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Microsoft expands ad-free Bing searches for US schools from kindergarten through 12th grade

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Microsoft is expanding a program that gives schools the ability to prevent ads from appearing in search results when they use its Bing search engine. The program, launched in a pilot program earlier this year, is now available to all U.S. schools, public or private, from kindergarten through the 12th grade. The program is meant to create a safer online environment for children, but also promote use of Bing, which trails market leader Google.

Yahoo finishes encrypting data centres, some searches in effort to thwart government spying

SAN FRANCISCO - Yahoo has added more layers of security in its effort to shield people's online lives from government spying and other snooping. The measures announced Wednesday include the completion of a system that encrypts all information being transmitted from one Yahoo data centre to another. The technology is designed to make the emails and other digital information flowing through data centres indecipherable to outsiders.

LINE messenger service breaks 400 mln user milestone

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top portal operator, Naver Corp., said Wednesday its free messenger application LINE broke the 400-million download mark as more overseas users chose the service to connect with one another. The milestone came four months after it had drawn 300 million users as of November last year. LINE was launched in June 2011. LINE held more than 10 million users in 10 countries, with South Korea, the United States, Mexico and Malaysia joining the club this year. The app is serviced in 17 different languages.

Yahoo Japan buys SoftBank's eAccess to set up new mobile Internet service

TOKYO (Reuters) - Yahoo Japan Corp will buy mobile network operator eAccess from No. 3 Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank Corp for 324 billion yen ($3.17 billion) to launch its own mobile Internet service. Yahoo Japan, the country's biggest Internet portal and 42.6 percent owned by SoftBank, said on Thursday its new Y!mobile service would aim for more than 20 million users and would use a simple pricing structure to attract new customers.

Yahoo Japan to buy eAccess telecom firm for $3.2 bn

Internet giant Yahoo Japan said Thursday it would buy almost all of domestic telecom company eAccess from its parent Softbank Corp. in a deal valued at around $3.2 billion, or 324 billion yen. Yahoo Japan, a unit of the Japanese mobile phone and Internet service company Softbank, said the deal was aimed at further growth in its Internet services through smartphones and tablets. By acquiring 99.68 percent of the telecom company, Yahoo Japan would be able to integrate Internet and mobile businesses, it said in a statement.

Google's search results on personal computers get makeover that mirrors mobile design

SAN FRANCISCO - Web surfing through the Internet's main gateway now looks slightly different on personal computers, thanks to a few cosmetic changes to Google's search engine this week. The tweaks to the way Google's search results appear on desktop and laptop computers mirror a makeover on smartphones and tablets introduced a few months ago.

Yahoo serves up Yelp user reviews

Yahoo on Wednesday began serving up Yelp reviews in US search results as it sought to win users away from Google. "We're thrilled to announce that we've partnered with Yelp," Yahoo product management senior director Anand Chandrasekaran said in a blog post. Looking up businesses on smartphones, tablets or computers on Yahoo Search will trigger results that include Yelp user-generated reviews and ratings, according to Chandrasekaran.

Yahoo's search engine highlights Yelp's reviews of local merchants in quest for more traffic

SAN FRANCISCO - Yahoo is cribbing from Yelp's online reviews of local merchants to soup up its search engine. Ratings and excerpts from Yelp's merchant reviews began to appear in Yahoo's search results on Wednesday. Financial terms of the partnership weren't disclosed. News of the deal first leaked out last month, so it didn't come as a surprise. Yahoo's stock dipped 7 cents to $37.49 in afternoon trading while Yelp's shares gained $2.48, or nearly 3 per cent, to $92.48.

Microsoft denies Chinese-language Bing search censorship

Microsoft on Wednesday denied censoring Chinese-language search results across the globe, but the group behind the accusation stood firm. "We can emphatically confirm that they are not," Microsoft's senior director of Bing search engine Stefan Weitz said in a blog post addressing talk of political censorship. "Bing search results outside of China are not subject to and are not modified in any way based on Chinese law."

Microsoft denies global censorship of China-related searches

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp denied on Wednesday it was omitting websites from its Bing search engine results for users outside China after a Chinese rights group said the U.S. firm was censoring material the government deems politically sensitive.
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