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Tech Industry

Getting social with Google--again (week in review)

Google+ launches, while MySpace sells to group including Justin Timberlake. Also: California goes after Amazon.

Google is trying to get in with the social-networking crowd with a new service called Google+.

Acknowledging that the social service still has "rough edges," Google+ is designed around "Circles" that allow users to group people within their social sphere into different categories. The social service includes a feature called Hangouts that lets you find others who are "hanging out" on the Web. If you decide to join a given hangout, you'll be able to engage in a video chat with the others there.

Google's first major foray into the social networking world came by way of Orkut, a service that has seen some success outside the States but has largely been ignored by U.S. users. Google tried its luck again with the launch of its Buzz social network, but the service came under fire from users who criticized the service for violating their privacy by automatically making some of their contacts public.
•  Google+ steers clear of privacy missteps
•  How to look inside Google+ without an invite
•  A hands-on look at Google+, using Google+
•  Developer API for Google+: It's coming
•  Google launches new home page

The once-massive social network MySpace has been sold to Specific Media in a deal that's rumored to sit at $35 million. The buyer is advertising network. Justin Timberlake, who played Sean Parker in "The Social Network," is an investor in the deal.
•  MySpace lays off more than half its staff

More headlines

California targets Kindle lab in Amazon tax spat

New law says the presence of subsidiaries A9 and Lab126 in California is sufficient reason to levy sales taxes on shipments into the Golden State.

Supreme Court nixes violent video game law

By a 7-2 ruling, the justices invalidate a California law restricting sale or rental of certain video games to minors, saying they're exposed to violent material when they read Greek mythology or fairy tales.
•  Video games given full First Amendment protection
•  Supreme Court may reconsider radio, TV indecency rules

Apple posts Final Cut FAQ, says features to return

The company lays out details about its newest pro video-editing software and says that a handful of missing features will eventually make a comeback.
•  Petition seeks to bring back old Final Cut Pro
•  Apple issuing refunds to some Final Cut Pro X users
•  Adobe tries discounts to woo Final Cut Pro ranters

Tech companies poised for white-space spectrum

With the FCC about to finalize "white space" rules, Microsoft and others are working on wireless products that use the unlicensed spectrum that sits between TV channels.
•  Microsoft to test white-space spectrum for wireless

Alleged hacker Ryan Cleary out on bail

The 19-year-old alleged hacker has been electronically tagged, according to reports, and can only leave his home when one of his parents is with him.
•  Ohio male may be linked to LulzSec attacks
•  RIP LulzSec. Now what?

RIM investors pull proposal to split CEO role

Northwest & Ethical Investments has agreed to withdraw its shareholder proposal to split the co-CEO and co-chairmen roles at RIM just weeks before the company's annual meeting.
•  More calls to split RIM's CEO, chairman roles
•  Anonymous letter bemoans RIM management woes
•  RIM responds to open letter: We're fine

Obama 'town hall' will answer Twitter questions

If history is a guide, the most popular questions will be about legalizing pot. Will Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey press the president on the topic?
•  Biz Stone, Evan Williams relaunch Twitter incubator
•  Twitter tallies 200 million tweets per day
•  Tweet Jesus! Pope starts tweeting on iPad

Microsoft kills Hohm energy app

Blaming slow market adoption, Microsoft pulls the plug on its home energy management tool only a week after Google abandons its PowerMeter electricity monitoring app.

IPO values Zynga at $15 billion to $20 billion

FarmVille maker expected to file papers to go public, according to a CNBC report, joining a frothy lineup of Net start-ups looking to cash in on lofty valuations.
•  Zynga IPO: Like Facebook, but sharper

Also of note
•  Man suing for half of Facebook loses lawyer
•  TDL-4: The 'indestructible' botnet?
•  Hackers shut down Al Qaeda Net communications