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Intel tests 48-core CPU

Intel has unveiled an energy-efficient 48-core microprocessor that it says is 10 to 20 times more powerful than the fastest of its Core line of processors. The company will give 100 of the chips to researchers in academia and other high-tech firms so they can work on parallel programming models and on developing software that can run on such a high number of cores. Intel hopes the chips will help them develop energy-efficient cloud computing technologies. Making the experimental chip has also given Intel ideas for improving today’s models. It expects to integrate key features of the research chip into a new line of Core processors that will go on sale early next year.

Bing Maps debuts Microsoft’s version of Street View

Microsoft is taking aim at one of Google’s most popular services, Google Maps, with a richer version of its own online mapping service that was released in beta on Wednesday. The new Bing Maps uses Microsoft’s Silverlight multimedia technology to provide a smoother way to zoom in and out of cityscapes that appear as 3D-like images. The beta service also includes Microsoft’s answer to Google Street View, which it calls Streetside.

Nokia stands behind Symbian

Although Symbian’s future on Nokia’s smartphones has been questioned lately, Nokia’s CEO says the company’s support for the OS remains unchanged. Symbian’s biggest drawback is its user interface, unsuitable for touch-screen smartphones, but Nokia has promised to make it easier to access key functions in a new version of the software next year. Meanwhile, Nokia will use a Linux-based operating system called Maemo on its top-of-the-range phones.

Yahoo integrates Facebook into online services

Users of Facebook and Yahoo will find more ways to link their actions on those sites next year, as Yahoo prepares what it calls a deep integration of Facebook with services like Yahoo Mail and Yahoo News. Currently, users can call up their Facebook activity streams and post status updates from the Yahoo home page. Yahoo also provides buttons to share certain Yahoo content on Facebook. But by the middle of next year, Yahoo will make it possible to view Facebook activity feeds and update Facebook status from within Yahoo Web pages, the company said.

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