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Tech Industry

Face time with Facebook (week in review)

Facebook launches video chat, while Verizon revises data plans. Also: Hacking scandal downs newspaper.

Now playing: Watch this: Facebook debuts video calling
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Facebook and Skype have inked a deal to put you in a virtual face-to-face conversation.

After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week his company was planning to launch "something awesome," the social-networking giant and Internet phone giant announced that video chatting had been built into Facebook's chat platform. Users need only click the video call button at the top of their chat window in order to start communicating over video--once the call recipient accepts the video request. Facebook also showed off a new group-chat feature, allowing users to have a conversation with multiple people at the same time.

As Google grows ever more powerful in techdom, and Microsoft's influence slips, the Redmond software giant is building closer and closer ties to Facebook. The Facebook-Skype deal today is more evidence that Microsoft and Facebook are in lockstep as they fight their mutual foe, Google. And it comes even while Microsoft awaits regulatory approval to conclude its Skype acquisition.
•  How Facebook's event unfolded
•  Facebook and Google+'s video chat tools compared

More headlines

Verizon confirms tiered data plans and hot-spot charge

The carrier bids farewell to unlimited data plans this week and says hello to usage-based options. Verizon also is adding a charge to use its mobile hot-spot feature.
•  No unlimited data plan? Help! (FAQ)
•  Verizon's new pricing plan is a godsend for Sprint
•  Verizon lining up iPhone 4 discount?

Google doubling Google+ population

Google+ systems are working well, so the company is expanding the social network's population. Corporate accounts, though, will have to wait until later this year.
•  Extension slurps Facebook contacts into Google+
•  How to import, invite Facebook friends to Google+
•  How to create a Google+ vanity URL
•  How a Google+ gap keeps me on Facebook

Apple loses bid for injunction against Amazon

Federal judge denies Apple's request to immediately stop Amazon from using the term "Appstore" to describe its digital downloads storefront.
•  Apple App Store hits 15 billion downloads
•  AT&T-iPad hacker indicted, report says

British tabloid to shutter in wake of phone hacking scandal

News of the World to shut down amid allegations that the cell phones of a murder victim and others were hacked.
•  Kevin Mitnick shows how easy it is to hack a phone
•  PI accused of hacking phone of murder victim

Top ISPs agree to become copyright cops

As first reported by CNET, some of the country's largest Internet service providers have agreed to step up copyright enforcement on behalf of content owners.
•  Should you fear new ISP copyright enforcers?

Visa, MasterCard appear to have lifted WikiLeaks ban

WikiLeaks' financial blockade appears to have been lifted, at least temporarily, according to Iceland-based payment processor DataCell.
•  Chat logs show Bradley Manning's early activism

Anonymous, LulzSec spawn 'one of worst' quarters

With a slew of security breaches and cyberattacks, the second quarter was "one of the worst on record" for security, says a new report from Panda.
•  'Sophisticated' attack targets two Energy Dept. labs

Amazon offers unlimited Cloud music storage

Customers who pay for a storage plan will receive unlimited space for their MP3 and AAC music files. Also: Amazon brings the Cloud to iPad.
•  Apple could see $13B in iTunes sales in '13

Games reign as most popular mobile apps

Games are tops among 64 percent of those surveyed by Nielsen, which also found that 93 percent of app downloaders are willing to pay for the games they play--the highest of any category.
•  eBay buys Zong for $240 million

Also of note
•  New PSN design in the works
•  HTC facing backlash for S3 acquisition
•  Secret Service nabs Apple Store spy camera artist