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This Day in Tech: Google+ launches API; Windows 8 counters Apple's Mac, iPad strategy

Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Thursday, September 15.

Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET and elsewhere for Thursday, September 15.

• Microsoft previewed Windows 8 at its Build developer conference this week. "Their approach is to take the PC OS and bring it to the tablet which is opposite of what Apple is doing," said Jason Maynard, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. "Sometimes when you have a hammer, everything looks like nail."

• Shareholder sues HP over claims it mislead investors.

• NASA spots Star Wars-like planet orbiting two stars.

•Despite being the most widely used browser plug-in, Flash will be barred from the new "Metro" version of Internet Explorer 10 that will ship with Windows 8. But Adobe says Flash will do just fine.

•Case-Mate briefly posts photos of iPhone 5 case, in anticipation of the new phone. The latest rumor? The iPhone 5 announcement is said to be just weeks away. The screen protector hints at an elongated home button area.

• Google+ API launches today, which will allow you to get public profile information and public posts from Google+ users. CNET's Dave Rosenberg reports, "The news is significant. As part of the evolution of any modern Web property--especially those geared toward the social sharing of information, an API (application programming interface) is key to adoption."

• Google wants to organize video for the Web. According to Business Insider, "Two industry sources tell us that Google is actually spending much more than [the $100 million reported earlier this year] acquiring content for YouTube--perhaps as much as $500 million or more." Could YouTube provide an alternative to cable?

• Research In Motion earnings fall by more than half in the second quarter. CNET's Roger Cheng says, "The weaker results are emblematic of a broader shift in the smartphone market away from RIM's once dominant hold to the newer powers. The company had gone a year without new products and largely relied on its existing corporate contracts and continued demand from its overseas market to offset the declines in North America. Due to the uncertainty, the stock has tumbled nearly 60 percent over the past few months."

• VentureBeat reports cloud storage provider Box.net rejected a $500 million offer.

• Apple's brand is No. 2, following Google at No. 1.