AP Technology NewsBrief at 8:53 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Facebook proposes to end voting on privacy issuesNEW YORK (AP) _ Facebook is proposing to end its practice of letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies, though it will continue to let users comment on proposed updates. The world's biggest social media company said in a blog post Wednesday that its voting mechanism, which is triggered only if enough people comment on proposed changes, has become a system that emphasizes quantity of responses over quality of discussion. Users tend to leave one or two-word comments objecting to changes instead of more in-depth responses.
Review: Gift guide to smaller tabletsNEW YORK (AP) _ The tablet computer is without a doubt the gift of the season _ just like it was last year. But if you resisted the urge in 2011, now is the time to give in. This season's tablets are better all around. Intense competition has kept prices very low, making tablets incredible values compared to smartphones and PCs. The first step in the buying process is to decide on the size of the tablet. They fall into two rough categories: the full-sized tablet, pioneered by the iPad, and the half-size tablet, epitomized by the Kindle Fire.
Man pleads no contest in burglary of Jobs' homePALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ A California man accused of breaking into Steve Jobs' house and stealing computers and the Apple Inc. co-founder's wallet has pleaded no contest to burglarizing homes across the San Francisco Bay area. Kariem McFarlin accepted a plea deal and was convicted Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court on eight felony counts of residential burglary and one felony count of selling stolen property.
Toshiba shows off robot meant to help at nuke siteYOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) _ Toshiba Corp. has developed a robot it says can withstand high radiation to work in nuclear disasters, but it's not clear what exactly the robot is capable of doing if and when it gets the go-ahead to enter Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. The four-legged robot can climb over debris and venture into radiated areas off-limits to humans. One significant innovation, Toshiba said, is that its wireless network can be controlled in high radiation, automatically seeking better transmission when reception becomes weak.
HP claims fraud prompted $5B overpayment for co.NEW YORK (AP) _ Hewlett-Packard Co. said on Tuesday that it's the victim of a multi-billion dollar fraud at the hands of a British company it bought last year that lied about its finances. HP CEO Meg Whitman said executives at Autonomy Corporation PLC "willfully" boosted the company's figures through various accounting tricks, which convinced HP to pay $9.7 billion for the company in October 2011.
HP's Autonomy deal highlights pattern of bad ideasSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Hewlett-Packard's $9.7 billion acquisition of Autonomy seemed like a bad idea long before Tuesday's allegations of an accounting scandal made clear it was a deal that should never have happened. It's the latest in a cavalcade of costly blunders at HP. The Silicon Valley pioneer has squandered billions of dollars on ill-advised acquisitions, compounding the challenges it already faces as it scrambles to adjust to a world that is shifting away from PCs to smartphones and tablets.
China detains man for Twitter joke on party meetBEIJING (AP) _ Hundreds of Chinese Internet users are rallying around a Beijing blogger who has been detained by police after posting a joke on Twitter about the pivotal Communist Party congress. Chinese authorities have been especially sensitive to any perceived dissent about the party meeting, which closed last week after ushering in a new generation of leaders. Ahead of the event, police sent activists out of Beijing and rounded up the hundreds of people who tried to draw the attention of central authorities to their grievances against local governments.
News Corp. to acquire stake in Yank' YES NetworkNEW YORK (AP) _ News Corp. is acquiring a 49 percent stake in the YES Network, a deal that gives the New York Yankees' owners hundreds of millions of dollars and values the channel at $3 billion. Yankee Global Enterprises, Goldman Sachs and other investors will reduce their ownership as part of the transaction, and the team will receive $500 million.
McAfee blogs about police seeking him in BelizeSAN PEDRO, Belize (AP) _ Software company founder John McAfee says he's hiding in plain sight, wearing a disguise as he watches police and reporters stake out his home _ and blogging about it all. In the latest twist in the highly-publicized case, McAfee has started his own blog, in which he describes life on the lam after police in Belize called him a "person of interest" in the slaying of fellow American Gregory Viant Faull and asked him to turn himself in for questioning.
Groupon shares climb after hedge fund buys a stakeNEW YORK (AP) _ Shares of Groupon Inc. added more than 10 percent Tuesday after a hedge fund said it bought a 9.9 percent stake in the battered online deals company. THE SPARK: Tiger Global Investments LP disclosed its purchase of 65 million shares in a securities filing on Monday. Tiger Global also owns a small stake in Facebook Inc.
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