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Social gaming a big winner in smartphone boom

SINGAPORE (AFP) – More virtual livestock looks set to be traded and petulant fowl hurled at targets as social gaming takes hold in the booming mobile phone market, industry experts say. Social gaming, made popular by titles such as “Farmville” and “Angry Birds”, was one of the closely followed topics…

US lightbulb rules spark new political fight

WASHINGTON (AFP) – With a January deadline looming on a US law mandating energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, some political forces don’t want to turn out the lights. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers are backing efforts to repeal the 2007 law that requires bulbs to consume less energy. Meanwhile…

Hackers school next generation at DEFCON Kids

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – DEFCON hackers will share their skills with the next generation at a first-ever children’s version of the infamous gathering of software renegades, lock pickers and social engineers. DEFCON Kids will take place in Las Vegas on August 6-7 during the 19th annual DEFCON started by hackers…

LulzSec hacker group says Internet rampage over

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Lulz Security hacker group said that it has ended an Internet rampage that included cyberattacks on videogame companies, police, and even a US spy agency website. “For the past 50 days we’ve been disrupting and exposing corporations, governments, often the general population itself, and quite possibly…

Google investors fear long battle against Feds

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Larry Page should put in a call to Bill Gates. Microsoft Corp’s famous founder may know better than anyone else what the Google Inc chief executive would face if he engages in a protracted legal battle against U.S. antitrust regulators. Google said on Friday that the…

Iran condemns IEA decision to release oil stocks

TEHRAN (Reuters)- Iran condemned on Saturday a decision by oil consumer nations to release strategic crude stocks as politically motivated interference in the market that would not have a sustained impact on prices. “The measure by the International Energy Agency in consuming their oil stockpile is meddling in the natural…

ECB’s Mersch says Greek default would bring “chaos”

BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – European Central Bank Governing Council member Yves Mersch said on Saturday a Greek sovereign debt default would lead to chaos, adding it was up to the parliament to deliver on its austerity promises. Banks and policymakers moved closer to a deal on Friday to help Athens…

Central bank chiefs agree on measures for banks

GENEVA (AFP) – Central bank governors agreed Saturday on ways to help reduce the “moral hazard” of leading banks whose failure would bring chaos to world finance. The measures relating to so-called global systematically important banks were designed to strengthen their resilience and included raising their loss absorbency requirements. The…

Greece ‘confident’ over austerity vote: spokesman

ATHENS (AFP) – The Greek government is confident parliament will pass an austerity plan next week needed to unlock crucial EU-IMF aid in order to avoid default, a government spokesman said on Saturday. “We are totally confident,” government spokesman Ilias Mosialos told AFP. Parliament is scheduled to vote on the…

Peru halts Canada mining operations amid protests

LIMA (AFP) – Peru suspended a Canadian company’s mining project in the south of the country on Saturday following intense negotiations in the wake of deadly protests by mostly indigenous anti-mining activists, authorities said. The government enacted five laws including the revocation of a concession granted to Bear Creek Mining…

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