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Bill Gates kicks off search for toilet of the future

Microsoft co-founder turned global philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday launched a search for a new toilet better suited to developing countries. The charitable foundation founded by Gates and his wife kicked off a “Reinvent the Toilet Fair” in Seattle and awarded prizes for promising innovations. “Toilets are extremely important for…

Nokia to unveil Windows 8 smartphone in Sept: report

HELSINKI — Finnish telecom giant Nokia and Microsoft plan to unveil a smartphone equipped with the US software giant’s Windows 8 operating system in New York on September 5, a report said Wednesday. The Helsingin Sanomat daily did not cite any sources but said the beleaguered Nokia could also unveil…

Netflix to launch service in 4 Nordic countries

Netflix, the US company which offers online film streaming and DVD delivery by mail, will launch its services in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden by the end of the year, it said on Wednesday. Netflix “will offer streaming of TV shows and movies for one low monthly price in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland before the…

The Carlyle Group buys Getty Images for $3.3 billion

The Carlyle Group and the management of Getty Images said Wednesday they had formed a partnership to buy Getty Images, Inc. from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 billion. The deal foresees the private investment group Carlyle acquiring a controlling stake in Getty Images while Getty Images co-founder and chairman Mark Getty and the Getty family will “roll substantially all of their…

Twitter founders launch websites Medium and Branch with hopes of revolutionizing online sharing

They inspired a boom in self-publishing with Blogger, then turned the world to 140 characters with Twitter. Now Ev Williams and Biz Stone have launched two new websites – Medium and Branch – in what they hope will prompt an “evolutionary leap” in online sharing. Williams and Stone are still…

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom plans to launch music service

WELLINGTON — Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom has announced plans to launch a new online music venture this year as he prepares to fight a US attempt to extradite him from New Zealand to face online piracy charges. Dotcom’s original plans for the service, called Megabox, were disrupted in January when…

Company’s Segway-like stand turns iPads into robots

The iPad is about to become a two-way video chat telepresence robot, thanks to a company called Double Robotics. Video of what’s being called “the Double” shows an iPad placed atop a tiny Segway-like device on two wheels, with a user controlling the robot’s movement through physical space. Touch-screen controls…

Google buys Frommer’s

Google is to buy the travel guidebooks brand Frommer’s as the internet company ramps up its bid to become the premier destination for local reviews and listings online. Google will pay an undisclosed sum for the Frommer’s brand, which launched in 1957 when Arthur Frommer published his ‘Europe on $5…

Google social network adding verified accounts

Google announced that it will let users of its online social network have verified accounts with names or brands in a manner similar to that offered at Facebook and Twitter. Custom Google+ page addresses were rolled out to a limited number of profiles including the footballer David Beckham, actor Hugh…

Facebook agrees to run marijuana legalization ads

Facebook has agreed to run marijuana legalization ads after being confronted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Northern California. The social networking giant had refused to run the ads of multiple organizations because they showed marijuana leaves. “Platforms like Facebook that are designed to facilitate communication should…

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