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Microsoft to acquire Internet phone pioneer Skype

NEW YORK (AFP) – US software giant Microsoft will buy Internet phone service company Skype for $8.5 billion dollars, the companies announced on Tuesday. “Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer in a statement. “Together we…

President Obama plans major push for immigration reform, with amnesty possible

President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday during a speech near the U.S. border that he plans a fresh push for immigration policy reform ahead of the 2012 election, calling for a legislative solution that comes from Congress instead of his desk alone. The White House and other officials will promote…

Google to launch online music service: report

NEW YORK — Internet giant Google could launch an online music service as early as Tuesday to rival Amazon’s “cloud” service, which allows users to store digital music online, the Wall Street Journal reported. Citing unnamed sources, the neswspaper said on Monday that Google, like Amazon, has yet to secure…

Osama bin Laden hideout becomes Counter-Strike map

SAN FRANCISCO — Images of the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden made his final stand have been turned into a videogame battleground. A software map named fy_abbottabad in reference to the city where a US military team killed the infamous Al-Qaeda leader in a May 2 raid was available…

YouTube adds thousands of movies for rent online

SAN FRANCISCO — YouTube on Monday added 3,000 new movies for “rent” online in the United States as it continued an evolution aimed at wooing viewers away from television. “You’re spending just 15 minutes a day on YouTube, and spending five hours a day watching TV,” YouTube head Salar Kamangar…

Sony says reboot of PSN not happening until May 31 or later

In the wake of one of the most significant thefts of data in history, electronics manufacturer Sony has been scrambling to get their online services back up, vowing that it would take place this week — but now users will have to wait just a little bit longer. That’s because…

With 56% of American Internet connections now capped, advocates ask FCC for probe

The practice of capping Internet bandwidth and selling it as a metered commodity has fully taken hold, to the point where 56 percent of U.S. internet connections are now on plans that restrict how much information users can access before triggering additional fees. For an Internet landscape that’s been accustomed…

Two pounds of marijuana earns NOLA man a life sentence

A 35-year-old man from New Orleans was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison after he was convicted of possessing two pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute, according to a report in The New Orleans Times-Picayune. It was the fourth marijuana conviction for Cornell Hood…

Apple usurps Google as world’s most valuable brand

LONDON (Reuters) – Apple has overtaken Google as the world’s most valuable brand, ending a four-year reign by the Internet search leader, according to a new study by global brands agency Millward Brown. The iPhone and iPad maker’s brand is now worth $153 billion, almost half Apple’s market capitalization, says…

U.S. CEO pay jumps 11 percent: survey

WASHINGTON — Compensation received by chief executives of the biggest US companies surged 11 percent over the past 12 months — to $9.3 million on average, The Wall Street Journal reported. Citing a study conducted for the newspaper by management consultancy Hay Group, The Journal said the increase was largely…

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