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Faster Forward: January 16, 2011 - January 22, 2011

Google promises searchers less spam, fewer content-farm results

If you've been searching for a sign that Google recognizes that its search results don't always steer you right, look no further. Search engineer Matt Cutts posted a note to the Mountain View, Calif., company's official blog on Friday that acknowledged problems with its results and pledged improvements. Cutts wrote...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 21, 2011; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Search  
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Duke Nukem Forever ships May 3

Duke Nukem Forever, the long-delayed video game, will ship in versions for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows on May 3.

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 21, 2011; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Gaming  
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Verizon releases first iPhone ad

Verizon released its first ad for the iPhone 4 to YouTube, thanking all the Verizon faithful for waiting so patiently

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 21, 2011; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Apple, Gadgets, Mobile  
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Verizon sues to stop net-neutrality rules it suggested

My first reaction to yesterday's news that Verizon is suing the Federal Communications Commission to overturn its pending, half-hearted net-neutrality rules was one of a Verizon customer. To wit: Okay, so you're going to spend some of my money to fight a minimal set of regulations written to stop you...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 21, 2011; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Net Neutrality, Policy and politics, Telecom  
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Google Offers coupon launch confirmed

Google will launch Google Offers, a new service that will take on group discount sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 21, 2011; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Digital culture, Search, Shopping  
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Google CEO Eric Schmidt to step down, depriving Web of future quotes

This hasn't been a good week for Silicon Valley CEOs. Only three days after Apple chief executive Steve Jobs announced he was taking an undefined medical leave, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt announced that he would hand that job over to co-founder Larry Page. Schmidt broke the news in a...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 20, 2011; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Policy and politics, Privacy, Search  
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Google Voice porting appears, then disappears in limited release

For a brief period of time Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Google made it possible for some users to port their mobile phone numbers to the online telephony service for $20. Then, the feature disappeared.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 20, 2011; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Digital culture  
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Android updates lag, especially from some manufacturers and carriers

If you're reading this on an Android phone, you're almost certainly not doing so in the current 2.3 version of Google's mobile operating system -- it runs on a mere 0.4 percent of Android devices. And there's only a slightly better than 50 percent chance that your phone instead runs...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 20, 2011; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Mobile  
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Apple Media Stream unearthed in new iOS beta

Apple has released yet another version of its iOS 4.3 beta to developers and the latest release holds some clues about what the company may be thinking about the future of its social media. Over at the Mac blog 9to5 Mac, they've found a folder in the new beta called...

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 20, 2011; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Apple, Digital culture, Mac, Social media  
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Amazon buys European online and DVD movie service Lovefilm

Amazon has agreed to purchase Lovefilm, an online movie service in the United Kingdom.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 20, 2011; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Computers, Digital culture  
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Microsoft IDs Windows Phone 7 data hog after customer complaints

Microsoft said that an third-party application caused some Windows Phone 7 users to consume more 3G data than they anticipated.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 20, 2011; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Mobile, Windows  
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Verizon will offer some customers up to $200 toward iPhone upgrade

If you're a Verizon customer who bought a smartphone, feature phone or certified pre-owned phone between Nov. 26 and Jan. 10 you can receive up to $200 off the full retail price of an iPhone 4.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 20, 2011; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Acer says it's not getting rid of netbooks after all

Acer has sent out a press release saying it will not be phasing out netbooks, refuting comments from a sales manager we reported on earlier this week.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 19, 2011; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Gadgets, Tablets  
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Feds charge two in connection with iPad hacks

Federal prosecutors have charged two men, Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark., and Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco, Calif., with one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization and one count of fraud in connection with personal information each, in connection with an alleged conspiracy to hack...

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 19, 2011; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Nintendo 3DS will hit U.S. stores March 27 for $249.99

Nintendo previewed the 3DS in two press events in New York and Amsterdam today, announcing that the handheld will be available in the U.S. on March 27 for $249.99.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 19, 2011; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Gadgets, Gaming  
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LivingSocial evokes dot-com boom with $20-for-$10 Amazon deal

Is it 1999 again? Should I order up a pint of Ben & Jerry's from Kozmo.com, play with a Pets.com sock puppet and pick out some spring outfits at Boo.com? No. But the sight of a Web start-up essentially giving away money reminds me of those days. GeorgetownChinatown-based LivingSocial's offer...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 19, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Shopping, Tips  
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Report: PSP2 will be unveiled next week, gaming phone debuts next month

Citing "two people with knowledge of the plans," Bloomberg is reporting that Sony will debut its next handheld system next week, and will unveil its gaming phone -- rumored to be called the Xperia Play -- around Valentine's Day at the Mobile World Congress.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 19, 2011; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Gadgets, Gaming  
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Starbucks mobile payment debuts nationwide today

Starting today, Starbucks customers don't have to fumble for their wallets to get their coffee. Now, you can just scan your mobile phone.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 19, 2011; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Apple, Digital culture, Gadgets, Mac, Mobile  
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Will the white iPhone hit stores Feb. 27?

