Google Makes Moves, Russian Spies, IPhone Woes

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Google tops headlines with rumors about the company's social-networking plans, more changes it made in China and an acquisition during what proved to be a slower-than-usual week for IT news as we ease into the summer here in Boston, where we've been treated to some gorgeous days of late. We've clustered Google's news at the top for your reading pleasure and will end our list this week with some "how to" tips that may come in handy for the lazy days ahead (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), ending with some news from Australia where wintertime is buzzing, so to speak.

1. Web abuzz on talk of Google Facebook killer: Speaking of buzzing -- the Internet was (and still is) full of chatter that Google is developing a social-networking service that will take on (and take out) Facebook. Given how much Google already knows about us, and its obvious path toward world Internet dominance, we can't say this comes as a surprise.

2. In its battle with China, Google takes a step back: But it was a bit of a surprise to hear that Google had moved to placate Chinese officials a couple of days before the company's license to operate there was up for renewal, announcing that it would no longer redirect search traffic from China to its Hong Kong search engine.

3. Google buys ITA for $700M to boost travel search: About that world dominance path ...

4. Russian spy ring needed some serious IT help: Of course, there was a heavy IT angle to the news that a Russian spy ring was charged with snooping on the U.S.

5. Apple address iPhone 4 reception, promises software update: So much for the claims that users just don't know how to hold their new iPhone 4s.

6. The ignominious fall of Dell: Recently unsealed court documents claim that Dell knowingly sold faulty computers, leading to a lot of wondering about both the company's past and its future.

7. You are here: Scary new location privacy risks: We never have understood why it would seem to be a good idea to broadcast our location, even if we are where we're supposed to be.

8. How to build a computer: Here's a summertime (or wintertime below the Equator) project.

9. How to jailbreak your iPad (plus 8 things to do with it): Well, we know what we'll be doing this holiday weekend.

10. Vuvuzela sales trump Aussie loss: We don't need a location-based service to tell anyone where we are since it's easy enough to find us these days by following the buzzing sound. (That said, we've come to a new appreciation for the mute button.)

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