Bill Gates joins Twitter

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has officially joined Twitter and is amassing followers quickly.

The 54-year-old Gates, who stepped down from full-time duties at Microsoft last year to concentrate on philanthropical efforts, had more than 150,000 followers in his first 13 hours on the site. As of this writing, he had nearly 200,000.

Gates’ first message was “Hello world,” a common phrase used by computer programmers learning a new language.

There have been numerous Gates imposters on the site, but the new account is verified as official.

Gates, who still serves as Microsoft’s non-executive chairman, says he plans on “sharing cool things I’m learning through my foundation work and other interests” in his bio. 

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Canadian Commissioner takes data collection probe to public

Canada’s privacy commissioner is launching a series of public consultations to investigate online data collection through social networking and consumer profiling.

Jennifer Stoddart will examine the privacy risks associated with the online tracking, profiling and targeting of consumers in the lead-up to a review of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Canadians are among the world’s most prolific Internet and social networking users and Stoddart’s office says there’s concern that personal information is being abused.

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Canada’s Privacy commission probing Facebook again 

Canada’s privacy commission is again investigating Facebook after receiving a new complaint from the public regarding how the website handles users’ data.

The complaint addresses a tool implemented by the social-networking site in mid-December that allegedly makes users’ information more readily available than before. New default settings, which users were asked to review at the time, have actually taken a step backward, the complaint said.

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CES Looks to regain Lustre

All eyes at the Consumer Electronics Show will be on Google, Apple and Microsoft

The Microsoft question

The world’s biggest software company and main CES supporter kicks off the event with a keynote from chief executive Steve Ballmer, his second after taking over for the retired Bill Gates. Microsoft is floundering in the mobile phone business and has lost some of its momentum in video games to Nintendo and a resurgent Sony. Rumours emerged last week that the company is looking to tie its video game and mobile phone strategies together. CES could also provide Microsoft with an opportunity to make some concrete announcements regarding Project Natal, the prototype motion-controlled video game system it showed off last summer.

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