TMCNet:  AP Technology NewsBrief at 8:20 a.m. EST

[December 13, 2012]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 8:20 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sprint to take remaining stake in ClearwireNEW YORK (AP) _ Sprint Nextel is offering to buy the 49 percent of Clearwire that it doesn't already own for $2.1 billion. Sprint Nextel Corp. said Thursday in a regulatory filing that its board reviewed a deal the day before that spells out specifics of the proposed transaction. The deal works out to $2.90 per share. Clearwire Corp. stock is up 27 cents, or 10 percent, to $3.02 in premarket trading.


Google Maps return to iPhone with new mobile appSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google Maps have found their way back to the iPhone. The world's most popular online mapping system returned late Wednesday with the release of the Google Maps' iPhone app. The release comes nearly three months after Apple Inc. replaced Google Maps as the device's built-in navigation system and inserted its own maps into the latest version of its mobile operating system.

UN group gives nod for greater Internet oversightDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ A U.N. conference weighing possible Internet rules shifted into high-stakes showdowns on Thursday after advancing a proposal for greater government oversight. The proposal was a blow to U.S.-led efforts to keep new regulations from touching the Net. The move frames the ideological divide at the 193-nation gathering in Dubai, which is scheduled to wrap up Friday with its first revisions of global telecom rules since 1988 _ years before the dawn of the Internet age.

Google, Belgian papers reach accord on copyrightBRUSSELS (AP) _ Google says it has reached an agreement over copyright issues with a group of French-language Belgian newspapers, ending a six-year dispute. In a joint statement Thursday, Google and groups representing the papers and authors announced they had reached agreements to end legal proceedings and instead build business partnerships.

French mobile operators hit with antitrust finesPARIS (AP) _ France's competition watchdog has slapped (EURO)183 million ($239 million) in fines on the country's two top mobile operators for anti-competitive pricing policies between 2005 and 2008. The Autorite de Concurrence said Thursday that Orange and SFR had abused their dominant market positions and hurt the country's number three operator, Bouygues Telecom. Specifically the watchdog cited the policy of offering unlimited calls between subscribers of one network, which it said threw up an unjustified barrier to free competition among operators.

Review: 2 giant phones decent, but not for sizeNEW YORK (AP) _ Over the past few years, smartphones have gradually gotten bigger and tablet computers have gotten smaller. So it should come as no surprise that devices in between are starting to emerge. These Android devices, informally known as phablets, are better described as giant phones than baby tablets, as they can be used for phone calls. And for now, they aren't much bigger than regular phones.

Facebook poised to roll out more privacy controlsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Facebook is trying to make its privacy controls easier to find and understand in an effort to turn the world's largest social network in to a more discreet place. The fine-tuning announced Wednesday will include several revisions that will start rolling out to Facebook's more than 1 billion users during the next few weeks and continue into early next year.

Most Googled in 2012: Whitney, PSY, SandyLOS ANGELES (AP) _ The world's attention wavered between the tragic and the silly in 2012, and along the way, millions of people searched the Web to find out about a royal princess, the latest iPad, and a record-breaking skydiver. Whitney Houston was the "top trending" search of the year, according to Google Inc.'s year-end "zeitgeist" report. Google's 12th annual roundup is "an in-depth look at the spirit of the times as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year," the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

Redbox Instant streaming plan takes on NetflixLOS ANGELES (AP) _ DVD kiosk operator Redbox is launching a challenge to Netflix's streaming-video supremacy. Later this month, Redbox will offer an unlimited streaming-video plan that includes movies from Warner Bros. and pay TV channel Epix, along with four nights of physical DVD rentals, for $8 a month, or $9 a month if customers want Blu-ray discs.

Pope hits 1M mark as he tweets: 'Dear Friends... 'VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark on Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his new account, blessing his online fans and urging them to listen to Christ. In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, the 85-year-old Benedict tapped the screen of a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience after the equivalent of a papal drum roll by an announcer who intoned: "And now the pope will tweet!" (c) 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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