about 4 percent from the previous year.
Sirius 4Q earnings more than doubleNEW YORK (AP) _ Satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio Inc. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income more than doubled, helped by higher revenue from a growing number of paying subscribers. The company also said it ended 2012 with 2 million more subscribers than at the end of 2011, and provided a revenue estimate for this year that topped Wall Street expectations.
Snapshots of Sandy: Group restores victims' photosNEW YORK (AP) _ Of all the images of Superstorm Sandy's destruction, the ones that linger for Florence Catania are the torn, stained pictures that hung on her walls. Her mother's decades-old wedding portrait, her own eighth-grade graduation photo, a snapshot that captured her mom on a carefree teenage day, all damaged in a Sandy-sparked fire at Catania's home in suburban Deer Park, N.Y.
Oracle to buy Acme Packet for about $2.1BREDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (AP) _ Oracle will buy Acme Packet Inc., which makes equipment for telecommunications companies, for about $2.1 billion. Acme's gear is used by more than 1,900 service providers and enterprises around the world. Its technology will complement Oracle's offerings for telecoms providers, said Citigroup analyst Walter Pritchard.
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