Peter SayerParis Bureau Chief, IDG News Service

Peter Sayer covers European public policy, the blockchain, and other technology breaking news for the IDG News Service.

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Apple pushes into virtual reality by hiring top VR expert

Apple has lured a top virtual reality researcher away from Virginia Tech.

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Google blocked more bad ads than ever in 2015, but they still keep coming

When Google tells us it blocked 780 million bad ads last year, is that a sign that things are getting better?

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Big data is an antitrust issue too, says European Commissioner

Europe's top antitrust authority is on the lookout for companies using big data to stifle competition, although it hasn't spotted any problems yet, according to Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

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IBM to tackle fraud with Iris Analytics

No, this isn't about using Watson AI systems to identify fraudsters by gazing deep into their eyes: IBM has acquired a German machine learning software firm called Iris Analytics to bolster its antifraud software.

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US patent grants slow in wake of Supreme Court business methods ruling

There are some big changes in the patent landscape hiding behind a small drop in the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year.

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Europol tracks DD4BC cyber-extortion gang to Bosnia

The DD4BC gang has demanded bitcoin in return for not divulging information or disrupting online services.

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FBI, NSA seek tech firms' help in war on terror at Silicon Valley meeting

It's no secret that the U.S. government wants the tech industry's help in waging its war on terror. What has been a secret, up till now, is the exact agenda of a meeting between technology executives and government officials, to be held in Silicon Valley on Friday.

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Salesforce.com buys developer of quoting and billing apps for SMEs

If you can't beat them, buy them: Salesforce.com is snapping up SteelBrick, a startup that builds quoting and billing functions for SMEs on the Salesforce cloud platform.

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Apple will pay Ericsson patent royalties on iPhones and iPads

Apple has agreed to pay Ericsson royalties on the wireless devices it sells in settlement of a long-standing patent dispute.

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Blackberry plans to push QNX into the Internet of Things at CES

Blackberry is planning to push its QNX real-time operating system into the Internet of Things at CES.

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Valve slapped with lawsuit over 'unfair' Steam game resale ban

A French consumer association, steamed up at the way major online game platforms prohibit the resale of games, is seeking to make an example of Valve Software, operator of the Steam platform.

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Consumer tech should be cheaper by July, when import tariffs end

The World Trade Organization hopes to cut the cost of IT and consumer electronics products and boost trade in them with the abolition of tariffs on imports including game consoles, TVs, GPS receivers and advanced chips together worth US$1.3 trillion annually from July 2016.

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Now you can adopt emoji to help save the world's smaller languages

There are emoji everywhere these days -- but creating them doesn't come cheap, and now, says the Unicode Consortium, it's time to pay up.

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EU privacy law to require opt-in and make data processors share in responsibility

Companies will have to obtain customers' consent before collecting and processing their personal data, and could be fined as much as 4 percent of annual revenue for breaches of the rules.

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Better together: Qualcomm says no to split despite declining profit

After evaluating options to break the company up, Qualcomm has decided not to change its corporate structure despite an ongoing decline in revenue and profit.