by Free Britney at

Microsoft was once king of technology, owning 90 percent of the operating systems market and making Bill Gates the world's wealthiest human.

Times have changed. As demand shifted from desktops to laptops and then to tablets and smartphones, Microsoft lost its reign to Google and Apple.

Microsoft Logo

So drastic is the trend that a new report from technology research and advisory firm Gartner forecasts that by 2017, Microsoft could be all but obsolete.

How is this possible? By then, shipments of devices using Google’s Android operating system will likely dwarf shipments of Windows PCs and phones.

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by Free Britney at

Facebook spent most of its time Thursday talking about its new Facebook Home software that puts FB at the center of the Android operating system.

However, the company also announced the long-rumored "Facebook phone," a new smartphone with HTC (2498) that will be the first to use Home.

Facebook Phone

The appropriately named HTC First will be available in four different colors - black, white, red and pale blue - and will launch exclusively on AT&T April 12.

For $99.99, the device comes with a 4.3-inch display, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Facebook Home and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual core processor.

The new FB phone could find a receptive audience among the under-25 crowd, which is comfortable with having their mobile devices in reach at all times.

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by Free Britney at

Facebook Home, unveiled today, is the company's attempt to stop what it sees as an alarming trend:

Facebook users actually spending less time on Facebook.

So what is Facebook Home? To quote the video below:

“Home isn’t a phone or operating system, and it’s more than just an app. Home is a new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps.”

Basically, it's a suite of apps that constitute an interface for Android users willing to let FB mediate pretty much everything they do on their mobile devices.

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by Free Britney at

Google. What those web geniuses won't think of next.

A video introducing Google Nose (below) explains that the company's new BETA program allows users to "search for smells." Google Nose what it's doing!

How does it do this? Essentially, the product intersects "photons with infrasound waves" and "temporarily aligns molecules to emulate a particular scent."

There's even an Android version. These guys think of everything.

Once again, Google is redefining what's possible.

Or not. It's obviously not a real thing. April Fools!

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by Free Britney at

People on Facebook and Twitter have been changing pictures and avatars en masse to an image of a red equal sign. You've probably noticed. But why?

The Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for equal rights on behalf of LGBT Americans, has been promoting the image in lieu of its usual blue-and-yellow logo.

Red =

A symbol of "equality, it's part of an effort to mobilize supporters online with Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage underway in Washington, D.C.

The simple photo of the equal sign has racked up more than 25,000 “likes” and 78,000 “shares” on the group’s Facebook page in the last 24 hours alone.

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by Free Britney at

Yahoo has announced its acquisition of Summly, an app that lets users easily skim through news and articles on mobile devices, for $30 million.

Its founder is only 17 years old.

Summly Guy

Nick D’Aloisio, who founded the company when he was 15, launched it in December 2011, backed by investors including Yoko Ono and Ashton Kutcher.

The service sums up news articles in 400 characters, making it easy for users to scan for information and get to full articles if they want a more in-depth read.

Born in 1996, D’Aloisio is younger than Yahoo itself (1995).

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by Free Britney at

Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric (from Tim & Eric Awesome Show) and Reggie Watts have launched a new, Google-funded YouTube channel, JASH.

Each of them will get their own section within the channel where they have creative control as well as production and editing equipment at their disposal.

The channel's name, "JASH," stands for "Just Attitude So Hey."

The channel is one of 60 Original Channels that are essentially a blank check to each individual or group, funded by Google, YouTube's parent company.

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by Free Britney at

Social networks are built on the language of "likes" and positivity.

Until now, thanks to the Hater App developed by Jake Banks.

He decided to develop an alternative app - intended for sharing the things you don't like - because he feels Facebook et al. restrict us from being ourselves.

Hater App Pic

"It's really an answer to everything out there. All you can do is 'like' things," Banks told Mashable. "I don't want to be the guy pretending to be someone I'm not."

"I want to be real and say, 'I'm sitting in traffic and I hate this.'"

While you can post a comment like that anywhere, Banks says a "dedicated community" for dislikes frees up users to re-think the content they share.

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by Free Britney at

Today, February 24, is Steve Jobs' birthday. The visionary Apple co-founder, who died of pancreatic cancer in October 2011, would have turned 58 today.

The man responsible for technology innovations that shape our lives on a daily basis remains as beloved as any figure in the history of American business.

Steve Jobs wasn't merely a creative genius far ahead of his time, but was revered as a dear friend and an inspiring mentor by those who knew him.

He was also a showman who could give a keynote address like no other.

Whether he was introducing the world to a new product idea or discussing ones already created, he turned speeches and interviews into art forms.

Check out the awesome montage of Jobs clips from 1978-2011 above.

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by Free Britney at

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates hosted an AMA ("Ask Me Anything") session on Reddit yesterday, and actively engaged with members of the popular online community.

A few notable responses/gems from one of the world's richest people:

Bill Gates on Reddit

Gates usually gets books for his birthday. Asked what his favorite is, he said “My favorite of the last decade in Pinker’s Better Angels of our Nature."

"It is long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time. I review a lot of the books I read at gatesnotes.com“

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