(Image from MacRumors) The Apple rumor site MacRumors received a screenshot of what their source claims is a Best Buy inventory page showing the white iPhone will be in stock Feb. 27. Engadget and others have already reported that a white iPhone has shown up in Vodafone inventories in Germany,...

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 19, 2011; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Comcast and NBC: Did the Feds fold?

The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department imposed separate but overlapping conditions on this combination before approving it. If you read only descriptions of these terms from the FCC and the DoJ, you might think that the two government agencies have tightly constrained what this new company can do. Yet another perspective emerged from a conference call that Comcast held for reporters this afternoon.

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 18, 2011; 8:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Policy and politics, TV, Telecom, Video  
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Facebook address-sharing retreat provides further proof of law of unintended consequences

Your Facebook applications will no longer steal your home address or your mobile-phone number. Then again, they weren't going to do that in the first place. The Palo Alto, Calif., social network hit the pause button on plans announced Friday night to allow third-party applications to request access to that...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 18, 2011; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Privacy, Social media  
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Sony hits snag in case over PS3 hacks

Sony may have to delay taking legal action against George Hotz and others who published a way to allow users to run any software on the company's Playstation 3 console.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 18, 2011; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  DRM, Gaming  
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Sprint plan to add $10 'Premium Data' smartphone fee might be a tough sell

Getting a new smartphone from Sprint will cost you an extra $10 a month, starting Jan. 30. The carrier announced that it's extending the "Premium Data" surcharge it already levies on data service for 4G smartphones to its entire lineup of Web and app-capable phones, raising the price of its...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 18, 2011; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Mobile, Sprint, Telecom  
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Apple stock opens 5 percent down in U.S.

Following news that Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs will be out on indefinite medical leave, Apple stock opened 5 percent down. That's a far less panicked reaction than in German markets yesterday, where Apple stock fell 9.7 percent before closing at 6.1 percent below opening by the end of the day.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 18, 2011; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Apple  
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The end of netbooks? Acer phasing out netbooks with Android, Sandy Bridge tablets

Acer announced it will release 7-inch and 10-inch Android tablets with Intel's latest "Sandy Bridge" chipset in the first half of this year aimed at pushing out its line of smaller computers.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 18, 2011; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Gadgets  
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Analysts: Even without Jobs, Apple is in good hands

As Jobs takes time off to tend to his health, he's again left Apple's chief operating officer, Timothy Cook, in charge. Several big product announcements are likely to keep the company on track even in Jobs' absence. After that, it's anybody's guess.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 18, 2011; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Apple, Mac  
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Assessing the latest iPad 2 rumors, hints and allegations

It was a busy weekend for people looking for insights on the next version of Apple's iPad. I've been seeing sustained chatter about a successor to that best-selling tablet computer since at least December, but now it's starting to get specific. The obvious feature on the next iPad will be...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 18, 2011; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Apple, Tablets  
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PostPoints tip: Recharge your phone often in weak coverage

My recent trip to the Consumer Electronics Show gave me plenty of chances to recharge my phone, and with good reason. Most phones will drain their batteries faster in areas of weak coverage--in my CES experience, almost the entire lower level of the Venetian hotel's exhibit and conference space--as...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 18, 2011; 6:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tips  
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What we do and don't need to know about Steve Jobs's medical leave

Steve Jobs is sick again, can't do his job and needs to have his deputy fill in. That's all we know for sure from the brief statement by Jobs that Apple posted to its Web site this morning under the bland title ""Apple Media Advisory." In it, Jobs writes that...

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 17, 2011; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Apple, The business we have chosen  
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Stocks fall in Germany on news of Jobs's leave from Apple

Reuters reported Monday morning that Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs will take a medical leave of absence and hand the reigns of the company over to chief operating officer Tim Cook.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 17, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Apple, Mac  
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Steve Jobs to take medical leave of absence

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said Monday he is taking a medical leave of absence but will continue to serve as chief executive, Post reporter Cecilia Kang writes. In a letter sent to employees Monday, Jobs said the board of directors granted him the leave so "I can focus on my...

By Washington Post editor  | January 17, 2011; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Apple  
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