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TMCNet:  AP Technology NewsBrief at 11:07 a.m. EST

[December 18, 2012]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 11:07 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NBC correspondent escapes Syria kidnappingBEIRUT (AP) _ NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel said he and his television crew were kidnapped for five days by pro-regime gunmen who subjected them to mock executions and kept them bound and blindfolded. They escaped during a firefight between their captors and rebels and reached Turkey on Tuesday. However, it was not immediately clear whether all those abducted with Engel were accounted for.



Developers worried about new rules for phone appsWASHINGTON (AP) _ A cellphone game for kids about U.S. geography, "Stack the States," gets rave reviews from parents. Its creator, Dan Russell-Pinson, considered making the 99-cent app better by adding a feature to allow children to play online against one another. But with the Federal Trade Commission issuing more stringent online child privacy rules, he's not even pursuing the idea. "It would require all kinds of data sharing," said Russell-Pinson, the founder and sole employee of Freecloud Design in Charlotte, N.C. "I would be kind of afraid to do that." Judge denies Apple request to ban Samsung phonesSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A federal judge late Monday rejected Apple Inc.'s demands that its chief rival in the more than $100 billion global smartphone market cease selling models a jury recently found illegally used Apple technology. The immediate impact of the ruling means that Samsung can continue to sell three of the older-generation smartphones still on U.S. shelves that a San Jose jury in August found ripped off technology Apple used to create its iPhone.

Facebook rejects German demand to allow fake namesBERLIN (AP) _ Facebook will fight a German privacy watchdog's demand to allow users to register with fake names, insisting Tuesday that its current practice fully complies with the law. The California-based social networking site has long required users to register with their real names _ a policy that the data protection commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein state says is in breach of German law and European rules designed to protect free speech online.

Nielsen to buy Arbitron for about $1.26 billionNEW YORK (AP) _ Nielsen is buying Arbitron for about $1.26 billion. The radio audience ratings company will give Nielsen a clearer picture of unmeasured areas of media consumption like streaming audio.

Texas Instruments to cut 517 jobs in FrancePARIS (AP) _ Chipmaker Texas Instruments says will lay off more than 500 people at a research and development plant near Nice, France, in the coming months. The Dallas-based company announced last month that it is eliminating 1,700 jobs worldwide as it cuts spending in its wireless business. As the company's biggest smartphone and tablet customers have begun developing their own chips, Texas Instruments is shifting the focus to industrial and automotive customers.

Google launches Dead Sea Scrolls online libraryJERUSALEM (AP) _ More than six decades since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls _ and thousands of years after they were written _ Israel on Tuesday put 5,000 images of the ancient biblical artifacts online in a partnership with Google. The digital library contains the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the second listing of the Ten Commandments, and a portion of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, dated to the first century B.C.

Iran leader gets the clicks with Facebook rumorDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ A Facebook page purportedly created by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attracted nearly 10,000 followers on Tuesday although the site's content and style raise serious questions about its authenticity. Iranian authorities had no immediate comment on the site, which apparently went online last week but only recently gained prominence among social media watchers. Despite the possibility that it is a hoax, the page has generated at least 170 comments _ laudatory and derogatory, and nearly all in Farsi _ that highlight the deep political divisions in Iran and possibly opposition fervor from expatriate Iranians.

Mass. fines Morgan Stanley $5M over Facebook IPOBOSTON (AP) _ Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter for Facebook's troubled public stock offering, has agreed to pay $5 million to Massachusetts' securities regulators after they accused it of disclosing a revenue shortfall only to certain analysts and not the general public. According to state regulators, a Morgan Stanley banker organized phone calls between Facebook's treasurer and the analysts of major underwriters to relay revenue figures that weren't included in revised documents Facebook Inc. filed with U.S. securities authorities on May 9, about a week before the initial public offering of stock.

Sprint raises offer, to buy Clearwire for $2.2BNEW YORK (AP) _ Sprint, the country's third-largest cellphone company, said Monday that it will buy out the portion of wireless network operator Clearwire that it doesn't already own after raising its offer price to $2.2 billion. The deal would give Sprint control of a flailing affiliate, one it depends upon to provide high-speed "Sprint 4G" data services on some of its phones. It would increase Sprint's access to the airwaves, meaning it could boost data speeds in coming years. However, cell towers using Clearwire spectrum have poor range, making it difficult to provide broad coverage.

(c) 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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