Facebook wants to bring free web access to 100 countries by end of year

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BARCELONA — Facebook told a few members of the press this week that its Internet.org initiative, which aims get more of the world's population online, is on track for an aggressive expansion.

Chris Evans, VP of Internet.org at Facebook, said the company plans to expand into 100 countries by the end of the year. The program is currently set up in six countries — Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Colombia and India — and has helped more than 7 million people access health, employment and local information services without data charges.

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) is selling iPads with educational discounts in the U.S.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has added educational discounts to iPads in the U.S. Staff and students in the U.S. will now be able to buy iPads with the following prices:

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In order to get the discount, you will need to prove that you are a student or employee of educational institution. You will need to have an active .edu account.

This is the first time that educational deals have been applied to iPads even though Apple has been offering discounts for Mac computers.

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Google already spent over $3.8M in lobbying this year

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Tech companies spend a lot of money on lobbying. Two companies that are known for opening their wallets for political lobbying are Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Verizon. In the last two years, the two companies spent a combined $63 million to drive legislation in their favor. And the two companies already spent $6 million combined in 2014.

Google spent over $3.8 million in 2014 so far. One of Google’s ideas for lobbying was hosting a conference at George Mason University with Federal Trade Commission regulators added to the list of invited people. Verizon spends money on lobbying the Federal Communications Commission for wireless spectrum.

“These companies continue to spend whatever they think necessary to buy the laws and regulations they want,” stated John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director.  “These disclosure statements don’t include payments to trade associations or the sort of ‘soft’ lobbying that has become a Google trademark – funds to think tanks and academic research centers. When all that is factored in, the amounts are staggering. Policy making is no longer about what’s right; it’s all about the money.”

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