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Two universities in Washington, D.C., plan to soon start buying half of their electricity from solar-power farms 400 kilometers away. The schools expect the project will save millions of dollars during the next couple of decades and make the universities more attractive to environmentally-conscious students. Experts told VOA's Jim Randle the project shows how this once-exotic power source is becoming a routine part of business.
July 4 is the day the American Colonies in 1776 adopted the Declaration of Independence, formally announcing their separation from Great Britain. A rare copy of the Declaration, written by hand by Thomas Jefferson, is on display in New York's main public library. Nearby at another library is one of the very few original copies of the national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner." VOA's Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
The publication of the study, which found that showing people slightly happier messages in their feeds caused them to post happier updates, and sadder messages prompted sadder updates, sparked a torrent of outrage from people who found it creepy that Facebook played with unsuspecting users' emotions. Because the study was conducted in partnership with academic researchers, it also appeared to violate long-held rules protecting people from becoming test subjects without providing informed consent. Several European privacy agencies have begun examining whether the study violated local privacy laws.
But there may be other ways to look at the Facebook study and its publication. For one thing, studying how we use social media may provide important insights into some of the deepest mysteries of human behavior.
Facebook and much of the rest of the web are thriving petri dishes of social contact, and many social science researchers believe that by analyzing our behavior online, they may be able to figure out why and how ideas spread through groups, how we form our political views and what persuades us to act on them, and even why and how people fall in love. Read more »
• As news of Facebook's experiments continues to reverberate, the social network is facing potential investigations in Europe on whether it broke local privacy laws by manipulating the emotional content of users' posts without their consent.
Twitter's Revolving Door Spins Again|The continuing turmoil in Twitter's executive suite, a hallmark of the company's eight-year existence, suggests that the company is struggling in the face of stiffening competition from Facebook.
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Best of Scuttlebot News from the Web, annotated by our staff
Venture Capitalist Tim Draper Wins Bitcoin AuctionMr. Draper was the sole winning bidder of the nearly 30,000 Bitcoins auctioned on Friday by the United States Marshals Service, several people close to the auction said on Wednesday.
Tyson Foods Reaches Formal Deal for Hillshire BrandsTyson Foods formally struck a deal to buy Hillshire Brands for $7.7 billion on Wednesday, weeks after winning a bidding war for the company, which makes Jimmy Dean sausage.
Narrowed Insider Trading Case to Go to Jury Next WeekThe case against Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of Raj Rajaratnam, the former billionaire hedge fund manager convicted of insider trading in 2011, is down to a single charge of conspiracy to commit insider trading.
Orange Decides Not to Pursue Deal in French Mobile MarketFrance's largest telecommunications company and Bouygues Telecom, the nation's third-largest mobile provider, had discussed partnerships or a potential merger.
European Regulators Sign Off on Telefónica's Deal for E-PlusThe merger combines the third- and fourth-largest mobile phone providers in Germany and create a rival on par with T-Mobile and Vodafone, which together control more than half of the mobile telephone market in Germany.
The Fleeting Benefits of Overseas Corporate MarriagesAs more American companies seek to relocate by mergers - so-called inversions - it is more likely the law will change, Robert Cyran of Reuters Breakingviews writes. And that, he says, would swiftly invert the power of inversions.
Roche to Pay Up to $1.7 Billion for Seragon PharmaceuticalsA unit of the Swiss drug maker Roche is acquiring Seragon, a privately held biotechnology firm based in San Diego, Calif., that was spun off from Aragon Pharmaceuticals last year.
Nestlé to Sell Juicy Juice Brand to Brynwood PartnersThe deal is the latest sale by the Swiss food giant as it reduces its brand offerings to focus on more profitable business lines. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Former Heinz Chief Joins Private Equity Firm Advent as AdviserWilliam R. Johnson, formerly chief executive of H.J. Heinz, will help Advent International evaluate possible investments in the consumer packaged goods and food industries.
FinecoBank Shares Rise in Trading Debut in ItalyFinecoBank, the online banking and brokerage arm of the Italian lender UniCredit, priced its offering on the low end of its expected range, and the stock rose more than 6 percent by early afternoon on Wednesday.
Destination Maternity Rebuffed Twice in Bid for British Retailer MothercareThe deal, if completed, would be the latest example of an American company seeking to reincorporate overseas to avoid higher corporate taxes in the United States.
ING Group Raises $2 Billion in I.P.O. of Insurer NN GroupThe ING Group raised about $2 billion in the initial public offering for the NN Group, its European and Japanese insurance and investment management arm.
U.S. Jobs Report to Be Released Early in Holiday WeekBecause of the Fourth of July holiday, the Labor Department will release the latest data on unemployment and job creation on Thursday. Typically, the announcement takes place on the first Friday of the month. Economists on Wall Street expect the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 6.3 percent, while estimating the economy added 215,000 jobs in June. One additional data point to watch is the labor participation rate, which has been depressed since the recession, for any sign workers are returning to the job hunt as prospects improve.